PGA Tour Picks: A Military Tribute at the Greenbrier Odds and Predictions
It was a few weeks ago, but let's quickly recap the 2018-19 season-ending Tour Championship in Atlanta as Rory McIlroy won in the new tournament format and claimed the $15 million FedEx Cup grand prize. Man, $15 million for a weekend of golf! I'm in the wrong business.
McIlroy was +800 to win the tournament, which he started at 5-under par, five shots behind then-points leader Justin Thomas. Rory didn't shoot worse than 68 in finishing at 18-under, four ahead of Xander Schauffele and five up on Thomas and Brooks Koepka. While we got McIlroy at +115 for a Top 10 as well as Thomas at -285, our winning pick was Jon Rahm and he finished T12 at 4-over.
The new wraparound PGA Tour season begins this week in the only major professional sporting event in West Virginia: A Military Tribute at the Greenbrier. It's one of 11 official events before the Tour takes a break after Thanksgiving with a few silly-season tournaments, etc. Then things get going again Jan. 2 in Hawaii with the Tournament of Champions (there are 49 official events overall on the 2019-20 schedule not including the Olympics). There is one thing to be aware of this season and that's the PGA Tour changed its cut line from Top 70 and ties to Top 65 and ties. That means there will no longer be a 54-hole secondary cut.
This season's start is nearly a month earlier than last year when it was the Safeway Open in the first week of October. You probably know this tournament better as the Greenbrier Classic. That's what it debuted as in 2010 when Stuart Appleby memorably shot a final-round 59 to win. There was no tournament in 2016 because of massive flooding in the area. It was renamed A Military Tribute at the Greenbrier last year when Kevin Na ended a years-long victory drought by shooting 19-under 261 and winning by a tournament-record five over Kelly Kraft. Among fall events, both this one and the Houston Open have moved from their previous summer and spring dates, respectively.
The Old White TPC Course in Sulphur Springs is the host and it's a par 70 measuring around 7,285 yards. All 50 golfers who earned PGA Tour cards from last season's Korn Ferry Tour (used to be Web.com Tour) are in the field. Past champions Appleby, Danny Lee, Ted Potter Jr., Scott Stallings and Na also are playing. None of the world's Top 10 are - these fall fields are always much weaker. It's a full 156-man field, though.
Golf Odds: A Military Tribute at the Greenbrier Favorites
Mr. Slow Play himself, Bryson DeChambeau, is the +1200 favorite at Bovada. He's the highest-ranked golfer from the 2018-19 FedEx Cup standings in the field as he finished 12th. He's 10th in the world and one of just two players in the world Top 25 in the field along with Aussie Marc Leishman. DeChambeau tied for 14th two years ago in his lone prior appearance at this tournament.
Rookie Viktor Hovland is +1400 and tees it up as a full-fledged Tour member for the first time. He finished no worse than T16 in his final four tournaments of last season. Jason Kokrak is +1600 with Joaquin Niemann at +2000 and Sungjae Im at +2200. No player seemed to tee it up more than Im as a rookie last season as he was in a whopping 35 events (but not this one) and did make it to the Tour Championship. He was the only rookie to do so. Kokrak tied for third here last year. Niemann was T5. Na is +3000 to repeat, which no one has done at this event.
Golf Odds: A Military Tribute at the Greenbrier Picks
For a Top 10, go DeChambeau (+110), Russell Henley (+300) and Keegan Bradley (+325). Henley has been Top 10 here the past three years. My winner, though, is Robert Streb at +5000. His past three trips here: T11, runner-up (by one shot), runner-up (in a playoff).
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