2022 Tour Championship Fantasy Golf Power Rankings and Picks
(Note: Will Zalatoris withdrew Tuesday due to two herniated discs in his back.)
The Tour Championship. It’s difficult to get there and even more difficult to claim the FedEx Cup if you start at the bottom.
Staggered scoring has returned once again. Somebody may shoot the lowest 72-hole score at East Lake GC in Atlanta yet not win the $18 million prize. Those back in the pack who start slowly have little incentive to grind out a score. It’s been a long season, stranger than most, and who knows what lies ahead in pro golf. There may come a day when we long for this format in a finale.
The course is a 7,340-yard par-70 designed by Donald Ross and renovated by Rees Jones. The narrow Zoysia fairways (same as TPC Southwind) are lined with dense Bermuda rough. Roots are strong this time of the year, thunderstorms started pelting Georgia’s capital city on Monday and remain a threat through Friday. There’s no relief from the humidity or the gnarly lies that capture errant drives and misguided approach shots.
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These are the 30 hottest players in the PGA Tour world. All are capable of putting four excellent rounds together. We focused on recent SG: Tee-to-Green, strong approach players, accurate and powerful drivers who rise when hitting fairways is difficult (54.6 percent here compared to the Tour average of 62.1 percent) and of course, good Bermuda chippers and putters.
Tour Championship Leaderboard
- 10 Scottie Scheffler
- 8 Patrick Cantlay
- 6 Xander Schauffele
- 5 Sam Burns
- 4 Cam Smith, Rory McIlroy, Tony Finau, Sepp Straka, Sungjae Im
- 3 Jon Rahm, Scott Stallings, Justin Thomas, Matt Fitzpatrick, Cameron Young
- 2 Max Homa, Hideki Matsuyama, Jordan Spieth, Joaquin Niemann, Viktor Hovland
- 1 Collin Morikawa, Billy Horschel, Tom Hoge, Corey Conners, Brian Harman
- E K.H. Lee, J.T. Poston, Sahith Theegala, Adam Scott, Aaron Wise
Tour Championship Fantasy Golf Power Rankings
10. Sam Burns – Making his second trip to East Lake after finishing in the top-20 in the first two playoff events. Endured his worst approach play in the last two years here a year ago but putted well (4.8 shots gained) and should be more comfortable this time around. Banking on him to start playing consistently better in elite fields.
9. Corey Conners – He finished fifth last week despite losing shots around and on the greens. He’s driving the ball consistently as well as anyone on the PGA Tour and gained more than 10 shots on approach in his last three tournaments.
8. Sepp Straka – Let’s get weird. Gained shots Off the Tee the last two weeks on demanding driving courses, finishing second and 28th. Playing with house money as he celebrates the best season of his career. Ranks 10th in the field in putting on fast Bermuda greens.
7. Patrick Cantlay – Last week’s winner finished second in SG: Tee-to-Green here last year but first in the large check competition. Plays his best when he gets near the lead and obviously has a headstart on such this week, trailing Scheffler by two shots. Gained 8.8 shots Tee-to-Green last week.
6. Justin Thomas – Gonna keep going back to the well. Ranks third in the field in scoring at East Lake over the last 24 rounds there. Lost shots on approach at Wilmington CC but the last time that happened (Colonial) he bounced back by gaining 6.5 shots with his irons in a T-3 at the Canadian. Trailing by seven, he’ll be firing early.
5. Xander Schauffele – It’s odd. He gained 5.6 shots on approach for the tournament last week but his iron game abandoned him on the back nine Sunday. Still, he has the best record at East Lake and the polished all-around game the course demands. Ranks fifth in SG: OTT (difficult driving) and SG: Approach (anywhere).
4. Scottie Scheffler – The man with the most to lose because he’s held the No. 1 spot in the rankings for most of the year. Gained 5.4 shots on approach last week, which was his best iron effort since a runner-up at Colonial. May not win on Sunday afternoon but he’ll be in the fight.
3. Rory McIlroy – Knows how it feels to hoist the Cup and knows his A game can erase a six-shot deficit over 72 holes. Leads the field in SG: Off the Tee on tight fairways and SG: Tee-to-Green anywhere over the last 24 while also ranking second in the field in scoring at East Lake. Gained 10.5 shots Tee-to-Green last week to lead the field (lost 4.6 on the greens).
2. Jon Rahm – Shot 65-67 on the weekend in Wilmington to barge through the backdoor and finished T-8. Now he’s chasing again, trailing Scheffler by seven shots with 72 holes remaining in the season. Finished 12th or better in the last five Tour Championships with two top-5s.
1. Tony Finau – He’s broken par in 22 of the last 24 rounds. He shot 2-under or lower in 19 of those rounds. If not for an inexplicable 6-over 77 in the opening round last week he might be sitting atop this points list. He made 17 birdies or better in the last three rounds of the BMW. Has two top-10s in the last five years at East Lake. Don’t be surprised if a man who sizzled through the latter stages of the summer heats up one last time in Hotlanta.
Tour Championship Fantasy Golf Picks: Bargain Bin
Billy Horschel, J.T. Poston, Aaron Wise