We get PGA 2020 underway with the first real week of the season that has a full field to breakdown. It was nice to get a little preview of what’s to come during the year with the Tournament of Champions last week but a full-field event with a cut is more of the traditional format and much better for golf betting purposes.
This week, players will be teeing it up at Waialae Country Club, which is a pretty unimposing Par 70, 7,000-yard layout. The first thing you will notice is that the fairways are tight unlike last week, and that is going to lend itself to guys who can control the ball off the tee. We have some star power but for the most part, these early season tournaments are wide open for a guy with long odds to get hot.
For additional info about the course and some guys to consider in your lineups, make sure to read the DFS Sony Open Above the Cut Article which can help you build teams, but let’s take a look at what we have on the golf betting side of things.
** When betting futures, one of the most important aspects is making sure you shop around for the best number available to you. Over time, this can make a massive difference in the results so make sure to stay tuned for all the resources available to help you find the most value when looking across golf betting markets**
Brian Harman 50-1
Harman is all over the map but he comes to a course he is familiar with and a style that suits his game. The lefty isn’t going to wow you off the tee but he is a reliable putter and he doesn’t have a glaring weakness. Looking over his history here, he was cut last year but he had finishes of fourth, 20th, 13th and 13th in the four years prior. Harman clearly likes the setup here at the Sony and when he gets it rolling on the greens, he is live to win any event.
We last saw Harman during swing season where he was in contention at Greenbrier and also had a few poor outings in Houston and at the OHL. When betting outrights, we aren’t concerned with the floor as a missed cut is the same as a third-place finish, so we are just looking for guys with that extra gear to get in contention. Harman has that, course fit and experience to make this number worth a splash.
Daniel Berger 100-1
Berger has won St. Jude twice in his career but outside of that, he is still searching for more wins to add to the resume. It is just a matter of time as he has lost in a playoff twice before and has the talent to get it done, especially in weak field events like this. Berger seems to be healthy again after dealing with some wrist issues and should have his sights set on starting fast in 2020.
We saw Berger during swing season and was a very low variance player with a lot of finishes around 20th place. That isn’t what we are looking for in terms of an outright but I don’t think that speaks to his ability to have a ceiling performance. Berger has shown he likes technical second shot courses like this one and the odds are sitting in triple digits, which is too much for a field of this caliber. The missing piece is getting the irons back to where they should be. The rest of his game seems to be in good shape and I’m willing to buy that Berger gets into the mix several times this year with shots to cash a monster outright ticket in events like this.
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Russell Henley Top 10 +1000
Henley is another frustrating player as he is all over the map in strokes gained data and has been on a terrible stretch of golf dating back to last year. It is not all doom and gloom, as this is a guy whose won this event before (2013), loves Bermuda and has the game to take apart a golf course set up like this one. The irons have actually been consistently good even during the rough stretch of golf Henley endured but he needs the rest of the game to catch up.
It is easy to look over his recent results and not want to back him in any capacity but I still have interest getting 10/1 on a top-10 showing. The upside is always there with Henley and after a layoff, it’s not a bad time to buy early on someone who I think returns to more consistent quality form in 2020. In DFS, I certainly won’t be looking toward him in any cash setting but as part of tourney exposure, I get wanting to have a piece of Henley in this spot.
Hideki Matsuyama -120 vs. Collin Morikawa
Unlike outrights or futures, we are looking for consistency and cut makers in matchups. Here we have Matsuyama as just a slight favorite over Morikawa, who has burst onto the tour and already added a win to the resume. Since Morikawa won last year, he was able to play last week in the Tournament of Champions where he once again leaned on the ball striking to finish seventh. We saw Matsuyama in the Presidents Cup and now he will look to get 2020 underway and break what is a long drought of not finding the winners circle.
Morikawa is talented but I don’t have him in the same class as Matsuyama just yet, and I think he could struggle if the wind is up. I have no idea how Morikawa will handle adverse conditions if that’s what we get but I do know that if he is forced to scramble, that seems to be the weak link and could create a poor showing for him here. On the other side, Mastuyama isn’t the best scrambler either and relies on the irons. That said, I trust him more to put up a quality showing in a field where he has to be on the short list for favorites. The price once again dictates what I want to do here as this is a pseudo coin toss. The wind only adds to me wanting to short Morikawa in this spot.
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If you are unfamiliar with golf betting or just looking to dive into it for the first time, make sure to understand each type of bet and how to properly bankroll for each. When choosing a few outright players at long odds, we are hoping to hit one of those a year as it would pay for the entire season and then some. Think of that as the large-field GPPs where you hope to tread water and then rely on a big hit once every year or so to do major damage.
On the other side, we have head-to-head bets which naturally are more like cash games or head-to-heads in DFS. You aren’t going to win a huge multiplier of your money but also should be hitting them at a reasonable clip. Just getting a clearer picture of what each bet is like is important as this is a long season with a lot of opportunities to take some stabs in the betting markets.
Good luck everyone!
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