Workday Charity Open Round 2 Betting Picks: The Weather Should Cause Some Chaos

Credit:

Elsa, Getty Images. Pictured: Patrick Reed

When the first group tees off early Friday morning for the second round of the Workday Charity Open, they can expect sunny skies above Muirfield Village with temperatures of 75 and a slight breeze of 3 mph that is predicted to gust all the way up to 4 mph.

So, in other words … it’ll be pretty close to perfect.

It won’t stay that way throughout the day, though.

By noon, there is a 40 percent chance of thunderstorms and that will increase to 85 percent within a few hours.

If the afternoon wave is lucky, the storms will hit early and they’ll be accompanied by lightning, which would halt play until they’re all done, when those players can return to the course with softened greens for the remainder of the day – or even Saturday morning, when they’ll have the benefit of seemingly more benign conditions.

If there’s no early delay, though – if the late wave keeps playing through the forecasted weather – they’ll be met with not only wet conditions, but winds that should increase to the low-to-mid teens, a one-club breeze, or even one-and-a-half, which should impact scoring more than anything in the morning.

Of course, like most forecasts, this one is hardly definitive, which means if we’re looking to make any live outright plays, we have to decide just how much we think the weather is going to affect those with afternoon tee times.

All of which means this is probably the most relevant question: So, do you like to gamble?

If you’ve read this far, the answer is undoubtedly (and likely emphatically) yes.

Despite the two waves owning nearly equal scoring averages for Thursday’s opening round – 72.16 in the morning; 72.08 in the afternoon – I’ll give the weather advantage to those teeing it up early on Friday.

Of these players, current leader Collin Morikawa (+500) is hardly a bargain. Patrick Reed (+1400) is the next lowest on the board from this half of the draw, but I’m not in love with that number, either.

Patrick Cantlay (+1600) could be a nice play after an opening 2-under 70 as his number has inched up just a bit from what it was pre-tournament.

Joaquin Niemann (+3300) feels like a solid play as well, after gaining strokes in every major category in the first round.

Then we start getting into some more risk-reward possibilities. Cameron Champ (+9000) was my favorite outright wager entering the week and he’s now discounted after an opening 70. Sungjae Im (+10000) got it to 3-under at the turn Thursday, but finished with an even-par 72; even though he’s seven shots off the lead, that feels like an intriguing number.

And if you want a player with that same price, but a better headstart, Troy Merritt is fresh off a title contention last week and is three strokes further up the board than Im.

Round 2 Matchups

Marc Leishman (+108) over Collin Morikawa

Ah, the ol’ Fade the FRL bet.

Granted, Morikawa is no random first-round leader who just happened to get hot for one day. He’s the real deal. On Thursday, though, he didn’t make a mistake all day until a final-hole bogey.

Meanwhile, Leishman’s ball-striking numbers were very solid. I like playing the regression on both sides of this one.

Pick: Marc Leishman (+108)

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Cameron Champ (-132) over Keegan Bradley

Have I mentioned that I like Champ this week? I’m already pot-committed on the kid, so might as well push all the chips in.

Bradley beat him by one stroke in the opening round, but that included a hole-in-one, which – as the analytics experts have told me – isn’t very sustainable. In calm morning conditions, I’ll bank on Champ’s driver helping him to a solid round.

Pick: Cameron Champ (-106)

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Brendan Steele (+102) over Kevin Streelman

While Streelman has been dialed in lately, Steele hasn’t been far behind, nearly matching his strong finish at the Travelers Championship two weeks ago and beating him by a stroke on Thursday.

Leading the field in strokes gained on approach shots so far, Steele should be a smart afternoon play in this one.

Pick: Brendan Steele (+102)

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Brooks Koepka (-139) over Jason Day

Life comes at you fast. Just 24 hours ago, #MadBrooks was the talk of #GolfTwitter, with everyone believing his social media trolling could equate to a major championship-like performance.

Meanwhile, Day was a fade – for me, at least – considering he’s posted just one career top-25 finish in 11 starts at Muirfield Village, despite being a member. After one round, though, Day is five strokes ahead of his playing partner – 69 to 74 – but this line has moved too far in reaction to those scores.

I think Brooks makes a strong run at making the cut and passes Day in the fast lane while he’s doing it.

Pick: Brooks Koepka (-139)

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CO, NJ, PA, IN, WV only.
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