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The TOUR Championship Preview and Picks
by Matt Fargo - 09/22/2010
After nine months and 38 events, we have reached the final stop on tour with THE TOUR Championship. This week will decide the FedEx Cup Champion and the $10 million bonus that comes with it. A win by any of the players currently ranked in the top five are guaranteed the Fed Ex Championship while some players outside the top five can still get it with a win and some help but the chances are slim.
THE TOUR Championship takes place at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta for the 10th time including the last seven. At 7,304 yards, East Lake is the second-longest par 70 the touring pros see all year but bombing the ball won’t necessarily get it done. Accuracy off the tee is a must as is putting. This is a course where each hole needs to be thought out and played backwards in order to get the best shots into the green.
This is the first TOUR Championship for Matt Kuchar (+1000) but he won’t come in blind. Kuchar lives 20 minutes away from East Lake and played the course while a student at Georgia Tech. He is the hottest player on tour right now and his first place in the FedEx Cup standings is certainly justified. He has 11 top tens this season, the most of any player and a win here locks up Player of the Year.
Paul Casey (+1200) is sitting in fifth place in FedEx Cup standings so a win here gets him the $10 million bonus. It’s hard to believe that the seventh ranked player in the world is not part of the European Ryder Cup team but that is the case here and Casey would like nothing better than to win and shove it in Monty’s face. He is coming off a second place finish at the BMW where he strung together four straight 69’s.
Jim Furyk (+1500) should be in better position than 11th place in the standing but his DQ at The Barclays cost him. A solid performance here will carry over into next week and he has had great success at East Lake in the past. In seven career starts, he has four top tens including a T7 last year along with a runner-up. He is seventh on tour in fairways hit and if his putter gets hot, he will be right there.
Zach Johnson (+2500) has the game to win here. As mentioned, accuracy off the tee and putting are the two biggest factors here and Johnson has the best combination of the two of any player in the field. He has not misses a cut since May and while there is no cut this week, it just shows how consistent he has been. The consistency paid off with a Ryder Cup invite. Johnson owns the course record here when he shot 60 three years ago.
One of the sleeper picks this week is Ryan Moore (+4000). He entered the BMW ranked 58th in the FedEx cup standings but he finished T3 to make the field. He was not playing great heading into the playoffs and he actually missed the cut at the Barclays but he has five top ten finishes on the season and Cog Hill and East Lake are both redesigns by Rees Jones so he should be in his comfort zone.
Another longshots is Ben Crane (+6000) but this could be his time. He has cooled off since his incredible run midway through the season but East Lake is a course that suits him well. He is eighth on tour in fairways hit and 21st in putting so if those two facets are clicking, he will be a force to be reckoned with. He finished T7 in his last start here back in 2005.
Recommended Tournament Win Six Pack at THE TOUR Championship – All for 1 Unit
Matt Kuchar (+1000)
Paul Casey (+1200)
Jim Furyk (+1500)
Zach Johnson (+2500)
Ryan Moore (+4000)
Ben Crane (+6000)