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2023 Tour Championship Picks & Odds: Bet Sungjae Im at East Lake

2023 Tour Championship Picks & Odds: Bet Sungjae Im at East Lake article feature image

Via Tracy Wilcox/Getty Images. Pictured: Sungjae Im of South Korea hits his second shot at the first hole during the first round of the FedEx St. Jude Championship at TPC Southwind on August 10, 2023 in Memphis, Tennessee.

Viktor Hovland came from behind with a record-setting 61 to steal the BMW Championship from overnight co-leaders Scottie Scheffler and Matt Fitzpatrick on Sunday.

It seemed like we were destined for the first win since The Players for World No. 1 Scheffler as he was cruising through his Sunday and got to 5-under on his round midway through the back nine.

However, Hovland had other ideas as he closed with a 28 on the final nine holes to win by two shots and vault his way into second place in the FedEx Cup standings.

Hovland and Scheffler will meet on the first tee on Thursday at the Tour Championship with Scheffler two shots ahead at 10-under by virtue of the stroke adjusted format. They will tee off at East Lake in the final group with the rest of the field falling in line behind them, all the way back to the players from 26th to 30th, who will begin the week at even par.

This tournament is often an interesting one, but frankly, I'm not a fan of the format, which is why I am tight with my exposure this week. It just doesn't seem to serve the tournament well, and there are more intriguing ways, like match play, that could really draw more interest into this event.

That is all outside of the fact that it is really a tournament to tread lightly on from a betting perspective, as the markets we should have interest in – without the adjusted strokes – won't show up on the leaderboard as a metric that the players will ultimately be paying attention to.

Still, we will look for some betting value fresh off our win at the BMW as we try to close out the season with back-to-back winners.

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Tour Championship Best Bet

Sungjae Im +3500 (Winner Without Starting Strokes | DraftKings)

Sungjae Im started the season with his game in great form, and while he tailed off some during the summer, he will be looking to close out the FedExCup Playoffs strong this week at the Tour Championship.

I love the course fit at East Lake for the South Korean's game as he tends to play well on Bermudagrass, and he displayed this last year with his runner-up finish at the 2022 Tour Championship. With his form coming together after three straight top-15 finishes over the past three weeks, including consecutive top-seven results in the FedExCup Playoffs, it gives me hope in the market without starting strokes for Sungjae this week.

His game seems to be bubbling after a slow start in the first round at the BMW Championship. Im gained strokes in all three metrics of his from game tee to green over the last 54 holes and continued to get sharper with his ball-striking. He steadily improved with each passing round and gained more than seven shots from tee to green on an elite field over the weekend at Olympia Fields.

If he can keep trending this direction, we may be looking at Sungjae as the guy with the potential to move into contention from behind, and with that would come a shot at being the winner in gross score at East Lake.

As a bonus, BetMGM has a three-player market for Top Asian with Im, Tom Kim and Si Woo Kim. They are all starting within one stroke of each other, but the fit, form and course history has this as my favorite bet on the board for Im at +150 on FanDuel.

If you want to get extra frisky, he's also a part of the market for Top Player: Rest of the World at +300. I really like going up and down the board on Im, and these are the spots that seem to make the most sense for me in this unique format.

Pick: Sungjae Im +3500 (Without Starting Strokes | DraftKings) | +150 Top Asian (FanDuel)

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