25 Aug 2022 | Professional golf |

Aussies on Tour: Odds Smith must defy to win FedEx Cup

by Australian Golf Media

Cameron Smith.

By Tony Webeck

“Never tell me the odds.”

Those were the words of a man with a mane from a galaxy far, far away yet they are just as apt as the heroically hirsute Cameron Smith seeks to become Australia’s first FedEx Cup champion at the PGA TOUR’s season-ending Tour Championship in Atlanta.

Smith and fellow Queenslander Adam Scott are the only two Aussies to qualify for the elite field of 30 at East Lake Golf Club, Jason Day’s third-place finish in 2015 the best finish by an Australian in the history of the FedEx Cup.

The FedEx Cup format that was revised in 2019 so that the winner of the Tour Championship would also be the FedEx Cup champion sees world No.1 Scottie Scheffler begin the week at 10-under par.

Smith will have to come from six strokes back while Scott – No.29 in the entry list – starts at even par, 10 shots off top spot with four rounds left to play.

Second at the start of the FedEx Cup Playoffs, Smith’s hip injury that forced his withdrawal from last week’s BMW Championship meant that he fell to sixth in the standings.

The odds of him taking the $US18 million first prize purse also plummeted.

Joining Jack Nicklaus (1978) as the only players to win THE PLAYERS Championship and The Open in the same year, Smith is given only a 4.5 per cent chance of winning the FedEx Cup from such a position.

But he has proven time and again this year that odds matter little across the course of 72 holes.

Smith was considered only a 30/1 chance of winning THE PLAYERS in March and was 25/1 when the first tee shot was struck at St Andrews last month, lifting the Claret Jug looking unlikely as he teed off in the final round four shots back of fan favourite Rory McIlroy.

If the odds count for little, one factor that Smith will have to overcome is an apparent discomfort with the East Lake layout.

The 29-year-old fell from fifth to 14th in the FedEx Cup standings 12 months ago at East Lake and has not featured inside the top 10 in three Tour Championship starts to date.

The Tour Championship winner in 2006, Scott has defied the odds simply to make it this far.

Ranked 77th prior to the Playoffs, Scott’s tie for fifth at the FedEx St Jude Championship secured a start at the BMW Championship, his brilliant sand save at the final hole wrapping up a second top-five finish to move from 45th to 29th and earn a spot at East Lake.

As the PGA TOUR reaches its climax the Korn Ferry Tour is in week two of its finals series, four Aussies in the hunt to earn PGA TOUR cards for next season.

With a further 25 PGA TOUR cards to be distributed, West Australians Jason Scrivener and Min Woo Lee begin the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship tied for 17th, Aaron Baddeley (T26) and Anthony Quayle (57th) out to improve their respective positions.

Twice a runner-up in playoffs at the event, Scott Hend leads the Aussie charge at the DP World Tour’s Omega European Masters in the glorious Swiss Alps, Minjee Lee returns at the LPGA Tour’s CP Women’s Open following a visit from coach Ritchie Smith and Brad Kennedy headlines the Australian contingent at the Sansan KBC Augusta tournament in Japan.

Round 1 tee times AEST


Tour Championship

East Lake Golf Club, Atlanta, Georgia

  • 1.55am Adam Scott, Sahith Theegala

  • 3.45am Cameron Smith, Rory McIlroy

Defending champion: Patrick Cantlay

Past Aussie winners: Adam Scott (2006)

Top Aussie prediction: Cameron Smith

TV times: Live 3am-8am Friday, Saturday; Live 3am-9am Sunday; Live 2am-8am Monday on Fox Sports 503.

Japan Golf Tour

Sansan KBC Augusta Golf Tournament

Keya Golf Club, Fukuoka

  • 9.35am* Adam Bland, Tatsuya Kodai, Yoshikazu Shiro

  • 9.45am* Andrew Evans, Akihiro Narutomi

  • 1.15pm* Michael Hendry (NZ), Kantaro Naito, Yoshitaka Takeya

  • 1.25pm* Brendan Jones, Kenshiro Ikegami, Hirohiro Ichihara

  • 1.50pm Brad Kennedy, Toshiya Takeyasu, Tomoyasu Sugiyama

  • 2pm Matthew Griffin, Yuwa Kosaihei, Hiroki Abe

Defending champion: Scott Vincent

Past Aussie winners: Graham Marsh (1976), Brian Jones (1977), Steven Conran (2004)

Top Aussie prediction: Brad Kennedy

DP World Tour

Omega European Masters

Crans-sur-Sierre GC, Crans Montana, Switzerland

  • 3.40pm Dimitrios Papdatos, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, Rikard Karlberg

  • 4.40pm* Scott Hend, Andrea Pavan, Marcus Kinhult

  • 9.20pmRyan Fox, Danny Willett, Victor Perez

  • 9.50pmJake McLeod, Chris Wood, Lee Slattery

  • 10.10pm Zach Murray, Carlos Pigem, Matthew Southgate

  • 10.10pm* Jordan Zunic, Julien Guerrier, Loic Ettlin

Defending champion: Rasmus Hojgaard

Past Aussie winners: Graham Marsh (1972), Brett Rumford (2007)

Top Aussie prediction: Scott Hend

TV times: Live 9.30pm-2.30am Thursday, Friday; Live 9pm-1.30am Saturday, Sunday on Fox Sports 503.

