Buckle up. It’s go-time.
The first 45 PGA Tour events saw players jockeying for position to get into the top 125 and into the FedEx Cup playoffs. We’re now at that point in the season where it’s now an all-out sprint over the final three events as players chase a huge payday for winning the title of FedEx Cup champion.
The champ will pocket a cool $15 million bonus. Not a bad payday and one that 125 golfers have their eye squarely on as this week’s event, the FedEx St. Jude Championship, gets under way.
While there are 125 golfers in the hunt, it’s going to be tough for those outside the top 100 to have a chance. The reasoning is simple as no matter how good of a week they have, moving up to be in contention is going to be quite the task.
A victory would move one player into the top echelon. But if you’re looking to move up and finish mid-range in the tournament, your season will come to an end as just the top 70 advance to next week’s second playoff event, the BMW Championship.
Then it will be the top 30 heading to Atlanta for the finale: The Tour Championship.
But before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s take a look at this week’s first playoff event and try to figure out who has the most to gain by picking up a victory in Memphis.
And one more point we can’t harp on enough: There are no more soft fields. Anyone and everyone who is qualified for the playoffs is going to show up and give it their best effort chasing huge paydays in the tournaments as well as the FedEx Cup payouts.
That means No. 1 Scottie Scheffler will be front-and-center as he looks to keep that No. 1 position–both in the FedEx Cup standings and the world rankings.
Over the next three weeks it’s going to be a game of catch him…if you can.
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Odds to Win the FedEx St. Jude Championship
As always, shop around the sports betting industry for the best odds on your plays.
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Time to Raise the Expectations
For the past month or so we’ve been concentrating on players right around the top 125 in the FedEx Cup standings as we head into the playoffs.
Now our sights move to another key number.
After this week’s play, the top 70 will move on and play for at least one more tournament.
We’re going to concentrate on Taylor Pendrith this week at +10000. A couple of weeks ago he was trying to work his way into the top 125.
He’s been on a heater of late as he’s gone T-13, T-13, T-13, T-2, and T-13 last week at the Wyndham where he rallied to move up in the FedEx Cup rankings.
And we do mean rally. He was outside the cut line until a double bogey by the final man on the course dropped the cut line a stroke and put him back in the field for the weekend.
He made the most of it with rounds of 65 and 67 on the weekend that moved him into the T-13 finish. After all the hard work he’s put in to get this far, we’re looking for him to keep going strong…and maybe even post his first PGA Tour victory.
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We Haven’t Forgotten About the Big Guns
If you’ve missed out seeing the big names compete over the last few weeks, cheer up: Here they come. And we mean all of them.
If you’re inside the top 125, it’s your time to shine. So, which of these big names is playing well enough to win the playoff opener? If you said any of them, you’re right.
But we’re going to go with the hottest guy around: Tony Finau at a tasty +2000.
No one’s playing better. He’s won his last two starts and is now No. 7 in the FedEx Cup standings and No. 13 in the world rankings.
Not bad. But the news gets better. He’s coming in here as the defending champion.
With the power this event has: Scheffler, Jon Rahm, Patrick Cantlay, etc., it’s tough to narrow it down to one pick. But when you have a guy like Finau who is playing the best golf of anyone on Tour and is also the defending champ of this event, well, this is an easy choice.
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A Good Week for Prop Bets
While bettors are always looking for an outright winner, this week might be the best week to concentrate on the prop bets. And we aren’t talking about matchups this week…we’re talking about finishes.
We’re going to pick a top-10 finisher and a pair of top-20 finishers.
These aren’t great money-makers but with the talent this deep, we just need these guys to play solid golf and beat our expectations.
For the top-10, we’re looking at Joohyoung Kim or Tom Kim as he’s known on the circuit. Last week’s surprising winner wasn’t even supposed to be in the playoffs at all.
Amazing what a win will do for a person’s standing. At +350 for a top-10 we like his chances to keep his hot play going.
For the top-20, we like Billy Horschel at +170 and Taylor Moore at +400.
Horschel is a solid choice even though the payout isn’t great. He won the FedEx Cup title in 2014 and has been in the hunt in the postseason run more times than he hasn’t.
He’s 18th in the FedEx Cup race right now so a win (or a high finish for our sake) puts him square in the choice for another big payday.
Moore is a definite wild card. He’s up to 69 th in the FedEx Cup standings following an amazing last two weeks where he was sixth at the Rocket Mortgage Classic and T-5 last week at the Wyndham Championship.
To keep playing he’s got to stay in the top 70. In order to do that, he needs a third straight great week.