PGA Tour: The Tour Championship Preview

Golfer lines up shot

We preview this week's PGA Tour Championship taking place at the East Lake Golf Course in Atlanta from 20-23 September.

The last stop on the PGA Tour sees the top 30 golfers descend on East Lake for the Tour Championship. The culminating event in the FedEx Cup series will allow the current top 5 in the standings the opportunity to win the FedEx Cup- and the accompanying 10 million dollar bonus- should they win the event.

Every player- including bubble boy Dufner in 30th spot- will have a mathematical chance of capturing the title, but we are getting into almost absurd permutations at that stage. It’s a concept so quintessentially American and should offer a fitting end to the season proper.

PGA Tour Championship | 20 September - 23 September | East Lake Golf Course, Atlanta

East Lake- at just a touch under 7,400 yards- is a far tougher entity to what it had become at the turn of the century. Dating back to 1904, East Lake has been remodeled by various architects over the years- notably by Donald Ross in 1913. Zach Johnson shot a 60 here in 2007, while Tiger amassed an astonishing 23 under par total. But the transition to Bermuda greens has definitely altered the perception that this has become something of a shooting gallery. The permanent home of the event since 2004- East Lake provides a solid test of ball striking and touch that serves as a fitting climax to what has been a sensational season.

I’ve always found this a rather strange event to watch- with only 30 players competing. It does give the American TV juggernaut the opportunity to indulge its worst advertisement impulses, but can feel quite stagnate. That being said, Rory’s finish last season did add some gloss to proceedings. This event has been billed as a duel between great friends Spieth and Thomas, with Dustin Johnson’s form taking quite a dip in the wake of that victory at the Northern Trust. But spare a thought for last week’s champion Mark Leishmann. The journeyman Aussie has been the model of consistency and could pose a real threat.

Past Winners
2016: Rory McIlroy (-12)*playoff
2015: Jordan Spieth (-9)
2014: Billy Horschel (-11)
2013: Henrik Stenson (-13)
2012: Brandt Snedeker (-10)

To Win Outright: Jordan Spieth 5/1, Dustin Johnson 15/2, Ricky Fowler 15/2, Jon Rahm 9/1, Jason Day 10/1

Bet now on this golf tournament with Hollywoodbets and Mobile Betting. Covering the PGA, European Tour and Majors.

Value Bets 

Justin Rose- To Win (14/1), To Place (7/2)
Clearly that playoff defeat to Garcia at Augusta has left a mark on the Englishman. His form took a terrible dip after that, yet he seems to have found something of late. He was tied for 10th at the Northern Trust and the Dell Technologies. He then went on to a runner-up spot in last week’s BMW. Additionally, take a look at his record in Atlanta. Take away the fact he never made it here last season, and his recent form reads 2nd, 4th, 6th and 2nd. With both course form and recent form, he looks a great bet at 14/1.

Mark Leishman- To Win (20/1), To Place (5/1)
It’s really unbelievable that Leishmann is currently sitting at 20/1, especially considering his 5 shot victory at the BMW. Over the course of the last decade, four players who have won the BMW have gone on to double up at East Lake. Leishmann may have only finished 28th in his only appearance here, but he currently looks to be playing some of the best golf of his life. The Arnold Palmer and BMW Champion has five top 5’s this season, including his victory last week and a solo 3rd place finish at the Dell Tech in the previous event. This looks like astounding value for a guy who has the extra motivation of playing for a 10 million dollar bonus.

Kyle Stanley- To Win (140/1), To Place (35/1)
Stanley’s form may have dipped slightly in the last few months, but he looks an extremely decent bet at the lower end of the market. His mid-summer win may seem like something of distant memory, but he was actually leading the Dell Technologies After the first and second round. Making his East Lake debut, Stanley is one of the most reliable drivers on the tour. He leads the field in both greens and proximity and has a reputation for taming tough courses. His playoff victory over Charles Howell III at the Quicken Loans National came on one of the toughest course all season. It may not look like the most attractive pick on paper, but Kevin Chappell almost pulled it off last year.

Written by Damien Kayat for @Hollywoodbets

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