East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, Georgia, has staged the Tour Championship (closing PGA event ) since 2004. Back then, the tournament has been won by Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Henrik Stenson and Jordan Spieth. Last year saw Xander Schauffele secure a breakthrough when he bet of Justin Thomas by one shot.
East Lake’s par 70 layout has been made tougher in recent years by a switch to Bermuda grass greens. Combined with a rough reward accuracy off the tee, it’s not about power and length. The course is built around a large lake, although water isn’t a factor on the majority of holes. The bigger test is finding the correct portion of the greens, which predominantly slope from back to front. The field is limited to the leading 30 players in the Fed-Ex Cup standings and the highest profile casualty this year is Spieth, who misses out after finishing 31st during the regular season.
The Tour Championship Favourites
New world number one Justin Rose leads the betting with most bookmakers for the final event of the season, with the Englishman available at a best price of 9/1* with Betfred. It’s only a couple of months since Dustin Johnson won twice in four starts, yet he has been pushed down to third in the rankings by Rose and Brooks Koepka. Bet365 and Betfred are offering 9/1* that DJ gets back into the winning groove here, while BetVictor are quoting Rory McIlroy at the same price.
Thomas, the world number four who won the Bridgestone Invitational last month, is at 12/1* with Betfred, PGA champion Koepka is at that price across the board and Woods can be backed at 14/1* with Ladbrokes, Coral and Betfred. Woods previously won this title in 1999 and 2007. Schauffele is at 30/1* with Bet365 to mount a successful defence of his title.
The Tour Championship Tips
No other player has come close to matching the form of Bryson DeChambeau over the closing weeks of the season and the world number eight must be a serious contender to go out with another victory. DeChambeau plays with an unconventional style. But he gets results, winning on two of his last three starts to add to his victory at the Memorial Tournament in June. He has missed only one cut since the end of January, rising from 99th place in the world rankings in that time. In a field of 30 he looks a cracking each-way bet at 20/1* with Ladbrokes, William Hill or Betfred, who are all paying a quarter of the odds for four places.
Jon Rahm may not have hit the same heights in 2018 as he did in 2017. But he remains a consistent performer and has posted four top-five finishes since his second victory of the season at the Open de Espana in April. The Spanish world number seven has missed only three cuts in each of the last two seasons and won the DP World Tour Championship last year, the European Tour’s equivalent of this event. With a Ryder Cup debut on the horizon, he looks a decent price to end his season on a high, at 28/1* with BetVictor, who are paying one-fifth odds for five places.
*(all odds subject to change)