Golf's best players all head to the Sunshine State of Florida this week for The WGC Workday Championship at The Concession Golf Club.
This year the event will be played on unfamiliar territory as it has been moved from its usual surroundings in Mexico.
The Concession course has been described as one of the toughest courses in America so it should be fun to see how the top ranked golfers in the world go about conquering the course this week.
The course was designed by none other than golfing legends Jack Nicklaus and Tony Jacklin. Here’s an interesting fact before we continue, The Concession Course was named in recognition of Nicklaus’s decision to concede a two foot putt that Jacklin had to sink to earn a tie at Royal Birkdale in the 1969 Ryder Cup.
The fact he never had to make the tricky two footer meant the event finished tied at 16-16. A truly remarkable gesture of goodwill especially considering a miss would have ensured victory to the Americans. A mark of respect I doubt we would ever witness at any Ryder Cup in this era.
The much smaller field of only 72 will compete for the $10.5million purse with $1.82million to the winner on this par 72 Bermuda green course.
Patrick Reed will return to defend the title he won last year in Mexico with an incredible finish that seen the American birdie three of the final four holes to earn the victory.
The weather is forecast to be dry, sunny and very warm throughout with the temperatures expected to reach the mid 30c.
The event will be televised live on Sky Sports Golf from Thursday to Sunday with a reminder to place any pre tournament selections before 4pm GMT Thursday.
Last week I asked the question, could anyone stop world No.1 Dustin Johnson? The answer to that was “yes”, with Max Homa winning The Genesis in a play-off to, the yet again unlucky, Tony Finau.
It was so unlike DJ to fall away on the final round when contending all the way. I thought he had it in the bag (pardon the pun) but if you backed him each-way as suggested then you’ll still have got your money and a little more back. Well done to Max Homa for holding his nerve in the play-off and earning the victory.
So on to this week's selections, for my first pick I’m going to suggest Victor Hovland 25/1 each-way at Betfair – I just feel that with almost every golfer untried and untested at this tricky venue, it can open the door to some value.
The young Norwegian is currently ranked 14th in the world at only 23 years old. He has a win and four top 6 finishes from his last six starts.
Hovland's victory came at The Mayakoba Golf Classic back in December and since then he has finished 3rd at The DP World Tour Championship, 2nd at The Sentry Tournament of Champions, 5th at The Farmers Insurance Open, 6th at The Saudi International and 5th last week at The Genesis Invitational, impressive stuff!
The youngster can also boast about some fine stats; currently 5th on the PGA Tour in strokes gained off the tee and 11th for greens in regulation.
The key attribute this week will be the short game and putting with these Bermuda greens similar to those at The Masters in Augusta. Hovland is certainly hot with a putter and his short game is sublime which can only enhance his chances this weekend.
I’m predicting the young Norwegian to be contending come Sunday and I’m also going to predict he finishes in the top 20 at 10/11 NAP Bet 365.
Bryson De Chambeau
For my next suggestion I’m going to recommend the only golfer with course experience. The fact is that Bryson De Chambeau (22/1 each-way Betfair) is the only one to have played The Concession and also won here as an amateur winning The NCAA back in 2015.
I was actually surprised to see Bryson trading in the markets at such high odds, very unusual indeed and I feel he has been overlooked and overpriced. This could be due to the fact that the big hitting, powerhouse American missed the cut last week at The Genesis but then the same can be said for Justin Thomas and Rory McIlroy who’s odds are much shorter.
De Chambeau has only played in five tournaments since winning The US Open in impressive style back in September. In the five events since he has finished in the Top 10 twice, another Top 20 finish and 34th at the Masters.
That’s certainly not form to suggest he's out of sorts so I’m going to suggest you take the early price on offer as I just can’t ever see a better price being available for him, certainly not this year, even at a major.
Just a reminder that with most firms offering 1-7 or 8 places at WGC this week, if De Chambeau can finish in the places then you are still guaranteed a tidy profit even without him winning, certainly something to consider.
For my next selection I’m going to suggest a recent winner on The PGA Tour and defending champion, Partick Reed at 30/1 each-way with Bet 365.
Yet again I’m surprised to see Reed at such an attractive price. My only reasoning to this may be that almost all the top ranked golfers are present at The Concession this week but even with this in mind surely the 30/1 on offer still represents amazing value.
Patrick Reed certainly has all the credentials needed to win this event with the emphasis on a creative short game with a sublime putter to match, will enhance any chances at this venue.
The American won this event last year and also won it back in 2015 albeit on different courses with this tournament moving around so much.
This will be Reed's first event on home soil since winning The Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines. The 2018 Masters champion has as good a chance as any if not better to win come Sunday and defend his title so yet again I’m going to recommend him each-way with the insurance that even just place money will earn a very reasonable profit.
Bryson De Chambeau v Justin Thomas
For my final selection it’s the mandatory match bet and I’m taking Bryson De Chambeau to beat Justin Thomas over 72 holes. The fact De Chambeau has course experience and won here should see him get the better of JT.