Rory McIlroy Wins Tour Championship at 8/1 Odds, Lightning Strike Injures Six People

Posted on: August 26, 2019, 09:11h. 

Last updated on: August 26, 2019, 11:59h.

Rory McIlroy won the Tour Championship on Sunday at East Lake Golf Club on 8/1 odds, but the event will be widely remembered for a lightning strike that injured six people.

Rory McIlroy golf odds FedEx Cup
Rory McIlroy is the FedEx Cup winner for the second time in his Hall of Fame career. (Image: Kevin Cox/Getty)

McIlroy entered the staggered final event of the FedEx Cup Playoffs at -5, five shots behind points leader Justin Thomas. But following four stellar rounds of 66-67-68-66, the Irishman was three clear of his nearest competitor to put his name on the Cup trophy for a second time.

Really cool to put my name on this trophy for a second time,” McIlroy said. “Any time you can do something that only Tiger [Woods] has done, you’re doing something right.”

For the victory, McIlroy won $15 million. It came a year after McIlroy watched Woods win the Tour Championship in a Sunday spectacle with enormous crowds.

Bettors who put $100 on McIlroy winning in Atlanta prior to Thursday’s first round were rewarded $800. That line was actually longer than it was before the first of the three FedEx Cup tournaments. McIlroy began at the Northern Trust at 13/2 to win the Cup.

Lightning Strikes

The Tour Championship made non-golf headlines after six people were injured by a lightning strike during a Saturday afternoon storm.

A 60-foot pine tree was struck by a bolt, which showered debris below and hurt the six individuals. Play had been suspended for 30 minutes prior, with the patrons seeking shelter from the rain underneath the towering pine.

“There was just a big explosion and then an aftershock so strong you could feel the wind from it,” Brad Uhl, a patron, told reporters. “It was just a flash out of the corner of the eye. It was raining and everyone was huddled near the tree.”

Atlanta Police said five men and one woman were injured, but none of their injuries were life-threatening.

PGA Tour spokesperson Mark Russell said when play is suspended, “We encourage everybody to leave and take shelter anywhere they can. We opened up hospitality areas that are grounded, a lot of other places like that. You’ve got a lot of people, and you have to do that quickly, and sometimes people don’t take shelter.”

The odds of being struck by lightning – the six injured weren’t actually hit – are incredibly long.

The National Weather Service says you have a 1/15,300 chance of being struck in your lifetime. Lightning accounts for an average of 27 deaths per year, and 243 injuries.

Looking Ahead

The PGA Tour season is off for a couple weeks before the wraparound schedule tees up the 2019-20 season in September at The Greenbrier. The game’s best players, however, will play a limited schedule over the next few months leading up to the Presidents Cup.

Las Vegas oddsmakers are looking ahead to the 2020 Masters. World No. 1 Brooks Koepka is the odds-on favorite at 8/1. McIlroy is second at 10/1, and Woods and Dustin Johnson next at 16/1. Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm, Justin Rose, and Patrick Cantlay round out the favorites at 20/1.