Table of Contents
By Alex Lauzon from the “Course of Life” podcast
The Final Thirty
Forty seven events and eleven months later, we’ve arrived at the conclusion of a massive wraparound 2022-2023 schedule (one we’ll never see again) that culminates with the handing out of the FedEx Cup. The FedEx Cup winner at the end of this week takes home a whopping $18 million prize for their season-long dominance, and from there the rest of the top 30 to qualify for this week’s season-ender are all handsomely paid out for a successful season on the PGA Tour. Hell…last place at this week’s event takes home $500k for their hard work all year. If they’re banking that kind of money this week we should at least win our piece this week, right?
As for how we got to this thirty man field: Lucas Glover started the playoffs with his second win in two weeks which vaulted him into the top five, and last week at Olympia Fields Viktor Hovland barnstormed the leaderboard to second heading into the finale. In case you forgot, we have a preset leaderboard with staggered scoring to begin, meaning the top FedEx cup ranked players are starting under par anywhere from -1 to -10 at the top (Scottie Scheffler), making a large scale comeback from anymore than 5-6 shots back all the more rare. Hovadn sits second to start at -8, while Rory McIlroy (-7), Jon Rahm (-6) and Lucas Glover (-5) round out the starting line top five.
Who Can Win It All?
There’s just thirty golfers left playing at East Lake in Atlanta, a course that has hosted the FedEx Cup finale every year since its inception in 2007 and tour championships dating back to the 1990’s. It’s traditionally a straight forward parkland track that has the handprints of Donald Ross, Bobby Jones and Rees Jones on it, meaning it’s classic in structure and devilish around the putting surfaces. It’s a modest 7300 year track that has some brutally long par threes, so come with the correct line of play.
In terms of winning the trophy, the airtight field features 30 of the hottest golfers on the planet, and only one of those golfers are within six shots of the lead which BEGINS tournament play at -10. Some notables who just slid into to the Tour Championship are #24 Collin Morikawa, #25 Jason Day and #29 Jordan Spieth.
Forecasting The Tour Championship
Recent years at East Lake have shown us that soft or firm, this track does not hold up in difficulty from tee to green. Rory’s -21 tally last year with a slew of close contenders made their course their chew toy for the entirety of the week. With nothing but sun and heat in the forecast East Lake should dry a bit, but there’s no doubt this devolved into a contest of who’s the best birdie putter on Sunday. We’ve got some big money putts coming for the players, and for our bankrolls as well. Also, don’t forget the weight that the staggered leaderboard has on odds.
1. Who’s hot and trending – recent high finishes, top 10 streaks and consistent play are never a bad thing.
2. Horses for courses – players love certain courses and course familiarity and experience are invaluable in a field of the world’s best.
3. What the numbers tell you this week – while I’m far from analytical, there’s always a tournament darling or two scattered across the golf talk stratosphere that stuns on paper.
4. Intangibles – while this allows for theater of the mind, there’s a mysterious optimism surrounding a player that feels “due” or if the price looks just right for buying.
At the BMW, it was another week of waving to players in contention wishing that was us again. Every season has their lulls despite my nine outright winners in 2023 – mine just happens to be coming at the very end of it all. This past week’s picks were another C, one more week to be a hero on the PGA Tour calendar.
(Wanna start a Pick-X pool with your friends? Learn more here! Or, if you’re looking to start your own PGA One-and-Done pool, check those out here) (Hint: the main difference between the two is how many players you’ll pick each week)
1: Rory McIlroy – As phenomenal as Scottie has been to get himself to #1, it hasn’t been by closing or winning, it’s been by consistency. Rory likes this track a lot more and is the defending champ, and two shots to make up over four days is doable.
2: Viktor Hovland – Last week’s winner is a streaky player by nature, so hop on quickly while you still can. Eleven under par total last year at East LAke for the Norwegian.
3: Patrick Cantlay – He let us down last week but I refuse to believe we’ve heard the last of him this season. Top 10 last year at East Lake and seems close to breaking through with his putter.
