Justin Thomas opens as favorite to win the 2019 PGA Tour Championship

Justin Thomas flex

Justin Thomas, who hadn’t won a tournament in over a year, captured the BMX Championship this past Sunday.

Now, he is the favorite (+250) to win the FedExCup Championship and the $15 million that comes with that accomplishment. The winner also receives a 5-year PGA Tour exemption.

The PGA Tour decided to change the way the playoffs are navigated this year. In past years a golfer didn’t have to win the season finale to capture the trophy. Golfers just needed to have the most points after the playoffs were over.

This led to an awkward scene if the golfer who won the tournament didn’t also hold up the FedEx Cup trophy. It happened just last year when Tiger Woods came out on top, but Justin Rose won the FedExCup Championship. Both were posing with championship trophies, and it caused confusion for many golf fans.

Now, the winner of the season finale is the champion. But the points do still matter—they are what determine starting positions at the season finale, the Tour Championship.

Justin Thomas, who won the FedExCup playoffs just two years ago—the prize money was $10 million then—may be favored precisely because of this new system.

As the points leader going into the Tour Championship—it’s being hosted at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, Georgia—Thomas will have a formidable advantage out of the gate.

He is two shots up on everybody. And that is where the advantage of being the points leader begins and ends, according to the new rules.

Thomas has a two-shot advantage and he just won a playoff tournament, so it makes sense for a pro like him to be favored. Thomas has shown that he can go on streaks. In 2017 he won five tournaments, an impressive number of wins in one year for any golfer, and led the PGA Tour in earnings.

But Brooks Koepka, the current no. 1 golfer in the world, and Rory McIlory, among others, are right behind him. Koepka and McIlroy are listed at +500 and +800 respectively.

Rory hoisted the FedEx Cup three years ago and Koepka just received a check for $2 million for ending the regular season with the most points. Koepka, a four-time major champion out of Florida State University, has never finished the playoffs on top.

Per the new PGA Tour rules the top-five in points will start out at the Tour Championship in these positions:

  1. Justin Thomas -10
  2. Patrick Cantlay -8
  3. Brooks Koepka -7
  4. Patrick Reed -6
  5. Rory McIlroy -5

The Tour Championship is a no-cut tournament. Here are the current odds, per Bovada.

Odds to win the 2019 FedExCup Championship

Justin Thomas +250
Patrick Cantlay +450
Brooks Koepka +500
Rory McIlroy +800
Jon Rahm +1400
Patrick Reed +1400
Webb Simpson +2200
Dustin Johnson +2500
Xander Schaufflele +2800
Hideki Matsuyama +3300
Tony Finau +3300
Adam Scott +4000
Justin Rose +4000
Matt Kuchar +4000
Abraham Ancer +6600
Rickie Fowler +6600
Gary Woodland +8000
Paul Casey +8000
Tommy Fleetwood +10000
Brandt Snedeker +12500
Kevin Kisner +12500
Bryson DeChambeau +20000
Louis Oosthuizen +20000
Marc Leishman +20000
Sungjae Im +20000
Corey Conners +25000
Jason Kokrak +25000
Chez Reavie +30000
Lucas Glover +30000
Charles Howell III +35000