Our favorite props matches and bets at TPC Sawgrass (March 11, 2021)
Perhaps no course characterizes the randomness and volatility of golf (and golf betting) better than TPC Sawgrass. There are issues everywhere (I mean one of the greens is a literal island) so a bad spoon and poof you could fall into a ranking.
While this kind of madness can drive punters crazy, it also makes THE PLAYERS Championship one of the funniest events in the PGA TOUR program for betting. Bring the ruckus.
Here are our favorite props and match bets for the 2021 PLAYERS ‘Championship:
Will Zalatoris will finish among the top 20 (+300)
If you must be wondering why this prodigy should be counted in the top 20 accessories, you clearly haven’t paid attention.
After promoting the Korn Ferry Tour on his own, Zalatoris performed in a dozen PGA TOUR events starting at last year’s US Open and won the top 20 in eight of them. This week’s event should suit him better than most, as he’s been one of the best ball forwards in the game recently.
He’s gotten to the point where if he putt anything close to the court average, he could / should wrestle any week.
Hideki Matsuyama Top-20 finish (+188)
I love the story of the course and the combination of form with Hideki this week.
Approach play was good at API and it finished in the top 20 in consecutive events. He’s also finished in the top 20 here in three of the six starts. Two of those misfires weren’t far either, taking the 22nd and 23rd. And last year he opened with a 63 before the event was canceled.
It’s hard to find many players with any consistency at TPC Sawgrass, but Hideki has been strong enough for someone so low.
Cameron Davis in the Top 20 (+600)
Cameron Davis started the year like a DFS darling, but that momentum may have faded a bit after missing the cup last week at Bay Hill. He is now coming to his first PLAYERS ‘Championship and for me he should have the same glow if not more.
Davis is a player who, although far off the tee, performed better on shorter courses early in his career. TPC Sawgrass is known to bring the court together and not favor one style of player over another as he only plays 7,168 yards, which is short by TOUR standards for a Par 72.
This will favor a player like Davis who can score in clusters when he’s on the line, and even with the cup missed last week he’s still won more than two shots on approach.
I will bet Davis in the Top 10 as he has the skills to compete in this event and has shown an affinity for the Pete Dye courses.
Sergio Garcia in the top-10 (+700)
While supporting Sergio can be a frustrating experience, his PLAYER CV just can’t be ignored. A 2008 winner, he also has a total of five top-5s at the event and has never missed a cut at TPC Sawgrass in 20 starts.
He also enters the week in great shape. He won 6.7 strokes on approach at The Concession and still finished 32nd despite losing 6.4 strokes on the greens. While it’s not entirely uncommon for Sergio, he tends to putt much better in Florida throughout his career. In fact, seven of the 15 best putting performances of his career occurred in the state of Florida.
If there’s one time and one place to bet on Sergio Garcia, it’s THE PLAYERS Championship at TPC Sawgrass.
Christiaan Bezuidenhout in the top 20 (+350)
Building on last week’s performance, we will stay with the South African this week and hope his recent strong play continues. He seems to only play in solid field events and he almost always manages himself adequately.
The current world number 34 has one of the best short plays in this field and is by far the best Bermuda putter in the world, averaging 0.22 more strokes per round on the Bermuda shorts than the number 2 ranked guy , Matthew Fitzpatrick.
Last year he shot a first round 65, which was good for T-2 before suspending play. Getting almost 4/1 there is a solid value.
Make the Cut: Corey Conners / Cam Smith / Will Zalatoris / Jason Kokrak (+458)
Considering the stiff penalties at TPC Sawgrass, I expected to pick a notable to miss the cut, but none of the lines were appealing enough. I guess it makes sense with the strength of the field. So, I try this parlay.
I approved each in my preview material, and for different reasons. The current form of each serves as the bait for this regrouping, but this is where my experience should pay off.
I’ve heard stories of how players and bettors have won big with my recommendations, so it’s time to see how I fare with my own process. (Finau and ScHotele both finish in the top 10 at +800, which is also delicious.)
Lee Westwood (+108) vs. Max Homa
Homa has had a hot streak the past few months, but I’ll be backing the vet here for more money.
Westwood has a good track record at Sawgrass and clearly played well last week. Homa played well, but may be running out of steam at this point after eight straight events. His shots at the ball went down noticeably last week, but he gained about eight hits at the API so the result was still there, but that could be a sign that the grind is starting to wear down on him.
Tommy Fleetwood (+120) vs. Patrick Reed
I’m a little jaded after Reed burned me in all directions with his missed haircut last week at Bay Hill. He was my favorite game of the week, but I’m not really looking to chase him, I really like Fleetwood better than the former Masters champion this week.
I’m heading over to the guys who are known for their ball hitting this week, and Fleetwood fits that bill better for me than Reed. I would have them closer to a draw in a clash at TPC Sawgrass, so I would be happy to run with more money on the Englishman.
Jason Kokrak (+100) vs. Corey Conners
I really like the big man this week. Kokrak was excellent from tee to green last week, gaining 10 shots on the field. He was not excellent on the greens dropping 1.8 strokes, unlike Conners who won 3.8.
Conners is just not a good putter and it will be a lot to ask him to win shots by competing in two events in a row. Kokrak finished in the top 10 in consecutive weeks on the Florida swing and was excellent in Florida as late as the 2019 season when he finished 9th at Honda, 10th at API and 2nd at Valspar.
Conners was impressive last week, but I have more faith in Kokrak’s success under the sun than in Conners which can be quite unpredictable.
Will Zalatoris (+105) vs. Sungjae Im
Zalatoris has been one of TOUR’s top ball forwards since graduating from KFT in September. He ranks eighth in this area in SG: Tee-to-Green in his last 16 rounds and has yet to miss a cut in his 12 career starts. Im, on the other hand, struggled with his ball hitting, ranking 141st in SG: Approach compared to his previous 12 rounds in this area.
Sawgrass is a back end course and there is something wrong with Im right now, so I would be happy to side with the young phenomenon Zalatoris and hope he can drain some putts.
Tommy Fleetwood (+120) vs. Patrick Reed
I’m 0-for-1 after Harris English (T26) beat Rickie Fowler (72nd) at Bay Hill, so I’m doubly motivated to turn the tide. You already know I’m all over Fleetwood as my Outright, but I’ll add that I’m erasing Patrick Reed in my Fancy insider.
Fleetwood’s bag is more balanced and can hold up well with Reed on and around the greens. Fleetwood’s course history is also much better and more consistent week after week.