• Betting Bunker

Dufner the strongest challenger to Rory

Josh Williams September 19, 2012
Rory McIlroy has won three of his last four events © Getty Images

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Rory McIlroy may have won two of the three FedEx Cup play-offs so far - but he is far from guaranteed to win the $10 million bonus awarded to the overall victor.

The FedEx points have been reset ahead of this week's Tour Championship at East Lake, and now McIlroy leads second-placed Tiger Woods by just 250 points in the standings.

It might not seem particularly fair on McIlroy, but it does heighten the drama: anyone in the 30-man field could, in theory, win the cup - although it would take all day to explain the permutations required for Scott Piercy, the No. 30, to net $10m. So I won't.

Williams' wager

  • Jason Dufner E/W - 25/1 at bet365

There's also the sub-plot of the Ryder Cup, with a number of potential showdowns that could easily be repeated later this month at Medinah: McIlroy v Woods, for instance, or the not-so-glamorous Lee Westwood v Brandt Snedeker.

East Lake has proved a nightmare from the tee over the past few years, the fairways as elusive as any you care to name, as the arduous set-up aims to reward the most skilled players on tour - and thus crown the worthiest $10m winner.

It's not the longest track around, so it pays to be neat and accurate: focus on finding the short grass with the driver, then worry about the rest. For that reason, it's easy to see why the past two winners have been fairway-seekers such as Jim Furyk and Bill Haas.

All that said, it's Jason Dufner, the second-highest member of the American Ryder Cup team in the world rankings, who I fancy to conquer the course.

He's16th in fairways hit and fourth in GIR, which stacks up perfectly - and, perhaps most importantly, he has an air of unflappability around him. He'd play the same, and conduct himself the same, if they were playing for $100, let alone $10m. Good luck!

Please note that odds are correct at time of publication and are subject to change.

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Josh Williams Close
Josh Williams is an assistant editor of ESPN.co.uk