ATLANTA, GA—On Thursday, the top 30 players in the FedEx cup rankings traveled to East Lake for the Tour Championship. This year’s format, however, is a little different. Each player started with a certain score under par, depending on their place in the points standings. For example, Patrick Cantlay in first, started at 10 under, second at 9, and so on. With that being said, let’s get into it.
Patrick Cantlay – 13 Under
Cantlay got the biggest head start on the field at 10-under, so he didn’t have to play amazing to stay in contention. All he needed was a good average round, which is exactly what he did by shooting 3 under par. His round was made up of mainly pars, however, he was not able to get through the day without a blemish on the scorecard. Patrick was able to birdie the par-4 3rd hole to start the day one under. After that, he bogeyed on hole 5 but was able to quickly come back and make another birdie on 6. Cantlay then made two birdies and no bogies on the back to finish at 13 under. After having an amazing week putting last week, Cantlay did not show the same skills off Thursday. He lost more than a stroke to the field on the greens. If he wants the $10 million bonus that comes with winning the Tour Championship, these putting numbers are going to have to get better.
Also in Contention
Jon Rahm—11 under
Jon Rahm started the day at 6-under in this format. With he had a good amount of catching up to do, and that he did. Rahm had a solid front nine, however, he finished it with two straight bogies, so making the turn he had to flip the switch. Luckily for Rahm, he has had no trouble doing this all year. Rahm had a bogey-free back nine with4 birdies to put him two strokes behind Cantlay in second place. Rahm was also three strokes ahead of 3rd place on the leaderboard. If this play continues, the tour championship could turn into a 2-man race, similar to last week. What would Rahm have to do to catch up to Cantlay? In my opinion, it’s his more greens in regulation. Rahm only hit 66% of greens in regulation, meaning he had to scramble a lot of the time. If he eliminates this, he could easily take over the top spot by Friday.