Bet Golf: Mike Kern has the odds and picks the WGC-Workday Championship and, as a bonus, the Puerto Rico Open
The WGC-Workday Championship at The Concession has the first tee time at 10:58 am EST on February 25; The Puerto Rico Open at the Grand Reserve Country Club starts at 6 am EST on February 25
It’s the World Golf Championship of Mexico (WGC-Workday Championship), which is being played in Florida because of Covid travel restrictions. So, there is no track record to go by for The Concession course - which is on the west coast just south of Sarasota. But we’ll try anyway, because what else is there?
Remember, this is one of those next-events to the majors. Speaking of which, the Tournament Players Championship is less than a month away, and the Masters less than two. It’s a limited field that you have to earn your way into. In other words, it’s the usual suspects.
Dustin Johnson is the fave, at 5.5-1. Jon Rahm is 8-1, Xander Schauffele 11-1. Patrick Cantlay is 14-1, Tony Finau 16-1. Finau just lost in a playoff, his 37th top 10 in the last few years without a win. Rory McIlroy is 16-1, Bryson DeChambeau and Justin Thomas 18-1. Bryson won the 2015 U.S. Amateur here.
Daniel Berger, who won two weeks ago, is 20-1. Tyrrell Hatton, Viktor Hovland and Webb Simpson are 22-1. I have Hatton in my yearlong pool. Take that for what it’s worth — don’t say you weren’t warned. Brooks Koepka is 25-1, Patrick Reed 30-1. Reed is the defending champ. Joaquin Niemann and Sungjae Im are 33-1. Collin Morikawa and Scottie Scheffler are 45-1.
Max Homa, who won last week, is 66-1. So is Will Zalatoris, who is playing better than most. We could go on but feel free to research some others.
To be honest, I don’t have too many strong opinions. It happens. But I’ll throw out a few thoughts and see what that get us. DeChambeau missed the cut last week for the first time in quite a while. And he was the runner-up last year at the other venue. So, 18-1 seems like a decent enough value. And that’s what we try to be mostly about.
I think I would also take a hard look at Will Zalatoris, even though this is his first WGC start. He did tie for sixth at last year’s U.S. Open, against a similar field. And he’s been consistently near the top of the leaderboard. And he’s 11-1 to finish in the top five, 6-1 for a top 10. That sounds like a play worth investing in.
I think both Joaquin Niemann and Sungjae Im are worth considering at 33-1, 8-1 for a top five. I could probably say the same about Collin Morikawa at 45 (and 9), but I can’t pick everybody. But you can play three or four and hope one of them hits. Or more than one gets you a top five or 10. Greed is good.
I don’t know if there’s any real longshot I would back, but Matthew Wolff is 100-1 (and 16/8). Kevin Na, who’s won recently, would bring back the same numbers. Now all you have to do is sort it out and figure out how much to put on which guys.
As a bonus, there’s also the Puerto Rico Open going on for the rest of the PGA Tour. Thomas Pieter, a four-time winner on the European Tour, is 16-1. So is Ian Poulter. I will let you know that my pick in my pool is Jhonattan Vegas, who’s going off at 35-1. I never seem to do well in these tourneys, but who knows. Maybe this is my time. Whatever you do, try to have fun out there. And of course, by all means cash some tickets. That’s the most fun of all.