TOUR Championship preview: Scottie looks to avenge last year's heartbreak
There are 46 tournaments now in the books, with only the TOUR Championship in Atlanta remaining for the 2022-23 PGA TOUR season.
The top 30 players on the FedEx Cup points list have qualified for the finale at East Lake, with the TOUR once again opting to use the staggered leaderboard based on position for the event.
That means Scottie Scheffler once again finds himself entering the event at 10-under and holding a two-stroke lead over Viktor Hovland. The World No. 1 will attempt to close the deal just one year after seeing his lead evaporate and Rory McIlroy chase him down from six shots behind to win his third FedEx Cup.
When: August 24-27
Where: East Lake Golf Club, Atlanta, Georgia
How to watch
|Aug. 24||1 p.m. - 6 p.m.||GOLF|
|Aug. 25||1 p.m.- 6 p.m.||GOLF|
|Aug. 26||1 p.m. - 3 p.m.||GOLF|
|3 p.m. - 7 p.m.||CBS|
|Aug. 27||12 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.||GOLF|
|1:30 p.m. - 6 p.m.||CBS|
Last year's result
Scheffler not only entered the event with a two-shot edge on the leaderboard, but he also extended it to six strokes entering the final round. Somehow, that still wasn't enough, as McIlroy came charging on the last day.
"I've been in the final group here three of the last five years," McIlroy told Patrick McDonald of CBS Sports after the event. "I didn't give myself much of a chance teeing off today. Six behind, I thought it was going to be really tough to make up. But (between) my good play and Scottie's not-so-great play, it was a ballgame going into the back nine."
McIlroy's 63 and 67 on the weekend was enough to squeeze past Scheffler after the latter faltered with a 74 on the final 18 holes. The victory gave McIlroy a record three career FedEx Cups.
|T16||Si Woo Kim||-2|
Reasons to watch
While the staggered leaderboard is a gimmick that most find diminishes the prestige of the TOUR Championship, it has delivered some interesting results in the four-year history of the format. McIlroy's 2019 victory came when he started five shots off the pace to begin play, and the 34-year-old erased a six-shot deficit last year. Only Dustin Johnson entered the event at 10-under and claimed the title by more than one shot, doing so in 2020. With plenty of firepower chasing Scheffler this year, don't be shocked if the back nine is filled with drama on Sunday.
Scottie looks to cap incredible season
It feels like Scheffler's battle between being miles ahead of everybody tee-to-green and somehow still not winning is a weekly thing to watch on TOUR. The World No. 1 has now gained an absolutely astonishing 214.41 strokes tee-to-green this season, almost 100 more than the next-best player.
Unfortunately, Scheffler's struggles on the green have kept him from the winner's circle since the Players Championship in March, as he ranks 145th on TOUR in strokes gained: putting. He's putting together one of the best seasons, statistically speaking, in recent memory, but with only two wins thus far, it has to be viewed as a disappointment of sorts. With a two-shot advantage entering this event again, can Scheffler finally putt well enough to close the deal?
Rory goes for No. 4
McIlroy may be on a nine-year major drought, but the prodigy from Northern Ireland has made the FedEx Cup his personal payday. Buoyed by three FedEx Cup titles, McIlroy has now claimed more than $50 million in bonus money in his career from the season-long race. That figure alone would rank him inside the top 12 in all-time money winners on the PGA TOUR. McIlroy once again comes to East Lake in great shape to make a run at the trophy, as he starts just three back of the lead entering Thursday.
Betting odds (starting strokes included)
Scottie Scheffler +140
Rory McIlroy +325
Viktor Hovland +450
Jon Rahm +800
Patrick Cantlay +1,800
Max Homa +2,800
Xander Schauffele +2,800
Lucas Glover +4,000
Matthew Fitzpatrick +4,500
Brian Harman +5,000
Wyndham Clark +5,000
Tommy Fleetwood +6,000
Rickie Fowler +6,600
Russell Henley +7,500
Odds via theScore Bet
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