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Tour Championship Tips and Predictions: Three against the field at East Lake

Webb Simpson features amongst this week's Tour Championship tips.
Webb Simpson features amongst this week's Tour Championship tips.

It's the PGA Tour season finale from East Lake, with our in-form gold tipster Russell Palmer back with three against the field in the Tour Championship...

Another week on the PGA Tour goes by and another winner. That's four now since the restart twelve weeks ago but if last week's win by Dustin Johnson was a cake walk, we rode our luck aboard Jon Rahm this week.

Firstly, thanks to a Webb Simpson withdrawal on Tuesday, Rahm wouldn't have been selected. Knowing it would likely turn into a real test, Rahm's game was perfectly suited, especially having finished the Northern Trust like a train. However, at 10/1 at the time of writing last Monday I thought he was too short and plumbed for Simpson at twice the price.

When Simpson withdrew I had enough time to make another selection and by Tuesday evening BST, Rahm had been pushed out to 14/1, so low and behold he was added to the team alongside Kevin Kisner and Bubba Watson.

Despite his slow start, Rahm played brilliantly over the weekend and got his fair share of luck during his final round, eventually holing this 66-foot putt on his way to beating Dustin Johnson on the first extra hole.

That's now wins of 30/1, 20/1, 14/1 and 12/1 over this twelve week period plus some place action as well in what has been a profitable 12 weeks.

Rahm's two victories since the restart have come on the two toughest tracks, Olympia at the weekend and when landing the Memorial Tournament seven weeks ago at Muirfield Village.

Bet365 saw fit to clip Rahm into 10/1 in the US Open betting which takes place at Whistling Straits in two weeks, from 16/1 this time last week.

This week's event, the Tour Championship is the season ender, with a field of just 30 competing for the FedEx Cup.

Only in its second year of this format, the event differs from the usual tournament, with the players essentially reverse handicapped dependent on their current FedEx Cup standings, meaning Dustin Johnson who is ranked number one, starting the week on 10 under par, two shots ahead of Rahm on -8, and so on.

Note also it's a Friday through Monday tournament this week.

Golf odds
Tour Championship at a glance
Tour Championship at a glance

What this does mean is that you need to double check which market the bookmaker is offering. Dustin Johnson is a 15/8 favourite based on these starting positions but some firms do offer betting without the FedEx Cup starting allowance, where they make Johnson and Rahm 11/2 joint favourites.

East Lake Golf Club hosts the tournament and we have a heap of course form to go on. I'm looking at three players in the 'without the FedEx Cup starting allowance' market this week.

Tour Championship Tip #1
Thu
Webb Simpson each-way
  • Took last week off to be fresh for this challenge
  • Four top 10's since restart including a win at the Heritage
  • Three top 5's in his last six visits to East Lake
Odds correct as of 2020-08-31 17:20 Odds subject to change.

First up for me is last week's tip Webb Simpson, who withdrew from the BMW Championship to keep himself fresh for East Lake.

The American has a win and three top ten finishes since the restart and also has three top five finishes here in his last six visits.

He's fresher than the rest of the field who had a mentally gruelling time of it last week and has the accuracy to be in the mix here, ranking 6th this season in Greens In Regulation, 12th for shots gained tee to green and 3rd for shots gained total.

He's a 14/1 chance giving DJ a four shot head start, but also a 14/1 chance off 'level weights' which looks a good price with William Hill paying five places each-way.

US Masters Odds
Tour Championship Tip #2
Thu
Hideki Matsuyama each-way
  • T3 last week
  • 4th and 5th in his last four visits to East Lake
  • Ranked first in shots gained around the green last week
Odds correct as of 2020-08-31 17:35 Odds subject to change.

A bit bigger in the betting at 20/1 is Hideki Matsuyama. The Japanese player has had a pretty quiet time of it but came to the fore last week out in the final group with DJ on Sunday and not disgracing himself finishing third.

That was his fifth top ten of the season on the PGA Tour and has a decent record at East Lake, recording two top five finishes in his last four visits.

Ranking first in shots gained around the green last week, he ranks 6th for that particular stat this season on the PGA Tour, 4th for shots gained approaching the green and second for shots gained tee to green.

It's Matsuyama's putting which is his achilles heel though, languishing down at 178th in shots gained putting, losing half a shot against the field.

I'm willing to take a chance on him this week though at the prices, again with William Hill paying those five places.

British Open betting
Tour Championship Tip #3
Thu
Joaquin Niemann each-way
  • T3 last week
  • Four top ten finishes this season including at win at the Greenbrier
  • Ranks 5th for shots gained approaching the green
Odds correct as of 2020-08-31 17:25 Odds subject to change.

Lastly I like the price of Joaquin Niemann at 60/1 with Betfred paying five places.

The Chilean finished in a tie for third place with Matsuyama on Sunday and went odds-on in-running during his final round before falling away down the stretch.

He's been inconsistent with plenty of missed cuts since the restart but Sunday was his second top five finish and fourth overall, including his win at the Greenbrier right at the start of the season.

Another excellent ball-striker Niemann ranks 5th for shots gained approaching the green and 20th for SG tee to green.

Another one who can struggle with the putter I think he's a big price given last week's performance which can only make him stronger. There's no missed cut this week and is twice the price of Billy Horschel and Harris English who may both have more experience and consistency, neither have the natural talent of the 21-year-old.

As ever, good luck with your bets if you're following and please gamble responsibly.

Follow me at Twitter @rustyboy75.

Post-lockdown form:

Winners

  • Jon Rahm - BMW Championship - advised at 14/1
  • Dustin Johnson - Northern Trust - advised at 20/1
  • Justin Thomas - WGC FedEx St Jude - advised at 12/1
  • Webb Simpson - RBC Heritage - advised at 30/1

Placed

  • Si Woo Kim - T3 Wyndham Championship - advised at 40/1
  • Jason Day - T4 USPGA Championship - advised at 40/1
  • Phil Mickelson - 2nd WGC FedEx St Jude - advised at 110/1
  • Viktor Hovland - 3rd Workday Charity Open - advised at 25/1
  • Kevin Streelman - T7 Workday Charity Open - advised at 60/1
  • Tyrrell Hatton - T4 Rocket Mortgage Classic - advised at 16/1
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