PGA Tour betting: Putter’s paradise to host FedExCup playoff finale

Updated: September 21, 2016


PGA Tour featured betting preview: TOUR Championship; East Lake Golf Club; par 70 (7385 yards); Atlanta, GA, September 23-26 (AET) – selections by Will Chen



The PGA Tour champion for 2016 will be decided in this week’s FedExCup playoffs finale. Just 30 players will contest the TOUR Championship at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta while just five – Dustin Johnson, Patrick Reed, Adam Scott, Jason Day and Paul Casey – are assured the overall title with victory. Once known as the Nabisco Championship, this tournament was established in 1987 as an end-of-season showcase. But it gradually lost its lustre with the big names giving it a miss at the end of a long season and with the four majors decided for the year. The introduction of the FedExCup revitalised the tournament and, for the second year in a row, the game’s best players remain in contention for this massive payday.



Jordan Spieth defeated Danny Lee, Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson by four strokes apiece last year to join an honour roll that includes Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Jim Furyk, Bill Haas, Brandt Snedeker and Stenson since the event became part of the FedExCup playoffs. The tournament was shuffled around several different tracks until finding a permanent home at East Lake (pictured above). Founded in 1904 and the home of Bobby Jones, the course fell into disrepair in the 1970s and 80s until it was purchased by a local charitable foundation and was restored to its former glory by designer Rees Jones in 1994.

Zach Johnson shot a course record 60 on September 15, 2007, at the Tour Championship, but such scores are now almost unthinkable with the greens playing much tougher. There’s a decent formline to draw between East Lake and Sedgefield (venue for the Wyndham Championship) as both feature Bermuda greens and were originally designed by Donald Ross. Spieth (pictured below) has featured in a playoff in the Wyndham while Webb Simpson and Justin Rose also have strong form on both courses. Driving Accuracy is preferable to distance off the tee. Spieth, was the fifth winner in six years to rank outside the top 10 for distance but ranked seventh for accuracy.



He was also ninth for Greens In Regulation making Bill Haas the only winner in 16 events at East Lake to rank outside the top 10 in this category. Incredibly, six of the past 11 winners have ranked best for GIR. An overall strong game around the greens is an absolute to contend this week. Not surprisingly, current form is important in this relatively small field. Dustin Johnson is out to become the fourth man to achieve the BMW Championship-Tour Championship double while in each of the past four years (and on seven occasions overall), a player has won two FedEx Cup Playoff events in the same year.



Confirmed bets (card finalised, E/W = top 4)

Our card carries some familiar names with the exceptions of Dustin Johnson (previous form here isn’t great) and Jason Day (recovering from a back injury after withdrawing last week). On a course where putting is so important, we’re also leery of backing Adam Scott although he’s in otherwise tremendous form. Spieth goes in for sure – he has played this course as well as anybody in recent years, winning in 2015 and losing by only three strokes in 2013. The best value appears to lie with Patrick Reed, who trails only Johnson in the FedExCup standings. He won the Wyndham Championship in 2013 while the past three winners of this event have been second on the FedEx Cup standings coming into this week’s event.

Jordan Spieth WIN-E/W (one unit @ $8.00)
Paul Casey WIN-E/W (one unit @ $17.00)
Patrick Reed WIN-E/W (one unit @ $19.00)
Phil Mickelson WIN-E/W (one unit @ $34.00)
Si-Woo Kim WIN-E/W (one unit @ $67.00)
Kevin Kisner WIN-E/W (one unit @ $101.00)


Most recent results (BMW Championship): 2-0-3, +8.5 units; overall record: 58-3-192, +120.18 units

Jason Day WIN-E/W (one unit @ $8.50) WITHDREW
Dustin Johnson WIN-E/W (one unit @ $9.50) WIN (1st)
Jordan Spieth WIN-E/W (one unit @ $16) LOSE (9th)
Adam Scott WIN-E/W (one unit @ $16) WIN (T4)
Jimmy Walker WIN-E/W (one unit @ $36) LOSE (T13)
Bubba Watson WIN-E/W (one unit @ $41) LOSE (T20)

• Selections are listed in three categories – 1) Suggested (likely bet but yet to be finalised); 2) Confirmed (locked in at the price listed); and 3) Leans (tips, but not recommended bets); all times quoted are Australian Eastern Time (AET); prices with thanks to Sportsbet (except where markets are not available), correct at time of publication. Results/comments on today’s games/races will follow in the next post.

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