TOUR Championship – Fantasy Golfanac

Course Details

East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, Georgia
7,307 yards – Par 70 – Bermudagrass Greens
Course Architect: Donald Ross ; 2008 Rees Jones renovation

Tournament Stimpmeter: 12+ ft. … Faster Green Speeds
Green Sizes: 6,200 sq. feet … Average Green Sizes
Strength of Field Rating: ~ 450 OWGR … Strong Field Strength
Fairways Hit (Field Average): ~54% … Hard-to-Hit Fairways
Greens in Regulation (Field Average): ~65% … Average GIR Difficulty
Driving Distance (Field Average): ~290 yards … Driver-Heavy Course

Tournament Angles

#1 Bermuda Greens
#2 Par 70 Courses
#3 Hard-to-Hit Fairways
#4 Driver-Heavy Courses
#5 Donald Ross Design
#6 Strong Field Events
#7 FedExCup Playoffs

Previous Winners

2015: Jordan Spieth -9 over Danny Lee, Justin Rose, Henrik Stenson -5
2014: Billy Horschel -11 over Jim Furyk, Rory McIlroy -8
2013: Henrik Stenson -13 over Jordan Spieth, Steve Stricker -10
2012: Brandt Snedeker -10 over Justin Rose -7
2011: Bill Haas -8 over Hunter Mahan in a playoff
2010: Jim Furyk -8 over Luke Donald -7

54-Hole Leaders

2015: Jordan Spieth -8
2014: Rory McIlroy, Billy Horschel -9
2013: Henrik Stenson -11
2012: Justin Rose, Brandt Snedeker -8
2011: Aaron Baddeley, Hunter Mahan -9
2010: Jim Furyk -8

36-Hole Leaders

2015: Henrik Stenson -9
2014: Billy Horschel -8
2013: Henrik Stenson -10
2012: Jim Furyk -7
2011: Adam Scott -8
2010: Luke Donald, Jim Furyk -8

Important Interview Quotes

Q. Do you like the fact the tournament ends on a par 5 instead of a par 3?
JORDAN SPIETH:
It was nice ending on a par 3 with a big lead with no water on the par 3 in 2015. But, yes, I think the last six holes now become — there’s more that can happen than on what’s 4 through 9 now.

What do I like about East Lake? East Lake and Augusta remind me a lot of each other. You have a really well designed golf course where the fairways slope against the ball flight that you need off the tee and then the greens remind me of each other with the slope, the speed and the bunkering around them.

East Lake has a lot more rough which is very different from Augusta and the greens aren’t quite as severe, fast but I just like the layout of it.

I like the shots that it makes you play off the tee and things into the green you can be bold or you can play safe but with the green shapes when you play safe you’re left with a tough two-putt.

So, it’s a very much a risk/reward type golf course, kind of sneaks up on you on risk/reward. The excitement from 5 really — well, the old No. 5, which is now 14 playing such a massive role in the finish of a tournament on probably the hardest par 3 we play all year given when it is now and what tournament it’s at, it’s certainly adds a lot to it with No. 9 — or 18 as well. -2017

Q. What was the most challenging thing out there?
KEVIN KISNER:
Hitting it in the fairway. For me, I don’t hit it long enough to hit it in the rough and get it on the green. So every tee, I’m praying for that short grass. -2016

Q. Dustin, congrats on a great round. What is most challenging about the setup there at East Lake here?
DUSTIN JOHNSON:
Well, driving it in the fairway is the most challenging part out here. You know, it’s a premium for sure. This rough’s deep. The ball sits on the bottom every time. So you really got to hit it in the fairway.

The golf course isn’t real long, but if you’re in the fairway — I mean, if you’re in the fairway, you know, you get a decent amount of short irons in your hand, but if you drive it in the rough all day, it’s just no fun. -2016

Q. With the course today, were you surprised the score wasn’t lower?
JASON DAY:
The course is actually quite tough. They’ve narrowed a lot of the fairways — not a lot of the fairways, some of the fairways. Where you’re driving it is a lot narrower now, and then the rough is very healthy. So as soon as you get it in the rough, it falls straight down to the bottom, and it’s really difficult to judge if it’s going to come out like a flier or it’s going to come out dead.

