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Rafa Cabrera Bello will tee it up at the Irish Open Another player from Spain, Rafa Cabrera-Bello is looking to bounce back after missing the cut at the Open De France last week but he has a short memory and often finds form quickly following a poor result. The year-old is an underrated player on the European Tour and although doesn't have any major wins under his belt, we believe it's only a matter of time.
He will back next week to defend that crown and we're liking his chances of finding form this week. The European Golfer of the Year in hasn't quite performed at his best since but the Northern Irishman could strike form at the right time this season. Graeme McDowell finished 37th in the Open De France last week but he showed some signs of improvement. His performance for fifth at the Italian Open was a good form guide for future European Tour events this season and he's long overdue to pay off his loyal supporters.
Irish Open Tournament Winner: Bill Rosenthal 04 July Five Each-way Selections 13 April Brooks Koepka shooting for third consecutive title 13 August Kyle Stanley birdied No. He made bogey to fall into a playoff with Bryson DeChambeau and Byeong Hun An - the first three-man playoff in tournament history. Stanley had another poor drive on the return to No.
You noticing a bit of a name trend there? Rose shot a final-round 64 at Colonial on Sunday to finish at 20 under and beat out Brooks Koepka by three for Rose's first career win at the Fort Worth Invitational. He could have tied the tournament record of but bogeyed the 72nd hole. Looking for the next young star on the PGA Tour? Not much drama at the PGA Tour's signature event last week as in put on by the Tour itself unlike, say, any of the four majors , the Players Championship, as Webb Simpson basically had the tournament won when he left the course Saturday night.
There was little stress Sunday as he shot a ho-hum 73, including a double-bogey on his 72nd hole, and still won by four over Xander Schauffele, Charl Schwartzel and Jimmy Walker. Good to see noted good-guy Jason Day back as a weekly contender on the PGA Tour after he went through a rough patch for a while with his mother being diagnosed with cancer and his own self-described burned out feeling with the game of golf in generally. About the only thing I'll remember from last week's Zurich Classic of New Orleans was that it was pretty interesting to watch when the guys came to the first tee with their new walk-up music.
Some players were meh, while some really got into it. There's no way the Zurich Classic will ever switch back to normal stroke play at this point as the players seem to love the new format. In the span of two short weeks, we've gone from crazy excited about The Masters to nobody cares that Patrick Reed won, because nobody really likes Patrick Reed as a golfer.
It's one of the craziest and quickest turn arounds I can recall, with the exception of Danny Willet pulling off the unthinkable in the Masters. Well, Sunday was a first. Hey, there are thousands of professional golfers in the world when including the European Tour, Asian Tour, Web.
Can't possibly keep track of them all. I had heard the name of Satoshi Kodaira and knew he was from Japan, but that was about it - he wasn't even a Tour member.
I'll let you Google some things in his past because I can't speak to how true they are. The nickname comes from Reed's prowess during international competitions for his country. You have to be long off the box, you have to be able to move the ball right to left known as a draw for right handers , you have to have a masterful short game and imagination, and you have to be dialed in with your flat stick, and finally you have to have Master's Experience at Augusta National to contend in the Masters Tournament.
A tradition like no other in golf continues this Thursday in the years first Major. Click here for more information on my member's plays in all sports. With the Masters tournament just two days away, now would be a great time to start finalizing your betting card if you haven't already done so. However, I am obligated to warn you that the odds you will be betting between now and the start of the tournament are nowhere near what you could have gotten at the start of the calendar year or even before the start of last week's Houston Open.
I won't spend too much time reviewing this past weekend's Houston Open, but you have to feel good for Englishman Ian Poulter. Two weeks ago at the WGC-Match Play, Poulter advanced to the quarterfinals and was told by reporters that was suffice to bump him high enough in the world rankings to qualify for this year's Masters. The Masters Expert Betting Picks: The Masters is still more than a week off, but to be honest I'm already a little bored of the tournament.
Or, more correctly, I'm board of the storylines that are going to be talked about heading into and during the tournament. Can Tiger beat Dustin Johnson? Can Tiger Beat Rory? Can Tiger beat Justin Thomas? Can Anyone beat Tiger? I guess this proves that when it comes to Tiger I am over it. Is next week's Masters going to be filled with story lines or what?
Phil Mickelson is back in form. Tiger Woods is healthy and a betting favorite at Augusta. Rory McIlroy can be a little whiny you know what at times, as he complained about galleries at least week's Arnold Palmer Invitational, but the dude's got game as evidenced by his brilliant final-round 64 at Bay Hill to win his first tournament since, somewhat ironically, the Tour Championship on Sept. That was the day Palmer died. Palmer and McIlroy's wife, Erica, shared a birthday - Sept.
In a year, shoot even six months, will anyone remember that Paul Casey won the Valspar Championship? They will only recall that Tiger Woods nearly won. The TV ratings for a usually middling event were off the charts all weekend because of Tiger.
