Tiger Woods is not one of our experts’ picks. Here’s who they think will win at Bethpage


Tiger Woods lifting the U.S. Open trophy at this public golf mecca. The people’s golfer took home our nation’s championship at the people’s country club in 2002, the first time the U.S. Open was played at a true public golf course. Now with the 15-time major champion coming off his Masters victory, is it an eventuality this extra-motivated, rejuvenated Tiger will win again at Bethpage? Not so fast, our experts say.” data-reactid=”11″>Bethpage conjures images of Tiger Woods lifting the U.S. Open trophy at this public golf mecca. The people’s golfer took home our nation’s championship at the people’s country club in 2002, the first time the U.S. Open was played at a true public golf course. Now with the 15-time major champion coming off his Masters victory, is it an eventuality this extra-motivated, rejuvenated Tiger will win again at Bethpage? Not so fast, our experts say.

Though our experts won’t go as far as to fade him at this week’s PGA Championship, nobody has chosen Tiger to keep his Grand Slam hopes alive. He is the betting favorite, with a high asking price likely steering our experts toward more value in this deep field.

Action Network, a leader in premium handicapping data for sports bettors, which is becoming a must-follow in golf. Joshua Perry, one of the Action Network’s golf handicappers, joins our weekly panel, which includes a PGA Tour caddie, offering insight from the range and putting green at Bethpage, thanks to our partnership with The Caddie Network; two of the most respected fantasy golf experts, Pat Mayo of DraftKings and Brandon Gdula of FanDuel; and Columbia University senior lecturer and Ph.D. Lou Riccio, who uses predictive analysis and modeling to forecast winners in golf.” data-reactid=”13″>We continue to bring the best collection of golf expertise in betting circles, thanks to a partnership with the Action Network, a leader in premium handicapping data for sports bettors, which is becoming a must-follow in golf. Joshua Perry, one of the Action Network’s golf handicappers, joins our weekly panel, which includes a PGA Tour caddie, offering insight from the range and putting green at Bethpage, thanks to our partnership with The Caddie Network; two of the most respected fantasy golf experts, Pat Mayo of DraftKings and Brandon Gdula of FanDuel; and Columbia University senior lecturer and Ph.D. Lou Riccio, who uses predictive analysis and modeling to forecast winners in golf.

Justin Rose (20-1) — This is very strong value on Rose. The winning score is going to be single-digits under par. I like Rosie not only physically, but he makes the fewest mental mistakes. He’s the No. 2-ranked player in the world, and his lone missed cut this season came at the Masters. In his last start, the Wells Fargo, Rose finished third. I’m anticipating a big week from the 2013 U.S. Open champ.” data-reactid=”24″>PGA Tour Caddie Guest Picker of the Week: Justin Rose (20-1) — This is very strong value on Rose. The winning score is going to be single-digits under par. I like Rosie not only physically, but he makes the fewest mental mistakes. He’s the No. 2-ranked player in the world, and his lone missed cut this season came at the Masters. In his last start, the Wells Fargo, Rose finished third. I’m anticipating a big week from the 2013 U.S. Open champ.

Xander Schauffele (29-1) — I’ve decided to quit being a coward and just turn myself over to the X-MAN at majors. Schauffele’s gained the 15th most total strokes at majors over the past two years, made the weekend in seven of his eight career majors, with top-six finishes in four of them. He’s won against stacked fields at the Tour Championship, a WGC and the Tournament of Champions, and along with Rickie Fowler, Ryan Fox, Gary Woodland, David Lipsky and Keegan Bradley, via FantasyNational.com), ranks inside the top 20 in both proximity gained from 75-100 yards and 200+ yards.” data-reactid=”25″>Pat Mayo, DraftKings/Fantasy National analyst: Xander Schauffele (29-1) — I’ve decided to quit being a coward and just turn myself over to the X-MAN at majors. Schauffele’s gained the 15th most total strokes at majors over the past two years, made the weekend in seven of his eight career majors, with top-six finishes in four of them. He’s won against stacked fields at the Tour Championship, a WGC and the Tournament of Champions, and along with Rickie Fowler, Ryan Fox, Gary Woodland, David Lipsky and Keegan Bradley, via FantasyNational.com), ranks inside the top 20 in both proximity gained from 75-100 yards and 200+ yards.

