Expert Picks: TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola

September 18, 2012
PGA TOUR staff

The PGA TOUR travels to East Lake Golf Club for the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola. Here's how the PGATOUR.COM experts sized up the top contenders:

How it works: Our experts from PGATOUR.COM select the player they think will win this week's event. By using a draft process, no two picks can be the same. The player who wins the previous week picks last the following week.
MORE: Power Rankings | FedExCup previews | Inside the Course | FANTASY GOLF: Play
FEDEXCUP: Reset points
Expert Picks: TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola
Pick orderPlayer selected
PHIL MICKELSON. I've been burned a few times this year with Phil the Thrill, but this is a different Mickelson. The Playoffs have revived him and a claw putting grip has given him a refreshed look on the greens. He's taking two trophies home from East Lake.
TIGER WOODS. Yes, Rory is on a roll and it seems silly to pass on him here. But I just can't see him winning three straight events. Meanwhile, Tiger has finished first or second in his last four appearances at East Lake, shooting no worse than 67 in 10 of those 16 rounds.
If McAllister had the top pick ... Mickelson
RORY MCILROY. Is there really any other choice? I won with him at Deutsche Bank and I'm hoping to ride him to the bank for the FedExCup title. First start at East Lake, but as NBC's Roger Maltbie said ... any course on the planet suits his game the way he's driving it.
If Cooney had the top pick ... McIlroy
DUSTIN JOHNSON. With Playoffs finishes of T3, T4 and T6, he's been the best player not named McIlroy. An absolute force right now, this is the guy outside of the top five to watch, because he could steal the FedExCup.
If Swantek had the top pick ... Johnson
BRANDT SNEDEKER. The Ryder Cup captain's pick has been playing tremendous golf, with two top 10s in the first three FedExCup Playoffs events. Some much-needed rest in the bye week should be exactly what he needs to win the TOUR Championship and FedExCup.
If Balionis had the top pick ... Johnson
JASON DUFNER. Before the season, I picked Tiger Woods to win the FedExCup and Dufner to finish second. He's fared well in southern states, including wins at the HP Byron Nelson and Zurich Classic. I like Dufner at East Lake where keeping the ball in play is among the keys.
If Dunham had the top pick ... Woods
SERGIO GARCIA. He's peaking at just the right time for the TOUR Championship and his beloved Ryder Cup. He has an impressive record -- lost in a playoff in '08 and finished fourth in '07 -- at East Lake. It's a risky pick, but I think he's motivated.
If Deason had the top pick ... Dufner
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN. It's his first trip to East Lake, but the South African is in a groove with three top fives, including a runner-up, in his last five starts. He'll need help to win the FedExCup should he win. Of course, he won't need much at No. 6.
If Wacker had the top pick ... McIlroy
ADAM SCOTT. The Aussie has finished in the top 7 in the last two Playoffs events and currently ranks 21st in the standings. He enters East Lake, where he finished T6 last year, with enough momentum to finish the season with a W.
If Szeker had the top pick ... Woods
LUKE DONALD. Horrible week to pick 10th. Obviously, with three wins in four starts, Rory will be tough. So, it's either Luke or Westwood. Luke's record at East Lake is fantastic, but Westy is hot. Gotta go with math: Donald wins more in the U.S.
If Smithson had the top pick ... McIlroy
LEE WESTWOOD. The Englishman, who spent last year watching on TV, has got this Playoffs thing figured out. He hasn't finished lower than 13th in the first three events and rides the momentum of a tie for second at the BMW Championship to East Lake.
If Ross had the top pick ... McIlroy
Standings after 36 events
LAST WEEK: Helen Ross jumped to the top of the FedExCup standings with her victory at the BMW Championship via Rory McIlroy. With the points reset for the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola, anyone can win our mock FedExCup -- which comes with a prize TBD. Hint: It's not $10 million.
Position Name Wins Top-5s Top-10s Top-25s MCs FedExCup points Points reset
1 Helen Ross
Chief of Correspondents
2 6 9 21 7 5458.70 2500
2 Ryan Smithson
Site Producer
4 12 15 25 4 5399.00 2250
3 Lauren Deason
Editorial Coordinator
4 10 13 21 5 5329.24 2000
4 Amanda Balionis
Host, PGA TOUR Today
1 9 17 22 9 4475.50 1800
5 *Bill Cooney
Site Producer
2 2 5 9 3 3943.77 1600
6 Mike McAllister
Managing Editor
1 6 8 18 6 3566.51 1400
7 John Swantek
Host, On The Tee
2 6 13 17 12 3502.65 1200
8 Chris Dunham
Editorial Coordinator
1 3 6 19 3 2811.99 1000
9 Brian Wacker
Site Producer
2 6 8 13 9 2652.03 800
10 Anne Szeker
Site Producer
0 5 12 20 2 2622.83 600
11 John Schwarb
Site Producer
1 4 8 18 5 2536.50 480
*First event in Week 19 at HP Byron Nelson Championship

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