Diane Knox Balas' Barbasol Championship best bets: Our expert goes for 4 winners in 5 weeks

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Diane Knox Balas

Golf · 1 month ago

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Golf analyst for Pickswise.

There is no off week for those who didn’t make the trip across the pond to Scotland! There’s an alternate event happening on the PGA Tour this week, and it’s the Barbasol Championship in Kentucky. So we have double-golf, which means pretty much a full day of action Thursday through Sunday — the Genesis Scottish Open in the morning and Barbasol Championship into the evening!

This week we have a great mix of players teeing it up in Kentucky. Alongside the familiar PGA Tour players, 50 guys from the DP World Tour will be making an appearance stateside, which really opens up the field.

It’s an important week for those looking to boost their FedEx Cup standing, as there’s only four weeks of events left after this one before the playoffs begin and the top 125 will progress. Plus, the winner will earn a spot in next week’s Open Championship at St. Andrews.

Irishman Seamus Power snagged his maiden victory here last year, but it took him six extra holes of playoff golf to beat J.T. Poston, who won the John Deere Classic last week. This event can really propel a player to greatness!

Speaking of Poston, I had him at +5500 to win the John Deere. That’s three outright winners for me in the last four tournaments, so let’s keep the momentum going!

Keene Trace Golf Club: What you need to know

At 7,328 yards, this par 72 is hosting the Barbasol Championship for the fourth time. Along with Power (-21), past winners here include Jim Herman at -26 and Troy Merritt at -23. It’s going to be a low-scoring event with lots of birdies.

The course really doesn’t pose many challenges; it has wide fairways, big greens and there isn’t a huge amount of rough. I’m really looking at guys who are playing well, are hitting it close to the hole and can score well with the putter.

Knox’s Knockout Barbasol Championship picks

Chesson Hadley (+3500) DK Sportsbook

Odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook

Chesson Hadley — at these odds — is definitely a favorite pick of mine. Coming off a T5 at the Travelers a few weeks ago, he followed that up with a T10 at the John Deere last week. His putting stats are excellent; he is 29th on the PGA Tour on the greens and makes birdies when it matters; he leads the PGA Tour in R3 putting and is 7th in final-round putting. Hadley is still looking to back up his 2014 maiden victory and this could be a great week for him to capitalize, as his game is trending.

Taylor Pendrith (+4000)

Odds provided by FanDuel Sportsbook

Talk about someone who is raring to go! Taylor Pendrith was putting together a good season before an injury sidelined him. After finishing T13 at the Players Championship in March, he realized he had a broken rib. The Canadian was due to make his return last week but tested positive for Covid0-19, so this is a big week for him to come back with a vengeance. Pendrith finished T5 at the Bermuda Championship this season and even though it’s hard to compare his stats due to the fact he hasn’t played in months, his strengths are off-the-tee and greens in regulation.

Hank Lebioda (+4000)

Odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook

As we race towards the FedExCup playoffs, the guys outside the top 125 really need to make some moves and gather some points; and Hank Lebioda is one of them. He’s currently at 158th on the standings, so needs to take advantage this week and have a good finish. His season has started to turn around, and he had a good week at the John Deere apart from a final round 75 which pushed him down the leaderboard. He’s been gaining strokes on the greens in four of his last six events, and ranks well off-the-tee. I see Hank getting back to his good form of last season and making the most of this “opportunity week”.

Matti Schmid (+13000)

Odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook

You’re probably going to see a lot of names on the leaderboard that you don’t recognize from weekly PGA Tour golf, but this is the type of course on which a guy can really make a name for himself. Matti Schmid is a 24-year-old from Germany who attend the University of Louisville, so he will feel right at home around Keene Trace this week. He won the European Amateur in 2019 and ’20, and at the Open Championship last year Schmid had a second-round 65 to equal the record for the lowest round by an amateur in the major. The DP World Tour Rookie of the Year last year has had one third-place finish in 2022. He’s a huge hitter, and the approach shot seems to be a real strength of his game. Schmid is definitely one to watch this week!

Barbasol Championship prop bets

Odds available at BetOnline Sportsbook at time of publishing.

Josh Teater top-10 finish (+600)

I like to pick a local player to excel in an event like this, and Josh Teater is that guy this week. He plays on the Korn Ferry Tour and is in the field this week on a sponsor’s exemption. He finished within the top-15 last year after moving back to the Lexington area, and T6 in 2019, much to the delight of the fans. I’d like to think he’s got his practice in around Keene Trace and is raring to go.

Pickswise is the home of free expert Golf Picks and Golf Predictions. Our PGA expert picks go live every Monday or Tuesday, so check out our latest golf picks, best bets, and analysis for this week’s PGA tournament now.

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