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|What||Workday Charity Open|
|Where||Muirfield Village Golf Club, Dublin, Ohio|
|When||Thursday, 09 July – Sunday, 12 July|
|How to watch||Thursday-Friday, 3pm-6pm ET (Golf Channel). Saturday-Sunday, 1pm-3pm (Golf Channel), 3pm-6pm (CBS). All 4 days on Sky Sports|
A new name/sponsor/tournament on the PGA Tour usually sends #TeamCourseForm into a slight panic but a quick look at the venue for this week’s Workday Charity Open allays those worries.
To aid with logistics during the upheaval to the schedule caused by COVID-19, both this week’s event and next week’s Memorial Tournament are being played at the same course, Muirfield Village in Ohio.
The Jack Nicklaus-designed par 72 has been the host venue for the Memorial every year since 1976, producing a storied list of champions.
However, expect slower greens and the course to be much more receptive this week. Hosting two events needs some planning and with temperatures in the mid-90s, the course will receive plenty of water so it’s in prime, slick condition for the Memorial Tournament a week a Thursday.
Odds taken from bet365.
Bryson DeChambeau justified his billing as clear betting favorite last week, landing the short +600 odds with a three-shot win at the Rocket Mortgage.
That was the third straight week a high-profile home golfer had hoisted the silverware after the ‘W’s for Dustin Johnson at the Travelers Championship and Webb Simpson at the RBC Heritage.
If that trend continues, look out for Justin Thomas or Patrick Cantlay, the winner of last year’s Memorial.
American players have won the last four events at Muirfield Village so Euro trio Jon Rahm, Justin Rose and Viktor Hovland will be amongst those looking to snap the trend.
With the course set to play easier than it does at the Memorial, the door could be open for Cameron Champ to burst through and claim a third PGA Tour win.
The 25-year-old certainly enjoys a birdie-fest and has won his two titles with 21-under (2018 Sanderson Farms Championship) and 17-under (Safeway Open).
Champ currently ranks 11th on the season-long Birdie Average stats and has looked close to another big performance since the action returned.
He started out with T14 in the Charles Schwab Challenge, shooting rounds of 66 and 65, before adding another 66 when T12 in last week’s Rocket Mortgage Classic.
In between, he tested positive for coronavirus at the Travelers before having three further tests which were negative. Due to quarantining, his prep for the Rocket Mortgage was rushed so it was impressive to see him fly in late and rack up another top 15.
Champ missed the cut at this venue last year but conditions will be more to his liking this time and the odds of +6600 (bet365 1/4 1-2-3-4-5) look generous for a player of his talent.
Hideki Matsuyama carries the label of ‘course horse’ this week and the signs look good for another big week at Muirfield Village.
The Japanese golfer played the Presidents Cup here in 2013 and then took victory on his Memorial debut the following summer.
He was fifth when defending in 2015 and his 5-for-6 slate includes T13 in 2018 and T6 in 2019.
Reed, by contrast, hasn’t played it anywhere near as well, managing just a single top 25 (T8 in 2016) in four appearances.
The Texan’s recent play is also patchy. He came back with T7 in his local event at Colonial but has since wobbled with MC-24-MC, his iron play looking less than sharp.
Matsuyama appeared rusty in his comeback event when slamming his trunk early after rounds of 74-70 at the RBC Heritage but he fired middle laps of 68-65 on the way to T21 at last week’s Rocket Mortgage Classic.
He ranked 3rd in Strokes Gained: Tee To Green and 7th in SG: Approach at Detroit Golf Club and those are ideal numbers for this week’s test which rewards strong iron play.
The putter has been a little cold but Matsuyama loves this track so back him at -137 at DraftKings to enjoy a better finishing position than Reed.
Phil Mickelson has a bunch of good finishes at Muirfield Village and, adding it all up, he’s finished in the top 20 in eight of his 15 appearances .
Those figures include a run of 20-22-13 from 2016-2018 so we’re not just relying on old form here.
While he plays it well, the easier conditions this week may suit even more. Phil can still drive it wild but his tee-ball will hold the softer fairways better and the receptive greens will help facilitate his enduring fire-at-the-pins mindset.
On his latest start, ‘Lefty’ went on a birdie blitz for the first two rounds of the Travelers Championship and had a piece of the 36-hole lead after his 64-63 start.
He fell back on the weekend which perhaps tempers expectations here but the five-time Open champ can easily secure a top 20 finish at +335 with DraftKings.
In the outright market, take Cameron Champ at +6600 with bet365. Course horse Hideki Matsuyama is worth a bet at -137 to have a better finishing position than Patrick Reed in DraftKings’ matchups while the same firm’s +335 for Phil Mickelson to make the top 20 is worth a play.
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Dave Tindall is former golf editor at SkySports.com and Golf365.com and has been writing betting previews for the PGA Tour and European Tour since 1997. He has also written for a range of betting companies, including William Hill and Betfair, as well as being a regular columnist for Rotoworld, The Guardian, Sporting Life and Planet Sport. His other area of speciality is football while he's also covered cricket and tennis.
Email: [email protected]More info on Dave Tindall
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