PGA Tour Picks: Quicken Loans National Odds and Expert Predictions
by Alan Matthews - 7/29/2015
Now I know why I'm not a professional athlete. You know, other than having no particularly great talent in any sport. I didn't think that Aussie Jason Day would do much last week at the Canadian Open after coming up just short of that British Open playoff and yet another agonizing near-miss at a major. Flying across the pond to a mid-level event? Nah, Day wasn't going to be focused. Plus he hadn't played the Canadian Open in years.
Proves what I know as Day won the Canadian Open on Sunday by one shot over Bubba Watson and two over Canadian David Hearn. Day said he didn't know where he was on the leader board until his third shot on the par-5 finishing hole. Day would birdie the final three holes to finish at 17-under 271. It was Day's fourth career PGA Tour win and second this year -- he also took the Farmers Insurance Open in February. Rory McIlroy (11) and Jordan Spieth (five) are the only other players under 30 that have more wins overall. Day averaged a whopping 321.0 yards off the tee last week.
Hearn, who led for much of Sunday, was attempting to become the first Canadian winner in 61 years. It was the third time Hearn was the low Canadian in his national championship. He was the fifth Canadian player to hold the 54-hole lead at the tournament since 1954. Watson nearly forced a playoff with his approach on No. 18 Sunday almost going in on the fly for eagle. He would birdie.
Day was the heavy +800 Bovada favorite last week. I didn't even take him for a Top 10. Went with Luke Donald to win, and he never broke 70 on the way to a T74. I did get Watson for a Top 10 at +105 as well as Jim Furyk (+130) and Matt Kuchar (+140). Head-to-head, I hit on Furyk at -140 over Kuchar (+110), Kuchar (-140) over Brooks Koepka (-115), and Hunter Mahan (-125) over Scott Piercy (-115). So not too bad other than my Day miscalculation.
With the big-money WGC-Bridgestone Invitational next week and then the PGA Championship, this week's field for the Quicken Loans National at Robert Trent Jones Golf Club in Gainesville, Va., is not strong. Most top players don't like playing three weeks in a row. This tournament benefits Tiger Woods' foundation, so you will always see him here if he's healthy enough to play. He is currently (physically anyway). He's a +4000 long shot after his struggles at the British Open.
This event will be difficult to handicap because it's the first time it has been held at this course. It's usually held at Congressional outside of Washington, D.C., and will be in even-numbered years through at least 2020. It was also at Aronimink Golf Club in 2010-11 because of the U.S. Open at Congressional. Tiger has won this twice, in 2009 & '12, both at Congressional. Robert Trent Jones Golf Club is best known for hosting the Presidents Cup four times, last in 2005. This event is also a bit later this year than usual and its place on next year's schedule is in flux because golf returns to the 2016 Olympics.
Last year, Justin Rose beat someone named Shawn Stefani in a playoff at Congressional. Rose joined Tiger as the only two-time winner; Stefani just missed a birdie putt on the 72nd hole to win. Rose and Rickie Fowler are the only Top 10 players in the world playing this week.
PGA Tour Golf Odds: Quicken Loans National Favorites
To no surprise, Rose is the +925 favorite at Bovada. He comes off a tie for sixth at the British Open. He was in a playoff at his last non-major, the Memorial, but lost it.
Fowler is next at +1025. He won on the European Tour in Scotland the week before the British Open and then was 30th at St. Andrews. He last played here in 2013 and was 21st. Jimmy Walker, who can join Jordan Spieth as the only PGA Tour player with more than two victories this season with a win here, is +1725. He was 30th at St. Andrews.
The favorites are rounded out by Justin Thomas (+3300), Bill Haas, Danny Lee and Tony Finau (all +3900). Haas won this tournament two years ago. But he is playing lousy right now with three straight missed cuts.
PGA Tour Picks: Quicken Loans National Expert Predictions
The new-look Bovada (somewhat harder to navigate) has finishing positions for some players. I like Rose at 10th or better at -143, as well as Fowler (-125), Tiger at 21st or worse at -400, and Walker at 11th-20th at +315. Head-to-head, take Gary Woodland at -130 over Harris English (even), Will Wilcox (-130) over Stefani (even), Fowler (+115) over Rose (-145), Fowler (-115) over Walker (-115), Thomas (-125) over Haas (-105), and Tiger (+135) over Daniel Summerhays (-165).
Let's go with Finau to get his first PGA Tour win. He closed with a 65 at the Canadian Open on Sunday and has the length to tame this course. Finau also has eight Top 25s in his past nine PGA Tour events. You can also get him at +290 for a 10th or better.
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