Recap of last weeks bets
|To Win||Shane Lowry||LOST|
|Top 5 Finish||Patrick Cantlay||WON|
Profit/Loss (This week) – Profit of $78 to a $10 Stake
Profit/Loss (Overall) – Loss of $87 to a $10 Stake
On to this week’s event.
It’s the PGA Tour Championship at East Lake, and what a fitting place to cap off an incredible golf season. The final 30 players are going to compete for a massive reward of $15 million and with pre-determined opening strokes to consider, there’s a lot to consider when picking your winner this week.
On Sunday, Patrick Cantlay won a playoff against Bryson DeChambeau at the BMW Championship, securing the No. 1 spot on the Tour Championship leaderboard. That’s significant because Cantlay starts the first round on Thursday with a -10 handicap, as the FedEx Championship rankings reward players who earned it throughout the 2021 PGA season.
Since 2005, East Lake has hosted the Tour Championship. It’s long, but it’s also very straight, so powerful and straight typically wins the day, as Dustin Johnson did in 2020, when he beat Justin Thomas and Xander Schauffele by three shots. Green-side bunkers keep you from completely gripping it and ripping it to glory. Because many of these courses are long, a track record of performance on par 4s of 450 yards or longer and proximity to longer approach shots is a solid indicator of success.
The greens are generally firm and speedy, with water in play on four holes, and birdies are exceptionally difficult to come by. East Lake’s Bentgrass greens were re-seeded with Bermuda to deal with the substantially higher temperatures when the tournament was moved from October/November to September in 2007.
On to our picks for this year…
Brooks Koepka +5000
With none of the leaders showing any form on this course whatsoever, I will look for those at bigger odds, and the odds on Brooks Koepka are hard to ignore. Koepka is usually one of the favorites to win each week but understandably is down in the field this time around due to his starting position. Regardless, Koepka could easily shoot a score in the low 60s on day one or two to catapult him into contention. He hasn’t been fantastic recently, but disregard his last three tournaments; he came runner-up at the PGA Championship, fourth at the U.S. Open, and sixth at the Open before his mediocre run, so he does how to play the big occasion. He does also have a win on Tour this season. The last time he played the TOUR championship in 2019, he came third, and in 2017 he finished sixth, so he has course form too. He has been decent off the tee, solid with his irons, and his putter has been good. If he can improve his game in and around the green, he could have a chance at attractive odds this week.
Top 5 Finish
Collin Morikawa +400
Morikawa has looked like the best player on Tour at times this season, and there is no doubt the world number three has a bright future ahead of him. Unfortunately, he hasn’t been at it over the past few weeks, and it seems like his excursions at the Olympics may have taken it out of him. However, if we include his form at the Olympics, he had five top-ten finishes from six tournaments up until that point. This included winning the U.S. Open, which was his second success this season following a win earlier in the year. Morikawa finished sixth here last year, which is his only outing in this event. If he can build on the way he played here last year and sink a few more birdies, he has every chance of fighting for the title.
Three Chances To Win
Dustin Johnson/Justin Thomas/Jordan Spieth +450
All three players in this trio ooze class, and at these odds, there is every chance one of them could come out of the pack and challenge the leaders. Johnson is the defending champion, Thomas is the Players Championship victor, and Spieth is a previous TOUR championship winner, making this a formidable team.