19 MAY 2021 - WALK IT IN
Walking it Back:
Major week!! We’re all looking to avoid Major Payne on the card heading into Kiawah because TPC Craig Ranch may have chewed us up and spit us back out. It was a birdie fest for the pros, but the NLU5 and the Walk It In boys were under water most of the week. Home game models be damned….
Let’s start with DJ, he went with the home game model and pulled out every PGA Tour pro (close to everyone at least) from or living in the state of Texas for the card (close to at least). Ghim, Spieth, Bryson, Champ and Will Z all came up short. This would be the first of a major trend this week for the guys targeting the Texas crowd.
Tron is still the Draft King, but it is now two straight weeks of slippage from our guy. He had Armitage, Schwaby (Matthias Schwab), and double R (Richie Ramsay) to place in the top 10, top 5, and top 20 respectively at the British Masters. None of these guys had the guts to get it done, and his picks at Craig Ranch didn’t fare much better with Scheffler not winning and Munoz coming 35 places outside the top 20.
It was the birdie fest that Randy predicted, but KH Lee got it done in regulation so the juicy +400 on the playoff prop did not hit for him. He was right on with Koepka missing the cut, but Aaron Wise didn’t keep the hot streak rolling this time and failed to contend. Randy also eyed the British Masters and went with Chris Wood, his fellow slenderman, to finish amongst the Top 4 Brits which he did in a dead heat race with Willett and Pepperell. But the brilliance stopped there as Lucas Bjerregaard was cut and didn’t finish as the top Dane.
Neil partnered up with DJ on the home game model this week and also got waxed by the model. Higgs, Ghim, Palmer, Dechambeau, and Scheffler all missed on his picks. He had Bryson outright which never had a chance with the way he putt this weekend, and the other placement picks with Higgs, Ghim, Palmer, and Scheffler all saw the boys either cut or finish outside the Top 45. No comment.
Soly saw the sinking ship with Neil and DJ and hopped right on board without a bucket. He did hit on Spieth to top 10 even with the dead heat rules, but the rest of his Texas guys all came up short. Bryson to win, Scheffler to top 10 and Will Z to top 10 didn’t have the legs to stretch it out. He did have a close call with his Aussie pick on Leishman who just missed the top 20 bet.
Good news for the guys this week that the home game model applies to a much lesser crowd this week. Keep your lips off DJ! Mark did have a better week than JZ with his Sam Burns Top 20, and congrats to our guy on winning the Fore Horsemen Tour in Pinehurst last week. He’s bringing some of that mojo to the pod and the picks this week.
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 Kiawah!
Jeff: If you didn’t bring it this week you’re not going to find it at Kiawah. What a monster of a course we have on our hands this weekend, and it’s one where the best should shine. I’m focused on a mix of 4 items this week: SG splits from last 36 rounds to the last 12 rounds (are you coming in playing better golf), scrambling, approach > 200 yards, and a combo of distance and accuracy off the tee. This will lend itself to the usual studs, but I think this is a week where you have to start and stop there.
Mark: We keep hearing about length length length, but courses aren’t “too long” these guys in general. What makes Kiawah different, potentially, is the wind. Depending on the wind, some holes can be monsters, but I bet there will be some scoring opportunities downwind as well. I’m looking primarily for a combination of length AND accuracy off the tee and SG: approach. Players who perform well in windy conditions also helps and of course, recent form is big for me.
Inside the Leather
Louis Oosthuizen Top 20 (+175) - 2 units
Louis is our favorite, “oh look there he is in the mix again at a major” golfer. He’s been playing well with 5 Top 20s since January in 9 events. I love his form from the 36 round versus 12 round splits in approach and OTT. He is above average in approach outside 200 yards (67th on Tour) and scrambling (24th on Tour).
Tyrell Hatton Top 20 (+200) - 1 unit
I wanted some Euro flavor on the card this week, and it felt like Tyrell was going to win a few tournaments this spring after his 2020. He hasn’t, but the numbers are trending in a positive direction on the splits. He is electric with approach > 200 yards (4th on Tour), and he has a nice blend of distance and accuracy off the tee.
Cameron Tringale Top 20 (+275) - 2 units
I have been off the Tringale hype train because he is the numbers darling. His stats pop in every single category I mentioned in my approach. He has a boom or bust flavor with cuts and Top 15s sprinkled into his last 5 events. I’m willing to take the boom and bust nature of Tringale this week.
