After the BMW Championship, there’s only one more tournament left in the FedEx Cup, after which the 2016 – 17 PGA season will end. The FedEx Cup Tour should technically be one of the most difficult stages of the tournament, but it’s not just down to course layout. The competition will be strong at this time of year, and the playing field will be reduced to the 30 top golfers in the FedEx Cup points ranking.If you’ve been waiting all season for the final round of the playoff series, then you won’t have much longer to wait, and this preview will help you to get familiar with the course, the past winners, and the potential winners of this year’s FedEx Cup Tour.
About the FedEx Cup Tour Course
The Tour Championship is held in Atlanta, Georgia, at the East Lake Golf Club. The course has been used for PGA tournaments since 1998, and has hosted the current version of the post season since 2007. Before the FedEx Cup Tour in its current state, the tournament would be open to the top 30 money leaders in the PGA Tour. With the format as it is today, the Tour Championship will be open to the top 30 FedEx Cup points scorers.The course has a rich history, and the golf club itself was established all the way back in 1904. In addition to the Tour Championship, East Lake was once home to the Ryder Cup tournament.
Past Winners at East Lake and the Tour Championship
There have been a number of winners at East Lake in recent years, with not a single golfer winning more than once since 2007. Here are the last ten winners, along with details on how they made it to the top spot
– Tiger Woods was still one of the best golfers in the world in 2007, and this was his first and only year to win at the East Lake version of the Tour Championship. Note that Tiger Woods won a previous Tour Championship at Champions Golf Club in Houston, Texas. Tiger won the 2007 tournament with by 8 strokes, and finished with a -23 to par.
– The 2008 winner was Camilo Villegas. The Columbian golfer won by a playoff with Sergio Garcia, and ended up with -7 to par. This was Camilo’s first and only win in the Tour Championship.
– In 2009 Phil Mickelson won, beating Tiger Woods by just three strokes. Mickelson ended with -9 to par, and a total score of 271.
– In 2010 it was time for another new winner, with Jim Furyk beating Luke Donald by a single stroke, finishing -8 to par, and with a score of 272.
– Bill Haas won the championship in 2011, his first and only win in the Tour Championship. The game went down to a playoff between Hunter Mahan and Haas. Bill finished with -8 to par and a score of 272.
– Brandt Snedeker won in 2012, giving us another first time winner for the Tour Championship. The runner up this year was Justin Rose, who lost out by only 3 strokes. Snedeker finished -10 to par with a score of 270.
– Swedish golfer Henrik Stenson was the winner in 2013, beating both Jordan Spieth and Steve Stricker who were T2. Stenson had a final -13 to par with a score of 267.
– Another year and another winner, Billy Horschel won at the Tour Championship in 2014. It was fairly close at the end, with just 3 strokes separating Horschel from Rory McIlroy and Jim Furyk in T2.
– This year’s favorite for the FedEx Cup was the winner in 2015. Jordan Spieth won by 4 strokes, beating Danny Lee, Justin Rose, and Henrik Stenson in T2. He finished -9 to par, with a score of 271. 2015 was Spieth’s most successful year in PGA so far, and he will be looking for a second win at East Lake this year.
– After finishing a tied runner up in 2014, Rory Mcilroy finally won the Tour Championship in 2016, as well as the FedEx Cup. The game went down to a playoff between McIlroy, Kevin Chappell, and Ryan Moore. McIlroy remained focused under the pressure of a playoff to take the win. Before the playoff he finished -12 to par, with a score of 268.
Who Could Win at East Lake in 2017?
Results over the last decade are not just important because they honor the winners, but also because they tell us a lot about the Tour Championship and East Lake Golf Club. In the past ten years, no golfer has won more than once at the course. One reason is that entry is limited to the top 30 players in the FedEx Cup, and another is that the end of the season means that only the fittest and most mentally focused golfers will succeed. This year there are a number of contenders, and both Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth will be hoping for second wins. For McIlroy, making it this year will be harder, as he heads into the BMW Championship ranked 51st in the FedEx Cup Tour standings. Spieth is currently the bookmaker’s favorite to win the cup.Dustin Johnson is also very much in contention, as is Justin Thomas. Thomas is within 30 points of Jordan Spieth as we head into the BMW Championship, and depending on how this weekend goes, he could end up at the top of the ranking before the Tour Championship.The upcoming week is going to feel like one of the longest of the PGA season, but the final result will be known when the Tour Championship and FedEx Cup winner is decided on the 24th of September.