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And then there were 30. The FedEx Cup Playoffs finale is here as the Top 30 players in the standings take on East Lake Golf Course for the 2020 Tour Championship this week in Atlanta.
Dustin Johnson holds the No. 1 spot in the standings and will start the tournament on Friday with a two-shot lead at 10-under. Jon Rahm sits second in the standings and will begin the tournament at 8-under while the other 28 players in the field will follow and start at higher scores to begin the tournament.
Johnson will be looking for his first-ever FedEx Cup title this week while Rory McIlroy, who may or may not play this week after the birth of his first child on Monday, is looking to become the first player ever to win three FedEx Cups. McIlroy, who won this event a year ago, is 12th in the standings and would begin the event at 3-under.
Tour Championship Key Stats
East Lake is a lengthy Par 70 course that will stretch just beyond 7,300 yards this week and feature Bermuda grass greens. It will present an entirely different, and easier, test than what we saw last week at the BMW Championship where Rahm won at just 4-under. McIlroy won last year’s event with a score of 18-under after shooting 66 on Sunday. Tiger Woods won the year prior at 11-under.
Key stats to keep an eye on this week are strokes gained: off the tee and on approach, but to get more specific, Par 3 efficiency on holes over 200 yards will also be big as all four Par 3’s can technically play over 200 yards at East Lake.
Last week’s picks for the BMW Championship: Pick To Win, Jon Rahm (WIN); Pick To Contend, Dustin Johnson (2nd); Pick To Fade, Rory McIlroy (T-12).
Pick To Win
Morikawa will start at 5-under, five shots back of Johnson to start the week. While five shots seem like a lot, it really isn’t over the course of 72 holes.
Morikawa has put together an exceptional season up to this point with his wins at the PGA Championship and the Workday Charity Open. It’s truly been a coming-out party for the 23-year-old and it’s felt like ‘his year’ since the season resumed.
After a missed cut at the Northern Trust two weeks ago and a T-20 finish last week he somehow seems to be flying under the radar just a bit this week, which is dangerous. Morikawa ranks 21st in strokes gained: off the tee and second in strokes gained: approach. If the putter can get going, watch out for Morikawa this weekend.
Pick To Contend (Top 5 Finish)
With it being an extremely limited field this week, we’ll make our Pick To Contend a Top 5 pick instead of our regular Top 10 pick.
DJ will start the week with a two-shot lead and is playing some of the best golf of his career at the moment, it would not be smart to make him a Top 5 lock. Johnson has been exceptional off the tee and the putter has cooperated in a major way over the last few weeks and I don’t see either of those things cooling off this week.
Pick To Fade
I feel gross having McIlroy as my fade back-to-back weeks, but he and his wife welcomed their first child, Poppy, into the world on Monday afternoon. He showed some strong stuff a week ago at the BMW Championship and has plenty of history at East Lake, but golf isn’t the top thing on his mind at the moment if he does elect to tee it up.
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