2022 Tour Championship Betting Preview


We’ve made it — the final tournament of the 2021-22 PGA Tour season. Ignore the fact that next season starts up in two weeks, as for now the culmination of a long and, at times arduous, season is upon us. The top 30 golfers in the FedEx standings aim for the “ultimate prize” with a victory this week, securing not only a trophy but the $18 million in prize money associated with it. 


The Tour Championship is a bit different than most tournaments, even aside from the small 30-golfer field – depending on where a golfer sits in the standings coming into the tournament they will start with an advantage (or disadvantage if you start bottom up). The leader will begin at -10, with second place starting at -8, and as you move down the leaderboard, the scores start to spread out to match the table below. 

Starting Strokes FedEx Cup Rank
10 under No. 1
8 under No. 2
7 under No. 3
6 under No. 4
5 under No. 5
4 under Nos. 6-10
3 under Nos. 11-15
2 under Nos. 16-20
1 under Nos. 21-25
Even par Nos. 26-30

Once the tournament begins, no further adjustments are made to scoring. It’s … a bit of a mess in my opinion, but I’ll save the ranting on preferred playoff formatting for Twitter. 

The tournament will once again take place as East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, a familiar host dating back to 1997, and permanent host since 2004. 

East Lake Golf Club 

  • Par 70 – 7,346 yards
  • DD (all drives) – 298 yards
  • DA – 55.6%
  • GIR Fairway – 82.6%
  • GIR Rough – 38.9%
  • Greens – Bermuda

Course Takeaways

  • When this tournament comes around the most memorable thing about East Lake to me is how unremarkable it is.
  • It’s very much ball-striking first, short game second – like many courses on the rotation but it’s more prevalent at East Lake is recent years.
  • We’ve seen some years distance be more of an advantage than usual, but accuracy is almost always a premium here compared to the average tour course – it gets dicey consistently playing from the rough, especially when the GIR rate is so high from the fairway.

Tour Championship Outright Winner 

(No starting strokes)

Cam Smith

(20/1, DraftKings Sportsbook)

That’s correct – I only have one outright to play this week (and he withdrew from last week, and I’m still not sure if he’s going to play this week as of writing this). That said, I, along with many others, didn’t exactly buy Smith’s reason for withdrawing from last week’s tournament due to hip discomfort, so I’m not concerned about any lingering issues if he does tee it up. 

I’ll start with the negative, about the only one Smith has right now: His accuracy off the tee. He can often offset this because he’s been so elite with the rest of his game, and he’s not always playing from the rough, however in such an elite field, if he’s not keeping up with hitting fairways it will cost him. 

His iron play has cooled off from what it was earlier in the season, but he’s still one of if not the best wedge player in the game right now and he may still have many wedges in hand this week but to truly take advantage he will need to be hitting them from the fairway. The fast and pure greens will be an advantage with how well he putts and his around the green game, even from the tricky rough, should be better than most of the field. 

His baseline numbers are so high for me that even with the accuracy being a negative impact it’s not enough in my ratings to get up to 20/1 and hopefully we can catch a victory in what may very well be his last PGA Tour event for some time if the LIV Golf rumors are true. 

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