After a wild Genesis Invitational finished in a two-hole playoff with Max Homa and Tony Finau, the PGA Tour has a second straight week with a strong field. Due to Covid-19, the PGA Tour moved the WGC-Mexico to Sarasota, Florida. After the move, the PGA Tour announced a new sponsor for the tournament, thus creating a new tournament, the WGC-Workday Championship.

Due to the change in location, the Florida swing starts one week early. It’s tough to predict this week, since past scores and winners were in Mexico City and other courses. The bad boy of golf Patrick Reed is in the field this week, looking to defend his title of the WGC-Mexico last season. The last sentence is one that you won’t see much coming soon. After this week, there are only two tournaments for a while that will have a 2020 champion, due to Covid-19 pausing last season. Without further ado, let’s get into what to expect this week.

Television Coverage

Round One

NBC Sports Gold Featured Groups: 11:00 AM-6:00 PM EST.

Golf Channel: 1:00 PM-6:00 PM EST.

Round Two

NBC Sports Gold Featured Groups: 11:00 AM-6:00 PM EST.

Golf Channel: 1:00 PM-6:00 PM EST.

Round Three

NBC Sports Gold Featured Groups: 8:00 AM-2:30 PM EST.

Golf Channel: 12:00 PM-2:30 PM EST.

NBC: 2:30 PM-6:00 PM EST.

Round Four

NBC Sports Gold Featured Groups: 8:00 AM-2:30 PM EST.

Golf Channel: 12:00 PM-2:30 PM EST.

NBC: 2:30 PM-6:00 PM EST.

Players to Watch at the WGC-Workday Championship

As always with a WGC tournament, the field includes some of the best in the world. Included in the field is 19 of the top 20 of the official world golf rankings, making it one of the toughest tournaments to win on the PGA Tour’s schedule.

Here are my top three players to watch this week at the WGC-Workday Championship (odds are courtesy of Bovada, as of February 22nd).

Jon Rahm (+1000)

After a slow first three days at last week’s 2021 Genesis Invitational, Rahm showed why he was one of the favorites with a strong five-under par final round. Rahm looks to take this momentum into the WGC-Workday Championship and finish better than tied for fifth. Since the start of the 2020-21 season, Rahm has eight starts, all resulting in top 25 finishes. Five of those finishes are top 10 finishes.

Despite zero wins, Rahm has had strong showings at World Golf Championship tournaments. Other than a runner-up finish in the Dell Match-Play, Rahm has tied for third twice at the WGC-Mexico.

Brooks Koepka (+2500)

Brooks Koepka has had an interesting 2020-21 season. After back-to-back top five finishes, Koepka missed three consecutive cuts. He would follow up the cuts with a dramatic finish and a win at the Waste Management Phoenix Open.

After finishing tied for 38th last week at the 2021 Genesis Invitational after shooting six-over par in the third round, Koepka looks to capture his second WGC tournament. His first win was the 2019 WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational. Outside of this win, he has finished tied for second place twice, once at the 2020 WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational and the other at 2017 WGC-HSBC Champions event.

Patrick Reed (+2800)

Patrick Reed has six starts this season. In four of the starts he finished in the top 25. In the others he missed the cut and won in controversial fashion in his last start at the Farmers Insurance Open. Reed has had a lot of success at this tournament, capturing two wins in his WGC appearances. Those wins came in 2014, when it was the WGC-Cadillac Championship, and 2020, at the WGC-Mexico, suggesting that the change in venue doesn’t ruin Reed’s chances at all.

The Course

The PGA Tour professionals face a new challenge this week when they show up to the Concession Golf Club. Concession Golf Club’s course is a course designed by Jack Nicklaus and Tony Jacklin, winner of two majors. The name comes from Nicklaus conceding the final putt to Jacklin in the 1969 Ryder Cup, resulting in the first tie in Ryder Cup history.

The course plays as a par-72, with greens that will test the players mentally, especially since it will be the first time a lot of players will see this course.

Laying up on the third hole, a par-five, forces players to be precise with their second shot. With a clear false front on the green, players need to be careful with a wedge in their hand.

The 10th green will is a great example of what players will face, making pace a deciding factor in who will raise the trophy on Sunday.

The 72nd hole forces players to make a difficult shot to finish out their round and tournament. Missing the fairway off of the tee will make it more difficult to find the green in regulation. Players will need to be accurate with their second shot with water to the right and a bunker to the left.

Picks and Predictions

Pick of the Week: Rory McIlroy (+1400)

Despite a missed cut last week, McIlroy has six top 25 finishes this season, including two top 10’s at the U.S. Open and the Masters. McIlroy also has a top five finish on the European Tour this season, suggesting that he is finding his grove just in time for the major season to begin.

Rory enters this week with three wins at WGC events. Those events include the 2014 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, the 2015 WGC-Cadillac Match Play, and the 2019 WGC-HSBC Champions event. The only WGC event that Rory hasn’t won? You guessed it, the WGC-Workday Championship event (that includes the variations of the tournament, including the WGC-Cadillac and the WGC-Mexico).

Bet of the Week: Tony Finau Top Five Finish (+350)

With 20 top five finishes since his lone win in 2016, I am riding with Finau to finish top five again. The 20 top five finishes includes last week’s dramatic playoff loss at the 2021 Genesis Invitational.

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Hunter Brown
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Hunter Brown

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