Workday Charity Open Betting Picks: Koepka & Cantlay Among Thursday’s Best 3-Ball Bets
Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images. Pictured: Brooks Koepka
- Jason Sobel reveals his favorite 3-Ball betting picks for Thursday, when the PGA TOUR's Workday Charity Open starts at Muirfield Village.
It’s one thing to analyze players’ potential scoring in the opening round at a new event, or at least on a course that isn’t part of the annual rotation.
It’s quite another to do this when they’re playing a familiar venue, but in unfamiliar conditions, as Muirfield Village should be set up easier for this week’s Workday Charity Open than it usually is for the Memorial Tournament.
How will that affect scoring amongst the featured groups? Which big-name players will feast on the kinder, gentler setup?
Let’s break down these four groups for Thursday’s opening round.
Workday Charity Open Thursday Betting Picks
Brooks Koepka (+155) Over Justin Thomas & Jason Day
Just like those multiple-choice questions in 11th grade algebra, the best way to figure out a three-ball bet is to first eliminate the one answer which doesn’t make sense.
That would be Day, who despite living in the area and being a member at Muirfield Village, owns just one career top-25 finish in 11 starts. The truth is, he’s my favorite fade this week. That leaves Koepka and Thomas.
While Brooks has posted opening-round scores of 68 and 67 since the PGA TOUR’s return, JT has chased a 64 in the first one with totals of 72-71 in the last two. In fact, his Round 1 scoring average is 1.3 strokes higher than any other round, which makes Koepka the choice here.
Patrick Cantlay (+100) Over Phil Mickelson & Jordan Spieth
Let’s not overthink this one. Quite frankly, there are plenty of players I’d take over the inconsistent Mickelson and Spieth — and there are exactly no players I’d take ahead of Cantlay on Thursday, which is why I listed him in this week’s preview as my favorite first-round leader play.
He currently leads the PGA TOUR in opening-round scoring average, with Thursday rounds of 69-66-69-66-68-66 this season. Last year, he opened with a 68 en route to winning the Memorial, just three strokes off the early lead, all of which should portend good things for him this time around.
Rickie Fowler (+160) Over Patrick Reed and Matthew Wolff
This one was much more difficult. While I don’t dislike any of these three players this week, I don’t love any of them, either. Ultimately, the gravitational pull toward Fowler was too much to resist.
He’s opened with 67 in each of his last two Thursday rounds and his 70.90 career opening-round scoring average at Muirfield Village includes five sub-par totals in 10 starts. Rickie seems like he’s taking baby steps toward his usual strong form, which could mean another strong opener, only to fade over the final 54 holes.
Gary Woodland (+260) Over Jon Rahm & Viktor Hovland
In a quartet of featured groups which includes plenty of big-time players, this is the one I’m most excited to watch. Once again, I’m using the process of elimination here. Hovland has been great recently, with four top-25 results in four events since the restart, but traditionally plays his best golf once he’s gotten a few rounds under his belt.
Rahm has been uncharacteristically mediocre during the same time frame, with no results inside the top-30 in three starts. That leaves Woodland, who hasn’t exactly been tearing it up, but has shown signs of a breakthrough and owns opening-round scores of 65-69-70 in his last three starts.
Throw in the fact that he’s broken par in five of his last seven Thursday rounds at Muirfield Village and he’s my guy here — but it’s a close call over the other two.