Sobel: Best Outright and Group Bets for Round 2 at the Wyndham Championship
Chris Keane/Getty Images. Pictured: Billy Horschel.
There’s nothing like picking a first round leader, then having to wait an extra day to sweat out a three-way (or more) split.
You know, in general. Not like I’m referencing anything particular here.
The opening round of the Wyndham Championship was suspended late Thursday afternoon for inclement weather with 33 players still on the course.
Since the round will be completed early Friday morning, some second-round matchups still aren’t listed, but luckily we’ve got enough on the board to keep us occupied going into the day.
Here are four potential outrights and four group matchups that I’m targeting.
Ryan Moore (+4000)
The 2009 champion, who has three other top-10 finishes at this event, opened the week north of 40/1, but was such a popular play that he was bet down to 30/1 by Thursday morning. Well, he opened with a 3-under 67, during which he drove the ball just below the field average and gained strokes everywhere else –- and ended the day back at 40/1. That feels like a value play on a guy who obviously knows and likes this course.
Billy Horschel (+2500)
Almost the same thing here, as Horschel was 33/1 pre-tourney, then opened with a 4-under 66. Sure, you might be kicking yourself for not getting him earlier, but think of it this way: You just paid a modest price to see if he was still striking the ball well after last week’s major. The answer is a resounding maybe, as he did most of his damage with the flatstick Thursday. Just four strokes off the lead, though, it might be worth banking on the irons playing catch-up.
Mark Hubbard (+8000)
This is truly a live bet as Hubbard still has two holes left to finish in his opening round. He currently sits at 4-under and will have an approach shot from the left rough, 142 yards away, first thing Friday morning. Best-case scenario: He makes a birdie or two coming in, then -– already warm and ready to go -– heads straight out for his second round in presumably calmer conditions. For a guy who’s been playing some consistent golf lately, he could be ready to contend for a title.
Doc Redman (+7000)
He was my favorite pre-tournament outright and just in case you didn’t get a chance to play him or simply ignored my prediction, you’re essentially getting a mulligan here. Redman posted a 3-under 67, picking up more than a stroke on the field both tee-to-green and putting, yet remains at 70/1, exactly where he was before the tournament started.
Round 2 Group Matchups
Webb Simpson (+110) over Sungjae Im and Brendon Todd
So, you wanted a piece of Webb at one of his favorite events this week, but couldn’t pull the trigger on him as a tournament favorite? Understandable. Well, here’s an opportunity to get him at plus-money after he posted a 4-under 66 with a double-bogey on his card. Im hasn’t had his best stuff for over a month now and while Todd has indeed had his best stuff, I like the possibility of Simpson continuing to make birdies while eliminating the big miss. Oh, and he also happens to lead the PGA TOUR in R2 scoring average.
Billy Horschel (EVEN) over Kevin Tway and Patton Kizzire
Let’s not overthink things too much. Horschel is a better player, he’s been playing well lately and he owns a nice bit of course history. Kizzire (66) and Tway (68) each fared well Thursday, but look for Horschel to stay hot here.
Zach Johnson (+235) over Si Woo Kim and Keith Mitchell
Hey, I can’t just give you the favorite in all of these matches. Johnson hit the ball superbly on Thursday, ranking seventh in strokes gained on approach shots, but his putting was atrocious. That’s very unlike the two-time major champion, so we should believe there will be some positive regression in the second round. He’s also the type of guy who grinds to make the cut. I really like the way Kim is playing right now and Mitchell always scares me because of his ability to make birdies, but I like the price on Johnson here.
Shane Lowry (+225) over Paul Casey and Patrick Reed
In the opening round, Reed shot 65, Casey 67 and Lowry 68, but there’s too much love from the oddsmakers on the bigger names with slightly better scores. Lowry gained strokes off the tee, on his approach shots and on the greens, which suggests a low number could be coming his way. Again, if all three players had the same odds, you might go in a different direction, but at more than 2/1, it’s worth taking a shot on Lowry.