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Scottie Scheffler (-10)
Rory McIlroy (-7)
Viktor Hovland (-8)
Jon Rahm (-6)
Patrick Cantlay (-4)
Max Homa (-4)
Lucas Glover (-5)
Xander Schauffele (-3)
Matt Fitzpatrick (-4)
Brian Harman (-4)
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Scottie Scheffler didn’t get the win last week due to Viktor Hovland’s sensational closing 61 at the BMW Championship.
But Scheffler’s tied second place was enough to move him up to the top spot in the FedExCup standings.
And that means he starts this week’s concluding TOUR Championship at East Lake in Georgia with a lead over his 29 rivals.
Since 2019, bonus strokes have been applied, with the No.1 in the standings starting this event at -10.
No.2 begins on -8, No.3 on -7 and so it goes down with 26th-30th starting the event at even par. Good luck giving Scottie a 10-stroke start!
The full starting positions are here:
-10 Scottie Scheffler
-8 Viktor Hovland
-7 Rory McIlroy
-6 Jon Rahm
-5 Lucas Glover
-4 Max Homa, Patrick Cantlay, Brian Harman, Wyndham Clark, Matt Fitzpatrick
-3 Tommy Fleetwood, Russell Henley, Keegan Bradley, Rickie Fowler, Xander Schauffele
-2 Tom Kim, Sungjae Im, Tony Finau, Corey Conners, Si Woo Kim
-1 Taylor Moore, Nick Taylor, Adam Schenk, Collin Morikawa, Jason Day
Evs Sam Burns, Emiliano Grillo, Tyrrell Hatton, Jordan Spieth, Sepp Straka
In the four editions using bonus strokes, Rory McIlroy has won the event and also shot the lowest gross score twice (2019 and 2022).
Patrick Cantlay and Dustin Johnson both secured victory having started in front on -10.
In those two years, Kevin Rahm and Jon Rahm (2021) and Xander Schauffele (2020) shot the lowest gross scores.
|Year||Champion and winning score|
Rory McIlroy (Northern Ireland) -21 (started at -4)
Patrick Cantlay (United States) -21 (started at -10)
Dustin Johnson (United States) -21 (started at -10)
Rory McIlroy (Northern Ireland) -18 (started at -5)
With a two-shot lead over second place and a massive 10-stroke advantage over some, it’s no surprise to see Scheffler at just +140 to land the tournament and the FedExCup trophy. But he couldn’t convert from the No.1 slot last year and is in danger of getting picked off again if the putter doesn’t back up his stellar long game. Tied second in the BMW last week.
McIlroy has to give Scheffler a three-shot start but he conceded six strokes to him last year and still got it done, Rory shooting -17 to Scheffler’s -10. Having won this event three times (twice under the current format), it’s no wonder he’s seen as Scheffler’s biggest threat. Rory has finished third and fourth in the first two Playoff events.
Hovland produced one of the rounds of the season last week to storm through and win the BMW Championship by two shots via a scintillating 9-under 61 that included a homeward 28. He’ll now start the finale as Scheffler’s nearest challenger on -8.
The Playoffs have a history of players winning back-to-back events and I’ll take Viktor Hovland to add to that trend this week.
The Norwegian hadn’t quite hit top gear after scoring the victory in June’s prestigious Memorial Tournament.
But an astonishing 65-61 finish at last week’s BMW Championship means he’ll head to East Lake oozing confidence.
He made up three shots on Scheffler in a couple of holes down the stretch at Olympia Fields last week so I’m confident he can do the same over 72 here.
Hovland has played three times at East Lake and in the middle of those he finished fourth.
That year and last, he closed with a 65 so the 25-year-old has shown he can come on strong when it matters most at this venue.
Bookies are also offering odds on which player will shoot the lowest 72-hole total and it’s tempting to back him in that market at +900.
But let’s stick to the Outright and take Hovland at 5/1 to overhaul Scheffler as well as keeping his other 28 rivals beneath him.
To finish on top of the leaderboard and win the event/FedExCup, Hovland is +500 with bet365.
Max Homa will start the tournament in tied sixth place on -4, six strokes behind Scheffler.
Trying to overtake all the leading players will be tough but I’m happy to back him at +220 to end the week inside the top five.
He shot a 62 in round two at the BMW and that matched the 8-under round he fired here on his debut 12 months ago.
Homa went on to finish third in that 2022 event so has the course and current form to get inside the top five again.
Russell Henley completed a trio of winning bets for us last week by landing a Top 10 at +260 in the BMW Championship.
I’m going to repeat the bet here, although with a field of just 30 and Henley (-3) starting with a lower score than 15 of them, his price is reduced.
However, the +170 still looks a good deal on a man who was third here on his most recent visit (2017) and who boasts a current form of 8-6-2.
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Dave Tindall is former golf editor at SkySports.com and Golf365.com and has been writing betting previews for the PGA Tour and European Tour since 1997. He has also written for a range of betting companies, including William Hill and Betfair, as well as being a regular columnist for Rotoworld, The Guardian, Sporting Life and Planet Sport. His other area of speciality is football while he's also covered cricket and tennis.
Email: [email protected]More info on Dave Tindall
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