Cantlay Hot for Tour Championship Repeat
The PGA Tour’s last event of the year – The Tour Championship – starts on Thursday and Scottie Scheffler is the favorite. But Patrick Cantlay could make PGA Tour history with one more win.
The final tournament of the PGA Tour season begins on Thursday as the Tour Championship awaits the Top 30 golfers in the FedEx Cup standings.
First place will be $18 million, obviously the highest money given to a winner. Second place gets $6.5 million, and third place is $5 million.
Odds to Win Tour Championship
- Scottie Scheffler +250
- Patrick Cantlay +400
- Xander Schauffele +700
- Rory McIlroy +1100
- Will Zalatoris +1200
- Jon Rahm +1600
- Tony Finau +1800
- Sam Burns +2200
- Cameron Smith +2500
- Justin Thomas +2800
- Sungjae Im +3000
- Matt Fitzpatrick +4000
- Cameron Young +4000
- Jordan Spieth +5000
- Collin Morikawa +6500
Odds courtesy of BetMGM
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Unique Format Top Heavy
The scoring used for the Tour Championship is regular stroke play, but it comes with a twist. Golfers start with an assigned number of strokes before they ever tee off on Thursday.
The amount of “Starting Strokes” depends on where the golfer is in the FedEx Cup standings.
Tour Championship Starting Strokes
|Cameron Smith, Rory McIlroy||-4|
|Tony Finau, Sepp Straka, Sungjae Im||-4|
|Jon Rahm, Scott Stallings, Justin Thomas||-3|
|Cameron Young, Matt Fitzpatrick||-3|
|Max Homa, Hideki Matsuyama||-2|
|Jordan Spieth, Joaquin Niemann||-2|
|Collin Morikawa, Billy Horschel||-1|
|Tom Hoge, Corey Connors, Brian Harman||-1|
|K.H. Lee, J.T. Poston, Sahith Theegala||Even|
|Adam Scott, Aaron Wise||Even|
Because he is first in the FedEx Cup Standings, Scheffler has a tremendous advantage going into the Tour Championship with 10 strokes. So does Cantlay, who is next with eight strokes.
There is also no 36-hole cut in this tournament. All 30 golfers will be playing on the weekend.
Who to Pick at Tour Championship
The obvious answer to who will win the Tour Championship is Scheffler or Cantlay. They begin the event with a huge advantage with the starting strokes.
Scheffler has been up and down in the playoffs. In the first event, the FedEx St. Jude Championship, he missed the cut. He followed that up with a T3 at the BMW Championship.
Scheffler is the only player on tour that won four events. He is first in greens in regulation.
Cantlay is the defending champion of this event. He began last year with the 10-stroke advantage and cruised to victory. Like last year, he won the BMW Championship the previous week.
The 30-year-old didn’t win an event this season before the BMW Championship but he sure seems to be peaking at the right time. Cantlay is trying to become the first golfer to successfully defend the FedEx Cup.
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Other Golfers to Consider
Even though others are at a distinct disadvantage going into the Tour Championship, it doesn’t mean someone else can’t win. One player to look at would be Xander Schauffele. He is third on the odds board at +700 and only four points out of first place to begin the tournament.
Schauffele won the Tour Championship in 2017 and was low aggregate in 2020. His scoring average at East Lake is 67.30. He also has two victories this year, the Scottish Open and the Travelers Championship.
Another golfer I like is Jon Rahm. The Spaniard comes in at 3-under in strokes but his two results in playoff events is promising. He finished T5 at the St. Jude and was T8 at last week’s BMW Championship.
Rahm leads the playoffs in strokes gained off the tee and scrambling. He was low aggregate last year and finished second to Cantlay. At +1600, he has a lot of value.
The golfers you want to avoid are those that are at even par. Making up that many strokes isn’t impossible, but improbable. Collin Morikawa, Billy Horschel, Tom Hoge, Corey Connors, Brian Harman are beginning at 1-under but are too far back to win.
So are the five golfers beginning at even par. K.H. Lee, J.T. Poston, Sahith Theegala, Adam Scott, and Aaron Wise have too much ground to make up. Though they made the Top 30 and will get a nice payday because of it.
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