Tour Championship Betting Tips & Predictions – Thursday 22nd August 2019

The PGA Tour season comes to an end this week with the Tour Championship. As usual, the FedEx Cup winner will be decided at East Lake Golf Club with only the top 30 in the rankings qualified to compete. However, there’s a big change in the format with players awarded a starting score based on their ranking going into the Tour Championship.

Justin Thomas won the FedEx Cup in 2017 despite finishing runner up to Xander Schauffele in the Tour Championship. The change in format means that he will have to win this year’s tournament if he is to join Tiger Woods as the only two time FedEx Cup champions. The quality of his play last week and his controversial head start make it tough to see anybody overturning Thomas’ position.

Top Tips

Justin Thomas @ 12/5

Odds correct at time of writing but may have changed since. Check site for latest prices.

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Course Info

East Lake Golf Club has played host to the Tour Championship since 2004. It is a fitting test for the best players of the year on the PGA Tour as it’s a challenging test of distance. The par 70 layout can stretch to almost 7,400 yards. That includes some very long par fours but the par fives are reachable with two good hits.

Power is a plus at East Lake but accuracy off the tee is also vital. Justin Thomas admitted in Chicago last week that he’ll need to drive the ball considerably better if he is to complete the job and win at East Lake. It’s certainly no bomb and gauge golf course with a fair amount of renovation work over the years ensuring that the original Donald Ross design lives up to the rigours of modern golf.

CourseLocationLengthPrize Money
East Lake Golf Club Atlanta, Georgia 7,346 Yards $15,000,000

Recent Winners

The new scoring system was introduced by the PGA Tour to make the race for the FedEx Cup and the battle to win the Tour Championship simpler for fans. Although newcomers to golf will find it easier, golf fans were used to seeing players win the Tour Championship but not the FedEx Cup. That was the case in the last two years with impressive wins from both Tiger Woods and Xander Schauffele.

The main takeaway from the list of five most recent winners is that East Lake is a tough course. Birdies are hard to come by so the winner this week will need the right balance of risk and reward to score well, whilst ensuring not to hand shots back to the field.

YearWinnerTo ParWinning Margin
2018 Tiger Woods -11 2 Strokes
2017 Xander Schauffele -12 1 Stroke
2016 Rory McIlroy -12 Playoff
2015 Jordan Spieth -9 4 Strokes
2014 Billy Horschel -11 3 Strokes

Analysis: Two Ways of Approaching Your Tour Championship Betting

Justin Thomas confirmed top spot in the FedEx Cup rankings heading into East Lake thanks to an excellent win at the BMW Championship. He will therefore start the Tour Championship on -10, two strokes better than Patrick Cantlay who is second and three better than Brooks Koepka in third. The handicap scoring system provides a challenge for the bookies. Their solution is to price up two markets, one with the starting scores applied and one without.

Thomas’ Head Start Too Big at East Lake

Golf fans all over the world have been having their say on the new scoring format for the Tour Championship. There’s no doubt it makes the season-ending FedEx Cup race easier to follow and every player in the field does at least have a chance of winning. However, it doesn’t do much for the integrity of the Tour Championship as a tournament.

Perhaps the new scoring system would have worked better at Medinah last week where the best players in the world were making birdies for fun. As we’ve seen with the recent scoring, East Lake is not going to play easy. Justin Thomas may need to stop spraying the ball with his driver but his iron and wedge play was absolutely phenomenal last week. Given that he has at least a two-shot lead over the rest of the field, Thomas should be able to lean on his strengths to make the most of his head start and claim the staggering $15 million prize awaiting the FedEx Cup winner at 12/5 with bet365.

Matsuyama Ready for Another Big Week in Atlanta

It’s been two years since Hideki Matsuyama last won on the PGA Tour. The Japanese superstar has played some very good golf in that time but he has arguably never been better than during the second and fourth rounds of the BMW Championship. Two rounds of 63 will always be enough to get you into contention but Matsuyama’s Saturday 73 just gave him too much to do on the final day.

That performance took Matsuyama up to 26th in the world and he could be in store for another big climb up the rankings this week. He’s played in the last five Tour Championships and finished inside the top five in two of the last three years. Matsuyama will likely fall short of being able to catch Thomas but he could ‘win’ the tournament without the starting scores being applied at odds of 18/1 with Betfred.

Final Verdict: Justin Thomas to Win

Justin Thomas is only 26 and yet he’s already had an incredible PGA Tour career with 10 wins and a major championship. It’s to his great credit that a disappointing, injury affected season has ended with victory in a playoff event and the chance to win the FedEx Cup for a second time. The new format will pose its own challenges as he seeks to fend off all manner of different challenges from the field but Thomas is more than good enough to see the job out at 12/5 with bet365.

About

The Tour Championships is the final official tournament of the season on the PGA Tour. It's pretty special in that it's limited to just 30 players in total, who have earned their places via that of the ranking points from the FedEx Cup.

The tournament, whilst not part of the FedEx Cup originally, has been running since 1987. The format has always been the same in that the top 30 ranked players on the money list for that season compete, the money on offer hasn't always been up there. The inclusion on top of the $8.75million prize money for winning that tournament, is a $10million bonus that can only be won by a select few players determined on their ranking, winning the event and the bonus prize money.

In fact, a funny story developed in 2017 when the winner, Justin Thomas, had forgotten that the bonus was awarded to players who won the FedEx Cup standings. He was quoted in saying that he "Had to ask his dad" to see if the money had been paid or not.

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