One of the strongest fields of the entire season

One of the strongest fields of the entire season

Here are the starting positions for all 30 players at the Tour Championship

After 12 months, 44 events and tens of millions of prize money handed out, just one event remains on the 2021-22 PGA Tour schedule — the Tour Championship. The annual event is hosted at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta and welcomes the top 30 players in the FedEx Cup standings, making it one of the strongest fields of the entire season.

The limited field isn’t the only unique aspect of the Tour Championship. The purse is the largest on Tour, with $75 million up for grabs, and the field starts with handicapped scores as well.

While it might be odd to see Tour pros begin the week on uneven footing, the handicap system is meant to reward players for their season-long performance in the FedEx Cup. Prior to 2019, the Tour Championship winner was not necessarily the FedEx Cup champion, and it made for some awkward dual award ceremonies on the 18th green. This system eliminates that possibility and ensures that the winner of the final event of the season is also the season-long FedEx Cup champion.

“As soon as the Tour Championship begins, any fan — no matter if they’ve followed the PGA Tour all season or are just tuning in for the final event — can immediately understand what’s going on and what’s at stake for every single player in the field,” PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said when the new format was unveiled. “And, of course, players will know exactly where they stand at all times while in play, which will ratchet up the drama, consequence and volatility of the competition down the stretch.”

Last season, Patrick Cantlay began the week atop the leaderboard and held off a charging Jon Rahm to claim the Tour Championship and FedEx Cup titles.

Here are the starting positions for all 30 players this week.

Tour Championship starting positions

10 under: Scottie Scheffler

Eight under: Patrick Cantlay

Seven under: Will Zalatoris

Six under: Xander Schauffele

Five under: Sam Burns

Four under: Cameron Smith, Rory McIlroy, Tony Finau, Sepp Straka, Sungaje Im

Three under: Jon Rahm, Scott Stallings, Justin Thomas, Cameron Young, Matthew Fitzpatrick

Two under: Max Homa, Hideki Matsuyama, Jordan Spieth, Joaquin Niemann, Viktor Hovland

One under: Collin Morikawa, Billy Horschel, Tom Hoge, Corey Conners, Brian Harman

Even par: K.H. Lee, J.T. Poston, Sahith Theegala, Adam Scott, Aaron Wise

SOURCE: golf.com

One of the strongest fields of the entire season

What a way to get your first win.

Will Zalatoris survives wild ping-pong shot in playoff for first PGA Tour win, lead in $18M FedEx Cup playoff

Will Zalatoris forced, then survived a wild three-hole playoff on Sunday at the St. Jude Championship to secure his first win on the PGA Tour and the lead in the FedEx Cup Championship. The victory in the first of three championship playoff events gives him the inside track to the playoff’s $18 million first-place prize.

Zalatoris, 25, took the clubhouse lead at TPC Southwind in Memphis on 18 on Sunday with a 10-foot par putt to secure a 72-hole score of 15-under.

Sepp Straka followed and faced a chance to secure a win in regulation with a 20-foot birdie putt on 18. But his effort missed just high, and his successful par putt forced the sudden-death playoff with Zalatoris.

The two remained tied after parring 18 on the first playoff hole. They replayed 18 for the second playoff hole, with both players missing the fairway off the tee. Zalatoris hit his second shot off of pine needles near a boundary line and onto the fairway. He got up and down from there with a 13-foot, 8-inch putt to save par.

Straka, meanwhile, took a drop and a one-stroke penalty after his drive landed near a water hazard that would have forced him to stand in the water for his shot. Like Zalatoris, he saved par to force the third and final playoff hole at par-3 11th. That’s when the fireworks really started.

Zalatoris’ approach shot to the waterside green came up short and right. But he averted disaster by the most dramatic of margins, as his ball bounced softly off a waterside wall then wedged in between the wall and the greenside rough — instead of back into the water.

Straka wasn’t as fortunate. His approach was likewise short and right. But his bounced back into the water.

Straka sailed the green into a bunker out of the drop zone, making what would have been a difficult decision for Zalatoris considerably easier. Instead of hitting out of this untenable lie, Zalatoris opted to take a penalty and shoot from the same drop zone as Straka.

Unlike Straka, he found the green with his shot from the drop zone and proceeded to make his bogey putt to secure his first Tour victory.

With the win, he moved up 11 places into first place in the FedEx Cup standings with two playoff events remaining. He did so after shooting a 1-over 71 on Thursday that left him nine strokes behind the leader and at risk of missing the cut. But he followed up with a 63 on Friday to make the weekend, before shooting 65 on Saturday and 66 on Sunday to force the playoff.

The top 70 remaining players advance to next week’s BMW Championship at Delaware’s Wilmington Country Club. The top 30 from there advance to the Tour Championship at Atlanta’s East Lake Golf Club, where the winner will take home the first-place $18 million prize.

SOURCE: sports.yahoo.com