GOLF analyst Lewis Blain (@LewisBlainSport) shares his betting thoughts ahead of Workday Charity Open this week.
Workday Charity Open | PGA Tour | 9th-12 July 2020 | Sky Sports
This week would have been the John Deere Classic and instead of a blank slot in the PGA Tour's schedule we head to Muirfield Village a week early for a special one-off event with the aim to make a ‘significant charitable impact.'
- Muirfield Village Golf Club, Ohio.
- Par 72, 7,392 yards.
- Designed by Jack Nicklaus.
- Has also hosted a Ryder Cup, Presidents Cup and a Solheim Cup – and of course, is the regular jaunt for the Memorial.
- Will be set-up different to next week, perhaps a little easier.
- Primary ‘second shot' course on Tour.
- Big hitters who can punish the easy scoring opportunities on the par-5s.
- Experience and course management helpful.
- Correlated courses include PGA National (Honda), Glen Abbey (Canadian Open), Quail Hollow (Wells Fargo) & Firestone (WGC)
Marc Leishman (40/1 SkyBet)
There are very worthy options at the front of the market here, most notably Patrick Cantlay and Hideki Matsuyama. The former is a tad too short for me whilst I can't trust Deki to pull over the line at those odds. That could come back to bite come Sunday.
Instead, I'll drop back a bit and open the plan with Aussie Marc Leishman – one of a few course specialists on side this week.
Four top-15s, two of which 5th place finishes around this track immediately draw me to the big-hitter and whilst this season has been stop-start, Leish started the year in great form – winning the Farmers at Torrey Pines and finishing runner-up to Tyrell Hatton at the API – coincidentally our last winner before lockdown.
The Englishman won that event over Leishman but it is the Aussie that leads the SG: Approach charts. A key metric for this test. He has the around-the-green game to suit, too and in the past putting hasn't been too much of a major influence to winning this event.
Gary Woodland (50/1 William Hill)
Next up is US Open winner Gary Woodland who has enjoyed quite the renaissance in recent years.
A recent spout of disappointing form has given a nice price here so I am more than happy to jump on. He fits most of the stats we like to see at Muirfield – top-10 on tour for par-5 scoring and approach. He also has a handful of top-20s around here so he clearly can put himself in the mix. T8 at the Honda earlier in the year reinforces this somewhat.
Maybe this is the week it all clicks for Gary.
Byeong-hun An (66/1 Betway)
It wouldn't be Muirfield Village without having Benny An on the shortlist. Four straight tournaments here of 17th or better, including a playoff defeat to this week's winner Bryson Dechambeau back in 2018.
If the South Korean is to win on the PGA Tour anytime soon, it will surely come here more than anywhere else. The one massive weakness in his game is with the flat stick but previous victors here have shown that a poor week with the putter isn't going to damage chances of contention.
So, I'm happy to chance him at these odds this week.
Cameron Champ (66/1 SkyBet)
Next up is an absolute powerhouse in Cameron Champ. He's someone who can pick apart these par-5s and is in pretty decent nick since the restart. We just need his iron game on point and his recent form suggests that it indeed is. He's gone T14-T12 with the latter coming last week.
In a field that has the likes of JT, Rahm, Rose, Brooks, Cantley and Xander, he is amongst those names for T2G, OTT and Approach. He's trending upwards and we're still getting plenty of juice at 66s.
Brendan Steele (125/1 William Hill)
There were plenty of names I liked at much longer odds but I am going to throw my weight behind Brendan Steele – another Safeway Open winner. Two-time in fact. He and Champ have both won at Silverado, so maybe there's a little correlation here too.
His form is arguably the best out of all the names in this week's staking plan and whilst his course form doesn't sound out like a sore thumb, he was leading at halfway back in 2016.
Steele has had a runner-up at the Sony, T4 at the correlated Honda and was T6 last time out at the Travelers, so at 125/1 I'm more than happy to throw a few pennies his way in the hope he outplays his odds. A place would be more than suffice.
Workday Charity Open – Marc Leishman (40/1 each-way SkyBet)
Workday Charity Open – Gary Woodland (50/1 each-way William Hill)
Workday Charity Open – Byeong-hun An (66/1 each-way Betway)
Workday Charity Open – Cameron Champ (66/1 each-way SkyBet)
Workday Charity Open – Brendan Steele (125/1 each-way William Hill)