Updated Tour Championship 2022 Odds, Picks: 4 Predictions for Rory McIlroy, Cameron Smith, More
Andrew Redington/Getty Images. Pictured: Rory McIlroy.
Click arrow to expand 2022 Tour Championship odds (with staggered strokes) via WynnBet
2022 Tour Championship Odds
The 2022 PGA TOUR season will come to an end this week at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta with the Tour Championship. The top 29 players left standing in the FedEx Cup standings will compete for the FedEx Cup Championship and huge $18 million payday that accompanies it.
It was supposed to be the top 30 players, but heavy contender Will Zalatoris withdrew from the event on Tuesday morning and will miss out on the finale.
East Lake Golf Club is a par-70 layout, measuring 7,319 yards with Bermuda grass greens. A Donald Ross design, the difficulty this week for players will be managing the fast and undulating putting surface. That said, golfers with varying skill sets can compete at East Lake.
Top 4 on the Leaderboard
Past Winners at East Lake Golf Club
- 2021: Patrick Cantlay*
- 2020: Dustin Johnson*
- 2019: Rory McIlroy*
- 2018: Tiger Woods
- 2017: Xander Schauffele
- 2016: Rory McIlroy
- 2015: Jordan Spieth
*Strokes-based bonus in effect.
The 2019 campaign marked the first year in which the PGA TOUR introduced a “strokes-based bonus” that gives players with the most FedEx Cup points a stroke advantage relative to the field at the beginning of the tournament.
With the added complication of the handicapped scoring system, the challenge for bettors will be identifying who can get into contention considering where they are beginning the week on the leaderboard. It will take an exceptional week from any golfer to catch the big names at the top of the leaderboard starting with a stroke advantage.
Let’s take a look at several key metrics for East Lake to determine which golfers boast top marks in each category over their last 24 rounds.
Identifying the most predictive measures for player performance this week will be crucial in determining who will claim the FedEx Cup when all is said and done.
Strokes Gained: Approach
SG: Approach is the most predictive statistic at East Lake Golf Club. Success in this event has come in the form of many different types of golfers, but one of the consistent factors is the winners are putting their approach shots close.
SG: Approach — Past 24 Rounds
- Rory McIlroy (+25.5) (+1100)
- Tony Finau (+24.3) (+2200)
- Cameron Smith (+24.2) (+2800)
- Corey Conners (+23.9) (+8000)
Good Drives Gained
In the past, we have seen some of the best drivers of the golf ball play well at East Lake. Being a long hitter isn’t a requirement, as it’s far more important to hit fairways. The golfers who put the ball in play most often should have a strong chance to compete in Atlanta.
Good Drives Gained — Past 24 Rounds
- Corey Conners (+28.1) (+8000)
- Tony Finau (+25.7) (+2200)
- Scottie Scheffler (+25.9) (+260)
- Collin Morikawa (+24.7) (+8000)
- Joaquin Niemann (+19.0) (+7000)
Strokes Gained: Putting (Bermudagrass+Lightning)
The difficulty of East Lake will be the speed of the greens. Donald Ross designs are known for having different levels on a sloping green, which makes finding the correct place to land the ball challenging. To be successful, golfers must excel at putting on Bermuda greens with lightning-fast speeds.
SG: Putting (Bermuda+Lightning) — Past 24 Rounds
- Matt Fitzpatrick (+21.6) (+3500)
- Xander Schauffele (+16.7) (+600)
- Cameron Smith (+11.2) (+2800)
- J.T. Poston (+10.7) (+40000)
- Max Homa (+7.7) (+6500)
Par 4: 450-500
Five of the par-4s at East Lake are between 450-500 yards. Playing these more difficult holes under par will be a good barometer of who has success in this week’s Tour Championship.
Par 4: 450-500 — Past 24 Rounds
- Rory McIlroy (+22.6) (+1100)
- Tony Finau (+17.6) (+2200)
- Sam Burns (+14.3) (+2200)
- Jon Rahm (+14.0) (+1600)
- Patrick Cantlay (+12.3) (+330)
Strokes Gained: Donald Ross Designs
We have seen the same golfers thrive on Ross designs season after season. The requirement for strategic ball placement combined with the undulating greens seems to catch the eye of specific players. It’s important to note the players in this field who play their best golf on Ross designs.
SG: Total Donald Ross Designs — Past 24 Rounds
- Xander Schauffele (+37.9) (+600)
- Viktor Hovland (+30.7) (+7000)
- Rory McIlroy (+29.5) (+1100)
- Justin Thomas (28.5) (+2200)
- Sungjae Im (+25.0) (+3000)
Tour Championship Model Rankings
Below, I’ve compiled overall model rankings using a combination of the five key statistical categories previously discussed — SG: Approach (25%), Fairways Gained (22%), SG: Putting: Bermuda Lightning (20%),Par 4: 450-500: Gained (16.5%), and SG: Donald Ross (16.5%).