It was also the highest network TV audience for a non-major since the Players Championship, which was won by Woods. The Masters can't get here soon enough. Tiger Woods is starting to look like he might actually win again at some point in , and Phil Mickelson is playing his best golf in five years. It was Mickelson's 43rd career win on Tour.
And I doubt he cares what I think, but come on man! Thomas had a fan ejected from the course over the weekend for rooting against him at the Honda Classic, which Thomas would go on to win in a playoff over relative unknown Luke List.
It was Thomas' seventh victory in his past 31 worldwide starts, and he's just the third player in the past 30 years with eight PGA Tour wins before age I tell you, I thought we were looking at a second straight Super Bowl to go to overtime when Patriots quarterback Tom Brady got the ball with 1: Philadelphia - after all, this is the GOAT we are talking about, and he led an incredible late comeback last year against the Falcons in the Super Bowl.
It's only the third time this century that scenario has occurred. From , there were a total of two tournaments that went to at least six-hole playoffs. Now there have been two in the past three weeks. With all due respect to Patton Kizzire, who looks like he will be a very good player on the PGA Tour for years to come, few people are going to remember last week's Sony Open at Waialae Country Club in Honolulu because of his playoff victory.
Golf was on no one's mind in Hawaii when on Saturday morning an emergency missile alert accidentally went out to everyone in the state, causing mass panic as people thought they were about to die because of a nuclear strike from North Korea.
No sport, in my opinion, makes you want to go out and play it more than watching golf. At the same time, no sport, in my opinion, humbles you more quickly. I learned that again this weekend, and I'm definitely not Dustin Johnson. Before I get to previewing the opening Sentry Tournament of Champions at the Plantation Course of Kapalua in Hawaii, let's take a quick look ahead to the major championships for this year. Bovada, for example, has yes-only props on several big-name players as to whether they will win any major in Patrick Cantlay, Alex Cejka and Whee Kim all finished regulation tied at 9-under and all bogeyed the first playoff hole.
The trio then returned to the 18th hole and Cantlay won with a par for his first career PGA Tour title - but it won't be the last as he has long been touted as a potential star alongside contemporaries like Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas.
Both he and Aussie Marc Leishman finished 72 holes at 9-under, and Thomas beat Leishman on the second playoff hole with a birdie.
Thomas had to birdie his 72nd hole to join Leishman in the playoff. It was the year-old's sixth victory worldwide in his past 25 starts, and he's up to No. The PGA Tour season began as the last one did: A Brendan Steele victory at the Safeway Open at the Silverado Resort in California's wine country which is unfortunately burning down right now in spots. Last year, Steele got hot on the back nine Sunday to rally from four shots down and win at 18 under by a stroke.
This time, he finished at 15 under to beat Tony Finau by two. Steele is the first player to win this event, which has been around since , twice. It was a season that likely will be most remembered for another Tiger Woods back surgery and Justin Thomas' breakout campaign. First off in these weekly golf previews, I recap how I fared on my predictions in the previous tournament to show how smart or stupid my picks were.
We will skip that this time because it's been three weeks since I last wrote, which was the Dell Technologies Championship in Boston, the second leg of the FedExCup playoffs. I wasn't able to preview that due to unforeseen circumstances, although I'm fairly confident I wouldn't have chosen Aussie Marc Leishman to take home the title by going wire-to-wire although I do like Leishman.
Spieth started Sunday with a three-shot lead and was up to five after his first five holes - but then he found the drink on No. So a close No.
Henry, who entered the tournament in North Carolina No. In golf this year, six has been a lucky number. As in, how many letters in each major championship winner's first and last names.
Sergio Garcia won his first Grand Slam tournament at the Masters. Brooks Koepka won his first major at the U. You know, I was probably leaning toward picking Japan's Hideki Matsuyama to take his first career major title this week at the PGA Championship, but I'm off his bandwagon now because it's so incredibly rare to win the week before a major and then take said major.
Perhaps Venezuelan Jhonattan Vegas should apply for a work visa in Canada; hey, they have good health care and Venezuela is a mess right now!
If you are a big-time sports fan like me, then you probably have yelled at your TV screen on more than one occasion when an athlete screws up an easy situation with something along the lines of: He had an amazing college career at SMU and made history during the summer of when he became just the fifth player to win both the U.
Amateur and the NCAA individual title in the same year. He turned pro last spring and won the first Web. Now that's a name! Sounds almost like a James Bond villain or something. You might not have heard of the year-old unless you follow golf pretty intently. He became somewhat well known with a Top 5 finish at the U. Open at Erin Hills earlier this month. On Sunday, Schauffele, who turned pro in , got his first win by taking the Greenbrier Classic with a birdie on the 72nd hole at the Old White Course in West Virginia.
You can add one name to the field at the British Open in two weeks at Royal Birkdale: Stanley will return to the Open for the first time since missing the Muirfield in Howell's runner-up qualified him for the first time since I don't get too excited about non-major PGA Tour events, but it was pretty cool watching Sunday's playoff between Jordan Spieth and Daniel Berger as the two are good buddies.
