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In-Form Golfer Success: A Blueprint for Predicting PGA Tour Triumphs

in form golfers

Dive into the nuances of PGA Tour dynamics with a focus on in-form golfers. Recent successes in PGA Tour events are more than statistics, they are the compass guiding us toward compelling tournament predictions

Navigating the dynamic realm of professional golf, the recent surge in form by top-tier golfers emerges as a telling compass for anticipating the outcomes of forthcoming PGA Tour tournaments. These stellar performances aren’t mere statistical anomalies; they signify a golfer’s current state of being, mental fortitude, and adaptability to the varied terrains of the course.

An in-form golfer, riding the wave of recent success, brings to the tee box a unique blend of confidence and momentum. Their precision on the fairways and finesse in recent tournaments demonstrate not only technical prowess but also a keen understanding of the strategic intricacies inherent in the sport.

Moreover, the psychological aspect cannot be underestimated. Success breeds confidence, and a golfer in top form approaches each shot with a winning mindset. This mental resilience becomes a formidable asset, especially when faced with the challenges posed by the unpredictable nature of golf.

Amidst a sea of talent, recent performances act as a litmus test, spotlighting those in-form athletes whose stars align for imminent success. As we dissect the field, the narrative unfolds, setting the stage for a riveting PGA Tour tournament where the prowess of the in-form golfer isn’t just a testament to past achievements but a compelling predictor of potential victories that lie ahead.

Waste Management Phoenix Open Current Form

A key consideration when evaluating a golf betting pick or fantasy golf pick is a player’s Current Form .

What is considered reasonable in determining a player’s Current Form is a subjective argument and open to much debate. However, at PGAgolfbets it is taken to be a player’s performance in the last 5 strokeplay events on the PGA Tour .

The table below is a list of the top performers in the last 5 stroke play events on the PGA Tour . The data is sorted by taking the list of players in this week’s Field ( including Alternates ) and ordering their results based on number of Wins, Top 10’s and Top 30’s (highest to lowest) and the number of MC (Missed Cuts)(lowest to highest).

The stroke play events used to populate the Current Form table are as follows:

  • Sony Open in Hawaii
  • The American Express
  • Farmers Insurance Open
  • AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am

Type a name in the Search Box to look at an individual player’s results. Delete name from Search Box to revert to original table.

Use the Player Filter Button at the end of the player column to compare the results of multiple players. Use the Clear Filters button to get back to original table.

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pga tour form guide

Golf Betting Stats Section & Golf Form Guides

Golf betting system - stats section.

Below you’ll find free access to all pre-tournament golf form guides and stats for DP World Tour and PGA Tour events for the 2024 season; we’re building this as we progress through the season so expect the more distant events to be complete nearer the actual date of the tournament.

  • For our 2020 stats sheets for the completed year click here .
  • For our 2021 stats sheets for the completed year click here .
  • For our 2022 stats sheets for the completed year click here .
  • For our 2023 stats sheets for the completed year click here.

NEW! The actual results will be added to each of the data sheets each Monday, so you can review where a player finished relative to their position on each of the stats. This will also include FRL stats, so for instance you can check the tee times and incoming FRL form of each player in relation to their eventual leaderboard position after day 1.

Further/Additional Stats

Winners’ Odds History : DP World Tour Winners Odds   |    PGA Tour Winners Odds

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Golf Form Guides & Stats Pages

Golf betting form guide.

Our weekly suite of golf betting stats is split into 4 sections, each of which is available via our weekly previews and also from the tournament section on the homepage. An archive to the most popular pages each week is listed above.

The stats are as follows:

Event History Stats. Where tournament history exists for an event, we aggregate the performance of each player going back to 2002. Once a field is released for that week’s event, we’ll publish the performance of each player historically with their finishing position by year, ranked overall by their stroke average from all rounds played.

Current Form Stats. Players often tend to go through peaks and troughs in their form, so monitoring current form over the past 12 weeks is a popular starting point for golf punters. Our form stats rank players based on their average finishing position over the past 12 events played chronologically on all Tours where OWGR points are awarded, so this includes the Korn Ferry Tour, European Challenge Tour, Sunshine Tour as well as the Asian, Australasian and Japanese Golf Tours.

Combined Stats. Taking both Event History and Current Form into a single page gives bettors an instant view of the traditional form stats that help to form shortlists. Our combined stats are ranked by Draftkings salary which then puts the market leaders at the top of the list.

FRL Stats. FRL (First Round Leader) is a popular market as it’s one that regularly produces long-priced winners but also one which can be analysed and logical deductions be made. We list a player’s round 1 leaderboard position for the last 20 events played on all main and secondary Tours, combined with their round 1 historical performances at the event in question. Players are ranked primarily from their event FRL performance.

We hope that our stats pages are of use to you and help you pick out some contenders. Please feel free to share this page or our stats pages on Social Media or Forums so that others can benefit from the data, or join our facebook group using the link below. Best of luck!

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Golf Betting Guides

Tournament and betting results for the Masters, US PGA, US Open and Open, guides to how to bet on golf and our golf betting calculator.

Major Tournament Results

Find the player's tournament form going into the majors plus past tournament results with the betting odds.

Masters | US PGA | US Open | Open

US Masters at Augusta

Betting Guides

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Ben Coley's guide to the entire field ahead of the Masters

Player-by-player guide to the 2021 Masters Tournament at Augusta National

Ancer, abraham.

  • Augusta form: 13
  • Scoring average: 70.00
  • Sub-70 rounds: 3/4

Stern-faced Mexican who is named after the Heights of Abraham in Matlock, Derbyshire, despite being quite short. Contended here on his debut prior to a disappointing final round from the final group, which is easily excused, and he's edging towards that first recognised win. I say 'recognised', because in certain golfing circles a.k.a. the PGA Tour's content department in Ponte Vedra, winning the Australian Open doesn't count. It does, of course, and it's notable that Ancer has played some of his best golf on some of the best courses in the sport. Perhaps when he does break through in the US, it'll be in a big one, but he will have to cut out the kind of mistakes which cost him an excellent start close to his Texas home on his final appearance before the Masters.

BERGER, Daniel

  • Augusta form: 10-27-32
  • Scoring average: 72.42
  • Sub-70 rounds: 1/12

A one-man case against that magic word momentum, having in theory had his halted by a pandemic yet returned to win the comeback event three months later. Since added another, doubling his PGA Tour tally in just over six months, and looks poised for a Ryder Cup debut later this year in which his Koepka-lite cockiness will go down a treat with the locals. Game is rounded but particularly well suited to what you might call a shorter, technical test, although he has made all three cuts here. Worries over rib injury which forced withdrawal from hometown Honda Classic allayed to some degree by Match Play appearance and given that he seldom underperforms these days, is one who has to be on the radar.

BEZUIDENHOUT, Christiaan

  • Augusta form: 38
  • Scoring average: 71.75
  • Sub-70 rounds: 1/4

Just a lovely player who now boasts three European Tour titles after a double in his native South Africa late last year. All this has been achieved against the odds having nearly been killed by rat poison as a child, an incident which left him with a speech impediment he does fabulously well to overcome now he's so often in front of the media. Sense he's still getting comfortable on the biggest stage of all, and still getting better. Although he's an accuracy-over-power golfer, his approach play can be exceptional and given that it's so often the big pointer here, and that his short-game is among the best around, it's no surprise he played well on debut. More to come.

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CANTLAY, Patrick

  • Augusta form: 47-MC-9-17
  • Scoring average: 71.79
  • Sub-70 rounds: 3/14

Took a punch to the stomach in the Match Play, where he was eliminated by a player he'd beaten, and had previously complained of stomach and dehydration issues which saw him skip the WGC Workday Championship. Between those two episodes he was a bit disappointing at Sawgrass but having been one of the in-form players in the world coming into this six months ago, perhaps he'll benefit from a slightly softer preparation. Had started the year in blistering form and had a good chance to win this in 2019. Sometimes looks hopeless on the greens but stats say his game is complete, and he's ready for the next step up the ladder at a course where he hit the front late on Sunday two years ago. Very few flaws and while price might look short, you're getting a lot of places built into that deal.

CASEY, Paul

  • Augusta form: 6-MC-10-11-20-MC-38-MC-6-4-6-15-MC-38
  • Scoring average: 72.48
  • Sub-70 rounds: 16/48

Ex-human rights activist who has pivoted to a 'come one, come all' approach lately. On the course, form has been very solid and includes a good European Tour win in Dubai, plus a couple of contending performances in the US such as at Sawgrass where he appeared to be nursing an injured wrist. How that's affecting him is hard to say but it's a slight question mark against the name of an experienced and effective Augusta campaigner, who led after round one in November (first time he's ended any round here in first place). Some will say the way he played thereafter says it all but don't forget Sergio Garcia and Adam Scott have won this recently. Casey would be no less deserving and did very little wrong in the PGA Championship won by Collin Morikawa, except perhaps for producing a broad grin when the youngster hit the tournament-winning shot. Get beat in a major at the age of 43 and pull a daft face. Typical.

The ‘he will, so shut it’ part is glorious. https://t.co/pETgPI8QGF — Ben Coley (@BenColeyGolf) March 28, 2021

CHAMP, Cameron

  • Augusta form: 19
  • Scoring average: 70.50
  • Sub-70 rounds: 2/4

Two-time PGA Tour winner who rivals Bryson DeChambeau for power, thanks to an athletic swing and hips that twist more than Line Of Duty . Massive eye-catcher on his debut here in November, especially in a final round which included eight birdies only to play the par-threes to an average of five strokes — that's 0.25 more than he played the par-fives that day. Since then it's been a frustrating start to 2021 and while that's almost all down to the putter, the fact that he currently ranks as one of the very worst on the PGA Tour is a big issue. If he fixes it, the sky is the limit, but for now a first cut made of the year in Texas isn't enough.

More Masters content

  • Outright betting preview and tips
  • Ben Coley's player-by-player guide
  • The Masters: Expert tips
  • The Masters: Round-one preview
  • Betfair Blog: Masters best bets
  • Augusta National course guide
  • The Masters: Tee-times

CINK, Stewart

  • Augusta form: MC-23-27-28-MC-24-17-20-10-17-3-MC-MC-MC-50-25-14-MC
  • Scoring average: 72.98
  • Sub-70 rounds: 6/60

The original golf tweeter who last played here in 2019 thanks to a top-five finish in the previous year's US PGA. Won for the first time since the 2009 Open Championship at the Safeway Open to start the season and held that form for a few more weeks, but not so good in 2021 and it's 13 years since he was last a factor in this. Doubtless he'll be delighted to have another chance to play Augusta having spent much of his life in Georgia.

CONNERS, Corey

  • Augusta form: MC-46-10
  • Scoring average: 71.60
  • Sub-70 rounds: 3/10

Elegant swinger of a golf club whose ball-striking stats are wonderfully consistent. Looks like he's still improving and there was a lot to like about the way in which he fought back after an opening 74 to finished 10th on his third visit here. How much of that was down to November's unique conditions and the absence of fans we do not know but suspect any firming of the greens will work against him and his fragile putting, despite some good signs in this year's stats. Not a factor in the Match Play but prior to that had come with a late burst at Sawgrass and would expect him to light it up in patches.

COUPLES, Fred

  • Augusta form: He won it the same year Sister Act came out
  • Scoring average: Therefore...
  • Sub-70 rounds: I refuse

I know what you're thinking: 'oh, Fred Couples? He loves it here. Yeah, Couples! I'll have a go on him for the first-round lead. Doesn't he always start well here? Yeah! And he's WHAT PRICE for his three-ball? No! Surely not!' No, surely not. He last won his first-round three-ball in 2014, because Webb Simpson played badly, and last broke 70 here a year before that. There was a day when Couples could give us an early run for our money, but it is not this day.

  • Augusta form: 2-WD-3-20-28-10-22-20-5-MC
  • Scoring average: 71.43
  • Sub-70 rounds: 8/35

Threatening a renaissance since parting company with coach and ex-caddie Col Swatton last year, producing a month of quality golf immediately after and starting this year in promising fashion. Has become prone to missing short putts, particularly jarring for a player who reached the top of the world in large part thanks to his short-game, but crucially reckons he's as fit as he's been in years. Work with new swing coach Chris Como is clearly showing signs of promise for all he does miss a lot of greens from the fairway. Always looked a potential Masters winner, ever since a blistering 64 in round two of his debut a decade ago, and if he's brought back to life by these greens he could yet become the second Aussie to don a green jacket.

