Tour Championship betting tips and previewSeptember 18, 2018 Golf News
The PGA Tour season reaches a climax at East Lake this week. So who does our betting expert Keel Timmins think will carry off the title?
Tour Championship betting tips
McIlroy, Spieth and Stenson have won here when ranked inside of the top-six, but, looking at the historical top-five, it’s clear that you shouldn’t be afraid to cast your net outside of the world’s best – especially when it comes to betting.
The bookies are offering four, five and even six places with one firm. For the latter, you’re getting paid out 1/5 the odds that your player finishes inside of the top 20%. There’s definite value to be had here.
However, there’s a duo of players at the 20/1 mark that I really like.
Tony Finau (20/1, 5 places) is first up. The argument against is a simple one: He’s locked up his Ryder Cup spot and it could be the week that he finally relents, taking his foot off the gas in the knowledge that he’ll be in Paris regardless of what happens.
After all, Finau has never been convincing when faced with the pressures of contention.
The counter argument is: Finau has been playing beautifully all season and he hasn’t had the success that he has perhaps deserved. When Schauffele was nearing the top of the leaderboard at the BMW Championship two weeks ago, there was a very real danger that for all of Finau’s excellent golf this year, he could cruelly miss out on a Paris spot.
Finau was playing under pressure that week at Aronimink, knowing that if Schauffele won and he didn’t, he’d likely miss out. A T8, three shots behind Schauffele, was an outstanding effort given the circumstances.
This week, he’s inside the top-five with the knowledge that if he wins, he takes home the $10m. With a Ryder Cup spot secured, he can play without pressure – allowing him to bag his biggest win of his career and with it, the FedEx windfall. He finished seventh on his debut here last year, closing the tournament with a four-under 66 which was only topped by one player.
Hideki Matsuyama (20/1, 5 places) is my next best.
The Japanese star doesn’t have a particularly great record at East Lake, but this long, difficult golf course should, theoretically, be perfect for him and he showed two years ago what he’s capable of here when finishing fifth.
The 26-year-old struggled with injury earlier in the season, and ever since he withdrew from the Waste Management Phoenix Open in February he’s found it difficult to get back to the form he showed for much of the previous two years.
But Matsuyama finally looks to have turned the corner over the past month. Since he’s finished 11th at the Wyndham Championship, he’s gone on to post a further three consecutive top-15 finishes.
He also contended at the Dell Technologies Championship three weeks ago when finishing fourth.
Matsuyama led the field in greens hit last time out at Aronimink, ranking fifth in SG: approach and ninth in SG: tee-to-green. His game is on an upward trend and I expect to see him be in the mix on Sunday afternoon.
Schauffele won on his first look at East Lake last year, and if we are to get a repeat of that shock result, Aaron Wise (66/1, 5 places) could be the best placed to do so.
This year’s Byron Nelson winner is a terrific tee-to-green player and he’s seemingly figured out his game after missing five straight cuts following his first win in May.
The 22-year-old American finished sixth at the WGC-Bridgestone last month, and he’s since backed that up with a top-five at The Northern Trust and 16th last time out at the BMW Championship on the Ross designed Aronimink.
The 66/1 available looks excellent value.