The PGA TOUR makes its third stop on the Florida swing this week, as TPC Sawgrass hosts THE PLAYERS Championship. The course measures as a 7,256-yard par 72 and features Bermuda grass greens. We have yet another loaded-field on tap this week, with 43 of the top 50 players in the world scheduled to be in Ponte Vedra Beach for one of the biggest events of the year.
Below I have outlined my two favorite bets for the week.
All betting odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
Xander Schauffele to Win (+2500)
It’s not too often that we see Schauffele at any number above 20/1, so when we do it’s simply an auto bet. People are going to look at the fact that he’s missed three consecutive cuts at this event and immediately write him off.
We must add some context to this. First of all, Schauffele finished runner-up to Webb Simpson (who we’ll get to momentarily) in his debut at TPC Sawgrass back in 2018. He then missed the cut by one stroke in 2019, and shot a two-under-par 70 in the first round in 2020 before the event was ultimately cancelled due to COVID. Fast forward to last year, where Schauffele was absolutely rolling in his first round, sitting at four-under par through 16 holes. Play was then halted due to severe weather, and he did not come back out until the following morning where the winds were basically hurricane force. Schauffele went on to bogey 17 and quadruple-bogey 18, to fall from T9 to T90, ultimately ending his tournament hopes.
All this to say, there has been a lot of flukiness in Schauffele’s history at THE PLAYERS Championship, and the majority of it could be completely thrown out.
After a strong start to 2023, Schauffele has floundered a bit over his past two starts, finishing T39 and T33. There are still very few players I trust more than the X-Man when conditions get tough, and this event never comes without chaos. Two subpar showings should not take away from the fact that Schauffele ranks seventh in this field in SG: Ball-Striking and fourth in SG: Total over his past 48 rounds.
It’s only a matter of time before he snaps out of it, and we know he’s always done his best work at the biggest of events, so I love going back to the well here, especially at this number.
Webb Simpson to Win (+13000)
Admittedly, this number would be a decent bit longer if not for Simpson’s heroic performance on Sunday at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. The veteran made a whopping 10 birdies, en route to a final round 66. That of course was the low round of the day, and saw him propel up to T24 on the leaderboard. He also gained 2.21 strokes on approach during his final round, second in the field behind only Harris English.
The T24 marked Simpson’s best finish in months, but also marked this third consecutive made cut after missing four of his previous five. As bad as Simpson has been, it’s simply hard to imagine he lost all of his talent overnight, and his showing at Bay Hill last week was encouraging enough to back him at a very enticing 130/1 in this spot.
Simpson never had great history at THE PLAYERS. That was of course until 2018, where came out of nowhere to lap the field and win by four strokes. We know things can get incredibly wacky at TPC Sawgrass with all the water hazards, especially if the winds pick up, so getting this big of a number on a past winner who just went nuclear in his most recent round of competitive golf is simply too good to pass up.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and customer (my username is Lan1228) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.