By: Field Level Media
Workday Charity Open Odds for its Inaugural Tournament
The inaugural Workday Charity Open was added to the PGA Tour schedule just last month but managed to attract a strong field that includes five of the world’s top 10 players.
It helps when the course architect and president is Jack Nicklaus, charity is involved and the event is taking place at the same venerable Muirfield Village Golf Club that will play host to next week’s the Memorial Tournament.
“I’m glad to be here,” said Justin Thomas, the pre-tournament betting favorite at most sportsbooks. “Usually it’s as close as I can get to a home-field event for me, growing up in Louisville.”
Thomas said Muirfield is a “second-shot” course with generous fairways and greens, but that it also requires putting the ball in correct spots.
After tying for eighth in 2018, Thomas missed the cut at the Memorial last year. The world’s fifth-ranked player is +1100 at BetMGM and PointsBet.
No. 2 Jon Rahm is the top-ranked player in the field. He did not play at Muirfield last year and has struggled in three starts since the Tour’s reboot with a missed cut, a T33 and a T37 before taking last week off. However, the Spaniard was one of the hottest players on Tour before the hiatus with three wins and 11 other top 10s in 18 worldwide starts.
Rahm is +1400 at PointsBet and +1500 at BetMGM along with Patrick Cantlay. Cantlay won the Memorial last year and enters ranked No. 8. He has entered just one tournament since February, tying for 11th at the Travelers Championship two weeks ago. Cantlay has made just 15 starts in 13 months since his triumph at the Memorial in June of 2019.
A look at the final Memorial leaderboard that week speaks to Thomas’ points about Nicklaus’ courses emphasizing shot making. Among those on the first page of the leaderboard behind Cantlay last year were well-known shot-makers including Adam Scott (solo second), Kevin Streelman (fourth), Marc Leishman (fifth) and Hideki Matsuyama (sixth).
“(Nicklaus) wants to expose someone who maybe doesn’t have their game that day, but if they’re playing well, driving it well, hitting their irons well, they can go shoot a 65 or 66,” Thomas said. “And I think that’s something that this course really has every time you tee it up.”
Can Hideki Matsuyama Tame the Golden Bear’s Course?
Matsuyama hasn’t won since 2017 but is being offered among the pre-tournament favorites at +1600 by BetMGM and PointsBet. Streelman (+6600 and +7000) is also in the field after finishing second to Dustin Johnson just two weeks ago, as is Leishman (+4000 at both books), who has a missed cut and a T58 in his two events since play resumed.
Brooks Koepka isn’t going to delicately manage his way around any course. He’s still among the betting favorites at +1600 and +1500 by BetMGM and PointsBet as the four-time major champion’s game has show signs of rounding into form.
Another former No. 1 not to sleep on is Justin Rose (+2500, +2200). The Englishman is still fine-tuning his game after parting with swing coach Sean Foley. Rose fired out of the gate before finishing third at the Charles Schwab Challenge and followed that up with a T14 and missed cut before taking last week off.
Rose has shown sign of regaining his form but thus far has been unable to string together four consecutive strong rounds.
Which Other Golfers Can You Make a Play on with the Workday Charity Open Odds
Other ball-strikers to keep an eye on include a trio of emerging young stars.
Viktor Hovland is +2200 at both books and doesn’t show much vulnerability in his all-around game. He earned his maiden PGA Tour win in Puerto Rico earlier this year and has posted four consecutive top-25 results since the Tour’s re-start.
That includes a T11 and T12 the past two weeks. Sure, Hovland is only 22 years old, but playing five consecutive weeks is a serious grind no matter your age.
Perhaps no one plays a more grueling Tour schedule than Sungjae Im. The reigning Rookie of the Year has is also competing for a fifth consecutive week, but he hasn’t enjoyed the same recent success as Hovland with a missed cut, T58 and T53 since a top-10 finish at the Charles Schwab.
Im (+4500, +4000) did not play the Memorial last year but is unquestionably one of the game’s brightest young stars. He has risen as high as No. 20 in the world and enters the week No. 22 with a win three other top 10s already in 2020.
Then there’s Joaquin Niemann, the young Chilean who was in the hunt down to the final few holes at the RBC Heritage three weeks ago. He won at The Greenbrier last fall and has shown great promise during his first two years on Tour. That includes a quartet of top-five since the 2019 Travelers.
Niemann is being offered at +4500 by BetMGM and +4000 by PointsBet.
–Field Level Media