Perry’s 2019 Greenbrier Classic Betting Guide: Expect Longshots to Have Success
Christopher Hanewinckel, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Cam Smith
- The 2019-20 PGA Tour season begins on Thursday at the Greenbrier Classic in West Virginia.
- Joshua Perry analyzes the betting board for the curtain raiser and explains why longshots have success here.
The new PGA Tour season is here already.
For the first time, The Greenbrier will host the opening event after moving to the Fall Swing from its usual spot in July on the Tour’s calendar.
The Old White TPC course can be one of the tougher events to figure out because it fits a variety of playing styles.
The Old White checks in at nearly 7,300 yards for a par 70, which on paper, seems a little long. But because of the altitude in the West Virginia mountains, it doesn’t play to that length and keeps the shorter hitters in play.
We’ve seen the likes of Kevin Na, Danny Lee and Jonas Blixt — none of whom would qualify as long off the tee — win here, so I’ll weigh the approach game pretty heavily.
Other winners like Xander Schauffele, Angel Cabrera and Scott Stallings are strong off the tee, though, so length is definitely still a factor.
The biggest challenge on this course seems to be the bunkers protecting the greens, so we’ll want guys capable of steering clear of that sand and hopefully the putter will get hot.
The Fall Swing rarely brings out the A-listers and the Greenbrier is no exception. Bryson DeChambeau is the favorite at 12-1. He’s followed by Viktor Hovland at 14-1. Jason Kokrak is the only other golfer in this range at 20-1, which says all we need to know about the strength of this field. Bubba Watson (30-1), SungJae Im (25-1) and defending champ Kevin Na (40-1) will also make an appearance this week.
No course on tour has catered to the longshots like the Greenbrier. None of the eight winners here were listed below 40-1. The tee box keeps everybody in play and that means players down the board can have success.
The course is open enough to keep the more inaccurate bombers alive and it’s also short enough to keep the fairway-finders in the mix as well. When everyone seems to be in the mix, it’s a tough event to figure out.
Given that history, I’m steering entirely clear of the top of the board. Joaquin Niemann (25-1) and the aforementioned Im are probably of the most interest to me in that sub 30-1 range. But I’m not playing either at those numbers.
It took six years for a golf under 80-1 to win this event, but Na and Schauffele have come through in back to back years in this range at around +4000.
We’ll start in this range with Cameron Smith at (50-1). Smith’s lone win on tour came in the team event with Blixt, a previous winner on this course. Their games are pretty similar, which was a reason they meshed well in New Orleans when they won. He relies a lot on the short game, but on this course, that will be key.
We’ll also back Kramer Hickok at 80-1. Hickok had some growing pains in his rookie year, but he caught fire in the Korn Ferry Finals and kept his card. He’s coming off three top 20s on the KFT, including a third and fifth.
His game is trending in the right direction and this field isn’t so deep that he’s out of his element.
I’ll close out the card with a couple of KFT grads in Chase Seiffert and Chris Baker at 200-1 and 300-1, respectively. Both were solid in the total driving ranks and hit a lot of greens. When they did miss the putting surface, they showed the ability to scramble well, which again, is what we’ll need here. I’ll tack on the top 20s with both at +750 for Seiffert and +1150 for Baker.
I’m also going to keep an eye on the live odds after the first couple round and target some guys with good ball-striking numbers as well. Keep an eye on my Twitter account to follow along throughout the Greenbrier.
The Greenbrier Card
- Cameron Smith +5000 (.66 units)
- Kramer Hickok +8000 (.41 units)
- Chase Seiffert +20000/+750 (.17/1 unit)
- Chris Baker +30000/+1150 (.1/1 unit)
Total Stake: 3.34 units