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Best Bets for the Tour Championship

by August 20, 2019

What an exciting BMW Championship we witnessed last week in Chicago. Justin Thomas (featured in last week’s article) was simply sensational and was able to put up a record-breaking score of -25 on his way to the championship. The win brought J.T. into first place ahead of Brooks Koepka in the FedExCup Standings and he will start the Tour Championship at 10-under-par. This puts Thomas into an excellent position to win the $15 million prize pot in the 2018-2019 PGA finale at East Lake.

Instead of golfers winning more FedExCup points in the playoff finale this week, the PGA has adopted a new scoring format for the 3o players that made the Tour Championship. Players will be assigned a score to par to begin the event and the overall winner of the tournament will be crowned the FedExCup playoff champion. To get a better understanding of the way this will work, I have attached a chart below that shows what score each respective golfer will start at.

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STARTING STROKES FEDEXCUP RANK/PLAYER
10 under 1. Justin Thomas
8 under 2. Patrick Cantlay
7 under 3. Brooks Koepka
6 under 4. Patrick Reed
5 under 5. Rory McIlroy
4 under 6. Jon Rahm
7. Matt Kuchar
8. Xander Schauffele
9. Webb Simpson
10. Abraham Ancer
3 under 11. Gary Woodland
12. Tony Finau
13. Adam Scott
14. Dustin Johnson
15. Hideki Matsuyama
2 under 16. Paul Casey
17. Justin Rose
18. Brandt Snedeker
19. Rickie Fowler
20. Kevin Kisner
1 under 21. Marc Leishman
22. Tommy Fleetwood
23. Corey Conners
24. Sungjae Im
25. Chez Reavie
Even par 26. Bryson DeChambeau
27. Louis Oosthuizen
28. Charles Howell III
29. Lucas Glover
30. Jason Kokrak

 

This makes betting quite challenging this week as it will take some miraculous efforts from the lower-ranked players to win the event. However, it is definitely not out of the realm of possibility for the likes of Thomas, Cantlay, and Koepka to be caught. First of all, we will take a look at the course and gain an idea of some key stats to focus on.

Course Preview

The Tour Championship will once again head to East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, Georgia for the culmination of the 2018-2019 season. A Donald Ross Design, this course is a par 70, 7,346 yard-long track that places a premium on supreme iron play. Fairways are more difficult to hit than tour average so ball striking and fairways gained will be key. The golfers will see Bermuda greens that have many slopes and run-off areas.

Key Stats

With only two par 5s on the score-card, golfers will need to take advantage of the 12 par 4s. Six of the 12 are over 450 yards, so long-iron proximity will be key to look at once again. The four par 3s are extremely difficult, as they are super long and offer many water hazards. It will be another true test of golf and I expect a winning score between -15 and -20.

  • SG: Ball-Striking
  • SG: Approach (proximity >175 yards)
  • Par 4s Gained
  • Course History

Best Bets

Hideki Matsuyama (+3500 on DraftKings Sportsbook)
In a bizarre scoring format where players will need to go super-low in order to catch the top-3, Hideki is certainly capable. Coming off of two rounds of nine-under 63s at the BMW Championship, Matsuyama has discovered his game again at the right time. If he can fire a couple more low rounds with his elite ball-striking skills and razor-sharp long irons, I like his chances this week. Hideki has fared well at East Lake in his past, as he has finishes of 4th (2018), 5th (2016), and 12th (2015) on his resume. Looking back at his stats last year on this course, Matsuyama led the field in strokes gained: tee-to-green and strokes gained: approach. Expect Hedeki to feel comfortable here this week again.

Tony Finau (+5000 on DraftKings Sportsbook)
Finau led last weeks’ BMW Championship in strokes gained: tee-to-green, and strokes gained: approach. This is mightily impressive considering the record-breaking performance from Champion Justin Thomas. If Tony would have been able to knock a few more putts down, he could have very well won. This is the type of form Finau will need to fight his way into contention this week and he has two straight top-15 finishes at East Lake Golf Club. Eighth in proximity from the 175-200 yard-range, expect Tony to rack up a lot of birdies and make a charge.

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Nic Turner is a featured writer at BettingPros. For more from Nic, check out his archive and follow him @sportzbandit.