The Players Championship PGA Expert Picks
THE PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP PGA EXPERT PICKS - We are back with a handful of picks for the Players Championship, the premier event for the PGA Tour (the majors have different organizing bodies). These are some guys who I think have a good shot to cash some tickets at solid prices this week.
We were close last week, with Akshay Bhatia finishing second in Puerto Rico and Tyrrell Hatton hanging right there until the last couple of holes at the API. Let’s get a little closer this week and make some money.
LIke I said in the preview, we’re targeting guys with a good history on Pete Dye designed courses and solid ballstrikers.
Let us investigate some possibilities.
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Jason Day (+2800)
Jason Day’s price sucks, we’ll just get that out of the way now. He got banged down from 40/1-50/1 range down to this. And still we ride.
I remember peak Jason Day and this is as much of a FOMO bet as anything else. The game looks like it’s back. Maybe not peak world-number-one-type Jason Day, but he’s definitely moving in a good direction.
He’s coming off four consecutive top-10 finishes coming into this week. He’s also finished in the top-10 four times at the Players, including a win.
I worry that the approach numbers aren’t there, but the strength of his game has always been with his driver and putter, historically. If he’s done well in the past with that model, I suspect he can do it again.
I love that he’s comfortable here. He likely hasn’t been this comfortable in a long time now that he’s healthy and the swing seems to be finding its groove.
We love Jason Day at the Players this weekend. (So does everyone else…) #PGA #golf pic.twitter.com/TxvCugT1C7
— Jack Fredericks (@JohnMattFred) March 9, 2023
Tom Kim (+4000)
I’ve talked about him before, and I’ll talk about him again. I just love this guy. The energy is off the charts and he rises to the occasion under pressure.
He already has a couple of wins on Tour in his extremely young career, so we know he can close.
His best courses have been other Pete Dye designs, like Harbour Town, so this is a course where he should be comfortable. It’s never fun taking a first-timer on this course, but I think there has been enough correlation between other courses he’s done well at and TPC Sawgrass that he should be ok.
He’s an outrageous iron player and he’s extremely accurate off the tee. I don’t see any flaws in his game that would prevent him from doing well here. This could very well be a big coming out party for a superstar in the making.
Tom Hoge (+9000)
We’re getting a little weird here, but bear with me. He’s a great fit for my two major criteria.
Hoge is second in SG: Approach this season, and he’s been pretty effective at limiting the damage with his driver, ranking second in fairway proximity.
So, he’s elite with his irons and he doesn’t have a huge miss with the driver. All of this will serve him well at TPC Sawgrass where water lurks on 17 out of the 18 holes and bunkers are in play on every approach.
His results at other Pete Dye courses have been strong with good results at PGA West and TPC River Highlands.
The concern, and reason his odds are inflated, is because his short game has been a total liability.
This course will be a struggle for everyone when they find themselves short-sided or otherwise in a tough spot after a wayward approach. I’m thinking his elite iron numbers will mitigate that disadvantage here.
Let’s roll with Hoge at a big number.
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