Golf tips and free bets: Three picks for the Tour Championship including 55/1 shot who has shot up the world rankings

THE thirty biggest money winners on the PGA Tour battle it out for a $15million first prize at the Tour Championship this week – ever felt like you’re in the wrong job?

The handicap system employed at Atlanta means FedEx Cup leader Patrick Cantlay will start on ten under par – two strokes clear of nearest challenger Tony Finau, and three ahead of Bryson Dechambeau – with the lowest rank quintet starting a daunting ten shots adrift.

That throws up all sorts of permutations. So I prefer to do away with the handicap, and dabble in the 72 hole market, with everyone starting off scratch.

Hot tip: Rory McIlroy 12-1.

Xander Schauffele was the 72 hole leader last year, and at the same odds as Rory he deserved a second look. 

But McIlroy also loves this course. He is a two time winner at East Lake, and has also finished second and posted three other top ten finishes, so it is hard to imagine him not playing well.

There were further signs that he is not far from producing his best form with a share of fourth in the BMW Championship on Sunday.

Apart from claiming Olympic gold, Schauffele has been out of sorts recently, so McIlroy gets the top vote.

Mid price: Tony Finau, 22-1

Finally got over the line for his first meaningful victory a couple of weeks ago in the Northern Trust, and that could just open the floodgates.

No surprise to see him make a slow start at the BMW last week after his emotional win, but shot the lowest round of the day in the final round – a sizzling 63 – and will arrive in Atlanta bursting with confidence.

He has also shown he has the accuracy needed to go low at East Lake.

His scoring average in 16 rounds here is a shade under 69, and four rounds in the sixties would probably get the job done.

Long shot: Erik van Rooyen, 55-1

The fast-improving South African has been defying the odds throughout the play-offs, coming from way down in the rankings to make it into the final 30.

That is down to top seven finishes in each of the first two FedEx Cup events, following his breakthrough victory at the Barracuda Championship four starts ago.

Van Rooyen has also improved his world ranking from 110th to 55th in the last month.

Even though he lacks course knowledge at East Lake, the fact that he is leading the scrambling stats in the play-offs shows he has the game to handle any trouble.

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