Spieth got his second win of the year by holing out from a greenside bunker on the first extra hole of the Travelers Championship playoff at TPC River Highlands outside Hartford. Spieth's celebration after was awesome. I've already heard some stodgy old golfers complain about it, but I thought it was great and golf needs more emotion.
Plus, Berger got a good laugh from it all, so if he wasn't offended then no one else should be. Berger was officially eliminated from the playoff when he missed a foot putt to match Spieth's birdie3. Has Tiger Woods hit rock bottom?
Will Tiger Woods ever win another golf tournament? Will Tiger Woods ever be healthy again? These are the questions I want answered. However, offshore sportsbooks have other ideas. Since turning professional over 20 years ago, Woods has become a global icon and one of the most recognizable athletes in the world.
But when you are on top of the mountain, the only thing that is going back down, and right now Woods is spiraling. Open looked great on television at the links-style Erin Hills course in the middle-of-nowhere Wisconsin this past weekend, but I don't think the USGA is going to allow its crown jewel tournament to go back there unless it can be toughened up. I don't know about you, but I like watching guys brought to their knees by the toughest possible conditions in the U.
Open, and that's essentially what the USGA wants. Alas, a lack of wind at Erin Hills made the course quite tame - the fairways are frankly too wide -- and American Brooks Koepka won his first-ever major championship by finishing at under.
The under-par mark tied a U. I learned two things about Daniel Berger this past weekend: Jude Classic, and he's not going to win this week's U. Open because no player has won that tournament after winning an event the previous week. He also joined Nicklaus as the only Ohio natives Dufner was born in Cleveland to win the event in Dublin, outside of Columbus. My reasoning for picking him was: Prior to the T10 last year he was T5 in and is averaging I'm thankful every day for living in a free country like the United States.
Why do I mention this in a golf story? At age 21, Si Woo Kim of South Korea became the youngest winner of the Players Championship on Sunday with a closing 3-under 69 and three-shot victory.
Frankly, the two most interesting things to happen in golf this past weekend didn't involve Brian Harman winning the Wells Fargo Championship with a foot birdie putt on the final hole to deny world No. I think the Zurich Classic of New Orleans was a pretty big success with its new two-man team format, and I'm quite certain that the tournament will stick with that going forward.
It really did seem like the players were more engaged while also having fun playing with a friend or countryman. Many players said they chose friends on the Tour rather than research whose game best complemented their own. Here's hoping the Tour allows more creativity with format changes at other events.
He made an eight-foot birdie putt at the 72nd hole to beat Brooks Koepka by a shot. Chappell had a pretty memorable post-victory celebration - I recommend checking it out. I have been picking Sergio Garcia to win one major each year since I started doing golf previews here at Doc's. The Spaniard probably was the best player still without one, and it had to come sooner or later. Sadly, I didn't really touch on El Nino at the Masters, but he won the green jacket by beating Justin Rose on the first hole of a sudden-death playoff Sunday in what was some compelling golf to watch - although the TV ratings were way down.
I guess Americans didn't care as much to see a guy from Spain and one from England duel on the back-nine. How good is Dustin Johnson's life right now? He's married to the gorgeous Paulina Gretzky and gets to hang around father-in-law and the greatest hockey player ever in Wayne Gretzky whenever he wants. Oh, and DJ's playing some pretty decent golf these days. Johnson solidified himself as the Masters favorite by winning the World Golf Championships-Match Play in Austin on Sunday for his third straight tournament win - no one had done that on Tour since Rory McIlroy in I honestly didn't much consider another Aussie at Arnie's tournament, but Marc Leishman, a guy I do usually pick to win an event or two each year because the talent is there, got his second career Tour win.
He entered the final round three shots out of the lead but seized it with an epic foot eagle putt on the par-5 16th on Sunday. Leishman, one of the Tour's top-rated putters, then got up-and-down on the final two holes to finish at under and win by a shot over Americans Charley Hoffman and Kevin Kisner - they both shot final-round 73s as the third-round co-leaders.
Kisner and Hoffman started the final round at 11 under par. Yeah, all I could think of was former Masters champion Mike Weir. He has really struggled in recent years, though. Canada currently has just six full-time PGA Tour players, but the country finally added another victory last week at the Valspar Championship in the Tampa Bay area.
I'm taking credit for another victory last week at the inaugural World Golf Championships-Mexico Championship. My singular value pick was Gary Woodland because he can hit it a mile and that tournament in Mexico City was played at the highest altitude ever for a PGA Tour event.
Yep, I outsmarted myself last week. Yet there was Fowler teeing off on Sunday in Palm Beach with a four-shot lead.
He was far from sharp in his final-round 71, but he won by the margin he started the day with although the lead was down to one shot briefly. I'm giving myself credit for a half-win last week at the Genesis Open at historic Riviera outside Los Angeles.
