Tour Championship Analysis & Predictions
Where: East Lake Golf Club, Atlanta
Watch: Golf Channel, NBC
When: Aug. 25-28
The PGA season comes down to its big final event and the conclusion of the FedEx Cup playoff with the playing of the Tour Championship this weekend at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta.
A field of 30, cut from the 122 who started this playoff two weeks ago, will compete this week for a whole bunch of money, including $18 million for the win, the FedEx Cup title and the Calamity Jane Trophy.
Bettors must keep in mind the scoring system in play this weekend.
Based on FedEx Cup points players begin this Tour Championship tournament with a score relative to par, and play picks up from there. Scottie Scheffler, No. 1 in the FedEx Cup standings, begins this Tour Championship at 10-under par; Patrick Cantlay, at No. 2, starts at -8; Xander Schauffele, at No. 4, starts at -6. And so on from there down to KH Lee, JT Poston, Sahith Theegala, Adam Scott and Aaron Wise, who will all begin this Tour Championship at even-par.
But books are also offering betting on what would be the usual tournament wager, the 72-hole low score, plus a ton of other things.
East Lake, which plays to a par-70 at around 7.300 yards for the pros, has hosted this event every season since 2004.
Last year Patrick Cantlay shot 67-66-67-69 to win the Tour Championship by one shot over Jon Rahm. Kevin Na finished third; Justin Thomas fourth; Xander Schauffele and Viktor Hovland tied for fifth; Bryson DeChambeau took seventh; Dustin Johnson eighth; and Billy Horschel and Abraham Ancer tied for ninth.
Last week Cantlay shot 68-68-65-69 to win the BMW Championship at the Wilmington Country Club by one shot over Scott Stallings. Scottie Scheffler, now back at the No. 1 spot in the World Gold Rankings, tied for third with Schauffele; KH Lee, who shot a final-round 65, Corey Conners and Scott tied for fifth; and Rahm, Rory McIlroy, Taylor Pendrith and Joaquin Niemann tied for eighth.
Based on those two performances Cantlay should be a popular betting pick for this week.
Other past Tour Championship champions playing this weekend include Scott (2006), Billy Horschel (2014), Jordan Speith (2015), McIlroy (2016 and ’19) and Schauffele (2017).
Several usual suspects own good recent track records at East Lake. McIlroy won this event in 2016 and ’19, finished T-7 in 2018 and took a T-8 in 2020; Justin Thomas finished T-7 in 2018, T-3 in ’19, T-2 in ’20 and fourth last year; Schauffele won in 2017, finished T-7 in 2018, second in ’19, T-2 in ’20 and T-5 last year; and Rahm finished fourth in 2020 and second last year.
Each week we take a look at the online betting sites and highlight what we believe to be some of the best values on the board, with some picks to click on the weekend. Odds to win and pairings for this week can be found at Bovada. Here’s our take on some of the field at this week’s Tour Championship.
Scheffler begins this Tour Championship with a two-stroke lead and tops Bovada’s Tour Championship betting board at +200. And there’s just no betting value in that.
Cantlay is the second choice at +350, then we come to
Xander Schauffele (13 to 2 to win Tour Championship)
The best value on the board comes with Californian Schauffele. He’s finished T-7 or better, with one win, each of the last five Tour Championships. Also, he owns two wins and a T-3 at last week’s BMW Championship over his last five tournaments. Also, he goes into this Tour Championship at six-under par, only four shots back of Scheffler. And since the adoption of the current Championship format three years ago each winner started at at least five-under par.
Matthew Fitzpatrick (33 to 1 to win)
The Englishman begins this Tour Championship at three-under so he’ll have seven shots to make up on Scheffler. Fitzpatrick won the US Open two months ago, took a T-6 at the Scottish Open and a T-5 at the St. Jude Championship, then posted three mediocre rounds on Friday-Saturday-Sunday last weekend to finish T-48. At 33/1 we like his chances of a rebound effort this week.
Billy Horschel (33 to 1 to post low 72-hole score)
Horschel won this event in 2014, finished second behind Tigers Woods in 2018 and shot three rounds in the 60’s last year to finish T-9. He also owns four top-six finishes over his last 16 events, including a win at the Memorial. He’s probably not going to beat Scheffler by 10 strokes this weekend but he doesn’t need to to win this bet.
Bovada is also offering a slew of combo bets on this Tour Championship. On the “two chances” board the pairing of Rahm and Finau is getting +750. On the “tricast” (trifecta) board the trio of Scheffler, McIlroy and Sam Burns is lined at +5000. And on the “all top-five finish” board the three threesome of Cantlay, Finau and Cam Smith is getting +1000.
Play begins Thursday morning 9:45 local time with the opening loner of Adam Wise (150/1), followed by the twosome of Scott (125/1) and Theegala (150/1).
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