2023 Tour Championship Odds, Picks: Scottie Scheffler Among Intriguing Round 2 Bets
Pictured: Scottie Scheffler. (Photo by John Adams/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
ATLANTA — Volatility took a 1-up lead over stability during the first round of the Tour Championship on Thursday.
Scottie Scheffler continued his unseemly putting and Rory McIlroy battled through a back injury as the top of the leaderboard was largely flipped upside down.
When the dust settled on the day, Viktor Hovland was not-so-unpredictably tied for the lead at 10-under after beginning just two strokes back. However, the bigger story is the players with whom he shared that position — Collin Morikawa and Keegan Bradley, who posted scores of 61 and 63, rallied from nine and seven shots behind, respectively.
With three rounds to play, don’t be surprised to see even more volatility.
Here’s a favorite and a few longer prices to consider before Friday’s second round.
Scottie Scheffler (9-under): +300
This is what I wrote about Scheffler’s +160 number before the tournament started: “I get that it’s an uncommonly short number here, so my recommendation is to potentially wait a round or two, see if a few players inch closer and move those odds, then play him live.”
Well, he didn’t play the way he wanted to. Scheffler posted a double and three bogeys and once again looked hideous on the greens. He ranked last in putting in the first round, but the game’s No. 1-ranked player did fulfill this pre-tournament prophecy by nearly doubling his outright odds.
We could chalk this up to a little karma from the golf gods after Scheffler criticized the tournament’s format prior to the opening round, but I don’t think even the deities want to go anywhere near his flatstick right now.
All of that said, while he ranks first in Round 1 scoring average this season, he also ranks first in Round 2 scoring average (a fairly remarkable feat in itself), 20th in Round 3 and third in Round 4.
Long story short, he coughed up the two-shot lead that was handed to him before this started, but there’s plenty of golf left and he now owns a much more palatable price.
Xander Schauffele (6-under): +1800
In that same preview, I backed Schauffele to post the low 72-hole gross score for this event. Since the Tour Championship changed to its current format in 2019, he’s finished 2nd, 1st, 3rd and 6th in total overall score.
I asked Schauffele about that on my SiriusXM PGA Tour Radio show — Hitting the Green — on Tuesday and he suggested that starting behind other players helps his mindset because he feels the need to step on the gas pedal a bit more.
Now only four strokes off the lead, he should continue climbing an already volatile board.
Rickie Fowler (5-under): +5000
I was only going to list three players in tonight’s write-up — after all, four of 30 is 13.3% of the field — but I couldn’t neglect Fowler’s price.
He's just five strokes back after posting a 2-under 68 that featured positive strokes gained with his irons and putter, but left plenty of room for improvement.
It’s certainly feasible to envision him making a run toward the top of this board.
Max Homa (4-under): +7500
You know, it’s a little strange: It didn’t feel like many were willing to pay down for a player outside the top-five who was starting at least a half-dozen strokes behind. However, we usually have zero problem chasing a player who’s at least that far back entering the second day.
That’s exactly where Homa stands and while he’s got plenty of work to do, this feels like an awfully big number based on the leaderboard flip we witnessed Thursday.
In last year’s second round, Homa posted an 8-under 62. If he replicates that feat this time, he’ll likely be among the leaders entering the weekend.