Tour Championship Player in Focus:Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods (pictured) has the skill’s profile to win the Tour Championship and thus claim the 10 million dollar bonus for winning the FedEx Cup. This is the first time Woods has contested the Tour Championship since 2009. TheEast Lake course that hosts the event for the ninth successive year will play to Woods’ strengths.
The former world number one has a combination of excellent course and current form and that makes him a leading contender in Atlanta this week. The winning score over the last four years has been seven under, nine under and eight under twice. When Woods won the tournament in 2007 he completed the 72 holes in a phenomenal 23 under par.
After Woods destroyed the tournament record in that year the course designer replaced the Bentgrass greens withBermudagreens. This type of putting surface scores much greater on the Stimpmeter and as a result scores have been significantly higher in recent years. However, putting will still be an important attribute this week, though accuracy from the tees and fairways is key.
Woods’ driving is perceived to be a weakness. It is true that this element of his game has let him down in the majors this year in which he has played himself into contention and then not being able to find the fairway when the pressure has been most intense.
However, Woods is currently sixth for total driving, a statistic that combines accuracy and length from the tee. This is a rare combination of skills and suggests Woods has maintained his consistency with his tee shots over a sustained period of time. It is shots with his driver that have lacked accuracy but on a relatively short course like East Lakethe driver will not be a significant club.
While Rory McIlroy has been winning tournaments Woods has put together a good run of form in the play-offs. He has finished third and fourth in the latest play-off tournaments and he currently lies second in points. He can still win the 10 million dollar bonus and will receive that huge cheque by winning the Tour Championship this week.
Woods clearly has a game suited to the course in Atlanta. He scores well for the key accuracy statistics and given a decent effort on the greens will surely contend. He finished three shots off the pace when he last played in the event three years ago and his game is now in better order than at that time. He is a four-time runner up at East Lake but can go one better this week.