DJ is back to lead loaded TPC field at Sawgrass

By Matt Youmans  (VSiN senior editor) 

May 10, 2017 04:44 AM
jonrahm
Jon Rahm is a rising star on the PGA Tour. Since his win at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines in January, Rahm has recorded finishes of second, third, fourth, fifth and 10th.
© USA Today Sports Images

Assuming he can get up and down a flight of stairs without suffering a freak injury, Dustin Johnson will go off as the favorite this week. He’s back and playing great golf again.

Johnson was in dominant form before a back injury forced him to withdraw from the Masters in early April. Few players are in his class this year. Jon Rahm is one of those players.

“One guy you can bet every week and he’s going to give you a run for the money is Rahm,” Westgate golf oddsmaker Jeff Sherman said.

Johnson is the 7-1 favorite in The Players Championship at Sawgrass, one of the country’s iconic courses mostly because of its island green on the 17th hole. It’s a treacherous track with deep roughs, a ball striker’s course that does not give the longest hitters a significant advantage. This tournament is the unofficial fifth major, so all of the elite players tee it up.

Johnson is tailed on the odds board by Rory McIlroy (10-1), Jordan Spieth (12-1) and Masters champion Sergio Garcia (15-1). One of those four might win, but there’s little value in betting the favorites at Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.

Jason Day was the wire-to-wire TPC winner last year, following Rickie Fowler’s win at Sawgrass in 2015. Day and Fowler are each posted at 20-1 odds.

Course history is a key handicapping element. Day and Fowler obviously have it, and so does Garcia, a two-time runner up at Sawgrass and the winner in 2008. Garcia, a longtime unlucky loser, reshaped his image by pulling a rabbit out of the hat to outduel Justin Rose down the stretch at Augusta National.

“This is one of Sergio’s better courses,” Sherman said, “and his confidence is at an all-time high.”

Justin Thomas, who swept two events in Hawaii to open the year, owns the field’s lowest scoring average (with a minimum eight rounds played) of 70.1 at TPC. Thomas is an attractive betting option at 30-1 odds.

“He has played the course well,” said Brian Blessing, a Las Vegas radio host and handicapper. “Thomas was the kid winning all the tournaments early in the year, and he’s kind of out of sight, out of mind now.”

Rahm is never far from the top of the leaderboard. The 22-year-old from Spain blossomed into a college star at Arizona State and earned his first and only PGA Tour win at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines in January.

Since his breakout performance on the beach north of San Diego, Rahm has recorded finishes of second, third, fourth, fifth and 10th. He narrowly lost a final-match showdown with Johnson at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play in Austin, Texas. Rahm never has played Sawgrass, where Johnson does not have a strong track record.

In last week’s Wells Fargo Championship in North Carolina, Johnson tied for second, one stroke ahead of Rahm.

“Rahm is a machine,” Blessing said.

Golf bettors who stick with Rahm might eventually find him to be a cash machine. In next month’s U.S. Open at Erin Hills in Wisconsin, the course will favor big hitters, so Johnson and Rahm will be popular picks.

Best bets: Day (20-1), Rahm (20-1), Fowler (20-1), Thomas (30-1).

back to news

QuickPicks_300x250_080920_NFLkickoff

Headlines

View All
  • Magny should shine in Fight Island 8

    Magny should shine in Fight Island 8

    Wednesday’s UFC event begins at 6 a.m. Pacific Time, so the theme might as well be Beatdowns and Bagels. Max Holloway dominated Calvin Kattar...
  • Watch bombers in Palm Springs event

    Watch bombers in Palm Springs event

    Kevin Na shot 61-65 on the weekend to win the Sony Open in Hawaii at as high as 80-1 odds. Na (40-1) will attempt to win in back-to-back weeks this week...
  • Schedule critical in CBB futures bets

    Schedule critical in CBB futures bets

    Last week we discussed the importance of taking a positive approach to college basketball futures betting. That is, focus on playing plus numbers instead...
  • First impressions as hockey returns

    First impressions as hockey returns

    It’s great to have hockey back, but bettors must temper their expectations and trust their preseason projections. Therefore, this is a great time...
  • Tuley's Takes on Championship Sunday

    Tuley's Takes on Championship Sunday

    The NFL’s divisional playoff round was a mixed bag for us here at the Tuley’s Takes home office, though I spent Saturday at Circa with VSiN...
  • Injuries dog Chiefs, but Packers on roll

    Injuries dog Chiefs, but Packers on roll

    And then there were four. We’re looking forward to what is maybe the single best day on the NFL calendar: Championship Sunday. The matchups are...
  • Championship Sunday: Sifting recent trends

    Championship Sunday: Sifting recent trends

    For as different as this NFL season has been due to the impact of COVID-19, the first two weeks of the playoffs have generally followed the trends of...
  • How to gain edge betting CBB rematches

    How to gain edge betting CBB rematches

    (To view the charts with this report, subscribe to Point Spread Weekly) In a typical college basketball season, and to a lesser degree this season,...
  • Mahomes mystery puts oddsmakers in bind

    Mahomes mystery puts oddsmakers in bind

    It’s generally easy for oddsmakers to post lines on most NFL games. The numbers are typically airtight, unlike in college football. A quarterback...
  • Championship Sunday capsules

    Championship Sunday capsules

    NFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME Buccaneers at Packers (3:05 p.m. ET Sunday) The Packers opened as consensus four-point home favorites against the...
  • With Pacers surging, Clippers on long haul

    With Pacers surging, Clippers on long haul

    Another week gone, and bettors have yet to see any NBA team separate itself from the pack. The Los Angeles Lakers seem like the surest thing on the board,...
  • 10 months in making, going all in on Bucs

    10 months in making, going all in on Bucs

    I made some bets on the Buccaneers last March that are now very much alive. These were placed the night before Tom Brady announced where he was signing....

Google Play
App Store
Close