Tommy Fleetwood (33-1) — With how tough the course could play and with the weather shaping up to be wet and cold, variance could spike, so I think starting your card in the second or third tier is the right way to approach things for the PGA Championship. Fleetwood, over a large sample, has both the distance and accuracy to gain strokes on the field and avoid wet, problematic rough. He has made eight straight cuts at major championships, with two top-fours at the US Open. Frankly, this feels a bit like a US Open. Fleetwood should gain greens in regulation and is a strong option to start a card. Avoiding the top options should allow us the bankroll to pick up some other plays in this range, primarily Xander Schauffele (+2800).” data-reactid=”26″>Brandon Gdula, FanDuel/numberFire editor: Tommy Fleetwood (33-1) — With how tough the course could play and with the weather shaping up to be wet and cold, variance could spike, so I think starting your card in the second or third tier is the right way to approach things for the PGA Championship. Fleetwood, over a large sample, has both the distance and accuracy to gain strokes on the field and avoid wet, problematic rough. He has made eight straight cuts at major championships, with two top-fours at the US Open. Frankly, this feels a bit like a US Open. Fleetwood should gain greens in regulation and is a strong option to start a card. Avoiding the top options should allow us the bankroll to pick up some other plays in this range, primarily Xander Schauffele (+2800).

Dustin Johnson (11-1) — My model points to the odds being way off on Dustin Johnson. Maybe it’s the fact Brooks Koepka has developed such a reputation for playing well at the majors (and rightfully so). He has become a public darling, thus inflating his odds. According to my modeling, DJ’s odds to win are double that of anyone else in this field. In such an elite field, to say that DJ has an 8 percent chance of winning, compared to 4 percent for Rory, Koepka and Rickie, is reason enough to take DJ’s low odds. They could end up being worth it.” data-reactid=”27″>Dr. Lou Riccio, Columbia University: Dustin Johnson (11-1) — My model points to the odds being way off on Dustin Johnson. Maybe it’s the fact Brooks Koepka has developed such a reputation for playing well at the majors (and rightfully so). He has become a public darling, thus inflating his odds. According to my modeling, DJ’s odds to win are double that of anyone else in this field. In such an elite field, to say that DJ has an 8 percent chance of winning, compared to 4 percent for Rory, Koepka and Rickie, is reason enough to take DJ’s low odds. They could end up being worth it.

Justin Rose (20-1) — Looking deeper at the elite 10 to 15 players in this world, there needs to be a way to differentiate one from the other. Sure, Brooks Koepka is the big-game hunter who is the betting favorite. But look more closely at the stats, and there’s a reason Justin Rose is our pick. Tee to green, Koepka, DJ and Rory are as good as it gets. What puts Justin Rose ahead of that class is his short game. Over the past 50 rounds, according to FantasyNational.com, Rose is ranked second in strokes gained/short game and ninth in strokes gained/around the green in this field. There will be greens missed at Bethpage Black, and the mighty Black is penal to missed shots. It will take creativity to get up and down, though most of these greens are relatively flat, you must have deft touch around the greens. Advantage, J-Rose.” data-reactid=”33″>Golf Digest editors: Justin Rose (20-1) — Looking deeper at the elite 10 to 15 players in this world, there needs to be a way to differentiate one from the other. Sure, Brooks Koepka is the big-game hunter who is the betting favorite. But look more closely at the stats, and there’s a reason Justin Rose is our pick. Tee to green, Koepka, DJ and Rory are as good as it gets. What puts Justin Rose ahead of that class is his short game. Over the past 50 rounds, according to FantasyNational.com, Rose is ranked second in strokes gained/short game and ninth in strokes gained/around the green in this field. There will be greens missed at Bethpage Black, and the mighty Black is penal to missed shots. It will take creativity to get up and down, though most of these greens are relatively flat, you must have deft touch around the greens. Advantage, J-Rose.

