Even if this week isn’t the major caliber field that we have been given the past few events, there is still plenty of opportunity to find entertainment from a betting perspective. Outrights are always a fun way to get in on the action but matchups tend to find success more often and there are a number of different ways to attack the board this week.
As always, feel free to refer to the article “What is matchup betting in golf” for a detailed breakdown of all the different types of ways to look for value when betting matchups.
The main strategies that we are going to focus on this week are which golfers are motivated to perform well, current form, and course fit. We will once again do this from the perspective of golfers that we like and golfers that we want to bet against.
Brendan Todd -145 vs Jordan Spieth +125
It is undeniable at this point that Brendan Todd is capable of competing with the best in the world. He gained notoriety earlier in the season after winning back to back weeks on the PGA Tour, which has only been accomplished by an elite group of golfers in the past decade. He has backed up those two wins by stringing together a run of five straight made cuts this summer, including three top 20 finishes. His latest sign of success was a 17th at the PGA Championship solidifying his ability to perform well in big events. This week, we’re back on Bermuda which is one of his preferred putting surfaces and should pair well with the 2 full strokes he has gained tee to green in his past 5 events.
I will continue to target Jordan Spieth in matchups until it doesn’t work. And to this point, it has been paying off quite nicely. The former #1 golfer in the world has lost his form the past two seasons. Last weekend at the PGA Championship we saw a familiar theme which was a couple solid rounds but a Saturday 76 ruining his chances of being in contention down the stretch. When compared to the field this week, he is the 78th ranked golfer in strokes gained approach. Rewind a few years and his irons were what made him so elite. Until he shows more signs of regaining the form of the “Spieth of old,” I will happily continue to target him in matchups we are given.
The pick: Brendan Todd -145
Russel Henley -110 vs JT Poston -120
Oftentimes sportsbooks will over value a golfer who has won on a specific course in the past, especially if they are the defending champ of the event. That is what we find with this matchup. I find it hard to believe that Poston is the favorite here. He is near the very back of the field in approach, tee to green, and putting. He has missed three of the last five cuts and the only cuts made resulted in finishes of 30th and 75th. He did pop in most stats when he won this tournament in 2019 but looking at recent form, he has lost 2.9 strokes on approach over his last five starts.
Russel Henley on the other hand sets up as one of my core golfers for this week. I wrote a detailed breakdown on him in the outrights preview, but the summary was that he is an elite ball striker who gains strokes off the tee and with his irons. Over his past five events he has gained a little over 4 strokes on approach and almost 6 tee to green. He should be able to attack the greens this weekend and if the putter can get rolling there is no reason that Henley won’t be able to compete for the title. That for me is more than enough to take him in a matchup against the overvalued defending champ.
The pick: Russel Henley -110
Webb Simpson -1.5 (-105) vs Patrick Reed +1.5 (-125)
Webb Simpson and Sedgefield CC were made for eachother, and his recent results back that up. Webb performs best on Bermuda greens, par 70 courses, and events where approach is key. All three of those align this week making him my favorite play at this event. Let’s check his stats to see how he matches up against the rest of the field:
|Player Name||SG:APP||SG:T2G||P4: 400-450||Prox 100-125||SG:P||Prox 200+|
Webb finds himself no worse than 39th in any of the key stats we are looking at for this week. The numbers are too hard to argue with and I am willing to take him in any matchup offered.
Pair him up against the inconsistencies of Patrick Reed and that makes me intrigued enough to take the 1.5 stroke handicap as well. Reed has the ability to be one of the best golfers in the world but just can’t seem to piece together four solid rounds that often. He has high caliber titles on his resume but his performance as of late leaves a lot to be desired. He is currently losing strokes on approach in three of his past five starts and ranks near the bottom in this field in Proximity from over 200 yards. He often relies on his putter to bail out his approach game but statistically, Bermuda is his worst surface when it comes to strokes gained: putting. I cannot race to the sportsbook fast enough to place the bet on this enticing matchup. Lay the extra stroke and cheer on Webb to victory.
The pick: Webb Simpson -1.5 (-105)
Brooks Koepka -110 vs Tommy Fleetwood -110
Sometimes when it comes to matchups you have to create a storyline and stick to it. One of those stories might be what actually motivates a golfer. I wrote a few weeks ago that Brooks is a golfer who sets up his game specifically for the big events. We are coming off of back to back weeks of intense premier events with the WGC and the PGA Championship. Brooks found himself in contention each of those weeks but was unable to get it done on Sunday. This has to be demoralizing for a guy who primes himself around winning these types of tournaments. I find it hard to believe that he will be showing up to Greensboro motivated and ready to bring his best.
Tommy Fleetwood on the other hand is still searching for his first win on the PGA Tour. He is currently 85th in the FedEx Cup standings and needs a solid finish this week to set himself up well for the three playoff events coming up. He was also in contention last week at Harding Park but with how his career has gone, I am banking on him to be more motivated than Brooks transitioning to a regular PGA Tour event this week. To back that up, he lost an astounding 3.4 strokes on approach last week and still managed a 29th place finish. The game is sharp and he will be searching for that first tour win to gear him up for the playoff push.
The pick: Tommy Fleetwood -110
Harris English -110 vs Sungjae Im -110
Something is wrong with Sunjae ever since golf returned back in May. Sungjae was notorious for playing each and every week on the PGA Tour and ever since he had to take some time off his game just hasn’t been the same. Losing 5.4 strokes on approach at WGC Memphis is a long way from winning the Honda back in early March. He has missed two of his last three cuts and since golf game back he has yet to finish inside the top 30. He is far too talented not to turn this around but for the meantime I will be trying to capitalize on matchups by taking advantage of this slump.
Harris English will be one of the most popular plays this week, and for good reason. He has gained on approach in 5 of his last 6 starts. His putting on Bermuda is top tier. He also has been elite tee to green as of late. All signs point to a big week for English. Add in the fact that he hasn’t finished outside the top 20 since early June and it all appears to be coming together. I love his play and feel that they should not have even odds in the betting market.
The pick: Harris English -110