The First Look: TOUR Championship
4 Min Read
Written by Adam Stanley @adam_stanley
All the best shots from the 2021 Rocket Mortgage Classic
Editor's note (Tuesday, Aug. 23):Will Zalatoris withdrew Tuesday due to a back injury. If all 29 players complete 72 holes, he will finish 30th. The 30th position will receive $500,000 FedExCup bonus money. No one else’s Starting Strokes will be affected with his WD (i.e. no one will be at -7).
Golf’s ultimate prize hangs in the balance as the PGA TOUR season wraps up with the 30-man TOUR Championship at East Lake Golf Club. Scottie Scheffler, the four-time winner who led the FedExCup standings for much of the season, returned to the top spot with a T3 at the BMW Championship, while reigning FedExCup champion Patrick Cantlay moved into the No. 2 spot with his successful title defense at the BMW. He would be the first back-to-back FedExCup winner.
FIELD NOTES: Under the unique Starting Strokes format, top-seeded Scheffler will begin the TOUR Championship at 10 under and with a two-stroke lead as he heads into the finale of the 2021-22 TOUR campaign… Cantlay will be two back and looks to become the first golfer to win consecutive FedExCup titles, making history for the second straight week. He won the BMW to become the first golfer in the FedExCup era to successfully defend a title during the Playoffs.. Will Zalatoris will be ranked third, three behind, heading into the season finale. After capturing his first TOUR title at the FedEx St. Jude Championship, Zalatoris withdrew from the BMW citing a back injury… Aaron Wise and Adam Scott made pars on the 72nd hole at the BMW to earn the final two spots in the TOUR Championship… Scott Stallings made the biggest leap into the TOUR Championship field. He started the BMW week at No. 46, but a solo second at the BMW saw him get to No. 12 in the FedExCup standings. This is Stallings’ first trip to East Lake in his 12-year career… KH Lee also moved inside the top 30. JJ Spaun, Joohyung “Tom” Kim, Davis Riley, and Kevin Kisner were bumped outside the top 30… Xander Schauffele will be ranked No. 4, four back, while Same Burns will be ranked No.5. Cameron Smith, who did not tee it up at the BMW due to injury, will return at the TOUR Championship ranked No.6.
FEDEXCUP: Winner receives the FedExCup.
COURSE: East Lake Golf Club, par 70, 7,346 yards. Every FedExCup champion (from 2007-onwards) has been crowned at East Lake, the host club of the TOUR Championship every year since 2005. Tom Bendelow was the original architect, while both Donald Ross and Rees Jones have had their hands on the storied Atlanta layout in the last century. The home course of Bobby Jones, East Lake is the oldest golf course in the city of Atlanta. The course played to a stroke average of 68.62 last season.
STORYLINES: The full field, and more details on how they got there, can be found here… Rory McIlroy closed with three straight birdies at the BMW Championship and will head into the TOUR Championship ranked No.7 in the FedExCup standings. McIlroy, who will start six shots behind, is looking to become the first golfer to ever win the FedExCup three times… Cantlay is looking to become the first to defend his FedExCup title… Ten golfers will be making their debuts at East Lake including rookie Sahith Theegala… Scheffler had held the No.1 spot in the FedExCup standings every week since March, but after missing the cut at the FedEx St. Jude Championship, he was briefly overtaken by Will Zalatoris… The winner of the FedExCup will take home $18 million… Adam Scott started the Playoffs at 77th but finished T5 in the first two Playoffs events to earn a trip to East Lake.
72-HOLE RECORD: 257, Tiger Woods (2007).
18-HOLE RECORD: 60, Zach Johnson (3rd round, 2007).
LAST TIME: Patrick Cantlay had a one-shot lead going into the 72nd hole of the 2021 TOUR Championship and nipped a 6-iron to 12 feet to lock in a win of golf’s ultimate prize. Cantlay started the week at 10 under and ended up at 21 under as he survived a tough battle with then-No. 1 Jon Rahm. Cantlay two-putted for birdie on the 18th hole at East Lake, and when Rahm couldn’t chip in to force a playoff, the tournament – and the season – was over. Cantlay’s one-shot victory was his fourth of the season. Kevin Na finished third, Justin Thomas finished fourth, and Viktor Hovland and 2017 TOUR Championship winner Xander Schauffele (who shot the round of the day Sunday, a 6-under 64) tied for fifth.
HOW TO FOLLOW (All times ET)
Television: Thursday-Friday, 1 p.m.-6 p.m. ET (Golf Channel). Saturday, 1 p.m.-2:30 p.m. (Golf Channel), 2:30 p.m.-7 p.m. (NBC). Sunday, 12 p.m.-1:30 p.m. (Golf Channel), 1:30 p.m.-6 p.m. (NBC)
Radio: Thursday-Friday, 12 p.m.–6 p.m. ET. Saturday, 2 p.m.-7 p.m. Sunday, 1 p.m.-6 p.m. (PGA TOUR Radio on SiriusXM and PGATOUR.com/liveaudio)
PGA TOUR LIVE
|Stream 1||Main Feed: 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.||Main Feed: 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.||Featured Group: 12:30 p.m.-7 p.m.||Featured Group: 11:30 a.m.-6 p.m.|
|Featured Group: 1 p.m.-6 p.m.||Featured Group: 1 p.m.-6 p.m.||N/A||N/A|
|Stream 2||Featured Group: 1 p.m.-6 p.m.||Featured Group: 1 p.m.-6 p.m.||Featured Group: 1 p.m.-7 p.m.||Featured Group: 12 p.m.-6 p.m.|
|Stream 3||Featured Holes: 12 p.m.-1 p.m.||Featured Holes: 12 p.m.-1 p.m.||Featured Hole: 1 p.m.-7 p.m.||Featured Hole: 12 p.m.-6 p.m.|
|Featured Hole: 1 p.m.-6 p.m.||Featured Hole: 1 p.m.-6 p.m.||N/A||N/A|
|Stream 4||Featured Hole: 1 p.m.- 6 p.m.||Featured Hole: 1 p.m.- 6 p.m.||Featured Hole: 1 p.m.-7 p.m.||Featured Hole: 12 p.m.-6 p.m.|
• Main Feed: primary tournament-coverage featuring the best action from across the course
• Marquee Group: new “marquee group” showcasing every shot from each player in the group
• Featured Groups: traditional PGA TOUR LIVE coverage of two concurrent featured groups
• Featured Holes: a combination of par-3s and iconic or pivotal holes