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Statistically Speaking: TOUR Championship

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Statistically Speaking: TOUR Championship

    Written by Mike Glasscott @MikeGlasscott

    Nothing like familiar ground to finish a thrilling PGA TOUR season. Tom Bendelow started it. Donald Ross refined it. Bobby Jones played it. Rees Jones refurbished it.

    East Lake is a fitting finish annually as it reeks of history on the property, on the blueprints and from the names on the trophies etched before and since the FedExCup was handed out in 2007.

    Unlike the unfamiliar test last week of Wilmington Country Club, the past at East Lake reminds us exactly of what is needed to win. Horses of the past have given us plenty of clues to look for.

    The Par-70 tips at 7,346 with just two Par-5s to collect birdies. The Par-3s amplify what is required to get it around here: Ball-Striking. Long, strong and away from the almost three inches of Bermuda rough will be the recipe again. Only 24 acres of fairway is in play this week similarly tight to the 22 acres at TPC Southwind.

    Bermuda greens averaging 6,000 square feet will catch plenty of recovery shots from the rough but good luck getting the ball to check and spin on the proper shelves.

    After the switch to Bermuda greens in 2008, the two lowest GROSS totals have been Xander Schauffele (15-under in 2020) and Jon Rahm and Kevin Na (14-under 2021). Rory McIlroy's 13-under in 2019 tied the previous mark set by Henrik Stenson in 2013.

    The winner of the event the last three seasons should get all of the plaudits that go with the system that is in place. For our intents and purposes, we need to understand how the best scores were achieved.

    Key Statistics

    Only players listed are competing this week; click stat headline for full list

    The only way to attack pin placement this week will be taking advantage of the tee ball. Start here and work forward! Of the last six winners three have led the field in this category and all have been T7 or better.

    1Jon Rahm
    2Cameron Young
    3Rory McIlroy
    5Corey Conners
    8Matt Fitzpatrick
    9Sungjae Im
    14Tony Finau
    15Joaquin Niemann
    16Justin Thomas
    17Patrick Cantlay

    The combination here of big, accurate tee shots while painting GIR will help with the next category below and increase scoring chances. The last seven winners have all ranked T7 or better.

    1Jon Rahm
    2Corey Conners
    3Sungjae Im
    4Scottie Scheffler
    5Xander Schauffele
    11Rory McIlroy
    15Patrick Cantlay
    16Collin Morikawa
    21Aaron Wise
    22Tony Finau

    Of the last eight winners five have led the field in this category. None of the three were worse than T5. Keeping bogeys and other crooked numbers off the card is key when birdies are not readily available.

    1Sungjae Im
    2Tony Finau
    T4Xander Schauffele
    6Matt Fitzpatrick
    11Rory McIlroy
    12Justin Thomas
    T13Scottie Scheffler
    T15Hideki Matsuyama
    T15Jon Rahm
    19Patrick Cantlay

    Gross Total

    The starting strokes began with the 2019 edition. Take a look at some gross scores of players from the last three editions.

    Horse for Course (Events Played)Score in Relation to Par
    Rory McIlroy (3)26-under
    Patrick Cantlay (3)2-under
    Xander Schauffele (3)37-under
    Jordan Spieth (1)Even
    Billy Horschel (2)6-under
    Justin Thomas (3)25-under
    Adam Scott (1)5-under
    Jon Rahm (3)23-under
    Hideki Matsuyama (3)4-under
    Tony Finau (3)8-under
    Viktor Hovland (2)15-under
    Scottie Scheffler (2)14-under
    Collin Morikawa (2)5-under

    You’ll notice Jon Rahm and Sungjae Im are significant factors in the above stats as is Xander Schauffele if he figures his driver out.

    Rahm (starting at 3-under, 7 back) is paying +1200 for a win at BetMGM Sportsbook with Im (starting 4-under, 6 back) starting at +2800 and Schauffele (starting 6-under, 4 back) at +650.

    Odds were sourced on Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2022. For live odds, visit BetMGM.

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