When I wrote that preview last Tuesday here at Doc's, there hadn't yet been a Bovada prop posted that paired both Adam Scott and Dustin Johnson against the field. I said I thought one of the two would win, but that I'd go with Scott at that point simply because he was better value at a longer price. That said, Bovada did post one of those props by Wednesday. Did we have an official changing of the guard in golf over the weekend? One could look at it that way as year-old Jordan Spieth continued to set records, while year-old Tiger Woods had to pull out of his next two PGA Tour events because his back still isn't right.
No male golfer from Japan has won one of golf's four Grand Slam tournaments, but I'm thinking about going to one of Doc's promoted sportsbooks right now and dropping down some money on Hideki Matsuyama to win a major in as that guy is in the midst of a tremendous stretch of golf. The guy was one of the best collegians ever as the only two-time winner of the Ben Hogan Award in and , which recognizes the outstanding male amateur and collegiate golfer of the year.
I wasn't real high on Thomas after winning the SBS Tournament of Champions the week before because only one player had ever swept both events in one season and the courses are very different. Your early leader to be the breakout superstar of this PGA Tour season?
I hit on five winners in the calendar year, and six if you include me casually referencing I liked Justin Rose to win the Olympic gold medal in Rio when I actually previewed that week's PGA Tour event. Technically the wraparound season has already started with seven official fall events. After an absence so long that many people started to think he would never come back, Tiger Woods returned to action last weekend in the Hero World Challenge.
Now, it wasn't exactly a return out of a Disney movie - he finished 15th in the player field and had a pretty lousy final round. He survived all four rounds, though, and despite looking like walking a whole round was too much for him - which it probably is because he'd practice with a cart and can't be working out like he used to - he looked mostly fine.
Then I'll address Tiger Woods' highly-anticipated return to action this weekend in the Bahamas. For the second week in a row, we saw a veteran PGA Tour player who had largely been forgotten about get his first Tour win in years. It was a pretty watered-down field in Las Vegas last week for the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, so I figured it was a good time to pick someone a bit off the radar to win -- and my choice was Scott Piercy.
Alas, the American finished T24 after a final-round 71, his worst round of the week by far. He was in contention entering Sunday. Alas, all that travel I thought would cool him off. Hard not to root for a guy like Justin Thomas.
He played collegiately at Alabama, and around 4 a. Now, you might be thinking that's no big deal, but golfers tend to like their routines and Thomas had to go play the final round of the CIMB Classic later that day. It has been an interesting few weeks in golf since I last wrote, previewing the Tour Championship.
I liked England's Paul Casey to win the tournament and the Cup; he finished fourth in Atlanta at 9-under. It has easily been my best season in picking winners as I hit on No.
Tour Championship Odds and Betting Predictions. Nothing like a final-round 65 to end a victory drought! McIlroy did have a European Tour win this year. He was six shots out of the lead when he teed off on a windy Monday and was 4-over-par after his first three holes in Friday's opening round. He's now assured of playing in the Tour Championship. Reed had been seventh in the standings, the highest of any player without a victory. Reed now has a point lead over second-place Jason Day, who tied for fourth.
He shot a final-round 67 on Sunday to finish at under tying tournament record and beat out former world No. Kim really won the tournament on Friday with a course-record 60 and never looked back. He beat Henrik Stenson, the Swede and tournament favorite, by two shots. I also pegged Patrick Reed as the top of four American golfers, but he finished T Matt Kuchar was the top finisher from the USA by earning the bronze medal.
Last week was about the newsiest on the PGA Tour in a long time. First, you had Nike dropping the bombshell that it would be leaving the golf equipment business but still make apparel. Obviously they can't be obligated to play old Nike clubs and balls. The major championship portion of the PGA Tour season came to a conclusion on Sunday at Baltusrol as American Jimmy Walker completed a wire-to-wire victory for the first major title of his career -- and thus making all four major winners this year first-timers.
There were two players head-and-shoulders above the rest at least week's Canadian Open in world No. I didn't think either would win, though, and they didn't. He will also represent his country in Rio. Noren had that at least week's Scottish Open and brought home his fifth career Euro Tour title, all coming with a lead entering the final round.
Noren shot a final-round 2-under 70 to finish at 14 under at Castle Stuart in northern Scotland and win by a shot over Tyrrell Hatton, with Nicolas Colsaerts, Danny Lee and Matteo Manassero a shot further back.
Dustin Johnson, you made me look bad! After all, DJ was playing for the first time since a very emotional win at the U.
Hard to be focused, I figured. Bobby Hurley I'm very familiar with. He was a former All-American point guard and two-time national champion at Duke who is currently the head basketball coach at Arizona State.
I predicted my fifth winner of the season at last week's U. Open at storied Oakmont outside Pittsburgh, but I'm not sure I've ever been so irritated watching a golf event. And Johnson got that major championship monkey off his back, a year after blowing the U. Open at Chambers Bay, by shooting 4-under to win by three shots. The second major of the season in professional golf gets underway this Thursday with the opening round of the US Open at Oakmont Country Club in Pittsburgh.
