The best betting props for the WGC-Workday Championship
52 years ago, Europe and the U.S. were at war in the Ryder Cup. In Southall, England, the two teams were at each other’s throats with accusations of cheating and unsportsmanlike conduct from the very first tee.
But with the match all square and on the 18th, Jack Nicklaus holed his final putt and then picked up Tony Jacklin’s marker to concede the hole and leave the Ryder Cup tied at 16-16. Jacklin would’ve been waiting on a clutch 3-foot putt, but Nicklaus didn’t want to give him the chance to miss it.
And so, it became known as The Concession, and the two men remained close friends ever since.
Fast-forward to the crazy world of 2021, and we travel to The Concession Club – a course designed by Nicklaus and Jacklin – for the WGC-Workday Championship. The event kicks off a four-week spell of Tour events in Florida, although the course has never hosted a PGA Tour event, so we don’t have any form to go on.
Course member Paul Azinger is quoted as saying it is impossible for anybody to shoot a great score on the course, and fellow member Andy Bean said that you’ve got to have a really good short game. No surprises then, considering it’s a Nicklaus-designed 18-holes.
Let’s dig into the prop bets for the week, focussing on players with Florida form and a good all-round short game.
2021 WGC-Workday Championship odds
Top Asian Player: Im Sung-Jae (-110)
Often the simplest answer tuns out to be the right one, and that’s why there is no getting away from Sung-jae in the Top Asian Player market. The young hotshot kicked off the year with a top 5 finish in the Tournament of Champions, but has since gone off the boil a little bit. A disappointing round of 73 on the Saturday of the American Express saw him drop to 12th, and despite a solid three rounds in the Phoenix Open last time out, an opening round of 72 left him with an uphill battle and he could only manage 17th.
However, 16 of his 20 rounds this year have been sub-70, and most importantly, Sung-jae has success in Florida – winning the Honda Classic last year at the PGA National Club, a course redesigned by none other than Jack Nicklaus.
Hideki Matsuyama is the biggest danger in this prop market, but he missed the cut at The Genesis Invitational last week, and before that had finished outside the top 40 in three of his four tournaments this year.
Tournament Matchbet: Viktor Hovland to beat Tyrrell Hatton (-115)
Hovland carded just one bogey all weekend at the Genesis Invitational, finishing fifth on his debut there – throwing all I said in last week’s column about the importance of course form at Riviera out the window!
That effort means Hovland now has three top 5 finishes in his last four PGA Tour events, and he ranked No. 1 for scrambling last week in the Genesis Invitational, which suggests his short game around the green is in a good place.
The Norwegian ranks ninth on Tour in shots gained: tee to green, and that high level of ball striking will serve him well here.
Tyrrell Hatton has been plying his trade on the European Tour – winning in Abu Dhabi last month and finishing sixth in Saudi Arabia three weeks ago – so he is no slouch, but Hovland gets the nod.
Top English Player: Matthew Fitzpatrick (+400)
Fitzpatrick finished fifth in the Genesis last week, but more importantly in that tournament he ranked third for shots gained: around the green, so his short game is exactly where it needs to be for the Concessional challenge.
He has posted top 10 finishes on two of his last three trips to Florida, and has putted well in the Sunshine State, so the Bermuda Greens should not faze him.
Hatton is a clear danger to this prop bet as well, as is Tommy Fleetwood who has been in contention in the Honda Classic, which is a positive for a Jack Nicklaus-designed course.
However, at these odds Fitzpatrick is worth chancing given his performance last week and his Florida form.
Triple Chance: Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy, or Jon Rahm to win (+225)
This prop bet absolutely leapt off the page when previewing this tournament, and if you are trying to pick a winner having three of the game’s best on side is always going to be a good thing.
DJ has won this event three times before – albeit never at this course – but his style is set up perfectly here. Dustin ranks first on Tour for shots gained: approach the green this season, and he ranks second for shots gained: tee to green. He flopped over the weekend in the Genesis when in contention, but I can forgive him that.
One man who didn’t stumble over the weekend is Jon Rahm. Only Tony Finau shot a better final round than Rahm who finished fifth, taking him to five top 7 finishes in his last six PGA Tour events. I felt Rahm may be distracted by the imminent arrival of his first child, but instead he seems invigorated, which is fantastic to see. He ranks third on Tour this year in shots gained tee to green, so again he has the game needed to win here.
And finally, Rory McIroy. The Northern Irishman missed the cut at the Genesis much to the surprise of many, but McIlroy’s last five finishes in the start following a missed cut read: first, second, 12th, first, and fourth. Not too bad, eh? A Florida resident, McIlroy has won a Players Championship, Honda Classic, and an Arnold Palmer in this state so should feel right at home.