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Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods headline 2012 PGA Tour Championship

Rory, Tiger, favorites PGA Tour Championship

Rory, Tiger, favorites PGA Tour ChampionshipThe PGA Tour Championship isn’t exactly considered along the same level of the four majors, but in terms of exclusivity and prize money, the tournament that’s also the final event of the FedEx Cup Playoffs is a golf swing above the rest. Only 30 of the top golfers – the top 30 in the FedEx Cup standings, we should say – are invited to play in the tournament and with the first round tee time scheduled to open today at the East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, Georgia, world no. 1 Rory McIlroy has been installed as the favorite to continue his late season display of dominance, receiving 4/1 odds to take home the Tour Championship.

Rory’s listing as the favorite is hardly surprising considering that he’s won three of his four last tournaments, including the PGA Championship last month. Nipping in the heels of McIlroy as the second favorite is a man that’s not a stranger to being in front of the pack, Tiger Woods. Despite not having won a major since his legendary, one-legged triumph at the 2008 US Open, Tiger has had a string of successful FedEx Cup results this year, including a top 4 finish in the last two events. Having said that, his 9/2 odds isn’t exactly too far away from the McIlroy’s line, a sign that this tournament could very well be a two-man slugfest between the world no.1 and the world no. 2.

Sitting at third is two-time Tour Championship winner Phil Mickelson at 12/1 odds. He’s not the player he once was – he’s only 15th in the world rankings – but if there’s a golfer that can wax hot at the right time and threaten Rory and Tiger’s party, it’s Lefty. From there, the list turns to the proverbial sleepers, which in this case includes four golfers that have all been given 18/1 odds to win the tournament: Lee Westwood, Adam Scott, Dustin Johnson, and Luke Donald. Each of these four have had strong results recently and could very well offer significant value for bettors looking to back them.

Further down the line are a couple of household names that could play their way to a winning bonanza for their backers. Three, in particular, have been given 27/1 odds: Louis Oosthuizen, Jim Furyk, and Sergio Garcia. Putting up some chalk on any one of these three could be a risky proposition, but these three have had some success at East Lake over the years, particularly Furyk, who has had some impressive results at the course in the past couple of years.

As for the rest of field, Jason Dufner, Ben Watson, Steve Stricker, Zach Johnson, and Justin Rose are all at 34/1 odds, while Nick Watney, Webb Simpson, Brandt Snedeker, Rickie Fowler, and Ernie Els are all at 40/1 odds.