The 2023 PGA Tour Championship: A Battle for the FedEx Cup
All eyes are set on East Lake Golf Club in Georgia as the crescendo of the PGA Tour season reaches its climax. With a staggering purse of $75 million up for grabs, and the winner set to pocket a cool $18 million, stakes have never been higher. The top 30 players have qualified to compete, each having shown consistency and skill throughout the year to earn their place.
A Look Back
In 2022, the golfing world witnessed Rory McIlroy secure his third championship title, marking his presence as a force to reckon with. By doing so, McIlroy became the first player to clinch that many titles, a truly impressive feat. Last year's final round was nothing short of electrifying. Trailing by six strokes, McIlroy showcased his renowned prowess, ultimately overtaking the American, Scottie Scheffler.
This year, the tables have turned slightly. Scottie Scheffler currently leads the PGA standings, with Viktor Hovland closely tailing him in second place. McIlroy, our defending champion, is not far behind, holding the third spot. The dynamics between these three, given last year's results and this year's standings, promise a nail-biting finish.
Tournament Format and Advantage
Unique to the Tour Championship is the special advantage conferred upon players based on their PGA standings. As the golfers tee off, their starting scores reflect their season's performance. This means that Scottie Scheffler, thanks to his top seeding, begins at a ten-under par. Following him is Viktor Hovland at eight-under and Rory McIlroy at seven-under. This format, introduced in 2019, ensures that those who've performed well during the season are rewarded, setting the stage for an intriguing championship battle.
Tee Times and Pairings for the Inaugural Round
The excitement begins at 11:26 a.m. ET on Thursday. Jordan Spieth and Sepp Straka have the honor of being the first pair to tee off, setting the pace for what promises to be a memorable tournament. The day's highlight promises to be the face-off between the top seeds – Scottie Scheffler and Viktor Hovland teeing off at 2 p.m. ET.
Broadcast and Streaming Details
For those keen to catch every swing, putt, and drive, the Golf Channel provides comprehensive coverage. CBS takes the baton during the late afternoon and evening slots over the weekend. If streaming is more your style, both ESPN+ and the ESPN app will ensure you don't miss a moment. Detailed schedules are available on PGATour.com.
Betting Landscape for the 2023 Championship
The world of betting is buzzing with predictions and odds. As it stands, Scottie Scheffler, with his consistent top-of-the-leaderboard finishes this season, is the favorite at +140. Despite holding a two-stroke advantage, his recent track record has put him firmly in the spotlight. Viktor Hovland, fresh off a remarkable win at the BMW Championship, is a strong contender at 5-1 odds for his first FedEx Cup title.
However, the dark horse in this race could be the 2023 Masters Champion, Jon Rahm, pegged at +800. Rahm's recent victories and his formidable form make him a viable challenger for the crown.
Analysis and Predictions
Lucas Glover, starting at a commendable fifth place with a 5-under par, is touted to be one to watch. Having clinched titles at both the Wyndham Championship and the FedEx St. Jude Championship, his form is undeniable. However, recent performances suggest a cooling period, which might affect his chances this weekend.
Tommy Fleetwood, on the other hand, could surprise many. A 45-1 longshot, Fleetwood's recent performances hint at a potential surge. Positioned 11th in the standings, he's seven shots away from Scheffler. With his track record of swift comebacks and consistent scoring, he's a solid bet for those seeking an underdog story.
2023 Tour Championship starting score, odds
See the full Tour Championship 2023 picks, best bets, and predictions here.
Scottie Scheffler (-10) +140
Rory McIlroy (-7) +330
Viktor Hovland (-8) +500
Jon Rahm (-6) +800
Patrick Cantlay (-4) +1600
Max Homa (-4) +2800
Xander Schauffele (-3) +3000
Matt Fitzpatrick (-4) +4000
Lucas Glover (-5) +4000
Wyndham Clark (-4) +4500
Tommy Fleetwood (-3) +4500
Brian Harman (-4) +4500
Rickie Fowler (-3) +7000
Russell Henley (-3) +7500
Tom Kim (-2) +11000
Sungjae Im (-2) +11000
Tony Finau (-2) +13000
Keegan Bradley (-3) +13000
Corey Conners (-2) +13000
Colin Morikawa (-1) +13000
Tyrrell Hatton (E) +15000
Si Woo Kim (-2) +18000
Jordan Spieth (E) +18000
Jason Day (-1) +25000
Sam Burns (E) +30000
Taylor Moore (-1) +40000
Sepp Straka (E) +50000
Emiliano Grillo (E) +50000
Adam Schenk (-1) +50000
Nick Taylor (-1) +80000