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2020 TOUR Championship Betting Preview: Which Stats Matter the Most at East Lake?

2020 TOUR Championship Betting Preview: Which Stats Matter the Most at East Lake? article feature image

Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images. Pictured: Rory McIlroy

  • The 2020 TOUR Championship will tee off on Friday and there are five stats that could determine who will come away with a win this weekend.
  • Matthew Vincenzi highlights the key metrics to look out for at East Lake.

The 2020 FedEx Cup Playoffs will make its final stop this week at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, Ga., starting Friday, Sept. 4. The 30 players left standing will compete for The TOUR Championship and the $15 million that come along with it.

East Lake Golf Club is a par 70 measuring 7,319 yards with Bermuda grass greens. A Donald Ross design, the difficulty this week for players will be managing the fast and undulating putting surface. Distance will not be as much of a factor this week, as many shorter hitters have had great success here in the past, like Jordan Spieth, Billy Horschel, Henrik Stenson, Brandt Snedeker, Bill Haas and Jim Furyk.

Recent winners at East Lake include:

  • 2019: Rory McIlroy
  • 2018: Tiger Woods
  • 2017: Xander Schauffele
  • 2016: Rory McIlroy
  • 2015: Jordan Spieth
  • 2014: Billy Horschel
  • 2013: Henrik Stenson
  • 2012: Brandt Snedeker
  • 2011: Bill Haas
  • 2010: Jim Furyk

Although these golfers won at East Lake, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they won the TOUR Championship. Last year was the first in which the PGA TOUR introduced a “strokes-based bonus,” where the players with the most FedEx Cup points began the tournament with a stroke advantage relative to the field.

With the recent addition of the handicapped scoring system this week, the challenge for bettors will be identifying which players can get into contention considering where they are beginning the week on the leaderboard. It will take an exceptional week from any golfer to catch the big names at the top of the leaderboard starting with a stroke advantage.

Let’s take a look at several key metrics for East Lake to determine which golfers boast top marks in each category over their last 24 rounds.


Identifying the most predictive measures for player performance this week will be crucial in determining who will hoist the FedEx Cup when all is said and done.

Strokes Gained: Approach

SG: Approach is always going to be one of the most important statistics. Success at East Lake has come in the form of many different types of golfers, but one of the consistent factors is the winners are putting their approach shots close.

  1. Justin Thomas (+500)
  2. Dustin Johnson (+188)
  3. Joaquin Niemann (+12500)
  4. Ryan Palmer (+35000)
  5. Kevin Kisner (+17500)

Fairways Gained

In the past we have seen the most accurate golfers play their best golf at East Lake (Furyk, Stenson and Woods). Being a bomber isn’t a requirement this week, it is far more important to hit fairways. The golfers who put the ball in play most often should have a strong chance to compete in Atlanta.

  1. Collin Morikawa (+2200)
  2. Brendon Todd (+12500)
  3. Abraham Ancer (+25000)
  4. Jon Rahm (+275)
  5. Kevin Na (+25000)

Green Speed: Lightning+ Strokes Gained: Bermuda grass greens

The difficulty of East Lake will be the speed of the greens. Donald Ross designs are known for having different levels on a sloping green which makes finding the correct place to land the ball challenging. To be successful, golfers must excel at putting on both Bermuda grass greens, and with lightning fast speeds.

  1. Marc Leishman (+50000)
  2. Tyrrell Hatton (+10000)
  3. Sungjae Im (+12500)
  4. Harris English (+6600)
  5. Kevin Kisner (+17500)

Par 4’s 400-500

Nine of the 12 par-4s at East Lake are between 400-500 yards. Playing these more difficult holes under par will be a good barometer of who has success in this week’s TOUR Championship.

  1. Daniel Berger (+2800)
  2. Bryson DeChambeau (+2200)
  3. Kevin Na (+25000)
  4. Scottie Scheffler (+8000)
  5. Justin Thomas (+500)

Strokes Gained: Donald Ross Designs

We have seen the same golfers thrive on Donald Ross designs season after season. The requirement for strategic ball placement combined with the undulating greens seems to catch the eye of specific players. It is important to note the players in this field who play their best golf on Ross designs.

  1. Viktor Hovland (+25000)
  2. Xander Schauffele (+2200)
  3. Joaquin Niemann (+12500)
  4. Rory McIlroy (+2200)
  5. Billy Horschel (+20000)

Statistical Model

Below, I’ve reported overall model rankings using a combination of the five key statistical categories previously discussed.

Last week at The BMW Championship, Dustin Johnson earned the top spot in the statistical model and finished in second place. This weeks statistical model is comprised of: SG: Putting (Lightning+Bermuda)=15%, SG: App=26.2%, Fairways Gained=20%, Par 4:400-500=20.1%, SG: Donald Ross=18.8%

  1. Kevin Kisner (+17500)
  2. Kevin Na (+25000)
  3. Justin Thomas (+500)
  4. Billy Horschel (+20000)
  5. Tyrrell Hatton (+10000)
  6. Webb Simpson (+900)
  7. Harris English (+6600)
  8. Xander Schauffele (+2200)
  9. Ryan Palmer (+35000)
  10. Daniel Berger (+2800)

Each of the five key statistics discussed in this article will be important in determining a winner at the TOUR Championship. When using the statistical model for reference, keep in mind that the amount of strokes each player is starting with is not factored in.

Odds as of Monday at 3:30 p.m. ET and via DraftKings

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