There are 9⃣ days until @TheMasters starts. Sungjae Im is ninth player to finish runner-up in his Masters debut, joining Craig Wood (1934), Ralph Guldahl (1937), Lloyd Mangrum (1940), Tony Lema (1963), Dan Pohl (1982), Jason Day (2011), Jonas Blixt (2014) & Jordan Spieth (2014). pic.twitter.com/bdWnEjRREx — Scott Michaux (@ScottMichaux) March 30, 2021

DECHAMBEAU, Bryson

  • Augusta form: 21-38-29-34
  • Scoring average: 72.13
  • Sub-70 rounds: 2/16

Won the Arnold Palmer Invitational with what he called his 'C game' (editor's note: it was statistically his best ever driving performance and one of his top 10 overall) and says par around Augusta for him is 67 (editor's note: he's therefore carded 15 over-par rounds in 16 and averages 5.13 strokes over-par) which begs the question: should the others bother showing up? Editor's note: <Insert scene in Broken Arrow where John Travolta wallops the businessman and says 'hush, hush!'> That aside, he's made all four cuts so far in his Masters career and will, in time, figure it all out. Key to doing so will be greens which have so far foxed him and his attempt to outmuscle the course last November almost ended in a first missed cut. Needs to do more but arrives in form, his strokes-gained approach numbers up, and at least he isn't a ludicrous favourite this time. Obvious chance.

Bryson DeChambeau rips a drive towards the sixth green (Pic: PGA Tour)

ENGLISH, Harris

  • Augusta form: MC-42
  • Scoring average: 74.83
  • Sub-70 rounds: 0/4

Most improved player on the circuit, or at least one of them, last year and into the start of this, deservedly winning in Hawaii. Had he maintained that level of play he'd have arrived here with major claims but while there was promise following a post-win slump at Bay Hill, he then withdrew from the PLAYERS with an unspecified injury. Seemed better at the Match Play but preparation has been less than ideal and suddenly looks a most unlikely contender.

FINAU, Tony

  • Augusta form: 10-5-38
  • Scoring average: 70.42
  • Sub-70 rounds: 4/12

If this carries on, if his lucklessness and his occasional recalcitrance continue to combine for silver rather than gold, the mask is going to slip, isn't it. Think Michael Douglas in Falling Down , only this time breaking point is Amen Corner, and things start to get really ugly when they've run out of pimento cheese sandwiches at the concessions stand. Either that, or he'll be just fine, perhaps even winning at Augusta, where he averages 70.42 and has made a bright start on all three visits, ankle or no ankle. Success will depend on him continuing to dominate the par-fives — he's 33-under through 48 holes so far — and proving that a somewhat ugly putting set-up can function here. Prop bettors note he's made birdie or better at the eighth hole 10 times in 12 attempts.

FITZPATRICK, Matt

  • Augusta form: MC-7-32-38-21-46
  • Scoring average: 72.36
  • Sub-70 rounds: 4/22

Won the season-ending DP World Tour Championship to end a frustrating sequence of seconds, and has kicked on in 2021. Since missing the cut on his first start of the year, has played well in all six starts and looks to have prepared perfectly for an event in which his professional record reads five appearances, five cuts made, four rounds in the sixties and one top 10. Iron play will have to be spot on but if it is, this deadly putter is among those most likely to defy a relative power handicap, especially with the course playing firmer than it did in November. Probably not a coincidence that was his worst finish (46th) since narrowly missing the cut as an amateur and better should be expected.

FLEETWOOD, Tommy

  • Augusta form: MC-17-36-19
  • Scoring average: 71.71
  • Sub-70 rounds: 2/14

Driver has helped him to build a strong record here and that's not a surprise, being a reliable club he loves to hit right-to-left. On his last three Masters appearances he's shot par or better in all 12 Thursday-Saturday rounds, with closing 74s seeing him slide down the leaderboard. That tells you how close he's been to hitting the frame here despite a best result of 17th and his form might be turning in time, after a better performance in the Match Play. Disappointing finish there is less a worry than the fact he's not been at his best off the tee this year and much hinges on whether he can remedy that temporary glitch in time.

🗣 TOMMY FLEETWOOD HOLE IN ONE! Spun back to perfection. #TP5x pic.twitter.com/FVu5sqeU1q — TaylorMade Golf (@TaylorMadeGolf) March 27, 2021

FRITTELLI, Dylan

  • Augusta form: MC-5
  • Scoring average: 71.33
  • Sub-70 rounds: 2/6

One-time PGA Tour winner who deserves plenty of credit, having hacked it around the Challenge Tour a few years ago to the point where some of his playing partners privately commented that he wouldn't last long in professional golf. Now look at him: so successful that when a cameraman accidentally makes a sound, he's able to spit venom like a proper sportsman. You can only admire that, and an excellent top-five finish on his second Masters try where his added distance (ranked second to Bryson DeChambeau) was on display. One or two better signs after a slow start to 2021 and adds some complexity to the top South African market, as well as ensuring on-the-ground production teams are on their toes.

This was also proper for sheer bizarre behaviour from Frittelli. pic.twitter.com/pJupLea49D — Michael Verity (@MichaelVerity) December 18, 2020

GARCIA, Sergio

  • Augusta form: 38-40-MC-8-28-4-MC-46-MC-MC-38-45-35-12-8-MC-17-34-1-MC-MC
  • Scoring average: 72.97
  • Sub-70 rounds: 11/70

Get this: after spending nearly 20 years trying to win a major, from that spring-heeled second in 1999 to an emotional, dramatic and unlikely breakthrough here in 2017, Garcia has completely forgotten how to do golf in majors. It is utterly bizarre. Nine of his 28 missed cuts have come in his last 11 appearances. Since winning the Masters, his form reads 21-37-MC-MC-MC-MC-MC-MC-MC-52-67-MC-MC. He has become, in majors, a ceremonial golfer, content it seems to don his jacket and wave goodbye on Friday evening. In November, thanks to the bloody coronavirus, he didn't even get to do that, missing a major championship for the first time this century. What a golfer. What an enigma. And you know what? He's playing so well right now, I can see him turning all of this around and contending. That or he'll be awful again.

  • Augusta form: MC-38
  • Scoring average: 73.83
  • Sub-70 rounds: 0/6

Turns 50 this year but it doesn't stop him dressing like he's off to watch the Pet Shop Boys down Blackpool Tower, and it didn't stop him winning the Bermuda Championship, either. That shock victory expanded his oeuvre without altering its make-up: he likes short courses, often by the coast, for he gives Bryson about a hundred yards off the tee. That just won't do here and he'll likely be fighting to make the cut on what's an unexpected Augusta return.

GRIFFIN, Lanto

  • Augusta form: MC
  • Scoring average: 73.50
  • Sub-70 rounds: 0/2

One of the most improved players around since the start of the 2019/20 season, a period during which he won the Houston Open. Always nice to get confirmation that you don't have to have won before you can legally drink to be a player capable of making it pay and even contending for majors, and his blend of strong driving and putting makes for a nice platform. Should've learned enough from a debut missed cut (74-73) to advance to the weekend.

HARMAN, Brian

  • Augusta form: MC-44
  • Scoring average: 73.33
  • Sub-70 rounds: 1/6

Late qualifier thanks to excellent third in The PLAYERS supplemented by quarter-final run in the Match Play. Suspect those Pete Dye courses are more suitable than Augusta, which is longer than he'd like, though did shoot 69 on his final round here in 2018 and left-handed players have a famously excellent record at the course. Speaking of which, he does complicate matters in what's now a highly-competitive top lefty market.

HATTON, Tyrrell

  • Augusta form: MC-44-56-MC
  • Scoring average: 74.08
  • Sub-70 rounds: 0/12

Impressive winner at Wentworth in October to make it two for 2020, before adding another in Abu Dhabi. All this earned him the tag of England's best player as well as making him a Ryder Cup certainty, and he's generally continued to impress with his laser-straight ball-flight, which makes him deadly when his up-and-down-but-mainly-up short-game behaves. The problem is this: he's missed four cuts since the beginning of last year, and they've been in the US PGA, US Open, Masters, and PLAYERS. I wouldn't say it's alarming, because he does have five top-10 finishes in majors, but as his own expectations have risen his performances at the very highest level have dropped off. Perhaps it's a coincidence, and he just so happened not to take to Winged Foot and Harding Park, but he does now have something to prove. That's especially the case at Augusta where he's played 12 rounds, is yet to break 70, and averages two-over per spin.

Amazing win at Wentworth for @TyrrellHatton , who should be mic’d up every time he tees it up. pic.twitter.com/ELWAhsjeMa — Skratch (@Skratch) October 11, 2020

HERMAN, Jim

  • Scoring average: 76.50

'A man is known by the company he keeps' is all well and good, but it wouldn't leave us much to work with in this sport, would it. So, let's not dwell on whose money financed Herman's career (clue: first president to be impeached twice) and instead admire the man for winning three PGA Tour titles, most recently at the Wyndham Championship to earn this Masters return. Missed the cut on his first and only try and not expected to be a factor. Nothing more to say except this is the last time you'll hear from Aesop, because The Boy Who Cried Wolff does appear to be genuinely injured. Shame.

  • Scoring average: 72.50

Latest to condemn Tony Finau to second place having won a play-off at Riviera two months back, but is one of the handful of players on the circuit who can get away with such behaviour owing to his popularity. That comes from being genuinely funny and self-deprecating, being an excellent podcaster, and engaging with golf nuts more than most, not to mention a career path which includes near-extinction and now boasts two PGA Tour wins. Had to wait for his Masters debut and when it came, it coincided with poor form. Now in far better shape, he can avenge that missed cut (on the number) and if his approach work is as good as it can be, could even be a live one at a price, Riviera having been a decent form guide in the past.

HORSCHEL, Billy

  • Augusta form: 37-MC-17-MC-56-38
  • Scoring average: 73.45
  • Sub-70 rounds: 0/20

Chatty winner of the WGC Match Play who offered the following list of career goals after that notable victory: win all four majors, win The PLAYERS, take part in Ryder Cup, captain Ryder Cup. Making the case that he would be of worth to the US team in September (which he would, tbf), he offered up evidence from both the Zurich Classic and the QBE Shootout, two events you haven't heard of for very good reason. Has: impressive CV, including FedEx Cup and World Golf Championship wins, four cuts made in six appearances here, one major top-10 elsewhere. Needs: chill pill.

Can't stop listening to the dead air bit of Shotgun Start, between Andy outlining Billy's goals, and Brendan saying 'this is absurd!' So, so, so funny. https://t.co/fH9AbrotNA https://t.co/Q6LbGHVdiX — Ben Coley (@BenColeyGolf) March 30, 2021

HOVLAND, Viktor

  • Augusta form: 32
  • Scoring average: 71.25

One of the hottest players on the planet at the start of the year, building on December's Mayakoba Classic victory with a string of top-six finishes. That came to an abrupt halt in the Arnold Palmer, where he shot 77-78 over the weekend before missing the cut at The PLAYERS and losing in the group stage at the Match Play. As timing goes, his looks really bad and is yet to seriously threaten in a major, though did shoot a very solid 72-71-71-71 to finish 32nd here as an amateur two years ago. May just need another look round but the hope is he gets a peek at the top end of the leaderboard here and is ready to go and contend for the PGA Championship next month. No doubt it's a matter of time before he is a factor at the weekend.

HUGHES, Mackenzie

  • Scoring average: 79.50

Returned to form just before the shutdown with an excellent second at the Honda, and built on that with a string of good performances after the PGA Tour came out of hibernation. Probably nobody on the circuit more likely to hole back-to-back 60-foot putts and it's his short-game which is behind this Masters return, earned by sneaking into the TOUR Championship. Shot 79-80 on his sole previous Augusta start but is a far better player now.

IM, Sungjae

  • Augusta form: 2
  • Scoring average: 68.25

Just turned 23 and one of the most exciting golfers on the planet. Fact he plays so often, rarely bombing out, might in a strange way deaden us to his impressive list of achievements which includes a magnificent Presidents Cup debut, a PGA Tour win at the age of 21 when living out of a caravan, and a share of second place on his Masters debut. Yet to miss a cut in 2021, only once finishing worse than 32nd in a stroke play event, and has been ultra-reliable off the tee and with putter. The key to winning at Augusta is so often approach play, and his has been oddly poor, but there really is only one missing piece of the jigsaw. Whether it happens for him here or not, another title is probably close.

