14 JULY 2021 - WALK IT IN

Walking it Back:

Let’s start with our mayor of the pouch, Randy, who found himself again looking for a way to avoid misery. His chalkboard lesson did him some favors as he got Danielle Kang Top 10, and a Bobby Mac Top 20 this week. Even though he didn’t hit pay dirt with a Mickelson/Brady win (Rodgers!), a McNealy win, or a Spain Euro win it was still a step in the right direction for the bottom of the board.

How about his fellow pouch compadre, Neil? I, for one, absolutely love what he was up to this week. Limit the exposure to one guy, and see if you can strike gold. It was a huge opportunity for Chez Reavie (and for Neil) to strike during #chezfest. Neil had a win, top 10, top 20, top 30, and make the cut bet on Chez. He hit 3 of those 5 and came up short due to a lackluster Sunday on Top 10 and win. Not a bad showing for Randy and Neil this week.

As we move up the board let’s start with DJ. Unfortunately he found the pouch after Neil and Randy hit a couple winners. His pouch pick will have him playing intern, and he has to pick up the Draft Prince’s coffee of choice. Rather tepid punishment there for DJ. On the pick front, Mickelson/Brady for plus money looked great (just ask Mark) but it started a week that would end with zero winners for DJ. Across the board from his Harman Top 10, Mcnealy Top 10, Guilia Molinaro Top 10 and Leona Maguire win he couldn’t find a winner. Not the form you want to carry into the British Open.

It’s really a two man race at this point so let’s check in with Tron. With the LPGA shortening their tournament to 54 holes who is to say that Austin Ernst wouldn’t have charged up against Hataoka’s 8 stroke lead going into Sunday. I bet Tron believes it would have happened! His win bet on Ernst won’t pay out either way. Neither will his Bobby Mac win, Fleetwood win, Zach Johnson Top 10, or Mav Mcnealy top 10. Not a good week to let Soly pad that lead.

Given Tron’s week it is getting late early for the season’s Draft Prince. Soly struck with a pair of Top 20s on Lebioda and Hagy. Those two wins were enough to keep him around the even mark because he missed on Leona Maguire Top 10, Bobby Mac Top 10, and a Streelman win.

As for the Walk It In boys, it was a week just below even for both guys. Mark was all over Hank Lebioda and he nearly hit a huge pay day on the win and Top 3 American, but the late tee times charged and knocked him just shy of the Top 3 American placing. He still hit the Top 20, but it was close to a huge week. Jeff found some winnings with Doug Ghim who made just enough putts to sneak into the Top 20. He missed on Streelman’s awful missed cut and a set of win bets from McNealy, Im, and Wise.

Major week always means you have to watch Mark closely - he’s the Brooks Koepka of the podcast, always showing up for the big ones!

The Approach

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 is away and goes first at The Open!

Jeff: Coffee and golf is a wonderful thing. I can’t wait to cut my sleep schedule short this week to enjoy everything that The Open Championship offers. Keep an eye on the weather as Thursday approaches, but I think there are some stats that have Open staying power. Of those I want to target guys who are playing well (Top 50 SG: T2G amongst this field of 155), scramble well (short game has to be creative and on point), and are striking it well (SG: Approach and accuracy off the tee). That’s a lot to take into consideration, but Royal St. George’s is going to be asking questions.

Mark: Generally speaking, The Open courses are all set up in a very similar manner, with extremely penal rough/fescue, difficult bunkers and fast greens. For this reason, I’m targeting players this week with excellent short games and putting. Some stats that indicate this is SG: Around the Green, SG: Putting and scrambling. The majority of my card also consists of players who have a strong Open history and/or played well at the Scottish Open last week because I think familiarity with the setup and style of play can be important.

Inside the Leather

Jeff’s Picks:

Harris English Top 20 (+200) - 2 units

Harris has rediscovered the form from his late 2020 run that carried him to a victory at Sentry in Hawaii. We’re far from the tropical beaches of Hawaii, but Harris has stepped his game up of late. He won three weeks ago at TPC River Highlands, and is an excellent short game player. He has the scrambling pedigree, is accurate off the tee, and his irons and driver have continued to improve. Amongst the field he’s 12th in SG: T2G in his last 12 rounds.

Patrick Cantlay Top 20 (+145) - 2 units

He’s been steady eddy since his little dip in March/April. When he’s making cuts he’s finding the top of the leaderboards, and is on a little bit of a streak lately. I really like Cantlay’s game and his demeanor should things get demanding out there due to the weather. He’s second on tour this year in scrambling and his entire T2G is 4th amongst this field in his last 36 rounds. He’s poised for a great showing.

