The nine-tournament fall swing of the PGA Tour is complete, and due to the structure of the FedEx Cup season, the first nine events of the 2021-22 season are complete. There is so much more to come, however, including all four majors, The Players Championship, and other events that pay more FedEx Cup points than a standard tournament. In all, 36 events remain until the three-event playoff begins that will determine the season-long champion.
For the 2021-22 season, 45 events make up the FedEx Cup regular season. The winner of most events receives 500 points. The four majors pay out 600 in points while other prestigious events, such as World Golf Championships events, award 550 points. On the other hand, for events that are contested on the same weekend as majors or WGC events, only 300 points are awarded to the winner due to less competition in the field.
The bulk of the points are awarded to the top 10 in a given tournament. For most events, the runner up receives 300 points, third place gets 190, fourth 135, and so on. Tenth place receives 75 points, and it drops from there with those finishing below 47th getting less than 10 points for their finish.
At the end of the regular season, the top 125 in points are automatically awarded a PGA Tour card for the following season and are invited to play in the first playoff tournament.
This year, that event is the FedEx St. Jude Championship at TPC Southwind in Memphis, Tennessee, which is replacing The Northern Trust in that spot on the schedule. That event has a cut after the second round, and the winner receives 2,000 points.
After the points are tabulated after that event, the top 70 in the standings advance to the BMW Championship, which is being held at Wilmington Country Club in Wilmington, Delaware this year. This is a no-cut event and the winner also gets 2,000 points.
Going into the season-ending Tour Championship, the top 30 are invited to East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, Georgia, with the winners from the previous two tournaments likely toward the top of the standings given the points they earn for winning those events. Golfers are then awarded bonus points called “starting strokes” based on their position in the standings. For instance, the FedEx Cup points leader starts the event at -10 atop the leaderboard, No. 2 is at -8, and so on. Then, the winner of the Tour Championship—combining the starting strokes with their 72-hole score on the course—is the tournament winner and FedEx Cup champion.
In 2021, Patrick Cantlay won the BMW Championship and started at -10, and that was enough to beat Jon Rahm by two strokes in the event even though Rahm was two strokes better on the golf course.
Among the top 10 in current odds, only Viktor Hovland and Rory McIlroy are in the top 10 heading into 2022. That’s because a lot of the big names in golf haven’t played in many events at this point. McIlroy, in fact, has only competed in one event, but it was a win at The CJ Cup, so that vaulted him into a tie for ninth place with 500 points. Hovland has participated in three events, winning the World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba, giving him 554 points in fifth place.
It pays to win, as nine different golfers have won the nine events so far this season, and they are all in the top 10 in the standings. Matthew Wolff, who has a runner up and two top-10 finishes overall, sits in seventh place with 511 points.
The leader at this point in the season is Talor Gooch, who jumped up from 14th to first after his win at The RSM Classic in Georgia last week. Gooch has played in six of the nine events this year with a win and three top-10 finishes, giving him 852 points.
|GOLFER||2021-22 FEDEX CUP POINTS|
is the favorite to win the FedEx Cup at +700, and he hasn’t even competed in a PGA Tour event since finishing second at the Tour Championship in September. While Rahm has performed extremely well in big events, including winning the U.S. Open last year and taking home The Memorial and BMW Championship in 2020, the current status of his game is in question. After losing in the Ryder Cup and then missing the cut at the Andalucia Masters on the European Tour, Rahm said that he was going to take a break from golf.
Most expected him to be back for the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai last week, as he was third in the Race to Dubai season-long competition on the European Tour, but he withdrew from that event as well. One would expect Rahm to be back in time for the big events in 2022, and as long as he ends up in the top 125, some strong finishes at the end of the year can put him back in contention for the FedEx Cup, but he’s currently and unknown and would be tough to bet on with such short odds.
(+1000) Had an impressive 2021 despite not winning on the PGA Tour. He won a gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics in August and helped lead the U.S. Ryder Cup team to victory in September. Prior to that event, he finished fifth at the Tour Championship, which was his third-straight top-five finish in the FedEx Cup standings. He was also incredibly consistent, making the cut in 20 of 22 events last season and finishing in the runner-up spot three times. He’s only had two starts this season with no top-10s, but he’s poised for a breakout 2022.
Sits at +1200 with the No. 6 ranking in the Official World Golf Rankings. Thomas won The Players Championship last year but slumped for much of the summer before coming back to finish fourth at the Tour Championship, which was his fifth-straight top-10 finish in the standings, including a FedEx Cup win in 2017. Thomas has two starts so far this season, a solid 18th at The CJ Cup and a solo third at the World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba, giving reason that Thomas will have a bright 2022.
(+1200) Another stalwart towards the top of the standings and coming off his Ryder Cup performance of 5-0-0, has +1600 odds to win the championship. Johnson finished eighth in the FedEx Cup race last year after an incredible fall 2020 that saw him win the Masters, the Tour Championship (along with the FedEx Cup), and a playoff loss to Jon Rahm at the BMW Championship. Johnson is just one of four golfers to have won in each of his first 14 seasons on the PGA Tour (joining Tiger Woods, Arnold Palmer, and Jack Nicklaus), so it’s nearly guaranteed that he will put himself in good position come playoff time next summer.
