2018 Tour Championship

THE OVERVIEW

East Lake Golf Club, Atlanta, Georgia   The PGA Tour is making its final stop for the Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, Georgia. The final 30 players in the FedEx Standings are on hand to see who will take the big prize. The course is famous for its associations with Donald Ross and Bobby Jones and this week it will play as a 7,385 par 70. Damn.

It’s a mostly-straight, tree-lined parkland style layout with average width fairways, bermuda greens with runoff areas, and a little bit of water in play. The pros this week should be able to use all of their length off of the tees and scores should be super low.

This event has been played here since 2004, so there is a bunch of history to dig through (if you are keen to do so). We’ll be looking at approach stats and putting, but will ultimately be going with our guts on this one. Whatever happens, it is sure to be a fun stamp on an already extraordinary year.

PAST WINNERS

2017  -12   Xander Schauffele   (Runners Up :    -11   Justin Thomas)

2016   -12   Rory McIlroy   (Runners Up, Playoff:    Kevin Chappell, Ryan Moore)

2015  -9   Jordan Spieth    (Runners Up:   -5   Danny Lee, Justin Rose, Henrik Stenson)

 

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2018 BMW Championship

THE OVERVIEW

Aronimink Golf Club, Newton Square, Pennsylvania  – The FedEx Playoffs move on to round three in Pennsylvania. The top 70 remaining players tee it up this week to decide who will be the final 30 moving on to play in the Tour Championship at East Lake. The pressure will no doubt provide plenty of spectacle and entertainment.

Aronimink Golf Club is a much-storied track that is highly regarded as one of the greatest (and toughest) in America. Originally, a traditional parkland design by Donald Ross, the course was renovated earlier this year to what is believed to be a purer version of its earliest form. Gil Hanse oversaw the renovations which enlarged the greens to their original dimensions, widened fairways, and rebuilt teeing grounds. The number of bunkers also increased from 74 to 176, although the “total area of hazards isn’t much greater.” Which implies that the potential for awkward, and potentially disastrous, lies is much greater.

The course this week will play as a 7,237-yard par 70. It features tree-lined fairways, significant elevation changes, tough rough, a lot of strategically-placed bunkers, and large, well-protected, undulating bentgrass greens. Position off of the tee will be crucial to having the best angles on approach and setting up birdie opportunities.

For the model this week we’ll be going with current form, GIR, and Driving Accuracy.

 

PAST WINNERS

2017  -23   Marc Leishman    (Runners Up :    -18   Rickie Fowler, Justin Rose)   @ Conway Farms Golf Club

2016   -23   Dustin Johnson   (Runner Up:   -20   Paul Casey)   @ Crooked Stick Golf Club    

2015  -22   Jason Day    (Runner Up:   -16   Daniel Berger)   @ Conway Farms Golf Club

 

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2018 Dell Technologies Championship

THE OVERVIEW

TPC Boston, Norton, Massachusetts  – The FedEx Playoffs continues with round two. The top 100 in rankings are at TPC Boston and only the top 70 at the end of the week will get to go on to the BMW Championship in Pennsylvania.

This week, TPC Boston will play as a 7,342-yard, par 71 and it features wide-open fairways, fairly easy rough, and small, tough bentgrass greens. There will be an advantage to the bombers this week as they’ll be able to carry some of the strategically-placed fairways bunkers. However, with the relatively easy layout and playoff competition in the air, all types of players will be able to score and everyone will be in attack mode.

The weather should be interesting to keep an eye on as there is a good chance for rain on the final round of Monday and some gusty winds throughout the week.

When selecting players this week, we’ll be looking at course history, current form, SG:T2G/Approach, SG:Putting, and Par-4 Scoring.

 

PAST WINNERS

2017  -17   Justin Thomas    (Runner Up :    -14   Jordan Spieth)

2016   -15   Rory McIlroy   (Runner Up:   -13   Paul Casey)    

2015  -15   Rickie Fowler    (Runner Up:   -14   Henrik Stenson)

2014  -15   Chris Kirk    (Runners Up:   -13   Russell Henley, Billy Horschel, Geoff Ogilvy)

2013  -22   Henrik Stenson    (Runner Up:   -20   Steve Stricker)

 

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2018 Northern Trust

THE OVERVIEW

Ridgewood Country Club, Paramus, New Jersey  – The first round of the Fed Ex Playoffs commences in New Jersey at the Ridgewood Country Club this week. 125 players start the week and only the top 100 will continue onto Boston.

The course this week is a composite of the 27 holes at Ridgewood and will play as a 7,385-yard, par 71. It is among the oldest courses in the United States and was designed by famed Baltusrol, Bethpage Black, and Winged Foot course architect, Albert Warren Tillinghast.

The layout features tree-lined fairways, tough rough, a few short par 4s, a few long par 5s, small, well-guarded greens, and enough variation to force players to shape shots both left to right and right to left.

Length off the tee should be a significant advantage at Ridgewood, so we’ll be targeting Driving Distance, GIR, and SG:Putting when making selections this week. Ball Striking and Par-5 Scoring could also be relevant stats (and Firestone is often cited as a correlation course) for those who want to dig deeper into the numbers for the first week of the playoffs.

 

PAST WINNERS

2017  -13   Dustin Johnson    (Runner Up, Playoff:    Jordan Spieth)   @Glen Oaks Club

2016   -9   Patrick Reed   (Runners Up:   -8   Emiliano Grillo, Sean O’Hair)   @Bethpage, Black 

2015  -19   Jason Day    (Runner Up:   -13   Henrik Stenson)   @Plainfield Country Club

2014  -14   Hunter Mahan    (Runners Up:   -12   Stuart Appleby, Jason Day, Cameron Tringale)  @Ridgewood Country Club

2013  -11   Adam Scott    (Runners Up:   -10   Graham DeLaet, Justin Rose, Gary Woodland, Tiger Woods)   @Liberty National Golf Club

 

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2018 Wyndham Championship

THE OVERVIEW

Sedgewick Country Club (Ross Course), Greensboro, North Carolina – The tour moves on to North Carolina for the final event of the season. Last week was a fabulous one for golf, and saw bigger-than-average-TV-viewership ratings due to Tiger Woods competing on Sunday at the PGA Championship. This week, the field is a little less thrill-inducing, but should still provide plenty of entertainment.

The tour is stopping at Sedgewick Country Club where the Donald Ross course will be set up for the pros to show off their stuff. It should be a pure birdie fest with the winning score near 20 under par or better . The track will play as a 7,127-yard par 70 and shouldn’t be too big of an advantage for the long-off-the-tee types (last year Henrik Stenson won without ever putting his driver in his bag). The course features an all-Bermuda grass layout with …. and small, undulating greens.

This week we’ll be looking at SG: Approach, SG: Putting, and some proximity numbers in the 150-200 range.

 

PAST WINNERS

2017  -22   Henrik Stenson    (Runner Up:   -21   Ollie Schniederjans)

2016   -21   Si Woo Kim   (Runner Up:   -16   Luke Donald)

2015  -17   Davis Love III    (Runner Up:   -16   Jason Gore)

2014  -17   Camilo Villegas    (Runners Up:   -16   Bill Haas, Fredrick Jaconson)

2013  -14   Patrick Reed    (Runner Up, Playoff:   Jordan Spieth)

 

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