FEDEX TOUR CHAMPIONSHIP
East Lake Golf Club
Par 70, 7346 Yards
Founded in 1904 East Lake Golf Club will always be thought of as the home of the great Bobby Jones with the clubhouse serving as a tribute to his glittering career. From 2004 onwards it has become the PGA Tour’s permanent home for the season ending Tour Championship. A 2013 re-design from Donald Ross and again in 1994 revamp means it has always presented a tough but fair test for golfer’s where there is a premium on avoiding the tough Bermuda rough.
This season the FedEx play off series format changes with the previous two weeks events setting this weeks leaderboard for the Top 30 qualified players. This means the leading player starts at 10 under par this week with the other players staggered as shown below.
FedEx Standings and starting score this week:
-10 Justin Thomas
-8 Patrick Cantlay
-7 Brooks Koepka
-6 Patrick Reed
-5 Rory McIlroy
-4 players 6-10 in standings
-3 players 11-15 in standings
-2 players 16-20 in standings
-1 players 21-25 in standings
Even par players 26-30 in standings
The winner after round four with starting strokes applied wins both the Tour Championship and Fedex Play-off series.
FedEx Tour Championship Betting Predictions and Tips
Over the years at East Lake Golf Club it is obvious from results that most, if not all the top 30 are not inconvenienced by the course. It offers a hard but fair challenge and the best golfer on the week could be any of the thirty competitors with Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson the only players to win twice at the course . This year is going to be different with a leaderboard set for Round one giving the leader of the FedEx play off series a ten shot over players ranked 26-30 for example. This leads me to believe that any players ranked 11th or worse on the FedEx Standings are going to find it difficult to make up the shots against the in form players at the top of the leaderboard.
Justin Thomas is the leader by two shots and a previous winner of the FedEx series in 2017 in what was a breakthrough career year with five victories. Last week’s victory at the BMW Championship was his first tournament win of 2019 a season blighted by a wrist injury and a last day blow up at the Genesis Open. An exceptional third round of 61 last week at Medinah spread-eagled the field and put the tournament to bed. I do believe that third round flattered him as he holed out on multiple occasions from off the green then had a wobble during the final round and I expect at least one pursuer to catch him this week.
His nearest pursuer last week and to start this is the ultra consistent Patrick Cantlay who this season has elevated himself into the elite. We can expect another solid week from the Memorial Tournament champion and will not be far away Sunday I am sure. With those facts in mind I would advise a small bet on him to finish in the top 5 this week if the market becomes available.
Brooks Koepka is winding down a superb season and the last two weeks he has looked short of his best. The carrot of $15,000,000 first prize could be the motivation the multiple major champion needs to end 2019 on a high. He is worth a wager as I believe he will enjoy being the hunter rather than the hunted in this new format.
Patrick Reed plays more weeks than any other top professional often travelling around the globe supporting the other tours since winning the Masters of 2018. The last few weeks he has found that major form and looks to have a great chance this week.
The new dynamic this week means Justin Thomas will have four long days in or around the lead so I am going to advise a smaller punt on the Spaniard Jon Rahm who will enjoy being a hunter rather the hunted. He has been in superb form since a 3rd place at the US Open in Pebble Beach. He won the Irish Open with a late final round charge and has never been placed worst than 11th since.
Best Bet: Brooks Koepka @ +500
Pick: Jon Rahm @ +1400