JOHNSON, Dustin

  • Augusta form: 30-38-38-13-MC-6-4-10-2-1
  • Scoring average: 71.03
  • Sub-70 rounds: 11/38

Dominant winner here late last year when firmly at the top of the sport, and a ball-striking masterclass in Saudi Arabia suggested he was ready to continue in that vein through 2021. Instead, he's gone backwards with 54th in the WGC Workday, 48th in The PLAYERS and a group-stage exit at the Match Play all concerning results, especially given that his driver has gone really quiet. Withdrew from the Texas Open having been a late entrant which further underlines that he's not totally comfortable, though a return here could take care of that: he's on a run of five Masters top-10s in a row, and has lost to a total of one player (Tiger Woods) over the last two editions. Curse of the defending champion is a slight worry (only Nick Faldo has defended at the first time of asking) but that's another hurdle his mental strength can help to overcome and he probably remains entitled to favouritism. That said, he was plainly at the top of his game when sent off the same price in November and that just isn't the case this time.

Dustin Johnson won the Masters with a record score

JOHNSON, Zach

  • Augusta form: MC-32-1-20-MC-42-MC-32-35-MC-9-MC-MC-36-58-51
  • Scoring average: 73.15
  • Sub-70 rounds: 5/52

Former Masters champion who added a Claret Jug in 2015, at St Andrews no less. Shane Lowry reckons he didn't quite make the most of his year with the vessel, however, saying: "I'm sure the places I've brought it are quite different than the places someone like Zach has brought it." Amen, Shane. Johnson's Open win was a bit odd, in that it happened on a Monday and he received a few gifts. So was his win here some 14 years ago, in a rain-soaked renewal, when he chose to lay-up on every par-five... and it worked. Lucky? You don't need luck when you've got 71% of a higher power behind you.

JONES, Matt

  • Scoring average: 76.00

Blink-and-you'll-miss-him type, rare in this sport, who produced an assured, largely front-running display to win at PGA National. Must like this time of year having previously won the Houston Open to qualify for the Masters, where he wasn't a factor. This time his game is probably in better shape and from tee to green, that effort in the Honda is as good as you'll see from the 40-year-old. Recent winners always respected but no top-20 finishes in 16 majors so far.

KIM, Si Woo

  • Augusta form: MC-24-21-34
  • Scoring average: 72.29

A law unto himself (or his old man) who became the youngest ever winner of The PLAYERS Championship in 2017. Earlier this year, finally won for the first time since, taking his PGA Tour tally to three in total. Easy to overlook the fact he's more than a year younger than Jon Rahm and not much older than Collin Morikawa, and he has the ability to compete with players of this calibre if remaining fit. Improved since joining the Claude Harmon stable and has made his last three Masters cuts, always finishing near the middle of the pack. No surprise if he takes another step forward for all he has a penchant for something utterly destructive. Don't we all, Si Woo. Don't we all.

KISNER, Kevin

  • Augusta form: 37-43-28-21-MC
  • Scoring average: 72.83
  • Sub-70 rounds: 3/18

Bit of a golfing paradox, as a recognised match play specialist who has shown serious bottle in defeat and yet has lost all five play-offs on the PGA Tour, most recently at the RSM Classic. That type of short, coastal test is far more suitable than this and he knows it. Did well to make his first four Masters weekends and may do so again as a man for the big occasion who will be desperate to make the Ryder Cup side, but it's difficult to envisage a serious title challenge even if he does like to sling his draw. It just doesn't go far enough, even under the firmer conditions we expect.

KOEPKA, Brooks

  • Augusta form: 33-21-11-2-7
  • Scoring average: 71.10
  • Sub-70 rounds: 5/20

Back to his brilliant best early this year, winning in Phoenix and contending for a World Golf Championship soon after. Then came another setback in a career of them, surgery on his knee placing his participation in doubt. One rumour, started by Brad Faxon, suggested he'd be out for six months or more. Another said he played Riviera last week and was looking good. Whatever the truth, it's become hard to see him contending having looked a definite factor before his latest injury issue. Still respected because he's Brooks Koepka.

Brooks Koepka with the Phoenix Open trophy

KOKRAK, Jason

  • Scoring average: 74.00

Solid stick who has been transformed on the greens lately, which allied to some secret course knowledge saw him win for the first time on the PGA Tour last October. Bit of a disappointment on his debut here a couple of weeks later given that his long driving should get him onto the front foot, and now a question of how much he can improve on rounds of 71 and 77.

KUCHAR, Matt

  • Augusta form: 21-50-MC-24-27-3-8-5-46-24-4-28-12-MC
  • Scoring average: 71.98
  • Sub-70 rounds: 11/52

Consistent and classy ('classy') operator who would've won the 2017 Open Championship but for the fact it was Jordan Spieth and not any other player across the tee-box from him. Loads of good form in this, too, but is seemingly on the downgrade now and missed all three major cuts in 2020 — his first such run since 2009. That's also when he last failed to qualify for a major (missed 2014 US PGA through injury) although a timely run at the Match Play means he'll be involved in a few more yet before the sequence ends. It had looked set to, though, and that says much about his wider form. Made a dozen cuts from 14 tries here which earns him respect and is the sort of player you should neither side with nor oppose. Just let him get on with finishing 38th.

LAIRD, Martin

  • Augusta form: 20-57-MC
  • Scoring average: 73.30
  • Sub-70 rounds: 2/10

Confirmed his affinity for desert golf when taking the Shriners for the second time in his career. That dramatic, big-priced win earned him a fourth go at the Masters but first in eight years, and it's unlikely he'll be competitive come Sunday. That said watch out for him in a low-key three-ball as he has broken 70 twice in 10 rounds at Augusta — Henrik Stenson for instance has done so twice in 50, and Laird's particularly high ball-flight is a good underlying reason for his relative comfort here.

LANGER, Bernhard

  • Augusta form: Second of two wins came while Young at Heart, by The Bluebells, was number one in the UK
  • Scoring average: And here we are, twenty-eight years later
  • Sub-70 rounds: There's your outro song if he leads the bloody thing on Thursday

The year is 2051 and it's the final round of the Masters, where Charlie Woods leads by one in pursuit of his 19th consecutive green jacket. Nobody calls them patrons anymore, they're merely people. And they're even allowed to run, should they need the loo or something. Capitalism has broken the gates of Augusta National, where a can of Tiger-branded Amen Monster costs $20, although some traditions remain on the outside: the new president has only recently been inaugurated, and he is 82. Not as old as the man alongside Charlie in the final group, though. No, there goes 93-year-old Bernhard Langer, dropping anchor on the leaderboard. I must remember to thank him.

LEISHMAN, Marc

  • Augusta form: MC-4-MC-MC-43-9-49-13
  • Scoring average: 72.27
  • Sub-70 rounds: 3/26

Keen gardener who plays a bit of golf and often very well, collecting some high-profile wins and regularly contending in majors at his peak. Best efforts include fourth place here in 2013, when roaring Adam Scott to victory to confirm he is firmly in the Good Egg category, and top-15 finishes on two of his last three visits. November's effort was notable for the fact he arrived in fairly rotten form and his knowledge of the course, and belief that he can score here, could help him to outperform what will for many be fairly low expectations.

LONG, Joe (a)

  • Augusta form: n/a
  • Scoring average: n/a
  • Sub-70 rounds: n/a

Beat a good friend to win the Amateur Championship at Royal Birkdale. Only tour-level experience came subsequently in South Africa, where he missed both cuts, and would be defying the odds were he to make the weekend.

LOWRY, Shane

  • Augusta form: MC-39-MC-MC-25
  • Scoring average: 73.64

Hasn't put everything together since winning the Open, with just two top-level top-10 finishes since then and nothing better than sixth. That's a poor return and he knows it, though the fact his best efforts came in WGC and PLAYERS Championship company tells you he's a big-time golfer who just doesn't quit. Expect a determined run at making the Ryder Cup side and where better to start than Augusta, where he says he learned a lot from playing three rounds with Tiger Woods in November. That tie for 25th was his best performance at the course (MC-39-MC-MC before) and in theory he might find further improvement under firmer conditions. Not the silliest outsider and an option if you do want to oppose Rory in the top player from the island of Ireland market.

Shane Lowry and Tiger Woods in action at Augusta

LYLE, Sandy

  • Augusta form: Won here in 1988 after that bunker shot
  • Scoring average: Was good, now bad
  • Sub-70 rounds: None since 2010

Found it a bit of a slog under soft conditions last time and hasn't made a cut here since 2014. Came close in 2018 and 2019 but main role might be to take Robert MacIntyre under his wing during practice.

MACINTYRE, Robert

Scotland's Great White Hope who won the Cyprus Showdown last year and has climbed inside the world's top 50 to earn his Masters debut. Says he plans to play with the man above plus Patrick Reed, so he should know every trick in the book by tee-off. Inexperience is a major barrier here but takes things in his stride and arrives buoyed by his Match Play performance, again his first appearance in the event. Needs to dial in the long-game for what's another big week in his burgeoning career.

ICYMI: 'Gosh, he's a talented player' says double US Open champion Andy North of Bob MacIntyre @TheScotsman @ScotsmanSport @edinburghsport @GlencruittenG https://t.co/YddrN9jzNg pic.twitter.com/22A4TeF4oq — Martin Dempster (@DempsterMartin) April 2, 2021

MATSUYAMA, Hideki

  • Augusta form: 27-54-MC-5-7-11-19-32-13
  • Scoring average: 71.68
  • Sub-70 rounds: 7/34

Eye-catcher at the Match Play despite early exit and built on that with a strong start to the Texas Open, albeit failing to kick on during the second round where driving was particularly poor. Preparation somewhat similar to November, when he found his game just in time, and a run of six cuts made here demonstrates how well suited he is to Augusta. The problem is he's four years without a win and looks like a man who carries the weight of a nation, unable to stop things spiralling when his swing gets a little off. Otherwise, he has stacks in his favour, and on pure ability he's still a big price. Hard to omit from calculations having been 13th here last time and inside the top 20 on five of his last six Masters starts.

MCILROY, Rory

  • Augusta form: 20-MC-15-40-25-8-4-10-7-5-21-5
  • Sub-70 rounds: 14/46

Sometimes, people ask me why all the fuss about Rory McIlroy. The very same people getting worked up into something close to fury because this golfer is on TV a lot or talked about on twitter a lot, they watch him on TV and talk about him on twitter. Someone told me the BBC coverage of him was imbalanced on a day when there were more stories on their website about Lee Westwood. That's what divisive characters do: blind people, on both sides. Heck, having tipped him four times this year, I've been blind to his struggles. But I want to answer the question: why all the fuss about McIlroy? Well, it's this simple: he's the best European golfer of his generation and, for now, it isn't particularly close. Four majors, to Jon Rahm's zero. Perhaps that gap will narrow, but if you had to back one in a career match bet, it should be McIlroy. Four majors are not won easily. Dustin Johnson — DUSTIN ACTUAL JOHNSON, 36 — has two. That shouldn't have been necessary, but it was, and it spares me from discussing his chances. What can I say? He'll need to play better. At some stage, he will. And if he does it here, and wins the career grand slam, at a course where he was fifth despite an opening 75 in November, and fifth after a closing 74 in 2018, well... Pete Cowen must be a alien or sutin.

MICKELSON, Phil

  • Augusta form: 3-MC-12-6-7-3-3-3-1-10-1-24-5-5-1-27-3-54-MC-2-MC-22-36-18-55
  • Scoring average: 71.27
  • Sub-70 rounds: 30/94

Won this three times in a seven-year span and had some chances since, particularly in 2012 when an untimely triple in the final round proved costly, and again when second to Jordan Spieth in 2015. Some good stuff since, and that's also true of his recent play including 35th at Sawgrass and 25th at the Honda. And then he made a 10 (ten) on the final hole in round one of the Texas Open. From the middle of the fairway. Will probably be top senior if he avoids such catastrophies.

