PGA Tour Odds: Money List Futures Predictions
by Dave Schwab - 5/12/2011
The PGA’s Players Championship from TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra, Florida, gets underway today in what is often thought of as the fifth Major in professional golf. The player that comes away with this week’s title will get the lion’s share of a $9.5 million purse, which is the highest of the Tour, and take a major leap in the current PGA money list.
As long as Tiger Woods is lacing them up for a tournament, he will most likely be the odds-on-favorite to win and this week is no exception as Sports Interaction has him listed at the top at +1300. Despite the fact he has not won a tournament since fall of 2009 and has only played in five events this season, he is also listed as the favorite to win this season’s PGA money title at +400, according to PGA Tour odds. No one can deny Woods’ past achievements as well as his potential for future greatness, but it is hard to find any value in either of these odds given his current level of play as well as his decision to continue to limit his schedule to a handful of events.
The next big name on the list when it comes to wagering on golf is Phil Mickelson. He is a bit more plausible at +1600 to win this week and +550 to win the money title, but his odds are often bolstered more by public perception than fact-based reality. Mickelson has played in 10 tournaments this year and is fifth on the money list with just over $2.3 million in earnings. A win this week would most likely vault him to the top of the standings and put him in the driver seat for the rest of the year, but you have to question if his game is up to the task.
He has made the cut in all 10 events and has four Top-10 finishes including a victory in the Shell Houston Open in March. Mickelson finished ninth last week in the Wells Fargo Championship, so his current level of play would lead you to believe he will not only be a factor this week, but all season long, so the value does exist in his current odds to wind up on top of the money list at the end of the year.
The hot name on the PGA Tour this season has been Luke Donald. He is listed at +1600 to win this week and the second favorite to win the money title at +450. Donald has only played in seven events this season, but sits atop the current money list with close to $3 million in earnings. He has finished in the Top 10 in six of the seven tournaments he has entered and has a victory in the WGC Adventure Match Play Championship to his credit. More importantly, Donald is ranked second on the tour in putting at 1.69 putts per hole, which is exactly how you consistently finish near or at the top of the leader board in this game.
If you are looking for a bit more value in the current odds for a money title look no further than Bubba Watson at +900. He is a moderate longshot to win this week at +3000, but his overall performance year-to-date points to a very successful run through the rest of the season. He has played in 11 tournaments so far and is second on the money list; less than six thousand dollars behind Donald. Watson has made the cut nine times and has three Top-10 finishes.
What makes him a front-runner in this race is his ability to seal the deal with wins. He started the season with a victory in the Farmers Insurance Open in late January and added his second title of the year with a win in the Zurich Classic two weeks ago. Watson is ranked second on the Tour in driving distance and first in greens-in-regulation which is a dangerously good combination to have.
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