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Rory McIlroy broke out of his slump in a big way last week, winning at Quail Hollow for the third time in his career. This week the PGA Tour makes a quick stop in McKinney, Texas for the AT&T Byron Nelson. TPC Craig Ranch will host the event for the first time this year, so there is limited course information available, and no course history to look back on. TPC Craig Ranch is a Par 72 that measures close to 7,500 yards. The greens are bentgrass, which is a change from the bermudagrass we have seen a lot of recently. The course looks like it will be a birdie-fest. Plenty of holes look scorable and the fairways seem to be wide open. Watching the course flyover, TPC Craig Ranch reminded me a lot of TPC Scottsdale, which was also designed by Tom Weiskopf. This week I will be targeting golfers who have elite scoring upside, are good ball-strikers, and golfers who have winning upside. With the PGA Championship next week, I anticipate this tournament to be a great warm-up event for some of the top-tier players in this field.
Each week I will post some of my favorite bets of the week. I will focus on my two favorite outright bets, a couple of full tournament matchups, and a couple of top finishes bets! You can find my entire betting card on my Twitter account, @GolfBets101
Brooks Koepka 23-1
I already mentioned how I think this course reminds me of TPC Scottsdale, so it makes sense that Brooks Koepka has my attention. Brooks has not played since the Masters, where he was nursing a knee injury. However, when he is healthy, Brooks is an elite golfer. Koepka won the Waste Management Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale earlier this year by storming up the leaderboard on Sunday and posting a low score. Based on what we know about this course, I envision players bombing the ball and turning this into an Approach and Putting contest. Koepka is one of the best ball-strikers on Tour, but his putting is an X-Factor and completely underrated. While he has a limited number of rounds, Koepka is the sixth ranked putter among all PGA Tour players this season. Over his last 21 measured rounds, Koepka is gaining .94 strokes per round with his ball-striking while also gaining .87 strokes per round with his putter. This is the exact combination I am looking for, and there’s no better way to warm up for a Major with a win the week before!
Sergio Garcia 50-1
In this field, I think this is a great number for one of the best drivers of the golf ball. Garcia has already won this season, at the Sanderson Farms Championship. At that event, Garcia shot -19 mainly due to a stellar ball-striking performance. I believe this event will play out similarly and while Garcia’s putting is hard to watch, I expect him to be able to fully unleash his driver. Among all PGA Tour players, Garcia is second in strokes gained Off-the-Tee this season. The 41-year-old Spainard has won this title event twice, and three of his eleven PGA Tour wins have come in the state of Texas. With the many unknowns surrounding this course, I love Garcia’s scoring upside and I love these odds on a proven winner.
Luke List -124 vs Cameron Champ
List is coming off of a great performance last week. List struggles with his putter, but he is a great Tee-to-Green player. I like the form that List has been showing and think he has a higher floor than Champ. Champ is wildly inconsistent, and while he is one of the longest hitters on Tour, I am not confident in him being able to consistently score.
Jason Day -142 vs Rickie Fowler
Jason Day has been trending lately, and coming to a course where there shouldn’t be too much trouble off of the tee, I think Day has a good chance of contending this week. Fowler is lost right now, and I will continue to fade him in matchups until he gives me a reason not to anymore.
Scottie Scheffler -112 vs Matthew Fitzpatrick
Scheffler was one of my favorite golfers heading into the week. He is a Texas native, who went to college in Texas, and has been playing high level golf this year. I think this course will lead to many birdie streaks, and Scheffler is one of the best scorers on Tour. Fitzpatrick has been playing really well also, but I tend to lean towards him at events where there will be less scoring and more strategy. Fitzpatrick does not have the same scoring upside as Scheffler.
Carlos Ortiz Top 40 +110
I love Ortiz this week. He fell apart last Sunday where he shot +8 after being -2 thru the first three rounds. I expect to see him bounce back this week. Ortiz won in Houston earlier this year. His biggest struggles have come with his irons, but I think he will find more success this week with large greens and wide open fairways.
Vincent Whaley Top 40 +250
Whaley has made eight straight cuts, and landed inside the Top 40 is his last seven consecutive starts. I love the Top 40 because of the higher percentages of finding a winner, but these are good odds for someone who is in good form.
Si Woo Kim Top 30 +100
Si Woo Kim has made his last five cuts, finishing inside the Top 30 in three of those events. Kim has been finding form recently, and I really like the balance he brings to the course. He gains in every major category and I think that will translate well on this course. Kim also won earlier this year where he shot an impressive -23. If this event does turn into a birdie-fest I expect to see Si Woo Kim near the top.