Par 70, 7,385 yards
It’s the final event of the season and the FedExCup Series and it promises to be cracker. Only the top 30 in the FedEx Cup standings advance to the Tour Championship.
East Lake is a tricky test measuring 7,385 yards. It was restored back in 1994 after being neglected and was brought back to its glory by course designer Rees Jones. They made a small yet exciting change to the course layout for last years edition switching around the nines. The players ended playing a par 5 instead of a par 3 which offered an extra bit of drama at the end.
Previous winners include Rory Mcilroy (2016), Jordan Spieth (2015), Billy Horchel (2014), Henrik Stenson (2013) and Brandt Snedeker (2012).
Going by previous winners hitting plenty of greens is a huge plus along with a hot putter and accuracy off the tee. Players that can keep the ball in the fairway off the tee will give themselves a good look for their approaches into the greens.
The main areas of statistical importance here are GIR, SG Putting, SGTTG, scrambling and driving accuracy.
It’s difficult to bet against the FedEx Cup leader coming to East Lake this week. He has been in great form recently with two wins, three top 10’s and a top 15 in his last seven starts. He had a superb win at the Travelers Championship where he holed a superb bunker shot beating Daniel Berger in a playoff. He then won again the following week at the Open Championship in Royal Birkdale where he overcame some early round jitters to beat Matt Kuchar by an impressive three strokes.
Spieth then finished in a respectable T13 at the WGC Bridgestone and followed that with a solo second at the Northern Trust and another solo second at the Dell Technologies Championship. Last week at the BMW, he had another solid performance finishing T7 on 13 under for the tournament which included an opening and a closing 65.
Jordan has a great record here in East Lake finishing second in 2013, a win in 2015 and a T17 last year. Statswise he ranks third in GIR, second in SGTTG, 30th in strokes gained putting and first in par 4 scoring. In his last 12 competitive rounds Spieth has shot in the 60’s nine times. He looks like the standout favourite here and looks like the man to beat.
The Englishman has had a fantastic season on the PGA Tour so far and I fully expect him to keep that good form going this week in East Lake. Casey has four top 10’s and two top 15’s in his last seven starts. He had a great week at the Travelers shooting four rounds in the 60’s to post a T5 finish. He followed that with a T11 at the Open Championship in Birkdale, T5 at the WGC Bridgestone, T13 at The PGA Championship, solo fifth at The Northern Trust, T4 at the Dell Technologies and a respectable T33 at the BMW Championship.
Casey is a real horse for the course here finishing fourth in 2010, fifth in 2015 and fourth last year. Statswise he ranks fourth in GIR, second in SG approaches to the green, fifth in SG tee to green and sixth in scrambling. In his last 12 rounds around East Lake, Casey has only shot worse than a 70 twice.
Cantlay has been very impressive this season and has done incredibly well to get to the Tour Championship given the amount of tournaments he’s played. He has played some great golf in some tricky events throughout the season including a solo second at the Valspar, a T3 at the RBC Heritage, T14 at the Zurich Classic in New Orleans and a respectable T22 at the Players Championship.
Most recently, Cantlay has two top 10’s and a top 15 in his last three starts. He had a good week at the Northern Trust shooting four rounds of 70 or better finishing T10 and followed that with a T13 at the Dell Technologies Championship which included three rounds in the 60’s. Last week at the BMW Cantlay had another solid week finishing T9 after shooting 67,65,70,70 to post 12 under par in total.
He ticks a few boxes here statswise ranking 17th in GIR, 15th in SG tee to green, 42nd in strokes gained putting and 28th in par 4 scoring.
Simpson looks very generously priced considering his good form lately. He has had some great performances over the last couple of months including a solo fifth at the Dean & Deluca Invitational, a T8 at the Travelers and a T14 at the Greenbrier.
More recently he has three top 10’s in his last four starts finishing solo third at the Wyndham which included a 63 and a 64 in in the first two rounds, a T6 at the Northern Trust which included a final round 65 and a T9 last week at the BMW which included three rounds of 68 or better to post 12 under in total.
Webb is another horse for the course here in East Lake finishing T22 in 2011, T5 in 2012, solo fourth in 2013 which included an impressive final round 63 and a T23 in 2014.
Simpson looks like another player that could suit this course ranking 29th in driving accuracy, 27th in SG tee to green, second in scrambling and seventh in par 4 scoring. He looks great value here and could go well at a generous price.
Final selections –
Jordan Spieth 2pt WIN 9/2
Paul Casey 1pt EW 16/1
Patrick Cantlay 1pt EW 33/1
Webb Simpson 1pt EW 40/1
Total staked = 8 pts
Good luck and enjoy the golf.
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