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Sleepers/Dark Horses Who Could Win at the PGA Championship (odds from FanDuel Sportsbook)

Sergio’s finished inside the top 10 every time. He’s one of the few in the field with that, plus distance, plus the accuracy we crave. He’s second in the field in approach, ninth in proximity gained from 75 to 100 yards and 21st on par 4s from 450-500 yards. And the major factor: The poa putting surfaces. In his career he’s been almost 10 times better on poa than all other surfaces, and has gained strokes putting in 11 of his past 16 rounds on this specific surfaces. And, you may get an ownership break after he screwed everyone at Augusta. Most will focus on that instead gaining over nine strokes tee-to-green at a difficult Quail Hollow track two weeks ago, en route to a T-4 finish.” data-reactid=”39″>Mayo: Sergio Garcia (38-1) — In three career trips to Bethpage, Sergio’s finished inside the top 10 every time. He’s one of the few in the field with that, plus distance, plus the accuracy we crave. He’s second in the field in approach, ninth in proximity gained from 75 to 100 yards and 21st on par 4s from 450-500 yards. And the major factor: The poa putting surfaces. In his career he’s been almost 10 times better on poa than all other surfaces, and has gained strokes putting in 11 of his past 16 rounds on this specific surfaces. And, you may get an ownership break after he screwed everyone at Augusta. Most will focus on that instead gaining over nine strokes tee-to-green at a difficult Quail Hollow track two weeks ago, en route to a T-4 finish.

via FantasyNational.com), and he has made five of six cuts at his majors, including four straight. Cantlay has the distance and enough accuracy to avoid trouble off the tee.” data-reactid=”40″>Gdula: Patrick Cantlay (38-1) — Cantlay isn’t a traditional dark horse, but he provides a way to add another near-elite option if we avoid the heavy favorites and instead grab shares of other golfers, which is the way I’m approaching this week. Cantlay grades out 11th in strokes gained/off the tee and 10th strokes gained/approach over the past 100 rounds on tour, via FantasyNational.com), and he has made five of six cuts at his majors, including four straight. Cantlay has the distance and enough accuracy to avoid trouble off the tee.

via FantasyNational.com). And he’s first in this field in the past 36 rounds in strokes gained/approach, and sixth in strokes gained/ball-striking. We’re ignoring his poor short-game stats at this extremely high number. We like his 100-to-1 first-round leader odds just as much. Keegan will be fired up to be back in NYC.” data-reactid=”43″>Golf Digest editors: Keegan Bradley (160-1) — Want to talk extreme value? Keegan played Bethpage Black a bunch while playing college golf at St. John’s in nearby Queens. He also pops on a number of statistical levels: He’s first in the entire field in proximity, including first in proximity from the crucial 200-plus yard range over his past 36 rounds, via FantasyNational.com). And he’s first in this field in the past 36 rounds in strokes gained/approach, and sixth in strokes gained/ball-striking. We’re ignoring his poor short-game stats at this extremely high number. We like his 100-to-1 first-round leader odds just as much. Keegan will be fired up to be back in NYC.

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Players to Fade This Week (who will disappoint)

Tiger Woods (11-1) — I’ve gone as far to lay the juice and bet Tiger to not win a major the rest of the year at -300. I’m sure he can play well this week. I mean, he’s won here before, but there’s been a bit of an overreaction with his number after The Masters win.” data-reactid=”51″>Perry, Action Network: Tiger Woods (11-1) — I’ve gone as far to lay the juice and bet Tiger to not win a major the rest of the year at -300. I’m sure he can play well this week. I mean, he’s won here before, but there’s been a bit of an overreaction with his number after The Masters win.

