The PGA Tour season rolls into its final week as the FedExCup Playoffs culminate with their final event, The TOUR Championship. The field is down to the final 30 players eligible to become the FedExCup champion and $10 million richer. The points reset and any of the 30 players in the TOUR Championship can win the event although some would need a little help. East Lake GC is the permanent host of the TOUR Championship since 2004. The Atlanta based course is also the home course of golfing legend Bobby Jones.
Dates: September 24 – 27 2015
Course: East Lake Golf Club
Stats: 7,307 Yards; Par 70
Television Broadcast Coverage (Times):
Thursday: Golf Channel 1:-00 – 6:00 PM EST
Friday: Golf Channel 1:-00 – 6:00 PM EST
Saturday: NBC 12:00 – 1:30 EST, Golf Channel 1:30 – 6:00 PM EST
Sunday: Golf Channel 12:00 – 1:30 PM EST, NBC 1:30 – 6:00 EST
Purse: $8.25 million total purse, $1.485 million winner’s share
2015 TOUR Championship Predictions, FedExCup Win Picks at East Lake Holes That Matter
A prevailing thought at this week’s TOUR Championship will be short siding. While every course has its challenges, East Lake truly penalizes players for missing greens on the short side. Even with that thought in mind there are certain holes at east Lake that will play a larger factor than others. Let’s take a look at a few of them.
The Par-3, 214 yard second hole will not play to the scorecard yardage due to the slight elevation change but will be a long Par-3 none the less. The green at number two has a severe slope from left to right and back to front. The green here is also protected by bunkers on each side. This hole is a perfect example and the beginning of the prevailing thought to avoid the short side.
The Par-4, 520 yard fifth hole is a Par-5 shortened for this event. Players should not let the 520 yard scorecard length scare them as a properly struck tee shot will catch a down slope that rockets the ball forward. If players miss the landing area they will be left with a hybrid or fairway wood into this Par-4. If the tee shot is properly placed players will have a long iron off a downhill lie making getting it close a challenge to say the least. Expect more bogeys than birdies here this week.
The Par-4, 469 yard 10th hole will require a quality tee shot positioned to the left side of the fairway to allow players to even see the green on their approaches to this large putting surface. The green at 10 slopes from back right to front left and its size ensures that three putting is in play here all week.
The closing stretch at East Lake is as challenging and demanding as any final three holes on tour. The Par-4, 481 yard 16th hole is a tight driving hole with its landing area only measuring 25 yards wide. Assuming a player finds the fairway they are left with a mid to long iron into a receptive green that is guarded by two heart stopping bunkers just waiting for a misplayed approach. Bogey will occur here a few times this week.
At the 17th hole players will tee off on the final Par-4 at East Lake that measures 453 yards. Tee shots that miss the landing area to the right will be challenged by two bunkers making a regulation approach all but impossible. Two more bunkers around the green await poor approach shots into this large, undulating green. Players salivating at a ball challenging a back pin location will be heartbroken when the ridge that splits the green in two pulls their balls away from the hole. Par here every day is a great score.
The closing hole at East Lake is the Par-3, 235 yard 18th hole. Many will think that a Par-3 will not provide the level of drama that many want. Oh but are they wrong. When the wind shifts here players could hit as much as a fairway wood into this Par-3 but at best case it is still a long iron into a large two-tiered green. The green is protected by two bunkers, one on the right and one of the left. The 18th green is slick and players must be mindful to keep the ball below the hole or a very costly three putt can await them. The setup of the 18th at East Lake is not long but is still full of drama.
2015 TOUR Championship Predictions, FedExCup Win Picks at East Lake Top Picks
The BMW Championship is not quite done but I feel comfortable enough with what I have seen to make my top choices for the TOUR Championship. The FedExCup Playoffs are culminating with this week’s TOUR Championship. Attempting to pick a winner out of a field of 30 of the greatest players in the world is a challenge to say the least. But can anyone beat Jason Day right now? It is hard to say. However, that is part of the excitement whether it is a wager, fandom or even a fantasy team. It’s time for 2015 TOUR Championship Predictions, FedExCup Win Picks at East Lake Farms Top Picks.
|Dustin Johnson||He is having a very nice week and looks to be a top-5 finisher when the dust settles Sunday at Conway Farms. In has last two starts at the TOUR Championship he has a solo fifth and a tie for 10th (he missed last year). Should enter with three top-10s in his last four starts. When he gets rolling he is hard to stop. The most logical choice outside of my top two below.|
|Rory McIlroy||He won twice on tour this year. He should end the BMW Championship with six top-10s in his last eight starts. Looks like he knocked the rust off and will look to turn the tables on a final round that cost him the FedExCup title last year. He knows how to shoot a low round at East Lake and appears to be the major challenger to Day at this time.|
|Jason Day||While early I will assume Day holds on and becomes the only five time winner in 2015. He finally broke through and became a major champion with his victory at the PGA Championship and then came back to win the Barclays and if he holds his six shot lead, the BMW Championship. He also has won four of his last six events. He is a machine right now and should be considered the favorite to win the TOUR Championship and the FedExCup.|