2020 Tour Championship: Latest betting odds, favorites and sleeper picks for East Lake

Rory McIlroy, the defending FedEx Cup champion, will start 7 strokes behind Dustin Johnson this week in the Tour Championship, but the 2-time FedEx Cup winner has the ability to catch up in a hurry.
© GOLFFILE / KEN MURRAY / 2019 FILE

Dustin Johnson will be tough to catch at East Lake, where he will start with a 2-stroke lead, but Webb Simpson, Rory McIlroy and Daniel Berger might be the best bets to do it

As much of a pushover TPC Boston was a week earlier, Olympia Fields, just south of Chicago, was brute.

The USGA must have been wondering why its thunder was being stolen just weeks before pros and amatuers arrive at Winged Foot for the rescheduled national championship.

However, golf fans were treated to one of the best two-hole duels ever from the two best players in the world right now. It started when Dustin Johnson holed a double-breaking 43-foot birdie putt on the 72nd hole to force a playoff. It ended on the first extra hole, on the same 18th green, when Jon Rahm sank an otherworldly 66-foot putt to win the BMW Championship.

If the Twitter-verse had a loudspeaker, it would have sounded like a rock concert. The finish proved to be the perfect penultimate moment before heading to East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta for this week’s season-ending Tour Championship.

All of our picks (Justin Thomas, Daniel Berger and Kevin Kisner) ended up T-25, but in a 69-player field, we can’t claim anything special. The pendulum certainly swung the other way compared with a week earlier, when Johnson shot 30 under to win by 11 strokes, as only five players finished under par at Olympia Fields. But it was Rahm who was able to grind the best and take the final bit of momentum into the Tour Championship, where a $15 million bonus is on the line for the winner.

Only 30 players are in the field, and the action will begin on Friday and conclude Labor Day Monday as opposed to the traditional Sunday finish. Nothing about 2020 has been traditional, so it would be fitting if we had an outsider make a serious run for the cup.

According to British bookmaker William Hill, Johnson, the FedEx Cup points leader and No. 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking, already is two shots ahead of the field and is the favorite at just +163. Rahm, who is No. 2 in the world and in the Tour standings, is next at +275. After yet another stellar season on Tour, Justin Thomas, No. 3 in the world and in the Tour standings, comes in at +550. Webb Simpson, one of the steadiest players of the year, is next at 11-1. Collin Morikawa, the winner of the PGA Championship, the season’s only major tournament to date, rounds out the top five at 20-1.

There is not much separating the favorites from the sleepers in such a small, all-star event, so we’re just going to give you three picks who present the most value for the Tour Championship.

First, we like Simpson at 11-1. He had the luxury of taking last week off and now is set to start the tournament only four shots back. Throughout his career, he has had three top-five finishes at East Lake, and his two most recent finishes were both in the top six. Over the Tour’s previous 50 rounds, Simpson is first in strokes gained total on par 70s, so look for him to be a serious contender.

Next, there is just too much value on defending champion Rory McIlroy at 22-1 not to consider him. He showed some promise last week at the BMW Championship before fading on the weekend. The two-time FedEx Cup winner certainly will feel comfortable at East Lake, even though he will begin play Friday seven shots back. No one can catch fire like McIlroy, so look for him to finish the season strong.

Last, we’re going to run it back with Berger at 25-1. Last week was an anomaly, so don’t read too much into his 7-over score through the first 36 holes at Olympia Fields. He is six shots back to start this week, and our feeling is that the Tour will have a much fairer setup than last week. Berger has been the best all-around player since the season restart in early June, and it would not be a surprise if he were to lift the FedEx Cup trophy on Monday.

2020 picks scoreboard:
Winners: 3
Top 10s: 9
Top 25s: 3
Misses: 18

Here are the notable odds, according to William Hill:

Dustin Johnson +163
Jon Rahm +275
Justin Thomas +550
Webb Simpson 11-1
Collin Morikawa 20-1
Bryson DeChambeau 22-1
Rory McIlroy 22-1
Daniel Berger 25-1
Xander Schauffele 25-1
Hideki Matsuyama 28-1
Tony Finau 50-1
Patrick Reed 55-1
Harris English 55-1
Brendon Todd 80-1
Sungjae Im 90-1
Scottie Scheffler 90-1
Tyrrell Hatton 100-1
Joaquin Niemann 125-1
Kevin Kisner 150-1
Viktor Hovland 150-1
Sebastian Munoz 150-1
Billy Horschel 200-1
Abraham Ancer 250-1
Ryan Palmer 300-1
Kevin Na 300-1
Lanto Griffin 300-1
Cameron Champ 400-1
Cameron Smith 400-1
Mackenzie Hughes 400-1
Marc Leishman 500-1

This article originally appeared on Morning Read.

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About the Author
Dan Wooters has been with Buffalo Groupe since May 2018. He began his career with the Metropolitan Golf Association in Elmsford, N.Y., and has mostly remained in the golf industry ever since, including stints with the PGA of America and PGA TOUR. Dan is a two-time graduate of Marquette University in Milwaukee. He is a part-time hotel owner and enjoys traveling the world as much as he can. He currently resides in Arlington, Va.