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2017 TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola Preview

Matt Rumack September 19, 2017 11:41PM EDT

Course: East Lake GC (Atlanta, Georgia)

Yardage: 7,385 (Par 70)

Purse: 8.75 M

Field: Top 30 players in FedEx Cup points to date

Recent TOUR Championship Winners

2012 Brandt Snedeker
2013 Henrik Stenson
2014 Billy Horschel
2015 Jordan Spieth
2016 Rory McIlroy

A less than thrilling finish at the BMW Championship means that one man played some supremely stellar golf for four straight days. That man was Marc Leishman. Leishman blew the field away by shooting 23-under par over the four days. Leishman got off to a hot start and never looked back. After shooting a 62 on Day 1, Leishman’s lead only grew with each day. He followed his opening round 62 by shooting a 64 on Day 2, a 68 on Day 3 and a 67 for his final round. He won the tournament easily, beating Justin Rose and Rickie Fowler by five shots.

Justin Thomas is one of five golfers who could walk away with the Tour Championship and the Fed Ex Cup. AP Photo/Michael Dwyer

It may not be a major championship, but some golfers look forward to this event with equal anticipation, as this event is the actual championship for the entire golf season as a whole. Unlike all other PGA Tour events there’s an extra $10 million on the line. Also unlike other tournaments, a good chunk of the field didn’t know whether or not they’d be part of this event until this past Sunday.

A total of four players worked their way in last week, meaning that four players who started the BMW Championship within the Top 30 got knocked out. Previously outside the Top 30, Patrick Cantlay, Tony Finau, Sergio Garcia, and Xander Schauffele all played well enough to jump into the Top 30 and make the field. Unfortunately, their good week paired with a sub-standard week from Bill Haas, Louis Oosthuizen, Brendan Steele, and previous FedEx Cup winner Henrik Stenson means their season is over. So, the 30 players for the 2017 Tour Championship are set, the question is which players are most worthy of being in your lineups?

The famed East Lake Golf Club opened in 1904 and was the home course of golf legend Bobby Jones. The course was revamped in 1993 as a tribute to Bobby, and since 1998 it’s been the site of the Tour Championship. In 2008, the course’s bentgrass greens were converted into bermudagrass greens, which are generally a little easier to putt on. The course plays a stout 7,385 yards, and it’ll take 70 shots or less to shoot par or better here.

Players this week will be looking down tree-lined fairways and a handful of very large fairway bunkers as well, so strokes gained: off-the-tee will be a key stat for success. With two-thirds of the holes being par 4s to navigate, Par 4 scoring will be another key factor in determining the winner here. Nine of the par 4s measure between 440 and 520 yards, so Par 4 scoring 450-500 yards will also come into play. In order to tame holes of these lengths it is a big advantage for golfers to hit the ball long, so driving distance will be an advantage, but not a must. If your golfer does not rank highly in driving distance, then they absolutely must be strong in strokes-gained: approach.

It should be a thrilling week as the year’s 30 best golfers will be going for it all. For Daily fantasy golf, as usual we are simply trying to pick the best six golfers for the week. There is no cut, so all 30 golfers will play all four rounds barring a withdrawal. The winner of the 2017 Tour Championship does not necessarily win the FedEx Cup. Only the Top 5 players control their own destiny, meaning that if Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Dustin Johnson, Marc Leishman, or John Rahm win the Tour Championship, they will outright be the FedEx Cup winner and proud owner of a $10 Million check. As for everyone else, they have to play their best and hope that the Top 5 don’t do enough to win the cup. The last time the FedEx Cup winner didn’t win the Tour Championship was in 2009 when Phil Mickelson won the Tour Championship, but Tiger Woods still won the FedEx Cup Championship. Good luck and enjoy the final week of the 2017 PGA golf season!

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