Tour Championship Final preview and betting card by Danny Speck
Tour Championship Final Golf Tips
Xander Schauffele 14/1 - 3pt e/w 5 places
Sahith Theegala 80/1 - 1pt e/w 4 places
A bit of a frustrating week for my picks in the BMW Championship as Rahm and Niemann both finished in a tie for 8th after I’d put them up each way with seven places. That’s golf betting though and you do get those weeks. Patrick Cantlay seems to love the FedEx Cup playoffs, he became the first player to defend a playoff event since they started after beating Scott Stallings by one stroke at Wilmington Country Club. This victory moved him up to second in the FedEx Cup standings and will start two strokes behind Scottie Scheffler at East Lake who moved up to first in the standings with a tied third place finish at the BMW. Cantlay will look to become the first player since the FedEx Cup began to successfully defend his title. The winner will also take home the massive $18 million first place prize fund.
Well here we go, the last event of the PGA Tour season, the TOUR Championship. Played every year from 2004 at East Lake Golf Club, a 7,346 yard par 70 in Atlanta, Georgia. East Lake is actually the oldest golf course in Atlanta. The TOUR Championship will once again feature a staggered start beginning in Round 1. Beginning in 2019, the tournament adopted a new format in order to ensure that the winner would also be the FedEx Cup champion. The player with the most FedEx Cup points leading into the tournament starts at 10 under par. The player with the second most points starts at −8, the third at −7, and so on down to the fifth at −5. Players ranked 6 through 10 begin at −4; 11 through 15 at −3; and so on, down to numbers 26 to 30 who will start at even par. Ten golfers will be making their debuts at East Lake including impressive rookie Sahith Theegala. FedEx Cup leader Scottie Scheffler will start on -10, BMW winner Patrick Cantlay will start on -8, Will Zalatoris will start on -7 despite withdrawing last week with a back injury and Xander Schauffele will start on -6, four shots back of Scottie.
PLEASE NOTE MY TWO BETS WILL BE 72 HOLE STROKEPLAY MARKET
Xander Schauffele 14/1
Only two players in my portfolio this week for the final event of the season and first up is East Lake specialist Xander Schauffele. Xander claims that East Lake is definitely up there as one of his favourite golf courses and his record speaks for itself and backs up that statement. His 72-hole record here reads 1-7-2-1-3, absolutely outstanding and speaks volumes of how much he loves it here in Atlanta. A three-time PGA Tour winner this season, if you include his win with Patrick Cantlay in the Zurich Classic, he also won back to back events in the Travelers Championship and the Scottish Open, Xander has really found his form this year.
A tied third place finish in the BMW last week where he ranked 2nd on approach and 9th T2G, positive numbers to take into this week. He arrives at East Lake where he has the best scoring average of 67.30. X man starts the tournament on -6 and I actually rate him a good bet to win the FedEx Cup at 8/1 but for me, the main bet here has to be the 14/1 on him to win the 72-hole tournament without the starting strokes.
Sahith Theegala 80/1
My only other player is young and promising rookie Sahith Theegala who is making his debut at East Lake. His first season on the PGA Tour and he has already made it through to the final playoff event in the FedEx Cup, an almighty effort. A solid 15th place finish last week in the BMW to qualify for the TOUR Championship where Sahith ranked 7th for putting and 11th on approach. I know it could be seen as quite daunting on debut at a fairly tough course but debutants have a good record in this, Xander finished 1st on debut, JT 6th, Scottie 2nd, Rahm 7th and I could go on.
There’s every reason why I can see Theegala taking his momentum into the final event of the season where quite frankly, he has nothing to lose. He starts on level par so he already has ten shots to make up on Scheffler and I believe that means the pressure will be off and he can play to try and make as many birdies as possible throughout the tournament. The 80/1 quotes look real value for a player I believe will really kick on over the next few years.