Pat Mayo and Geoff Fienberg preview the course and run through the odds while making their 2020 TOUR Championship Picks. The guys give their fantasy golf picks, provide their one and done strategy for the event from East Lake.
2020 TOUR Championship: Field
Field: 30 Players | No Cut
First Tee: Friday, Sept. 4, at 1 p.m. ET
Defending Champion: Rory McIlroy
- The Top 30 players remaining in the FedEx Cup standings are in the field at the 2020 TOUR Championship. There is no cut.
- Unlike every other PGA event, the leaderboard is preset with players getting strokes based on their current playoff position.
2020 TOUR Championship Starting Leaderboard
Dustin Johnson -10
Jon Rahm -8
Justin Thomas -7
Webb Simpson -6
Collin Morikawa -5
Daniel Berger -4
Harris English -4
Bryson DeChambeau -4
Sungjae Im -4
Hideki Matsuyama -4
Brendon Todd -3
Rory McIlroy -3
Patrick Reed -3
Xander Schauffele -3
Sebastian Munoz -3
Lanto Griffin -2
Scottie Scheffler -2
Joaquin NIemann -2
Tyrrell Hatton -2
Tony Finau -2
Kevin Kisner -1
Abraham Ancer -1
Ryan Palmer -1
Kevin Na -1
Marc Leishman -1
Cameron Smith E
Viktor Hovland E
Mac Hughes E
Cameron Champ E
Billy Horschel E
- 2019 was the first year for this system and Rory McIlroy won by four strokes at -18 despite starting at -5 to begin the week.
- The winner of the TOUR Championship will win the FedEx Cup and get a $15 million bonus.
- Webb Simpson skipped last week’s BMW Championship
- Rory McIlroy and his wife are expecting their first child. Rory has stated he’ll leave the event to be present if it happens this week.
- Just by qualifying for the playoff final, all participants have earned an automatic spot in The Masters, U.S. Open, Open Championship and PLAYERS Championship for 2021.
Curious about when major leagues and events will return? Check out our DraftKings Sports Calendar for the latest updates.
2020 TOUR Championship: Key Stats
Strokes Gained: Ball Striking
Par 4s Gained
Par 5s Gained
Mayo’s Key Stats powered by FantasyNational.com
2020 TOUR Championship: Course
Course: East Lake
2020 TOUR Championship: Past Winners
2019: Rory McIlroy (-18) [First Year with Current Scoring]
2018: Tiger Woods -11
2017: Xander Schauffele -12
2016: Rory McIlroy -12
2015: Jordan Spieth -9
2014: Billy Horschel -11
2013: Henrik Stenson -13
2012: Brandt Snedeker -10
2011: Bill Haas -8
2020 TOUR Championship: Strategy
- Seven of the Par 4s measure over 450 yards. Tony Finau, Bryson DeChambeau, Dustin Johnson, Harris English and Kevin Na have been the top players in the field on Par 4s in that range since the restart.
- East Lake GC is a Donald Ross-designed course like Sedgefield (Wyndham Championship) and Detroit GC (Rocket Mortgage Classic). There has been real correlation between the Wyndham and TOUR Championship historically. Brandt Snedeker, Camilo Villegas and Henrik Stenson have won both since 2008, while proven Wyndham performers Billy Horschel, Ryan Moore, Jim Furyk and Bill Haas have all experienced success at East Lake, too. Both are courses that are rarely overpowered by length and allow the entire field birdie opportunities. Problem is, many of the elite players never play at Sedgefield. Here’s a look at the 2020 Wyndham Championship Leaderboard.
- There are 74 bunkers and six water hazards on the grounds.
- Rory McIlroy, Xander Schauffele, Justin Thomas, Tony Finau and Billy Horschel have gained the most total strokes at East Lake over the past five years.
- Rory McIlroy has won twice at East Lake in the past four years. Justin Thomas (four starts), Xander Schauffele (three starts) and Billy Horschel (three starts) have never finished outside the Top 10 in their careers.
- Players hit the fairway on approximately 61% of their drives on the average TOUR course; that number is only 54% at East Lake. GIR Rate and Scrambling percentages are almost exactly TOUR average. The driving distance (290 yards) is almost eight yards longer than at an average PGA Tour event.
- The Bermuda greens are annually some of the fastest on the PGA TOUR.
- DraftKings scoring remains the same as normal for tournament-long contests, with bonus finishing points weighted to the top of the leaderboard. Meaning, Dustin Johnson will begin Thursday with 30 bonus DKFP for being in first place, Jon Rahm will have 20 DKFP, etc. Employ a similar strategy as Round Four DraftKings showdown.
2020 TOUR Championship Picks — Early Targets
Webb’s never finished better than fourth in six starts at the TOUR Championship since 2012 but this just really feels like his year. Par 70 Bermuda courses are his wheelhouse and after skipping last week’s event, he is the only one in the field who didn’t have to go through the grind of Olympia Fields. Despite a lot of players having two wins in 2020, this does really feel like the best overall year of Webb’s career and a win at a course which suits him on paper would be a nice cap. Additionally, in his past four starts at the TOUR Championship, Simpson has bled strokes off the tee. Still the weakest part of his game, Webb is now a positive from the tee box, even gaining +0.7 strokes off the tee in his past five starts. It’s not much, especially compared to DJ and Rahm but it’s enough for his style of game to compete at the highest level.
I worry that Horschel, because of his price, is going to be too popular in lineups since he’s so easily paired with the expensive talent at the top end, so be cognizant of that. However, Billy Ho loves Atlanta. He has never finished worse than T7 in three starts, with a first and second as part of that collection, and he is coming off a decent week at the BMW Championship despite what you may have witnessed on the never-ending Billy Horschel stream. He drove it OK and hit his irons pretty well but couldn’t putt. Putting can come and go stroke-to-stroke but it is encouraging that he has never lost strokes at East Lake on the greens and has positive SG: PUTT in on every Bermudagrass course since the restart. Yes, starting dead last isn’t helpful, to be sure, but you need to gamble down the board somewhere.
Other notable names appearing near the top of stat models and the win simulator at FantasyNational.com: TBD Wednesday
Put your knowledge to the test. Sign up for DraftKings and experience the game inside the game.
Pat Mayo is an award-winning video host and producer of long and short-form content, and the host of The Pat Mayo Experience daily talk show. (Subscribe for video or audio). Mayo (@ThePME) won the 2020 Fantasy Sports Writing Association Daily Fantasy Writer of the Year and Golf Writer of the Year awards, along with the Fantasy Sports Trade Association Best Sports Betting Analyst award, and was a finalist for four FSWA Awards in 2020 (Best Podcast, Best Video, Daily Fantasy Writer of the Year, Golf Writer of the Year). His 21 FSWA nominations lead all writers this decade and are third-most all-time. Mayo has been recognized across multiple sports (Football, Baseball & Golf), mediums (Video, Writing & Podcasting), genre (Humor), and game formats (Daily Fantasy and Traditions Season Long). Beyond sports, Mayo covers everything from entertainment to pop culture to politics. If you have a fantasy question, general inquiry or snarky comment, ship it to Mayo at ThePatMayoExperience@gmail.com and the best will be addressed on the show.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is ThePME) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.
If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, crisis counseling and referral services can be accessed by calling 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537) (IL). Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER (NJ/WV/PA), 1-800-9-WITH-IT (IN), 1-800-522-4700 (NH/CO) or 1-800-BETS OFF (IA). 21+ (18+ NH). NJ/PA/WV/IN/NH/IA/CO/IL only. Eligibility restrictions apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for full terms and conditions.