By Riley Magnuson
March 7th, 2023
The “5th Major” is finally here, and for many, this tournament ranks near the top from a fans’ perspective just as much as it does for the guys in the field this weekend. The action on the PGA Tour has been absolutely outstanding in 2023, and there truly is no reason why this weekend won’t deliver another gem for our viewing pleasure.
If you follow me on Twitter you saw the action we had last week at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, but unfortunately I was unable to post my blog in time. Thankfully, last week was exactly the bounce back that we needed, adding a strong (+1.04u) to the bankroll, despite a Sunday double bogey on the 17th from Sungjae Im to kick him outside of both the top 10 and top 20 standings.
Nevertheless, I am ready to tackle another big weekend, this time with just two players as opposed to the recent three preflop options. Stay tuned on Twitter for any late weekend adds or hedge opportunities! Best of luck, and let’s have some fun!
2023 PGA Record: 8-24 (+2.98u)
All-Time PGA Record: 27-56 (+19.85)
Keegan Bradley Outright Winner (+5000) (0.1u) Top 10 (+450) (0.2u)
Top 20 (+210) (0.5u)
While guys like Rickie Fowler and Jason Day are soaring back into contention on a consistent basis and generating the comeback buzz, Keegan Bradley has somewhat quietly found a resurgence over the past year-plus. Ranking as high as 10th in the world in 2013, from 2016-2020 Bradley was often seen ranking outside of the top 100 players in the world.
During that time, his putting was absolutely atrocious, and while that wasn’t his strong suit even while at his best, he has reformed himself in his mid-30s, turning that weakness into a formidable aspect of his game. In 2022-23, he sits 25th on tour in putting average.
Even during his low points, this tournament and course would have been a rare point in the season in which Bradley could have been poised for success. Now, with his incredible prowess as a ball-striker mixed with vastly improved putting, Bradley could be a serious dark horse this weekend to make a huge statement, gain some respect and turn this quiet comeback tour into a must-see TV.
To tie it all together, Bradley has had strong success at TPC Sawgrass, even during some of the low points of his career. This will be the 13th time he has played this tournament, making the cut in nine of the previous 12 runs, with his most recent showing in 2022 showing a fifth place finish. If Bradley is striking the ball in form this weekend, be on the lookout for a huge weekend.
Will Zalatoris Outright Winner (+3500) (0.1u)
Top 10 (+320) (0.2u) Top 20 (+150) (0.5u)
Despite some concerns of back soreness, Zalatoris’ game is poised for a big showing at TPC Sawgrass this weekend. With a 21st and 26th place finish in his first two runs at this tournament, the 26-year old has no doubt gotten the lay of the land at this course. The 53rd place finish last week is not really concerning to me, as the (+2) finish is right on average for that course and tournament for Zalatoris.
A fourth place finish at The Genesis Invitational in his previous appearance prior to the API, stands as his best finish of the year, and proof that his back soreness can be dealt with.
Zalatoris is just so solid across the board and at a place that tests every aspect of a golfer’s game, Zalatoris will always be a strong selection for this tournament. He ranks 3rd on tour in strokes gained off of the tee, 19th in driving distance, and 19th in GIR percentage. It is a small sample size for him in this season, but those numbers are right in line with what he put together last season. It is time for Zalatoris to put on a show this weekend on a big, big stage.