The TOUR Championship Completes 1st Round at East Lake

The TOUR Championship is the culmination of the 2015-16 PGA TOUR Season and the final event of the FedExCup Playoffs. The road to the TOUR Championship began with the top 125 players qualifying for The Barclays (won by Patrick Reed), followed by the top 100 players at the Deutsche Bank Championship (won by Rory McIlroy) and the top 70 players at the BMW Championship (won by Dustin Johnson). Each playoff event, including this week’s TOUR Championship, offers 2,000 FedExCup points to the winner.

 

First-Round Leaderboard

Hideki Matsuyama                    66 (-4)

Kevin Chappell                          66 (-4)

Dustin Johnson                         66 (-4)

Kevin Kisner                             67 (-3)

Si Woo Kim                              67 (-3)

Jason Day                                67 (-3)

 

The top-five players in the FedExCup standings entering the TOUR Championship control their own destiny and will win the FedExCup title should they go on to victory at East Lake.

FEC           Name                           Score             Position      FedExCup Projection

1                Dustin Johnson             66                   T1                           1

2                Patrick Reed                 73                   T18                          4

3                Adam Scott                   69                   T11                          6                     

4                Jason Day                    67                   T4                           5

5                Paul Casey                   68                   T7                           7

 

A points reset took place following the BMW Championship giving all 30 players in the field at the TOUR Championship a mathematical chance to win the FedExCup.

First Timers at the TOUR Championship

Seven players are making their first appearance at the TOUR Championship this week, including Russell Knox, Emiliano Grillo, Justin Thomas, Kevin Chappell, Si Woo Kim, William McGirt and Jhonattan Vegas. With a victory, they would join Chad Campbell (2003), Bart Bryant (2005), Bill Haas (2011) and Henrik Stenson (2013) as players to win the TOUR Championship in their first appearance (not including Tom Watson’s win at the first TOUR Championship in 1987).

 

FedExCup Notes

Here’s a year-by-year look at FedExCup winners and their performance throughout the Playoffs in the years they won:

 

Year

FedExCup Champion

Barclays 

Deutsche Bank 

BMW

TOUR Ch.

2015

Jordan Spieth

MC

MC

T13

Won

2014

Billy Horschel

MC

T2

Won

Won

2013

Henrik Stenson

T43

Won

T33

Won

2012

Brandt Snedeker

2nd

6th

T37

Won

2011

Bill Haas

T24

T61

T16

Won

2010

Jim Furyk

DNP

T37

T15

Won

2009

Tiger Woods

T2

T11

Won

2nd

2008

Vijay Singh

Won

Won

T44

T22

2007

Tiger Woods

N/A

T2

Won

Won

 

Jordan Spieth (2015) and Brandt Snedeker (2012) are the only two past FedExCup champions at East Lake this year, and they have a chance to join Tiger Woods (2007, 2009) as the only two-time winner of the FedExCup. Spieth lies T7 after a 68. Snedeker posted 72 to lie T15.

 

Sean O’Hair, at No. 25 heading into the TOUR Championship, is the only player to advance to the TOUR Championship from those who entered the FedExCup Playoffs ranked No. 101 – 125 in the FedExCup standings. O’Hair lies T24 after a first-round 74 (+4).

 

Paul Casey (T7) is making his third appearance at the TOUR Championship, advancing to the season finale with two runner-up finishes, but without a victory, in each of those three seasons. This season, Casey was second at both the Deutsche Bank Championship and the BMW Championship. Last season, a T5 finish at the TOUR Championship followed playoff losses to James Hahn at the Northern Trust Open and Bubba Watson at the Travelers Championship. In 2010, Casey had runner-up finishes at the World Golf Championships-Dell Match Play and BMW Championship before finishing T4 at the TOUR Championship.

 

Rory McIlroy (T7), winner of the 2016 Deutsche Bank Championship, is the first player in FedExCup history to win one of the first three Playoffs events and not be among the top-five players who control their own destiny heading into the TOUR Championship. McIlroy began the TOUR Championship at No. 6, just 29 FedExCup points behind No. 5 Paul Casey.

 

Rookies and the FedExCup

Emiliano Grillo and Si Woo Kim are two of seven PGA TOUR rookies who qualified for the FedExCup Playoffs. Grillo, at No. 9 in the FedExCup standings, and Kim (No. 18) are the only two who advanced to the TOUR Championship. In the history of the FedExCup Playoffs, no more than one rookie in a season has qualified for the TOUR Championship.

 

Miscellaneous Notes

This year, the front and back nine holes at East Lake have been reversed for the TOUR Championship, providing significantly more drama on the finishing holes from past years. The opening hole, a 469-yard par 4 (previously No. 10), proved to be a difficult starting hole, with 15 bogeys and just three birdies recorded in the opening round. Hideki Matsuyama, in the seventh pairing of the day was the first player to birdie No. 1. Phil Mickelson opened his round with a birdie at the first, using a putter from just off the green to hole a shot from 94 feet, 7 inches. Dustin Johnson, in the final pairing as the leader in the FedExCup standings, made a putt from just over two feet for birdie to kick off his round. Since the FedExCup began in 2007, this hole has ranked as the second-most difficult with a scoring average of 4.171. In Thursday’s first round it ranked second-most difficult and averaged 4.400.

 

Scoring Averages for the par-70 East Lake Golf Club:

                                             Front 9             Back 9             Total       Cumulative

Thursday                               35.933              34.967              70.900

 

Bogey-free rounds:

R1 – Kevin Chappell (66)

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