2012 PGA and European Tour Golf Props Odds and Picks
by Alan Matthews - 1/3/2012
There is no major sport in the world – that I know of, at least – that has a shorter offseason than golf. And as hard as it may be to fathom if you are somewhere being inundated with snow, the 2012 PGA and European Tour seasons tee off next week already. The U.S. tour begins with the winners-only Hyundai Tournament of Champions (look for my betting preview on that, as well as all PGA tournaments in 2012), while the Euros play in the Africa Open in South Africa.
With that said, let’s look at a few props offered by Bovada.
You can bet ‘yes’-only on whether a player shoots a 59 on the PGA Tour (+200) or European Tour (+300) this year. That is probably throwing your money away. There have been five official rounds of 59 in sanctioned PGA Tour events:
*-Al Geiberger, at Colonial Country Club, Memphis, Tenn., in second round of 1977 Memphis Classic (13 under).
*-Chip Beck, at Sunrise Golf Club, Las Vegas, in third round of 1991 Las Vegas Invitational (13 under).
*-David Duval at Arnold Palmer Course at PGA West, La Quinta, Calif., in final round of 1999 Bob Hope Invitational (13 under).
*-Paul Goydos at TPC Deere Run course, Silvis, Ill., in first round of 2010 John Deere Classic (12 under).
*-Stuart Appleby at The Old White Course, White Sulphur Springs, W.Va., in final round of 2010 Greenbrier Classic (11 under). This was the first 59 on a par-70 course and was just 24 days after Goydos did it.
And, believe it or not, there has never been a 59 on the European Tour, with 60 the low round. That has been shot 14 times, the last by Kenneth Ferrie at the Andalucia Open in Spain last year. Ferrie came close to the 59. He needed to hole his six-iron approach to the 449-yard 18th hole at the Parador course in Malaga on the 72nd hole and from the right-hand rough it trickled past the edge of the cup.
Bovada also lists odds to win the PGA Tour money title in 2012 as well as the Race to Dubai (the Euro Tour’s money crown).
Tiger Woods is the 5/2 favorite to win here in the States. Woods has won it nine times but not since 2009, which was when his last official Tour victory occurred (Tiger won the Chevron World Challenge in December for his first win since ’09, but that’s not an official Tour event). I don’t see Tiger playing enough to win the money crown and that his dominant days are done (he will win at least once, however, in 2012).
Reigning U.S. Open champion Rory McIlroy is next at 8/1. McIlroy played only 10 official PGA Tour events last year, which is below the minimum; Rory earned nearly $2 million in his 10 tournaments. He says he will play more on the U.S. tour this year but not at the expense of his European Tour commitments. Thus, this is a bad bet. McIlroy is the 7/2 favorite to win the Race to Dubai, and I would jump on that (he was second this year).
Luke Donald was the first player ever to win the money crown on the U.S. and European tours last season. He is 9/1 to repeat on the PGA Tour and 4/1 overseas. Donald mostly plays on the U.S. tour – 19 events in 2011 – but also still plays a handful of European Tour-only events (majors and WGC events are part of both tours). Thus, I think he’s a bad bet on both tours to repeat because it so rarely happens and Donald had a career year in 2011.
My pick for the PGA Tour is Dustin Johnson (16/1), who finished fifth in the money this year, a little more than $2.3 million behind Donald. Johnson was dominant in 2010 with two victories and nearly two more at majors (U.S. Open, PGA Championship). Thus, last year was a bit of a disappointment (if you can call earning $4.3 million a disappointment) with only one victory – and that came late in the season at the Barclays in the FedEx Cup playoffs.
Johnson also is back with his former caddie, Bobby Brown, who was on his bag for four of his five PGA Tour wins. Johnson fired Brown last spring and hired Joe LaCava, who then left Johnson in October to work for Tiger. Yes, Johnson may miss the first tournament or two of 2012 after knee surgery in late November, but he’s still my pick.
If you want a longer-shot pick on the Race to Dubai, consider rising Spanish star Alvaro Quiros (25/1), who rather quietly – at least on this side of the pond – finished sixth on the money list last year. Quiros, probably the biggest hitter overseas, plays a ton of European Tour events and won twice last year, including the season-ending Dubai World Championship.
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