Leads three golfers at +1800. McIlroy is a good bet at those odds, as it appears that he found something missing in his game after a rough performance at the Ryder Cup. In two tournaments since, he won The CJ Cup over Collin Morikawa, and the two just recently dueled in the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai, with Morikawa overcoming McIlroy in the final round after the Northern Irishman led for most of the tournament. McIlroy’s win in The CJ Cup came in the tournament with the best field so far this year, so expect him to continue his run and he picks and chooses more events in 2022.
(+1800)Who defended his title at Mayakoba a few weeks ago for his third win on the PGA Tour. The Norwegian has played in three events this year, logging 44th and 18th place finishes before his win in Mexico. He also had two runner-ups last year to go with the win at Mayakoba, recording seven top-five finishes, including a fifth at the Tour Championship. Hovland became the first Norwegian to play at the Masters and reach the Ryder Cup, so he’s used to making history. An increased focus on the PGA Tour this year could mean greater things for Hovland.
The third golfer at +1800 The 2020 U.S. Open champion hasn’t played in a tournament this season, but given that he has won at least once in the past five seasons, it would be a major surprise if he weren’t in the mix once the playoffs rolled around. He did everything but win the BMW Championship last year, falling to Patrick Cantlay after six playoff holes. A win would’ve given him the 10 starting strokes instead of Cantley, and DeChambeau very well may have won the championship instead of Cantlay. As it is, DeChambeau finished seventh in Atlanta to wrap up the season before participating in the Ryder Cup.
Two excellent bets sit at +2000. The first is defending FedEx Cup champion, who is flying under the radar a bit since he hasn’t played in a tournament this fall. His only other action since winning the BMW Championship and the Tour Championship was as part of the U.S. Ryder Cup team in September. Cantlay won three of the final eight events last season and had four wins total, whereas no other golfer had more than two. Expect him to contend for majors this year after he showed the mental toughness to outduel DeChambeau in the BMW Championship and Rahm at the Tour Championship last year.
The other golfer at +2000. The Open Championship winner in 2021 also led the U.S. to a Ryder Cup victory and also just became the first American golfer to win both the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai and the Race to Dubai season-long championship on the European Tour. Morikawa finished second to McIlroy at The CJ Cup and followed it up with a seventh-place finish the following week at the ZOZO Championship in Japan for his only two tournaments this fall. He also won the World Golf Championships-Workday Championship at The Concession last year and took home the PGA Championship in 2020. At just 24 years old, Morikawa has the ability to dominate the tour in any given year, but one thing that might be holding down his odds is the way he finished last season. Morikawa missed the cut at The Northern Trust, was 63rd out of 70 at the BMW Championship, and finished 26th out of 30 at the Tour Championship. Given the way he has played over the last year overall, however, it wouldn’t be wise to bet on another poor stretch like that.
Hideki Matsuyama, the reigning Masters winner and also sitting in the top 10 currently due to a win at the ZOZO Championship in Japan, is at +3500. He struggled for much of last season after the Masters win, but by already having a win this year and showing that he can win big tournaments, he isn’t worth overlooking.
Scottie Scheffler is also at +3500 and is knocking at the door of his first PGA Tour win, as he finished fourth in Mexico and second at the Houston Open after performing well on the Ryder Cup team last year. We’ll see how he does with increased competition in 2022, but odds are favorable right now.
Further longshots include Talor Gooch, the current points leader, who is +10000. He did win The RSM Classic last week, but he’s been anything but a one-hit wonder this week. Gooch has finished worse than 11th just one time in six starts this year, and he has a fourth at the Fortinet Championship and a fifth at The CJ Cup (against a stacked field) to go with his win at Sea Island.
Harris English was one of the best golfers in the summer, but he’s spent the fall battling some injuries, meaning that he’s under the radar right now at +6000. English won two times last season and came in third at the U.S. Open and fourth at the World Golf Championships-FedEx St. Jude Invitational, where he led after each of the first three rounds before shooting at 73 on Sunday.
A major longshot is Kevin Na at +15000, but he finished strong last year, coming in third at the Tour Championship. He’s only played in two events this year without great results to show for it, but he won the Sony Open in Hawaii last year and caught fire in the summer. He finished tied for second at the John Deere Classic and Wyndham Championship, was eighth at The Northern Trust to start the FedEx Cup playoffs, and closed with a third-place effort at the Tour Championship.
With Rahm’s status up in the air, along with such low odds, it does not provide much value to bet on him at the moment. If he does return as anticipated and plays well, his odds still won’t shrink much lower. If 2022 begins and he’s not yet on the course and his odds go up, then it could be worth taking a chance on the Spaniard.
We like McIlroy at +1800, especially since he believes that he’s found his game again, and he also could become the first three-time FedEx Cup champion. His two titles in 2016 and ’19 match the feat set by Tiger Woods, who won two of the first three FedEx Cup competitions in 2007 and ’09.
Morikawa also can’t be overlooked, given the way that he played this past year with the spotlight on him. He rose to the occasion on the final day of The Open Championship to claim the Claret Jug, and he made a similar run in Dubai for his history-making win there last week. He seeks to become the third player, behind McIlroy and Henrik Stenson, and first American to win both the Race to Dubai and the FedEx Cup.
If you’re betting on a champion this early in the season, you want to look for value, and McIlroy and Morikawa provide the best value at this point.
|GOLFER||ODDS TO WIN THE 2022 FEDEX CUP CHAMPIONSHIP (TOUR CHAMPIONSHIP)|
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