Perry: My Betting Strategies for Sanderson Farms & BMW PGA Championship
Ian Rutherford, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Bernd Wiesberger
It’s an interesting week in golf as the PGA Tour swing season rolls along with the Sanderson Farms Championship while a bulk of the best golfers in the world are over in Europe for the BMW PGA Championship in Surrey, England. I’ll dive into my betting strategy for both tournaments, starting on this side of the pond.
The Sanderson Farms gets a promotion from its alternate-field status. It had been played opposite of the WGC-China event, but this season the winner gets a spot in the Masters on top of the other perks that go along with a PGA Tour title.
The Country Club of Jackson hosts the event and checks in at around 7,400 yards for a par 72. It’s a pretty easy course for Tour pros and the winner has been at least 16-under par each of the last five years.
Usually, the winner of this birdie-fest is a good ball-striker who gets hot with the putter.
It’s been a spot where players have picked up their first Tour win, but none of the last five winners have ever won another PGA event. So really the winners have mostly been one-hit wonders who have been off the radar.
Course history hasn’t mattered much here, either. Four of the last five winners were playing the event for the first time, the only exception was Ryan Armour who had missed the cut in two starts.
Joaquin Niemann and Sungjae Im are the favorites this week. Those two come in at +1200 and +1400, respectively. They, along with Brandt Snedeker, are the only players under 20-1.
At the top, Scottie Scheffler and Byeong Hun An are probably the best bets at +2500, but I tend to steer clear of this section of the board. We hit Scheffler at +5000 in the Korn Ferry Playoffs a month ago, so it’s tough to stomach half the number in a PGA event. But he may be the best guy here.
I’m going to keep this card really light early and start everything with Harris English at +8000. English had really struggled with his approach this past season, but seemed to turn things around over the past month. He’s gained ground his last two PGA events and had a couple of decent results in the Korn Ferry Playoffs in between. After a third-place finish last week, his tour status in more secure and that should free him up a bit if he gets in contention.
We’ll do a quick swerve on a guy I wasn’t too high on after the Korn Ferry season and back Robby Shelton at 125-1. Shelton’s KFT stats off the tee and with the approach didn’t really stand out, but he gained a decent amount of ground on the field in both ball-striking categories last week. He’s a solid putter and the Alabama grad should be more comfortable on the Bermuda greens in Mississippi.
One other play I like down here is Davis Riley to finish inside the top 20 when those odds become available. He’s a Mississippi native and went to school at Alabama with Shelton.
After turning pro this year, he did enough on the Korn Ferry Tour to have full status in 2020. I expect him to get a PGA Tour card by the end of next year. He hits the ball long and relatively straight and is also good with the irons. At 300-1, it’s a lot to ask him to win outright, but in this type of field, he could have a good week in what’s close to a home game.
Like I said, I’m keeping light with PGA this week. We’ll look to add a few guys live Thursday or Friday night. But the big event is in Europe at the BMW PGA Championship, so we’ll take a quick look there as well.
2019 BMW PGA Championship
Wentworth will play host golf’s strongest field this week in the European Tour’s premier event.
Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm, Justin Rose, Henrik Stenson, Tommy Fleetwood and Francesco Molinari are in action this week in England. A couple of Americans like Patrick Reed and Tony Finau have entered the field as well.
The course can play really easy or really tough depending on the elements. We’ve had years where 20-under wins and others where it’s 6-under. Wentworth plays just under 7,300 yards for a par 72 and is primarily an approach contest.
Previous winners included Molinari and McIlroy along with Alex Noren, Byeong Hun An and Luke Donald on a couple of occasions. Outside of Rory, none of them are really bombers, but all are capable to steal the show with their irons.
With that said, we’ll start this card a good iron player in Tommy Fleetwood at +2200. Fleetwood’s approach game and total driving stand out for me. He’s been inside the top 15 in five of his last six starts. I wish he had a little better form at Wentworth, but his game should suit the course.
We’ll also go back to Bernd Wiesberger at +4000. Wiesberger cashed for us at the Scottish Open in another strong field Euro event at this exact number. The irons have been on point all summer for the Austrian. His form dipped a bit following his win, but he was fifth two weeks ago, so he appears to have cleaned things up.
I’ll also go with Joost Luiten at +7000. Tee to green, he’s been lights out on this circuit, but the putter just hasn’t cooperated at all. He finished 10th last week in his home country, so his game is still where it needs to be. It’s really just about putting for him.
Lastly, I’ll try Jordan Smith one more time at 225-1. Smith leads the Euro Tour in GIR and is still top 20 stroke gained both off the tee and with the approach, despite not making a cut for three months. His issues are all about the short game, but at this number I’ll try one more time and tack on a top-20 when they come out.
- Harris English +8000 (.41 units)
- Robby Shelton +12500 (.26 units)
- Davis Riley Top 20 (1 unit)
BMW PGA Championship
- Tommy Fleetwood +2200 (1.5 units)
- Bernd Wiesberger +4000 (.83 units)
- Joost Luiten +7000 (.47 units)
- Jordan Smith +22500 & top 20 (.15 units/1 unit)
Total Stake: 5.62 units