Corey Conners Top 20 (+188) - 2 units
I’m going to keep picking Conners until he gives me a reason not to. He’s got five top 15’s in the last three months, he’s 9th on TOUR this season in SG: T2G and 6th on TOUR in SG: Approach. On the entire TOUR! He’s a prime example of who I was describing when I mentioned length isn’t everything to me here. He’s 117th in driving distance, but 12th in accuracy and I think that’s super important.
Joaquin Niemann Top 20 (+250) - 1 unit
Joaquin Niemann Top South American (EV) - 2 units
I’m all over my favorite Chilean this week baby! One of the longest drivers on TOUR, Niemann is 10th this season in SG: OTT, 34th in approach and 29th in putting. Has made the cut in all 16 starts this year and is flies way under the radar compared to some of the other youngins. For the South American prop, he just needs to beat Grillo and Munoz.
Keegan Bradley Top 20 (+225) - 1 unit
Another guy who is having an incredible year, Bradley finished 2nd at the Valspar and 18th at Wells Fargo so he’s rolling right now and also has great experience at the Ocean Course, finishing 3rd in 2012. He’s 5th on TOUR this season in SG: T2G and 8th in approach. If he putts decently, he has a shot.
Viktor Hovland (-110) over Xander Schauffele - 1 unit
Intriguing matchup here for sure! I LOVE Hovland this week as he might be my first or second choice to win the tournament so this is a no-brainer for me considering I don’t trust Xander to win a tournament of this magnitude. Hovland has two straight T3 finishes at the Valspar and Wells Fargo.
Marc Leishman Top 20 (+225) - 1 unit
The big Aussie is playing terrific golf right now, doesn’t surprise anyone when he contends in majors and seems to love the course fit for himself this week at Kiawah. He plays well in windy conditions and his long approach numbers are crazy good. He ranks 2nd in approaches between 200-225 yards and 9th between 175-200 yards.
Abraham Ancer Top 20 (+175) - 1 unit
Talk about numbers jumping off the page - Abe Ancer hasn’t finished worse than 26th in a start since late February. He’s 3rd on TOUR in driving accuracy, 29th in SG: OTT and 12th in GIR%. Coming off a 2nd place finish at the Wells Fargo and a 5th at the Valspar before that. Also plays very well in majors.
Charley Hoffman Top 20 (+400) - 1 unit
There is way less of a boom or bust factor with Hoffman than there is with Tringale. Hoffman has been playing some incredible golf of late. His approach numbers in his last 12 versus his last 36 give me a little bit of pause here, but I like the stat profile everywhere else. He’s top 20’d in 6 of his last 7 events, and he had a nice run in majors in ‘17 and ‘18. He’s playing his best golf since then coming into this week so I’m all about Charley.
Viktor Hovland to win (+1800) - .5 unit
Rory McIlroy to win (+1800) - .75 unit (placed at Wells Fargo on Wednesday night)
Dustin Johnson to win (+1800) - .75 unit
Paul Casey to win (+5000) - .5 unit
Sungjae Im to win (+8000) - .25 unit
One shy of a six pack here (I’d take Jordan Spieth to round out the six pack for the record), but this group of guys were my favorite on the spreadsheet in terms of splits, approach, scrambling, and distance/accuracy. Casey, Sungjae, and Hovland have the best combos of accuracy and distance you can find on Tour. Casey has been so consistent this year that it feels like he could get his first major here. I’m not worried about DJ’s knee and you shouldn’t be either. His splits look much better lately and he’s my favorite of the point and shoot guys. Hovland might be my best bet of the week given his form, but this Rory value could be hard to beat with his number down to +1100 in most places as of Wednesday morning.
Bryson DeChambeau to Eagle in Round 1 (+700) - .5 unit
Let’s start the tournament with a bang, shall we? If the wind is right, Bryson will be able to have a go at a couple of these par 5’s on Thursday and at 7/1, I’m going to take a shot that he converts. He ranks 5th on TOUR in total eagles made and T1 in holes per eagle.
Jordan Spieth to win (+1500) - .5 unit
Viktor Hovland to win (+2000) - .5 unit
Keegan Bradley to win (+7000) - .25 unit
Joaquin Niemann to win (+7000) - .25 unit
Corey Conners to win (+7000) - .25 unit
We have two favorites and a threesome of live dogs in my win bets this week. Let’s start with the longshots as I’ve already made position bets on Bradley, Niemann and Conners. All three of these guys are playing extremely good golf and in my opinion are severely undervalued at 70/1. Jordan Spieth is back as hell with only one finish outside the top 15 since February! Hovland is going to be a multiple major winner and it’s going to start sooner rather than later. He’s proven lack of course experience doesn’t matter to him and he’s proven he can contend in majors.