Korn Ferry Tour

Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship

OSU GC (Scarlet Cse), Columbus, Ohio

  • 9.20pm* Aaron Baddeley, Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Eric Cole

  • 9.53pm* Min Woo Lee, Satoshi Kodaira, Chris Gotterup

  • 2.25am Jason Scrivener, Will Gordon, Brian Stuard

  • 3.31am Harrison Endycott, Chris Naegel, Ben Taylor

  • 4.15am* Anthony Quayle, Seung-Yul Noh, Robby Shelton

Defending champion: Adam Svensson

Past Aussie winners: Curtis Luck (2020)

Top Aussie prediction: Jason Scrivener

TV times: 8.30am-10am Friday; 10am-11.30am Saturday; 9.30am-11am Sunday on Fox Sports 503; Live 3.30am-6am Monday on Fox Sports 505.


CP Women’s Open

Ottawa Hunt and Golf Club, Ottawa, Canada

  • 9.10pm Stephanie Kyriacou, Su Oh, Maddie Szeryk

  • 9.54pm Minjee Lee, Nelly Korda, Lexi Thompson

  • 10.16pm Hannah Green, Sei Young Kim, Jessica Korda

  • 2.20am* Sarah Jane Smith, Lorie Kane, Alena Sharp

  • 3.04am* Lydia Ko, Brooke M. Henderson, Jennifer Kupcho

  • 4.10am* Sarah Kemp, Janie Jackson, Agathe Laisne

  • 4.32am* Karis Davidson, Daniela Darquea, Perrine Delacour

Defending champion: Jin Young Ko (2019)

Past Aussie winners: Katherine Kirk (2008)

Top Aussie prediction: Minjee Lee

TV times: Live 11.30pm-2.30am Thursday, Friday; Live 4.30am-7.30am Sunday on Fox Sports 505; Live from 2.30am Monday on Fox Sports +.

Champions Tour

The Ally Challenge

Warwick Hills G&CC, Grand Blanc, Michigan

Australasians in the field: Steven Alker (NZ), Robert Allenby, Stuart Appleby, David McKenzie, Rod Pampling, John Senden

Defending champion: Joe Durant

Past Aussie winners: Nil

Top Aussie prediction: David McKenzie

TV times: 8.30am-11am Saturday; 11am-12.30pm Sunday on Fox Sports 503; Live 6am-8am Monday on Fox Sports 505.

Ladies European Tour

Skafto Open

Skaftö Golf Club, Sweden

Aussies in the field: Whitney Hillier, Amy Walsh

Defending champion: Pauline Roussin Bouchard

Past Aussie winners: Nil

Top Aussie prediction: Whitney Hillier

TV times: Live 9pm-11.30pm Saturday; Live 9.30pm-12.30am Sunday on Fox Sports 505.

Epson Tour

Circling Raven Championship

Circling Raven Golf Club, Worley, Idaho

Australasians in the field: Robyn Choi, Julienne Soo, Grace Kim, Gabriela Ruffels, Hira Naveed, Amelia Garvey, Soo Jin Lee, Emily Mahar, Stephanie Na, Julianne Alvarez

Defending champion: Peiyun Chien

Past Aussie winners: Nil

Top Aussie prediction: Gabriela Ruffels


CRMC Championship

Cragun’s Resort, Brainerd, Minnesota

  • 4.15am Will Barnett, Carter Jenkins, Jared du Toit

Defending champion: Inaugural event

Past Aussie winners: Nil

Top Aussie prediction: Will Barnett

Challenge Tour

Indoor Golf Group Challenge

Allerum Golf Club, Helsingborg, Sweden

  • 10.40pm Daniel Hillier (NZ), Lars Van Meijel, Benjamin Poke

Defending champion: Inaugural event

Past Aussie winners: Nil

Top Australasian prediction: Daniel Hillier

Legends Tour

Staysure PGA Seniors Championship

Formby Golf Club & Formby Ladies Golf Club, England

  • 6.45pm Guy Wall, Gary Evans

  • 7.25pm Michael Long, Gary Orr

  • 9.15pm John Wade, Wraith Grant

  • 10.15pm Peter O'Malley, Andrew Oldcorn

  • 10.35pm Peter Fowler, Paul Eales

Defending champion: Paul Broadhurst

Past Aussie winners: Kel Nagle (1971, 1973, 1975), Peter Thomson (1988), Terry Gale (1996), Walter Hall (1997), Ross Metherell (1999), Ian Stanley (2001), Peter Fowler (2015)

Top Aussie prediction: Peter Fowler

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