Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: 2020 US PGA Tour: Workday Charity Open

2020 US PGA Tour: Workday Charity Open

Damien Kayat takes a look at the Workday Charity Open taking place at the Muirfield Village Golf Club, Dublin, Ohio.

Photo Copyright - Steve Haag Sports 

Jockeys Ride HorsesWorkday Charity Open
Muirfield Village Golf Club, Dublin, Ohio
Thursday 09 - Sunday 12 July 

Watching Bryson Dechambeau demolish that poor Detroit Golf Club last week reminded me of the Lilliputians attempting to imprison Gulliver. His average drive was in excess of 350 yards (I wonder what purists like Gary Player would make of it?). Dechambeau earns a well-deserved break this week as the tour negotiates perils of the Coronavirus. The John Deere Classic was originally scheduled for this week but had to be cancelled due to the virus. But the tour has not been idle, collaborating with Workday and Jack Nicklaus to host a 156-player event at Muirfield Village (a week prior to Jack’s beloved Memorial at the same venue). Perhaps it’s also driven by the PGA Tour’s decision to walk-back fan attendance at next week’s Memorial event.  In any event, it’s going to be rather strange to have two consecutive weeks at the same course. The Groundhog Day effect will be fitting considering how these last four months have felt. 

Muirfield Village was named after Nicklaus’ favourite Open Championship venue: Muirfield.  Muirfield was built in 1974 and offers a stern but fair examination of any golfer. This classical test has fairly generous fairways, though the rough is traditionally fairly penal. Having said that, the rough- which is a blend of Kentucky Bluegrass, fescue and rye- will likely be slightly more forgiving this week ahead of Memorial. The smaller than average bentgrass greens will also be slightly tweaked. While they usually run at an electrifying 13 on the stimp, this week they will be dialled back to 11. Clearly, Nicklaus is keen to protect the sanctity of his beloved event next week. 

Muirfield master Tiger Woods remains MIA while fellow Muirfield afficionado Rory McIlroy has chosen to skip the tour’s first crack at this classic. Justin Thomas leads the markets this week, with many of the in-form guys absent (DeChambeau, Simpson, Hatton). The likes of Patrick Cantlay and Jon Rahm have shown indifferent post-lockdown form and will be looking for some momentum as we build up to the PGA Championship. I don’t quite know how to feel about this event. I know that much of the proceeds are going to charity, but it just seems slightly irresponsible.  To have essentially the same event back-to-back while a growing list of players catch the disease.  Should make for a bizarre two-week spectacle. 

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone
Past Winner
2019: Patrick Cantlay (-19)
2018: Bryson DeChambeau (-15)*playoff
2017: Jason Dufner (-13)
2016: William McGirt (-15)*playoff
2015: David Lingmerth (-15)*playoff 

Betting Favourites (To Win): 
Justin Thomas (10/1)
Patrick Cantlay (14/1)
Jon Rahm (14/1)
Brooks Koepka (14/1)
Hideki Matsuyama (16/1)

Value Bets

Matt Kuchar
To Win (40/1), To Place (17/2)

This is the old ‘horses for course’ approach this week. I know Kuchar has been slightly undercooked post-lockdown (a missed cut at the Charles Schwab was followed by a T41 at the RBC Heritage).  But experience brings patience, and the 42-year-old will know that his form could be one good swing away.  And what better place for Kuuuch than Muirfield? Until last year he had made eleven consecutive cuts.  He has a victory here as well as a T2. He has three top 5’s and ten top 15’s.  Kuchar is a wily pro who will be able to swiftly adapt to the subtle course changes this week. 

Corey Conners
To Win (80/1), To Place (17/1)

Conners had two encouraging performances prior to his missed cut at the Travellers Championship.  Two top 21 finishes speak to his ability to mix it in quality fields. Conners is gaining a stroke one the filed off the tee and on approach. His issues really arise when it comes in and around the green.  But he could be a guy who benefits slightly from the downgrade in green pacing this week. 

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The Man to Beat

Justin Rose
To Win (22/1), To Place (48/10)

Former World Number One Justin Rose has had a real journey of self-discovery recently, with various club changes requiring some adaptation.  But a tie for 3rd at Colonial and a tie for 14th at Harbour Town seems to indicate he is heading in the right direction.  And a trip to Muirfield Village should suit him just fine.  The all-time earnings leader at Memorial, Justin Rose has seven top 10’s in this event, including a victory back in 2010.  All the pieces of his game may come together in such comfortable surroundings.  

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