PGA Golf Betting: 2013 The Players Championship
PGA Golf 2013 Players Championship
Thursday, May 9-Sunday, May 12, 2013 TV: Golf Channel, NBC
TPC Sawgrass – Ponta Vedra Beach, Florida
Par 72 – 7,215 yards
Defending Champion: Matt Kuchar
All Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker
Long considered the fifth major of the year, the Players Championship at Sawgrass always attracts a strong field. This year’s event is no exception with 25 former major winners and 9 former champions in this event. It also includes the top 10 golfers in both the FedEx Cup and World Golf Rankings. This is the 40th Player’s Championship. It has been held at the TPC Sawgrass since 1982.
Sawgrass is famous for the Par 3 17th “Island Hole” that many of the world’s best golfers have hit into the signature water surrounding the green. This course rewards ball strikers. Last year the average score was 72.5 which made it the fifth most difficult par 72 in non-majors out of 20. The consensus is you must take advantage of the somewhat easier par 5’s as opposed to the challenging par 3’s and 4’s.
Here is a look at the contenders and their odds to win along with some head to head match-ups I like. All odds are courtesy of Bookmaker.
Tiger Woods (7/1)
Tiger leads the FedEx Cup with 3 wins already in only 6 events. He hasn’t played since the Masters last month where he tied for fourth. His tournament was marred by a 2 stroke penalty in the second round after taking an illegal drop. He would never recover to get close enough to striking distance. Tiger won this event in 2001, but has only one top ten here since then, an eighth place in 2009. Tiger leads the PGA in strokes gained putting, adjusted scoring, par breakers, par 3 and par 5 scoring. You never want to count out Tiger but with his struggles here, I don’t see this being his week. You can get Tiger at -145 to beat Rory McIlroy or -130 to beat Lee Westwood. I like both of those match-ups.
Adam Scott (16/1)
Scott won the Masters this year in a playoff over Angel Cabrera. It was the first major title for Scott after many close calls, most notably in the British Open last year when he blew a 4 stroke lead by bogeying the last 4 holes. He won here in 2004 and has 3 top 15’s at Sawgrass since then. though he hasn’t played enough holes to qualify he would rank second in adjusted scoring and fourth in scrambling. Scott is -140 against Luke Donald and -165 against Phil Mickelson. I like Scott against Mickelson and the Aussie might even be worth a play to win the event.
Rory McIlroy (16/1)
McIlroy has 3 top 10’s and 4 top 25’s in 7 events this season. He finished second in the Texas Open in San Antonio, and tied for 25th at the Masters. Last week he tied for 10th at the Wells Fargo in Charlotte. McIlroy has yet to master Sawgrass with no sub-par rounds in 3 trips to the event. He is playing better than he did earlier in the season, but i don’t see him winning. He is +115 to beat Tiger, and even money to beat Justin Rose.
Phil Mickelson (20/1)
Mickelson has one win this season in Phoenix and 2 thirds, including last week in Charlotte. Phil led last week after 36 and 54 holes. He tied for 54th at the Masters after barely making the cut. Mickelson has made 11 straight cuts at Sawgrass including a title in 2007. He has 6 top 25s in that stretch in the Players. Mickelson is +135 against Scott and +150 against Sergio Garcia. I could see another top 25 or maybe even a top 15 here for Mickelson.
Luke Donald (20/1)
Donald has 2 top 5’s this season in 6 PGA events. He finished third in the RBC Heritage a few weeks ago. He finished tied for 25th at the Masters. Although Donald has never won the Players he has made the cut seven of the last eight times here, including 3 top 6’s. Donald is my pick to break through and win his first Players Championship. Donald is +110 to beat Scott and -120 to beat Sergio Garcia.
Lee Westwood (23/1)
Westwood has 3 straight top 10’s at Houston, the Masters and in Charlotte last week. Westwood is tied for tenth in total driving, 13th in adjusted scoring and eighth in scrambling. He has 3 top 6’s in 10 previous trips to Sawgrass. He is even money against Tiger and -115 to beat Justin Rose. Westwood could be worth a play to win.
Justin Rose (25/1)
Rose has finished 25th or better in 15 straight events around the world. He was the runner up to Tiger at the Arnold Palmer, and finished tied for 25th at the Masters. Rose is seventh or better on tour in total driving, greens in regulation, proximity, scrambling, and bogey avoidance. Rose has one top 25 in nine appearances in the Players. He is -130 against McIlroy and -115 against Westwood.
Matt Kuchar (28/1)
Kuchar won the Match Play Championship and has 3 other top 10’s this year. He tied for 8th at the Masters. Kuchar is the defending champion at Sawgrass, and had 3 top 20 finishes here before that. Kuchar is seventh in both scrambling and bogey avoidance this season on the PGA Tour. It is hard to call the defending champion a sleeper, but he could be worth a play at semi-long odds. I like Kuchar at -125 to beat Jason Day.
Sergio Garcia (30/1)
Garcia has 3 top 10’s this season, including a third at the WGC Cadillac Championship and a tie for 8th at the Masters. he finished tied for 16th at Charlotte last week despite abttling some soreness in his back. Garcia has 16 top 25’s in his last 17 events world wide. Garcia is in the top ten on tour in strokes gained putting, adjusted scoring and in par 4 scoring. He won this event in 2008. Garcia is -180 to beat Mickelson and -110 against Donald.
Charl Schwartzel (30/1)
Schwartzel has 12 straight top 25’s in stroke play events including a tie for 25 at the Masters. He hasn’t played since then, but does have two top tens early in the PGA season. He has never finished higher than 26th at Sawgrass. Schwartzel is -140 to beat Keegen Bradley.
Brandt Snedeker (33/1)
Snedeker won the FedEx Cup last year and is currently second in the standings behind Tiger. He won at Pebble Beach and has two runners up and a third. He tied for sixth at the Masters. He has missed the cut at Sawgrass the last 4 times. Snedeker is +102 against Graeme McDowell.
Jason Day (33/1)
Day has 4 top 10’s this season on the PGA tour including third place finishes at the Match Play Championship and the Masters. He tied for 6th in 2011 at the Players but missed the cut in his only other two appearances at Sawgrass. Day is -105 against Kuchar.
Other contenders and their odds are Dustin Johnson, Graeme McDowell, and Nick Watney (all 40/1), Jason Dufner, Louis Oosthuizen, Steve Stricker, Keegan Bradley, Jim Furyk, Webb Simpson, Rickie Fowler, and Bo Van Pelt (all 50/1), Bubba Watson, Ian Poulter, Zach Johnson, Henrik Stenson, (all 60/1), Peter Hanson and Thorbjorn Oleson (both 66/1), Bill Haas 70/1, and the field is +175.
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