Turning Stone Resort Championship preview

After the excitement of last week’s Tour Championship, the PGA Tour heads for New York State and the Turning Stone Resort Championship where Dustin Johnson will defend the title.

Dustin Johnson defends

Lowdown: After the excitement of last week's Tour Championship, the PGA Tour heads for New York State and the Turning Stone Resort Championship where Dustin Johnson will defend the title. The event marks the start of the PGA Tour's "Fall Series" - five events between this week and The Children's Miracle Network Classic in mid-November (the last full event on the 2009 PGA Tour schedule.) The tournament doesn't attract the strongest field of the season so it's a good chance for those down the money list to make some progress towards securing their playing rights for 2010. About two and a half miles from Turning Stone, the course at Atunyote is in attractive parkland and is set over gently undulating terrain, crossed by a stream and protected by several lakes. Atunyote is an Oneida Indian word that means "Eagle." Designed by Tom Fazio and opened for play in 2004, this is one of the toughest layouts on the PGA Tour circuit. In 2008 it ranked as the 16th hardest of the 54 courses visited by the Tour. Last season Dustin Johnson picked up his first PGA Tour title, holing an eight foot putt on the closing green to beat Australia's Robert Allenby by a single shot.

Venue: Atunyote Golf Club at Turning Stone Resort, New York Date: October 1-4 Course stats: par 72, 7,482 yards Purse: $6,000,000 Winner: $1,080,000 Defending Champion: Dustin Johnson (-9)

TV Coverage: Thursday 1 - Live on British Eurosport 2 from 9pm Friday 2 - Live on British Eurosport 2 from 9pm Saturday 3 - Live on British Eurosport 2 from 9pm Sunday 4 - Live on British Eurosport 2 from 9pm

Player Watch: Robert Allenby - Runner-up here in 2008, the Australian is a consistent performer who will be looking to take advantage of the lack of top names on the start sheet this week. Steve Marino - He's had an excellent season and managed to finish in a tie for seventh at last week's Tour Championship. He'll be there or thereabouts this week. Justin Rose - By his own high standards, the Englishman has had a disappointing year. A victory here would go someway to salvaging his season.

Key hole: 18th. A par-5 of 624 yards, this is a great three-shotter. Water must be avoided to the right side and bunkers to the left. Having said this, the landing areas are fairly generous and two solid shots should set up a straightforward pitch to the undulating green. In 2008 it was the easiest hole on the course yielding seven eagles and 155 birdies.

Skills required: Grinding. This is a course where solid rather than spectacular scoring tends to win the day. It's not a layout that produces a huge number of birdies, the man who makes the fewest mistakes will come out on top.

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Fergus Bisset
Contributing Editor

Fergus is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and his passion for the sport was bolstered during his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin (also of Golf Monthly)... Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?