The US Open is often considered the toughest test the top golfers in the world face each year. This year's venue could be especially difficult considering that five strokes over par was good enough to claim the title the last time this tournament was contested at Oakmont in That's because no player has ever won the week before the Open and then taken that tournament in the same year.
Some of the great sporting rivalries in American history. The duo finished at 15 under, and McGirt beat Curran on the second playoff hole to win his first PGA Tour event in his th career start.
Yes, I'm aware that when alerting other golfers to a potentially wayward shot that it's spelled fore. Apparently I picked Sergio Garcia to win a tournament a week too early. The Spaniard was my choice to win the Players Championship two weeks ago but couldn't manage that. Those two finished at under Koepka handed the win to Sergio by driving into the water on that first playoff hole.
With all due respect to Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy, there's little question that right now the world's best golfer is Aussie Jason Day, and that has been the case since right after last year's British Open. Day was brilliant at the Players Championship in going wire-to-wire to win the event, at under , for the first time in his career. He was the first wire-to-wire winner at TPC Sawgrass in 16 years, and it was Day's seventh victory overall in the past 17 starts.
I'm not sure what the most unlikely tournament win in PGA Tour history is, but I feel confident saying that James Hahn's victory last week at the Wells Fargo Championship in Charlotte has to be on the list of among the most unlikely this decade. Was good karma with this guy or what? First off, he entered the tournament having missed eight straight cuts this season. He didn't break 70 in any of those events as you would imagine.
His scoring average was Last week's Zurich Classic of New Orleans was a mess weather-wise, forcing not just a Monday finish but also the tournament was shortened to 54 holes first event shortened since the opener in Hawaii. Amazingly, Stuard never bogeyed a single hole in the tournament. In addition to making all 40 of his putts inside 10 feet, Stuard led the field at 2. He was third there in and second in It's really hard not to root for Jordan Spieth.
Everything you hear and read is that he's a great young guy with his head on his shoulders and not some pompous ass like Tiger Woods often was at the height of his fame. So it was doubly crushing to watch Spieth melt down Sunday on the par-3 yard 12th hole at the Masters, the shortest hole at Augusta National. He hit two in the water at that hole -- I can't even explain what happened on the second one from the drop area -- to put up a quadruple-bogey seven.
Spieth had taken just eight total shots on No. But from what I've read about the year-old journeyman who used to work for Donald Trump as a PGA professional and teaching pro, I'm happy for him. Herman, ranked st in the world at the start of the week, got his first win in his th start on the Tour. Professional golf's first Major of the year tees off this Thursday with first-round action in the Masters at Augusta National Golf Course.
Picking an outright winner in a tournament filled with the best golfers in the world can be a daunting task, but Bovada has offered up a pair of player props that gives you the option of grouping together the 'best of the best' in an effort cash in on one of golf's most popular betting events.
So I think I'm going to place a futures wager on an Australian winning a gold medal at this summer's Rio Olympics. When speaking about the Masters, Jordan Spieth should be the first name on everyone's mind. The young pro captivated the golf world last season, winning consecutive majors and keeping the talk of a calendar year Grand Slam alive and well for a few months.
Spieth produced a legendary by winning both the Masters and US Open to start the year and became only the sixth player in the tour's history, and first since Tiger Woods in , to win both events back to back.
Outside of the golf world, Jason Day might be best known for LeBron James crashing into his wife during a Cleveland Cavaliers game a few months ago. Inside the golf world, however, Day has crashed the Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy face-of-golf party and turned it into a three-man race.
If the year-old Day can finally have his breakthrough moment in the Masters, after a number of excruciating close calls, the triumvirate of Spieth, McIlroy and Day may be ready to bring the sport back into the mainstream. Day got up-and-down twice over his final five holes, including on No.
From a greenside bunker about yards from the hole, Day blasted out to within four feet and drained the par putt to go wire-to-wire. But apparently the guy has major game. Except of course that would have ended McCoy's amateur career. I'm not sure what was more newsy last week on the PGA Tour: Valspar Championship Odds and Betting Predictions.
Not too long ago, Australian Adam Scott was No. But as seems to happen only in golf, as someone like former No. Quite a week that Bubba Watson had last week. He passed a kidney stone on Monday you don't know pain until you do that. He also got to see his 3-year-old son play drums with Justin Bieber as well as take in an excellent Warriors-Clippers game in Los Angeles. Or how Peyton Manning is likely going to follow the lead of his boss and do the same after winning Super Bowl 50 on Sunday? That's what I'm talking about!
It was Dufner's fourth career victory but first since the PGA Championship when he looked poised to join the elite talents in golf.
Dufner is one of the good guys on Tour and is very popular among players. I took a much-needed vacation last week so didn't preview the Sony Open, the second and final tournament of the Hawaii Swing. And that's probably good I didn't because I guarantee you that I wouldn't have even mentioned in passing Fabian Gomez, who was the winner of the first full-field event of This coming golf season has the potential to be one of the most exciting in years.
It's clearly the start of a new era on Tour. Tiger is still recovering from back surgery; there's a very good chance he doesn't play at all in and it seems a long shot that Woods ever wins another event, much less a major.
