Golf Tips: Best bets for The Tour Championship and Italian Open

  • Max Liu
  • 4:00 min read
Dustin Johnson drives off the tee at the Tour Championship
Dustin Johnson won at East Lake last year

Last week was another winning week for our tipsters so get the best bets from Steve Rawlings, Dave Tindall and the rest of our golf experts at the Tour Championship and Italian Open...

Dave Tindall: "It's been a funny season for him but a fourth place at the Northern Trust was promising and he closed with a 66 at the BMW."

Back Justin Thomas E/W @ 19.018/1

Tour Championship: Spieth and Thomas chanced at East Lake

We're off to East Lake this week for the FedEx Cup decider and the final event of the 2020/21 PGA Tour season, so to be sure to check out Steve Rawlings' comprehensive preview where he recommends two players to back before the off including a former world number one and multiple major champion.

Steve says: "Lots of people are concentrating on the Lowest 72 Hole Score market but I don't like the ambiguity of the it. I like to bet on someone trying to win something.

"In the fullness of time, if they insist on persisting with this nonsense system, the FedEx Cup leaders will have a decent enough strike-rate in the event but with his poor course form, Patrick Cantlay looks opposable and given we had to wait five years for his second PGA Tour win, it's perhaps hard to envisage Tony Finau winning his third title two weeks after his second.

"The front two in the standings look worth taking on and that opens the event up slightly so for tiny stakes, I'm playing a couple of players that start the tournament trailing by six - the 2015 Tour Champion, Jordan Spieth, and the two-time runner-up, Justin Thomas."

Steve's bet: Back Jordan Spieth @ 42.041/1

The Tour Championship Each-Way Tips: Thomas can produce late charge

Dave Tindall, fresh from delivering a 22/1 winner at last week's BMW Championship, returns with three each-way selections for the finale at East Lake...

Dave says: "If there is one player who can race through the field I suspect it may be Justin Thomas. He'll start six shots back - which is stretching it a little and I wouldn't want to look any further back than that - but he's capable of the sort of inspiration and low scoring that could fuel a weekend charge.

"We saw that at The Players Championship when he flirted with the cut before firing 64-68 to come through and win. It's been a funny season for him but a fourth place at the Northern Trust was promising and he closed with a 66 at the BMW.

"Thomas was 7th for SG: Tee To Green last week and 14th and 5th in that category in his previous two starts. His Off The Tee rankings (19th and 12th the last two) are also encouraging. But what really elevates his chances here is an East Lake record that reads 6-2-7-9-3 from his debut in 2016...

Justin Thomas 956.jpg

"He's 18/1 to burst past the leaders and win the FedEx Cup and with four each-way places I think it's worth a go that he has a run at this and finishes in the leading quartet and maybe even at the very top of them."

Dave's bet: Back Justin Thomas E/W @ 19.018/1

Tour Championship: Course and current form stats

Andy Swales provides the lowdown on the course and form stats for this week's PGA Tour event and highlights players who could be in a good position to succeed at East Lake.

Andy says: "East Lake is a typical lush parkland course where tight tree-lined fairways demand accuracy from the tee.

"The greens are usually firm and quick, with water coming into play on four holes, while birdies are extremely difficult to extract.

"When the tournament was switched from its usual October/November date to September, in 2007, East Lake's Bentgrass greens were re-seeded with Bermuda in order to cope with the much higher temperatures...

"Two pros with strong East Lake histories are Rory McIlroy and Xander Schauffele.

"McIlroy has won here twice, and been runner-up once, and on Sunday at Caves Valley he finished fourth."

Andy's bet: Back Rory McIlroy @ 34.033/1

Italian Open: Hot Hill ready to roll again in Rome

Steve Rawlings provides an in-depth preview of this week's European Tour event in Rome and reveals who he's backing before the start.

Steve says: "It's always tough when we visit a new venue and there's nothing about the course to suggest any particular type of player will be advantaged so with very little wind forecast, I suspect the tournament may develop into a bit of a putting contest again.

"Last year's renewal was also played on a parkland course with little to no wind and Ross McGowan's victory was almost entirely down to a hot putter.

"The Englishman rankled 57th for Driving Distance, 45th for Driving Accuracy and only 59th for Greens In Regulation but he ranked second for Strokes Gained Putting and the players with the highest Putting Average Ranking on the week, Jonathan Caldwell, Nicolas Colsaerts and McGowan, finished fifth, second, and first...

