The Tour Championship starts on the 21st September at East Lake Atalanta, and provides the finale to the 2017 season.
This tournament will not only determine the winner of the Tour Championship, but also the winner of the FedEx Cup. The lure of $10m in prize money for the winner of the Cup ensures all of the top players are in attendance this week. The tournament itself as a prize fund of $8,750,000, making this the most lucrative week in the season.
Last week we had the BMW Championship, and now the field has been whittled down to just 30. While we’re set for a great tournament in its own right, the main attention will be more on who wins the FedEx Cup.
How the Winner of the FedEx Cup is determined
The winner of the FedEx Cup will be determined by the player with highest amount of points, after the tournament points are added to the reseed points.
For the entire tour, players have been accruing points for their finishing positions in each of the tournaments, inclusive of the three most recent playoffs. After the BMW Championship, the points are reset, and reseed points are awarded. That means that the player who had the most points (Jordan Spieth) has his points total reset, and then is awarded 2,000 points.
This ensures that that the Tour Championship finale remains exciting, because even if a player has accumulated a significant points lead throughout the season, they must perform once again at the Tour Championship to ensure they win the Cup. Here are how the reseed points are distributed:
|Rank||Player||Reseed Points Awarded|
Points are then awarded based on the finishing position at the Tour Championship as per the table below:
|Tour Championship Finish||Points Earned|
Is this fair? That is debatable. One could argue that if a player has performed well all season, and has built up a significant points margin they should deserve to win it, irrespective of the performance in one particular tournament at the end of the season. Jordan Spieth had a lead of 340 which has now been reduced to 200, so this reset has been less of a hot potato this year. On the other hand, if points were not reset, this could make for an anti-climatic tournament, and some players would pull out from attending.
Rather, the best way to view it is that the goal is to compete in the Tour Championship, and the tournaments are a way to reach the playoffs, and the playoffs are a means to reach the final. Reaching the tournament in the best position possible grants an advantage.
Who can mathematically win the 2017 FedEx Cup?
Technically, anyone attending could win the Tour Championship. However, it much more likely that it will be one of the top five seeded players because of the reseed points.
If any of them win the tournament, then they will automatically win the FedEx Cup as well. That is because 2000 points are awarded for winning, followed by 1,200 for coming second. With a margin of 800 points, even if Jordan Spieth came second, Jon Rahm would have enough points to win.
It is possible for a player outside of the top 5 win both the Tour Championship and the FedEx Cup, but should be likely, there is some mathematics required, as their additional win of the FedEx Cup would then become conditional on the finishing positioning of those seeded above them. The full list of the various scenarios for this year can be found here. Here are the top five players and how they might perform this week:
1) Jordan Spieth
He starts as the top seeded player, and if he wins the Tour Championship he will score the maximum 4,000 points and win the FedEx Cup. No player has done this since Tiger Woods, so it is no easy task. Although he finished 7th at the BMW Championship, he has been consistent in the other two playoffs, finishing second each time. He is priced at 6.00 to win the Tour Championship with Bet 365.
2) Justin Thomas
Justin Thomas has had a fantastic season with five wins, and his first major. One of those wins came in the playoffs, but a disappointing finish in the third playoff may cast some doubts. He is very good friends with Jordan Spieth, and can currently be backed at 11.00 to win the Tour Championship. Whatever happens at this tournament, he will be in strong consideration for the PGA Tour Player of the Year award.
3) Dustin Johnson
We have covered Dustin Johnson’s change of form since his back injury incurred at Augusta several times now. He has had only one top five finish since then, and needs at least a top four position here. Even if he didn’t win it, coming second would give him a probable victory of the FedEx Cup, and he is currently second favourite to win at 8.50 with Bet 365.
4) Marc Leishman
Of the top five seeded players, Marc Leishman is the longest odds player at 21.00 to win the Tour Championship. Winning the most recent playoff, Marc Leishman gave himself a great shot at the FedEx Cup jumping three positions into fourth. He has found late form, benefiting from the increases FedEx points in the playoffs. Previous performances at East Lake have not been strong, but he is capable and will be competitive this week.
5) Jon Rahm
Jon Rahm hasn’t won on the tour since the very beginning of the year, but he was in excellent form in the playoffs with finishes of 3-4-5. He is priced at 10.00 to win the Tour Championship, and a win here would very much finish an exceptional year where he has gained 100+ positions in the world rankings.
Tour Championship Betting Offers
With a smaller field, those betting may be more likely to bet on players to place this week. Here are the money back specials available:
- Paying five places and money back if your player comes 2nd – Boylesports are paying out five places at 1/5 odds, and giving money back if your backed player comes 2nd. You need to stake £20 to receive this offer. Normally this would include if your player finished third, but the offer has been adjusted to reflect the small field.
- Paying five places – Paddy Power are paying out five places at 1/5 odds, which does not include the money back element of Boylesports’ offer, but it doesn’t have the same minimum stake requirements.
- Back a player to win, and receive free £2 bets – Back any player to win the Tour Championship with £20, and Boylesports will give you a £2 free bet every time they score at 2.
- Money back if your player comes 2nd or 3rd – Back a player to win the Tour Championship, and if your player doesn’t win, but does come either 2nd or 3rd, Winner will refund your losing stake as a free bet up to £25.