05 MAY 2021 - WALK IT IN

Walking it Back:

The youth movement continues on the PGA Tour after another young gun takes down the field at Innisbrook. Maybe it was the tutelage of Billy Horschel in Zurich that propelled Sam Burns to his first win on the Tour or maybe it’s just that Burns is damn good. Few things beat the emotions of a Tour victory, or even in Michael Visacki’s case, just making it through the Monday Qualifier. Good stories abound in Florida this past weekend. As for your betting savants at NLU and Walk It In...

Neil did not stay hot after cashing the winning ticket with Leishman/Smith, and fell back into the pouch with TC. He graced us with some wonderful art work of him and TC (TC, that middle part!). His picks were very middle part-ish this week with Conners, JT, and Reed all coming up short. Both Neil and Jeff agree, if Tyrell played those tickets were guaranteed to cash.

Randy with a losing week also found the pouch, but he did cross the finish line on the weekend with one victory as Lewis Hamilton won the Algrave in F1 (wait, isn’t this a golf site?), but kudos to Randy for finding one winner. The golf picks didn’t do so hot, but he keeps bringing the positivity. That counts for some nuggies, right? Kick ‘em through the uprights this week, big guy!

DJ couldn’t creep across even on the season with a 0-5 stretch last week. Uihlein didn’t carry over the magic from Zurich and Patrick Reed provided no weekend entertainment after missing the cut down the stretch at Valspar. Did anyone else see the camera on Phil during featured group coverage getting pissed at Reed taking his sweet time on 14?

Soly with another winning week despite being on that same Patrick Reed bet with DJ. Hovland and Tringale led the way with their top 10s even though Scottie Scheffler was a victim of the Sunday slide. Soly notes he’s in striking distance of TC and is begging for a DK boost on Homa this week back to defend his title. Let’s go, Max!

TC wasn’t in the pouch this week with a Patty Tavatanakit Top 5 on the LPGA at +900 (I know another +900 cash this week too!). He dabbled on some NFL Draft fun that came up short along with his Glover, Grace, and Parel bets. He keeps a 300 nuggie lead on Soly for the season, but it’s tightening!

Speaking of, Jeff and Mark find themselves in a similar spot after Mark hit Villegas for a Top 20 at +900 this week. What a nice little chunk of change for Mark as he closes the gap on Jeff in the season standings. That was part of a nice 11 unit week for Mark. He’s feeling himself this week with a few more longshots, and Jeff seems to like where his head is at with his own set of longshots at Quail Hollow.

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 goes first at Quail Hollow.

Jeff: I love a star studded field. Doesn’t mean I love the odds associated with those top players. I got some fliers this week, but all of them are bringing in a combo of distance off the tee and some Green In Reg proficiency from distance (Quail Hollow stretches to 7500+ yards). Can a couple young guys keep up their good form from recent showings? Can a couple guys who have been around the block rediscover the good mojo they’ve had at Quail Hollow?

Mark: The last test for most of these guys before the PGA Championship in two weeks, this is quite a final test. Quail Hollow is very long as Jeff mentioned and there’s some trouble lurking off the fairways if they’re not careful. Additionally, a look back at the past few champions says putting is the statistic where the winners have gained the most strokes on the field. After all, you putt for dough amirite?

Inside the Leather

Jeff’s Picks:

Stewart Cink Top 20 (+275) - 1 unit

Do the bookies know more than Jeff? That’s obvious. But that doesn’t mean I think they’re right here. +275 for the guy who is top 10 in approach in this field and 25th in SG: Total in the last 36 rounds. At his age I want to make sure he’s rested from his move to downtown Atlanta.

Xander Schauffele Top 10 (+164) - 2 units

I like what Xander and Cantlay did at the end of the Zurich even if we’re talking about alternate shot. I want to see Xander refind that magic in the fall/winter where he was top 5 in a number of events. His profile is so solid across the board, and he’s 25th in driving distance + 27th in Greens in Regulation on the Tour this season.

Brian Harman Top 20 (+188) - 2 units

Harman’s game feels a little disrespected lately at near 2-1 for a Top 20. His approach numbers have been off so far this season, but he hasn’t missed a cut since December. In that same time frame he’s got 4 Top 15s, and just took two weeks off. I like that he’s coming in here rested.