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2019 PGA Championship: Matchups

There are lot of reasons to like Lucas Glover this week. High on that list is that he’s second on tour this season in bogey avoidance. Sure, this isn’t a U.S. Open—but this par-70, 7,400+-yard layout will play tougher than most PGA Championships. Rafa is 106th this season on tour in that stat. We like the consistency of Glover here.” data-reactid=”61″>Golf Digest editors: Lucas Glover (-120) over Rafa Cabrera-Bello (Sportbet)There are lot of reasons to like Lucas Glover this week. High on that list is that he’s second on tour this season in bogey avoidance. Sure, this isn’t a U.S. Open—but this par-70, 7,400+-yard layout will play tougher than most PGA Championships. Rafa is 106th this season on tour in that stat. We like the consistency of Glover here.

(Matchup results for the year: GD Editors: 11 wins, 6 losses, one push; Riccio: 10-6; Action Network guest picker: 2 for 2; PGA Tour Caddie: 8-10; Mayo: 8-7-2; Gdula: 7-9-1.)

Top 10 (odds from DraftKings Sportsbook)

In three starts at Bethpage, Bubba churned out a T-18 at the 2009 U.S. Open, a T-10 at the 2012 Barclays and a T-13 in 2016. In both Barclays years, Bubba gained positive strokes in all three facets of strokes gained/tee-to-green. Even better, Bubba was able to manufacture those elevated finishes despite losing strokes putting both times, an average of -1.6 strokes gained/putting over both starts. Since his putter change at the beginning of the year, Bubba has turned around his horrendous season on the greens and he’s been OK of late. There could be good news, though. In his eight measured events in 2019 for Bubba, only two have been on poa greesn, Genesis and WGC-Mexico, those events were two of the three times he has gained strokes putting all season.

(Top-10 results for the year: Action Network: 1 for 2 (+800); Mayo: 7 for 18; Gdula: 5 for 17; GD Editors: 4 for 17; PGA Tour Caddie: 4 for 18; Riccio: 3 for 17)

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DraftKings lineups

Fox notched his first Euro win earlier this year in the gimmick Super 6 event, and currently ranks 3rd on the European Tour in greens in regulation, while sitting seventh tee-to-green, 15th in approach and 16th off the tee. And he hasn’t been terrible state side either. He made the cut in all three of his major appearances a year ago, and five out of six in his career, and like Rickie and Xander, sits top 15 in this field in proximity gained from 75-100 yards, and over 200 yards. The two most important iron ranges for the PGA Championship. Just pray he doesn’t combust with wayward drives.

FanDuel lineups

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About our experts

www.fantasynational.com. Here’s a link to watch his complete DraftKings preview of the 2019 PGA Championship.” data-reactid=”98″>Pat Mayo is known as one of the pre-eminent experts in daily-fantasy sports and golf handicapping specifically. Mayo is a 17-time fantasy sports-writers association finalist, the most of any writer this decade, and Mayo won the 2019 Fantasy Sports Writing Association Daily Fantasy Writer of the Year and Podcast of the Year awards, along with the Fantasy Sports Trade Association Best Video award. Mayo is on the board of governors at www.fantasynational.com. Here’s a link to watch his complete DraftKings preview of the 2019 PGA Championship.

Click here to read Action Network’s full AT&T Byron Nelson coverage.” data-reactid=”100″>Jason Sobel is the Action Network’s senior golf writer, and one of the most respected writers on tour, having previously covered the PGA Tour for ESPN.com and the Golf Channel. One of the Action Network’s experts will join our weekly column every week. Click here to read Action Network’s full AT&T Byron Nelson coverage.

See the video.” data-reactid=”101″>See the video.

Golf Digest
” data-reactid=”102″>Originally Appeared on Golf Digest





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