PGA Tour FedEx Cup Championship Preview

by Chris Scheeren
on September 19, 2017

The Tour Championship may not technically be a major, but it does come with a MAJOR payday. The top 30 players on the PGA tour will meet this week in Atlanta in an attempt to walk away with the FedEx Cup and the whopping $10 million dollar bonus that comes with it. Only 30 players are invited to the Tour Championship. So there are no cuts this weekend, and thanks to a resetting of the bonus points, everyone in the field has a mathematical chance to take the crown and the massive payday.

Rory McElroy is the 2016 champion, but he won’t even have an opportunity to defend his crown in 2017, having already been cut from the proceedings. In a bizarre twist, it marks the 8th time in the last 10 years the reigning FedEx Cup champion hasn’t even made the tournament to attempt to defend his crown. It takes a little of the shine off the event, but the field is still plenty star-studded with Jordan Spieth, Dustin Johnson, Ricky Fowler, Justin Thomas, Brooks Koepka and Sergio Garcia all in the field.

Here are the odds for to win the FedEx Cup. Keep in mind, there are some mathematical configurations that tip the odds more heavily in some of the top-seeded player’s favor. Most players have to WIN outright AND get some help in order to win the Cup. Others, like Spieth and Dustin Johnson, could win the Cup WITHOUT winning outright this weekend. We will get into that a little more in a moment. In the meantime, here are the odds to win, courtesy of Bovada.lv.

ODDS TO WIN TOUR CHAMPIONSHIP

  • Jordan Spieth +500
  • Dustin Johnson +750
  • Rickie Fowler +800
  • Justin Thomas +900
  • Jon Rahm +1100
  • Jason Day +1100
  • Justin Rose +1400
  • Marc Leishman +1600
  • Hideki Matsuyama +2000
  • Paul Casey +2000
  • Brooks Koepka +2000
  • Matt Kuchar +2500
  • Sergio Garcia +2800
  • Kevin Chappell +3300
  • Patrick Reed +4000
  • Patrick Cantlay +4000
  • Webb Simpson +5000
  • Tony Finau +5500
  • Charley Hoffman +5500

Thanks to some mathematical reconfigurations, technically, every player in the tournament has some chance at the 10 million dollar prize. But let’s face it. Some have a much better chance than others. Here are the scenarios for some of the top players to take the 10 million dollar prize. Keep in mind, the odds to win the FedEx Cup are a little different than the odds to win the Tour Championship listed above, as the mathematical wiggle room comes into play for some of the players that can win the Cup without winning the Tournament in Atlanta, and the odds become a little longer for players who could WIN this weekend, and still not win the Cup.

Here’s a look at some of the odds to win the FedEx Cup in complete fashion on CBS.com

JORDAN SPIETH +175


The number one ranked player Jordan Spieth. He can not only secure the FedEx Cup by winning the tournament this weekend, he also has a very strong possibility of winning with a top 5 finish, and technically he could finish his lowest 29th and still have a mathematical possibility of victory. Those inflated possibilities make him the best value on the board and of course the whole “best player on the Tour” argument as well. Jordan has stared down some of the biggest moments over the last two years and with a few exceptions, has rarely blinked. The $10 million payday amps up the+500, but his odds to win the Cup are so buoyed by the seeding advantage, he is hard to bet against.

JUSTIN THOMAS +400

Second-seeded Justin Thomas also claims the FedEx Cup with an outright victory this weekend and has a reasonable chance of taking the crown by finishing in the Top Three; technically, he can finish as low as tied for sixth and have a mathematical chance of winning.

DUSTIN JOHNSON +400


Dustin Johnson is the third seed. He wins the Cup with a victory this weekend and would most likely win with a second place finish, provided he doesn’t finish immediately behind Jordan Spieth. He can finish his lowest 4th and still have a chance to win. Add in the fact he ABSOLUTELY has the game to win any tournament he is entered in, and +400 is a nice little value.

From there, the scenarios get a tad more complicated. Mark Leishman and John Rahm can both take the FedEx Cup with an outright victory in Atlanta. Everyone else would need to win the tournament AND get a little bit of help.

So who are some players to watch out for this weekend in Atlanta?

MARC LEISHMAN +1000

Leishman enters the Tour Championship fresh off a dominating performance at the BMW Championship in Lake Forest, Illinois. Leishman went wire-to-wire at Conway farms for his first ever wire-to-wire victory on the PGA Tour. The performance moved him up to 4th in the FedEx Cup standings and gives him an excellent opportunity at the 10 million dollar bonus this weekend. The performance also moved him into the Top 15 in the world. This man is definitely a player to keep an eye on this weekend and a decent value. He is +1600 to win the event this weekend and a nice value to win the Cup at +1000 especially if he hasn’t cooled off the last three days.

JOHN RAHM +500


Another nice sleeper is John Rahm. He enters the tournament seeded 5th but has the kind of big game well suited for the 7385-yard par 70 course. Rahm doesn’t have a lot of wiggle room this weekend and would likely need to win the tournament to capture the FedEx Cup though technically he could finish as low as a two-way tie for second and have a mathematical chance of winning. He is just 5-1 to win the Cup though, odds a little slimmer than I’d prefer for someone who has to win outright.

It’s hard to bet against Jordan’s speech this weekend. He has been incredibly consistent on the tour this year, winning at the ATT pebble beach Pro-Am and The Travelers Championship and obviously his victory at The Open. He also has three second-place finishes and has finished third twice (and 4th once.) In fact, he’s only missed 2 cuts the entire season. When considering this weekend he has a very reasonable chance of winning the FedEx Cup with a mere Top Five finish, there is a lot of value in Spieth, even at just +175. We’ve seen the young star operate under the most intense pressure imaginable so I don’t imagine him buckling under the weight of a $10 million dollar putt. He’s as cool and calm as they come, can crush the ball off the tee and can play as irons with deadly accuracy, so there’s no doubt he is the player to beat this weekend. Given the strength of some of his mathematical advantages in the FedEx Cup standings, he is in excellent play.

PUNT PLAY: BROOKS KOEPKA +3000

There are a few other interesting values on the board. You can get 2017 Major Champions Brooks Koepka and Sergio Garcia had some pretty lofty odds. Brooks Koepka is the only realistic play though, and he checks in at +3000. He has already won once this season on the biggest stage imaginable, so he can handle the field and the pressure. He’ll need an outright win this weekend, along with getting some help from Spieth and Thomas and Dustin Johnson in order to capture the 10 million dollar FedEx Cup prize. Koepka is a little bit of a punt play this week, but he does have some excellent long value. I’m out on Sergio, as he would need Spieth to finish no better than 19th to pass him, and I just don’t see it happening. Koepka needs some help as well, but if he wins and Spieth and Johnson and Thomas aren’t right behind him, he can sneak away with the Cup.

The Tour Championship isn’t technically one of golf’s 4 majors, but it is one of the biggest events on the PGA tour each season. The event will be broadcast live on The Golf Channel and NBC, so be sure to tune in this weekend for some thrilling and exciting golf. With just thirty players in the field, every single player is a big name player, and many have a legitimate chance. The Tour Championship should be a fantastic event this weekend, good luck and enjoy!

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