Tour Championship – Gambling/DFS Preview 2020

We have reached the Tour Championship with the top 30 players in the FedEx Cup Standings competing for $15 million. I break down the whole field.

East Lake Golf Club – Atlanta, GA

Tournament Notes

  • Final event of the FedEx Cup Playoffs and the PGA Tour season
  • New format started last year with the starting strokes for the tournament based on FedEx Cup standings. Win this tournament, win the FedEx Cup and $15 Million
  • Average winning score here is around -10, so that almost completely takes out anyone starting around -2 and E
  • Since 2012, the average finish of golfers that finish T3 here in the prior 3 playoff events is 26th, so current form matters, almost 60% of which had 0 T5s in those 3 playoff events.
  • Some not elite players pop here

Course Breakdown

Par 70, 7346 yds, Donald Ross designed course with Reese Jones redesign (1994), both Par 5’s are reachable, all 4 Par 3s are difficult with 3 of them being long, fairly narrow tree lined fairways, large bunkers in play at the landing zones, rough is thick, toughest fairways to hit on tour (10% harder than tour average, 54% vs. 63%), average driving distance longer than tour average (290 vs. 282), very fast Bermuda greens, firmness all depends on weather conditions, wide variety of large multi-tiered greens with a lot of slope and smaller greens with a lot of back to front slope, need to hit certain spots on greens for realistic birdie chances, greenside bunkers in play on most holes with a majority of them guarding the very front of the greens, lot of prevailing winds here

Corollary Courses

Sedgefield Country Club (Wyndham Championship) – Donald Ross design with some crossover success especially on players that aren’t long off the tee

Key Stats

SG: Approach, Ballstriking, SG: OTT, Par 4 Scoring (450-500 yds)


Top 30 in FedEx Cup Rankings

Defending Champion: Rory McIlroy (-13)

Runner Up Last Year: Xander Schauffele (-10)

One and Done: No One and Done in most formats this week

All Players (Listed in FedEx Cup Standings Order)

