In his second start since returning from knee surgery, Tyrrell Hatton (50/1) claimed his first career PGA title at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. The Englishman played some great golf under difficult, windy conditions at Bay Hill. He was one of only four players to shoot under par for the week and now has back to back top-10 performances heading into the Players Championship.
The first big PGA Tour event of the year is upon us this week, as golfers will be teeing it up for the prestigious Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass. As expected, this field is absolutely loaded with talent. All but two of the top 75 golfers in the world will be competing for the trophy this week. Unfortunately, Tiger Woods announced he will not be in the field due to lingering back issues.
Atop the betting board is “Mr. Top-5” himself, Rory McIlroy at +725 odds. McIlroy is the world’s number one ranked player and continues to dominate with six consecutive top-five finishes to begin his year. He is also the defending champion of the event. Following McIlroy is Jon Rahm (+1100), Justin Thomas (+1700), Patrick Cantlay (+2200), and Bryson DeChambeau (+2200).
TPC Sawgrass is type of golf course that doesn’t favor any particular skill set. Length off the tee isn’t pivotal, as many holes will force golfers to club down and plot their way around. Golfers really need to think their way around this track and shot selection is crucial. The Bermuda greens are smaller than tour average, so proximity to the hole becomes crucial on approaches. Accuracy off the tee is important here and if golfers find plenty of fairways, they should see ample opportunities for birdie.
- Strokes gained: Ball-striking
- Performance on fast, firm, Bermuda greens
- Par 4 scoring
- Course History
- Performance on Pete Dye courses
Best Bets to Win
Dustin Johnson (+3000 on DraftKings Sportsbook)
This number is a bit disrespectful for a player of Dustin Johnson’s caliber. Despite not having the best recent form, Johnson has one of the best course histories here and crushes Pete Dye designs. In his last three outings at TPC Sawgrass, Johnson has a fifth (2019), a 17th (2018), and a 12th (2017).
According to futureoffantasy.com, Johnson has been the top performer on less-than-driver golf courses since 2014, gaining an average of 3 strokes on the field. As well, he is third in the field in performance on Pete Dye designs since 2014, gaining an average of 2.97 strokes on the field. I expect a good showing from the former world number one, as he looks to add to his T10 finish a few weeks ago at the Genesis Invitational.
Adam Scott (+3500 on DraftKings Sportsbook)
Adam Scott is a world-class ball striker who should give himself plenty of birdie opportunities at TPC Sawgrass this week. In his last four times out at this event, Scott has never finished worse than 12th place. He has played 66 rounds at this course and knows it very well. With a win already under his belt this season, Scott’s game is in good shape and his sharp iron game should be the difference as he attacks these tiny greens. He is statistically the best player on Pete Dye tracks and performs well on fast, Bermuda greens.