MIZE, Larry

  • Augusta form: Britain’s Inter-City 125 high-speed train sets a world record for the fastest diesel-powered train, and Larry Mize wins the Masters
  • Scoring average: Big year, 1987
  • Sub-70 rounds: ENDS

Augusta native who shot his lowest Masters score in more than a decade when opening with a two-under 70 last time, dusting his young playing partners by six and eight shots. Wouldn't really let that put you off looking to take him on again because, and I cannot stress this enough, the man is 62 years old.

MOLINARI, Francesco

  • Augusta form: 30-MC-19-MC-50-33-20-5-MC
  • Sub-70 rounds: 3/30

Fascinating career as a long-time nearly-man who found an extra 20 yards and with it a winning mentality to sweep the board in 2018. Arrived at Augusta the following spring as a big player and took a two-shot lead into the final round, which he caressed through the first 11 holes before disaster struck at the 12th, where he made double-bogey to lose his advantage in a discombobulating 10 minutes. More surprising, perhaps, was that he failed to recover, making another double at 15 and ultimately missing out by two. Career nosedived after that and took much of 2020 off to move his family to California. Now ready to go again, he has three top-10 finishes in six appearances this year and hit it well despite a missed cut at Sawgrass. Still expect he's a little short of where he'll need to be to go and lay some ghosts to rest.

MORIKAWA, Collin

  • Augusta form: 44
  • Scoring average: 72.00

Already put together an astonishing career less than two years into it and only recently having turned 24, with a major championship and WGC in the trophy cabinet. Expected more on his Masters debut but was in that post-PGA slump at the time, perhaps struggling more than he let on to deal with his lofty status, and may be more at ease on his return. Certainly, his ability to hit an approach shot pretty much exactly where he wants to marks him down as a potential Masters winner and a change in putting grip helped him to that World Golf Championship win at the end of February. As should now be clear, if he puts (putts?) it all together on any given week, he'll basically win or look like winning.

Collin Morikawa won the WGC-Workday Championship

MUNOZ, Sebastian

From the Lanto Griffin School of Improvement Sponsored by Mackenzie Hughes, impressing quietly since winning the Sanderson Farms in 2019. Very good debut top-20 plus some quality iron play throughout an otherwise quiet start to this year raises hope that he could be one of those players who finds comfort here, and will appeal to some in side markets, including top South American if they bother (wait, isn't that just... verus Niemann?), first-round leader if you like that sort of thing, and three-balls pending a decent draw.

  • Augusta form: MC-MC-12-59-12-55-MC-46-13
  • Scoring average: 72.93
  • Sub-70 rounds: 4/30

Accurate and sharp-short-gamed Korean-American who has become a bit of a winning machine lately, four in four years set against one in the previous 10. Don't want to labour the point but how many examples do people need before realising they actually don't know all there is to know about some golfer (named, say, Tony), and instead accept that this person (surname... Finau?) can actually evolve, can learn, can grow. Rhetorical question, the sort Na would ask of his pupils in some SoCal school where he's desperate to be everyone's mate but will, at a second's notice, haul you back into class to explain that you were very, very, very close to getting a b******ing, but this time he's going to let you off. See you at the party Saturday night.

NIEMANN, Joaquin

Really unfortunate to miss out due to Covid-19 in November, for what would've been a dream way to toast his 22nd birthday. Perhaps used that to fuel a run of quality golf in the interim, including back-to-back seconds in Hawaii and contending before a poor weekend at Riviera. Does have Augusta experience from 2018, when missing the cut as an amateur, and a bit like Hovland might just need another look. That said his long-game is outstanding and he simply has no weaknesses bar perhaps experience.

OLAZABAL, Jose Maria

  • Augusta form: Winner in 1994 and 1999
  • Scoring average: 73.36 from 1997-2020
  • Sub-70 rounds: None since 2006

Unfortunately not fit enough to compete regularly these days and no surprise he shot 78-80 when last here.

Legends like Lee Elder paved the way for champions like Tiger Woods - and many more to come. Returning in April. #themasters pic.twitter.com/8ICTvd0a8B — The Masters (@TheMasters) March 31, 2021

OOSTHUIZEN, Louis

  • Augusta form: MC-MC-MC-2-MC-25-19-15-41-12-29-23
  • Scoring average: 72.23
  • Sub-70 rounds: 8/40

Yet to win in the United States and while he'll retire an Open champion, that box surely needs ticking before he does. Being the man he is, don't be surprised if it's taken care of at the very highest level and perhaps at Augusta, where he hasn't missed a cut since 2013 and has been inside the top 30 on all bar one occasion since. Again, Louis being Louis, his chance to win here came when his course form read MC-MC-MC, and for all his consistency hasn't really had a sniff since losing that play-off to Bubba Watson. Was the halfway leader in 2019, however, and providing he's healthy should be expected to feature at some stage and in some capacity. Ignore the commentators when they tell you his putting is the problem, because it is not.

ORTIZ, Carlos

Broke his PGA Tour duck in the Houston Open on the eve of the November Masters, but with the field locked had to wait for his first visit. Beat Dustin Johnson there to confirm he's got some steel about him and for a while continued his ascent, before a dip in form more recently. Bad timing perhaps but might ride his putter through to Sunday and a respectable debut.

OSBORNE, Charles (a)

Runner-up at the 2020 US Amateur, surprising a few, and hasn't been doing much lately to suggest he'll extend his first look at Augusta beyond Friday. Apparently goes by the name Ollie, but I'm not going to call him Ollie. Charles is a good name.

PALMER, Ryan

  • Augusta form: 39-MC-10-MC-33
  • Scoring average: 72.88

Back for his sixth go six years after his last and deserves it, having produced some of the best golf of his career in this twilight stage. Top-10 finish in 2010 and reliable draw off the tee mark him down as one who can make the most of the opportunity, though he's never been one to rely upon come the crunch and that's remained the case lately such as when gifting Jon Rahm a win at the Match Play. Definitely one to weigh up in side markets and particularly for the first-round lead. He's been sixth and eighth after round one here, and although it's been a while since he led he has close to 40 each-way returns in this market on the PGA Tour. Hopefully he remembers his way around.

  • Augusta form: 7
  • Scoring average: 69.50

One-time classy amateur whose progress in the professional game has been stop-start, not surprising given he's not a very modern golfer: fairways and finesse are his thing. Shock contender here in November, when seemingly everything was against him, and fact he returned to form at the Honda on his final start will encourage some to chance him at a big price. No doubt, there have been some course specialists here who don't make obvious sense and he could become one of them if he picks up where he left off. More likely is that performance stands out.

PEREZ, Victor

  • Augusta form: 46
  • Scoring average: 72.25

One-time sex god from Séméac who is now the darling of Dundee, where he moved before winning the Dunhill Links and beginning his rapid (in as much as golf does rapid) climb up the world rankings. JP Fitzgerald by his side, the caddie with whom Rory McIlroy won his four majors, Perez shows no sign of stopping and he fared well enough on his debut here to respect his chance. Should he play well enough to bag one of those locker-room interviews, listen out for a voice so smooth he could narrate a Groove Armada song. I bet he is fond of sand dunes and salty air, too. Am I awake? Are you ??

POULTER, Ian

  • Augusta form: 31-33-13-25-20-10-27-7-MC-20-6-49-44-12-25
  • Scoring average: 72.28
  • Sub-70 rounds: 12/58

Sneaked into the big events thanks to his world ranking late last year and he's been desperately fighting to preserve it since. Plenty of promise from the Middle East to the United States and topped his Match Play group before bumping into a brilliant Scottie Scheffler performance. Will need to build on that and while it would be pretty hilarious were he to be striding these fairways as a peroxided pensioner having won his green jacket, it's clearly unlikely. That's despite 14 cuts made in 15 attempts which say a lot about his grit.

  • Augusta form: 27-4-9-7
  • Scoring average: 70.25
  • Sub-70 rounds: 7/16

(Written before wife gave birth at the weekend)

Spaniard with satisfying form figures and, in the eyes of many, a surefire Masters winner of the future. Wouldn't say it's quite that simple — Ernie Els and others would agree — but point is he's really taken to this place and why wouldn't he, as one of the most reliable drivers who has a pretty short-game and has improved with his approaches. All this got him to number one and makes him a big player as he gradually gets back to his best following an off-season manufacturer change. The concern is that his wife is heavily pregnant and Rahm says he'll be out of here as soon as the phone rings. Perhaps the more pertinent question is this: at what point deep into the tournament does Mrs Rahm simply choose not to dial? Beyond that, would like to have seen him have a genuine Sunday chance in a major, which so far he hasn't, but plainly a matter of time and loves it here despite topping one when in the mix on his last visit.

REED, Patrick

  • Augusta form: MC-22-49-MC-1-36-10
  • Scoring average: 72.04
  • Sub-70 rounds: 6/24

Oh, I don't know, I don't know, oh, where to begin, with the '18 champion. Won that despite being the local player who the locals, generally speaking, didn't want to win, and it's that back-against-the-wall position from which he's most dangerous. Is that why he keeps defying all other logic and bending/breaking the rules? Quite possibly. Perhaps the Karain family, a golfing dynasty to rival WWE's McMahons, have convinced their underling that the more enemies he has, the more powerful he becomes. Mark him down for the 'slam, then. Hopes here pinned on a return to early-season form but was 10th in November and wins more often than his odds tell you he should. Begrudgingly admired, but we shouldn't let that stop us having fun now, should we.

ROSE, Justin

  • Augusta form: 39-22-5-36-20-11-8-25-14-2-10-2-12-MC-23
  • Scoring average: 71.74
  • Sub-70 rounds: 13/58

Former world number one who parted company with Sean Foley last summer but is back with his old coach, and probably for the better. Some signs of encouragement, not least 23rd here, over the last nine months and was a good second to DJ in Saudi Arabia. Only played twice since and that's because he injured himself at Bay Hill, where he had been right in the mix before withdrawing on Sunday. Going to be hard to compete here in the circumstances despite having been a regular feature on Augusta leaderboards, most agonisingly when beaten by Sergio Garcia in that 2017 play-off. Strong chance he prefers those plinky-plonky advert covers to the originals and puts Shawshank among his top five films although you'll have to check that with his sponsors.

SCHAUFFELE, Xander

  • Augusta form: 50-2-17
  • Scoring average: 71.08
  • Sub-70 rounds: 3/12

Always hard to separate him from Patrick Cantlay, these two serious, all-round competitors filling that gap between the very elite and the rest. Both were fancied for the previous Masters on the strength of sustained runs of quality golf, and both this time arrive on what could be considered quieter and therefore beneficial preparations. As far as Schauffele goes he's really taken to Augusta, where he's a prolific birdie-maker, and there's not a great deal to overlook if you want to put a positive spin on things. Frustration is he's not got his hands on silverware in over two years now and it would be rare to end such a run in an event like this, while he would appear to be a little further away from his best than Cantlay. If I'm the only one who can't talk about one without talking about the other, sorry about that.

SCHEFFLER, Scottie

Looks like he might be Scottie Scheffler's dad but is actually Scottie Scheffler, a talented youngster who reached the final of the WGC Match Play recently. Went from seven rounds there to play in the Texas Open and I'm not sure that's the best way to prepare for this, but a debut 19th combined with his quality long-game and prolific birdie-making puts him on the radar. Do players win this for their top-level breakthrough? No, but the rules do appear to be changing and the 10 top-10 finishes he's racked up since earning his card reflect how regularly he'll earn you an each-way return.

Last man standing @DellMatchPlay . 🏆 @BillyHo_Golf defeats Scottie Scheffler for his sixth TOUR win and first World Golf Championship. pic.twitter.com/5FYZ0TvEoz — PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) March 28, 2021

SCHWARTZEL, Charl

  • Augusta form: 30-1-50-25-MC-38-MC-3-MC-MC-25
  • Scoring average: 72.39
  • Sub-70 rounds: 7/36

Capitalised on Rory McIlroy's meltdown to win this in 2011, with birdies at holes 15, 16, 17 and 18 enough to triumph by two. That looked like it might be the launchpad for a seriously impressive career but his only serious win since came in 2016 and I'm beginning to wonder whether he and Louis Oosthuizen have some kind of sick bet going. Better at the Honda a couple of starts back, and has popped up with some bizarrely good performances which include when 25th here in November, but can't really be considered with any degree of seriousness, not least because he wears a silly hat and plays with a silly ball.