- Tony Finau (+2200)
- Xander Schauffele (+600)
- Corey Conners (+8000)
- Rory McIlroy (+1100)
- Sungjae Im (+3000)
- Scottie Scheffler (+260)
- Joaquin Niemann (+7000)
- Adam Scott (+13000)
- Cameron Smith (+2800)
- Scott Stallings (+13000)
Tour Championship Best Bets
(With Starting Strokes)
Rory McIlroy (+1100, DraftKings)
There isn’t a golfer on TOUR who can compare to Rory McIlroy when it comes to success at the Tour Championship. In his past seven trips to East Lake, he has finished outside the top seven (without starting strokes) only twice.
The 33-year-old has two Fed Ex Cup Championships on his résumé and is the only player besides Tiger Woods to have won the FedEx Cup more than once.
McIlroy had an extremely impressive BMW Championship last week at Wilmington Country Club. He led the field in Strokes Gained: Tee to Green (+10.6) and would have gotten deep into contention if it wasn’t for some atrocious putting.
McIlroy lost 4.6 strokes to the field putting, which was his worst performance in the category since March of 2021. Overall, McIlroy has had a strong year on the greens, so I don’t expect his struggles to continue at a course where he has been so comfortable throughout his career.
McIlroy will start the week at -4 and has a lot of work to do to catch Scottie Scheffler at -10 under par. It might seem like a tall task, but McIlroy himself was able to win the 2019 Tour Championship despite starting at -5 for his score. In fact, he won by four strokes that season.
If McIlroy repeats the tee-to-green performance of last week and manages to have a positive putting, he could become the first golfer in history to win the FedEx Cup three times.
Cameron Smith (+2800, DraftKings)
With rumors flying Cameron Smith is headed to LIV Golf and an injury withdrawal prior to last week’s BMW Championship, it appears we’re getting a steep discount on the Australian’s betting odds.
While the LIV chatter has had a negative impact on golfers over the past few months, I don’t believe Smith is the type of player who would let that affect his game. Before being docked two strokes for a rule’s infraction prior to the fourth round at the Northern Trust, Smith was the betting favorite heading into the final round.
Amidst the chaos of rumors, speculation and hard-hitting questions from the media, the champion golfer of the year was playing excellent golf.
I also don’t believe Smith’s nagging injury will be much of a factor. He said himself the issue has been bothering him for the past couple of years, but he has risen to the No. 2-ranked player in the world during that timeframe.
Smith’s course history at East Lake hasn’t been overly impressive, but it must be considered he’s a completely different player than he was in years past. The same could be said for his course history at TPC Southwind, which didn’t stop him from propelling himself deep into contention at the Northern Trust.
Since the implementation of the starting strokes system, one of the handful of the best players of that respective season tend to win the FedEx Cup. Scheffler has had the best season, but Smith isn’t far behind. With both a PLAYERS Championship and Open Championship victory on his résumé this campaign, Smith would be a deserving FedEx Cup champion.
(Without Starting Strokes)
Adam Scott (+2800, bet365)
Adam Scott will be returning to the TOUR Championship for the first time since 2019. It has been an up-and-down year for Scott, but the fact he has qualified for the event proves he still has plenty of game to compete with the world’s best players.
At this stage of his career, the Australian puts a high priority on the most meaningful events. The past four starts that would fit into that category are the U.S. Open, The Open Championship, Northern Trust and BMW Championship. In those four outings, Scott finished 14th, 15th, fifth and fifth, respectively. When stakes are highest, the veteran has brought his top game.
Starting at even par, Scott has virtually no chance to win the Fed Ex Cup. However, with nothing to lose on a difficult course, he can undoubtedly keep up the hot form. I typically like to bet Scott in events where scoring could be difficult and East Lake fits the bill. He only needs to get to in the -11 to -13 range to have the best score without strokes, which is entirely achievable.
The 42-year-old had had success at the course, having finished in the top 10 on the leaderboard (without strokes) in his last three trips to East Lake.
K.H. Lee (+10000, DraftKings)
Last year, we saw Kevin Na tie for the lowest score for the week with Jon Rahm, giving bettors who backed him at long odds a massive return on investment. Starting at even par and having a guaranteed $500,000, Lee will be playing with house money, so I can envision him coming through with a Na-like performance.
Lee comes into the event on the back of a 20th-place effort at the Northern Trust and a fifth-place finish at the BMW Championship. Despite playing against the best players in the world, he has continued to show he belongs.
Being a golfer who can get scorching hot with the putter and more than capable of putting together some low rounds, there’s no reason why he can’t have the best score without starting strokes for the week at triple-digit odds.
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