Players Championship Betting Tips
Robert Cobley is a maths graduate with years of experience in the sports betting industry. He has now teamed up with Bet UK to bring his golf betting tips to our readers.
The Stadium Course, TPC Sawgrass - Ponte Vedra, Florida - Par 72, 7189 Yards
The PGA Tour heads to TPC Sawgrass this week for what is golf’s unofficial fifth major, and one of the most exciting and unpredictable events on the calendar. The Stadium course is home to the PGA Tour, and their flagship event always attracts the biggest and best players from around the world, all arriving with the hope of taking home one of the biggest crowns in golf.
Sawgrass is characterised by tiny greens, fast undulating fairways, and a number of dog legs, all of which serve to remove the advantages of some of the Tours bigger hitters. This has been evidenced in a rather erratic trend of winners; from big bombers like Rickie Fowler and Jason Day, to the likes of Tim Clark and Fred Funk who have managed to manoeuvre their way around this delightful Pete Dye creation.
The front 9 at Sawgrass is fairly unremarkable, but the back side is some of the most entertaining holes you will see anywhere on a golf course, culminating in the famous island green that faces the players on the treacherous par 3 17th. This course is famously unpredictable and the huge breadth of winners is testament to both the variable challenge and the consistent quality of the field.
Last Five Winners:
The Market Leaders
As is the case almost any week that he plays now, Rory McIlroy (13/2) comes in, understandably, as the stand out market favourite as he defends his Players Championship title at TPC Sawgrass. Rory opened 67, 65 last year and despite a characteristic weekend slow down, it was sufficient for him to claim the title ahead of Jim Furyk at a calm and bouncy Sawgrass. The conditions this week are set to be more unpredictable, and Mcilroy is fresh off the back of a poor showing in the winds of Bay Hill where he failed to convert an opening 65 into a win despite hovering around the lead all week. The long game deserted McIlroy, and has again opened questions about his ability to play golf in the wind. With no other top 5s aside from last year's win in seven starts, and at such an unpredictable venue, i am prepared to give Rory a miss at the price.
John Rahm (12/1) has an improving but equally inconsistent record at Sawgrass having failed to achieve a top 10 finish in any of his three starts here. A 12th place last year was his first time inside the top 60, and that isn't atypical for top players here; Tiger Woods famously struggled here for many years. Pete Dye's courses often are accused of being "tricked up" and not giving a platform for the best players to showcase their talents, but there's no denying the entertainment that they bring. Rahm is playing good golf and won't be put off by the tough conditions. His price seems a fair one. Justin Thomas (14/1) is another who won't be handicapped if the players are battling the elements this week, and the 26 year old American posted a career high finish of 3rd here in 2016. He has three top 6 finishes and three missed cuts in his last 6 starts, but is a little unpredictable for me and with a poor recent record at Sawgrass is another I will be leaving alone.
Bryson Dechambeau (20/1) is back to his best and as I've said before, I am expecting a big year from the flamboyant American. Last week he finished 4th, and that was his third consecutive top 5 finish, and second in Florida. Dechambeau is a creative and quirky player, and he has finishes of 37th and 20th here in his two visits. It often takes time to acclimatise to Sawgrass, and I fancy a strong run at the title this week from Bryson. Tommy Fleetwood (22/1) Has back to back top 7 finishes at Sawgrass and if he can bring his Florida A game that he had at PGA National two weeks ago he will be a strong contender to make it back to back British wins following on from Tyrrel Hatton's win at Bay Hill last week. Fleetwood has the game for this short, bouncy, links like course, and the ability to compete in the toughest of conditions. He should contend again here.
Rob’s Betting Tips
Headline Betting Tip
Bryson Dechambeau shot nothing higher than a 71 across his four rounds here last year, and in tough conditions his hardy and determined game will be well suited to the mental as well as the golfing challenges that will be presented this week at Sawgrass. Bryson arrives in the midst of a great run of form having posted top 8 finishes in four of his last 5 events, and his game has shown unending improvement since a largely static end to 2019.
Dechambeau is long off the tee, but has a great range of shots, and it is this ability that i feel can lead to him being a top performer at Sawgrass. In his two previous showings he has exceeded almost all other players including market favourites Rahm and Mcilroy in terms of results, and now in his third year and a hot vein of form, i feel the time is right for a strong challenge from Bryson for the title. His distance control and, critically, his bermuda putting were both at their very best last week. Anyone finishing above Bryson this week will need to have played some exceptional golf, and I will therefore be backing him with 3 points e/w at 20/1.
South African Christiaan Bezuidenhout makes his first competitive appearance at Sawgrass this week, and the 25 year old arrives in a hot vein of form fresh from his win in Dubai and has followed that up with his first top 20 in the US in Florida at Bay Hill last week. Christiaan is certainly in form, and although few players excel on their maiden appearance at The Stadium Course, there is so much to like about how his game fits this venue. Last year, Bezuidenout picked up his first Tour title in impressive fashion when beating the likes of Rahm and Garcia at Valderrama, a course of similar length and difficulty, and he has shown from his performances both last week and in the Middle East that handling tough, windy conditions is no challenge for him.
His game is perfectly suited for a short(ish), tight, windy venue, and the unpredictability of Sawgrass is a great leveller. Mental confidence and toughness play their part, and Christiaan could not be higher in either coming in this week. For me he is overpriced and I will happily have 1 point e/w at 150/1.
Martin Laird has had two top 5 finishes in seven career starts at TPC Sawgrass, and the Scot seems an exceptionally big price, particularly given that the 5 time PGA Tour winner finished 6th in his last start and has had two weeks off ready for this tournament. Laird fits a similar profile to Bezuidenhout in that he is a mid range hitter who can shape the ball, play well in wind, and has the added bonus of two career wins in Florida on his CV, Laird has a good piercing ball flight, and an excellent temperament. He is a great wind player, and well suited to the set up this week. In his current form he should be nowhere near this price, and I shall therefore be having 1 point e/w at 200/1.
Following a rolling profit of 463 points in 2019, I am looking for an even better 2020. Each week I will pick between 2 to 4 selections at each event on the European and PGA Tours, and suggest a suitable staking plan.
|European Tour||-79 points|
|PGA Tour||+76 points|
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