PGA Tour Picks: Quicken Loans National Odds and Expert Betting Predictions
Bubba Watson started Sunday six shots out of the lead at the Travelers Championship outside Hartford, but the two-time Masters champion shot a final-round 63 - his second 63 of the weekend -- to win the Travelers for the third time in his career. It was also Watson's third PGA Tour win of the season, most of anyone. He's an early Player of the Year favorite.
That's all fine, and I wasn't overly high on Watson last week. My winning choice was Charley Hoffman at +4000, and he finished T15 following a final-round 66. I did get third-round leader Paul Casey for a Top 10, although he ballooned to a 72 on Sunday, 10 shots higher than his third-round score.
What I'd really like to talk about regarding that tournament, though, was Bryson DeChambeau and whether he was cheating. I've played golf for many years, but anyone who tells you they know the rulebook inside and out is lying. It's a convoluted mess. DeChambeau was using an old-school compass during the tournament to help him determine true pin locations. Is that legal? Even the PGA Tour doesn't know. Rules officials approached DeChambeau about the device after Saturday's third round and said they weren't even sure if that was OK. DeChambeau said he's been using one for almost two years. No matter what the ruling, nothing would be done retroactively. Sometimes golf is just stupid.
Also last week, Phil Mickelson finally apologized for hitting a moving ball at the U.S. Open, admitting he did it on purpose to take the two-stroke penalty. Clearly, Lefty was just overly frustrated about how tough conditions were yet didn't see anything wrong with what he did. I listen to sports radio all day, and I couldn't remember the last time people were talking so much about golf because of what Mickelson did. Some called for Mickelson to be disqualified, and there could be a rule change to where that would be an automatic DQ going forward.
"My anger and frustration got the best of me last weekend," Mickelson said. "I'm embarrassed and disappointed by my actions. It was clearly not my finest moment and I'm sorry."
This week, it's the Quicken Loans National, the final time it will be held in the Washington, D.C. area. It has been there since 2007, an event created by Tiger Woods that benefits his charitable organization. Quicken Loans, owned by Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert, is based out of Michigan and is one of the biggest employers in the city of Detroit. That's where the Quicken Loans will be played starting in 2019, presumably with the end of June date. Tiger's foundation will no longer be a part of it. The Detroit area used to hoist the Buick Open, but that went belly up when the auto industry crashed. The Quicken Loans will become the first PGA Tour event ever in the actual city of Detroit, which is on the rebound in a big way. The Detroit Golf Club is expected to serve as the host venue.
The Quicken Loans National has been held at four different courses in the D.C. area. It moved to TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm last year and remains for 2018. The par 70 measures 7,107 yards and was one of the toughest on Tour last year. It's not a very strong field (four of world's Top 30) as more big names than usual played the Travelers and are now starting to gear up for the British Open. A few big names like Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm and Sergio Garcia are at the Open de France this week on the European Tour because that's being played at the same Paris course that will host the Ryder Cup later this year.
The defending champion of the Quicken Loans National is Kyle Stanley. He beat Charles Howell in a playoff for his first win since the 2012 Waste Management Phoenix Open. Both Stanley and Howell were four shots out of the lead starting their final rounds but each shot 66. Howell just missed a put to win on his 72nd hole. He and Stanley finished regulation at 7 under.
Golf Odds: Quicken Loans National Favorites
Rickie Fowler is the +700 favorite at Bovada . He shot a final-round 65 last year to finish T3 and two shots out of the playoff. Fowler has been Top 20 in his past three Tour events, most recently the U.S. Open.
Tiger is +1200 to win his tournament for the third time as he plays it for the first since 2015. His wins were in 2012 & '09 at Congressional. Woods last was seen missing the cut at the U.S. Open.
Marc Leishman (+1800), Francesco Molinari (+2200), Stanley (+2500), Howell (+2500) and JB Holmes (+2500) round out the favorites. No player has repeated in this tournament as Stanley attempts. Anthony Kim came closest, following his 2008 victory by finishing third in '09. Leishman was T5 last year. Molinari just recently had a win and a runner-up on the European Tour.
Golf Odds: Quicken Loans National Picks
Americans have won this tournament all but three times. Last year was only the event's second playoff. For a Top 10, I don't recommend Tiger (even) but do Fowler (-160), Holmes (+200) and Kevin Na (+275), who comes off a T5 last week in Korea.
Head-to-head, go with Chesson Headley (-115) over Patrick Rodgers (-115), Leishman (even) over Tiger (-140), David Lingmerth (-115) over Danny Lee (-115), and Molinari (-125) over Stanley (-105).
My best value this week to win is Lingmerth at +5000. Why? He was T5 last year and won a Web.com Tour event at this course six years ago.
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