By News Team
2nd September 2020
We’ve reached the climax of the PGA Tour season as one of the tour’s great courses, East Lake, hosts the Tour Championship.
However, this week’s tournament is unique in that although we have the best 30 players from the 2019/20 season in attendance, for Dustin Johnson and Jon Rahm – the number one and two-ranked players in the FedEx Cup standings – their attempt to win the FedEx Cup and Tour Championship is significantly easier than the likes of Billy Horschel, who comes in ranked 30th.
Johnson starts the tournament at 10-under par, while Rahm is eight-under, meaning they are very much the most likely to scoop both titles as well as the $15 million cheque that comes with it too. Johnson is 15/8 to win the tournament which includes the handicap, while Rahm is 3/1, and in all likelihood one of the top two in the world will emerge victorious.
The unique format is not everyone’s cup of tea and many will be more interested in William Hill’s tournament winner without FedEx Cup Strokes market, which is the one this preview will focus on.
Schauffele could tame East Lake again
If there is one player who will be very excited to be back at East Lake, it’s XANDER SCHAUFFELE and he must surely go well at 12/1. The 26-year-old has taken to this week’s layout like a duck to water with three superb performances from three starts. He made his debut here in 2017 and took home the trophy, and he followed that up with a fine defence a year later, eventually finishing in a tie for seventh. The love affair continued in 2019 where he finished second in both the official results and in the ‘lowest 72-hole score’, clearly showing this is a track he absolutely loves.
He’s been solid if unspectacular recently with two finishes inside the top 25 in the previous two Playoff events and given he’s only got an outsider’s chance of winning the FedEx Cup (similarly to last year) there’s little pressure on him here. Last year showed that’s an environment he thrives in and he’s also shown his liking for these limited field events with a win and a number of strong showings at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, so there’s plenty in his favour.
Former FedEx Cup champ Horschel a likely contender
Like Schauffele, BILLY HORSCHEL loves East Lake and he looks a solid contender at 25/1. Interestingly, his form figures read exactly the same as his compatriot: 7-1-2 and since his debut here in 2014, the only player to have beaten him in his two appearances is none other than Tiger Woods.
The Florida Gator will surely be spurred on by the fact that he’s made it to East Lake by the skin of his teeth and given he now starts a full 10 shots behind Johnson, there’s little pressure on him to perform. His comments after last week’s BMW Championship suggest the game is very much trending in the right direction and his recent stats show that if the putter can warm up, then Horschel is a big danger, particularly at a course he’s clearly incredibly comfortable at.