Scottie Scheffler
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Culp's Corner

TOUR Championship Preview at East Lake Golf Club

by Josh Culp
Updated On: August 22, 2022, 4:23 pm ET

Golfers to Watch

Scottie Scheffler
He's pieced together one of the best PGA TOUR seasons ever and has a chance to really cement his strong season with a big finish at East Lake. Starting with a two-shot cushion, he'll be tough to catch if he just plays to his baseline. 

Will Zalatoris
He withdrew last week with a back injury. He starts just three shots off the lead this week but his back is a major question mark, providing a lot more downside in his range of outcomes but he's one of the top threats if the back has recovered well over the weekend. 

Cameron Smith
The Aussie cited hip discomfort as the reason for not teeing it up last week at the BMW Championship. He dropped from 3rd to 6th in the FedExCup standings as a result.

Sahith Theegala
The talented youngster remains very humble. He's talked about knowing how much he still needs to improve if he wants to be a top-tier talent on the PGA TOUR and also talked about being well behind Cameron Young in the Rookie of the Year race. While that is likely true, he could certainly make the decision tougher if he took it low this week at East Lake and finished higher in the final FedExcup standings. He showcased his clutch gene down the stretch on Sunday at Wilmington CC. 

Rory McIlroy
He's bettered the field average in 25-of-32 rounds at East Lake. That is impressive in any event but even more impressive when you consider the stacked fields he's faced over the years at the TOUR Championship. It's safe to say he likes the layout here but he'll open six shots off the pace of Scheffler at the top. 

Adam Scott
If you want to ride the playoff momentum, Scott is a top candidate. He's gained 14.8 strokes at the St. Jude and BMW Championship combined which is best in the field among golfers who completed both events. He's also a past champ at the course (2006). Will he keep his foot on the gas for one more week but take it off now that he's accomplished his goal of making it to East Lake?  

Ranking the Field

1. Scottie Scheffler
2. Patrick Cantlay
3. Xander Schauffele
4. Rory McIlroy
5. Will Zalatoris
6. Cameron Smith
7. Sam Burns
8. Jon Rahm
9. Justin Thomas
10. Sungjae Im
11. Tony Finau
12. Matt Fitzpatrick
13. Cameron Young
14. Viktor Hovland
15. Jordan Spieth
16. Joaquin Niemann
17. Max Homa
18. Corey Conners
19. Hideki Matsuyama
20. Collin Morikawa
21. Scott Stallings
22. Billy Horschel
23. Adam Scott
24. Sepp Straka
25. Brian Harman
26. Aaron Wise
27. Sahith Theegala
28. K.H. Lee
29. Tom Hoge
30. J.T. Poston

Josh Culp

Josh Culp joined NBC Sports Edge in 2014. The DFS enthusiast from Iowa State can be found on Twitter @futureoffantasy.