SCOTT, Adam

  • Augusta form: 9-23-MC-33-27-27-25-MC-18-2-8-1-14-38-42-9-32-18-34
  • Scoring average: 72.24
  • Sub-70 rounds: 13/72

Appalling dress sense, and it's a good job: anything passable as fashion and he'd have every man on earth feeling inadequate, even if he does still rank below the actor Adam Scott in SEO performance. Something to work on, and so is his driving, which has been atypically poor after a shaft change this year. Putter has made up for it on occasion — honest, guv — and he hasn't missed a cut here since 2009, so we should expect him to get by regardless. Plus, that driver did begin to fire in the Honda Classic, along with his approach play, and I've warmed to his chances as a result. Can he make a four-footer when he needs to, though?

SIMPSON, Webb

  • Augusta form: 44-MC-MC-28-29-MC-20-5-10

Admirable major champion who many thought would disappear for good when the anchoring ban came into effect. Instead, he's found a way to make that putter of his a strength and with that have come further victories, including from the front at Sawgrass, plus two more titles in 2020. On the right course, where his iron play and putting are able to combat the fact he hits it short and sometimes waywardly, he's one of the best players in the world. On this one, my theory is if he plays as well as he can possibly play he might have a squeak, but there's really no room for manoeuvre. Course form of 20-5-10 over last three years is undeniably strong but hasn't looked like he might win the thing.

SINGH, Vijay

  • Augusta form: Winner in 2000
  • Scoring average: 72.94 (1996-present)
  • Sub-70 rounds: Many, but last one was 2006

Notoriously hard worker but didn't much fancy coming back on Saturday to complete a delayed second round last time, with his fate sealed, so withdrew citing illness. Made the cut as recently as 2018 and his form this year isn't bad, so may yet have a say among the old boys for all that Phil Mickelson and Bernhard Langer look the two to focus on.

SMITH, Cameron

  • Augusta form: 55-5-51-2
  • Scoring average: 71.56
  • Sub-70 rounds: 6/16

Laidback Australian (would be a tautology but for various tennis nutcases and Madge Bishop) who has played all 16 rounds here and boasts two top-five finishes, the second of them seeing him make history to become the first player ever to break 70 in all four rounds. Given that he neither hits it high, nor far, nor with a draw, and that he isn't necessarily a brilliant iron player, he's a surprising course specialist in some ways although his wedge play and short-game in general can both be of the highest standard. Whether they let him on the grounds with his hair as it is, we shall find out, but if they do another contending effort wouldn't surprise.

With a three-under-par final round, Cameron Smith became the first player to ever shoot 4 rounds in the 60s at #themasters . pic.twitter.com/TTUfYxYtml — The Masters (@TheMasters) November 15, 2020

SPIETH, Jordan

  • Augusta form: 2-1-2-11-3-21-46
  • Scoring average: 70.46
  • Sub-70 rounds: 9/28

Without doubt the biggest conundrum for punters, particularly if he goes and wins in Texas and therefore starts just about favourite for this. Why? Because as recently as February, he was 125/1 for a Phoenix Open as he looked set to drop outside the world's top 100. Since then, everything has clicked and it's been especially encouraging to see that brilliant iron play which underpinned his awesome results in 2015 return to a similar level. Plainly more comfortable than he's been in a long time off the tee, and as comfortable on these greens as anyone, the 2015 Masters winner, who was runner-up either side of that and also had a chance in 2018, looks a massive factor. But do you want to take 12/1? Hopefully you find that question easier to answer than I do and are therefore able to get some sleep between now and Monday evening.

I looked at Spieth's SG numbers in the three months leading into the month of the Masters for his seven appearances. Unsurprisingly, his finish at the Masters more or less corresponds to how he's playing in those 90 days leading in. pic.twitter.com/ksAZ3Ff8KS — Kyle Porter (@KylePorterCBS) March 31, 2021

STENSON, Henrik

  • Augusta form: MC-17-17-38-MC-MC-40-18-14-19-24-MC-5-36-MC
  • Sub-70 rounds: 2/50

The Iceman is on the verge of extinction if his current woes continue and, as is always the case with players of a certain vintage, we have to at least consider the possibility that he is now finished in terms of contending for and winning majors. Equally important is to keep an open mind as to one last hurrah but if it does come, it'll likely be elsewhere: Stenson has one top-10 finish in 15 Masters appearances and it's not a course which suits him, really. Can't stress enough how dreadful he's been lately, and while there were some encouraging signs in Texas, he missed the cut after an eight at the last. He should be taken on with confidence, even in the top Swedish market despite the absence of any other Swedish players.

STRAFACI, Tyler (a)

Decorated amateur whose grandfather was ninth in the 1937 US Open. Yet to make an impression at this sort of level, shooting rounds of 75, 76, 78, 72, 77, 75 and 78 across four PGA Tour or major appearances, and more likely to break that sequence with something in the eighties than the sixties. Set to turn pro later this year but only after playing in the Walker Cup, something his grandad wasn't able to do.

STREB, Robert

  • Augusta form: MC-MC
  • Scoring average: 78.00

Shock winner of the RSM Classic late last year, despite being a former champion, as he got the better of the fancied Kevin Kisner in a play-off. That ballsy display aside he's not done much to suggest he's up to featuring on major leaderboards and it's telling that both previous Masters starts ended early. His scoring average through four rounds so far is an eye-watering 78 and he's yet to break 80 on Thursday. Eeshk.

SWAFFORD, Hudson

Like Streb, earned his Masters return via a low-key victory towards the end of 2020 and it's significant that his sole meaningful form since came at the Sony Open, played at a course he loves. Went to college in Georgia so will cherish this return even more than most but there's some trepidation, too, after a missed cut in 2017 (77-76).

THOMAS, Justin

  • Augusta form: 39-22-17-12-4
  • Scoring average: 71.40

Brilliant winner of The PLAYERS Championship to put behind him a bad start to the year, some of which was his own doing. Record at Sawgrass prior to winning wasn't so very different to the one he's constructed here, with form figures of 39-22-17-12-4 particularly pleasing on the eye. Said himself that he should've won it in 2019 — that's despite finishing 12th — and was similarly frustrated not to kick on in November, when ideally positioned before a costly back-nine in round three. That took the wind out of his sails ahead of the final round and having made 14 birdies over the first 36 holes, he made eight thereafter. Despite lifeless Match Play exit, looks to be a major player once again with his deadly iron play a huge advantage, and if he does hole his share could be the one they all have to beat as one of the few truly elite players who has won recently and has proven themselves here.

Justin Thomas celebrates with his caddie

THOMPSON, Michael

  • Augusta form: MC-25

Solid player who hits fairways and holes putts and might've enjoyed a more successful career about 30 years ago. Two wins have come in the Honda Classic and 3M Open, both times demonstrating real grit and performing miracles around the greens. Has gone close in a major but it was at a course where he'd enjoyed success as an amateur; a short, narrow, rough-laded place which is diametrically opposed to Augusta.

TODD, Brendon

  • Scoring average: 74.25

Branden Grace, Brandon Wu. Brendan Steele. Brandon Stone, Brandon Matthews, Brandon Pieters, Brendon Todd. Got it? Good. An excellent putter who looks a bit like he's permanently trying to hear the waiter describe the specials in a busy restaurant where, to be frank, social distancing has gone out of the window. Yet to figure out what it takes here although MC-MC isn't as bad a record as it looks, with his last three rounds 71, 73 and 73. Missed by one in November and can scrape through to the weekend this time. Although I could of course be Brendon de Wronge about that.

WALKER, Jimmy

  • Augusta form: 8-38-29-18-20-36-60
  • Scoring average: 72.46
  • Sub-70 rounds: 0/28

Won the US PGA in 2016 and this is his final Masters invite based on that achievement, a melancholy thought for a player whose career has been derailed by Lyme disease. It's now approaching three years since his last top-10 finish on the PGA Tour and it's to his enormous credit that he kept up a flawless Augusta return in November, making it seven cuts made in seven visits. Hopefully he says what's likely a final farewell with four more rounds, although breaking 70 for the first time (amazing he's never missed a cut with this in mind) appears unlikely.

WALLACE, Matt

  • Augusta form: MC-46

Big year for the Englishman who hasn't tasted victory since 2018, continues to hover around 50th in the world, and will be desperate to make the Ryder Cup side having been unfortunate to miss out last time. Been a slow start but has quality caddie Gareth Lord alongside him and showed more in Texas, where he was tied for second at halfway. Do quite like his peak game for this, as he can really pepper flags when he gets going, so having broken 70 in round one last time he was here wouldn't rule out a decent week.

WATSON, Bubba

  • Augusta form: 20-42-38-1-50-1-38-37-MC-5-12-57
  • Sub-70 rounds: 12/46

Moody former Masters champ who is much more dangerous at some courses than others. This is plainly one he loves and while disappointing when well-backed in November, did play well across the middle rounds. Likely he's finished winning at the highest level although did at least take a forward step in the Match Play and is one who might appeal to course form fans who think Phil is beyond saving when it comes to the top left-hander market.

An emotional Bubba Watson is champion

  • Augusta form: 28-27-24-1-MC-5-11-20-17-46-43-MC-MC-MC-55-MC-MC-MC-MC-MC-51
  • Scoring average: 73.76
  • Sub-70 rounds: 6/66

2003 winner who is now on the Champions Tour, where a breakthrough win appears to be just around the corner. Perhaps it was the confidence drawn from being competitive again which helped him snap a run of missed cuts here last time, perhaps it was easier conditions, but that would appear to be at the very highest end of expectations either way.

WESTWOOD, Lee

  • Augusta form: 24-44-6-MC-44-MC-MC-30-11-43-2-11-3-8-7-46-2-18-38

Ageless veteran who is extremely popular with the lads. Runner-up twice on the PGA Tour this year having taken the Race to Dubai in dramatic fashion in 2020, and there's good evidence that his short-game is especially reliable now and means he doesn't have to hit 16 greens every day. All of that is more than enough to dream, and he's a two-time Augusta runner-up who hasn't failed to make the weekend here since 2006. Returned following a three-year absence to finish 38th in November and could well better that, but feel his chance came and went in 2016.

1998 ➡️ 2021 Lee Westwood at TPC Sawgrass, then and now. pic.twitter.com/H5fuGJFU7o — GOLFTV (@GOLFTV) March 14, 2021

WIESBERGER, Bernd

  • Augusta form: 22-34-43-24-58
  • Scoring average: 72.95

Returned from injury to win three times in a breakthrough 2019 but hasn't quite kicked on, and does have the look of a golfer who sits permanently on the periphery of Ryder Cup golf, never quite doing enough. Will certainly need to up his game from here but has made all five cuts at Augusta, which speaks to a comfort level few of his calibre can demonstrate, and is a player I like. Contended for the 2014 US PGA and has that sort of performance in him when everything falls right and that putter of his behaves. Like Jimmy Walker, flawless record here is despite no sub-70 rounds.

WILLETT, Danny

  • Augusta form: 38-1-MC-MC-MC-25
  • Scoring average: 72.56
  • Sub-70 rounds: 2/18

Big-time golfer who has won the BMW PGA Championship and DP World Tour Championship since winning here in 2016, the beneficiary of Jordan Spieth's infamous collapse but still impressive in the way he took advantage. Unfortunate to miss The PLAYERS through Covid-19 after a quietly encouraging start to the year, but did bag a top-10 finish in the Dominican Republic to sharpen up before heading to Texas to complete his preparations (MC). Would be an unlikely two-time winner but do expect big things in Europe this summer.

WOLFF, Matthew

I had a great bit written for this (see Herman, Jim) but Wolff went and won two of his three matches in Austin two weeks ago, where I needed him to withdraw after hitting precisely one shot. Look, it was always unlikely. Back to business and last year's US Open contender has stood still since losing a play-off for the Shriners soon after that, and remains stuck on that explosive 2019 win at the 3M Open. Best finish in a stroke play tournament since he missed the cut on his debut here in November was 36th in Phoenix and his driving has been a major problem. Can get away with waywardness here but very rare to arrive in such rotten form and compete, and I don't expect him to.

WOODLAND, Gary

  • Augusta form: 24-WD-26-MC-MC-MC-32-MC
  • Scoring average: 73.57
  • Sub-70 rounds: 2/23

Plagued by injuries since winning the US Open at Pebble Beach and with some new coaching input has looked a little lost for some time now. Still managed to produce flashes of ball-striking brilliance and is in a better place now than November, however eight Augusta starts show just three weekend appearances and nothing better than a debut 24th. At the time, it was eye-catching, but for now hold your bets.

