Saturday, March 2, 2024

2023 THE PLAYERS Championship Expert Picks: Bet Tom Kim, Corey Conners & Tom Hoge at TPC Sawgrass

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After a wild finish to the Arnold Palmer Invitational, we head to one of the toughest tournaments to project year in and year out with THE PLAYERS Championship.

With so much danger lurking on every hole mixed with unpredictable weather, this tournament produces a wide variety of winners.

The Course

TPC Sawgrass (Stadium) measures at 7,250 yards for a par-72. It’s tough to overpower the course because doglegs and water limit where players can drive the ball. We end up seeing a lot of players hitting iron shots from similar places in the fairway.

This course seems to have the ability to expose everyone’s weakness. So it really just comes down to whoever can hide their flaws the best while having the best part of their game firing on all cylinders. There’s not really a specific style of play that suits Sawgrass.

The Favorites

Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm top the board again here this week at +900. McIlroy has a win here in 2019, while Rahm has had a couple high finishes but hasn’t strung together four solid days here yet.

Scottie Scheffler is next in line at +1100. The form is in great shape, but Sawgrass hasn’t been kind to him in his young career. He’s missed the cut and finished 55th in two tries.

Patrick Cantlay and Justin Thomas make up that next range at +1600 and +1800, respectively. Cantlay has had a rough go so far. He hasn’t finished inside the top 20 in five tries and has missed three straight cuts here. Thomas has had better luck with the win in 2021.

The +2000s group includes Max Homa, Jason Day, Viktor Hovland, Xander Schauffele and Collin Morikawa. Day is in great form and on my card from a month ago at a bigger number. I imagine he’ll be popular this week given his solid history here and recent results.

It’s really hard for me to trust anyone in this group though. Nobody has really strung results together here as of yet. Homa might be the best bet of the bunch with the form he’s entering with coupled with a 13th a year ago.

The Midtier

I’ll open my card here with Tom Kim at +4000. I’m just following my read on him to play him where Webb Simpson plays well. His first two wins on the PGA TOUR were places where Webb had also won. He’s got an elite level of accuracy both off the tee and with the irons that should fit the course well.

I’m also going to Corey Conners here at +6600 on BetRivers. Conners’ tee to green game is well documented. He’s capable of hanging with the best, and it always comes down to the short game with him. He’s played solid so far here in limited appearances, making the cut all three times with a seventh in 2021.

The Longshots

I’ve added a few guys early in the year like Alex Noren, Tom Hoge and Taylor Pendrith in the this range, so I won’t dive too much into them. All are still available at triple digits.  The group didn’t progress as I’d like throughout the year when I added them. I’d still look at Hoge for this course at least. His game fits what’s required with accuracy from tee to green.

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