12 MAY 2021 - WALK IT IN
Walking it Back:
This season has seen the “return” of some of the game’s top superstars after prolonged slumps had fans wondering if it could happen. I mean how about Stewart Cink, huh?! Two wins this season for ol’ tan lines after not winning since 2009!
But seriously, Jordan Spieth is back and now is Rory McIlroy back too?? He won his third Wells Fargo Championship this week, which was great to see after struggling over the last year or so. Speaking of struggling, No Laying Up’s gambling picks! Let’s walk those back before looking ahead to the AT&T Byron Nelson.
There were a combined two wins from the NLU boys this week - it was a bloodbath out there. Let’s start with DJ, who bet on Rory this week and still went 0-5! His Rory bet was to be first round leader and not overall winner unfortunately so he got no nuggies for that and then he also missed on Max Homa top 20 and Maverick McNealy top 20. On the LPGA Tour, he picked Patty T to win it all in Thailand and he finished T3. He also tried shooting his shot on the KFT with Nick Hardy, but that didn’t work out either.
Tron is still the Draft King, but he’s scuffling right now. He also bet on Patty Tavatanakit to win and in the same tournament had Madelene Sagstrom to finish top 5. On the Korn Ferry Tour, TC lost a top 10 bet2 on Isaiah Salinda and at the Wells Fargo, he lost Max Homa top 10 and Justin Thomas win bets. Put that together and you get another 0-5.
Everyone was on Max Homa this week, huh?! Soly was the third member of the gang to go 0-5 and coincidentally also had Homa placement bets. He also picked Tony Finau to be top 10, Joaquin Niemann to be top 10 and Will Zalatoris to be top 20. Only one of those fellas even made the cut, woof.
Friend of the program Max Homa is going to think the boys put a curse on him this week because Big Randy was on him too! Randy shared a few other losing picks with some of the boys, like Patty T to win and Sagstrom to place (this one in the top 10), but he did manage to win one of his bets thanks to Cameron Tringale missing a cut. 1-4 week for Randy.
Neil was the top of the NLU class this week, going 1-3 with a canceled bet on Webb Simpson due to the last minute WD. Neil correctly picked Tommy Fleetwood to finish in the top 20 at +250, which was huge. His three losses were on Hovland to win, Xander to finish top 10 and HVIII to finish top 20.
The Walk It In boys are staying hot, but alternating the hot weeks! Jeff has picked the outright winner in two of the last three tournaments, including Rory at Quail Hollow. He also hit a Brian Harman top 20 and a big Aaron Wise top 20 at 5/1. What a week for Jeff! Mark couldn’t keep up the momentum from the Valspar and had a dreadful week, capped off by Xander losing three strokes in the final two holes Sunday to drop out of the top 10. Two WD’s (Webb and Villegas) didn’t help either. His chin remains up though!
This week, the TOUR rolls out a new course in TPC Craig Ranch in McKinney, Texas. It’s the final tuneup before the PGA Championship so let’s get right and roll 'em in!
If you’re going to putt for dough it helps when you’ve given yourself more putts inside the leather than double breakers so where are the guys looking this week on their approach? Jeff goes first at TPC Craig Ranch.
Jeff: I’m very happy how my card played out last week, and I want to keep this train rolling. I jumped on the McIlroy train and rode it to paydirt so who can I hitch the wagon to again? I like that this week has a bit of a wild card feel. It feels like those with really good form should keep it given the expectation of a birdie fest this weekend. Let’s keep an eye on the OTT and Approach sivants.
Mark: I don’t know much about TPC Craig Ranch, but not many people do since it’s a brand new course in PGA Tournaments. One big consensus is it’s going to yield tons of scoring with fairways and big greens so I’m definitely taking a look at birdie average and putting this week. Without course history to help, recent form will be big for me, with the exception of one guy…
Inside the Leather
Hideki Matsuyama MISS CUT (+280) - 1 unit
Matsy hasn’t played since his historic win at The Masters after quarantining and parading around Japan, rightfully so. I’m betting that he’s going to be pretty rusty - and he wasn’t exactly playing well before his Masters win, either.
Brooks Koepka Top 20 (+110) - 2 units
Another guy who hasn’t played since The Masters, and he had quite the opposite result there as Matsuyama. That said, if he’s in the field after playing so sparingly then it tells me he feels good. He ranks 18th this season in SG: T2G, 24th in SG: Approach and 6th in SG: Putting. In this field, I love his chances to be near the top of the leaderboard and we get plus money here to do it.
Sam Burns Top 20 (+138) - 2 units
Coming off a win at the Valspar and T4 at the Zurich before that, Burns is in great form and I think he’s going to come out firing again this week. He’s T7 on TOUR this season in birdie average, is really hitting his irons well and is always a great putter. Sounds like a recipe for success.
Luke List Top 20 (+250) - 1 unit
This number feels too long for List. He’s 8th in this field in SG: T2G in the last 12 rounds and in the last 36 he’s 13th so his stats have been there. Mark makes a good point that the placings haven’t been there, but a T6 last week at Quail Hollow should bode well for this week’s birdie fest.
Ryan Palmer Top 20 (+150) - 1 unit
I wanted some Texas flavor, and the local guy from 45 minutes away checks that box. I’m not saying his game isn’t going to travel though. His approach numbers have fallen off in the last 12 rounds compared to his last 36, but he still hasn’t missed a cut since September. I expect the last two weeks at home will do wonders for him.
Si Woo Kim Top 20 (+150) - 1 unit
Si Woo has been so consistent in his last 36 rounds and his last 12. He’s been playing good golf for a while now, and sports the 16th best SG: T2G in this field in the last 36 and the 13th best in the last 12 rounds. I think his momentum continues this week. Beware, Si Wooooooooo is always a roller coaster.
Marc Leishman Top 10 (+300) - 1 unit
The Big Aussie finished T5 at The Masters and then won the Zurich Classic with Cam Smith so he’s been feeling it and I hope it continues this week. Not as much of a scorer as some of my other picks this week, but I love his form and he’s been putting it well, ranking 7th in the field in putting over his last 16 rounds.
Brooks Koepka Winner (+2300) - .5 unit
I went two units on a top 20 for Brooks and have to take a shot at the win bet at this number. He’s T14 in birdie average this year in addition to all the stats I mentioned above. Furthermore, you know Brooks wants to be in good form heading into a major.
Antoine Rozner Top 20 (+335) - 1 unit
I love this play. Rozner isn’t going to get the love stateside because he runs in the European Tour. 3 of his last 4 over there were T17 or better and included a victory. His stats through datagolf are field adjusted and he still stacks up well amongst this group of PGA pros. We’re not asking for a huge week, just compete and slide into the top 20.
Matt Fitzpatrick Winner (+2200) - .5 unit
Scottie Scheffler Winner (+2200) - .5 unit
One more Texan on the card and one guy from across the pond. Fitzpatrick has been steady eddy even though his approach numbers are only slightly above average for this group. The rest of his game is so solid around the green and off the tee that I’m hoping we catch a really good iron week from him. He’s close (5 of his last 6 not including match play are top 11 or better) and I think this is the week. Scheffler has seen this course before from his Texas days. He’s a prolific scorer when it comes to birdies and has a weapon on the tee. His approach numbers mirror Fitzpatrick, but his overall game has been there. I’d love either to be in the hunt this weekend.