28 APR 2021 - WALK IT IN

Walking it Back:

Golf and mullets, that’s what Australia does! Marc Leishman and Cam Smith had some serious mojo last week in New Orleans en route to an impressive, entertaining win in a playoff over the South African team of Charl Schwartzel and Louis Oosthuizen. A number of guys on the NLU/Walk It In team believed in the Aussies enough to bet on them and had great weeks because of it so let’s walk all that back before looking ahead to the Valspar!

Don’t let him get hot, folks! Neil was the big winner of the week, cashing a 14/1 ticket on Leishman and Smith and also hitting on a Gooch/Homa top 20! His losses were on Xander/Cantlay to win, Todd/Kirk top 10 and Chez/Glover top 20, but still a very good week as he continues to climb out of the early season hole.

DJ also supported the Aussies and was handsomely rewarded! That was his lone win of the week, but when it’s a 14/1 winner, who cares?! He lost a trio of top 10 bets (Gooch/Homa, McDowell/Wallace, Todd/Kirk) and also a win bet on Jin Young Ko on the LPGA Tour.

I’m sure Soly really enjoyed watching ‘Sunday Finau’ (and Cam Champ) tumble down the leaderboard to destroy his win bet on them as well as a top 10. He also lost top 10 bets on Todd/Kirk and Suh/Ghim to go winless in NOLA, but did cash a Nelly Korda top 10 to finish 1-4 on the week.

A couple of 0fers from first place Tron and last place Randy this week, womp womp. Tron had finishing position bets across three tours and none of them worked out unfortunately. Gordon/Thompson (PGA), Armitage (EURO), and Khang, Munoz and Boutier (LPGA) all let him down. Big Randy stuck to the PGA and LPGA Tours, but still went 0-5. Hovland/Ventura didn’t get the win and neither did Minjee Lee. Suh/Ghim, Ariya Jutanugarn and A Lim Kim didn’t finish in the top 10.

The unconditional Cam Smith love paid off big time for Jeff, but he only had them at 12/1, a slight discount from DJ and Neil. That was his only win of the week as Hovland/Ventura tumbled out of the top 20 on Sunday, Kisner/Brown missed the cut and Bubba/Scheffler and Bradley/Steele obviously didn’t win. Mark lost a modest one unit on the week, also backing Kisner/Brown as well as Grace/HVIII and Todd/Kirk. His wins were top 10 bets on Horschel/Burns and Hatton/Willett.

Now the TOUR goes back to individual stroke play and back to Florida, at Innisbrook Resort, where the fairways are narrow and odds (for some) are long!

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? Mark goes first at Innisbrook.

Mark: We are back to stroke play events and back in Florida at Innisbrook, a narrow course with five par 3’s that aren’t easy and four par 5’s. The length of the course and size of the fairways will force a lot of players into less than driver off the tee, which gives people longer approach shots and decreases the GIR percentages. For that reason, I’ll be looking hard at success from 175 yards and further, around the green and on the green. Scores at this tournament are never through the roof so if players can play the par 5’s well and hold their own on the other holes, they’ll do just fine. Course history is also big for me, but it’s a little harder to gauge without a tournament last year.

Jeff: One more test after this week at Quail Hollow, but no one on the tour is overlooking this test since it was cancelled due to COVID last year. This course is a true test of a player's complete game because no one category over indexes here. I’m going to shift my focus to the SG: T2G stat this week, and identify guys who play well on approach from 200+ yards. With long Par 3s and scoring on Par 5s being important I want a few laser shows with the irons.

Inside the Leather

Mark’s Picks:

Charley Hoffman Top 20 (+188) - 2 units

My top guy this week, Hoffman checks every single box coming into the week. He’s playing great with just one finish outside the top 18 since March and in his last 16 rounds, he ranks 2nd in the field in SG: T2G, 4th in SG: Approach, 11th in SG: Around the Green and 17th in SG: Putting. He’s got lots of experience on this course as well and should feel real comfortable given where his game is.

Paul Casey Top 10 (+275) - 1 unit

My guy Paul Casey, I can’t quit him. His MC at Harbour Town can be forgiven considering his excellent form before that, and he’s the two time defending champion here (2019 and 2018). Among the best players in the field, he is strong in almost every statistical category I’m targeting this week.

