Duel Set Between Scheffler and Defending Champ Cantlay for FedEx Cup at the 2022 Tour Championship
The FedEx Cup for the 2021-22 PGA Tour season will be decided this weekend at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, Georgia, during the annual Tour Championship. The tournament features the top 30 in the FedEx Cup standings, and each golfer is assigned “starting strokes” based on their position in the standings. There is no cut for this limited-field event.
The Tour Championship has been played since 1987 with the site rotating until it settled in at East Lake starting in 2004. Tiger Woods holds the record with three wins and also the lowest 72-hole score with a 23-under 257 in 2007. Rory McIlroy and Phil Mickelson are the only other multi-time winners of the event.
For the first time since this format began in 2019, the points leader is not a golfer who won one of the two playoff events, where more points are earned for a victory than during a typical stop on the tour. Scottie Scheffler finished in third place last week and won four times in the regular season (including at the Masters, WGC Match Play, and Arnold Palmer Invitational—all events that issued more points than most events), and he leads the standings over Patrick Cantlay, who successfully defended his 2021 title at the BMW Championship by winning it again last week.
Check here the 2023 Tour Championship Betting Odds, Field & Betting Picks
10 under: Scottie Scheffler
8 under: Patrick Cantlay
7 under: Will Zalatoris (withdrawn)
6 under: Xander Schauffele
5 under: Sam Burns
4 under: Cameron Smith, Rory McIlroy, Tony Finau, Sepp Straka, Sungjae Im
3 under: Jon Rahm, Scott Stallings, Justin Thomas, Cameron Young, Matt Fitzpatrick
2 under: Max Homa, Hideki Matsuyama, Jordan Spieth, Joaquin Niemann, Viktor Hovland
1 under: Collin Morikawa, Billy Horschel, Tom Hoge, Corey Conners, Brian Harman
Even par: K.H. Lee, J.T. Poston, Sahith Theegala, Adam Scott, Aaron Wise
In the three years that starting strokes have been used, the leader going in won the last two years (Patrick Cantlay last year, Dustin Johnson in 2020). In 2019, Rory McIlroy started at -5 and won the event by four strokes.
East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta opened in 1908 and was overhauled by Donald Ross in 1913. After a renovation for the 1963 Ryder Cup, the Ross design was restored in 1994. The course hosted the Tour Championship in 1998, 2000, ’02, and from ’04 to the present day.
The course is a par 70 and measures 7,346 yards. Hole 18 for members is a par 3, but to make the conclusion more exciting, the front and back nines are flipped for the pros. This makes the 18th a par-5, 590-yard beast with an approach that has water to be contended with if the players are trying to reach the green in two.
Scottie Scheffler (+175) will start with a two-stroke head start over Patrick Cantlay (+375), who is the defending champion of this event. Scheffler hasn’t won since the Masters in April, but he’s had several top-five finishes since then, including at the U.S. Open and a third last week at the BMW Championship, plus he’s led the playoffs in Greens in Regulation. If he’s on target this weekend, Cantlay will have to charge to beat him.
Cantlay had the head start last year and was four strokes ahead of Jon Rahm going in. Rahm closed the deficit to one and birdied 18 to force Cantlay to do the same, which he did for the win. After Cantlay’s win last week and cool-under-pressure performance here last year, he’ll be taken seriously this week.
With Will Zalatoris having withdrawn due to a back injury, Xander Schauffele (+700) starts in third place and has had plenty of success at East Lake. He won here in 2017 and also finished with the lowest 72-hole score in 2020. Schauffele also has two wins and a third (last week) over his last five tournaments.
Rory McIlroy (+1000) is looking to become the first three-time FedEx Cup champ, but he will have to gain six strokes on Scheffler in order to do it. He did win in 2019 after starting at -4, so having done it before, there’s no reason he can’t do it again. He’s been money in the big events this year (top 5s in three majors, a top 10 in the other, and eighth last week), but he missed the cut at the FedEx St. Jude Championship, which was costly to him in the standings.
Jon Rahm (+1400) has not had a season that was expected of him, winning just once this year. After one top-5 finish (a win at the Mexico Open) since February, Rahm has turned it on in the playoffs, finishing fifth and eighth over the last two weeks, and he was tied for the lowest 72-hole score here last year.
All other players are facing odds of +2000 or longer. Cameron Smith (+2500) didn’t play last week, but it doesn’t appear that his hip injury is major. In what could be his final event on the PGA Tour (he’s heavily rumored to be joining LIV Golf after the Presidents Cup), Smith has had a career year. He won the Open Championship, The Players Championship, and the Sentry Tournament of Champions against elite fields, and he was third at the Masters and led the FedEx St. Jude Championship at the halfway point.
Sungjae Im (+2500) has been known to rattle off birdies, and he’s been at par or better in 16-straight rounds now, which includes two runner-up finishes in that span.
For a major longshot, Adam Scott is at +9000 and starting at even par. But for someone who was 77th in the standings going into the first playoff event, rising into the top 30 has been a major feat. He did so by finishing fifth in each of the last two weeks. The 42-year-old Australian won here in 2006, and while he’s only played in this event three times since 2014, he’s scored a top-10 each time, including a sixth in his last appearance in 2019.
Among the big favorites, we favor Cantlay over Scheffler based on the defending champ’s experience here. Schauffele and Rahm are our mid-range picks and Smith is the longshot pick.
Here are the latest odds from JazzSports for the 2022 Tour Championship on the PGA Tour.
|GOLFER||ODDS TO WIN THE 2022 TOUR CHAMPIONSHIP|
Check out the 2022 Tour Championship Round 1 Recap & Round 2 Preview