2020 Workday Charity Open First-Round Leader Odds and Preview: 7 Targets for a Top Finish in Round 1
Shane Lowry is 110-1 to win the U.S. Open. Credit: Elsa, Getty Images.
Not every golfer is good enough to win a golf tournament, but every golfer in a PGA TOUR field is certainly capable of being the First-Round Leader (FRL). That’s why golf speculators love to spread some cash around on a handful of players every Thursday and hope to get lucky.
First-Round Leader bets are pretty straightforward; you bet on a player to be in first place after the first round of a PGA TOUR event. You can see the First-Round Leader odds for this weekend’s tournament below.
Workday Charity Open First-Round Leader Odds
|Byeong Hun An||+6600|
|H. Varner III||+7000|
|C. Howell III||+11000|
|Si Woo Kim||+11000|
|Kyoung Hoon Lee||+12500|
|Seung Yul Noh||+15000|
|T. Potter Jr||+22500|
|B. Van Pelt||+40000|
|D. Love III||+40000|
The good news is that the odds are highly correlated to the outright market, which can provide a lot of value on players down the board, players like Mackenzie Hughes who cashed as a +15000 ($10 bet wins $1,500) first-round leader at The Travelers.
Hughes is a good example of what makes FRL bets so exciting. Was he going to beat that field over four days? Almost certainly not. But weird things happen in one round of golf and Hughes made some people very happy with his low score on Thursday.
Since the first round of a golf tournament is nearly impossible to predict, there’s no right or wrong way to play the First-Round Leader market.
It’s much more of an art than a science, though you can find edges in weather draws, course history, etc. All that stuff can help you come up with a list of players to target, but in reality, FRL bets are all about random luck.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try and come up with a strategy to give yourself a chance to win. I think the most exciting way to play these bets is to pick out 6-10 guys with decent odds and place a bunch of small bets on them and hope one or two of them gives you a sweat.
Before placing a FRL bet, make sure to check your sportsbook’s rules before placing a wager. In the case of FRLs, most books stick to the “dead-heat rule” if there’s a tie.
For example, if you bet $10 on Sepp Straka to be First-Round Leader at 100-1 and he ties with Jon Rahm at 28-1, your winnings would be $500 instead of $1,000. You take the original payout ($1,000) divided by the total number of players to tie for the lead (two, in this case).
This week, I’m targeting a bunch of players in between +5000 and +15000, starting with Sungjae Im at +5500. The Cal Ripken Jr. of golf has been in shadowy form over the past couple of weeks but he’s good enough to light it up at a moment’s notice. I’ll take this number on Sungjae almost every week.
If you’ve been playing FRLs for a while, you probably already have a Core Crew. An exclusive group of players who you almost always back on Thursdays. For me, I am hopelessly attached to Harold Varner III (+7000), Corey Conners (+8000) and Emiliano Grillo (+9000).
All three of those guys have exactly what I look for in FRL bets. They have the talent to go low, they are in decent enough form and they almost always come in at long odds. They really know how to break your heart, too.
After those three, I’ll back throw a couple of darts on Jhonattan Vegas (+9000), Sam Burns (+12500) and Sung Kang (+15000).
Vegas is long off the tee and has popped in a couple of rounds already this year, while Burns has put together a couple of decent results over his last two outings. Kang is simply a gut play, I won’t lie about that.
Here’s to a fun Thursday.