The Tour Championship and Picks to Win – Betting Odds

The TOUR Championship
Dates: September 23rd-26th, 2010
Location: East Lake Golf Club Atlanta, GA
TV: The Golf Channel/NBC
by Evergreen of

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While you may have already turned your attention to all things football, make room for one more week of golf as the PGA season and the FedExCup Playoffs come to a close with The TOUR Championship. The top-30 on the points list are in Atlanta to take on East Lake GC in hopes of taking home the Playoffs top prize of 10 million dollars. Matt Kuchar, Dustin Johnson, Charley Hoffman, Steve Stricker and Paul Casey can win the big payday with a victory while the other players will need a win and help if they are to take home the cash. Phil Mickelson is the defending champion and crowd favorite but it really is a wide open event when you consider all the players in the field have earned their spot with a strong overall season.

East Lake will test the players with length as the par-70 can play nearly 7,500 yards and features strategic bunker placement as well as quick greens. The course ranked as the 16th most difficult in the Tour rotation in 2009 but will give up low scores as evidenced by Zach Johnsons course-record 60, which came in the 2007 TOUR Championship. The longer players look to have an advantage on the card alone, but look for the more accurate players to gain more and better birdie looks throughout the weekend.

Each week, we take a look at the online golf sportsbooks and highlight a few players that we think can contend. Well pick a short, middle and long odds player and breakdown a few head to head matches as well. Here are our picks for the 2010 TOUR Championship.

Short Favorite: Steve Stricker (9 to 1 odds to win)
Stricker is on the board right behind Mickelson but really should be the consensus favorite based on his sterling 2010 season. Steve never missed a cut in 18 starts, finished in the top-10 on nine occasions with two victories. He now owns the longest consecutive cut streak on Tour at 22 and one look at the stat sheet will tell you why he is a threat to win almost every event. Stricker is certainly not the longest player out there, but he makes up for that by ranking 20th in fairways and really makes his money on the greens where he ranks 9th in putting average and 12th in putts per round. He is currently 2nd in scoring average and his 9th best scrambling mark should come in handy with saving some critical pars this week.

Middle of the Road: (22 to 1 odds to win)
With only 30 in the field, almost everyone qualified for this spot on our picks but Villegas has some juice given his 2008 victory here. Camilo has a win this year at the Honda and has six top-10s while missing just two cuts overall. Hes coming off a nice T11 at the BMW and is definitely flying under the radar as his overall stats from 2010 are pretty average. Still, he has the length to attack the course and he has fared well at East Lake with a T9 in 2007 to go along with his 2008 win.

Longshot: Hunter Mahan (30 to 1 odds to win)
It was actually pretty easy to put Hunter in this pick spot considering he has two wins in 2010 and his T5 in the 2007 TOUR Championship proves he can get it done here. Mahan is 2nd on Tour in total driving so there should be no problems finding the fairways and the approaches should be coming with the short irons. Hunter is 18th in ballstriking and 50th in greens hit which should be good enough to get a bunch of quality birdie looks. The putter has been inconsistent this year, but his two wins show what can be when the flatstick is working.

Head to Head Matches (our pick) *Matches are for entire event. Check with your offshore betting site for single round matches and prop bets.

Retief Goosen (-115) v. Luke Donald (-115) (Goosen)
With a course as long and demanding as East Lake, you have to go with the better ballstriker. Not only is Donald the shorter of the two, but he hits less fairways and greens than Goosen which should be too much to overcome on a difficult course. Goosen makes a few more mistakes on average, but still comes home with a better scoring average.

Jim Furyk (-115) v. Ernie Els (-115) (Furyk)
Els had a great start to 2010 but has been a bit of a forgotten man as hes played out the year with few fireworks. Furyk seems tireless and comes into this match with a huge edge in fairways hit and nearly equals Els scoring average despite making fewer birdies per round. The rest of the stat sheet is pretty even between the players, so this is a case where you go with the steadier player like Furyk.

Good Luck!!