Avid readers of this segment will note that, apparently, we’re on to something. Four weeks ago as the PGA returned, I recommended Webb Simpson, who didn’t win that week but did the next at RBC Heritage. At RBC, I suggested Dustin Johnson, the South Carolina kid, who did not win … but did the next week at The Travelers. At The Travelers, I backed Patrick Cantlay who (wait for it) did NOT win…and then also didn’t play this past week at the Rocket Mortgage. But at this point, I recognized the trend and decided to double down on someone ELSE I had recommended the week prior, which included Bryson DeChambeau and Viktor Hovland.
Now, Bryson was by far the favorite in the field, so this wasn’t Rocket Mortgage Science, but hey, it worked! Our #ThiccBoi won! And my results weren’t just good by including him, but the whole field made the cut. Here is who I recommended:
BDC: $11,700 – The mad man behind the Quarantine video has been the hottest golfer since golf returned, and as noted won the tournament.
Viktor Hovland – $10,000 – Viktor did not appear to wear joggers this week, but he cruised to an easy T-12. If my man can get his chipping under control, he’s gonna win and break the Puerto Rico Open curse.
Tyler Duncan – $7,000 – When you can pay almost nothing for a guy and have him make the cut and T53 with guys like Sung Jae Im, Tony Finau and Luke Donald, it’s a good pick.
Harold Varner III – $7,600 – HVIII finished with a tidy T30. Not bad.
Scott Stallings – $7,500 – Stallings spent a brief time at the very top of the leaderboard which was a delight, but even after fading slightly on the weekend came in at T39.
Zac Blair – $6,000 – The President of The Buck Club finished with a T57. Again, when the cheapest golfer possible ($6,000 is the lowest salary) makes the cut, you’re already ahead.
So, good news for me and my wallet, but … sort of weird and bad news for the purpose of this article. I’m supposed to be BAD at this, right? Don’t worry, the house always wins.
In one of the many ways this golf season is unlike any other before or hopefully after, the next two weeks will be played on the same course, Muirfield Village. This means a lot of discussion about Jack Nicklaus and milkshakes. I’ll leave that to the experts, but in the meantime here’s where I ended up:
Patrick Cantlay – $10,600 This is doubling down on me betting on him the last time he entered (he took last week) with the added benefit that last year, Cantlay won at The Memorial at Muirfield Village. So he’s won on this course, and it works for my “strategy” such as it were.
Justin Rose – $9,700 I haven’t chosen Rose once this year (and it’s documented I’m not a fan of his eyewear choices) but he plays incredibly well at Muirfield, and while he stumbled at the Travelers, he played well at Colonial (3rd) and the RBC Heritage (14th) so he’s a good relative bargain at this price.
Matthew Wolff – $8,100 I always like to bet on someone who just missed winning the week prior, and while Wolff did so by exposing some flaws in his game, he also has enough strengths in that game that I feel like he might be good for another T10 or so.
Corey Conners – $7,600 Another guy with the length (though, if you listen to the Shotgun Start Podcast, they have hinted that his driver might not have always passed testing) and a good record in limited experience at Muirfield. He’s a very good bet, in my opinion, for that “cheaper guy to make the cut and maybe do much better” tier. (Note: this tier needs a better name. Suggestions welcome.)
Ian Poulter – $7,500 Like almost everyone else, I’m not really a fan of Poulter — though I’m sure if I was European, I would feel differently around Ryder Cup time. He’s played well in all three tournaments he’s played in since the PGA returned, and I expect that to continue this week at Muirfield. It doesn’t mean I have to like it.
Harry Higgs – $6,500 Higgs is playing solid if unspectacular golf, but more often than not he’s making the cut and making enough birdies to score well on DraftKings. Higgs also looks like a guy I want to play a round with where I won’t worry that my fitness is a disaster (just my game). His interview on No Laying Up a few years ago was hilarious, and he’s an easy guy to root for – and when he’s making cuts, it’s even better.
So, those are my picks. (At least the ones I’m telling you about.) It should be a fun week, and I think it will really tell us a lot about who to gamble on for NEXT week, since it will be the same course with I suspect very limited setup changes.
Stay safe, stay smart, and it’s up to you whether to avoid or bet on the guys above.