Odds in ( ) are without starting strokes

  1. DJ (-10): 15200: +210 (+550)- Should be lower owned on DK vs. Rahm with higher DK price, won 2 weeks ago by 11, came in 2nd to Rahm in playoff last week after dropping bomb to force the playoff, T2 at the PGA a few weeks ago, 1st in last 12 rounds in Par 4 efficiency 450-500 yds, Par 4 scoring, Birdie +%, DK pts, SG: T2G, SG: Approach, SG: Putting, mixed results here ranging from T29 last year to 3 T6s in the last 5 years 
  2. Rahm (-8): 12700: +260 (+550) – Winner last week, could easily win this week starting only 2 back from DJ. I’d take the +550 over the +260 since the only additional golfer he has to beat is DJ
  3. JT (-7): 11900: +515 (+750) – Last four years here: T3,T7,2,T6, 3rd in SG: Total here over the last 5 years (18.69), 1st in Approach, 2nd in SG: T2G, 2nd in Ballstriking, 12th in SG: OTT, 3rd in SG: ATG, 5th in DK pts
  4. Webb (-6): 11000: +1000 (+1000) – Doesn’t really make sense that his odds are the same with and without the strokes since he would have to get 4 less strokes for the without strokes winner, took last week off, has been very consistent this season, accurate off the tee
  5. Morikawa (-5): 10400: +1810 (+1800) – 2nd in SG: Approach, 3rd in SG: T2G, 3rd in Ballstriking, 10th in DK pts
  6. Berger (-4): 9100: +2800 (+1400) – Plays best on Par 70s, putts best on Bermuda, has been playing well lately with his last 4 events: T25,3,T13,T2, 13th in Par 4 scoring, 13th in Par 4 efficiency 450-500 yds, 8th in Par 4 efficiency 400-450 yds
  7. English (-4): 8700: +5000 (+3300) – 2nd at the Northern Trust 2 weeks ago, has been quietly playing well lately, 5th in Par 4 scoring, th in Par 4 efficiency 450-500 yds
  8. Bryson (-4): 10100: +1725 (+1200) – Last in ballstriking over the last 12 rounds, this whiny bitch gets rattled every week over something lately, has the talent to win anywhere, T12,19 the last two years here
  9. Sungjae (-4): 7300: +8500 (+6000) – Plays his best on shorter courses and putts his best on Bermuda, has kind of sucked lately but was good enough in the beginning of the season to get in
  10. Hideki (-4): 9300: +2800 (+1800) – 10th in Par 4 scoring, 12th in Par 4 efficiency 450-500 yds, 4th in SG: T2G, 13th in Ballstriking, 8th in SG: Approach, 4th in SG: ATG, 9th in DK pts
  11. Todd (-3): 7600: +6600 (+5000) – 8th last week, plays Par 4s well
  12. Rory (-3): 9700: +1725 (+1000) – Has a kid coming and may WD this week, defending champ, won here 2 of the last 4 years, doesn’t have a win this season or even a T10 since the restart, has the potential to win anywhere he goes but hasn’t really gave a shit since the restart (UPDATE: had his baby this morning, so I’m expecting the WD)A
  13. Reed (-3): 8500: +5500 (+2000) – Usually sucks here, no interest, good at ballstriking, 1st in Par 4 scoring, 8th in Par 4 efficiency 450-500 yds, 2nd in Par 4 efficiency 400-450 yds in last 100 rounds
  14. Xander (-3): 8900: +2515 (+1000) – His last 3 years here: 2,T7,1, wins big tournaments, has played pretty well lately but hasn’t been in contention, long off the tee, good with his irons, back 7 is a lot but I don’t mind him to win without the starting strokes
  15. Munoz (-3): 5900: +12500 (+10000) – T8 and T18 the two weeks of the playoffs
  16. Lanto (-2): 5600: +20000 (+10000) – T10 last week
  17. Scheffler (-2): 7900: +6600 (+2800) – Has been playing well lately, including shooting a 59 at the Northern Trust
  18. Niemann (-2): 6300: +10000 (+4500) – 12th in SG: Approach, 17th in SG: T2G, 14th in Ballstriking
  19. Hatton (-2): 7000: +10000 (+3300) – Talented enough to win without starting strokes for decent odds, but isn’t gonna come back to beat the elite down 8 strokes
  20. Finau (-2): 8200: +4500 (+1600) – Last 3 years here: 7,T15,T7, 4th in SG: Total here over the last 5 years (10.13),  would be perfectly fitting for him to win without starting strokes but not win the event
  21. Kis (-1): 6800: +12500 (+3300) – Has been playing pretty well lately, T9 and T3 his last two times here, good with his irons
  22. Ancer (-1): 6100: +22500 (+6000) – Has played well since the restart
  23. Palmer (-1): 5400: +25000 (+6600) – T8 at the Northern Trust 2 weeks ago, play well on hard Par 70s
  24. Na (-1): 5500: +35000 (+6600) – Naaaaaa
  25. Leish (-1): 5000: +40000 (+15000) – Awful course history here, has been playing terrible since the restart
  26. Cam Smith (E): 5100: +30000  (+9000) – 16th in Par 4 efficiency 450-500 yds, no interest, 20th here 2 years ago
  27. Hovland (E): 6600: +12500 (+3500) – 7th in Approach, 8th in SG: OTT, 11th in SG: OTT,  3rd in Ballstriking, 15th in DK pts, I like him without the starting strokes, won’t win since he’s starting tied for last place
  28. Hughes (E): 5200: +30000 (+9000) – T10 and T13 his last 2 weeks to get himself in
  29. Cam Champ (E): 5300: +30000 (+9000) – 10th in Par 4 efficiency 450-500 yds
  30. Billy Ho (E): 5700: +15000 (+2500) – 2nd here in 2018, won here in 2014, can’t win the tournament but could win without starting strokes, 12th in Par 4 scoring and 16th in Par 4 efficiency 450-500 yds over last 100 rds

DraftKings/Betting Notes

  • Starting position matters a lot in DK since the scoring is just standard but the pricing takes that into account
  • Without only 30 players in the field, there will be a ton of duplicate lineups in DFS, so you have to really differentiate your lineups leaving money on the table and doing contrarian stacks
  • A lot books will offer regular odds on the tournament winner as well as alternate odds on who has the best score for the four days not taking into account starting strokes, so there’s different ways to look at it

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