TPC at Sawgrass 2019 Betting Tips, Odds & Players to Back
- Bet Sergio Garcia at 30/1 (10 places) with Betfair.
- Bet Francesco Molinari at 25/1 (7 places) with Unibet.
- Bet Henrik Stenston at 50/1 (7 places) with Coral.
- Bet Kevin Kisner at 80/1 (7 places) with Coral.
A return to March for the self-styled “fifth major of the year,” a description which just about everyone outside of PGA Tour HQ smirks about.
If the golfing major championships were architecture, the Open is a Victorian statement building, the US Open a 19th century mansion, the Masters a southern plantation home and the PGA Championship a skyscraper.
The Players Championship, in contrast and for all its swagger, is a bit of a footballer's mock Tudor home. It tries hard, but the heritage is contrived rather than convincing.
TPC Sawgrass is popular with fans, attractive to sponsors and beloved by television. But the players themselves? They’re split. Many of them will say the right thing, but it’s not difficult to discern the frustration because it’s a design that permits little in the way of interpretation.
Tiger Woods has often bemoaned the fact that everyone must hit to the same spots from the tee and Phil Mickelson is so moot about the course, the state of it this early in the season, and its suitability as preparation for the coming weeks, that he wouldn’t confirm his own participation until he’d played a practice round.
Water is a common feature and most obviously on the closing two holes: the famous par-3 island green 17th and the par-4 18th, which has a lake all down the left-hand side.
Even players who like, and have performed well, at this track can also be left scratching their heads. Rickie Fowler, for example, has won here and also finished second, but his next best effort was T60th and he’s also got six missed cuts.
Others just plain struggle. Dustin Johnson didn’t make the top 25 in his first eight appearances and is still lacking a top 10. Brooks Koepka is another big hitter looking for his first top-10 (after four visits), while Patrick Reed is yet to clock a top-20 in five starts.
It’s as much as case of who it doesn’t suit as who it does. Golfers who are frustrated by being told what club to hit are worth overlooking.
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The Spaniard lost his head in Saudi Arabia and paid for it in his next start when the understandable fuss over why he’d damaged five greens was a pre-Genesis Open talking point. He shot 75 in Round 1, comfortably his worst effort in months, yet responded well and has since added two top-10s.
Before his brief struggle, he had laced together another seven top-10s, so we know his form is strong. At the course he is a two-time runner-up and in 2008 he claimed the win.
He also boasts a remarkable record of having not missed a cut in his last 15 starts at the course. He’s 30/1 with Betfair (which pays out 10 places).
To say that the Italian’s record in this event is boom or bust would be something of a huge understatement. He’s played here eight times, ticked four top-10s and also crashed to four missed cuts.
The sweet-swinging 36-year-old’s huge success of 2018 was the consequence of a great many changes to his life, career and determination, but one of the key moments came in this tournament. He arrived feeling very confident about the state of his game and bombed, carding a pair of 73s.
His response was to dig deep, accept he had erred, and he never forgot that lesson. In fact, he referred to it every week thereafter. His 2019 started a little slowly, but he was superb in winning last week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational. He’s 25/1 with Unibet and, at this course, another strong week is not beyond him.
Completing a three-pronged European attack on this event is the Swede whose start to 2019 has been even slower than Molinari’s. He missed three cuts in the Middle East, usually a happy hunting ground, and could not breach the top 50 in Mexico.
But after a Round 1 77 at Bay Hill last week he spent two hours with coach Pete Cowan and made the cut with a 66. A solid weekend followed and he boasts nine top 25s on the course including a win in 2009. He’s 66/1 with Coral (seven places).
Complete the plan with the American whose neat and tidy game has already proved itself at this course, when he was second in 2015. He’s not finished inside the top 50 in three subsequent trips, but that’s far from uncommon here.
His form is nice too. He was tied third heading into the final round last week and if his final round 75 was a disappointment, it’s produced a very tasty price. Second in both the WGC Match Play and Open Championship in the last 12 months, he can perform at the top level and is 80/1 with Coral.
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