PGA Tour picks: Workday Charity Open best pre-tournament bets
The PGA Tour persevered through June and then emerged from its first July tournament without any new coronavirus cases even though the pandemic appears to be worsening in the United States. Following a successful Rocket Mortgage Classic won by Bryson DeChambeau, the tour is now set for back-to-back weeks at the same golf course—Muirfield Village in Dublin, Ohio. It starts with the inaugural Workday Charity Open (replacing the John Deere Classic) before concluding with The Memorial.
DeChambeau is taking the first week off, which obviously opens the door for the rest of the field. The 26-year-old American has turned in four consecutive top-eight finishes since golf returned—including his victory this past Sunday—and would have been a considerable favorite at the Workday. Now, however, Justin Thomas is the top choice at +1200 and he is followed by a trio at +1400 (Jon Rahm, Brooks Koepka, and Patrick Cantlay).
Let’s take a look at three of the best pre-tournament bets to make heading into round one on Thursday. Be sure to check out our outright winner pick and our daily golf expert picks, as well.
Viktor Hovland to finish in the top 20 (+125)
We rolled with Hovland to finish in the top 20 at the Rocket Mortgage Classic and that was an easy winner. The 22-year-old Norwegian cruised to a 12th-place showing with rounds of 69, 67, 67, and 71. He has now delivered four straight top-23 performances since the PGA Tour’s comeback from the virus layoff, including two in a row in the top 12. Hovland is only getting better and better, so there is no reason to think he will suddenly slow down. In the four recent tournaments, the No. 42 player in the world is a total of 49-under par, which is better than everyone on tour other than…you guessed it…DeChambeau. Hovland should be on course for another impressive result and he may even be worth a look at +2500 to lift the trophy.
Matthew Wolff to make the cut (-162)
It is true that Wolff is not the most consistent golfer in the business, but getting him at a modest -162 number to make the cut is value that cannot be passed up. After all, the 21-year-old American is coming off a runner-up performance at the Rocket Mortgage Classic. Only DeChambeau got the better of him…and only DeChambeau hit it longer than him. With the way he hits the ball, Wolff is capable of getting super hot when armed with confidence. Last fall, for example, he posted four top-21 results in the span of six events (made the cut at all six). Even though Wolff missed recent cuts at the RBC Heritage and Travelers Championships, his scores there were 72, 69, 68, and 69. He is simply in fine form these days—and confident.
Justin Thomas to win his first-round pairing (+130)
Thomas, the title favorite, is teeing it up with fellow major champions Koepka and Jason Day on the first two days. Day is unreliable to say the least, as his injury history is vast and he dealt with a recent coronavirus scare (but tested negative). The 32-year-old Aussie has missed three of four cuts since golf returned to action. Koepka, who generally peaks at majors, has not done anything special in two recent starts. Thomas already has two top-10 finishes to his credit this summer and he placed T8 at the Memorial (remember, that is also at Muirfield Village) in 2018.