Fed Ex Cup Tour Championship: Half-Time Analysis 2018

Venue Name –      Eastlake GC, Atlanta, Georgia, September 20-23rd

Weather Report  –  

Saturday – 33 Degrees, Mostly Sunny, Precipitation 10%, Humidity 56%, Wind 6-10km/h

Sunday – 31 Degrees, Partly Cloudy, Precipitation 0%, Humidity 56%, Wind 6-11km/h


Leaderboard Day 1

T1 T Woods -5
T1 R Fowler -5
T3 G Woodland -4
T3 J Rose -4
T5 R McIlroy -3
T5 J Thomas -3
T5 T Finau -3

Leaderboard Day 2

T1 T Woods -7
T1 J Rose -7
T3 R McIlroy -5
T3 B Horschel -4
T5 P Cantlay -4
T5 J Rahm -4
T5 J Thomas -4

Course Details and Round by Round Summary

Round 1 Summary

Just like the BMW Championship, it’s all about Tiger Woods the first round. A year that he seen him climb up the world rankings faster than any other player. Tiger fired a flawless 5 under par round to sit alongside Rickie Fowler and even though he has had 0 wins this year, its looking like Tiger is knocking on the door of a break-through win again. Of the top 9 players in my pre-tournament rankings, it’s great to see most of these players off to a flyer. The course looks in fantastic condition, the greens are fast and running true, although the rough is brutal, it may not look nasty, however it’s thick and the ball is nestling down. There is a premium on driving the ball straight this week, so a good betting strategy could be “laying” tee shots this week and “re-backing” after the ball comes to rest if you think a player is suspect off the tee. I still believe Tiger’s weakness is his driving, and if he finds himself in-contention on the weekend, I will be watching closely to see if his driving is showing signs of improvement under pressure. From a technical standpoint, his swing today with driver looked very good, his “levels” are getting much better and his swing is starting to “free” again.

Round 2 Summary

What a great weekend of golf ahead with the world number 1 Justin Rose and Tiger Woods leading the Tour Championship. Tiger’s history shows that when he leads at the half way point of a tournament he is very strong with a 37-11 win/loss record and if he goes onto the lead after 54 holes, he has only ever been defeated once, and that was by Y.E Yang at the 2009 PGA Championship. If you are thinking about an outright bet on the overall winner market, then at worst a “saver” bet should be placed on Tiger Woods now. Tiger will not have it easy, as the world number 1 Justin Rose, is a renowned straight driver of the ball, which is a necessary attribute to mastering Eastlake. Rory McIlroy, Billy Horschel (my pre-tournament favorite) and Justin Thomas are all sitting right on Tiger and Justin’s heals.

The rough continues to play brutal, with the ball nestling to the bottom. It’s starting to play on players minds as most players are commenting on it in post-round interviews. We could see the field start to really spread out now, and 10 under par could easily be the winning score.

In-play betting for Round 3 & Round 4

Below is a list of the hole by hole scoring averages.

Here is a trading suggestion –

Option 1. The 6th and the 18th hole are playing very easy this year and are great for placing a “back” bet on a player you fancy (providing they are in a good position on the fairway) and then “lay” bet once the hole is completed. Best to do this trade when the market is compressed on the “back” and “lay” side.

Option 2. 8TH Hole – “Lay bet” on the tee and “re-back” once hole is completed. The 8th hole is playing extremely tough and averaging ½ a shot over par at 4.47 strokes. You can also do this trade starting on the 1st tee and trading out after the 4th hole.

Option 3. Look up on the PGA Tour website and assess driving accuracy percentages of players in contention this week. You could make a nice profit this week “laying” tee shots and “re-backing” once the ball comes to rest, as it’s imperative to drive the ball straight this week. Hint – Justin Rose is a strong driver of the ball averaging 65% of fairways hit this year, maybe avoid this strategy on Justin. Tony Finau ranks 176th in driving accuracy at 54%, he could be a good play on this strategy! Justin Thomas and Tiger Woods are not much better ranking 146th and 135th in driving accuracy at 58%.

Betting Strategy

Note – Even though it’s a strong leaderboard with the depth of players at the top, I really think the winner will come from Justin Rose or Tiger Woods. Tiger will be hungry for a win after hitting the lead at the British Open and not winning, and then contending the PGA Championship and not winning. Tiger’s record when leading at the half-way point and after 54 holes is also very strong. His only current weakness, I believe is his driving, but his swing is improving. If he drives the ball well I think he will win. On this basis I will lean towards Tiger to win this week.

Below are some bets to consider, you may also want to read the in-play betting notes as well

Back – Tiger Woods outright betting market for 3 units

Back – Justin Rose outright betting market for 1 unit

Back – Billy Horschel outright betting market for 0.5 unit

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