The Tour Championship is the pinnacle event of the FedEx playoff. In 2019, the event took an unprecedented turn by adopting a new format whereby the Tour Champion is also crowned FedEx Cup champion. From 2019 onward, the event will be held in late August instead of mid-September. The Tour Championship is the grand finale of the PGA season — only the best players of the golf world compete against each other for the prestigious FedEx Cup title.
The Tour Championship is the final round of the FedEx playoffs, as the top 30 ranked players compete for the prestigious event and the grand prize of $15 million! The participants of the tournament are decided after the BMW Championship.
With so many moving pieces in the world of gold betting, knowing your way around an event is key to success. This comprehensive guide will teach you everything there is about the event and the different wagers you can place on this event.
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Tour Golf Championship in a Nutshell
Since 2004, the Tour Championship has been held at the East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, Georgia. This is the final event of both the FedEx Cup playoffs and the PGA Tour season.
Beginning in 2019, the event switched formats to an adjusted leaderboard. This newly-formed stroked-based system is called the FedEx Cup Starting Strokes, and it gives the top-ranked players after the two playoff events — the Northern Trust and the BMW Championship – a stroke advantage coming into the contest. Here is how it all looks like:
|FedEx Cup Ranking after the BMW Championship||Stroke Advantage|
Before 2019, it was possible for one player to win the FedEx cup and another player to win the Tour Championship. Take last year, for example, when Justin Rose won the FedEx Cup, while Tiger Woods emerged victorious at the East Lake.
What Does the Winner Receive?
By merely advancing to the Tour Championship, the entries are exempt into the first three Majors in 2020 and the WGC Mexico Championship.
The winner of the Tour Championship receives a hefty payout — the jaw-dropping $15 million, which is a $5 million increase from the 2018 top prize. The Tour Championship doesn’t have a separate prize purse anymore, and so now the money is given based on a player’s finish at East Lake. The runner-up will take home $5 million, while every player at the event will make at least $395,000.
The winner of the Calamity Jane trophy will also receive a five-year exemption on the PGA Tour and a spot in the 2020 Sentry Tournament of Champions.
Although the winner cannot shoot the lowest 72-hole total for the week, the win at the Tour Championship still counts as an official PGA Tour victory.
What Happens After a 72 Hole Tie?
If players are tied at the end of the tournament, the winner will be determined through a sudden-death playoff. If players further down the ladder are tied, the FedEx Cup bonus points will be distributed using the same method the tour currently uses for money distribution in the event of a tie. If several players are tied, the total prize money of the tying positions will be averaged, and that amount will be handed over to each player in the tying spots.
|2019||Rory Mcllroy||Northern Ireland||267 (-18)|
|2018||Tiger Woods||USA||269 (-11)|
|2017||Xander Schauffele||USA||268 (-12)|
|2016||Rory Mcllroy||Northern Ireland||268 (-12)|
|2015||Jordan Spieth||USA||271 (-9)|
|2014||Billy Horschel||USA||269 (-11)|
|2013||Henrik Stenson||Sweden||267 (-13)|
|2012||Brandt Snedeker||USA||270 (-10)|
|2011||Bill Haas||USA||272 (-8)|
|2010||Jim Furyk||USA||272 (-8)|
Last year, Tiger Woods won the Tour Championship, which was his 80 PGA Tour win — first since the 2013 Bridgestone International. Tiger closed the deal with a +1 (71) final round, winning by two strokes from Billy Horschel. Justin Rose won the FedEx Cup after he had birdied the last hole to finish tied at -6 (274). Had he finished a further shot back of Woods, Tiger would have captured both the FedEx Cup and the Tour Championship.
Since 2004, the East Lake Golf Club became the permanent host of the Tour Championship. This 7,300+ yards par 70 course was the home course of the legendary golfer Bobby Jones and the oldest course in Atlanta. It was built in 1904 by Donald Ross, a Scottish golf course designer, and was later redesigned by Rees Jones in 1994.
The layout at the East Lake Golf Club is challenging for golfers of all skill levels, and with a sublime field of only 30 players, it can be daunting to find a pattern that points towards winners. There aren’t any statistics that stand out; therefore, you must rely on the obvious — the winner needs to know how to hit greens and fairways and sink a lot of putts.
The key challenge at East Lake is to grind out pars, and on the greens in general. Those who putt well on the smoothly rising Bermuda greens will stand a chance. Fatigue and current form may be a deciding factor for some players.
The venue’s signature hole is the 168-yard par-3 sixth, which starts from an elevated tee to a diagonally angled peninsula green.
Available Betting Markets
Almost right after the 2019 Tour Championship ended, the bookmakers have started publishing odds for next year’s event. A key to successful betting is taking advantage of all the different markets available from the outright winner and head-to-head to two-ball and three-ball.
The Tour Championship is a highly-esteemed event, and as such, it provides an abundance of betting opportunities. Here are the most popular betting markets available for this prestigious event:
- Outright winner — bet on which golfer will win the tournament, full stop. You don’t care about how he’s going to do it, as only the final result matters.
- Head to Head — bet on which golfer puts up a better score. If two players are tied, your wager will result in a push.
- Prop Bets — this type of bet offers a wide range of unique options from “will a particular golfer finish in the top 5” to “how high an individual golfer will place.”
- Top 5/top 10 — bet on whether your chosen player will finish in the top 5/top 10.
Tips for 2020
The Tour Championship features an elite field of the top 30 ranked players in the world, so, naturally, it’s challenging to find a formula that could point out to the winner. Nevertheless, there are a couple of things that you must consider when betting on this event if you want to make some cash. Here’s some advice from our experienced golf tipster team for the upcoming event:
When it comes to this particular event, it is most likely the most significant factor to take into consideration. As we mentioned before, the top-ranked players on the FedEx Cup leaderboard will head into the Tour Championship with a stroke advantage. Mcllroy, who won this year’s tournament, was the fifth-ranked player coming into the event, and he had a -5 stroke advantage. Xander Schaufelle, who started at -4, finished the tournament as the runner-up. So, we recommend that you don’t look past the top 20 when betting on the outright winner.
Consider the Form
If it were any other tournament, we would say that the form is the essential thing to pay attention to, but we gave a slight edge to the FedEx rankings for apparent reasons. Anyhow, the current form is always a great indicator of how a particular golfer is playing. If the player that you decided to bet on has performed well in the previous two playoff events — the Northern Trust and the BMW Championship, then we would advise proceeding with your pick. If a player has performed well on these events would not only show that he’s on a good roll, but it would also show that he’s sufficiently motivated to win the trophy. And how couldn’t they, with the prize money being so massive?
Weather and Course Conditions
Looking into the past performances at the East Lake Golf Club may prove essential to your betting picks. Some players possess a skill set that’s more suitable for the conditions at this venue and are known to perform on a high-level here almost every year. While this may not fall into the “decisive factors” category, it’s well worth checking out.
Blustery days can be extremely frustrating in golf — good shots turn out bad, and par becomes a good score for even the top players in the world. The harder the wind blows, the higher the likelihood of making a high number on a hole becomes. Take weather conditions into consideration, and you’ll be making more accurate predictions.
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