Tour Championship 2021: Course and current form stats for the final event of the PGA Tour season

East Lake is hosting the Tour Championship for the 21st time
East Lake in Georgia first staged the Tour Championship in 1998

The historic East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta will once again host the finale to this season's FedEx Cup Play-Offs. Words and stats by Andy Swales...

"Two pros with strong East Lake histories are Rory McIlroy and Xander Schauffele. McIlroy has won here twice, and been runner-up once, and on Sunday at Caves Valley he finished fourth."

The 15th FedEx Cup Play-Offs will reach its conclusion this weekend, with the Deep South state of Georgia hosting the traditional end-of-season party.

For the 21st time, the Tour Championship takes place at East Lake in Atlanta, where the PGA Tour will crown the No 1 golfer for the 2020/21 season.

East Lake is a famous old venue where the great amateur Bobby Jones played much of his golf.

However, the venue fell into disrepair not long after hosting the 1963 Ryder Cup, but like a Phoenix from the ashes rose again during the mid-1990s, and has been a regular PGA Tour stop for the past couple of decades.

East Lake is a typical lush parkland course where tight tree-lined fairways demand accuracy from the tee.

The greens are usually firm and quick, with water coming into play on four holes, while birdies are extremely difficult to extract.

When the tournament was switched from its usual October/November date to September, in 2007, East Lake's Bentgrass greens were re-seeded with Bermuda in order to cope with the much higher temperatures.

Handicap event

And for a third successive year, the Tour Championship will be contested using an unusual handicap system.

This third and final Play-Off event will once again feature the leading 30 players in the FedEx Cup standings.

All 30 will start the 72-hole event with a handicap that is dependent on their final position in the table following the BMW Championship, which finished in Maryland on Sunday.

PGA Tour officials first decided to employ this handicap system in 2019, because it ensures that the player who wins the Tour Championship, will also be crowned FedEx Cup champion for the season.

Therefore Patrick Cantlay, the current FedEx Cup leader, will tee-off at East Lake on Thursday at 10-under-par.

Tony Finau, who is second in the list, begins on minus eight, while those golfers ranked between 26th and 30th start on level par.

Doesn't really seem fair to those who have dominated the season so far, but with so much prize money up for grabs this week, there have been no dissenting voices as yet.

The full list of handicaps is as follows:
FedEx Cup positions (1-30):
1st: 10-Under-Par
2nd: - 8
3rd: - 7
4th: - 6
5th: - 5
6th-10th: - 4
11th-15th: - 3
16th-20th: - 2
21st-25th: - 1
26th-30th: Level Par

Latest betting for Tour Championship - tournament winner

Latest betting for Tour Championship - lowest 72 hole total (excluding handicap)

On the tee

Needless to say, the tournament is packed with quality and plenty of in-form golfers.

Two pros with strong East Lake histories are Rory McIlroy and Xander Schauffele.

McIlroy has won here twice, and been runner-up once, and on Sunday at Caves Valley he finished fourth.

Gold medal winner from Tokyo, Schauffele, is a former champ who 12 months ago posted the lowest 72-hole total, but was not declared the winner because of the handicap format.

Both McIlroy and Schauffele will tee-off at minus-two (-2) this week, eight shots behind Cantlay who has never finished higher than 20th (out of 30) at East Lake in three attempts.

Justin Thomas has a solid record at East Lake, while world No 1 Jon Rahm is rarely out of the spotlight nowadays.

Had he not been forced to withdraw from the Memorial Tournament in June for Covid reasons, when he led by six strokes with 18 holes to play, he would almost certainly be second in the FedEx Cup table right now - and therefore teeing-off at -8 rather than -6.

The player who ended up winning at Muirfield Village following Rahm's misfortune was Cantlay, so if the Spaniard misses out by one or two strokes this week, his positive Covid test in Ohio will turn out to be the most decisive moment of the FedEx Cup season. Let's hope that's not the case.

Please Note: Course Positions in 2019 & 2020 relates to a golfer's 72-hole total, rather than their position after handicap. Thus, in 2019, Justin Thomas posted the 9th lowest 72-hole total, but finished 3rd after his -10 handicap was taken into account.

Twitter: Andy Swales@GolfStatsAlive

Note: List Contains Leading Reserves

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Last 10 Weeks / East Lake (2011-20)

Position

  • 1–5
  • 6–15
  • 16–25
Player W35 W34 W33 W32 W31 W30 W29 W28 W27 W26
Jon Rahm 9 3 3 7
Dustin Johnson 6 MC 10 MC 8 25
Collin Morikawa 63 MC 26 4 1 71
Patrick Cantlay 1 11 23 MC 13
Xander Schauffele 49 16 46 1 26 10
Justin Thomas 22 4 26 22 40 8
Bryson DeChambeau 2 31 8 33 MC 19
Louis Oosthuizen 38 17 2 3 42
Brooks Koepka 22 31 54 6 5
Tony Finau 15 1 34 28 15 MC
Harris English 26 31 4 46 1
Jordan Spieth 34 73 12 2
Rory McIlroy 4 43 12 4 46 MC 59
Abraham Ancer 9 64 1 14 59 4
Viktor Hovland 17 43 36 14 12 1
Hideki Matsuyama 46 43 MC 2 4 Wd
Patrick Reed 31 22 34 MC 32 25
Daniel Berger 26 56 5 8 34
Scottie Scheffler 22 43 14 8 12 47
Cameron Smith 34 2 5 10 33 30
Sam Burns 8 21 2 76 18 13
Jason Kokrak 15 MC MC 34 26 12
Sung Jae Im 3 16 24 46 22 47 8
Billy Horschel 52 31 17 53 54
Joaquin Niemann 29 47 17 10 59 2 36
Kevin Na 17 8 2 23 2 47
Corey Conners 22 8 36 13 15 MC
Stewart Cink 38 21 43 MC MC 30
Sergio Garcia 6 MC 26 25 19 17
Erik van Rooyen 5 7 37 1 58 MC
Player `20 `19 `18 `17 `16 `15 `14 `13 `12 `11
Jon Rahm 6 13 11 7
Dustin Johnson 3 30 3 17 6 5 5 10 23
Collin Morikawa 7
Patrick Cantlay 28 21 20
Xander Schauffele 1 2 7 1
Justin Thomas 3 9 7 2 6
Bryson DeChambeau 25 7 19
Louis Oosthuizen 15 Wd 23
Brooks Koepka 4 26 6 18
Tony Finau 14 7 15 7
Harris English 13 22
Jordan Spieth 7 17 1 27 2
Rory McIlroy 7 1 7 1 16 2 10
Abraham Ancer 14 26
Viktor Hovland 14
Hideki Matsuyama 17 12 4 26 5 12 22
Patrick Reed 7 15 28 13 24 27 19
Daniel Berger 17 15 15 12
Scottie Scheffler 2
Cameron Smith 22 20
Sam Burns
Jason Kokrak 9
Sung Jae Im 12 15
Billy Horschel 30 2 1 7
Joaquin Niemann 28
Kevin Na 27 25 29 16 19
Corey Conners 23
Stewart Cink
Sergio Garcia 10 9 9 15
Erik van Rooyen

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