Calum Hill winning the Cazoo Classic.jpg

"Scotland's Calum Hill, who topped the Strokes Gained Putting stats last week in Switzerland, just two weeks after winning his first European Tour event at the Cazoo Classic, is impossible to ignore with current form figures reading 4-1-7.

"I thought he was fractionally too big at 46.045/1 given he's no bigger than 33/1 on the High Street but given how little we know about the venue and how good an event this is for outsiders, I'm going to be extra cautious before the off."

Steve's bet: Back Calum Hill @ 46.045/1

Find Me a 100 Winner: Defending champ Ross set to shine in Rome

Next Steve continues his quest to land a winner at enormous odds with five bets across this week's events, including one on the defending champion in Rome.

Steve says: "the English have a fine record at the Italian Open, and so too do former winners with the likes of Francesco Molinari, Ian Poulter, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano and Hennie Otto all winning the event twice this century and all at different venues, so given he's found some fine form, the defending champ, Englishman Ross McGowan, looks an obscene price.

"Having finished 67th at the Cazoo Classic and 23rd at the Czech Masters, McGowan was matched at just 2.226/5 when he made the turn with the lead at the Omega European Masters last week before eventually finishing fourth and he's a cracking price to contend again here."

Back 1 u Ross McGowan @ 360.0359/1

Place order to lay 10u @ 10.09/1 & 10u @ 2.01/1

Italian Open Each-Way Tips: Jordan can enjoy a Roman holiday

Matt Cooper has three each-way selections for this week's European Tour event with the Betfair Sportsbook paying seven places.

Matt says: "My first selection is England's Matthew Jordan. The 25-year-old who plays out of Royal Liverpool should have really good vibes returning to Italy, scene of his first win at professional level in the 2019 Italian Challenge Open.

"He's in a fine run of form at the moment, landing tied sixth at the Hero Open and tied fourth last week in the European Masters. All of this comes after he laced together three consecutive top 20s in late June and early July, and he also made the cut in the Cazoo Classic in-between those recent top 10s.

"Dig deeper and his stats are good: top 20 for Strokes Gaines Tee to Green in his last three starts, top 21 for all three in Approach, top 20 for Tee to Green. He also putted nicely enough in the Hero Open and also in the Irish Open.

"He's coming to terms with the task of contending at this level, three back after 54 holes at the Hero Open, one back last week: big learning experiences and he can kick on this week."

Matt's bet: Matthew Jordan 1pt each-way @ 71.070/1

Italian Open First Round Leader Tips: Get Molly on side

If you fancy getting a pay-out after just 18 holes of golf at the Italian Open then the First Round Leader market is where you need to be. Dave Tindall has a trio of selections to consider including a popular home player, a former major champion no less.

Dave says: "Finally, I want an afternoon starter so why not try home hero Francesco Molinari. The Italian has an excellent record in his home Open and that extends to fast starts too.

FRANCESCO MOLINARI 2018 OCTOBER.jpg

"In fact, between 2014 and 2017 he was never out of the top two at the end of day one, twice finishing as first-round leader.

"His current form is certainly mixed but 13th in the US Open and a Friday 64 in Switzerland last week offer some encouragement. I also think the inevitable Ryder Cup chat this week will get his juices flowing. Back Molinari for FRL at 50s."

Dave's bet: Back Francesco Molinari E/W @ 51.050/1

Italian Open: Form stats for this week's tournament

Andy provides form stat on the players in action this week at Marco Simone Golf Club which in two years' time will host the Ryder Cup.

Andy says: "One big name who is enjoying his best run of form since the summer of 2019 is former Open champion Henrik Stenson.

The 45-year-old Swede has posted back-to-back top-four finishes on the European Tour and, although these tournaments in the Czech Republic and Switzerland are hardly top drawer, it is certainly a welcome boost for Stenson whose current World Ranking position is 143.

Another golfer to enjoy successive top-four finishes this month is American Sean Crocker who is a three-time runner-up on the European Tour.

In the same 'winless' category as Crocker is Belgian Thomas Detry who continues to perform well, albeit without a victory to his name. The 28-year-old has had nine podium finishes on the European Tour.

"With no course history available, current form is the main guide to this week's Italian Open."

Andy's bet: Back Henrik Stenson @ 38.037/1

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