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Favorites vs. The Field: 2022 TOUR Championship

Would you rather have the three favorites or the rest of the golfers competing in this weekend’s TOUR Championship at East Lake? We break it down.

Xander Schauffele of the United States plays his shot from the seventh tee during the final round of the BMW Championship at Wilmington Country Club on August 21, 2022 in Wilmington, Delaware. Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Scottie Scheffler will start 10 strokes under par this Thursday when he tees off against the top-30 PGA TOUR golfers as the TOUR Championship begins. With the starting strokes format based on the results of the first two FedExCup championships that took place over the last two weekends, the odds lean heavily toward the golfers going in with top standings.

TOUR Championship predictions

The Favorites

Scheffler leads the field coming into the tournament, listed at +225, followed by defending champion Patrick Cantlay at +300 and Xander Schauffele at +550, per DraftKings Sportsbook. Will Zalatoris has dropped out with a herniated disc injury.

Cantlay is hitting his stride right now after a win at the BMW Championship this past weekend, and shot four straight rounds in the 60s last year at East Lake Golf Club for a decisive win. Scheffler has been sitting atop the World Golf Rankings for 22 weeks, and is the only golfer on tour to have racked up four PGA TOUR wins this season.

Schauffele has a solid history at FedExCup events and can’t be counted out heading into this weekend, even competing against Cantlay’s hot streak and Scheffler’s ranking.

The Field

With Zalatoris out, the field opens up more. Rory McIlroy is sitting at fourth in the DraftKings odds, and his experience on tour combined with his performances in July’s Open Championship and RBC Canadian Open make his 4-under start look like plenty to work with. Australian Cameron Smith will also start at 4-under on Thursday, and he’s listed at a far-off +2500.

Jon Rahm is starting at 3-under, and is listed at +1200 to take home the victory. It will be a challenge to catch up to Cantlay’s and Scheffler’s huge starting stroke advantages, but it’s not out of the question for Rahm, who finished in the top-5 at St. Jude and the BMW Championship.

With the starting strokes format, though, I have to go with the favorites, coming in with a major advantage on Thursday.

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