WOOSNAM, Ian

  • Augusta form: Far
  • Scoring average: Too
  • Sub-70 rounds: Woosie

More retirements than your average former welterweight champion but has every right to decide what exactly he does thanks to a quite brilliant career. Run of missed cuts here stands at 11, four of his last 14 rounds have been 80-plus, and his last under-par round came in 2008, which is a bit of a detail-heavy way of telling you something that, presumably, you already know.

ZALATORIS, Will

Go to a little town in Georgia, turn up in Augusta with Will Zalatoris, and go, 'Oi, everybody! Little surprise for you. Will Zalatoris'. They’re gonna go, 'what are you doing here?' And not in an ageist way. They’re happy to see him. He’s welcome ’cause he’s qualified via the Official World Golf Rankings despite having been outside the world's top 500 and without a PGA Tour card at the start of last year. Well done. (Massive runner in the top debutant market and that, my friends, is your reward for making it this far)

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2022 Masters Form Guide

Situated just a few hundred yards beyond a relatively nondescript road to the north west of Augusta, Georgia, the hallowed turf of Augusta National Golf Club has been the venue for the Masters since 1934 and is the only Major to be played at the same course every year.

Because of its permanent location and a legacy that has grown over the decades, the course’s familiarity for the watching crowds and the multitude of TV viewers around the world, enhances the tournament’s lustre. Expect four memorable days of action from one of the most exclusive fields in world golf as they bid to win one of the most prized possessions in sport – the famed Green Jacket.

Front runners

Scottie Scheffler

pga tour form guide

The hottest man in golf right now with three wins in last five starts -moving him up to No.1 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Much of his early resume mirrors his friend Jordan Spieth’s: U.S. Junior Amateur winner, University of Texas star and PGA Tour Rookie of the Year. Could a Masters triumph be added to that impressive list?

pga tour form guide

The Spaniard finished in the top ten for the fourth consecutive time last year (T5) after a final round 66, but he’s never been closer than six shots from the leader through 54 holes. Won a maiden Major championship after finishing with back-to-back birdies on a breathless final day of the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines last season and has only finished outside the top ten on five occasions in his last 13 starts since then. Could a faster start over the hallowed turf of Augusta National be the key to securing a first Green Jacket next month?

Collin Morikawa

pga tour form guide

The Californian is the man for the big occasion with wins at last year’s Open Championship, DP World Tour Championship and WGC – Workday Championship propelling him up the World Ranking. Also has a US PGA Championship trophy on his mantlepiece alongside last year’s Race to Dubai Trophy. Will be making his third appearance at Augusta National with last year’s share of 18th his best showing.

Patrick Cantlay

pga tour form guide

The World No.5 is on some run of late having finished inside the top 10 in 10 of his last 15 events, including three wins at the Memorial Tournament, BMW Championship and the PGA Tour’s season-ending Tour Championship. Those three victories saw him beat the likes of Morikawa and Rahm to the FedEx Cup title and the mouthwatering $15 million prize for finishing the season as No.1. Finished as Low Amateur on his Masters debut in 2012 and has played four times since with a share of ninth in 2019 the best of the bunch.

Viktor Hovland

pga tour form guide

Hard to believe this will be just his second professional outing at the tournament after his rapid rise in the game since turning pro in 2019. Since then he has picked up three victories on the PGA Tour and two on the DP World Tour, with the latest coming in the UAE at the Dubai Desert Classic courtesy of a play-off victory over the in-form Richard Bland. Danny Willett and Sergio Garcia both slipped on the Green Jacket after winning at Emirates Golf Club in 2016 and 2017 respectively – could Hovland be doing the same this month?

Rory McIlroy

pga tour form guide

The Northern Irishman boasts a sublime record at Augusta National with six top tens in his 13 appearances while only finishing outside of the top 25 on three occasions. Missed the cut last year but that was around the time he tried, and failed, to emulate Bryson DeChambeau’s length off the tee, which led to all sorts of problems. The Ulsterman was ranked 13th in the world last time out but has now risen into the top 10 with two PGA Tour victories since then and could have added a DP World Tour triumph to that list if it he didn’t find the water on the last at the Dubai Desert Classic. Is this the year he finally wins the Career Grand Slam?

The Challengers

Bryson DeChambeau

pga tour form guide

Hasn’t had the best start to the year after missing the cut at the Farmers Insurance Open before withdrawing from the Saudi International with a left hand and left hip injury – returned to action at last week’s WGC – Dell Technologies Match Play. Has failed to finish inside the top 25 in four professional outings at Augusta, but the big-hitting American remains a threat to overpowering the course.

Jordan Spieth

pga tour form guide

Arguably one of the best players around Augusta National, Spieth took to the Masters quickly, finishing tied for second in his 2014 debut before winning the next year and finishing T2 again in 2016. The 2015 Masters title, which Spieth won wire-to-wire at 18 under par, was the first of the three Major titles he captured in less than two and a half years. Recorded his fifth top-5 finish last year, joining Arnold Palmer and Byron Nelson as the quickest to do it (eight starts).

Justin Thomas

pga tour form guide

Captured his 14th PGA Tour title, the 2021 Players Championship, just a month before last month’s Masters, where he finished in a tie for 21st. Has played the Masters on six occasions, never missing the cut, with his best outing coming in 2020 where he finished fourth, eight strokes behind leader Dustin Johnson. Game is trending nicely with top 20 finishes in nine of his last 11 PGA Tour starts, including four top fives.

Dustin Johnson

pga tour form guide

After winning the only edition of the Masters to be held in November in 2020, Johnson failed to make the cut the following year and has dropped from the summit of the World Ranking to eighth since then. When claiming his first Green Jacket, the American carded the lowest score in tournament history, 20-under-par 268 and had begun last year’s edition Johnson with a streak of 11 consecutive rounds under par at Augusta National, which is also a tournament record.

Cameron Smith

pga tour form guide

Wrote his name into the history books at the 2020 edition by becoming the first man to shoot all four rounds in the 60s, but still lost out by five shots to Dustin Johnson. His 15-under 273 total was the best ever by a runner up, which he shared that mark with his International Presidents Cup teammate Sungjae Im. In all but seven previous Masters 15 under would have won. Won last month’s Players Championship to scoop the biggest purse on the PGA Tour schedule – $3.6m.

Louis Oosthuizen

pga tour form guide

The South African, who enters his 14th Masters, had a near miss at the 2012 Tournament when he lost in a play-off to Bubba Watson – has been runner-up an incredible six more times in Major Championships since then. Holds many memorable memories around Augusta National, including being the only player to make an albatross at the par-5 second, making a hole in on the 16th while also winning the Par 3 Contest.

Brooks Koepka

pga tour form guide

The American comes alive for the game’s biggest events and has four Major championships to show for that between 2017-2019. Missed the cut in last year’s edition but made the cut in each of his five previous Masters before that as well as finishing tied 11th or better on three occasions. That includes a share of second in 2019, a year in which he finished in the top four at all four Majors.

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Preview: The 2023 US PGA Championship - predictions, course guide, preview

The world's finest golfers convene in New York this week, for the 105th US PGA Championship at Oak Hill Country Club.

Justin Thomas enters the week as the reigning champion after a thrilling and dramatic finish to last year's event, which ended in a playoff victory for the American.

US PGA Championship preview

Justin Thomas poses with the Wanamaker trophy after winning the PGA Championship golf tournament at Southern Hills Country Club on May 22, 2022

The 2022 US PGA Championship offered up arguably the most incredible finale to any tournament on the tour last year, with Thomas beating Will Zalatoris in a playoff, but that only tells half the story.

Mito Pereira led for much of the week, and he still held a one-shot lead heading into the 72nd hole, but a heart-shattering double bogey on the last meant his dreams of a first major win ended in devastating circumstances.

This year, all three are in much different form, and Zalatoris will not even be present as his season is over due to injury, while Thomas has been way below par and Pereira has defected to the LIV Tour.

Jon Rahm comes into the week as the previous major winner, claiming a landslide victory at the Masters last month, despite having to play through much of the awful weather conditions which overshadowed the tournament.

It was a poignant day for a Spanish winner, as it was the 40th anniversary of Seve Ballesteros 's second Masters success back in 1983, as well as being what would have been the late man's 66th birthday, with Rahm paying tribute to his golfing hero after receiving his first Green Jacket.

Spain's Jon Rahm celebrates with his green jacket and the trophy after winning The Masters on April 9, 2023

Rahm is joint-favourite at Oak Hill, along with the formidable Scottie Scheffler , who remains extremely consistent, finishing in the top-10 despite an underwhelming week at Augusta by his standards.

Last week at the AT&T Byron Nelson, Scheffler recorded another top-five finish, finishing just three strokes behind the winner Jason Day .

The victory for Day has been a long time coming, and it came as no surprise given his return to form this year.

Almost five years to the day since his last win on the PGA Tour, the Australian shot a wonderful 62 on Sunday to claim a 13th win on the tour, and the 2015 US PGA winner is highly tipped once again this week.

Jason Day at the AT&T Byron Nelson on May 14, 2023.

Seven top-10's this season already places Day as one of the best performers on the tour, and he was in contention at Augusta, but his hopes fell flat after shooting his worst round of the year, as four double bogeys in five holes during the final round saw him plummet down the leaderboard.

It was another disappointing display from Rory McIlroy too, as he failed in his continued pursuit of the career grand slam by missing the cut at Augusta, shooting five-over-par in his first two rounds.

This major will once again pit players from the PGA Tour against those who defected to LIV, and the Masters represented a success for the breakaway tour, with Brooks Koepka and Phil Mickelson both finishing in a tie for second.

Koepka's performance was reminiscent of his form from the late 2010s when he dominated many major tournaments, but he fell short after leading for much of the week, with a capitulation on Sunday allowing Rahm to coast to victory.

LIV's format of playing just 54 holes may have been to Koepka's detriment, as it was in the final 18 holes where his week unravelled, but he has won this tournament twice in the past, going back-to-back in 2018 and 2019.

Brooks Koepka celebrates winning the US PGA Championship on May 19, 2019

Mickelson also stunned many with his finish in second, remarkably coming from nowhere on Sunday to climb the leaderboard on a crazy day of scoring at Augusta.

Having shown no form at all on the LIV tour, the 52-year-old clearly still has what it takes to turn it on during the majors, especially having won this tournament as recently as 2021.

Among the rest of the LIV contingent, Dustin Johnson has been in good form, and he won in Tulsa last weekend ahead of the year's second major.

Talor Gooch was one of LIV's big scalps, with him being one of the PGA Tour's most promising youngsters, and he won back-to-back events at the end of April, so could also mount a challenge here.

In the three previous iterations of the US PGA Championship held here at Oak Hill, the course has served up quite the range of winners.

Jack Nicklaus won the 17th of his 18 majors here in 1980, before it went on to crown two one-time major winners.

Shaun Micheel shocked the world by claiming his only ever win on the PGA Tour in 401 starts in the 2003 US PGA while ranked 169th in the world, before Jason Dufner won the last time it was held in this part of New York back in 2013, but he has since missed five cuts in a row and not finished in the top-50 since his maiden victory.

Course guide

Volunteers walk behind the 1st tee during a practice round of the PGA Championship golf tournament at Oak Hill Country Club on May 15, 2023

As well as hosting three US PGA Championships, Oak Hill has also hosted the US Open on three occasions, as well as the 1995 Ryder Cup, where Europe famously won on US soil for just the second time.

The course has been lengthened significantly since 2013, with the two par-fives both over 600 yards and the final two holes both being 500-yard par-fours, while the thick rough here is the type usually associated with the challenge of a US Open or that found at the most difficult Open Championship courses, so length as well as accuracy will be key.

After Dufner won with a course record in 2013, the designers have revealed the changes made have been to make it a more difficult challenge for the players, so scoring could drop back to single digits under par this week.

Holes 10 to 16 could be vital, with three short par-fours and one of the two par-fives on this stretch of holes, giving the best opportunities for birdies anywhere on the course.

Allen Creek represents danger on many holes as the natural hazard runs through much of the course, and the reimplementation of many of the old bunkers that were in play decades ago reasserts the importance of accuracy around here.

