According to the latest odds at Spreads.ca, most bettors are expecting Scottie Scheffler and Patrick Cantlay to battle it out in Atlanta for the trophy.
Professional golf may be in a current state of turmoil with the controversy about competing tours, global geopolitics, and the allure of unprecedented prize money, but an old tradition will continue this weekend with the return of the 2022 PGA Tour Championship.
After 12 long months, 44 tour events, and tens of millions of prize money won, this is the only major event remaining on the 2021-22 PGA schedule. The annual event is hosted at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta and is limited to the top 30 players in the FedEx Cup standings, making it one of the toughest fields of the entire golf season.
The super-select limited field isn’t the only unique aspect of the Tour Championship. The prize money purse is the largest of the season, with $75 million up for grabs, and the field starts with handicapped scores as well.
The idea of a handicapping system is intended to reward players for their season-long performance in the FedEx Cup. Prior to 2019, the Tour Championship winner wasn't necessarily the FedEx Cup champion, which made for some awkward dual award ceremonies on the 18th green. This new system eliminates that possibility and ensures that the winner of the final event of the season is also the season-long FedEx Cup champion.
Scheffler and Cantlay Tee-Off as Betting Favourites
Last year, Patrick Cantlay win the BMW Championship and then went on to win the Tour Championship to capture the FedEx Cup. This year, Cantlay is close to pulling off that same feat again. The reigning PGA Tour "Player of the Year" won the BMW tourney again last week and now enters the Tour Championship in a very favourable position. In the tournament's handicapped format, Cantlay will start the event at -8 under, which trails only current FedEx Cup standings leader, Scottie Scheffler (-10).
Those handicaps significantly impact betting on the Tour Championship. According to odds at Spreads.ca, most bettors are expecting Scheffler and Cantlay to battle it out in Atlanta for the trophy:
Is Rory McIlroy the Best Value at 9-1?
Perhaps the most tempting wager is Rory McIlroy. He's the 21-time PGA Tour champion and one of the top favorites. With a win at the 2022 Tour Championship, McIlroy will become the first golfer to ever win the FedEx Cup three times.
Some say that McIllroy isn't playing his best golf at the moment, and that's a correct assessment. Nonetheless, no one would be surprised to see the multi-talented pro put things together this week on the course and return hoist the trophy a third time.
Our Pick: Tony Finau at 18-1
32-year-old Tony Finau is an 18-1 longshot. He will start at -4 under par. Looking at recent form, no one has performed as well as Finau over the last month on the pro tour. He won back-to-back events in July, and then followed up that championship-level skill with a top-5 finish in the FedEx Cup playoff opener. Finau appears to have a much better chance to win than his long odds imply.
Also note that Finau already has four top-2 finishes this year, which trails only Scheffler (with seven) and Cantlay (with five). His accomplishments on tour makes him a very live competitor this weekend and quite an attractive wager given the odds.