Usually a weak field, this year welcomes a strong contingent from the elites with seven of the top 15 in McKinney, TX, along with golfers like Maverick McNealy, Sahith Theegala and many more looking for their first win. Whether the guys are here for a tune-up before Southern Hills or looking to have fun only (see Matthew Wolff), this week should provide a lot of low scores, with how easy it’s played in the past.
If last season’s win by K.H. Lee shooting 25-under indicates how TPC Craig Ranch plays this week, we need to focus on birdie or better scorers on easy courses. Since we have a good swath of golfers at the top, my favorite this week is not the No. 1 golfer from Texas; it’s world No. 8, Justin Thomas. You’ve read all the stats on why I like him to win in the Preview article this week. We’ve seen him go sub-60 and shoot the course record on easy tracks, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he does something similar this week and gets his first win in over 12 months.
I love Will Zalatoris and have backed him most weeks, but it’ll be hard to rank him inside the top-3, which is where his odds are on the board. Yes, he’s hitting the ball well, putting better and is a native of Texas. Still, I don’t believe he’s winning this tournament twice as much as golfers like Hideki Matsuyama. I love Willy Z, but not this much. He’ll still be inside the top-10 but moves down from where his odds are.
There’s always room for longshots, and this week Sahith Theegala is getting all the love. He’s a good addition to the top-25 rankings, but one of my favorites is Tom Hoge, a winner on another easy course this season. Top-5 at The RSM Classic, a runner-up at The American Express and a win at Pebble Beach should give Hoge confidence when he steps onto TPC Craig Ranch. Ryan Palmer, Lanto Griffin and Mito Pereira are others who should outperform where they are in odds this week.
PGA TOUR Power Rankings
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