Here's hoping that Bubba Watson stops winning golf tournaments because Watson is one of the most entertaining players on the PGA Tour -- off the course and on it -- but he says he will retire if he ever rises to No. I'm walking away on top. But let's be honest, nobody here's voting on that, right?
Everybody thinks I'm not going to do that," Watson said on Sunday. I just happened to pick the wrong one. He finished a solid T8, but the winner was countryman Charl Schwartzel, who finished at under to beat out France's Gregory Bourdy by four shots.
Read more about European Tour Picks: Scotland's Russell Knox, who had won the big-money WGC-HSBC Champions tournament two weeks ago in China as an alternate and for his first-ever Tour win, had a one-shot lead at El Camaleon Golf Club on his 72nd hole but drove into a fairway bunker, hit his approach shot short of the green and made bogey.
That has been a trend in the early going of the new season. Thomas shot a final-round 66 to finish at a tournament-record under and hold off Adam Scott final-round 63 by a shot. With a very weak field last week in Las Vegas for the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, I expected a fairly no-name player to win the second tournament of the new season.
And I was more right than I knew as someone named Smylie Kaufman was the victor. I'm obviously fairly plugged into the golf scene to write this series but I never heard of that guy. A lot of golf experts believed that Grillo was a top candidate for Rookie of the Year this season. Welcome to the start of the PGA Tour wraparound season, and it's an unusually solid field this week at the Frys.
The PGA Tour included a stipulation that basically forced a few of the world's top players to compete here see below.
I wasn't overly high on Jordan Spieth as he had scuffled a bit in the playoffs after an otherwise amazing year. Dustin Johnson was my choice as top American and he finished T5.
He opened with a 61 and never looked back, finishing at under to win by six shots and rise to No. It's going to be either him or Jordan Spieth. You may need a reminder since the Tour was dark last week. Rickie Fowler won the event at under , beating Henrik Stenson by a shot -- and that hurt me deeply because Stenson was my choice to win. How great is it to be a golf fan these days?
Sure, it was incredibly entertaining to see Tiger Woods in his prime, but he pretty much was destroying the field. He never had a true rivalry -- no, I don't think Phil Mickelson really was one.
They rarely contended together in big-time tournaments. I know the ratings on the weekend were way up this year because Tiger Woods was tied for the lead after 36 holes. He needed no worse than a solo second to qualify for the FedEx Cup playoffs.
The Barclays Odds and Predictions. It clearly overwhelmed Day as he was very emotional after taking his final putt on Sunday. The title of best active player not to win a major now leaves his back and probably jumps on Dustin Johnson's.
Wyndham Championship Odds and Betting Predictions. Lowry started Sunday's final round in the penultimate group and two strokes behind Jim Furyk and Justin Rose. Lowry tied Watson for the day's low round of 66, with Lowry's 4-under not including a single bogey. Lowry made it interesting on the 72nd hole when his tee shot went way left, but he hit a great shot through the trees and into within 11 feet of the hole. One of the big storylines this week is the return of this tournament's defending champion, Rory McIlroy, who missed last month's Open Championship with an ankle injury.
Predictions for Top-5 Finish Betting Props. Last week's Quicken Loans National in Virginia was really the best example of how handicapping winners in a golf tournament is such a crapshoot for the most part and why I often stick to Top 10s.
Now I know why I'm not a professional athlete. You know, other than having no particularly great talent in any sport. I didn't think that Aussie Jason Day would do much last week at the Canadian Open after coming up just short of that British Open playoff and yet another agonizing near-miss at a major. Flying across the pond to a mid-level event? Nah, Day wasn't going to be focused. Plus he hadn't played the Canadian Open in years. Spieth made a brilliant birdie on 16 to get into a share of the lead but bogeyed No.
Professional golf's third major of the season gets underway early this Thursday with first-round action in this year's Open Championship, also known as the British Open, on the Old Course at fabled St. The biggest storyline this week will be year old Jordan Spieth's bid to win his third straight major after already capturing the title in this year's Masters and US Open. Read more about Open Championship Picks: Odds and Expert Props Predictions.
I have no problem admitting when I am flat-out wrong, and boy was I wrong at last week's John Deere Classic in Illinois. I questioned why world No. Andrews or at least competing in the Scottish Open to get used to links golf. Read more about British Open Picks: Odds and Expert Golf Betting Predictions. Lee got the win when he parred the second hole of the sudden-death playoff, eliminating Hearn after Kisner and Streb were bumped on the first playoff hole.
There was no question that American Bubba Watson was the best player in the watered-down field at the Travelers Championship in Connecticut last week, but the best player rarely wins those types of events. Watson birdied the second extra hole to beat England's Paul Casey in a playoff.
I told you that the Chambers Bay course would be a major story line at last week's U. Open and it certainly was -- until it was upstaged by an incredible ending that saw Dustin Johnson lose the tournament and Jordan Spieth win it to get halfway to the season Grand Slam.
