GOLF analyst Lewis Blain (@LewisBlainSport) shares his betting thoughts ahead of the WGC Workday Championship.
After an agonising defeat in a playoff on Sunday, Tony Finau (and ourselves) will look to bounce back with the first WGC event of the season, in what will kickstart the Florida swing.
Due to the ongoing situation across the world, the tournament will not be played in Mexico as per usual and instead The Concession and Workday have teamed up to produce this likely one-off, where an elite field of 72 – largely made up of the OWGR top-50 – will tee it up.
As it is the first time that this course will feature on tour, there is very little to go off and that leaves us in a tricky spot to find value but what we do know, however, is that this is a Jack Nicklaus design that has drawn inspiration from many of his favourite courses.
The par-72, measuring 7,474 yards, should suit the big hitters this week and the tricky Bermuda greens mean a sublime short-game wouldn't go amiss either.
So, straight into the picks this week.
Brooks Koepka (28/1 William Hill) looks hugely disrespected near the front of the betting – it was only two starts ago that he ended a year-long wait for a victory when clinching the WMPO, showing signs that he was back to his best.
He is a four-time major winner, including a victory at Shinnecock Hills (which I think may bear some similarities this week), as well as a WGC victor too. He will undoubtedly want to prove many wrong as he always plays with a chip on his shoulder.
And in my opinion, he should be priced way below this number – you can't tell me that Rory is justifying a 16/1 nor non-major winners Cantlay, Hatton and Hovland, whom are all ahead in the betting.
The big-hitting American has correlating form across Nicklaus tracks as well as in Florida and at the venues in which the designer has taken inspiration from. His all-round game will suit this test and for me, regardless of the question marks, he presents the very best value this week.
Another player who looks wrongly priced is fellow major and WGC champion, Patrick Reed (30/1 Betfair). Indeed, the defending champion is another who has recently won, controversially clinching the Farmers at Torrey Pines. If this course does play as tough as expected, then it is ‘Captain America' who will rise to the challenge most.
His around-the-green game is second to none and that's going to prove to be a major benefit by the time it all gets underway on Thursday. He's immense in the bunkers (there's a lot of big ones here) and has constantly delivered at correlated courses.
And finally, we'll back Cameron Smith (55/1 bet365) to keep up his impressive recent form. We were last on him at the Masters, where only a red-hot Dustin Johnson stopped him from securing a first major. His 15-under par would have won most of the time at Augusta, and that's a venue that Nicklaus has taken inspiration from for this test.
The Aussie was in contention on Sunday at the Genesis but faltered to a solo fourth place finish, and again, that's another course we can factor in here. In terms of this field, he ranks 3rd for SG: Around-the-Green, 2nd for Sand Saves, and 5th for par-3 performance 200-225 yards (one tricky aspect of The Concession) over the past six tournaments.
Smith also has a couple of top-6 finishes in WGCs over the past few years, so throw in that and the aforementioned Masters performance, and you can see why one would want him onside despite the impressive field.
Usually when he's in-form, it lasts, so here's hoping this week.