SM words green background

We say: Scottie Scheffler to win

Scottie Scheffler during the final round of the Masters on April 10, 2022.

In yet another eagerly-anticipated major, being played at a course providing a challenge on par to the notoriously difficult US Open, the world's best will be put to the test this week.

Rahm and Scheffler are once again the men to beat, and it is hard to put an argument forward against one of those two winning here, but there will be plenty of competition.

Day's resurgence in 2023 makes him one of the most fancied out of the rest of the field, while McIlroy and Thomas need to rekindle the kind of form which has seen them both win this tournament on two previous occasions.

Xander Schauffele , Patrick Cantlay and Tony Finau are three of the tour's most well-known names now but are all still chasing a first major title, and this tournament has crowned many first-time major winners in recent years.

Koepka, Johnson, and Cameron Smith will lead the charge for those on the LIV Tour and can never be discounted given their undoubted ability.

However, our choice to lift the Wanamaker Trophy on Sunday evening is the relentless Scheffler, who can still grind out good finishes when playing way below his best.

If he turns it on here with his capability of hitting it long, finding fairways and getting on a hot streak on the greens, which he has done countless times before, it is hard to see past the world number two at Oak Hill.

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Breaking $100 - Free PGA Betting Picks - Golf Best Bets for the 2024 WM Phoenix Open

S peaking of winning here last year, and the year before, Scottie Scheffler will look to become the first person to "3-peat" since Steve Stricker thrice plowed through the field of the John Deere Classic from 2009 to 2011. Scheffler has had three of his seven best putting performances on the silky greens of TPC Scottsdale and is aptly priced at +500 in a field that lost both Hovland and Schauffele who withdrew after getting beat up around Pebble Beach and struggling to get out of the storm-swept Monterey Peninsula.

For those of you who are new to the article, Breaking $100 is a comprehensive PGA betting guide on how to squeeze every cent out of your $100. We will be breaking $100 into a betting card of outrights, first-round leaders, placings, and a "farewell fiver" all in an attempt to turn a structured betting strategy into a profitable and entertaining Sunday sweat. $100 is easily divided or multiplied, so please only bet amounts that you can afford to lose. You can find me on X an unhealthy amount of the time @TheModelManiac , if you have any questions, compliments, or insults for me.

Recap of Last Week

The Nasty Nine did not manage to get into the winner's circle, but Sam Burns (1oth) and Tom Hoge (6th) were sniffing around the top of the leaderboard and who knows what could have been had we got a fourth round of golf. Spoiler alert! We got them both back on our card again this week. After losing every one of our bets last week, we went with a light card that had immense upside, and boy oh boy did that upside come through.

We only invested a total of $40 into the week as we had no idea what the weather would do and managed to double our investment despite losing $20 in the outright market. Peter Malnati you beautiful bucket hat wearing son of a gun! He finished T14 and cashed our +900 T20 ticket on him, with other Rotoballers without access to ties paid in full, cashing larger tickets at +1100 and not having to worry about dead heats. Justin Thomas anchored our card with a solid return on his T10 bet at +230!

We also made four live bets in the first three rounds, going 3-1 and adding $20 our bankroll as Max Homa, Collin Morikawa and Justin Thomas all shot under their round totals in R1 and R2. Scottie Scheffler laid an egg in R3, losing our 3-ball matchup against Detry and Aberg, but the week was a resounding success, which was desperately needed after the Farmers Insurance Red Wedding the week before.

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Outrights ($10)

If you are interested in getting these picks as I make them on Mondays, jump into our premium discord where you will have access to my early bets and if you use code NEW on our platinum Package for only $17.40 a month. You will also have access to Spencer's picks as he makes them too along with EVERYTHING else Spence and our "double cup of Joes" have to offer to RotoBaller subscribers!

This week we are "Engaging Eight" hoping to blitz the leaderboard with golfers possessing elite characteristics in a few key areas of their game that could translate really well to this venue. We are not rolling out the full budget for outrights this week as we are holstering a few units to try grab a 40-1 or so on Justin Thomas if he gets off to a slow start, which he did here last year. Fingers crossed. I will be adding this after round 1 in my showdown article, if the opportunity presents itself.

Sam Burns $2.89 @ 25-1 (FanDuel)

The winner of the last WGC Match Play event, where he took down a rampant Cameron Young (arguably breaking the guy, as he has not really recovered since) after beating his buddy, Scottie Scheffler in the semi-final match. Burns owns a 2-0 record over Scheffler the last two times they found themself in contention, adding a walk off win at the Charles Schwab Challenge two years ago to his Scottie scalp collection. This is one of the main reasons I adore Burns this week, as he not afraid to go toe-to-toe with anybody when in contention, as Scottie's ball-striking floor should have him loitering around the top of the leaderboard that he has made his very own travelling air BnB, week in, week out.

It is all good and well to be able to close out tournaments when in contention, but getting into contention is arguably the hardest part and we are hoping to catch Sam Burns in some really good form entering the week. Burns has a 10th and a 6th place finish in his last two starts, while adding a sixth-place finish here last year to the list of reasons we like him this week. His putter and approach play have been trending really nicely, and if that confidence spills over into his driver, call management because Sam is about to waste this Phoenix Open field.

Sahith Theegala $1.44 @ 50-1 (FanDuel)

Sahith Theegala is the literal definition of lightning in a bottle, as his last few starts have had a win eight starts ago, a 2nd four starts ago, and nothing better than T19 in the other events in between. He is a boom or bust baller, which makes him an ideal outright and T5 candidate because of this profile. He also tends to handle the pressure of pursuing a win really well, choosing to fight instead of flight. He now heads to a golf course that delayed the blossoming of his career two years ago, with a really bad bounce on the 71st hole sending his ball into the water. Two years later, Theegala will be looking for redemption with a win now under his belt!

Byeong Hun An $1.44 @ 50-1 (DraftKings)

Byeong Hun An has four top-5 finishes in his last eight starts. Let that sink in real quick. Half of his last eight starts have been fourth or better!!! Since graduating flying class he has hopped onto his broomstick and gained strokes putting in all but one of his nine starts since July. He has played TPC Scottsdale five times in his career, finishing T23 or better in four of those events. His iron play has flirted with gaining two total strokes in every one of those starts, even when finishing T53. His tee-to-green has been impeccable at this course and now shows up with the missing piece, a 50 inch broomstick that should see him soar to victory after many close calls lately.

We placed this bet Sunday night on the research stream that I do every week at 10ET while they are on the west coast.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VR6QNxR3rOI&t=7039s

Emiliano Grillo $0.66 @ 80-1 (FanDuel)

Emiliano Grillo is the 9th-best putter entering the week, and despite his iron play being a bit of a let down lately, he heads to a course where he will likely hit 45% of his approach shots from 150-200 yards. The Argentine and winner of last year's Charles Schwab Challenge, thrives from that range, gaining the 8th-most strokes on approach from that range over the last 12 months. Those are two top-10 areas of his game that he gets to show off at 110-1, a number at which we are completely fine ignoring his mild lack of ball striking form entering the week. Let's get it Grillo!

Tom Hoge $0.66 @ 110-1 (FanDuel)

The only golfer hitting his irons better than Tom Hoge over the last two-dozen rounds? Scottie Scheffler. Despite lacking a bit off the tee, Tommy Tables grades out as the 19th best overall ball-striker in the field courtesy of the shiny silver sizzle sisters collectively known as Titleist 620 MB irons. Hoge has had mixed results at this venue, with his better performances notching finishes of T14 in 2022 and T25 in 2020. The way he is hitting his irons right now, getting triple digit odds on him while his putter seems to have found a bit of a groove, is very exciting.

Christiaan Bezuidenhout $0.48 @ 150-1 (FanDuel)

"The last seven starts for my fellow countryman, Christiaan Bezuidenhout, have had a 2nd, 3rd, T6, T9 and T17 in five of them. Some were back home in SA, while the T6 at the Sanderson Farms and the 2nd place at the AMEX are two high end finishes for him on the PGA Tour which could potentially spill over into a win at a Pebble Beach golf course that will hardly punish his lack of distance off the tee, while his recent spike in iron play the last few starts should see him rolling in a lot of birdie putts. He had four wins on the European Tour in 2019 and 2020 which sprung him like a Springbok onto the PGA Tour where he is eyeing his first win on US soil." - Pebble Beach writeup.

Minus the distance off the tee, everything else mentioned above is still extremely valid, with his iron play even more impressive after a T20 at Pebble saw him enter this week with the third most strokes on approach in his last 24 rounds. Full disclosure, only 8 of them were shotlink. But, Bezuidenhout possess the lethal combination of approach play and putting that can see him at the top of the leaderboard in similar fashion to that of his AMEX 2nd place finish a few weeks ago. He is due to follow in the footprints of his fellow South African, Erik Van Rooyen, adding another PGA Tour win to the Springbok trophy cabinet, making himself a very viable returner to this year's President's Cup.

Kevin Yu $0.48 @ 150-1 (DraftKings)

We have multiple golfers on our card who would be #1 in a respective stat, were Scottie Scheffler not in the field. Kevin Yu is second in the field in ball-striking over the last 24 rounds, that include 10 shot link rounds. He is a freak off the tee, possessing power and precision and now that he has flirted with gaining strokes on the greens, we have seen Yu finish T3 and T6 in half of his 2024 starts. The events he has lost strokes putting, he has finished T58 or missed the cut. We placed this bet on the Sunday Night Research Stream, and the number has since plummeted to 70-1. That makes us feel good about the value we got before the books refreshed the odds board. Go win it this week, Kevin!

Troy Merrit $0.14 @ 500-1 (BetRivers)

We have seen Troy Merrit overcome the YIPS and has been gaining strokes in a big way with the putter the last few starts. He is also really tidy around the greens and has the potential to spike on approach. We just had a bit of a gut feel here and I think what made this bet most enticing is that we also got him at 100-1 for a top-6 as we took the Each Way option at BetRivers. So we have $0.14 on him for a top-6 as well, which we will include in the placement part of the card.

Did you know RotoBaller has a Premium DFS PGA subscription ? Like what you read today? You can show your support for Byron by using the discount code MANIAC when purchasing a PGA Premium Pass . You get 10% off and full access to all of our Premium PGA articles, DFS tools, models, projections and Lineup Optimizer! You also get access to weekly betting picks from Spencer Aguiar, one of the top betting minds in the industry.

Placings ($85)

The placement portion of this card is wild. We are loading up on some really long odds, but with minimal exposure from an investment perspective, if looking to return $20. We are also basically doing what we have done this year, and bet our outrights top-5. But this week we are going to assign that budget to markets each respective golfer has found the most success in over the last 12 months.

Below is a summary of how each golfer has done in each respective betting market based off the logic that we would bet them every event to return $100 in each market of each event. Obviously we don't do that, but it gives us a good idea of the profitability for each golfer and whether or not we are missing out on a golfers upside by not being aggressive enough and bumping them up from a T20 to a T10, or the other way around for guys who never quite crack the top 10, but always find themself in the top 20. Let's call this the opportunity cheat sheet?

The yellow columns are the dollars lost or won the last 12 months, white column being the return on investment % (profit(loss)/investment), and the green column being the rate at which a golfer finishes in each respective position tier.

The Farewell Fiver ($5)

Round 1 3-ball Parlay $5 to win $98.79 (DraftKings)

Good luck this week, and as always, may the odds be ever in your favor!!!

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Scheffler, thomas join those who say liv defectors should be punished if returning to pga tour; brandel chamblee proposes 'fair punishment', share this article.

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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — If the PGA Tour and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund end up going into business together, what will that mean for LIV defectors being admitted back to the Tour?

That remains to be determined, and while there have been many opinions on whether they should be punished or allowed back because they “strengthen the product,” few have suggested what would make for a fair punishment.

The most common player response has been to say some form of it being above their pay grade. But not Golf Channel’s Brandel Chamblee. He has been one of if not the most consistent and sharpest critics of LIV, and he responded to a question on social media on what he thought fair punishment for jumping to LIV might be. “They should have to sit out for a period of time, pay fines, and when they come back, support/play in only non-signature events for as long they played for LIV,” Chamblee wrote on X.

