The PGA Tour officially comes to an end this week with the Tour Championship in Atlanta, although the next ‘wraparound’ season is just a fortnight away, writes Phil Casey.
Limited to the top 30 players in the FedEx Cup standings, the lucrative event at East Lake will decide which player wins the overall FedEx Cup title and $10million bonus, with the top five knowing that victory on Sunday will guarantee them the massive payday.
In theory all 30 players can still win the overall title, but the further down the list you go, the more help is required from elsewhere.
And even though we have the second smallest field of the season, picking a winner is not necessarily any easier given that, by definition, most of the field have to be in some sort of form to have made it this far.
Jordan Spieth is the favourite at 5/1 and that is hardly surprising since he won here in 2015 and was second on his debut in 2013, while his form figures in the play-offs read 2-2-7.
An opening 65 when tipped at 13/2 last week gave us hope of victory but the Open champion quickly faded out of the picture and still finished 10 shots behind winner Marc Leishman despite another 65 on day four.
So with that in mind, the first of our Tour Championship betting predictions is a man who has provided us with two wins already this season, namely world number one Dustin Johnson.
Johnson was a distant 33rd at Conway Farms but crucially closed with a superb 64 to hopefully set up a repeat of the pattern established before his most recent victory.
A final round of 67 in the US PGA left Johnson in buoyant mood as he left Quail Hollow and he won the Northern Trust Open on his next start, overturning a five-shot deficit in the final round and beating Spieth in a play-off.
Johnson has course form of 5-5-6 at East Lake and saw the title snatched from him last year by Rory McIlroy, which should give plenty of extra motivation to make amends this time around at odds of 8/1.
Our next Tour Championship selection has even better course form in his favour, Olympic champion Justin Rose’s stats reading 2-6-4-2, with those runners-up finishes coming in 2012 and 2015.
Rose has failed to win so far this season and famously missed out on a second major title after losing a play-off in the Masters, but has rounded into form with 10th-place finishes in the first two play-off events and second place behind Leishman last week. Rose can be backed in the Tour Championship betting at 12/1.
And sticking with the horses for courses theme, one of last year’s runners-up Kevin Chappell completes our Tour Championship betting tips at what could prove a rather generous 28/1.
Chappell was two shots clear with two holes to play last year before a costly bogey on the 71st allowed a charging McIlroy and Ryan Moore to reel him in, while a par on the first play-off hole was not enough to stay alive.
After claiming his first PGA Tour title earlier this season, Chappell has recorded three more top-10 finishes and comes into the event on the back of a tie for 12th in the BMW Championship.
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