Hot PGA Picks for WGC-Workday Championship 2021

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For the first time this season the PGA Tour leaves the West Coast and heads to Florida, and it is making the coast-to-coast trek earlier than usual. This tournament typically takes place in Mexico. But because of COVID-19 travel restrictions, the Tour was forced to make a schedule adjustment. The event will be played at the Concession Golf Club in Bradenton, Florida, marking the first time the course will host a PGA event. Each of the top 15 golfers in the Official World Golf Rankings will be in the field this week, which sets up for another exciting week of golf. Being a WGC event, the field only consists of 72 golfers and the event will not feature a cut before the weekend.

Course Breakdown and Weather
The Concession Golf Club is a 7,474-yard, par-72 course designed by Tony Jacklin and the great Jack Nicklaus. This is the largest tournament hosted at the venue since the 2015 NCAA Championships, when current PGA Tour star Bryson DeChambeau claimed individual championship honors.

It has a similar layout to other Nicklaus courses, featuring small greens and tricky hole locations. With limited course knowledge it is worth looking at past World Golf Classic winners, and they have been primarily guys at the top of the odds board. Since 2016, no one has won a WGC event at longer than 60-1 odds, and half of the winners were at 15-1 odds or lower.

The Favorites

Once again at the top of the odds board is world No.1 Dustin Johnson (+650) who is fresh off a disappointing Sunday at the Genesis Invitational that opened the door for hometown kid Max Homa to collect his second Tour victory. Following Dustin Johnson is Jon Rahm (+1000), Rory Mcllroy (+1600), Xander Schauffele (+1600), Justin Thomas (+1800), and Patrick Cantlay (+1800).

Cantlay does not usually play the Florida swing of the schedule, excluding the Players Championship. The last Florida event he played in other than the Players was the 2017 Valspar Championship, where he finished second. Cantlay was in the thick of things last weekend before a rough final 24 holes that saw him fall out of the top 10 altogether. He ultimately placed 15th place, marking his worst finish of the season. The fact that a top-15 finish is his worst of the season actually is further evidence that he is playing some of the best golf of his career at the moment.

Cantlay could benefit from the lack of familiarity of the golf course others may struggle with, as he seems better poised to deal with that. Paired with his past success at Nicklaus-designed courses, this makes him a must-bet at 18-1.

Following Cantlay is Bryson Dechambeau (+2000), Tyrell Hatton (+2000), and last week’s playoff loser, Tony Finau (+2000). The next man on the odds board is worth a bet is Viktor Hovland (+2200). Hovland rode a strong weekend at the Genesis to collect a fifth-place finish, marking his fifth top-6 finish in his last six events on the PGA and European Tour combined. Hovland will not be fazed by the big names he shares the leaderboard with, making him worth a bet at this price.

The Picks: Patrick Cantlay (+1800); Viktor Hovland (+2200)

Best Value Plays

The middle tier is loaded with great golfers that include Brooks Koepka (+2500), Patrick Reed (+2800), Webb Simpson (+2800), Daniel Berger (+2800) and Collin Morikawa (+3300). The first bet to make in this odds range, however, is Sungjae Im (+3300). Im has had an immense amount of success in Florida over the past two years, collecting four top-five finishes in the state.

Im picked up a win in the 2020 Honda Classic, further illustrating his dominance in Florida and making him worth a play at these odds. Another name to look at in this area of the odds board is Scottie Scheffler (+4000), who has collected three top-20s in his five starts this season.

While the other two his outings ended in missed cuts, his last two events were a seventh-place finish at the Waste Management Open and a 20th at the Genesis Invitational. Scheffler closed out with a 66 last Sunday, showing great form with his irons. Strong iron play will prove helpful at the Concession Golf Club as golfers must adjust to hitting the small greens with pinpoint accuracy. Scheffler sits at +300 to finish inside the top 10. With the reduced field, this number is too high not to take Scheffler for a top-10 finish.

The Picks: Sungjae Im (+3300) to win; Scottie Scheffler Top-10 Finish (+300)

The Longshots

The field is loaded with talented golfers, as is any WGC event. However, with it being the first time many of these golfers have seen this course, it could actually set up for a longshot to finally steal a WGC crown. The more prudent gambling play, on other hand, is to look at this section of the odds board for longshots to finish inside the top 10.

The first name that jumps out to have a strong chance of doing that is Thomas Detry (+20000). Detry plays primarily on the European Tour and collected a top-10 finish in Dubai at the Saudi Invitational.

Detry participated in those aforementioned 2015 NCAA Championships at the Concession Golf Club, where he collected a third-place finish, two shots behind eventual winner DeChambeau. At 10-1 to earn a top ten finish this, Detry is worth a bet due to having seen this course previously and because of his ability to get hot with his irons.

The Pick: Thomas Detry Top 10 Finish (+1000)

Matchup Play of the Week

The matchup play for this week is Joaquin Niemann over Homa (-150). Niemann was tied for second entering the weekend at the Genesis before carding a disappointing 78 in the third round that derailed his chances to compete for the win on Sunday. Homa is coming off the playoff win over Finau that enabled him to claim his second PGA Tour victory.

Please Note:
While Homa has been playing great golf this season, he needed last week’s win just to get into this field this week. Niemann will be ready to redeem himself for his botched opportunity last week, so expect him to come out strong and be in the mix this time on the weekend. Homa has to be mentally drained after getting the hard-earned Genesis win on the second extra hole Sunday, setting him up for a post-win hangover this week, to go on top of the hangover he mentioned he was experiencing last Monday morning after celebrating the win (according to a post on his Twitter account @maxhoma23).

Feel free to lay the stroke and a half and take Niemann to beat Homa this week when sportsbooks release those lines.

The Pick: Joaquin Niemann over Max Homa (-150)

*Odds courtesy of Bovada
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Joe Menzer / Author

Joe is an award-winning writer and editor who has covered the NBA, NFL, NASCAR, golf, various collegiate athletics and other sports for newspapers, Turner Sports, Fox Sports and ESPN. He has been on the beat for seven Super Bowls, six Daytona 500s and numerous NBA playoff series and All-Star Games. He once was dispatched to Rome, Italy to spend time with an NBA draft choice who opted to play overseas, after which he produced an award-winning series of stories. He also is passionate about fantasy sports and breaking down games in ways that even novice gamblers can use to make their most intelligent wagering decisions.