East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, Georgia will be the course of choice for the PGA Tour Championship for the 15th year in a row. Xander Schauffele won the tournament last year, although he didn’t take home the FedEx Cup.
I apologize if you’re already familiar with the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup playoff system, but it can be confusing for some.
Golfers have been collecting points towards the FedEx Cup all year long. Once the playoffs kicked off 4 weeks ago at the Northern Trust, golfers acquire more points for higher finishing positions on the leaderboard.
The winner of the Northern Trust, Bryson DeChambeau, went from 10th in the FedEx Cup points standings to 1st with that victory.
After the Northern Trust, only the top 100 golfers in the in the FedEx Cup points standings moved on to the next playoff event.
At the Dell Championships, Bryson DeChambeau won for the second week in a row and the field of playoff golfers was reduced to 70.
Last week at the BMW Championships, Keegan Bradley outdueled Justin Rose down the stretch holding off Tiger Woods and several others to finish at 20 under par for the weekend. The field of golfers was then knocked down to 30.
That brings us back around to this week in Atlanta. Every golfer in the field has a mathematical shot at winning the FedEx Cup, even 30th place Patton Kizzire. The likelihood, though, of Patton raising the FedEx Cup on Sunday is very very low.
Today, we will focus more so on the golfers that actually have a legitimate shot at Mary Swanson, I mean the FedEx Cup.
PGA Tour Championship Favorites
Keep in mind these odds are only for the tournament winner. I will definitely outline several of the golfers’ chances of winning the Cup as most will need to win the Tour Championship to have a chance at the FedEx Cup title.
Dustin Johnson continues to be at the top of this list, although his last win was 2 months ago at the RBC Canadian Open. He’s currently sitting 4th in the FedEx Cup standings and definitely not the hottest golfer on the list, but he may still be the best.
If he wins the tournament, he will be the 2018 FedEx Cup Champion. He has a reasonable chance of winning with a 2nd place finish. He can finish as low as a 3-way tie for second place and still win the Cup.
Justin Rose has the same odds to win the tournament as Johnson at (+800). Rose, however, is playing much better golf than Johnson as his putt on the first playoff hole with Keegan Bradley this past Sunday lipped out and he had to settle for second place.
Rose is ranked 2nd in the standings and can finish as low as 9th and still have a shot at the Cup.
His best finish at East Lake was when he came in second to Brandt Snedeker at the 2012 Tour Championship as well as a tie for second place behind Jordan Spieth in 2015.
If Rose can shake off the hangover from that lip out on the 18th this past Sunday, I like his chances at the Tour Championship.
Rory McIlroy, on the other hand, secured a victory at East Lake back in 2016 when he raised the FedEx Cup trophy as well. McIlroy drove the ball further on average than any other golfer on the Tour. He will look to exploit that advantage on some par 5’s nearing 600 yards in length.
Rory is ranked all the way down at 17th, though. So, he will need a significant amount of help to win the Cup even with a tournament victory.
Justin Thomas, ranked 5th in the FedEx Cup points standings, was the runner-up last year by one stroke to the aforementioned Schauffele. He is guaranteed the points title with a tournament victory this weekend.
I would definitely include Thomas (+1100) within your betting spread.
Tiger Woods is, without a doubt, playing his best golf of the year and possibly swinging the club better than any of the world’s best right now. He is ranked 20th, though, in the FedEx Cup points standings. So even with a tournament victory, he would need a lot of help for a chance at the Cup.
At (+1200) to win, Tiger has a ton of value here. Keep in mind that he shot a score of 23 under back in 2007 in one of two Tour Championship victories.
Since this performance, no other golfer has finished the 72-hole Tour Championship with a score lower than 13 under when Henrik Stenson won 5 years ago.
Tiger also has 4 runner-up finishes at the Tour Championship at East Lake dating back to the year 2000. I think it’s safe to say that Tiger Woods plays this course better than any of his counterparts.
For sure, put Woods in your betting spread!
Brooks Koepka, as you may know, saves his best performances for the most prestigious of tournaments. He has won 3 out of the last 6 majors he’s played.
(+1200) for Brooks has some good value. I like Tiger Woods much better with the same odds, but Koepka can’t be counted out of any big tournament. I don’t know how he psychologically and physically shows up for the big show so consistently.
Maybe Brooks doesn’t compete in any arm wrestling tournaments the same week as he plays a major. Either way, Koepka can win the Cup with a victory and the #1 guy, Bryson DeChambeau, finishes in a tie for 2nd or worse.
For more playoff scenarios, you can visit PGATOUR.COM who has a complete breakdown of all 30 golfers’ chances of raising the FedEx Cup on Sunday evening.
Now, let’s look at some of the bigger underdogs and their chances to win the tournament.
PGA Tour Championship Sleepers
These are some big names to be considered sleepers, but that’s what happens when you widdle down the PGA Tour field to only 30 golfers.
All of these guys will need help in order to lift the Cup, but I expect nothing less than a sharp competitive edge from the entire field. They wouldn’t still be playing in the final playoff event of the year if they didn’t have that edge.
Billy Horschel (+2500) secured a victory at East Lake in 2015 when he defeated the legendary Jim Furyk as well as Rory McIlroy by three strokes. Horschel is ranked 9th in the FedEx Cup standings and has a very good chance to win the FedEx cup with a tournament win.
I definitely want you to take Horschel at (+2500). He has won here before and has a legit shot at the FedEx Cup.
I talked about last year’s winner Xander Schauffele already. He’s the defending champ and has a decent chance at the FedEx Cup with a win.
Lefty has a couple victories at East Lake. He is still around for a reason. I wouldn’t completely ignore him and at (+4000), why not throw a few bucks on Mickelson?
Last week’s BMW Championship winner, Keegan Bradley, has a great shot at the Cup with a victory as he sits at 6th in the current standings.
We know he is playing well, so throw 10 bucks on the guy to win 500.00.
Bubba Watson can seemingly come out of nowhere this weekend and threaten a win. He has done it before and is ranked 8th so he has a good chance at the FedEx Cup.
There are so many great golfers in this field with a million different scenarios to win the FedEx Cup.
I’m very excited for this weekend. Don’t get too caught up in the college and NFL football seasons taking shape. After this week, there is only the Ryder Cup left for the year.
I wish there were top 20, top 10, or top 5 bets available but with the field down to 30, the sportsbooks aren’t stupid.
We just have the odds to win the tournament.
That’s okay, though. I think we can win some money this weekend even with all the talent inside the field of 30 golfers.
- Billy Horschel (+2500)
- Phil Mickelson (+4000)
Both guys have victories at East Lake in the past.
Include Webb Simpson as well. Those Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets are smart smart people and Simpson has the talent to go along with it.
Have fun with your bets on golf this week. This is the last tournament of the year!
Tour Championship Favorites
- Justin Rose (+800)
- Tiger Woods (+1200)
- Justin Thomas (+1100)
If I must choose one, it’s time, Tiger breaks through with his first of many victories in his comeback.
PLACE YOUR BET!