The PGA Tour resumes the 2019-2020 season on Thursday with the Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial Country Club in Forth Worth, Texas. The first tee times are at 7:50 a.m., with PGA Tour Live streaming the action in the wee hours. Golf Channel will pick up coverage later in the day.
Rory McIlroy is the favorite in the first tournament back, having finished in the top five of all six tournaments he played in before the pandemic. It’s no surprise then that bettors at DraftKings Sportsbook are wagering more on him than anybody else in the tournament. He is tops in handle for all markets and tops in total bets. All markets means betting on him to win, betting on him to lead after a given round, and a whole host of other prop bets.
The top five in total bets includes McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Brooks Koepka, Justin Thomas, and Rickie Fowler. The top five in total handle (money wagered) are McIlroy, Collin Morikawa, Spieth, Kopeka, and Thomas.
Morikawa is 23 and in only his second season as a pro. The Cal grad made his pro debut last summer at the RBC Canadian Open, finishing 14th. He finished 35th the following week at the U.S. Open and 36th the next week at the Travelers Championship. He followed that with a strong July run that saw him finish 2nd at the 3M Open, 4th at the John Deere Classic, and he won the Barracuda Championship the final weekend of July.
Prior to the Covid shutdown, Morikawa had been playing really solid golf. He made all 11 cuts this season, and had three top ten finishes, including 10th at the Safeway open, 7th at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, and most recently 9th at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in early March.
Morikawa is tied for 11th best odds to win the tournament at +3500. He’s +800 to finish in the top 5 and +400 to finish in the top 10. You can get him at +4500 to be the leader after round 1 and +5000 to have the best single 18-hole round score of the tournament.
He’s $9,100 in DraftKings DFS classic, which is the 12th highest price. He’s not a price sleeper at this point, even at such an early stage in his career. But could he slip under the radar to some degree? If you sort by price, fantasy points per game, or top 10 finishes, he drops off the above the fold view on the contest page. If you sort by cuts made, he shows up fifth and the first appearance of double digit tournaments played. This kind of information isn’t going to make or break your pick of him, but in thinking who might overlook him, it’s possible he could slide off some radars — at least if you’re facing more beginner-level DFS players.
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