4: Max Homa – In a good headspace and coming off a solid week at the BMW, he’ll roll some good vibes into his end of year payday for a successful campaign.
5: Xander Schauffele – If the format of staggered scoring weren’t in place, I think Xander might have a handful of W’s here. Loves the track and performs well here tee to green.
6: Tony Finau – If there’s a bomb to break a record and come back from the true back of the pack, it’s Finau.
RYP One and Done Pick: Rory McIlroy
Where to watch: The Golf Channel and CBS go to the finish line of the season, and this is the last time we get Jim Nantz’s sultry pipes before it’s a Sunday afternoon in the NFL. Take it in one last time.
Why to watch: It’s the season finale of the playoffs, with the biggest payout in golf on the line. Even last place gets $500k.
What to eat: In the Atl you have to get a classic Southern plate – Fried Chicken, some mac, greens and all the desserts your stomach can handle.
Purse: $75 million
Winner’s Share: $18 million
How do PGA Golf Majors Pools work?
In PGA Golf Majors Pools, member select six golfers to compete on a roster over the course of an event. The member with the best combined score from the six golfers wins.
Can you include all four majors into one pool?
Yes, but your commissioner can also customize these setting with RunYourPool. Pools can include up to all four majors, repicking golfers each time or adding bonus points for finishing positions
How do I assemble a roster?
Golfers are broken up in to six tiers, as members select one golfer per tier to be on their Major roster.
What happens to golfers who miss the cut?
Any PGA Player who does not make the cut will be given the highest score of Round 3 and Round 4, respectively.
What are the four golf majors?
The Masters is the first major of the season, in April. The PGA Championship and the U.S. Open follow, with the British Open ending as the final major.
How do PGA One and Dones work?
Members in a pool select one golfer to win a tournament, but can't pick that golfer again for the rest of the season. The member with the best score at the end of the season wins.
What is a PGA One and Done pool?
A PGA One-and-Done Pool is a contest similar to Survivor Pools, in which members can only select a golfer one time per season for events.
Which tournaments are played for PGA One and Dones?
Pool commissioners can set up the season for as many or as few tournaments as desired. Go crazy and do all of them! Or dial it back for the major events. As commissioner of a RunYourPool contest, you decide which events to play in!
How to run a weekly golf pool?
In order to run a golf pool, you must first crown yourself as Pool Commissioner. Begin by picking a game type like One and Done or Pick-X Pools. You'll want to establish rules before inviting friends, family, and colleagues to join. As commissioner, you make the rules and also need to enforce them equally and fairly.
How do golf Pick-X Pools work?
Members select a certain number of golfers per tournament, set by the pool commissioner. The member earns the total winnings that their selected golfer won for the tournament. Whichever member earns the most winnings over the duration of the season wins.
What is a golf Pick-X Pool?
A Pick-X Golf Pool calculates tournament winnings rather than strokes gained when deciding a winner. This amplifies the big name events that feature a higher prize purse.
How to run a golf pool?
How you decide to run a golf pool varies greatly depending on the game type. In each case, however, you'll want to determine the rules and settings before you begin inviting members to join you. You'll want to clearly establish how score will be kept, how tiebreakers work, and how winners are decided before anything else.
What is a prop bet?
Prop bets are any sort of pick or wager on a game that has nothing to do with the score or the final score outcome. Props can range from game types, to team types and even player types - such as who will score the game's first and last touchdowns? Other props, such as novelty or exotic, feature bets on things such as the coin flip or the Super Bowl Halftime Show.
How do Masters Prop Bets Pools work?
Pool members simply fill out a wide range of prop questions, each question worth a different value. Commissioners decide on the point value for each question, along with the amount of questions. Whichever member earns the most points based on corret answers wins the pool.
When is the Masters?
The Masters is typically in April and the first major of the golf season. The 2023 Masters is set for Thursday, April 6 and will run until Sunday, April 9.
Where is the Masters played?
The Masters is annually held at the Augusta National Golf Club located in Augusta, Georgia, USA.