PGA Tour Picks: Tour Championship Odds and Expert Betting Predictions
Glad to see good-guy and popular PGA Tour player Keegan Bradley win the weather-delayed BMW Championship on Monday outside Philadelphia, although really Justin Rose should have. Rose, though, bogeyed his 72nd hole and then the first playoff hole to give Bradley his first victory in six years.
It was doubly good news for Bradley as he rocketed up the FedExCup standings from 52nd to sixth; only the Top 30 after Monday earned an invitation to the season-ending Tour Championship in Atlanta. It's the first time Bradley will play that tournament since 2013, and those who quality automatically earn a spot in all four of the following year's majors. In addition, Rose, who has been red hot, "rose" to No. 1 in the world for the first time in his career; he's the 22nd player to ever earn the honor.
Just one other player came from outside the Top 30 at the BMW to inside it: Xander Schauffele, who jumped from 41st to 18th with his T3. Two jumping in means two fell out. One was Emiliano Grillo, and no offense to his family but I doubt many people care. The other is 2015 Tour Championship winner and FedExCup champion Jordan Spieth. He dropped from 27 th to 31st to end a hugely-disappointing season.
To me, this is what's wrong with the FedExCup playoff system - which, as I've wrote before, is set to undergo massive changes in 2019. We know it will be shortened to three events, but apparently the points leader at the Tour Championship will start with a staggered stroke lead on the field. Any PGA Tour postseason without Spieth, probably the third-most popular golfer in the USA after Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, is flawed. So is one where Brooks Koepka could win the U.S. Open, PGA Championship, Tour Championship and Player of the Year and NOT win the FedExCup's $10 million prize. Ditto one where Tony Finau - who was deservedly named the final captain's wild-card pick to the U.S. Ryder Cup team this week - could not win a single tournament all year yet win the FedExCup.
It's a good thing changes are coming.
Mathematically, all 30 players in the Tour Championship field at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta could win the FedExCup. Mathematically, Elle Macpherson could stumble upon my Facebook profile and decide to date me out of the blue. Can't say I'm expecting that. (Dear editor, I would be quitting if so.)
Patton Kizzie currently sits at No. 30 and would win the FedEx Cup if he wins the tournament and the moon falls on Atlanta. I'm not going through every scenario because the players from 11-30 really have no chance. Those in the Top 5 in points, Bryson DeChambeau, Rose, Finau, Dustin Johnson and Justin Thomas, would win the FedExCup by taking the tournament.
At No. 6, Bradley would need a win and DeChambeau to finish T2 or worse. At No. 7, Koepka would need a win, DeChambeau to finish in a three-way tie for second or worse and Rose to finish T2 or worse. Just for giggles, here's what No. 20 Tiger Woods needs: a win, DeChambeau to finish T15 or worse, Rose a three-way tie for fifth or worse, Finau at T3 or worse, Johnson in a three-way tie for second or worse, Thomas in a three-way tie for second or worse, and Bradley at T2 or worse.
Usually, the winner of this tournament takes the FedExCup, but not last year when Schauffele finished at 12-under 268 to edge Thomas by a shot - Thomas took the Cup. No player has won that back-to-back. No player has ever won this tournament back-to-back, either.
Golf Odds: Tour Championship Favorites
At Mybookie.ag , Rose is the +700 favorite. He admitted it was a boyhood dream to rise to No. 1, and he's the fourth Englishman to do so. His Top 10 Monday was Rose's 20th worldwide since the start of last year's FedEx Cup playoffs (with four wins in there). He has five straight Top 10s in Atlanta with two runners-up.
Johnson, who lost the top ranking but could get it back, is +800 with Rory McIlroy at +900. DJ has five Top 10s in eight trips to Atlanta. He was co-leader after 54 holes two years ago but struggled in the final round. McIlroy, 17th in points, won the 2016 Tour Championship and was runner-up two years before.
Thomas is +1100 with Tiger and Koepka each at +1200. Woods has won the tournament twice and been runner-up four times. He hasn't played here in five years.
Golf Odds: Tour Championship Picks
No props out yet as all the golf odds were delayed because of the Monday finish at the BMW Championship, and we still wanted to get readers this story on Tuesday per usual. I might have taken Spieth this week to salvage his season as he has a great track record at East Lake. I might have gone Paul Casey, another horse for the course, but he WD Monday with back troubles - I'm guessing he just wanted the day off since he wasn't contending. He's in the field, but that gives me pause.
Let's go with McIlroy to salvage a down season of his own as he likes even-numbered years here and played well at the BMW with a T5. Rose wins the FedExCup.
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