Corey Conners Top 10 (+200) - 1 unit

Another popular pick of ours this season, his odds are too short for me to play to win, but I do still think he’ll do well and 2/1 for a top 10 is cool with me. 1st in the field in T2G, 2nd in approach and 13th in putting over his last 16 rounds. Has been one of the best golfers on TOUR this year.

Emiliano Grillo Top 20 (+188) - 1 unit

Grillo’s stats also jumped off the page when I was doing my research. He’s not good around the green, but he is 2nd on TOUR for the entire season in GIR%, 16th in approaches from 175-200 yards and 9th in approaches longer than 200 yards. He’s also in good form, going T11-T21-MC-T6-T2 his last five starts.

Lucas Glover Top 20 (+225) - 1 unit

He’s in pretty good form with a T19-4-T33 in his last 3 and is generally a very accurate player. Over his last 16 rounds, he ranks 18th in the field T2G and 38th in approach. He also finished T13 here in 2019.

Jeff’s Picks:

Jason Kokrak Top 20 (+188) - 1 unit

Kokrak is in a really good spot from a long term stat profile (last 36 rounds) but he’s showing some really good form in the last 12 as well with his approach game (12th in the field). He has back to back top 10s here, even though his 200+ yard approach number isn’t the sharpest.

Talor Gooch Top 20 (+275) - 1 unit

Goochy mane is bringing some of his best work to Innisbrook with his irons (he’s 2nd in the field in his last 12) and I think he can make some noise this week. Top 20 isn’t anything crazy, but three top 20s in his last six is pretty impressive so I’ll take Gooch to keep the pedal down.

Double Breaker

Mark’s Picks:

Louis Oosthuizen Top 10 (+300) - 1 unit

He’s veteran enough and accomplished enough to shake off that losing water ball in Sunday’s playoff against Leishman and Smith and he’s playing really well. In his last 16 rounds he is 7th in the field around the green and 2nd in putting and he has excellent history here: T2 in 2019, T16 in 2018 and T7 in 2016.

Camilo Villegas Top 20 (+900) - 1 unit

My boldest position play this week by far, but something about Villegas’ last few starts have me thinking I can’t pass up on the number here. In three of his last four starts he’s gone T8-T17-T25 and has been very good around the green and with his putter.

Charley Hoffman to win (+4500) - .5 unit

Justin Rose to win (+5000) - .5 unit

I mentioned some things already that I love about Charley, but here are some more: he’s 38th this season in GIR%, 37th in rough proximity and 24th in approaches between 175-200 yards. With Justin Rose, I’m betting on the number more than the player as he is too good and playing too well recently to be 50/1 in this tournament. I learned my lesson with Koepka in Phoenix and others recently, when I see a number this big for a player of Rose’s caliber, I’m on it.

Jeff’s Picks:

Tyrrell Hatton to win (+2500) - .5 unit

Sungjae Im to win (+2800) - .5 unit

Charley Hoffman to win (+4500) - .5 unit

Gary Woodland to win (+7000) - .5 unit

With Hatton WD’ing due to COVID this week it was a late add for Woodland. I had some interest in the top 20 market for him, but he’s 5th in approach outside 200 yards, and his last 12 rounds OTT have been much better. The irons have looked better so please bring the putter, Gary! Mark hit the nail with Hoffman earlier, but I think Im will be in the mix this weekend as well. Both guys have the iron pedigree of late and are assassins from 200+ yards with their irons.

Ryan Palmer Top 10 (+450) - 1 unit

Palmer is in some solid form this season with 3 of his last 4 being Top 20s. He’s also made 7 of 9 cuts here, but never finished inside 28th. At this point I think Palmer is playing some of the better golf of his career so I’ll gladly hitch a ride on a guy who is 25th in SG: T2G in the last 36 and 5th in approach > 200 yards on the entire Tour.

Jason Dufner Top 20 (+600) - 1 unit

The Luke Donald stinky special! Curious? That’s an old horse for the course where the statistical profile shows no sign of life but the course history is juicy. He’s made 9 of 11 cuts here and all 9 were 28th or better. Hoping to stay up wind of the stinky special but let’s see what happens.