It’s been over three months now since we’ve seen the best of the best tee it up, and it’s honestly felt like even longer. While I’m typically writing about PGA DFS, I thought I’d keep my mind going with some golf betting and provide a preview of what’s to come in a few hours. Now, I’m aware almost every major outlet wrote about this because there isn’t much else to write about in the golf world. Some of us tried and failed, miserably, at handicapping the Outlaw Tour, but now with some real-time talent taking the stage, I felt compelled to write about people I know.
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Let’s first start with what exactly this match is. It’s a two-on-two charity “skins game” match for COVID-19 relief efforts. For all those non-golfing nuts that follow me, that’s a fancy way of saying match play with a dollar amount per hole, instead of using the one-up or one-down system. The cool thing about the skins game, though, is that if a hole is tied, the skin carries over. So if the first four holes are tied but the fifth hole is won, five skins are earned for that team, in essence winning the first five holes.
On paper, this match looks rather lopsided. Vegas has priced it as such with Johnson and McIlroy (currently) at -186 and Fowler-Wolff +150. However, this isn’t the only way you can bet today, as DraftKings is giving you plenty of options, including hole-by-hole scores you can bet now, and then live in-match betting. So let’s transition into talking about the golf course, a private gem on the East Coast of Florida, Seminole.
Some may recognize it from the famous pro-member tournament held every year, normally around or after the WGC-Mexico, and has an elite field in and of itself. Now the world gets to see it for the first time today. It boasts members like the best quarterback to ever live, Tom Brady, and even the father of the best golfer in the world, Gerry McIlroy, who has been known himself to throw a bet or two on his own son. The PGA Tour is sanctioning this event, so they’ve gone to big lengths to promote it, including a full flyover of the course. Here it is for all those interested.
Designed by famed builder Donald Ross, the course features sweeping views of the Atlantic Ocean, and of course, tricky undulating greens. It measures short, at least for these guys, at around 6,900 yards. I’m sure they will try and stretch it out as much as possible today. But, as Dustin Johnson was quoted saying this week, it’s a course you expect to play well on, then you just don’t. It seems like a true Don Ross to me.
As I mentioned at the top, there are numerous ways to bet on this. I’m much more interested in the prop betting than I am the outright match. The fact that it’s a skins game means anything can happen with a big hole 1, so I’m going to stay away from that market. Here are the bets I am interested in.
- Hole 3 Any Eagle: Both Fowler and Wolff are priced at 16-1 while McIlroy and Johnson are at 12-1. Judging by the flyover and yardage, this shorter par 5 doesn’t have too many spots to get in trouble. The bunker guarding the right side of the fairway seems to be the only spot to miss and not have a chance at the green, so this is a good bet to get behind. That is four chances at odds better than 12-1. I like it.
- Hole 5 Nearest to the pin: Fowler has been known as a rock-solid middle iron player his whole career, and that’s shown pretty strong over the last four years. He hasn’t ranked outside of the top 30 in greens in regulation from this distance dating back to at least 2016. He’s +275 on this bet. The hole measures right around 200 yards.
- Hole 7 Longest Drive: While Wolff may not have even close to the name recognition as the other golfers competing today, don’t take that as him not having the game to compete with them. He also absolutely crushes the ball, even with the unorthodox swing. On all longest drive bets offered, he’s priced at +335.
While this is a far cry from the Millionaire Maker that’s posted Fowler just shy of one month from now, it’ll be fun to watch the best go out and play golf again. There’s no better way to enjoy that then having a little skin in the game, and DraftKings has made this possible today. If you are lucky enough to live in a state where sports betting is legal and where DraftKings operates, then you have the chance of earning 50% more with their Profit Boost option.
I look forward to providing PGA Tour info in just a few short weeks, but due to my recent retirement with the Outlaw tour, the next time you’ll be reading from me is previewing “The Match Part 2”.
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