PGA Tour Championship Betting Preview

2013 PGA Tour Championship
Thursday, September 19- Sunday, September 22, 2013, TV: Golf Channel, NBC
East Lake Golf Club – Atlanta, Georgia
Par 70 – 7,154 yards
Defending Champion: Brandt Snedeker
All Odds courtesy of Bookmaker

Zach Johnson won the BMW championship last week and is one of 30 golfers going for the FedEx Cup at the Tour Championship.
Zach Johnson won the BMW championship last week and is one of 30 golfers going for the FedEx Cup at the Tour Championship.

The FedEx Cup playoffs come down to the Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta. The top 30 golfers in the standings will compete for not only the tournament but for the 10 million dollar prize for winning the playoffs. The top five golfers in the standings Tiger Woods, Henrik Stenson, Adam Scott, Zach Johnson, and Matt Kuchar will win the FedEx Cup with a win in the Tour Championship. The other 25 golfers need some sort of help to claim the Cup.

The Tour Championship returns to East Lake for the 22nd time. East lake is best known as the home course of the legendary Bobby Jones, and was built in 1904.  The Par 70 course  measures 7,154 yards. It was rated the sixth most difficult Par 70 course on tour last year. The course management team widened 9 fairways from last year after Brandt Snedeker won both the Tour Championship and FedEx Cup  by 3 strokes over Justin Rose. The wider fairways could put more of the fairway bunkers in play though. Rain and thunderstorms are possible all weekend. The temps shouldn’t rise above the early 80’s and wind shouldn’t be a factor.

Let’s take a look at the contenders to win and some of the head to head match-ups with odds courtesy of bookmaker.

Tiger Woods (+485)

Tiger tied for second at the Barclays, tied for 65th at the Deutsche Bank and tied for 11th at the BMW Championship last week in Chicago. He had a two stroke penalty at the BMW last week after his ball moved slightly before he could strike the ball and he didn’t report it. Tiger regained the #1 seed in the FedEx Standings after failing to second after the Deutsche Bank 14 points behind winner Henrik Stenson. Tiger has 5 wins and 3 other top 10’s including at the Masters and Open Championship. He has won this event twice in 1999 and 2007. He has 3 seconds and a tie for 8th last year in his last 5 trips to East Lake along with the 2007 win. Woods is -185 to beat Phil Mickelson and -155 to beat Adam Scott. I think a top 5 is a good possibility for Tiger, and that could be enough to win the FedEx Cup if one of the other top 5 doesn’t win.

Adam Scott (+1015)

Scott won the Barclays, but tied for 53rd at the Deutsche Bank. Before that he had 4 straight top 15 finishes. He rebounded with a tie for 6th at the BMW last week. He is the #3 seed in the FedEx Cup playoffs. He won the Masters, and also had top 5’s at the British Open and PGA Championships, along with 4 other tens. Scott won here in 2006, but only has won more top 15 since then. Scott is -155 to beat Stenson and +135 to beat Woods. Scott should have a top 10 at least.

Hunter Mahan (+1625)

Mahan is 15th in the standings, with 15 top 25’s and 5 top 10’s. Mahan had top 10’s at both the U.S. and British Opens. In the playoffs, he tied for 25th at the Barclays, tied for 13th at the Deutsche Bank, and tied for fourth at the BMW. He has 3 top tens in 10 tries at East Lake including a second in 2011. Mahan is -110 against Snedeker and -115 against Sergio Garcia. I like Mahan in both of those match-ups and he has a good shot at winning.

Luke Donald (+1625)

Donald is 29th in the FedEx standings with 5 top 10’s this season. Donald tied for 41st at both the Barclays and the Deutsche Bank. He was in danger of missing the Tour Championship but a tie for fourth at his home course of Conway Farms last week at the BMW was good enough to squeeze him in at East Lake. Donald has top 3 finishes here the last 3 years. Donald is even money against Stenson and I like Donald to beat Garcia at -120.

Phil Mickelson (+1800)

Mickelson tied for sixth at the Barclays and tied for 41st at the Deutsche Bank despite shooting an opening round 63. He tied for 33rd at Conway Farms last week.  Mickelson is now eighth in the FedEx standings.  Mickelson has 2 wins, 2 runner-ups, and 2 thirds in 20 events. He won the Open Championship and came in second at the U.S. Open. Mickelson is a two time winner at East lake in 2000 and 2009. He is +180 against Tiger Woods and +110 against Justin Rose. Mickelson has struggled since winning the British Open with only one top 20 finish. I don’t see him contending this week.

