This is an uncharacteristic week for me. I have a cardinal rule not to dip beneath the 20/1 range on outrights and I just could not resist temptation to violate it. What could possibly go wrong? Great players win tournaments, and if I never bet anyone sub-20/1, I’m gonna rule myself out of a lot of potential outright cashes. I’m putting that theory to the test, but overall do feel confident in the process that got me here and the player pool I’ve refined down. So for better or worse, let’s take a look back at the damage before Thursday tees off.
- Jordan Spieth +1200
- Matt Kuchar +7500
- Chris Kirk +8000
- Si Woo Kim +8500
- Denny McCarthy +30000
This card is all about Jordan Spieth. I have only dipped below the 20/1 line one time over the last two years, and it was on Bryson DeChambeau +900 to win the 2020 Masters, so you know it would have to take a lot for me to tread back into these waters again after that debacle. But there really is nothing not to like about Spieth this week, so I couldn’t bring myself to bet anyone else south of 75/1 on this board. Spieth is leaps and bounds ahead of the field in terms of course history at Colonial, and even still, feels due to have more than just one win at this event over the course of his career. Beyond his win in 2016, Spieth also has 2 runners ups and 3 other T10s in his 8 career trips to Colonial. Aside from being #1 SG: TOT at Colonial, he’s also #1 SG: TOT over the last 36 rounds, AND he’s #1 Par 4: 350-450 yards, the most important stat of the week. The two courses Spieth dominates most on Tour are Augusta and Colonial. They’re very different courses, but one thing they share in common is the Bent grass greens. That’s what makes Spieth the clear cut play at the top of the board for me versus JT and Collin. Over the last 36 rounds, Spieth ranks 13th SG: P while JT and Collin happen to be tied at 79th apiece SG: P. All of these factors fall in Spieth’s favor before I even have the chance to mention we’re back in his hometown, where he’ll be commuting from his house to Colonial each day. That familiarity should help him get over last week’s grueling PGA Championship grind, which may still hang over the rest of the Texas visitors this week.
I hope I’m right on Spieth, but if I’m not, I spread 1 unit across a few bombs that I think are just pure values with win equity. Okay fine, Denny McCarthy may not have any win equity, but 300/1? C’mon! The last two times be played a short course over the last 2 months, he finished T13 and T3, so he can at least stay in the mix here. Kuchar, Kirk, and Si Woo all profiled well in my models for what the course requires so at these numbers, seemed worth a roll of the dice. Kuchar especially just feels like a player that should have a win by now at Colonial, given he’s essentially the exact profile of a player as former champions Kevin Kisner and Kevin Na. All of Kuchar’s strong recent results in 2021 have come in Texas for what that’s worth, as he finished 3rd at the WGC Dell Match Play, T12 at Valero, and and T17 at Byron Nelson.
Top 20 (1u)
- Matthew NeSmith +600
- Denny McCarthy +750
These are two players I wrote up glowingly in Bombs & Values. Both fit exactly the profile I’m looking for this week of fairway finders with good approach numbers who are strong on Par 4s 350-450 yards and putt best on Bent greens. I’m loving the value on these two numbers and just need one of the two to hit to have a net profitable week.
- Brandt Snedeker (-120) > Phil Mickelson
I wrote all of my thoughts on this bet in my Prop, Lock, & Drop It article. In short, this bet is predicated on Phil Mickelson not being focused on this tournament with his eyes either set on the next upcoming Major, or still reliving the glory of last week’s PGA Championship victory in his head. And as a back up, I still really like Sneds to do well here, even if Phil does somehow plod into the weekend.
First Round Leader (.5u)
- Cameron Tringale +6600
- Richy Werenski +10000
- Sebastian Munoz +10000
- Peter Malnati +15000
I really do hate Cameron Tringale’s guts sometimes, at least when I’ve had to sweat him as an outright. But I’ve moved past that part of my life now and can comfortably limit my Tringale exposure to one round increments only. Did you know Cameron Tringale is #1 R1 Scoring over the last 24 rounds? That would seem to justify my theory that he’s a very talented golfer who’s too soft to handle the pressure of winning a golf tournament when the weekend pressure rolls in, so I’m happy to roll with it this Thursday. I will of course be playing Munoz who returns home to Texas, and I’ve been waiting to roll a R1 Malnati flyer back whenever we next returned to a short course that puts a premium on short game. Richy Werenski is a dart throw on a guy who putts well on Bent grass and just, for whatever reason, always seems to randomly shoot up leaderboards from day to day, without threatening with any high finishes.
One And Done
- Jordan Spieth
When I say I’m all in, I’m ALL IN on Spieth this week. I’m in enough to even put my OAD curse to the test and double down on him here. The last time I bet a player even close to this range was Justin Thomas 22/1 at THE PLAYERS, and that’s about the only thing I’ve gotten right in OAD all year. I would imagine Spieth and Ancer will be the two most popular OAD picks this week, followed by Morikawa and Conners. I’m barely hanging on in the money for the Mayo Cup so I don’t mind playing it conservative here on a chalk player I have a lot of conviction in.
- Jordan Spieth ($11,200)
- Chris Kirk ($7,600)
- Denny McCarthy ($6,300)
Have I mentioned I’m all in on Jordan Spieth? He could have been $12,000 this week and I still would have jammed him in my lineup. In order to afford the highest priced player on the slate, I needed a low $6K player, and between Whaley, McCarthy, and Seiffert, who I love, Denny was the clear choice with the highest floor and ceiling. Even from an ownership standpoint, he only projects about 5% owned, so I won’t hesitate to go heavy on Denny this week. Chris Kirk is fairly chalky at 15% projected ownership, but the former winner of this event has been knocking on the door for another win this year with 4 T10s already in 2021, so his combination of form and course history is just too good to pass up in the $7K range.