CJ Cup: Waiting for Daniel Berger to make his mark
Daniel Berger is a player many people think will eventually make that jump into the game’s elite.
Berger’s career lines up a little with what we saw from Justin Thomas prior to his breakthrough this season. Both players picked up their first two career wins by defending a championship from the prior season. Berger went back to back at the St. Jude Classic while Thomas won twice at the CIMB Classic.
Neither of those tournaments was really that loaded with talent, but Thomas used those wins to eventually propel his early career and become a major champion and player of the year. Now, we’re waiting to see if Berger can make that type of jump.
I’ll be leading my card with him at 33-1 this week. I think in this type of field the number is way too high, especially when guys like Anirban Lahiri and Keegan Bradley are coming in at 28-1. Berger has won twice in 52 starts the last two seasons, so just throughout the normal course of the season he has a better win rate than one out of 33. Then factor in that there’s no cut and no real course history for some veterans to gain an advantage, and it’s just hard to see why he’s not among the 20/25-1 type guys.
Next up on my list is Russell Henley at 40-1. Henley closed out his year with a strong finish at the Tour Championship by finishing in a tie for third. I’m seeing the odds dip a bit for guys like Henley, who didn’t play in Malaysia last week, and instead trending toward last week’s result. Henley is a guy who could just as easily be 30/33-1 in this field strength and no one would bat an eye.
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) September 21, 2017
My last play from this range will be J.B. Holmes. Right now he’s at 50-1, but I’m going to wait and see if I can grab a better number later in the week. This is more of a gut play than anything else. He hasn’t had a top 10 in nearly four months, so I doubt people will be lining up to bet him. His form was so bad to close the season that he wasn’t even in the field until a string of withdrawals on Monday allowed him to claim a place as an alternate. It’s been four or five years since Holmes didn’t have the status to get into a tournament, and I think there may be a little extra motivation for him to perform well and get back to his prior level.
I’ll be back later in the week with a couple of longshots.
Joshua has spent the last five years writing about sports and the last 10 years betting them, mostly on golf. He’s one of approximately five people who will watch the PGA over the NFL in November. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaPerry22
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