The moment has arrived.
We’re now down to the final tournament of the 2019 FedExCup Playoffs, with 30 golfers remaining that have a chance to be crowned the champion. Put on your finest Ralph Lauren polo, ladies and gentlemen. We’re heading to Atlanta, Georgia for the Tour Championship hosted by East Lake Golf Course.
According to online sportsbook Bovada, Justin Thomas is the favorite to win the 2019 Tour Championship with +250 odds, with Patrick Cantlay in second place at +450. In the third position, we have Brooks Koepka at a +500 figure, while Rory McIlroy is listed at No. 4 at +800. Rounding out the top five, we have a tie between Patrick Reed and Jon Rahm at +1400 odds. Coming in seventh place, Webb Simpson and his +2200 mark fill that position, while Dustin Johnson takes eighth at +2500. In the ninth spot, Xander Schauffele places himself with +2800 odds, and rounding out the top 10, Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama takes tenth at +3300.
For the 2019 edition of the Tour Championship, a new format has been instituted, meaning golfers are now being given their starting strokes based on where they’re at in the FedExCup Playoffs points standings. For example, Justin Thomas will be starting the event at -10, while Patrick Cantlay will be listed at -8. Then you have Brooks Koepka at -7, Patrick Reed at -6, Rory McIlroy at -5, and so on.
Here is the entire list of the Tour Championship starting strokes:
Whoever wins the FedExCup will also walk away with a whopping $15 million, so needless to say, the tension will be incredibly high this weekend in Atlanta. With that being said, Justin Thomas has a comfortable lead over the majority of the field. If one of those players were to come from behind while facing that margin to take the victory, it would definitely be history-making and in the sports media cycle for quite awhile.
With the new system in place, you’ll see that the golfers that are near the end of the list come in with hefty-sized odds. Just some examples: Charles Howell III at +35000, Corey Conners at +30000, Chez Reavie at +30000 and Lucas Glover at +30000. They all find themselves as extraordinary long shots.
It’s obviously almost impossible for any of these golfers to win, but it’s still fascinating to see the books have high odds like that with only a 30-man field.
Coming into last year’s tournament, Tiger Woods would see a stretch where he hadn’t won the Tour Championship in five seasons, and on top of that, he was also coming off of four back surgeries. However, Woods would show flashes of his old self and deliver a huge upset over Rory McIlroy in the final-round pairing. It would be Justin Rose who would grab the FedExCup and the $10 million cash prize, but it would be Tiger who would grab the headlines.
Unfortunately for Tigers Woods (and our viewing pleasure), he wasn’t able to repeat the success from last season and was exited out of the FedExCup Playoffs last week. With that being said though, there’s still plenty of high-profile talent left over that is going to provide us a finale full of fireworks.
Host of the PGA’s Tour Championship since the 2004 season, East Lake Golf Course is located in Atlanta, Georgia and is a 7,375-yard par 70 course. In the 2007 edition of the tournament, Zach Johnson would take control of the 18-hole record of East Lake after a third round 60. As far as the 72-hole record is concerned, that belongs to the recently-mentioned Tiger Woods — he would tally a score of 257 in the same 2007 season.
The PGA’s 2019 Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Course in Atlanta, Georgia — also the last tournament in the FedExCup Playoffs — kicks off on Thursday, August 22 and will be held until Sunday, August 25. The event will be nationally televised and carried on both the Golf Channel and NBC. Dan Hicks, Johnny Miller (or Rich Lerner) and Frank Nobilo will be in the booth for both outlets, while Gary Koch and Peter Jacobsen will be in the tower. David Feherty, Roger Maltbie, Mark Rolfing, and Notah Begay will all be on the course.
The first tee time of the tournament is on Thursday at 11:45 AM and that time slot will feature both Jason Kokrak and Lucas Glover. Other notable times are Charles Howell III (11:55 AM), Bryson DeChambeau (12:05 PM), Tommy Fleetwood (12:25 PM), Rickie Fowler (12:35 PM), Hideki Matsuyama (12:55 PM), Dustin Johnson (1:05 PM), Jon Rahm (1:45 PM), Rory McIlroy (1:45 PM), Brooks Koepka (1:55 PM), Patrick Reed (1:55 PM) and Justin Thomas (2:05 PM).
Here is the full list of tee times for the Tour Championship:
Let’s go over the top favorites to win the 2019 Tour Championship, review their odds for a top-quality betting prediction, and afterwards, I’ll be giving you my personal pick to take home the tournament crown. I’ll also be providing you a long-shot pick to ride with for a major payday.
Welcome to Atlanta, ladies, and gentlemen, where the players play.
There’s a reason why Justin Thomas is coming in as the favorite to win the Tour Championship, and it’s not because he won the BMW Championship last weekend. Overall, he’s coming into this tournament in excellent form. With the exception of his win, he has three other top 15 placements on his resume: 11th at The Open Championship, 12th at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational and 12th at the Northern Trust. His 36th place finish at the Travelers Championship wasn’t the best, but the solid form is still there. Justin Thomas deserves his favorite status.
Patrick Cantlay comes in with solid form, and it’s very similar to that of Justin Thomas. He would put up an elite performance in the BMW Championship taking a second place finish, and has three other top 15 placements to go along with it: 12th at the Northern Trust, 12th at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational and 15th at the Travelers Championship. Yeah, he had a dismal performance in The Open Championship taking the No. 41 position on the leaderboard, but the numbers clearly show that Cantlay is far more likely to give us a good result rather than a bad one.