Robert MacIntrye Top Lefty (+200) - 2 units

Bobby Mac has competition this week from Mickelson, Harman, and Higgo. Higgo is the only one that gives me pause but he hasn’t been tearing the cover off of it. Mac was at the Scottish Open last week, knows this kind of golf well, and debuted very well in ‘19 at his first Open. This line feels like a lot of value.

Mark’s Picks:

Ian Poulter Top 4 Englishman (+150) - 2 units

Ian Poulter Top 20 (+188) - 1 unit

Big Ian Poulter guy this week! He finished T4 last week at the Scottish Open and feels comfortable playing at The Open with 3 top 10’s and 6 top 25’s over the years. He also has a few missed cuts in recent years, but I’m putting more emphasis on the good news considering how well he’s playing and how good of a short game he has.

Jon Rahm Top 20 After Round 1 (+110) - 2 units

I made this exact bet at the US Open at +150 and Rahm was T5 on Thursday so let’s try and duplicate that. I don’t want to bet his 8/1 tournament line, but plus money here seems like stealing.

Jordan Spieth Top 20 (+100) - 2 units

The Open winner in 2017, T9 in 2018 and T20 in 2019 so it’s clear he likes playing this major. Add to that that he’s back and you have a good starting point for success this year! Spieth ranks 19th in SG: T2G, 8th in SG: ATG and 34th in SG: Putting this year.

Matthew Fitzpatrick (-103) over Bryson DeChambeau - 1 unit

This is just a play on two players trending in opposite directions at the moment. Bryson has a new caddie, but has had a busy and tumultuous few weeks with the change, missing a cut and then playing in The Match. Fitzpatrick just played great at the Scottish Open before losing in a playoff. Fitzpatrick is also 24th on TOUR in putting.

Double Breaker

Jeff’s Picks:

Guido Migliozzi Top 20 (+550) - 1 unit

The young Italian has been on a nice little tear since his US Open coming out party. This should be another chance for him to continue this run. He was T35 at the Scottish Open last week after back to back top 15s state side. He also had back to back runner ups in May on the European Tour. He’s 18th SG: T2G in this field and his 36/12 round splits are improving.

Jordan Spieth to Win (+1400) - .5 unit

Matthew Fitzpatrick to Win (+4000) -.25 unit

Webb Simpson to Win (+5500) - .25 unit

Harris English to Win (+6000) - .25 unit

Jason Day to Win (+7000) - .25 unit

I’ve profiled English already, and I’m taking four more win bets this week.Fitzpatrick has been playing well this season and he’s another crafty player with his short game. Webb Simpson is just a gut feel. He’s an excellent short game player, his irons have been good, and he’s accurate off the tee. My only concern is his neck and his latest interview suggests it’s better. The time off and rust is a potential factor, but I like his stat profile this week. Finally I’m digging deep with Jason Day. He’s T27 or better in 4 of the last 5 at The Open and is coming here with back to back T14 or better (granted, weak fields).

Late Add: Rory to Win (+1800) - .5 unit

I read his comments about figuring something out on the range on Sunday. We’ve all been there, yes, and it rarely transfers when your buddy “figures it out” before the 8am tee time. But we’re all not Rory. So when you combine that with his history at this major I just can’t not. Damn it, let’s go, Rors!!

Mark’s Picks:

Richard Bland Top 30 (+350) - 1 unit

Who is this guy you ask? Well, he won the British Masters in May, finished 15th last week in the Scottish Open and has two other top 5 finishes among his last 5 starts. He’s played in one Open and finished T22 in 2017. His European Tour bio also says he likes Formula One and so do I after watching Drive to Survive on Netflix!

Jordan Spieth to Win (+1900) - 1 unit

Patrick Reed to Win (+3000) - .5 unit

Ian Poulter to Win (+6000) - .25 unit

Robert MacIntyre to Win (+9000) - .25 unit

You all heard why I love Spieth and Poulter this week, with their short games and history at The Open, and another guy who fits that exact criteria is Patrick Reed. Reed is 27th this season in SG: T2G, 14th around the green and 9th in putting. He also has three top 20’s (and a T28) in his last five Open starts. I don’t particularly think Robert MacIntyre will be this week’s champion, but he finished T18 at the Scottish Open last week, T8 at the British Masters and has some good results in the US majors as well so he won’t be intimidated by the competition. He ranks 12th on the European Tour in SG: ATG and 2nd in scrambling.