It’s down to the top 30 golfers in the FedExCup Playoff standings competing for the $15 million prize at the PGA Tour’s season-ending TOUR Championship at historic East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta. The points slate is wiped clean for this event, however leader Justin Thomas is given a head start on the field. J.T. is 10-under with a 2-shot lead over No. 2 Patrick Cantlay even before reaching the first tee box on Thursday. The top golfers on Tour colliding also makes for intriguing matchups with odds on those available at top online sportsbooks. For betting purposes, though, the handicap won’t carry over to the matchups.
TOUR Championship Matchup Odds at BookMaker.eu
Jason Kokrak +107 vs. Bryson Dechambeau -136
Chez Reavie +122 vs. Lucas Glover -154
Jason Kokrak -157 vs. Corey Conners +125
Louis Oosthuizen -150 vs. Sungjae Im +120
Marc Leishman -102 vs. Louis Oosthuizen -128
Tommy Fleetwood -216 vs. Kevin Kisner +169
Paul Casey -132 vs. Gary Woodland +102
Dustin Johnson -156 vs. Hideki Matsuyama +124
Chez Reavie +109 vs. Charles Howell III -138
Lucas Glover -127 vs. Charles Howell III -103
Hideki Matsuyama -116 vs. Tony Finau -114
Gary Woodland -161 vs. Abraham Ancer +128
Webb Simpson +108 vs. Dustin Johnson -137
Adam Scott -121 vs. Tony Finau -109
Webb Simpson -130 vs. Tony Finau +100
Xander Schauffele -105 vs. Adam Scott -125
Rory McIlroy -132 vs. Jon Rahm +102
Hideki Matsuyama -111 vs. Adam Scott -119
Matt Kuchar +145 vs. Rickie Fowler -183
Paul Casey -186 vs. Abraham Ancer +147
Xander Schauffele -112 vs. Tony Finau -118
Justin Thomas -206 vs. Patrick Reed +162
Brooks Koepka -178 vs. Patrick Reed +141
Justin Rose -141 vs. Rickie Fowler +111
Rory McIlroy -190 vs. Patrick Reed +150
Tommy Fleetwood -165 vs. Brandt Snedeker +131
Dustin Johnson -160 vs. Tony Finau +127
Xander Schauffele -111 vs. Hideki Matsuyama -119
Webb Simpson -124 vs. Adam Scott -106
Brandt Snedeker -119 vs. Kevin Kisner -111
Patrick Cantlay -160 vs. Patrick Reed +127
Brooks Koepka +123 vs. Rory McIlroy -154
Justin Thomas +104 vs. Jon Rahm -135
Patrick Cantlay +105 vs. Jon Rahm -135
Brooks Koepka -101 vs. Jon Rahm -129
Jon Rahm -180 vs. Patrick Reed +143
Dustin Johnson -164 vs. Xander Schauffele +131
Webb Simpson -133 vs. Xander Schauffele +103
Justin Thomas +121 vs. Rory McIlroy -151
Bryson Dechambeau -166 vs. Corey Conners +132
Patrick Cantlay +127 vs. Rory McIlroy -160
Justin Thomas -120 vs. Patrick Cantlay -110
Matt Kuchar +140 vs. Justin Rose -176
Patrick Cantlay -113 vs. Brooks Koepka -117
Webb Simpson -129 vs. Hideki Matsuyama -101
Justin Thomas -133 vs. Brooks Koepka +103
Dustin Johnson -152 vs. Adam Scott +121
Need to Know
Some have a better chance than others due to the staggered start. Thomas opens with a 2-shot lead on Cantlay and he has a staggering 10-shot edge over players ranked 26-30. Can someone overcome that deficit? Well, it’s possible, but this is the first time the format is used in the playoffs, so it’s all new. When betting on the matchups at BookMaker.eu, the handicaps aren’t included. All that stuff about staggered starts and who has how many strokes doesn’t mean squat. For betting purposes, the entire field is starting at even-par. That won’t make picking winners any easier since the top 30 golfers from the entire season are assembled. East Lake Golf Club became the event’s permanent home in 2004 and offers some of the narrowest fairways on Tour. Hit the ball straight off the tee and it’s an easy layout for the pros. However, that’s easier said than done. Over the last 11 editions, the winning score has settled between -7 and -13, making it tough to gain ground for anyone who falls behind early.
Jason Kokrak -157 vs. Corey Conners
He’s never won a tournament and he’s making his debut at the TOUR Championship, but that’s what makes Kokrak so scary. He’s not going to win the event since he’s starting at the bottom of the list, but he’s got nothing to lose, and that makes him dangerous in this matchup. With a trip to Atlanta on the line, Kokrak carded a bogey-free 69 in the final round of the BMW Championship, climbing two spots to No. 30. He collected five top-10s in 23 starts this season and has the combination of power and accuracy that’s needed at East Lake.
Hideki Matsuyama +124 vs. Dustin Johnson
Given D.J.’s recent struggles, Matsuyama is a bargain in this matchup. Of course there’s always a chance the former world No. 1 can turn things around, but it hasn’t happened and he enters at No. 14, easily his worst spot at the TOUR Championship in five years. Matsuyama had a consistent season, however two MCs in three starts before the playoff were concerning. He shot a pair of 63s last week for solo third, solidifying his spot in the FedExCup final.
Abraham Ancer +128 vs. Gary Woodland
Ancer was one of three golfers to start the playoff outside the top-30 on the points list, and he was the lowest seed to qualify for the TOUR Championship. Entering The Northern Trust at No. 67, Ancer shot four sub-70 rounds for a solo second to vault into the top-10. He also earned a spot on the Presidents Cup team. Not as good last week with a T28 in Chicago, but he’s playing with house money from here on out and I like him against a matchup partner who’s dealing with a new child.
Xander Schauffele -105 vs. Adam Scott
The X-man has been a bit erratic lately, but his play at East Lake is something to admire. And for that reason alone I’m taking him in this matchup. Schauffele won here in 2017 and was T7 last year in his title defense. He chiseled off some rust with a T19 last week, which was his best finish since a T3 at the U.S. Open in June. Another encouraging sign is Schauffele’s career 67.88 scoring average at East Lake.
Rory McIlroy -154 vs. Brooks Koepka
Does it get any better than a matchup between two of the best golfers in the world with a hefty payout on the line? Koepka has to be pissed after losing the lead in the overall standings. He entered the playoffs as the leader in points, but a T30 at The Northern Trust and T24 at the BMW Championship dropped him to third. We know about his play in major championships and this is about as close as it gets. He hasn’t had the best results here either. So, I’m backing Rory in this head-to-head. McIlroy is disappointed in his playoff work, and only he could be unhappy with a T6 and T19.
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