Mark’s Picks:

Patrick Reed Top 20 (+138) - 1 unit

I don’t usually bet on Reed, but when I do, it’s in loaded fields with his back against the wall. He’s only played once since the Masters and it was a MC last week. I’m thinking that one of the best putters in the world will bounce back nicely this week. He has never missed the cut at Quail Hollow.

Tony Finau Top 20 (+110) - 1 unit

Hopefully over his little “slump” from March, Finau is 4-4 here with three finishes inside the top 28. He’s long off the tee, accurate with his long irons and 8th in overall putting average on TOUR this season. He doesn’t have to win, we just need a top 20.

Xander Schauffele Top 10 (+164) - 1 unit

I’m only wagering half of what Jeff is putting on this one, but I do still like it for the reasons he mentioned. He doesn’t have the course history here, but has the pedigree and form to get inside the top 10 on Sunday, something he has done in almost half of his starts this year.

Lucas Glover Top 20 (+275) - 1 unit

I’m going back to the well with a few picks this week and Glover is the first. He shot a 69-65 last week before unraveling with a 77 on Saturday to finish T49, but I still feel great about his current game. In his last 16 rounds, he ranks 16th in this field in SG: T2G, 17th in SG: ATG and 22nd in SG: Putting. Winner here before and has had a number of other top 10’s.

Double Breaker

Jeff’s Picks:

Rory McIlroy Win (+1900) - .5 units

Jason Day Win (+6000) - .25 units

Shoot, this feels like .75 units on fire doesn’t it? Statistics wise it sure would. I’m looking past this because Jason Day’s SG numbers from his last 36 rounds to his last 12 rounds are trending positive on approach and trending positive off the tee. Maybe he can flip the putter. McIlroy was featured at The Masters as a “don’t be late on this train” and I’m staying on it. He’s had just over a month with Pete Cowen and the talent is there. Maybe this train is just going to run me over, we’ll see.

Aaron Wise Top 20 (+500) - 1 unit

Wise has shown some chops at Quail Hollow in the past with an 18th in ‘19 and a 2nd in ‘18. He’s like McCumber in the poor putting statistics, but the irons are above average and the off the tee game is his weapon. He’s 7th in GIR this season and 27th in distance. Prayers for putts please.

Joel Dahmen Top 20 (+500) - 1 unit

Joel’s approach numbers haven’t been solid lately, but he’s found success at Quail Hollow with a 2nd in ‘19 and 16th in ‘18. He finished DFL of those that made the cut after his first ever victory. And that was a miracle to make the cut after what I assume was some late nights doing some celebrating. He’s rested, tasted victory, and now goes to a place he’s played well.

Mark’s Picks:

Harold Varner III Top 20 (+400) - 1 unit

A Quail Hollow member and resident of North Carolina, HVIII is in form having just finished T2 at the RBC Heritage. 24th this season in SG: T2G and 33rd in approach, he’s also putting better as of late, ranking 23rd in the field on the greens in his last 16 rounds.

Camilo Villegas Top 20 (+550) - 1 unit

Back to back weeks with Camilo?! Why not?! This really is a pick with my head and not just a reward for cashing my big bet last week. Villegas finished T11 at the Valspar to continue his real good run of form. In his last 16 rounds, he ranks 33rd in the field T2G and 6th in putting so you’re darn right I’m coming back for more.

Vaughn Taylor Top 20 (+900) - 1 unit

Speaking of Villegas, I have another guy at 9/1 for a top 20 that I feel pretty good about and that’s Vaughn Taylor. He finished T6 last week at the Valspar, finished T13 at the last edition of this tournament in 2019 and he’s an excellent putter. Sign me up for all of that!

Webb Simpson to win (+2000) - .5 unit

Max Homa to win (+4000) - .5 unit

Webby lives on this course and has a consistent history here, but no wins. Could this be the one? He’s in great form, which is no surprise since he’s one of the best in the world, and he ranks 5th on TOUR the entire season in driving accuracy, 11th in GIR percentage and 18th in putting. Nobody has ever defended their title at the Wells Fargo, but that could change for Max Homa considering the form he carries. T6 last week is one of four top 10’s on the season and he won at The Genesis not too long ago. Over his last 16 rounds, he ranks 17th T2G, 17th in approach and 8th in putting.