The PGA Tour rolled on with Lucas Glover winning by two strokes in a weakened field at the John Deere Classic in Illinois last week, as six of the top 11 golfers in the world were playing overseas in the Scottish Open.
Well, this week will be more of the same with the world’s best competing for the Claret Jug at the 149th Open Championship at Royal St. George’s Golf Club in England in the final major championship of the season.
While that is occurring across the pond, the PGA Tour is hosting an alternate event at Keene Trace Golf Club in Kentucky for all those professionals who could not crack the code to get into the much more prestigious Open Championship.
Course Breakdown and Weather
Keene Trace Golf Club is hosting the Barbasol Championship for the third time and it is about as simple as it gets when it comes to the layout. It measures out at a little over 7,300 yards as a par-72. The two previous winners were Troy Merritt and Jim Herman, who both eclipsed a score of 23-under to go along with 14 other players who have shot at least 20-under here in the first two years.
— Barbasol Championship (@BarbasolChamp) July 14, 2021
The fairways are wide, the greens are big, and the rough is not really deep enough to cause any concern for those who miss the fairway. The course is going to play easy if weather does not get involved and the forecast does not call for anything but clear skies all week. It is going to be a birdie-fest in Kentucky with the winner almost certainly posting a score of 20-under or better.
It does not equate to a particularly dominant field when Seamus Power (+1600) sits at the top of the odds board. Following Power are Charl Schwartzel (+1700), Lee Hodges (+2200), Russell Knox (+2500), and Taylor Pendrith (+2500). With a field like this, there is no reason to invest in anyone at under 25-1.
He does not have a PGA Tour win in his career, but the field this week resembles that of a traditional Korn Ferry Tour event. The former Alabama standout ranks sixth on the Korn Ferry Tour this season in birdie average and the Barbosal winner will need 25+ birdies this week. At 28-1, back Riley to get his first career PGA Tour victory while most of the Tour’s best players are battling it out in the final major championship of the season far, far away.
Best Value Plays
The best value bet to make this week at the Barbasol Championship is Adam Schenk (+4000). He was close to winning the John Deere Classic last week before an unfortunate bounce off the cart path on a driveable par 4 in the final round led to a devastating bogey. Schenk is a fantastic putter and tends to find greens in regulation more often than not. He is not great with the driver in his hand, but with the fairways wider than normal all week, that should not be as big of a concern.
The next golfer worth wagering consideration this week is Brian Stuard (+5000). Stuard owns one PGA Tour victory at the 2016 Zurich Classic, prior to that event becoming a partner event. The 38-year-old has been consistent as of late and earned an eighth-place finish at the John Deere Classic last week. Stuard had a 30th-place finish at the Travelers last month and with the weaker field this week and a PGA Tour title already to his name, he is worth a bet at 50-1 in the Barbasol Championship.
The first longshot worth a bet this week is Chesson Hadley (+6000). Hadley was the leader during the final round of the Palmetto Championship earlier in the summer before finishing bogey-bogey to allow Garrick Higgo to win the tournament without ever holding even a share of the lead while on the course.
— Chesson Hadley (@chessonhadley) July 12, 2021
Hadley was great with the irons in his hand last week at the John Deere Classic and should be looking forward to another weaker field, similar to the one PGA Tour victory he owns at the Puerto Rico Open. He can rise to the top when the stakes are lowered and there is no reason not to take him at the steep price of 60-1 this week.