The 2015 Tour Championship Betting Preview Tips and Expert Picks

TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola, Thursday Sep 24 - Sunday Sep 27, 2015 • Purse: $8,250,000 • Winning Share: $1,485,000 • FedExCup Points: 2,000

The Course

There’s just the small matter of the Tour Championship in Atlanta left to wrap the 2015 PGA Tour Playoffs.  While East Lake might once have had a reputation as an “easy” par 70, it certainly does not anymore.  Since its introduction in 2008, Miniverde Bermudagrass have made the 6,200 square feet average greens slick and difficult to score on and completely changed the dynamic of the course.  In winning last year Billy Horschel was T25 in putting.

The key to success on the 7,307 yard track is hitting the greens in regulation and minimizing damage on the par-3’s. Of the top five finishers last year only Horschel managed to go under par for the short holes. My rule of thumb for East Lake: This is one for the top iron players who don’t always get their fair share of putts.

Favourite’s Discussion

Jason Day starts at 3/1 in the betting and his recent dominance has left everyone else trailing in his wake.  Wins at the BMW, Barclays, PGA and Canada leave just one question; can he put the icing on the cake this week?  What I will say on that is that Day's T4 at East Lake last year, included being 5 over par for the par-3’s!!  He was the only player of the leading bunch that could handle the greens 12 months ago and if exhaustion isn’t a factor, and his course management is a little more circumspect, he has the tools to cap the season in style.

Of the favourites Rory McIlroy can be had at odds of 13/2 and with a T2 here in 2014 must be respected.  His T4 at the BMW Championship even with a T47 putting clip, shows his tee to green game is sound and that will go much further this week.

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The Four Best Bets For The 2015 Tour Championship

Henrik Stenson  11/1

Had an uncharacteristic off “greens in regulation” week at Conway Farms (T36 in the stat) when his irons accuracy deserted him but Henrik Stenson still managed a T10 finish to sit nicely alongside seconds at The Deutsche Bank and Barclays.  Won on his only appearance ever at East Lake in 2013 and has the perfect game for a course where you don’t need to be a wizard with a putter to win.  Since 2008 the average winning score has been 8 under.

Hideki Matsuyama 33/1

Hideki didn’t get the hang of the course on his debut in 2014 but comes into this year’s finale with a better all round game and should contend this week if he keeps up his current formline.  A T7 finish last week at the BMW included a T9 in fairways hit and 5th in greens in regulation; two stats that will yield much more at East Lake.  Averaging $170,100 per start on the PGA Tour this year and due a win.

Justin Rose 12/1

Put his missed cut at the Deutsche Bank behind him with a much improved T13 at the BMW last week.  Yet to deliver on late season promise since a T3 at the WGC Bridgestone, 4th at the PGA Championship and T16 at The Barclays but this could be the week.  Great recent form without winning at East Lake with a T4 in 2014, solo 6th in 2014 and solo 2nd in 2012 when Sneds won.

Paul Casey 50/1

There won’t be too many happier men to get back to Atlanta this week than Paul Casey.  You have to go back to 2010 to find the Englishman’s only appearance at the Tour finale and he did well too with a T4 finish then.  Tied first in greens hit in coming T23 last week at the BMW and will could be the sleeper in the no cut 30 man field this week.
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