Bermuda grass is really tough from the fairway but it’s also really difficult around the green. I’m not surprised. Once again, there’s only 30 guys here. I think, if it was a full field, you’d probably see 6, 7, 8 under maybe. Right now you’re just trying to do the best job you can, and 4 under is right there. So I’m happy with 3 under. I’ve just got to keep chipping away at it. -2016

Q. How difficult is this course playing?
RYAN MOORE:
It’s just a hard golf course. I’d call it a sneaky hard golf course. There’s nothing about it that looks that intimidating or that crazy, but fairways are just narrow enough, just firm enough. The greens — it’s hard to get a lot of close birdie chances is what I would say on this golf course. If you end up with three birdies from eight feet and in on the day, that’s a good day on this golf course, at least for me. You end up hitting good shots from 15 to 20 feet a lot. Some of that is because you’re missing a lot of fairways because they’re tough to hit. You hit it down right edge or left edge, it’s kicked in the rough, then it’s 50/50 whether you’re going to have a decent lie or get one up or around the green. -2016

Q. It’s been such a struggle out there. Is this feeling like a U.S. Open, or what can you compare this week to because the rough is tough and scores aren’t? You’re playing great, and the scores aren’t like super low at all.
KEVIN CHAPPELL:
Yeah, it’s a narrow golf course, and the rough is unpredictable. You’ll get times where you might be able to hit wood out of it, and there’s times you struggle to pitch out. I’ve been fortunate the few times I’ve hit it in the rough, I’ve been able to advance it or read the lie properly to lay it up or missing in the fairway bunkers is really nice this week because you can play it out of them here.

But as far as the feel, the course is still fairly soft. You’re not seeing balls run and bounce, which, I think, we’re fortunate because of that, because it would play even harder. But it’s just not easy to make putts when greens have that much slope, and with the rough up, it’s hard to get the ball in the right position. -2016

Q. I meant the whole course.
PHIL MICKELSON:
Well, the rough is the hardest rough we’ve played in years. But the bunkers are difficult. If you play perfect golf, like you hit the fairway, you hit the green, it’s in pristine shape, you can shoot low scores, reasonable scores, but you can’t play — you can’t miss it here. There’s no recovery. -2016

Q. You played here once before, won it, won the FedExCup. Something about this course that just seems to suit you?
HENRIK STENSON:
Yeah, it suits me with a lot of kind of mid-iron shots, long to mid-iron shots into the greens.

There’s some holes with wedges as well, but it’s definitely ball striking golf course. And when I’m hitting it nicely, it’s always going to work for me. It’s always going to suit me.

And the main factor is the rough I would say and staying out of that and once again hitting a lot of fairways and that gives me the opportunity to be aggressive with my irons and setup birdie chances. So very happy. -2015

Q. It’s a chip away at a golf course though, isn’t it? It’s not like you can come out and do what he did today.
JASON DAY:
It’s one of those golf courses that you need to be driving it straight, because if you’re hitting it out of the rough, it’s very difficult to hit it next to the pin. The greens aren’t setup to — especially with this length of rough, greens aren’t setup to get it anywhere close to pin locations like that.

So, if you hit it, if you’re driving it straight, it definitely helps the opportunity of getting a lot more birdie chances. I felt like I hit the ball okay today, pretty solid. But overall, it’s something where I just got to kind of improve on for tomorrow. -2015

Q. How do you find the rough here compared to previous years?
PAUL CASEY:
Kind of what I remember. Thick, almost always get a flier. If you’re — if you missed a fairway. For a shot into the green. Around the greens it’s extremely difficult to judge. Bermuda is not something I grew up with, so I find it quite tricky. -2015

Q. Jordan, 4-under par, 66 out there. Nine for nine scrambling. How tough was it out there today?
JORDAN SPIETH:

Yeah, it was not pretty tee to green for me, and I got a lot of work to do in that category for the next two days.

But around the greens I feel comfortable on Bermuda, this is exactly the stuff I grew up on. It’s as comfortable as I feel all year. I love the greens here, I love the tough rough and the bunkers. -2015

Q. Any similarities between the courses you all played the last couple of weeks having the same group of guys playing well each week?
CHRIS KIRK:
Not last week, necessarily. I’d say this course and Boston are probably the most similar as far as it’s a lot of drivers and it’s a long golf course and not a whole lot of wedges in. So it’s going to favor guys that are hitting their drivers real well and obviously putting well.
These greens, like I said, are in perfect shape. They are very, very tricky to read with the grain, and the ball doesn’t generally goes with the grain, but not always. Despite how perfect they roll, they can be tough. -2014

Quotes found at ASAPsports.com unless otherwise noted.

Tournament Notes:

Course Renovations: Course was renovated after the 2007 edition, switching from bentgrass to MiniVerde Bermuda green surfaces and re-configuring a few holes in the process.