At one point, and just recently too, Brooks Koepka was in such sharp form with three top five finishes in five appearances, including a victory. He’s still in solid form, but he’s been shaken a little bit. As far as his elite showings, he has a win at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational and a fourth place tally at The Open Championship. After that though, Koepka declines by a good margin: 24th in the BMW Championship, 30th in the Northern Trust and 65th in the 3M Open. I personally think Brooks Koepka is always a solid pick to ride with, but my confidence in him isn’t as strong as it usually is coming into this weekend.
Now here’s the guy that you want to ride with to win, at least up until this point on our list. Of course, I’ll get to my official prediction later, but right now, I’m certainly riding with Rory McIlroy. With the exception of missing the cut at The Open Championship, McIlroy has been in superb form, and I’m expecting another elite performance from the Northern Irishman this weekend as well. Just check out his latest numbers: 4th in the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational, 6th in the Northern Trust, 9th in the U.S. Open and 19th in the BMW Championship. So far, I’m not seeing anybody with as good as form as this, and it’s not even close either. And on top of that, he’s also the only golfer on our list so far that has won a Tour Championship before. Right now, give me Rory McIlroy to take home the Tour Championship trophy.
Well, that momentum didn’t last long for Rory McIlroy with my picks. Give me Jon Rahm instead, his latest form in his last five performances are absolutely sexy. In total, he has two top three finishes, three top five tallies, four top 10 placements and he’s finished in the top 15 in all five tournaments. Would you really expect anything other than sexy from a Spaniard though? Look at the beauty: 3rd in the Northern Trust, 3rd in the U.S. Open, 5th in the BMW Championship, 7th in the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational and 11th in The Open Championship. This man is so close to a victory and so overdue for one as well, and with that being said, I see the Tour Championship going very well for him — and man, those are odds are absolutely beautiful at +1400. Give me Jon Rahm for the win (for right now, and Rory McIlroy comes in a close second). With that being said though, I don’t see anybody doing better than those numbers when it comes to form.
Patrick Reed may not have Jon Rahm numbers, but his form coming in is pretty solid, and he’s even got a victory on his resume to go along with two top 10 finishes and three in the top 15 — four in the top 20, all five in the top 25. His victory would come in the Northern Trust and his next best finish would be a 10th tally in The Open Championship. After that, it’s a 12th place result in the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational. His remaining performances is a 19th mark at the BMW Championship and 22nd in the Wyndham Championship. There’s plenty of value here, so I wouldn’t blame you for taking Patrick Reed, especially at +1400. Solid pick.
He has some elite finishes in his last five, but there’s just too much inconsistency for my liking to take Webb Simpson in a wager. In the Wyndham Championship and WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational, he would be absolutely magnificent with a second place finish in both. After that, it drops off a good distance for Simpson: 18th at the Northern Trust, 24th at the BMW Championship and 30th in The Open Championship. Take him at your own risk, but I would personally keep my money away from Webb Simpson.
Yet another week where Dustin Johnson is coming into a weekend off of a bad performance, yet another weekend where Dustin Johnson for some reason is still lingering among the favorites. I’ve complained about this before, and I still don’t get it. Last week, it would be a 57th place finish in the BMW Championship. And go ahead and check out the rest of his latest form, you’ll see that there’s absolutely nothing special going on: 20th in the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational, 24th in the Northern Trust, 51st in The Open Championship and Missed Cut at the Rocket Mortgage Classic. Again, I plead with you, keep your cash away from Dustin Johnson.
Xander Schauffele may have won a Tour Championship before, but he’s coming into this weekend in not-so-good form. With the exception of his elite third place finish in the U.S. Open, there’s nothing special in his last five, and it’s a pretty far drop off from that third tally. The next best finish would be 19th at last weekend’s BMW Championship, and it would decline from there: 27th at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational, 41st at The Open Championship and he would miss the cut altogether at the Northern Trust. He may have a good performance due to winning at East Lake before, but I don’t trust his form enough coming into this weekend to win the 2019 edition of the tournament.
Nope, don’t even go here when it comes to placing a bet. Stay away. Stay far, far away. Now granted, he would do fantastic last week in the BMW Championship with a third place finish, but the rest of his recent performances are absolutely dismal: 30th in the Northern Trust, 43rd in the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational, and he would miss the cut completely at both the Wyndham Championship and The Open Championship. I have zero faith in Hideki Matsuyama, and I usually never do, and this weekend is certainly no different. I’ll give kudos for what he did at the BMW, but he’s going to have to give me more of those numbers if he doesn’t want me screaming fluke.
With the exception of his 43rd place finish at the Northern Trust, Tommy Fleetwood has nothing but productive results in his latest form, including two elite placements and four out of five in the top 15. With his top showing, it would be a second place finish in the prestigious Open Championship and a fourth tally in the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational. After that, he would finish in the No. 11 spot in last weekend’s BMW Championship and 13th in the Travelers Championship. Those are pretty solid numbers. Tommy Fleetwood currently doesn’t have a career PGA Tour win, but he’s been overdue for quite some time now. He’s eventually going to get that first career victory, and I wouldn’t be shocked if it came in this weekend’s Tour Championship. There’s a ton of value here with Tommy Fleetwood and his +10000 odds.
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