The Workday Charity Open is from July 9-12
It was bound to happen. About time.
Last week I did something I rarely do. I took the favorite, Bryson Dechambeau, at 6-1 odds. He had posted six straight top 10s. So, I actually said that if you just took him to finish in the top five at plus $150 it might not be such a bad proposition. But he actually wound up winning. So there. You might have had to put a little extra down to get enough back, but that’s the way it has to work sometimes.
Then, I gave out Matthew Wolff as my longshot, at 100-1. And he was winning by three going into the final round. He ended up getting second. So, if you backed him up as I usually suggest, to get a top five or even 10, you would have actually gotten as much or more back in the way of odds than you got on Bryson. And God forbid you found a way to play an exacta, I can only imagine what that was worth.
Hey, some weeks you maybe have a clue, and other ones the field gets you. Try as we might, it’s hardly an exact science.
Now we push on. This week the PGA Tour heads to Muirfield Village, outside Columbus, Ohio, the course that Jack Nicklaus and Desmond Muirhead built. Since 1976 it’s hosted the Memorial Tournament. That will be played next week. But after the John Deere Classic, which was originally scheduled for last month, had to be cancelled, the powers that be decided to play another event at Muirfield. Which obviously is unique. It’s called the Workday Charity Open. The field is pretty decent, even if Tiger still hasn’t teed it up since the restart. Perhaps next week, as speculated.
Justin Thomas, who missed the cut two weeks ago in his last start, is the 10-1 fave. Patrick Cantlay, the defending champ, is 12-1. He also was fourth two years ago. Jon Rahm, who hasn’t done much since the return, is 12-1 as well. Brooks Koepka, who showed some signs of being sort of back two weeks ago, is 14-1. Hideki Matsuyama, who won here six years ago, is 16-1. But he hasn’t won in almost three years. Xander Schauffele is 16-1 as well.
Rickie Fowler, who’s been runner-up twice, is 25-1. Viktor Hovland, who’s been playing well, is 25-1 too. As is Justin Rose, the 2010 winner, who has a real good history here. Patrick Reed is 28-1. Collin Morikawa and Gary Woodland are 33-1. Morikawa would have been my pick in my yearlong pool. But that no longer counts since there’s no longer a John Deere. Just thought it was worth mentioning.
Marc Leishman is 35-1. Matt Kuchar and Sungjae Im are 40-1. Adam Hadwin, Joaquin Niemann, Jordan Spieth and Bubba Watson are 45-1. Matthew Fitzpatrick is 60-1. Byeong Hun An is 60-1. Jason Day is 66-1. So is Matthew Wolff.
Harold Varner, Cameron Champ, Louis Oosthuizen and Scottie Scheffler are 70-1. Phil Mickelson is 80-1. And that’s about as far as I’m going. But there’s always other names out there waiting to be bet.
You know I’m not going to bet the chalk two weeks in a row, right? It just goes against my DNA.
I think I’m going to take Justin Rose, at 25-1. Just seems like a good number for him. He’s due to put a whole week together and has played better since the game came back. I would also put a little something on him to finish in the top five, at 6-1.
I would put something on Morikawa, just because I’m a big believer in karma. Not much. Just enough to keep me interested. But that’s a totally personal thing.
If I was forced to take one of the faves I would probably lean between Brooks Koepka or Xander Schauffele. Brooks hasn’t been that impressive in awhile, but Dechambeau winning last week might help motivate him to get people to remember that he was the best player on the planet.
I think Viktor Hovland at 25-1 might be worth a look, but you can’t bet everyone. Or can you. Hey, you can always just put a little on a lot of them. And hope somebody comes through, preferably one of those with the highest odds.
For a longshot, I’ll throw out two: Harold Varner, at 70-1, and Brendan Steele, who has a second, fourth and sixth in his last eight starts. Just saying. He’s going off at 125-1. And 28-1 for a top five. Cause you really should back up those longshot plays in case they only make it a close call.
So there you have it. It’s hard to get it right back-to-back, but somebody has to. Might as well be us. And then we’ll try to figure out the Memorial, which will not have fans as originally hoped.
And yes, we’re closing in on that first major in over a year, next month’s fan-less PGA at San Francisco’s Harding Park. Can’t wait. That’s when the fun really starts.
Looks good: Justin Rose (25-1)
Put a little on: Collin Morikawa (33-1)
Faves: Brooks Koepka (14-1) or Xander Schauffele (16-1)
Worth a look: Viktor Hovland (25-1)
Longshots: Harold Varner (70-1) and Brendan Steele (125-1)