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We’ve reached the end of the road as far as the 2022/2023 PGA Tour season is concerned. There’s time for just more event, but what an event it is. It’s the one that the whole regular season has been heading towards. It’s time for the Tour Championship, which sees the hotly contested FedEx Cup conclude.
The FedEx Cup finale typically features a small field. Only the top 30 players according to the FedEx Cup rankings that have been continually compiled and updated according to performances throughout the season will feature this week, so it’s a small-field event, one that features no cut. The 30 that start the event will finish it, but who will come out on top?
Things are obviously a little different this week, but it’s more than just field size that differs from regular events. There is essentially a handicap system in operation this week, whereby players get strokes to start with according to their FedEx Cup Play-off performances. For example, the number one player according to performances in the first two FedEx Cup Play-Off events will start at -10. The number two player will start at -8. The number three player starts at -7, the number four player starts at -6, while the number five player starts at -5.
For those outside the top five in terms of performances at each of the FedEx Cup play-off events so far, this is how things will be: players six to ten start at -4, players 11-15 start at -3, players 16-20 start at -2, players 21-25 start at -1, while lastly, players 26-30 start at level par.
What is Each-Way betting?
For one last time on the PGA Tour this season, it’s time to see if we can unearth some each-way betting value, but before we do that, here’s some basic information on each-way betting for those not yet up to scratch on the subject.
Each-way betting is very common in golf. In fact, the majority of golf punters bet each-way, it’s just how it is. An each-way bet is essentially one bet that is split into two. In other words, part of the bet will be on a golfer to win and the other part will be on a golfer to finish in the number of places allocated by a bookmaker, typically the first five or six. This week, most firms are paying five places on each-way bets.
If you have an each-way bet on a golfer who wins, you’ll win both parts of the bet. If the golfer does not win, but finishes in one of the allocated places, such as fifth, you’ll lose the win part of the bet, but win the place part of the bet. The place part of an each-way bet typically pays out at one quarter or one fifth of the full odds.
So, let’s say that you have £5 each-way on Jon Rahm to win the tour Championship at 9/1. Your total bet will amount to £20 (£10 to win, £10 to place). If Rahm wins, you’ll win both bets. However, if the Spaniard doesn’t win but still finishes in one of the places, you’ll win the place part of the bet, which in this case would return £28. Why £28? One fifth of 9/1 equals 1.8/1 . £10 at 1.8/1 returns £28. If Rahm finishes outside of the places, you lose both bets.
Each-way betting tips for Tour Championship
Right, this is what we’re here for. Which players look worthy of each-way support ahead of this FedEx Cup climax? Let’s get into it.
Jon Rahm @ 10/1 (five places, PaddyPower)
Jon Rahm may start this season showdown four shots behind the ever impressive Scottie Scheffler, but I still think 10/1 is slightly generous. There are few better at East Lake than the Spaniard, who won here in 2021. He also has two other top-seven finishes at this event.
The world number three arrives here in modest form only, but we know that he can deliver the goods when the pressure is on at the big events. His surge towards the top of the leaderboard during the latter parts of the Open Championship showed that, so we really shouldn’t be surprised if Rahm lays down a serious challenge in East Lake this week.
Top-ten for both strokes gained: off-the-tee and strokes gained: tee-to-green at East Lake in the last five years, the 28-year-old also ranks sixth for strokes gained: approach. Throw in the fact that he’s the number one player on tour for both birdies and eagles, ranks fourth on the PGA Tour for both strokes gained: approach and strokes gained: total and Rahmbo is not a player dismiss here, not at all. He’ll do for me at 10/1, that’s for sure.
Xander Schauffele @ 28/1 (five places, PaddyPower)
Another man I’m finding hard to ignore at the current odds is Xander Schauffele, who really does love it East Lake. The current world number six won this event back in 2017, before adding a second success in 2020. He’s played in the event a further four times, finishing seventh, second, third and sixth, so we really are dealing with an East Lake specialist, one who could very easily go close here, despite starting six shots back of Scheffler.
The man from La Jolla, California improved on some modest effort last week, warming up nicely with an eighth place finish. He’s also the number one player on the tour right now when it comes to approaches from 150-175 yards, which is not a stat to overlook when East Lake is the course in question, nor is the fact that he’s one of the best on tour for both strokes gained: total and strokes gained: putting, ranking fourth in that respect.
Russell Henley @ 66/1 (five places, PaddyPower)
Finally, at much bigger odds, I’ll have to throw a few quid each-way at Russell Henley, who arrives at East Lake in hot form having hit the top eight in each of his last three events, finishing second at the Wyndham Championship just a few weeks ago.
Henley doesn’t boast the same sort of East Lake form as the two players above, but he’s no stranger to performing well in big events, while as we can see, he’s a man in form, which is not something to overlook. This will be the first time since 2017, that Henley has made the Tour Championship, but when he last made it, he finished third.
When we consider that Henley is the number one player on tour right now for driving accuracy, he becomes virtually impossible to ignore at chunky odds of 66/1. If he can continue to find those fairways and maintain his current form, then the man who starts six shots back could very easily go close and collect some very nice each-way money.
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