Essential Golf: A passion for the Game
.

All You Need to Know About the TOUR Championship (24-27 Aug, 2023)

All You Need to Know About the TOUR Championship (24-27 Aug, 2023)
(Zuma Press/Alamy)


In anticipation of the upcoming TOUR Championship, we provide you with vital information to help you prepare for the tournament including details about Rory McIlroy’s victory in 2022.

Location

East Lake Golf Club, Atlanta, Ga.

Yardage

7,346; par 70

Tournament Record

257 – Tiger Woods (2007)

Purse

$18 million (2022)

Tournament Insight

The TOUR Championship is the season-ending event on the PGA TOUR, bringing together the top 30 players on the FedExCup points list. The huge purse and winner’s share reflect that the payout is for a combination of year-long performance during the FedExCup season and the results of the tournament. Players receive starting strokes at the beginning of the tournament, placing them a certain number of strokes under par based on the FedExCup standings.

The event has been held at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta in each year since 2004.

Course Insight

East Lake was originally designed by Tom Bendelow and opened in 1908. Donald Ross put his stamp on the course when he was hired in 1913 to make considerable changes, including rerouting the layout into two nine-hole loops finishing at the clubhouse. The great amateur Bobby Jones grew up playing the course, which went on to host the Ryder Cup in 1963. The course fell on hard times as the surrounding neighborhood deteriorated, and many members moved to the new Atlanta Athletic Club north of the city. In 1993, developer Tom Cousins stepped in to restore both the course and the East Lake neighborhood, with Rees Jones handling the course renovation.

The successful effort led to East Lake hosting the TOUR Championship, first on an alternate-year basis starting in 1998 and then annually since 2004. Originally finishing with a par-3 18th hole, the nines were reversed starting in 2016 so that the course now concludes with a par 5. Ranging from 570 to 590 yards, depending on tee position, the 18th provides a dramatic finish with a birdie or eagle possibility. Also noteworthy in the final stretch is the 211-yard 15th with a peninsula green jutting into the lake.

How Rory McIlroy won in 2022

Rory McIlroy shot a final-round 66 and took advantage of the struggles of leader Scottie Scheffler to walk away with the victory and FedExCup title in 2022. Scheffler entered the tournament No. 1 in FedExCup points, and thus had the edge in starting strokes. He maintained the advantage and built his lead to six strokes with four birdies on the final six holes of the third round that were played on Sunday morning due to a rain delay on Saturday. It only took seven holes of the final round for the lead to disappear, McIlroy playing them 3-under and Scheffler 3-over. Scheffler went back ahead by one, but McIlroy tied it with a 30-foot birdie putt on the 15th. McIlroy went ahead on the 16th when he saved par after his too-strong chip hit the flagstick to leave a makeable putt while Scheffler made a bogey. When Scheffler wasn’t able to take advantage of the 18th, settling for a par 5, McIlroy claimed a one-stroke victory.

  • McIlroy became the first player to win the FedExCup title three times (2016, 19, 22). Tiger Woods has won it twice (2007, 09). McIlroy and Woods have each won the TOUR Championship three times (Woods also in 2018 in addition to his FedExCup title years).
  • In the starting strokes format, the No. 1 player in FedExCup points entering the event starts at 10-under, the next player 8-under, then 7-under, 6-under, and 5-under. Players ranked 6-10 start at 4-under, 11-15 at 3-under, 16-20 at 2-under, 21-25 at 1-under, and 26-30 at even.

This was first published in Essential Golf – you can read the complete magazine here.

.