Starts: 4th September 2020
Course: East Lake Country Club, Atalanta, Georgia
Par: 70 (35-35)
Length: 7,346 yards
Grass Type: Bermuda
2019 Champion: Rory Mcllroy
Overall Profit/Loss: 0
Pre-Event Three to Watch
6th Collin Morikawa - 20/1
T17th Tony Finau - 55/1
T28th Joaquin Niemann - 175/1
In-Play Bets: 0
The course is a Donald Ross design which was renovated in 2008 by Rees Jones, making it significantly harder following a change to Bermuda Greens. There was another redesign in 2015 with extra yardage added and the two nines being switched to create a more dramatic finish.
Par 70 layout with two Par 5's and four Par 3's. The 525 yard 6th is reachable for the whole field, while the 590 yard Par 5 18th will only be reachable for the longer hitters (dependant on which tee is used that day).
The course is now a tough par 70 which demands excellent ball striking. Accurate play is rewarded as the thick Bermuda rough punishes any fairways missed. Finding greens on a consistent basis is the key to success at East Lake.
Donald Ross also designed last week's venue Olympia Fields at the BMW Championship.
It will be the 21st time the course has hosted the Tour Championship
Continue to exercise caution in relation to Covid-19 related withdrawals.
There is no cut this week as it is a limited field.
All 30 players will start the 72-hole event on Friday with a handicap based on their position in the FedEx Cup standings through last Sunday's BMW Championship. The tournament will begin with a leaderboard that looks like this:
D Johnson -10
J Rahm -8
J Thomas -7
W Simpson -6
C Morikawa -5
D Berger, H English, B Dechambeau, S Im, H Matsuyama -4
B Todd, R McIlroy, P Reed, X Schauffele, S Munoz -3
L Griffin, S Scheffler, J Niemann, T Hatton, T Finau -2
K Kisner, R Palmer, K Na, A Ancer, M Leishman -1
C Smith, V Hovland, M Hughes, C Champ, B Horschel Level Par.
PLEASE NOTE: Bookmakers are running two different markets this week. The main market is Tour Championship winner which takes into account the handicap start. The other market is being called "Tour Championship without FedEx Cup strokes". This market is the lowest 72-hole score. Be careful when placing bets that you are betting on the right market.
Seven of the last eight winners have managed to get to double-figures under-par.
Only two of the last ten winners at East Lake recorded a top 10 finish the week before at the BMW Championship. The 72-hole winner doesn't need to be in red hot form.
Three of the last four winners were ranked 1st for strokes gained: off the tee. The other winner, Tiger Woods, was 6th.
The last four winners were all inside the top 10 for strokes gained: tee to green. East Lake is complete ball strikers course.
The last four winners have all been in the top 11 for strokes gained: putting and strokes gained: around the green.
Only Xander Schaufelle in 2017 was outside the top 10 after 18-holes and went on to win. This is a tough course to play catch up with 54-holes to go.
Seven of the last ten winners have been 1st after the 3rd round, and none have been outside the top 3.
Three To Watch
Collin Morikawa - 20/1 @ William Hill
We must sound like a broken record with Collin but we will continue to back him on ball strikers' golf courses, especially ones like East Lake which demand a strong all-round game. Collin played last weekend in 68-68 after a slow start and will be raring to go this week. He starts 5 shots behind Dustin Johnson but we saw last year how quickly the handicap can be reduced; Rory Mcllroy began on the -5 mark on the way to his win last year. If DJ and Rahm are to falter this week, Collin could be the man to take advantage. Please note if you are to bet before the start, we recommend you take the 20/1 at Hills due to the 5 places available each way.
Tony Finau - 55/1 @ Bet365
Tony has a mountain to climb, starting the week 8 shots behind Dustin at -2 but that might just help him in a way as he will be nowhere near the lead until at least 36 holes! Tony's struggles to win are well documented and his best hope may be events like this where he is playing without much expectations. He finished beautifully last week with a Sunday 65 and boasts a superb record at East Lake.
Joaquin Niemann - 175/1 @ Skybet
Another player on the -2 mark we like is Niemann. The young Chilean showed just what he's made of last week giving Rahm and DJ a good run for their money to finish 3rd and will carry tremendous confidence into this week. He stated after the BMW that his season target was to get to East Lake, so this will feel like a free hit for him. He was 1st for SG: Tee to green and Greens in regulation last week, exactly what will be required here. At 175/1 he is well worth each way consideration.
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