Rory McIlroy one of two best bets

ATLANTA — Over the years, I’ve usually tried to remind golf followers that whereas the PGA Tour and different governing our bodies definitely admire their patronage, they’re hardly close to the highest of the pecking order. Not positive if y’all have seen what’s occurring within the golf world this year, however let’s simply say this can be a reminder I’ve wanted to level out a bit of extra usually than up to now.

What’s humorous — not ha-ha humorous, however ironic — is that I wrote the above paragraph for this preview earlier than any information began to leak from final week’s elite-player meeting previous to the BMW Championship.

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Instead, I wrote that in regard to the Tour Championship and its staggered-start format. Once once more this week, the main participant within the FedEx Cup factors standings — on this case, Scottie Scheffler — will begin the week at 10-under, adopted by a staggered begin which has Patrick Cantlay at 8-under, Will Zalatoris at 7-under, Xander Schauffele at 6-under, Sam Burns at 5-under and the opposite 25 gamers all chasing from additional again.

It’s an idea akin to handicaps and maybe the one skilled golf event which seeds gamers based mostly on earlier outcomes.

Is it good? Of course not. However, it does accomplish the primary aim of not having two totally different gamers holding up two totally different trophies on a Sunday afternoon. When a essential sponsor is kicking in tens of hundreds of thousands of {dollars} and desires to keep away from this state of affairs, these items have a manner of fixing themselves.

This concept has been derided by many followers since its implementation two years in the past, however therein lies the overarching theme of this entire story: It’s not in regards to the followers.

From my expertise, followers have a tendency to think about solely the answer to their very own points with such an idea, versus wanting above themselves on that aforementioned pecking order.

You would possibly favor separate winners of the FedEx Cup and the event, however the sponsor doesn’t. You would possibly favor a wild match-play sprint for the money on the ultimate day, but when meaning fewer big-name gamers alive for the title, then the rights holders don’t.

Betting on golf?

I can simply see a day within the not-too-distant future when Korn Ferry occasions or newbie matches take away a market share of the viewers from these limited-field, no-cut occasions, the place somebody wins, somebody loses and no one’s life actually modifications to an unimaginable diploma.

It is the fact, although, particularly in a world the place elite-level gamers have been constantly strolling away from the PGA Tour in favor of LIV. Whatever it takes to maintain the best abilities round, I suppose. Though I do have a tough time imagining this advantages the followers in the long term.

In any case, let’s get to the picks for this week’s Tour Championship, as I’ll be right here at East Lake Golf Club all through the week to maintain a detailed eye on the proceedings.

Tour Championship outright winners predictions and picks

(With staggered begin)

Rory McIlroy (+900 — BetMGM)

Most gamers would possibly really feel a bit daunted to begin the week a half-dozen strokes behind the chief. Maybe they’d even blame an imperfect format and by no means fairly be in the fitting body of thoughts, understanding they’d be chasing proper from the opening tee shot.

However, for McIlroy, this may be every part he’s ever wanted.

Rory McIlroy.
Rory McIlroy in the course of the BMW Championship.
Getty Images

Think about it: How many occasions have we seen him trailing by this many pictures after the primary (or second, or third) spherical, solely to battle again to a spot the place we collectively say, “Man, if he’d only had a few more holes, he could’ve caught the leader …” Well, he’ll have these further holes this week. I can’t wait to observe a presumably aggressive McIlroy, armed with the information that he’ll must step on the gasoline pedal, on a golf course the place he’s gained up to now.

Throw within the karma narrative of the PGA Tour’s most vocal chief profitable the season-ending title in essentially the most tumultuous year ever and I like the concept of enjoying McIlroy as a chaser.

(Without staggered begin)

Jon Rahm (+800 — FanDuel)

Fresh off a weekend on the BMW Championship throughout which he posted 10 birdies with out a single bogey, it would really feel like too little, too late at this level within the season for one of the world’s most proficient gamers who’s usually left one thing to be desired. But, he’s clearly firing on all cylinders proper now. After gaining 7.73 strokes together with his flatstick over the ultimate three rounds final week, Rahm would possibly simply be a equally scorching placing week away from posting the bottom 72-hole whole within the season finale.

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