By News Team
31st August 2021
So here we go. The culmination of the 2020/21 PGA Tour season and the final event of the FedEx Cup Playoffs takes place this week as the 30 best players this term head to East Lake for the Tour Championship.
After his marathon victory at the BMW Championship, last week’s winning selection Patrick Cantlay tops the standings for the $15 million first prize and here’s our preview.
How it stands
As mentioned, having pipped Bryson DeChambeau in an epic six-hole playoff last week, Cantlay heads to East Lake at the head of affairs with a two-shot lead at 10-under par. The remaining 29 players start dependent on where they finished in the FedEx Cup standings and this is the state of play ahead of Thursday’s opening round.
|STARTING STROKES||FEDEX CUP RANK|
|10 under||Patrick Cantlay|
|8 under||Tony Finau|
|7 under||Bryson DeChambeau|
|6 under||Jon Rahm|
|5 under||Cameron Smith|
|4 under||Justin Thomas, Harris English, Abraham Ancer, Jordan Spieth, Sam Burns|
|3 under||Collin Morikawa, Sungjae Im, Viktor Hovland, Louis Oosthuizen, Dustin Johnson|
|2 under||Rory McIlroy, Xander Schauffele, Jason Kokrak, Kevin Na, Brooks Koepka|
|1 under||Corey Conners, Hideki Matsuyama, Stewart Cink, Joaquin Niemann, Scottie Scheffler|
|Even par||Daniel Berger, Erik van Rooyen, Sergio Garcia, Billy Horschel, Patrick Reed|
Sam can pour it on in FedEx finale
There are two markets to concentrate on this week – the tournament winner including handicap or the winner without (best 72-hole score). For the purpose of this preview, we’re going to concentrate on the best 72-hole score, but before we take a look at that, here’s a quick take on the race for the FedEx Cup.
Despite starting four shots behind, Jon Rahm is co-favourite with Cantlay at 4/1, while DeChambeau is an 11/2 chance and Tony Finau is a 15/2 shot. If Cantlay putts like he did at Caves Valley then he’ll take all the beating, but Rahm might just prove too strong and could cap a fine season which has seen him win a first Major and take the world number one ranking.
In terms of the 72-hole market, the eye is drawn to Sam Burns at 30/1.
It’s really been a superb season for the 25-year-old with 12 top-25s, eight top-10s as well as his first win on tour at the Valspar Championship. As such, it’s no surprise that he’s jumped 129 spots in the world rankings and big things are expected. He starts the tournament six shots back and might be worth a look at 33s for the FedEx Cup, particularly if he gets off to a quick start. However, the 72-hole market looks the one to play him in as he seems to be coming into form at just the right time.
Since finishing down the field at The Open, Burns has played 12 rounds on the PGA Tour and has broken 70 in seven of them. The impressive run has seen him finish in a tie for second at the St. Jude Invitational, a tie for 21st at the Northern Trust and solo eighth at last week’s BMW.
Granted he hasn’t seen East Lake before, but he showed last week that he can take to a new course first time out and his solid all-round game should suit the Atlanta track. He’s ranked 34th this season for Strokes Gained: Tee To Green and that’s a statistic that has proved key here over the years.