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Last week for the Mexico Open, we had no previous course history data to use with it being the PGA Tour debut at the Vidanta Vallarta. As a result, we had only our second losing tournament of the year. This week it is a welcomed change to have a plethora of data at our disposal once again to use to select our winners for this tournament!
Unlike last week at the Mexico Open where the premium was placed on driving distance, this week is much more of a placement course. With many small greens, fescue rough and greenside bunkers, accuracy off the tee and setting up the approach shot in optimal position will be paramount. If the players miss the fairway this week, they are going to have a very difficult time making birdie.
As a result, this week the key metrics that our model is using to compile our portfolio are: driving accuracy, fairways gained, strokes gained on the approach, bunker saves, strokes gained putting on bentgrass greens and par-4 strokes gained (with two fewer par 5s than normal).
Corey Conners | +2000 at BetMGM
Corey Conners has the second-shortest odds this week, but it is warranted. He has been the definition of consistent lately — making the cut in six straight starts, including a T-12 at the RBC Heritage and a T-6 at the Masters before that.
He has yet to win yet this season, but he has consistently put himself in a position to play meaningful golf on Sundays. His game fits this course perfectly, he ranks No. 1 in the field in both greens in regulation and fairway accuracy and top five in the other key metrics we are looking for this week. As long as he can put at just an average level this week, he will be right there in contention come Sunday.
Keegan Bradley | +3500 at Caesars
Keegan Bradley is one of the best ball strikers in this field — No. 3 in strokes gained on the approach — but he is one of the worst putters. The good news for Bradley is you don’t need to be a great putter to contend or even win at this course.
The Quicken Loans events held here in 2017 and 2018 were won by two of the worst putters in their respective fields, so Bradley has some hope this week. His ball-striking, around the green play and overall form have been excellent this season with three top-11 finishes in his last four starts. If he can avoid being awful with his flat stick, he will have a chance to notch another top-10 and contend come Sunday.
Max Homa | +4100 at FanDuel
Homa hasn’t played a competitive round since the Masters, but the oddsmakers are pricing him like he hasn’t even touched a club during that span. For whatever reason he isn’t getting any respect from the sportsbooks, but we will take advantage of a guy who is coming in very under the radar and very underpriced given his recent play. Homa has made the cut in 14 of his last 16 starts, notching five top-20s during that span, including a T-13 at the Players, T-17 at Bay Hill and T-10 at Riviera.
His ball striking has been elite, picking up almost five strokes tee-to-green over his last five rounds, which is by far the best on Tour during that stretch. He is the only one in this field who is both top-15 off the tee and approach in his last 24 rounds. Homa to finish in the top 20 is our best bet of the week and we love the outright ticket on him as well at a very generous +4100 odds.
Tyrrell Hatton | +3600 at FanDuel
Tyrrell Hatton has been a familiar face in our outright portfolios this season and — even though he hasn’t had a Tour win in two years — we like his game and expect him to get another PGA Tour win soon. His fairways gained is a concern, only 137th in this (not-so-great) field, and if he has trouble hitting fairways again this week he will have a hard time placing in the top 20, let alone contending. That said, his putting and bunker play is elite, so if he can straighten his ball striking out, all other elements of his game and current form set him up to have success on this course.
Cameron Young | +4100 at FanDuel
Cameron Young is still looking for his first win on Tour, but he has come very close several times this season. He has two runner-ups already this year, and in his last start at the RBC Heritage (another course where finding fairways is paramount) he finished tied for third.
He is No. 1 in the field in strokes gained off the tee and is sixth in birdie average, 11th in putting and 19th in scoring. His father is also the Head Pro at Sleepy Hollow, so he has a ton of experience playing in the Northeast on bentgrass putting surfaces like he will be playing on this week. He is coming in arguably the best form of anyone in the field and we expect him to be in one of the final groupings on Sunday.
Sepp Straka | +6500 at FanDuel
Sepp Straka recorded his first PGA Tour win at the Honda Classic a few months ago on a course that required similar accurate driving and precision approach shots, so we know he can excel at a course like this. After his breakthrough win at the Honda, he has since contended at the Players Championship with a T-9 and was one stroke away from joining Jordan Spieth and Patrick Cantlay in the playoff at the RBC Heritage. He has been in excellent form since the onset of the Florida swing and he has proven he has what it takes to be in contention at short courses like this on a weekly basis.
Max Homa | +450 at Unibet
Cameron Young | +450 at Unibet
Corey Conners | +250 at Caesars
Cameron Young | +200 at FanDuel
Max Homa | +220 at PointsBet
Keegan Bradley | +175 at Caesars
Tyrell Hatton | +180 at FanDuel
Sepp Straka | +170 at FanDuel
Joel Dahmen | +165 at FanDuel
Max Homa Top 20 | +220 at PointsBet