Travelers Championship Odds and Expert Predictions. Every year, there are probably a good five tournaments or so on the PGA Tour won by a guy who would make casual golf fans or bettors go, "Who? Jude Classic in Memphis for his first Tour victory. Gomez, 36, shot a 4-under 66 Sunday to finish under and four strokes ahead of another rather unknown, England's Greg Owen.
Those two each began the day at 9-under. Read more about US Open Picks: Golf Betting Odds and Expert Predictions. This year's US Open, which is the second major of the season in professional golf, gets underway this Thursday with first round action from Chambers Bay at University Place in Washington. Rory McIlroy comes in as the favorite to win, but there are a number of contenders ready to bring their A-Game to the Pacific Northwest in search of a win this week.
Props Picks and Expert Betting Predictions. US Open Betting Predictions: The golf scene is set to kick into overdrive this week with the FedEx St. The big storylines heading into the next two weeks will focus on Tiger Woods, who just played one of the worst rounds of golf in his entire career, and the brewing rivalry between Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth.
It's not often that a last-place finisher overshadows the winner of a golf tournament, but then again Tiger Woods doesn't finish last every day. And that's where Woods wound up at last week's Memorial Tournament, which he had won five times previously. Tiger shot an unbelievable 85 in Saturday's third round, the worst round of his pro career. He had a quad, two doubles, six bogeys and one birdie.
Bowditch also had his wedding reception there. He moved to north Texas a decade ago after essentially throwing a "dart at a map" and met his future wife Amanda, who grew up in the area. Memorial Tournament Odds and Expert Predictions. I don't like to lead these stories with pessimistic views of things, but I know that world No. Spieth so badly wants to win a PGA tournament in his home state of Texas, and he was potentially in position to do so last week at Colonial.
Spieth was right there with a handful of others but suffered his only bogey of Sunday on the par-3 16th, and he fell one shot short of winner Chris Kirk.
Without question, times out of if a sportsbook gives me odds for the field against one player to win a golf tournament, I'm taking the field. Won't even think twice. I've always been a fan of Rickie Fowler's game on the course, but that dude is now my idol for his game off it. So I guess we can cool our jets a little bit on wondering if Jordan Spieth has passed Rory McIlroy as the best player in the world.
McIlroy reminded everyone who the world's top-ranked player was last week at the World Golf Championship-Match Play event by beating Gary Woodland in the finals, never trailing once in the match. Sometimes the most deserving golfer doesn't always win a tournament.
That was not the case at all last week at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans as England's Justin Rose didn't make a single bogey over his final 66 holes -- just think about that; Rose had a bogey and double on his first six holes -- to win his seventh career PGA Tour event.
Rose finished at a tournament-record under to beat out Cameron Tringale by a shot and Boo Weekley by two. I usually pick Jim Furyk to win a couple of tournaments a year. He's a great player who always seems to be in contention -- in recent years, however, he would get uptight with a final-round lead and falter.
That wasn't the case last week at Hilton Head as Furyk won the RBC Heritage in a playoff for his first tournament title in nearly five years, spanning events. Is it too late for me to become a pro golfer? If it wasn't clear before that the era of Tiger and Phil being the "rivalry" to watch on the PGA Tour is in the rear-view mirror in terms of relevance, Jordan Spieth's spectacular win at the Masters officially stamped this year and likely the next several as Jordan vs.
Rory as the key rivalry in golf. To casual golf fans or those stuck in the still-lousy weather up in the American north, the golf season truly begins with the first major of the season, the Masters. Nothing like seeing all the azaleas blooming and sunny skies when you are stuck in Michigan or Maine wherever still shoveling out snow. Before I touch on the Masters, as usual I will recap my success or lack thereof the previous week.
Read more about Masters Picks: Odds and Expert Golf Predictions. Will Tiger Woods ever win another major? The question has been on the table for so long that it has already begun to lose its significance and meaning. The further the golf world gets from that magical Monday afternoon in , when Woods last won a major, the easier it is to forget how great he used to be.
Open win nearly six years go, while playing on a broken leg and still sinking a high-pressure shot to force a sudden-death playoff hole against Rocco Mediate, will forever be remembered as one of the greatest moments in sports history. Read more about Masters Odds: Handicapping Tiger Woods Prop Bets. The first major of the season in professional golf gets underway this Thursday with first round action from Augusta in this year's Masters.
There is a whole new crop of young guns at the top of the list of Bovada's futures odds for this year's event. While there are a number of different ways to bet on the Masters, some of the best value lies in the betting odds for a Top-5 finish. Today, however, I will examine some of the hundreds of player props available at the sportsbooks -- taken from Bovada and Sportsbook.
This is always one of my favorites betting weeks of the year with the college basketball National Championship Game, baseball's Opening Day and the Masters. Two names are dominating the Masters headlines: Rory McIlroy for his shot at making history, and Tiger Woods for announcing that he will in fact play the event. One name is dominating headlines because of what his future might hold, while the other is dominating headlines because of his past.
