Matchbook’s resident golf expert Cian Kirby delves into the final round of the FedEx Cup playoffs as the Tour Championship takes place at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta Georgia this week.
Due to the new format in place this week the market has an unusual look to it but that is due to a handicap system in place which is shown below so the whole field is playing catch up on Justin Thomas:
The Rees Jones redesigned parkland course measures 7,350 yds with tight tree-lined fairways demanding accuracy while the fast Bermuda greens will test the players’ flat stick skills. East Lake has hosted the Tour Championship for the last twenty years which has been won by some golfing greats including Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Jordan Spieth who all surprisingly failed to qualify this week. The course also hosted the 1963 Ryder Cup where Arnold Palmer captained America to a facile 23-9 victory over Great Britain and Ireland.
Justin Thomas 3.6 – After picking up a wrist injury earlier in the season, Thomas has firmly put that hindrance behind him as he rounded off an impressive run of four Top 12 finishes with a scintillating victory in last week’s BMW Championship. The World No.5 has shown his love for East Lake in his three visits to the course by finishing inside the Top 7 on each occasion.
Not only is the 2017 PGA Championship winner in the form of his life but to simplify this week’s task he has a two-stroke lead on the field.
I find it difficult to envisage any players on -4 or below competing and with only four players within five shots of JT, absolutely everything is pointing towards another victory for Justin Thomas.
Patrick Cantlay 6.0 – Is quickly becoming one of the most consistent players on the PGA Tour with seven top 25 finishes in his last eight starts. The Californian is just two behind JT and remains his closest competitor but there must be question marks over his course form. Having played here twice he’s failed to get into contention on both occasions, only finishing 20th and 21st respectively.
Brooks Koepka 6.6 – Since winning the St. Jude Invitational the World No.1 has failed to fire in the previous two FedEx Cup events finishing outside the Top 20. After churning out top class results in major championships the US PGA Champion looks to have run out of steam for the finale and with just one Top 10 finish in three appearances at East Lake it’s hard to fancy him this week.
Rory McIlroy 10.0 – A winner of the FedEx Cup three years ago the Northern Irish man returned to form impressively with successive Top 10 finishes after missing the cut at the Open Championship. His form is too hot and cold for me though and after another lacklustre display at the weekend, I find it difficult to see him making up five shots on Thomas.
Jon Rahm 16.5 – The Spaniard has been in superb form recently and he backed up his impressive display at the Northern Trust with another bold showing at the BMW. Rahm has now finished inside the Top 11 in all his last seven starts and he has also finished inside the Top 11 on both his starts at East Lake so expect another big week from Jon Rahm.
It may seem like Thomas is a very short price but given his shot handicap combined with his course form he is absolute banker material to land the FedEx Cup finale.
- Justin Thomas 5 point win @ 3.60