Well, the scrappy little Irishman did it!
Rory McIlroy teed off last Thursday at the PGA Tour Championship in Atlanta with a 5 stroke disadvantage to the current FedEx Cup points leader Justin Thomas and finished up the final round on Sunday 5 strokes ahead of JT and 4 ahead of runner-up Xander Schauffele.
It was a breathtaking performance from McIlroy who took quite a bit of flack from many members of the media throughout the season for seemingly not being the perfect athlete.
He did have a few tournaments where it appeared he was potentially in route to a victory but faltered and fell significantly far down the leaderboard.
We always seem to remember the negatives first, though.
If you look at how many tournaments he competed in (19) and the amount of top ten finishes he had (14), it brings what was his best season ever clearly into focus.
He is easily the favorite as you might imagine and while we can’t write him off, I’m not going to go all-in on him either.
Fellow PGA Tour Championship competitor Tommy Fleetwood made the trek as well and is currently sitting at 10 to 1 for a victory.
Right up there with them are fellow UK star and back-to-back European Masters defending champion Matthew Fitzpatrick whose current betting odds to win are set at (+800).
The baby-faced Fitzpatrick is just 24-years-old but has already made his mark not only on the European Tour but on the PGA Tour as well.
He was runner-up at the Arnold, 21st at The Masters, 20th at the Open Championship, and 12th at the US Open in 2019.
The Northwestern alum cannot be ignored in your betting spread for this weekend.
Speaking of betting, BetOnline sportsbook has the odds this week.
Let’s get after it!
Lucas Bjerregaard to Finish Top Twenty
The Dane isn’t in his best form as of late but the favorable course history is there.
In the recent past, several of the winners here have flown into Switzerland not at all swinging a hot club but thus performed well regardless.
He is coming off of nearly a month break, so it’s not like he is worn down.
The time off could very well have helped him recover from a minor injury or a mental block.
These are all “maybe’s”. I understand, but this man lost out in this tournament last year in a playoff with Fitzpatrick finishing 17 under par for the scheduled 72 holes played.
Lucas was also top ten in 2017.
If it weren’t for his recent form, I would think his odds for a top twenty finish would possibly be -115 or more.
Let’s take him at 2 to 1 to kick things off.
Tommy Fleetwood to Finish Top Ten
The face and hero of last year’s winning Ryder Cup team, Tommy Fleetwood is described in one word, surprising.
Whenever he is ignored, he comes through and as soon as the expectations are placed beside his golden locks on his shoulders, the Brit seems to disappoint.
Well, even though he is the third-highest golfer on the betting board behind Rory and Fitzpatrick, many experts aren’t giving him much of a chance to win.
That’s okay. A victory will be difficult for any golfer here when you consider the talent-laden field of competitors.
I like him at plus money, though, for a top ten.
He is definitely one of the top 5 if not 3 players in this tournament and as I said, loves to surprise us.
Although he hasn’t been great as of late, he does have three top 20s including a couple of top 10s to his name at Crans-sur-Sierre since his debut here in 2012.
If it weren’t for a certain Shane Lowrey, we would be talking Tommy Fleetwood as the 2019 Open Championship winner.
What impressed me even more than that was his 4th place tie alongside fellow Brit Fitzpatrick the following week at the St Jude Invitational.
I see Tommy returning to his home continent in style this week and showing off his skills as well as his stunning locks.
Scott Hend to Finish Top Twenty
Okay, here’s a good opportunity to come out ahead in all of our bets with just one wager.
Hend is at the very bottom of the betting odds list this week.
So, why are we picking him?
For starters, he was a back-to-back runner up in 2016 and 2017. He took the eventual winners, Fitzpatrick and Alex Noren to a playoff both times.
Last year, eh, 45th but if that brought his odds to where they are now, then I’m cool with it.
His recent form is no bueno but has a win on the European Tour this year at the Maybank Championship.
Scott’s long-hitting prowess probably won’t help him this week but he undoubtedly knows how to play this course so I don’t see anything wrong with throwing 12.50 down to make 100 bucks for just a top twenty.
The 46-year-old is coming off of a couple of weeks of rest as well.
Matthew Fitzpatrick to Finish Top Five
This young man has dominated this tournament in the recent past.
Not only is he the two-time defending champ but has a runner up finish here in 2015 and a T7 in ‘16.
Fitz is in excellent form as well.
He finished 1 shot behind the winner last week at the Scandanavian Masters, 4th at St Jude, 20t at The Open and placed 12th at the US Open.
What about the pressure of the potential hat trick getting to the young man?
I’m not buying it. The presence of the newly crowned FedEx Cup Champion Rory McIlroy will likely pull just enough of the attention off of him thus allowing him to fully focus on the task ahead.
We have already mentioned his name enough today.
Give him some dough.
Last week was pretty fun!
The cascading starting strokes system worked out well if you think about it.
Rahm and Webb Simpson fell to the middle of the pack but Mr minus 10 Justin Thomas didn’t run away with it, and the top three arguably best golfers of 2019 finished in those positions.
Rory McIlroy was clearly the most impressive golfer. He started a couple of strokes behind and finishing several ahead of a man who received much more positive press than him all year long in Brooks Koepka.
McIlroy will be in action this week. Many are writing him off but I don’t think he would have entered this tournament if he didn’t have any intention of performing.
The field is thick this week with the best players on the European Tour getting the golden opportunity to compete in Switzerland in the Summer.
I don’t know about you but my Instagram has been chocked full of pics and videos of these stunning Summer landscapes.
I would love to be in attendance for this one.
Maybe next year…
Tune in if you can or find a stream online after you get your bets in. This should be a fun one!