Tour Championship 2022 Overview
We have reached East Lake Golf Club for the finale of The FedEx Cup Playoffs. Over the past 3 weeks, we have seen the field cut from 120 to 70 and now to the final 30. Who will be crowned the Fedex Cup Champion of 2022? As ever, we will break down the course, look at the key skill sets required and provide the best outright selections.
East Lake Golf Course is a private golf club in Atlanta, Georgia, roughly 5 miles east of downtown. East Lake Golf Course, which opened in 1904, is Atlanta’s oldest golf course. East Lake Golf Club was the home course of golfer Bobby Jones, and much of the clubhouse is a homage to his achievements.
The Tour Championship, the last tournament of the PGA Tour Playoffs for the FedEx Cup, has been held at East Lake since 2004. The course hosted the Tour Championship for the first time in 1998. There are 74 sand bunkers on the course, and water comes into play on four of the holes, the course is demanding for even the world’s best players, and before the staggered start came into play, the winning score would be circa -10 under par for the week. Tight fairways demanding pins, and hard-to-hit greens mean players really do have their work cut out this week. The signature hole at East Lake is the Par 3, 15th at 211 yards, but a downhill tee shot shortens some of the distance into a peninsula green surrounded by water to the front, right and left. The par 3’s here at East Lake are some of the longest and most demanding holes the players see all year long, and playing them well this week will have a huge impact on the outcome.
Anything can happen, especially with $18 million to play for on Sunday. Of course, every player would want to be Scottie Scheffler this week, but leading on a staggered start does pose some mental challenges, and he hasn’t been in this position before.
Let’s break down how the course could play this week and the key skill sets required to lift that trophy come Sunday evening.
Key Skill Sets Required
East Lake is a classic tree-lined course that favors shot makers, golfers who are precise with their irons, and golfers who strike the ball consistently well. In addition, accuracy from the tee and hitting fairways is a valuable asset.
East Lake’s fairways are among the tightest on the tour in terms of average width. The lies in the fairways and rough are frequently uneven, and players only hit about half of the greens when they miss a fairway making it one of the hardest courses all year from the rough, so despite the demanding length, accuracy off the tee really is important. The cream tends to rise to the top of the leaderboard come money time on Sundays at East Lake. Let’s have a look in more detail.
- SG T2G – Much like last week at Wilmington Country Club, this week’s test at East Lake Golf Club is a true test of ball striking, and therefore the obvious place to start is T2G performance over recent times. This is a grueling test on the back of a long season. Every club in the bag will need to fire in order to be successful this week. Looks for a player with solid long-term T2G stats in their favor + those who have a liking for this track previously.
- SG Off The Tee – This course has some seriously dangerous rough, ranked in the TOP 3 hardest courses on the PGA Tour circuit from the rough. This will mean hitting fairways is an absolute premium, and gaining strokes off the tee over your competitors will set up opportunities to make birdies and climb that leaderboard. I expect the winner will be in the TOP 10 of SG Off The Tee come Sunday.
- SG Approach – This week is all about finding the short grass, and then the key ingredient from there will be SG Approach. This is a ball-striking test and one that will demand immense iron play from 150+. There will be a high percentage of Approach shots and tee shots from 175+ yards, so therefore those wanting to dig a little deeper may wish to consider a player who excels from this range, such as Hovland, Morikawa, Thomas and Rahm.
- GIR Gained – Some of the longest and most demanding PAR 3 holes the players will face all year round, ranging from 196yards to 240yards in length. These holes are not for the faint-hearted or indeed those players who don’t have 100% confidence in their iron play. The mid to long iron game will have to fire this week.
- Par 3 Scoring – Large and Undulating Bentgrass putting surfaces face the players this week, it will be the first time these players will have seen the surfaces here in Delaware, so when doing your research id encourage you to look for players with good 36/50 round stats in their favour on this unique surface.
- SG Around The Green – This is a long track which will stretch many players, combined with the fact the rough here is some of the most penial on tour. This will result in lots of short shots in and around the green complexes. I want players onside who have shown their long-term short game is up to the test ahead.