McIlroy has a chance at becoming only the third person in PGA Tour history to win three straight majors while also completing a career grand slam all before his 26th birthday. Well, technically Walker lives 35 miles away in Bourne, but he grew up attending the Texas Open, so it had to feel sweet. I'm happy to eat a little crown when necessary.
There was NO chance of that with the way Every had played since his surprise win a year ago. There has been some really exciting final-round golf on the PGA Tour this year, and last Sunday at the Valspar Championship at Innisbrook in the Tampa Bay area was no exception as Jordan Spieth birdied the third playoff hole with a foot putt to beat Patrick Reed and Sean O'Hair they all finished at 10 under. It's good thing Spieth made it because it had some pace and likely was going to be at least four-feet long if he didn't.
Last week at the big-money WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral's Blue Monster, Dustin Johnson proved he's all the way back from his personal problems by winning in just his fifth tournament since a return from what he and the PGA Tour called a "self-imposed" six-month leave of absence.
Johnson shot a 3-under 69 to finish at 9 under, one ahead of J. Holmes, who led Johnson and Bubba Watson by five entering the final round. However, Holmes ballooned to a final-round Even more impressive, Johnson had missed the cut the previous week at the Honda, but he contended twice on the California Swing. I had mostly forgotten about the multiple-time major championship winner. Harrington, who lost his Tour card last year, needed a sponsor's exemption just to play the Honda.
He won't have to worry about an exemptions for a while now. The golf season had largely seen well-known players -- at least to those who follow the sport a bit more than casually -- win the tournaments thus far. It turns out I was a week early on Brandt Snedeker. Naturally, Snedeker did win. When Tiger Woods last won a major in a dramatic US Open playoff victory with a broken leg-the question on everyone's mind was not "if" he would ever pass Jack Nicklaus for the most majors won by a professional golfer but "when".
Nowadays, after a much-publicized divorce, multiple injuries, disappointing finishes, and no majors to be placed on his mantel, the more apt question is if Woods will ever win his 15th major. It was actually his sixth pro win since leaving an All-American career at Florida State behind around three years ago, but the others were in Europe four on European Challenge Tour, one European Tour win back in November.
I figured was a fluke! I came close a handful of times to picking a tournament winner last but wasn't able to do so until my final prediction of the year in late November, and that was on the European Tour. The PGA Tour said goodbye to Hawaii for the rest of the year with last week's Sony Open, and American Jimmy Walker won the event for the second year in a row -- just six days after blowing a likely win at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions on Maui with a late final-round collapse and finishing second.
Humana Challenge Odds and Betting Predictions. The golf year does not really begin until the Masters in April, when the entire sport will turn its attention to Augusta National.
The big questions heading into the New Year revolve around a certain set of players and whether or not they can win a major in The golf world, or course, is waiting to see if Rory McIlroy can continue to add to his majors hardware, while other questions revolve around Tiger Woods and if he can ever regain his former glory. Odds to win a Major in Reed is only the fourth player in the past 20 years with four wins before age 25, and the other three guys are pretty good: Before we kick off the golfing New Year -- also remember that is the final year that players can anchor putters to their stomachs -- with the Hyundai Tournament of Champions, allow me to look back at my final golf preview of Hyundai Tournament of Champions Odds and Predictions.
At least we finally had a big-name player win on the PGA Tour. It had been a while. It was a great finish as Watson had to hole an eagle bunker chip on the 72nd hole to get in a playoff after teeing off in No. At least four players had a chance at the par-5 18th hole to get to 11 under, but only Watson and Tim Clark were able to do it to set up a playoff.
Watson won the playoff with birdie putt back on No. Thus that's why I wasn't a huge fan of his last week. Moore shot a final-round 5-under 67 to finish at 17 under and beat out fellow American Gary Woodland, who also was runner-up a year ago in a playoff to Moore.
Sergio Garcia and Kevin Na also finished tied for second on Sunday. All three finished at under with MacKenzie falling out on the first playoff hole.
Streb, who shot a final-round and career-low 63 to get into extra holes he was five back after 54 holes , birdied the second playoff hole to eliminate de Jonge, a very good player still looking for his first win.
Streb's previous best finish was a runner-up in New Orleans last season. I'll just be honest here in that I had barely heard of golfer Ben Martin -- he probably never heard of me, either -- before he was the surprise winner of the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in Las Vegas last week.
The week before, Martin had shot at the Frys. So of course he then shot a under , highlighted by a third-round 62, for his first Tour win in career start No. OK, if this golf season is like the last one then I'm probably going to go winless again -- I am just being honest. If I'm a little ticked off it's because I do homework on these tournaments and then guys come from way out of nowhere to win.
Before I begin looking at the first tournament of the PGA Tour's wraparound season -- talk about a short offseason -- let's as usual look back at my results last week where I examined the European Tour's Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. The golf calendar comes to a close this weekend at Gleneagles in Scotland with the 40th Ryder Cup, the biennial team event between the Americans and Europeans that some believe is the biggest event in golf -- yes, bigger than any of the majors.
It just might be.