Tour Championship Golf 2023 – Round 2 Tips and Betting Preview

The second round of the Tour Championship takes place at East Lake on Friday with the 30 players involved in the tournament knowing that one of them is three days away from being $18 million richer if they win the event.

There was no shortage of drama in the opening round of the tournament and already we have a much more bunched leaderboard than when we started out in the competition. That should make for an excellent Friday.

Round 1 Recap

Scottie Scheffler started the tournament with a two shot lead but a trip to the drink three holes from home has seen him immediately surrender that advantage allowing Collin Morikawa and Keegan Bradley to be joined by Viktor Hovland at the summit of the competition on 10 under par. Scheffler is then a shot behind then on nine under with Adam Schenk taking advantage of the slow scoring at the top of the leaderboard to close right in on eight under alongside Russell Henley. The European trio of Jon Rahm, Matthew Fitzpatrick and Rory McIlroy are on seven under beginning the second round of the tournament.

Outright wise it was a good day for us on Thursday as Collin Morikawa soared into the lead in the tournament without the handicaps applied and he’ll take a two shot lead in that particular event into the second round. Our outsider in that market was Sepp Straka and he got off to a solid start but unfortunately Man Home was one of those who stuttered in the main Tour Championship standings and needs a good Friday.

Friday Betting

Unlike in the first round where the market is heavily skewed by the handicap standings, the second round leader market is much more workable, particularly here when there are nine players within three shots of the lead starting out. Viktor Hovland is the favourite to be ahead at the close of play and that is probably right because we have that situation where Collin Morikawa and Keegan Bradley are having to back up very low rounds which is never easy. Were they to stall then Hovland would be in pole position to move to the front on his own. Those further down the leaderboard who might be value include Russell Henley who is in decent form and only two back but I’m happy to watch the event develop before getting involved in these markets.

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Friday 2 Balls

As is the case all week, the field go out in two balls on Friday with the final pair onto the golf course being Collin Morikawa and Keegan Bradley. They enter the first tee at 19.00 BST, two hours and 34 minutes after Emiliano Grillo and Nick Taylor get the second round up and running. The entire round is covered on the TV and among the appealing two balls on show are the 16.48 BST one which has Jordan Spieth out alongside Tommy Fleetwood while the 17.43 group of Patrick Cantlay and Rickie Fowler and 18.16 pair of Jon Rahm and Tyrrell Hatton will get plenty of attention on them. I like a bet on one of the other two balls though.

Rory McIlroy vs Matthew Fitzpatrick

Match tees off at 18.27 BST

The fourth to last group off the first tee on Friday is the European pair of Rory McIlroy and Matthew Fitzpatrick who go into the second round three shots off the lead and looking to position themselves for a tilt at the bounty over the weekend.

Fitzpatrick looks to be coming into a rich vein of form at the minute. He probably would have won last week had Viktor Hovland not come from the clouds on the Sunday and he started here with a very respectable three under 67 where he ranked second in strokes gained off the tee and inside the top 10 in strokes gained tee to green, which around here is so much of the job. In contrast, while battling a back injury McIlroy could only open up with a 70 which was probably a doubly disappointing effort having fought back from two over after 11 holes to be one under standing on the penultimate tee only to bogey the last. McIlroy twice duffed chips around the green and was the second worst in the field in strokes gained from tee to green. Had he not had a good day with the putter he would have been out of this event already. He might improve physically with some physio and stuff but he has to chase now which isn’t easy. Fitzpatrick looks to be in a serene position with his game and I think he’s a massive price here, particularly if McIlroy is still hindered by his back issue.


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