- Johnson, Rahm favored after BMW Championship playoff duel
- Simpson, Matsuyama and Finau also worth a look at the sportsbooks
- The FedEx Cup winner gets $15 million
The stage is set for the 2020 Tour Championship, the final event of the PGA Tour season, as well as the FedEx Cup playoffs. The Tour Championship odds for this event have the top two players in the world as the golf betting favorites for this event, and after last week’s playoff showdown at the BMW Championship, we could be in for quite a finale to the 2019-20 season, which was of course, affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The U.S. Open and the Masters will be a part of the 2020-21 season, being held in September and November, respectively.
The tournament will take place at East Lake in Atlanta, Georgia, which has hosted the Tour Championship since 2004. Rory McIlroy is the defending champion. The format for this event is different the rest of the PGA Tour events you’ll encounter. First, only the top 30 in the FedEx Cup standings qualify for the Tour Championship, which is also a no-cut event. Dustin Johnson leads the FedEx Cup standings, which means he’ll start the event with a score of -10. Jon Rahm is second, and will start at -8. Third-place Justin Thomas will be -7, fourth-place Webb Simpson will be -6 and Collin Morikawa will be -5. After that, each group of five players will have the same score, starting at -4 and ending at even par.
Let’s use 2019 as an example. Thomas was the top seed, and started the tournament at -10. However, he actually shot -3 for a total of -13, which left him tied for third. Meanwhile, McIlroy was fifth and opened at -5, but shot -13 for a total of -18 to win the tournament and the FedEx Cup. The grand prize is a whopping $15 million.
Finally, you can watch the Tour Championship starting on Friday, instead of Thursday, since this is a holiday weekend. The Golf Channel will have the action on Friday and Saturday, starting at 1:00 PM ET. On Sunday, it starts at the same time, before moving over to NBC at 3:00 PM ET. The final round tees off on Labor Day Monday at noon ET on the Golf Channel, and then over to NBC at 1:30 PM ET.
Now, are you ready for some Tour Championship Odds?
Dustin Johnson (Tour Championship Odds of +200)
As was mentioned before, Johnson is the top seed. However, history is not on his side. The top seed hasn’t won the Tour Championship since Tiger Woods way back in 2009. Still, you’d have to be crazy to not put Johnson on your sports betting ticket with the way he has been playing. While Rahm stole the BMW Championship with a 66-foot putt in the playoff, Johnson made it a playoff with a 45-footer of his own on the final regulation hole. Johnson has now gone T2-1-2 in his last three starts.
Johnson has been up and down at East Lake, going T29-3-T17-T6-T5 in his last five starts. His game seems to be really tight right now. However, Johnson is 122nd in Shots Gained: Around The Green. If he can clean that up and the putter is consistent, Johnson could run away with the FedEx Cup.
Jon Rahm (Tour Championship Odds of +300)
However, he’ll have to deal with Rahm, who shot 66-64 on a really difficult weekend at Olympia Fields. While his 66-foot bomb was the stuff of legends, Rahm was in total control of his game over the weekend. Rahm always had the talent, but it seems like he is learning to harness his mental game, which was his downfall. It should be noted that Rahm won at Olympia Fields, and he won at Murifield Village. These were the two toughest setups this season, and that is a huge feather in Rahm’s cap. That should make him a sports betting favorite at the U.S. Open later this month.
Rahm has gone T12-T11-T7 in three trips to East Lake, and is playing solid from tee to green. He also doesn’t have to worry about the pressure of being the top seed. Offering a little more value than Johnson (who beat Rahm 1 up in the final of the 2017 Match Play event), Rahm should be popular at the sportsbooks this weekend.
Webb Simpson (Tour Championship Odds of +1200)
Simpson starts four shots behind Johnson, and lost just a stroke by sitting out the BMW Championship last week. He returns for a course he likes as Simpson has a trio of top-five finishes at East Lake, although he was T16 here last year. Simpson has quietly snuck into sixth place in the world rankings and he has been pretty solid since the restart, going MC-1-T8-MC-T12-T37-T3-T6. The win came at the RBC Heritage at Harbour Town.
Simpson is a different player from Johnson and Rahm, two of the longest drivers on the tour. He is just 108th in driving distance, but also 17th in driving accuracy. That gives him plenty of opportunities to find the green (sixth in SG: Approach The Green) and he is 12th in SG: Putting. However, Simpson is 116th in fourth-round putting. Hopefully, that won’t cost him at East Lake.
Hideki Matsuyama (Tour Championship Odds of +2800)
Matsuyama had a front-row seat for Johnson’s playoff-forcing putt at Olympia Fields, and finished T3. Shooting 69-69 over the weekend on that course was no small feat for Matsuyama, who has gone T20-T22-T29-T3 in his last four starts. He was T9 last year at East Lake, his third top-10 in his last four starts here.
Matsuyama has great numbers by way of the Shots Gained metric, starting with 37th in SG: Off The Tee. He is fourth in SG: Approach The Green and sixth in SG: Around The Green. However, Matsuyama is 178th in SG: Putting, although he putts much better in the third and fourth rounds. He had a nice week with the flatstick at Olympia Fields. If it keeps going, Matsuyama could offer some fantastic sports betting value.
Tony Finau (Tour Championship Odds of +5000)
Finau might be a better wager for a top-10 finish, even a top-five finish. He has gone 8-T3-T65-T4-MC-5 in his last six starts. But Finau has now has 32 top-10 finishes since winning the Puerto Rico Open in 2016. He has certainly had his chances and he has made a lot of money, but Finau would love nothing more than to get back into the winner’s circle. He has no pressure on him as Finau enters with a score of -2. Finau is also 7-T15-T7 in three trips to East Lake.
Finau needs to be a little sharper off the tee, where he is 188th in driving distance. He has putted well this season, but while he is 30th in fourth-round putting, it seems like the important putts elude him. Maybe with no pressure, Finau can go low at East Lake.