Tournament favorite Jon Rahm decided to withdraw from The American Express on Monday afternoon and now we have one of the most wide-open tournaments we will see all season.
Patrick Cantlay is the DraftKings Sportsbook favorite at PGA West at +1300, with Patrick Reed at +1500, Tony Finau and Scottie Scheffler at +1700, and then Brooks Koepka and Sungjae Im at +2100. We don’t normally see this distribution for the odds because we usually have a single-digit favorite of some kind, but with Rahm on the sidelines, we no longer do.
DraftKings Sportsbook is a great place to bet golf. You can find prop bets, like top-20 finish, first-round leader, top finisher by nationality, and hole-in-one offerings. You can also find lots of matchup and group betting odds, which are often a better way to attack a golf tournament than just trying to pick the winner.
That is especially true of a field like this with 156 players. Two courses are in play this week to accommodate the field, as the players will play on the PGA West Stadium Course and the Nicklaus Tournament Course. This event usually requires a third course because it has a pro-am component, but with COVID-19, it will just be a PGA Tour tournament.
Neither course has proven to be particularly tough for the players, as the winning score is regular in the mid-20s under par. This was a 90-hole event until 2012. In 2016, it moved to PGA West, so the five years from 2016-20 are what we want to focus on the most this week. That and recent form, though we’ve only had one full-field event and the Tournament of Champions since mid-November.
If we want to start with course form and look in the horse for course section, Adam Hadwin is the first name that stands out. Hadwin missed last year’s tournament because his wife was giving birth. Otherwise, the +7000 player has finished second, third, second, and sixth in his four starts in this event since PGA West became the focal point. It would be hard to argue with anybody that wants to wager on Hadwin, though the Canadian has missed his last three cuts.
There are a lot of golf analysts and handicappers out there that will talk until they’re blue in the face about course form vs. recent form. We’re just trying to present information here, so the ball is in your court on Hadwin.
For other players that fit the course form mold, Andrew Landry is a bomb price at +25000 despite coming in as the reigning champ. Landry was also second back in 2018. He missed the cut last week at the Sony Open.
Phil Mickelson, who hosted the event last year, is +6600 with a second two years ago and a third three years ago. He did not play in either Hawaii event. He had a couple Champions Tour wins in 2020, but did not play well in most of his PGA Tour starts.
How about we combine horse for course and recent form? Sungjae Im has a short price at +2100, but he was 10th here last year and 12th two years ago. He was 56th in the Sony Open, but fifth in the Tournament of Champions. He was among those tied for 14th in Dubai at the DP World Tour Championship and second at The Masters. He’s a guy that thrives on playing regularly and a third straight event could be in his sweet spot.
Quietly, Patton Kizzire has played well recently with a seventh last week at Waialae and a couple top-15 finishes at the tail end of last year. He’s missed the cut here in consecutive years, but his recent form has been nice for a +7000 shot.
Maybe it’s best to simply handicap for course fit. This is an event that plays well for accurate drivers off the tee and approach shots. A lot of GIRs also happen here, so being able to roll the rock well helps. You look at a player like Hadwin, who doesn’t excel in one particular area, but is good across the board. He’s played extremely well here with limited weaknesses to his game.
Perhaps that is a good sign for somebody like Russell Henley at +3500. Henley is a strong iron player and a guy that has limited holes in his game. Henley has not played well here, but was 11th last week shaking off some rust.
Sam Burns is at +7000 and has a couple of top-20 finishes here in the past. He’s also a solid iron player that doesn’t hurt himself in other areas of his game. He was seventh at the Houston Open and hasn’t played since, so we’re talking about a really extended layoff, but he had a good 2020 and checks a lot of boxes this week.
Lucas Glover is +9000. He’s a great approach player that kind of hit a wall in the middle of the season. He was fifth at Mayakoba and has a couple of top-20 finishes here. That’s a guy shaking off some rust, but he could be a factor at a big number.
If nothing else, we should be able to scoop some profits with Im at +150 to finish top 20 or Henley at +163. Even a guy like Doc Redman, a phenomenal young iron player, could grab a top-10 finish at +1200.
There are a lot of ways to bet golf at DraftKings and you could get a sign-up bonus this week to add a little more freedom and flexibility to your bankroll for the event.