Skip to content
Link copied to clipboard
Betting Commercial Content. 21+. Provided by Action Network, official betting partner of The Inquirer.

Tour Championship statistical modeling strategy and key betting stats

Nick Hennion of The Action Network breaks down his statistical modeling strategy for the 2022 Tour Championship at East Lake.

Scottie Scheffler plays his shot from the third tee during the final round of the BMW Championship at Wilmington Country Club on August 21, 2022 in Wilmington, Delaware. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Scottie Scheffler plays his shot from the third tee during the final round of the BMW Championship at Wilmington Country Club on August 21, 2022 in Wilmington, Delaware. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)Read moreRob Carr / Getty Images

By winning the BMW Championship, Patrick Cantlay became the first player to win the same playoff event in back-to-back years.

The win vaulted Cantlay five spots up the FedEx Cup standings to second overall, behind only Scottie Scheffler. Entering the finale of the FedEx Cup.

Now, the top-30 in the playoff standings make the trek from Delaware down to Georgia, specifically East Lake Golf Club, for the Tour Championship. The par-70, 7,346 yard Donald Ross design has played host to the PGA Tour’s final event of the wrap-around calendar since 2005.

Before we dive into our best bets for the week, we begin as always with our statistical modeling strategy for the event.

  1. Learn more about the BetMGM Promo Code

  2. Check out more of the best sports betting sites

Key Stats No. 1 and No. 2 - Strokes-Gained: Tee to Green (20% emphasis) & SG: Approach (12% emphasis)

Correlated Stat - Good Drives Gained (8% emphasis)

Historically, the strokes-gained measure has proven quite influential in terms of deciding the ultimate winner at East Lake.

Last year, the top four in this measure finished fifth, first, second and third, respectively, in the final leaderboard (staggered strokes included). The previous year saw the top-four in SG: T2G finish second, fifth, first and sixth, respectively, in the final leaderboard.

Eliminate the staggered scoring element of the handicap and bettors will find the overall “net’ winner — the player which secured the lowest score across the 72 holes — has finished seventh or better three of the last four years with two of the last three finishing third or better in SG: T2G.

Given the narrow fairways and (comparatively) small greens at East Lake, accurate placement will be required both off the tee and on approach to set players up for success. Thus, in addition to including the generalized SG: T2G, I’ve added supplemental emphasis on two other categories.

In terms of SG: Approach, this stat Is the most correlative with success at the Ross design. Per, there’s a 61.1% correlation between SG: Approach and SG: Total. That said, net winners at this course haven’t excelled in recent years, hence the lower emphasis compared to normal weeks. In the last four years, the net winners — 2021 had two — have finished 2nd, 22nd, 22nd, eighth and 14th in SG: Approach.

Finally, we have good drives gained — defined as either hitting the fairway or reaching the green from the rough — to sort historically accurate drivers. Because accuracy is more important than distance off the tee at a shorter course, this stat will likely come into play like it has in past years — three of the last four outright winners have ranked eighth or better.

That said, here are the leaders in SG: T2G over the last 24 rounds:

  1. Rory McIlory (+1400)

  2. Tony Finau (+1800)

  3. Scottie Scheffler (+250)

  4. Will Zalatoris (+1200)

  5. Corey Conners (+12500)

» READ MORE: Five favorite NFL futures for the 2022 season

Key Stat No. 3 - Greens in Regulation Gained (10% emphasis)

Correlated Stats - SG: Around the Green (5% emphasis), Sand Saves (5% emphasis)

Although the greens at East Lake aren’t Pebble Beach-small, they appear to be small enough to render this stat important.

Historically, winners at East Lake have gained 1.33 greens per round on the field. Meanwhile, those who finish in the top-five are gaining only 0.976 greens per round on the field. In fact, three straight outright winners — staggered scoring included — have finished fifth or better for the week in GIRs gained while the four net winners over the last three years have finished seventh, eighth, sixth and fifth for the week in this measure.

Because greens come at a premium, I’ve opted to include some additional short game stats to account for players’s misses. The latter stat — sand saves — is included as a result of the 74 bunkers that line East Lake, 34 of which are greenside. Historically, net winners have proved to be very efficient in this stat as the three of the last four have finished seventh or better for the week.

The same importance can be placed on SG: Around the Green as well. Three of the last four net winners at this course have ranked inside the top four in SG: ARG for the week, with Jon Rahm, one of two net winners last year, leading the field in this measure.

Here are the 24-round leaders in GIRs gained entering this week:

  1. Tony Finau (+1800)

  2. Scottie Scheffler (+250)

  3. Corey Conners (+12500)

  4. Xander Schauffele (+700)

  5. Jon Rahm (+1600)

» READ MORE: FIFA World Cup odds, predictions: Our two best futures bets

Key Stats No. 4 and No. 5 - Birdies or Better Gained (10% emphasis) & Bogey Avoidance (10% emphasis)

Eliminate the staggered start element of the Tour Championship and bettors will find East Lake doesn’t normally surrender boatloads of birdies.

That said, the winning net score has risen each of the last few years. In 2019, net winner Rory McIlory finished -13 for the week. In 2020, net winner Xander Schauffele finished -15 while 2021 net winners Jon Rahm and Kevin Na posted a -14 net winning score. So, although we won’t see anything north of -20, birdies gained still becomes a key statistic this week.

That’s backed up by the fact that two of the last four combined net winners have led the field in birdies or better gained — Rahm and Na ranked T-5th and T-16th, respectively, in BoB gained last year.

Then there’s bogey avoidance, which has proven a much more correlative stat. Both Na and Schauffele led the field in bogey avoidance in their net win years while Rahm and McIlroy finished in a tie for second in that metric.

Here are the leaders in both these categories over the last 24 rounds:

BoB Gained

  1. Rory McIlory (+1400)

  2. Tony Finau (+1800)

  3. Patrick Cantlay (+400)

  4. Will Zalatoris (+1200)

  5. Xander Schauffele (+700)

Bogey Avoidance

  1. Rory McIlory (+1400)

  2. Tony Finau (+1800)

  3. Matt Fitzpatrick (+4000)

  4. Xander Schauffele (+700)

  5. Jon Rahm (+1600)

Key Stat No. 6 - Strokes-Gained: Par 4′s (15% emphasis)

Correlated Stat - SG: Par 4′s - 450 to 500 yards (5% emphasis)

With 12 of East Lake’s 18 holes playing as Par 4′s, those who historically excel on such holes should produce a strong finish.

Unsurprisingly, there’s a strong correlation between Par 4 Efficiency and net finishing position at East Lake. Last year, net winners Rahm and Na finished first and second, respectively, in Par 4 Efficiency while Schauffele, the net winner in 2020, also ranked first in this measure for the week. Finally, 2019 net winner McIlroy finished in a tie for second in overall Par 4 efficiency.

Given those outputs, I have no choice but to make this category my second-most emphasized for the week. Additionally, I’ve added a small amount of emphasis on a specific Par 4 measure — 450 to 500 yards — as a plurality of these 12 holes at East Lake (five to be exact) fall within that range.

Here are the 24-round leaders in SG: Par 4′s entering the Tour Championship:

  1. Tony Finau (+1800)

  2. Rory McIlroy (+1400)

  3. Matt Fitzpatrick (+4000)

  4. Will Zalatoris (+1200)

  5. Patrick Cantlay (+400)

The Inquirer is not an online gambling operator, or a gambling site. We provide this information about sports betting for entertainment purposes only.