The PGATOUR heads to the Florida Swing as PGA National hosts the 2020 Honda Classic. The field features a mix of household names and lesser-known grinders looking to navigate the 7125 yard Par 70 track that played as the 5th toughest course on tour last year. Keith Mitchell will look to defend his 2019 title, which saw him lead the field in Strokes Gained Tee-to-Green, while betting markets have either Brooks Koepka (+1100 on Fanduel) or Tommy Fleetwood (+1100 on DraftKings) as the co-favorites.
Below are the best betting odds available on the Top 5 golfers in the field:
- Brooks Koepka +1300 on DraftKings Sportsbook
- Tommy Fleetwood +1200 on Fanduel Sportsbook
- Rickie Fowler +1500 on DraftKings Sportsbook
- Gary Woodland +2500 on DraftKings Sportsbook
- Justin Rose +2600 on DraftKings Sportsbook
While the favorites are always popular bets, the Honda Classic tends to see more randomness than other PGA events as the fast greens and ample water hazards can see just one errant swing end in disaster. The information above courtesy of DataGolf outlines the relative importance of key skillsets this week, all being less predictive than an average event.
With recent winners that include Keith Mitchell, Padraig Harrington, Russell Henley, Michael Thompson, Rory Sabbatini, and Camillo Villegas, it could be a week where longshot values find themselves in contention. Here are a few golfers we have our eyes on:
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Matt Jones (130-1)
With the very top of the market weighed down with favorites that our data does not suggest as good picks, it is natural to look further down the board. Jones is a slightly-above-average player from tee to green (52nd on Tour this year in that metric) but our partners at DataGolf have him finding a win at this course around once in every 110 times this event is played. Jones is the prototypical PGA tour grinder who is experiencing a rich vein of form at the right time and is hitting a field that seems strong from an Official World Golf Ranking perspective but really lacks some of the high-end names needed to qualify this event as a “strong field”.
Jhonattan Vegas (80-1)
Johnny Vegas is a favorite of ours due to his volatile play style that encourages his top 90th percentile outcomes to be very profitable for his bettors. Vegas already has three top 30 results this year on tour and is sixth on tour in strokes gained off the tee. The rest of his game is either average or worse but at these prices, we are looking for an elite driver of the ball who is capable of gaining strokes with his long irons as well. Betting on putting or short game is not a long term winning strategy so we will take Vegas and his driver at 80/1.
Justin Rose (26-1)
It was not that long ago that Justin Rose was the #1 ranked golfer in the world. While he is not the favorite of this event, let us just say that we do not think that highly of the players at the top of this market. Brooks Koepka and Tommy Fleetwood are more like second or even third-tier professionals and Rose at this very best can hang with Brooks’ Masters winning form. Rose has won at the Farmers Insurance Open, Turkish Airlines Open and grabbed a second-place finish at the SMBC Singapore Open all in the last 12 months. It is not that he ever became “bad” at golf, it is just a tremendously difficult sport where other players got better short term results. With fantastic long iron control, the water-laden Honda Classic is an ideal spot for Rose to find another win.
Byeong Hun-An (40-1) and Jason Kokrak (100-1)
An rates 2nd in the field in Strokes Gained Tee-to-Green (SG T2G) over the previous 50 rounds and his ball-striking should help him navigate the challenges better than most. An has gained strokes T2G and on approach in three straight events, as well as with his short-game in 14 of the previous 15 events. The question with An is always the putter – something he has gained strokes with just twice in his previous ten events. If the putter clicks An should be in a prime position to return value at 40-1.
Kokrak, is a poor man’s version of An, at a much larger price. Kokrak is a Top 10 ball-striker in this field (SG Off the Tee and SG Approach) and is long-game should put him in a good position. The DataGolf simulations have Kokrak’s true price at 83-1 to win the event. While this number is not bettable at Fanduel (50-1) or Bet365 (70-1) it is still a value at 100-1 on DraftKings Sportsbook, showing the importance of shopping for lines and having multiple outs.
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