Justin Rose (+1826)

Rose is 9th in the standings. He tied for second at the Barclays and tied for 16th at the Deutsche Bank. Rose tied for 23rd at the BMW. Rose has a win at the U.S. Open and 6 other top 10’s. He finished a solo second at east lake last year despite being tied for the lead after 18 and 54 holes. Rose is -130 to beat Mickelson and -104 against Jim Furyk. I like Rose in both of those match-ups and he should be in contention.

Jordan Spieth (+1826)

The 20 year old Spieth has had an incredible rookie year. He has a win, 2 other runner ups, and 6 more top 10’s. He tied for 19th at the Barclays, tied for 4th at the Deutsche Bank, and tied for 16th at the BMW.  Spieth is 13th in the FedEx Standings and was named a Captain’s pick for the President’s Cup. This is his first Tour Championship but should be one of many. Spieth is +117 to beat Jason Day and +115 against Charl Schwartzel. I like Spieth as an underdog in both of those match-ups.

Steve Stricker (+1827)

Stricker is 6th in points with 7 top 10’s this season and no wins. Stricker missed out on one of the top 5 seeds by 100 points behind Matt Kuchar.  He has top 12 finishes in his last six starts world wide. Stricker was the runner up at the Deutsche Bank after skipping the Barclays. He tied for fourth at the BMW. Stricker is -125 to beat Jim Furyk and -152 against Zach Johnson. I like Stricker against Furyk.

Brandt Snedeker (+1827)

Snedeker is both the defending Tour Champion and also won the FedEx Cup last year. He is 10th coming into East Lake this year. He has 2 wins, 2 seconds, a third, and four other top 10’s including a tie for 8th at the BMW last week. Snedeker led after 18 holes at Conway Farms and was tied for the lead at the midway point. He missed the cut at the Barclays and tied for 47th at the Deutsche Bank. Snedeker is -130 against Jason Dufner and +105 against Mahan. I like Snedeker to beat Dufner.

Zach Johnson (+2063)

Johnson moved into fourth place in the standings with his win last week at Conway Farms all the way up from #27. He skipped the Barclays and tied for 27th at the Deutsche Bank. Johnson has 7 top tens this season including at the British Open and PGA Championships. Johnson has 2 top tens at East Lake including a tie for second  in 2007. Johnson is -110 to beat Matt Kuchar and +132 against Stricker.

Jason Day (+2065)

Day is 14th in the FedEx Standings with 7 top 10’s, including at the Masters, US Open, and PGA Championship. He finished third at the Masters and tied for second at the US Open. He has made 24 straight cuts, and finished tied for 25th at the Barclays and tied for 13th at TPC Boston. He tied for fourth at the BMW. He tied for sixth at East Lake in 2011, in his only other appearance in the Tour Championship. Day is -135 against Kuchar and -137 against Spieth. Day should contend this week.

Matt Kuchar (+2266)

Kuchar Tied for 19th at the Barclays and tied for fourth at the Deutsche Bank. Kuchar tied for 24th at the BMW after a final round 73.  He is fifth in the FedEx Standings with 2 wins, 2 runner ups and 4 more top 10’s. He has made 26 straight cuts. He only has one top 10 in previous trips to East Lake. Kuchar is -110 against Zach Johnson and +115 against Day. I don’t see Kuchar contending this week on a course at which he has struggled in the past.

Jim Furyk (+2267)

Furyk is 11th in the FedEx Standings. He tied for third last week at the BMW after shooting a second round 59. Furyk has 3 top 3 finishes and 4 other top 10’s. Furyk has top 10’s in 5 of his last 6 events, including a runner up at the PGA Championship and a tie for sixth at the Barclays. He tied for 27th at the Deutsche Bank. Furyk won the FedEx Cup in 2010 by winning this event. Furyk is -116 to beat Rose and +105 against Stricker.

Henrik Stenson (+2268)

Stenson won the Deutsche Bank. He has 5 top 3 finishes in his last 7 starts world wide, including at the British Open and PGA Championships. The only exceptions were a tie for 43rd at the Barclays and a tie for 33rd at the BMW. Stenson has 7 top ten’s this season. He leads the tour in greens in regulation and is in the top 5 in total driving and the all-around. Stenson is making his debut at East Lake. Stenson is +140 against Scott and +105 against Donald.

Other contenders and their odds include Charl Schwartzel (+2573), Sergio Garcia (+2979), Jason Dufner and Nick Watney ( both+3285), Keegan Bradley (+3286), Graham DeLaet (+3592), and Bill Haas (+3593).

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