Dustin Johnson won a PGA Tour event for the 13th consecutive season at the Travelers Championship after opening at 30-1 odds and soaring to 80-1 in adjusted odds after the first round.
Handicapper Wes Reynolds (@WesReynolds1) had Johnson as one of his picks in this space last week and will try to make it two outright winners in a row at the Rocket Mortgage Classic, which tees off Thursday at the Detroit Golf Club.
The Westgate sportsbook set a record for betting handle on a non-major golf tournament at the Travelers. The early money leader at the book for the Rocket Mortgage Classic is Bryson DeChambeau, the 6-1 favorite.
DeChambeau, riding a streak of three straight top-eight finishes, is followed by Webb Simpson (12-1), Patrick Reed (14-1), Tyrrell Hatton (16-1) and Hideki Matsuyama (18-1).
The rest of the field, which features only 12 of the world’s top 40 players in the Official World Golf Ranking, are 20-1 or greater, and that’s where Reynolds and Westgate vice president of risk Jeff Sherman found their best bets.
Here are Reynolds’ plays:
Tony Finau, 30-1
“Just below the tournament betting favorites are three players that have proven that they have the talent to be among the world’s best but simply just don’t win enough: Matsuyama, Rickie Fowler and Tony Finau,” said Reynolds, co-host of VSiN’s “Long Shots” golf betting show. “I have a feeling that Finau will be inspired by the play of his longtime friend and fellow Utah resident Daniel Summerhays.”
Summerhays, who has stated his intention to retire from pro golf, shot a final-round 62 at last week’s Utah Championship before losing on the first playoff hole. Summerhays’ brother Boyd is Finau’s swing coach.
“Finau is still a top 20 player in the world,” Reynolds said. “Perhaps his buddy Summerhays’ willingness to not go so quietly into that good night may be the inspiration and the kick in the butt that Finau needs to finally live up to his potential.”
Kevin Na, 40-1
The Las Vegas resident finished fifth at the Travelers, shooting rounds of 66, 66, 65 and 67.
“Na has four career PGA Tour wins, with three of them coming in the last two seasons,” Reynolds said. “All four of his victories have come on Bentgrass putting surfaces, so he should like the greens this week.”
J.T. Poston, 40-1
Poston won the most recent full-field event on a Donald Ross course at the 2019 Wyndham. “Before last week’s missed cut, Poston was one of only four players to shoot in the 60s in all eight rounds in the first two events since the resumption of tour action,” he said.
Brandt Snedeker, 54-1
Snedeker tied for fifth at last year’s tournament and also excels on Ross courses, winning the 2018 Wyndham and 2012 Tour Championship on them.
Erik van Rooyen, 90-1
“This seems like a good price to get on a really good player that’s under the radar this week even in a weaker field,” he said. “He is currently ranked No. 40 in the world, his career high. He’s one of the real bombers in the game today.”
Brian Stuard, 100-1
Stuard was born and raised in Michigan and played golf at nearby Oakland University. He tied for fifth at last year’s event.
Patton Kizzire, 165-1
Kizzire finished tied for sixth at the Travelers for his best finish since winning the 2018 Sony Open.
Here are Sherman’s plays:
Doc Redman, 40-1
Redman finished second at last year’s event to Nate Lashley.
“He’s had a good start to the return. He’s been improving each week over the three weeks he’s been back,” said Sherman (@golfodds). “He’s one of those young guys I expect you’ll hear from in the next couple of years.”
Si Woo Kim, 60-1
Kurt Kitayama, 75-1
Sherman played Kim and former UNLV golfer Kitayama at value prices.
“I found them at triple digits when they were less than that in the marketplace,” he said. “Kitayama won the Monday qualifier (with a 64). It wouldn’t be surprising for him to contend this week.”
Contact reporter Todd Dewey at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @tdewey33 on Twitter.