23 August 2023
The finale of the PGA tour is coming up and once again we are heading to East Lake Golf Club for the Tour Championship. We will be taking an in-depth look at the top three players ahead of the Tour Championship, the only tournament where players start off under par.
A common feature of this article will be strokes gained, if you are not aware what that is, find out more here.
Scottie Scheffler – FedEx Rank No. 1 – Scoring Average 68.531
Scottie Scheffler turned Pro in 2018 and joined the PGA Tour in 2020 and has never looked back becoming World No. 1 42 days after his first PGA Tour victory. Scheffler has six wins on the Tour, like Rahm, one of which being the Masters Tournament.
When we look at Scheffler’s stats it is no wonder he is the World No. 1 as he leads the Strokes Gained stats in every area except for putting and around the green. Scottie’s incredible form is emphasised when we look at his seriously impressive stats:
As we can see, even around-the-green Scheffler is still within the Top 10 on Tour and so he really seems to be on top of his game in every sense, except for with the flatstick in hand.
In a bid to rectify this issue Scheffler has experimented with a new putter at the FedEx St Jude Championship as it is the only area holding him back. With 41 Top 10 finishes and 31 Top 5 finishes, it would be interesting to know how many strokes could have been saved if the putter was behaving.
Although, with $40,689,229 won on Tour, Scottie isn’t doing too badly having only joined the Tour three years ago!
Viktor Hovland – FedEx Rank No. 2 – Scoring Average 69.249
After an incredible finale to the BMW Championship at the weekend, Hovland propelled himself into the FedEx Cup top three and cemented himself in the European Ryder Cup Team.
Starting the final round three shots off the pace, Viktor would go on to shoot a course record 61, -9 under par, with a bogey on the card!
Hovland made the game of golf look easy, carding seven birdies on the back nine alone. What is it about Viktor’s game that makes him so dangerous down the stretch?
In the final round of the BMW Championship, Hovland found a new gear and his stats reflect this:
He ranked in the top three for every other strokes gained metric, very impressive golf! If Hovland can come close to replicating this form at the weekend he will be a problem for his competitors.
What was different at the BMW compared to the season? Hovland still ranks highly in most of the strokes gained metrics but loses out around-the-green:
Still very steady golf but this highlights how incredibly well Hovland played last week. If there is any truth in the saying ‘you are only as good as your last game’, Viktor is looking pretty good right now ahead of the Tour Championship!
Rory McIlroy – FedEx Cup Rank No. 3 – Scoring Average 68.880
Rory McIlroy, one of the most prominent figures in the world of golf for the last 13 years since he joined the PGA Tour in 2010. McIlroy has 24 Tour wins, his most recent the Scottish Open, in total including four Major Wins and three FedEx Cup wins, Rory is this year’s defending champion.
Golf fans around the world will not be surprised to know that Rory gains the majority of his strokes off the tee:
Second only to Scottie in terms of Strokes Gained, Rory rips driver off the tee averaging 325 yards – how does that compare to your typical amateur? McIlroy’s driving prowess translates into the rest of his game where he ranks highly in both tee-to-green and approach play to the green.
At the Genesis Scottish Open, we witnessed just how good Rory can be making birdies at 17 and 18. Although not his best drive, the two-iron on 18 epitomizes McIlroy’s long game expertise.
Similar to Scottie, it seems that if Rory is going to lose strokes, it is with the putter – SG putting rank 86th. As with Scheffler, when the putter is hot the pair can charge up leaderboards and challenge for any tournament.
McIlroy will be looking to make this his fourth FedEx Cup victory ahead of the Ryder Cup where both Rahm and Rory are heading to Rome to represent Team Europe and Scottie for Team USA.
It is shaping up to be a great end to the season with the PGA Tour Championship this week as well as both the Solheim Cup and Ryder Cup taking place in September.
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The only question left to ask, who do you think will win?
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