Last week, Rory McIlroy said he didn’t think LIV defectors should be punished . Rickie Fowler was first to publicly say he disagreed with McIlroy . He has had more company sharing his opinion this week, namely two-time major winner Justin Thomas and world No. 1 Scottie Scheffler.

“I would say that there’s   a handful of players on LIV that would make the tour a better place, but I’m definitely not in the agreement that they should just be able to come back that easily,” Thomas said Tuesday, two days before the WM Phoenix Open gets underway at TPC Scottsdale. “I think there’s a lot of us   that made sacrifices … I would have a hard time with it (welcoming back LIV players without penalty).”

On Wednesday, Golfweek ’s Eamon Lynch asked world No. 1 Scottie Scheffler how he feels about the subject during “Golf Today” on Golf Channel.

They should have to sit out for a period of time, pay fines and when they come back, support/play in only non signature events for as long as they played for LIV. https://t.co/GLf9WNrJwn — Brandel Chamblee (@chambleebrandel) February 8, 2024

“That’s definitely a complicated issue that I’m not sitting too far on one side of the fence with that,” Scheffler said. “I think there’s a different level of player that left – you had some guys that left our Tour and then sued our Tour, that wasn’t really in great taste; and then you had some other guys that just left and they wanted to do something different, and everybody made their decision, and I have no bad blood toward the guys that left. But a path toward coming back, it wouldn’t be a very popular decision, I think, if they just came back like nothing ever happened. They did kind of leave and – they left our Tour, that’s just part of it. There should be a pathway back for them, but they definitely shouldn’t be able to come back without any sort of contribution to the Tour.”

When pressed as to what that pathway and punishment should look like, Scheffler offered little of substance.

“I’m not really sure what that is, but there should be something,” Scheffler added. “I think that’s going to be the opinion of most of the players that stayed. You know, we remained loyal to a tour, a tour that was loyal to us. I built my entire career here on the PGA Tour, and I wasn’t willing to leave it. I dreamt of playing on this tour. Some of the guys that left, maybe that wasn’t for them, but I think if they want a pathway back, there should be one, but it definitely shouldn’t just be coming back in first week they want to come back and play. There should be some sort of caveat to them getting back on our tour.”

So far, only Chamblee has publicly offered what a version of punishment might look like.

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Best golf drivers in 2024: new drivers from callaway, cobra, ping and more, q&a: kevin kisner on roasting players at wm phoenix open, who he'd like to see in the booth & why he's ok with the pga tour partnering with saudi arabia, bombs, hole-outs and water balls: jordan spieth did some jordan spieth things during a weather-delayed wm phoenix open, 10 surprising names left out of lpga hall of fame, including several world golf hall of fame members, lexi thompson, linn grant and leona maguire among solheim stars at aramco saudi ladies international, costumes, beers and vibes: scenes from tpc scottsdale's 16th-hole stadium at 2024 wm phoenix open, photos: check out the celebrities at the 2024 wm phoenix open pro-am.

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In this week’s edition, we take a deep dive into parties, politics and the perfect PGA Tour schedule.

The Thunderbirds . This week’s WM Phoenix Open is a testament to what professional golf wants to become.

Although Tour officials and traditionalist likely cringe at the thought of a weekly parade of party holes, the essence of what the Tour is trying to do with its signature-event concept and LIV Golf’s vision is to introduce golf to new fans via a more modern and engaging product.

The Thunderbirds, the charitable organization that runs the WM Phoenix Open, and its executive director, Chance Cozby, have spent decades perfecting the party, likely against the Tour’s better judgement from time to time.

Events from South Florida to Connecticut have tried to replicate the madness that is TPC Scottsdale’s final four holes with varying degrees of success, but no one has been able to duplicate the mayhem.

Players often explain that while they enjoy the TPC Scottsdale experience they would be reluctant to embrace this type of frenzied atmosphere every week, but if professional golf is serious about moving into the mainstream, the Thunderbirds have created the boozy blueprint.

Mr. 57 . It’s important to get the journalism out of the way when it comes to Cristobal Del Solar’s record-setting 13-under 57 on Thursday at the Korn Ferry Tour’s Astara Golf Championship in Bogota, Colombia.

Astara Golf Championship presented by Mastercard - Round One

  • Brentley Romine ,

On Day 1,the Pacos Course at Country Club de Bogota played at 6,254 yards (and around 8,600 feet above sea level). Del Solar’s scorecard came with a “yellow sticker,” which means players were allowed to use preferred lies.

The facts are important because as we learned following Wyndham Clark’s third-round 60 at Pebble Beach last week, there will be those who question the validity of the achievement because of the use of preferred lies or, in Del Solar’s case, the perceived ease of the golf course.

The historians will decide where Del Solar’s and Clark’s rounds fall in the record books, but in the meantime it’s best to simply celebrate an unbelievably good round.

Made Cut-Did Not Finish (MDF)

Atmospheric rivers . The same storm, dubbed an atmospheric river by meteorologists, that rocked Pebble Beach on Sunday and forced the event to be shortened to 54 holes made the first few days at TPC Scottsdale equally uncomfortable.

Out of an abundance of sympathy, the Tour can’t control the weather (full stop). But it can control the calendar. As the circuit continues to reinvent itself, it might finally be time to take a deep dive into when some events are played, with Pebble Beach being the best example.

Anyone who lives in Northern California will tell you the late spring and early summer offer the best forecast and the same argument can be made for next week’s Genesis Invitational in Los Angeles.

The West Coast and Florida swings are the byproducts of a bygone age when travelling from coast-to-coast wasn’t as easy as it is now, and while it’s worth repeating the Tour can’t control the weather it could give its players a better chance of avoiding another atmospheric river.

Division . Last week, many of the world’s best players were at Pebble Beach battling each other — and the weather — at the year’s first full-field signature event while the rest of the best were in Mexico at the LIV Golf season opener.

scheffler_1920_pga23_d2_koepka.jpg

The notion that the current professional model isn’t sustainable has been largely embraced by those on both sides of the Tour-LIV Golf divide and the last two weeks, with the Tour in Scottsdale, Arizona, and LIV Golf in Las Vegas, at the moment, have proven that a fractured sport isn’t good for fans, sponsors or media partners.

But if most agree the current path isn’t sustainable, the degree of difficulty for unification has also been evident with Rory McIlroy saying the quiet thing out loud at Pebble Beach: “If [players who joined LIV Golf] still have eligibility on this Tour and they want to come back and play or you want to try and do something, let them come back,”

Many, including world No. 1 Scottie Scheffler, scoffed at that notion.

AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am - Round Three

“You had some guys that left our Tour and then sued our Tour. That wasn’t really in great taste,” he said this week on Golf Channel’s “Golf Today.” “A path towards coming back, I think it wouldn’t be a very popular decision, I think, if they just came back like nothing ever happened.”

The nuanced difficulties of negotiating a multi-billion dollar deal are challenging enough for officials from the Tour and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, but it will likely be the ultimate human desire for retribution that makes any deal exponentially tougher.

Spiraling agendas . Anyone who tuned into the U.S. Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations hearings last summer watched as golf became a tool for lawmakers to pick away at other, unrelated pet topics.

Last week brought more of the same as the subcommittee questioned executives from four consulting firms – Boston Consulting Group, McKinsey & Company, M. Klein & Company and Teneo – as part of their inquiry into the potential definitive agreement between the Tour and PIF.

Senators have requested various documents from each of the firms but the fund was granted temporary injunctions in a Saudi Arabian court to keep the consultants from providing the information the subcommittee has requested.

Tuesday’s hearing lasted nearly two hours and touched on each firm’s work with PIF and the fund’s interest in professional golf, but senators also used the platform to dig in on other topics, like a particularly uncomfortably contentious exchange between Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) and Bob Sternfels, the global managing partner of McKinsey & Company.

“How is it that you end up with so many clients who are state-owned Chinese corporations who are hostile to the United States,” the senator asked, and followed up, “You’ve advised 22 of the 100 biggest, state-owned companies in China … Why did you do that? It doesn’t have anything to do with money, does it?”

That line of questioning went on for more than 10 minutes and is a glimpse into what awaits Tour and PIF officials if/when they reach a definitive agreement.

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PGA Tour secures up to $3 billion from U.S. investors as LIV Golf merger hangs in the balance

  • A U.S. consortium, Strategic Sports Group, will invest up to $3 billion into the PGA Tour.
  • Talks about investment from the Saudi Public Investment Fund continue.
  • Under the new agreement, players will have the opportunity to gain equity in the tour.

A U.S. consortium has agreed to invest up to $3 billion into the PGA Tour, the professional golf organization announced Wednesday.

Under the terms of the deal, the investor, Strategic Sports Group, will become a minority owner in PGA Tour Enterprises, the for-profit entity of the PGA Tour. The group will make an initial investment of $1.5 billion in the PGA Tour.

The second $1.5 billion of the investment is guaranteed, according to a source familiar with the talks. The PGA Tour will get it once negotiations with the Saudi Public Investment Fund conclude. There is no deadline for those talks to end.

The agreement comes as the organization tries to plot out its future in the face of competition from the upstart LIV Golf and a proposed merger with the Saudi-funded league. The tour confirmed progress on its ongoing negotiations with the PIF on a potential future investment and its discussions with the DP World Tour.

"Today marks an important moment for the PGA Tour and fans of golf across the world," PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan said.

The deal received unanimous support from the PGA Tour player directors.

As part of the new agreement with Strategic Sports Group, the tour said nearly 200 players will have the opportunity to receive equity participation in the tour. These would be awarded in the form of grants, which vest over time — and would be based on their career accomplishments and future participation and services with the tour.

"By making PGA Tour members owners of their league, we strengthen the collective investment of our players in the success of the PGA Tour," Monahan said.

Strategic Sports Group is led by Fenway Sports Group's John Henry. It includes a variety of investors, private equity names and sports owners, including Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank, New York Mets owner Steve Cohen and Boston Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck.

"Our enthusiasm for this new venture stems from a very deep respect for this remarkable game and a firm belief in the expansive growth potential of the PGA Tour," said Henry, principal owner of Fenway Sports Group and manager of the Strategic Sports Group.

Monahan and Henry held a players-only call to share the news with members Wednesday morning.

The investment comes at a pivotal time for professional golf. The tumultuous rivalry between the PGA Tour and Saudi PIF-backed LIV Golf has divided players, and a merger could dramatically change the sport.

The PGA Tour-LIV deal  was first announced in June , when Monahan and Saudi Public Investment Fund Governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan announced the news on CNBC. It came as a surprise to many, as the two competing leagues were engaged in a bitter legal feud at the time.

Critics  claimed  that the deal was a means for Saudi Arabia to gain influence in the U.S. through sports investments. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman controls the PIF.

LIV Golf, launched in 2022, formed as a rival league to the tour. By offering lucrative prize money and signing bonuses, the Saudi-owned tour was able to lure away top players like Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka and Jon Rahm.

The PGA Tour-LIV Golf deadline was originally set for Dec. 31. Monahan previously told players the organizations were extending the deadline based on the progress they had made to date. A formal decision on the combination is expected to take place ahead of the Masters Tournament in April.

The deal is subject to Justice Department and regulatory approval.

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WM Phoenix Open

WM Phoenix Open

TPC Scottsdale (Stadium Course)

Scottsdale, Arizona • USA

Feb 8 - 11, 2024

IMAGES

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  6. 2018 Official PGA TOUR Essential Guide To Golf Now Available

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    Tour Championship 2021: Course and current form stats for the final event of the PGA Tour season. Andy Swales. 30 August 2021. 4:00 min read. East Lake in Georgia first staged the Tour ...

  9. TOUR History & Chronology : PGA TOUR Media Guide

    PGA TOUR History. Certainly, professionals have competed against each other from the earliest days of the game in the United States. In 1895, 10 professional golfers and one amateur played in the first U.S. Open in Newport, Rhode Island, Shortly thereafter, tournaments began to pop up across the country, including the Western Open in 1899.

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  13. Preview: The 2023 US PGA Championship

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  19. PGATOUR.COM

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  23. Cut Line: Time for PGA Tour to change up its swings?

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  25. WM Phoenix Open betting guide: 8 picks our gambling expert loves

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  26. The Players Championship 2023 Tips

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  27. PGA Phoenix Open 2024 Predictions, Expert Golf Picks & Odds This Week

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  28. WM Phoenix Open 2024 Golf Leaderboard

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