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The best prop bets for the 2021 Tour Championship

Profile Picture: Josh Powell

September 1st, 2021

There are several guaranteed controversies in golf every year. Patrick Reed will inevitably annoy some fans, Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau will escalate their feud, and Rickie Fowler will commit a serious crime against fashion with his selection of trousers.

The most obvious controversy though, is the Tour Championship. In 2019 it changed to a handicap system much to the annoyance of plenty of golf fans and bettors alike. What that now means is that FedEx Cup leader Patrick Cantlay will have a head start on the rest of the 30-man field, and will begin his tournament at 10-under-par.

You can get a full breakdown of each player and where they are in the handicap system here.

The good news is the course at East Lake in Atlanta is a beauty, and we have some solid form to work with when trying to spot a prop bet. The winning trends suggest accuracy of the tee outranks distance, but neither are overly important in comparison to greens in regulation, which is the key course statistic.

The Sedgefield Country Club crosses over well with this course, as both have similar layouts played with Bermuda greens, so anyone who performed well in the Wyndham Championship there could do well again this week.

To get the best value for your prop bets this week, I’ve looked at group betting where all the players begin on the same mark.

Group B Winner: Justin Thomas

Group B (TOUR Championship 2021): Thomas, J / English, H / Ancer, A / Spieth, J / Burns, S

Sun, September 5 2021, 8:00 PM

Thomas, Justin

+188

Ancer, Abraham

+350

Spieth, Jordan

+350

Burns, Sam

+450

English, Harris

+500

JT starts the tournament six shots behind Cantlay at four-under-par, and while he has a job on his hands to close that gap, he is a good bet to outscore Harris English, Abraham Ancer, Jordan Spieth, and Sam Burns.

Thomas has had an up-and-down season, but comes into this event in solid form, finishing fourth in the Northern Trust a fortnight ago, before finishing strongly with a 66 at the BMW Championship to get up to 22nd.

Thomas ranks third on Tour for shots gained tee to green, and last week found 75% of his greens in regulation – his best GIR statistic since Jan. 10.

If that hasn’t caught your eye, look at Thomas’ course form at East Lake which reads 6-2-7-3-2 since his debut in 2016. 14 of his 20 rounds have been 69 or under, and he has said numerous times in interviews about how much he loves playing here.

Group C Winner: Viktor Hovland

Group C (TOUR Championship 2021): Morikawa, C / Sungjae Im / Hovland, V / Johnson, D / Oosthuizen, L

Sun, September 5 2021, 8:00 PM

Johnson, Dustin

+200

Hovland, Viktor

+350

Morikawa, Collin

+350

Oosthuizen, Louis

+400

Sungjae Im

+500

Hovland is alongside Dustin Johnson, Collin Morikawa, and Louis Oosthuizen on 3-under-par, and while this group looks tricky, the Norwegian is a solid play. He ranks fifth in shots gained off the tee this season and 11th in shots gained tee to green, so East Lake should be set up perfectly for him to put on a good show.

He made his debut here last year and finished in the top half of the field at 14th. That wasn’t bad for his first look at the course, and hopefully he can build on that this week – particularly as in his one appearance at Sedgefield for the Wyndham Championship he finished fourth.

Hovland had a disaster in the Northern Trust, having started the final round in the top six before shooting a 77 on the last 18 holes to drop outside the top 40. But he bounced back last week with a decent performance in the BMW Championship to finish 17th, closing with a 66 despite almost teeing off on the wrong hole!

Group D Winner: Rory McIlroy

Group D (TOUR Championship 2021): Mcilroy, R / Schauffele, X / Kokrak, J / Koepka, B / Na, K

Sun, September 5 2021, 8:00 PM

McIlroy, Rory

+190

Schauffele, Xander

+225

Koepka, Brooks

+335

Kokrak, Jason

+600

Na, Kevin

+750

If Justin Thomas’ course form caught your eye, wait until you see Rory’s. Since his debut in 2012, his form here reads 10-2-16-1-7-1-8, which is simply phenomenal. In 2018 when he fell to seventh, he was playing in the final group alongside Tiger, as Woods put on an exhibition and probably hampered Rory a bit. His eighth last year came as he arrived late to the tournament after the birth of his baby girl.

Rory comes into this tournament off the back of a sublime driving performance last week that saw him finish fourth, and he ranks eighth on Tour for shots gained tee to green. His putting has been solid, and if he can dial his irons in, he has a real chance of surging up the leaderboard.

For this prop to land though, he’d only need to beat Xander Schauffele, Brooks Koepka, and Jason Kokrak. Given his love for the course, it’s hard to see him not obliging.

Group E Winner: Scottie Scheffler

Group E (TOUR Championship 2021): Conners, C / Matsuyama, H / Cink, S / Niemann, J / Scheffler, S

Sun, September 5 2021, 8:00 PM

Matsuyama, Hideki

+225

Scheffler, Scottie

+225

Conners, Corey

+335

Niemann, Joaquin

+450

Cink, Stewart

+800

Scheffler, Hideki Matsuyama, Corey Conners, and Joaquin Niemann have little chance of scooping the $15 million winners’ check starting from 1-under-par, but Scheffler is a solid bet to come out on top of this group.

Scheffler is an aggressive player who clearly likes this set-up, having finished fifth here on his debut last year despite starting eight shots back. If you remove the handicap, he would have finished second, and he led the field in shots gained tee to green.

With all the pressure on those with the lead, Scheffler will have the freedom to go at the holes with little to lose – and that suits him. He ranks fourth on Tour this season for number of birdies, and nothing will phase him as he tries to cut down that lead of Cantlay’s.

He may not make it to the top, but a good performance like last year should propel Scheffler to win this prop bet.

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