2020 TOUR Championship: Sobel’s Top Three Plays For Round 4 (Monday, Sept. 7)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images. Pictured: Collin Morikawa.
- With one round remaining at the TOUR Championship, Dustin Johnson (-500) holds a five-stroke lead using the pre-tournament staggered scoring.
- Without that scoring, he's two strokes behind Xander Schauffele (+1000), whose ball-striking was less than ideal on Sunday.
- Jason Sobel delivers his top three plays for Round 4 of the TOUR Championship.
Another week, another Dustin Johnson lead with 18 holes left to play.
If you’re keeping score, that’s four consecutive starts in which DJ has held the 54-hole lead and yes, he’s 1 for 3 in converting that into a victory so far.
Staked to a five-stroke lead using the pre-tournament staggered scoring which the PGA TOUR has employed to ensure the Tour Championship winner will also be the FedEx Cup winner, Johnson is currently minus-500 to close it out.
It’s certainly not unimaginable to believe one of his fellow contenders can chase him down, but this feels very much like his Sunday advantage at TPC Boston, which he continued to increase throughout the final round.
If you want to take Justin Thomas (+900) or Xander Schauffele (+1000) to hunt him down, I might not love their chances, but at least the prices are right.
Instead, I’ll offer three other bets for Monday’s final round, which should hold more promise:
Winner Without Dustin Johnson
Collin Morikawa +800
It doesn’t happen too often, but every once in a while — when a player owns such a large lead — books will offer a bet on what is essentially the B Flight, giving odds to the potential second-place finisher.
Schauffele, who leads all players in fewest strokes through 54 holes, is listed at +200, just behind Thomas at +188, as each of them will enter the final round at 14-under.
I’m going a bit deeper for my play here, though.
Collin Morikawa gained strokes tee-to-green and with his approach shots for a third straight round on Sunday. At 12-under, just two strokes behind the “leaders” in this category, I love Morikawa’s price of +800 to post a low one and claim runner-up honors.
Winner Without FedEx Cup Starting Strokes
Dustin Johnson +275
On the “real” leaderboard — the one which doesn’t exist, but would show players’ scores in relation to par for this week only — Schauffele leads at 11-under, followed by Johnson at 9-under.
We’re only two weeks removed from DJ taking a major advantage into that final round at TPC Boston, then stepping on the gas pedal to lap the field.
While you might not want to risk that happening at -500, you can take him here at +275, which will mean he needs to catch Schauffele, whose ball-striking was less than ideal on Sunday.
With a title on the line, it would hardly be a surprise if DJ steps on that gas pedal once again.
Round 4 Matchup
Cameron Champ (+106) over Kevin Na
Sometimes we need to look beyond the top of the leaderboard for our favorite play — and this is one of those times.
Cameron Champ is +106 to beat Kevin Na in the final round, a play that I absolutely love.
In the third round, Champ’s ball-striking numbers were through the roof; he ranked second in strokes gained off the tee and second in strokes gained on approach shots. His short game and, especially, his putting, however, were atrocious, as he lost nearly a stroke-and-a-half more than anyone else on the greens alone.
Na was the complete opposite, with horrible tee-to-green numbers and solid putting stats.
As usual, let’s bank on positive movement for the guy with the more sustainable numbers, which means Champ should smash this one.