How absurdly good is Jason Day playing on the PGA Tour right now? The Aussie dominated at the BMW Championship, the third event of the FedEx Cup playoff, last week. He opened with a 61 and never looked back, finishing at 22-under 262 to win by six shots and rise to No. 1 in the world for the first time in his career. Day also kept alive his chances to win PGA Tour Player of the Year honors. It's going to be either him or Jordan Spieth.
Day talked about rising to the world's top spot back in late 2007 with the Australian media when he was just 20 years old and preparing his first Tour season. Some criticized that Day was too brash back then. But he's clearly the best golfer alive right now. Day followed his first-round 61 last week with a 63, setting the PGA Tour's 36-hole scoring record. He led by at least four shots after each round. Day has won four of his past six starts, including the PGA Championship and two of the first three FedEx Cup events. His average margin of victory in his past three wins is five shots. He leads the Tour with five wins this year. Day joins only four others -- Tom Watson (1980), Nick Price (1994), Vijay Singh (2004) and Tiger Woods (1999-2003, 2005-07, 2009, 2013) -- as the lone players who have won five or more times in a season since 1980.
Day also has now posted at least 20-under par in three different events this season. It's the first time someone has done that three times since Tiger in 2006. Day was the +700 favorite at Bovada for the BMW. I didn't pick him to win but did get him for a Top 10 at -135. I also hit on Dustin Johnson for a Top 10 at +150; he was my pick to win but finished T7.
So the Top 30 in the FedEx Cup points advanced to this week's season-ending Tour Championship at East Lake in Atlanta. Four players who weren't in the Top 30 entering the BMW played their way into the Tour Championship: Daniel Berger, Scott Piercy, Kevin Na and Harris English.
Technically, every player in the field can still win the FedEx Cup and the $10 million prize that goes with it. English is at No. 30. So he basically has to win and have a bunch of other crazy stuff, happen, including Day finishing 29th or 30th. That's not happening. The Top 5 in the points are Day, Spieth, Rickie Fowler, Henrik Stenson and Bubba Watson. If one of them wins the tournament, he wins the FedEx Cup. Stenson could win the Cup without having a single tournament victory all season. He can finish as low as T3 and still have a mathematical shot at it. Day would win the Cup with a Top 5 finish and if one of the other four guys in the Top 5 don' t win.
One guy who won't be winning the tournament or the FedEx Cup is Jim Furyk, the 2010 FedEx Cup winner. He had to withdraw from the BMW Championship after only six holes due to injury and isn't playing this week. It's not clear if he will be healthy enough to play in the Presidents Cup in a few weeks, either. Furyk was slated to play with Hideki Matsuyama in the first round. Now Matsuyama will now play as a single on Thursday.
Golf Odds: Tour Championship Favorites
To no surprise, Day is the +350 Bovada favorite as he attempts to become the first player ever to win the three playoff events in one season. If he wins here, you have to give him Player of the Year even though Spieth won the Masters and U.S. Open. Day was T4 here last year.
Rory McIlroy is +650. He was T4 last week, his best result since that ankle injury. McIlroy was T2 here last year. Spieth is +800. After back-to-back missed cuts to open the playoffs, he was T13 at the BMW. Spieth was 27th here a year ago and second in 2013.
Stenson (+1000) and Justin Rose (+1100) round out the favorites. Stenson was T10 last year and won the Tour Championship and FedEx Cup in 2013, his only other appearance at East Lake. Rose hasn't been worse than sixth at the Tour Championship the past three years.
PGA Tour Picks: Tour Championship Expert Betting Predictions
Bovada also is offering Top 4 finish odds, but I'll stick with Top 10. Go with Day (-500), Stenson (-200), Johnson (-110) and Rose (+150). Head-to-head, I like Day (-140) over McIlroy (+110), Rose (-110) over Rickie Fowler (-120), Stenson (-110) over Spieth (-120), and Matsuyama (+110) over Watson (-140).
For top American, I like Johnson (+700). Go with Rose at +225 as top European. I'll say Day wins the FedEx Cup but that Rose takes the tournament. He's 12th in points and to win the Cup would need that victory, Day to finish in a three-way tie for sixth or worse, Spieth to finish T4 or worse, Fowler to finish T3 or worse, Stenson to finish in a three-way tie for second or worse and Watson to finish T2 or worse.
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