PGA Tour golf odds: HP Byron Nelson Championship
The PGA Tour begins a two-week Texas Swing this week with a visit to the TPC Four Seasons in Irving for the HP Byron Nelson Championship, and Jason Day is the opening WagerWeb.com betting favorite at +1400 along with Matt Kuchar and defending champion Jason Dufner, who hasn’t won since. Check our current lines.
Overall, TPC Four Seasons averaged 71.087 strokes in 2012, fourth-highest among 13 par 70s in non-majors. It’s ranked inside the top 10 in fewest fairways hit in each of the last five years (52.47 percent in 2012). Last year’s greens in regulation clip of 62.40 ranked 17th-lowest among all courses last season. And saving par is even more challenging. The course registered a scrambling percentage of 52.78 in 2012, its second-lowest of the last five editions.
Dufner and former winners Keegan Bradley (2011) and Day (2010) are among seven entrants among the top 25 in this week’s world rankings. No. 7 Louis Oosthuizen holds the highest ranking in the field. Last year, just three weeks after scoring his first PGA Tour win, Dufner collected his second with a 25-foot birdie putt on the 72nd hole to complete a 67 that left him one shot clear of Dicky Pride. J.J. Henry, buoyed by a hole-in-one, took a one-stroke lead to the 17th tee but flew the green on the way to a double bogey.
Day has yet to finish outside the top 10 in three visits to the TPC Four Seasons. The Aussie, who once made Fort Worth his home, also placed fifth in 2011 and tied for ninth last year. Kuchar has four top-10s to his credit this season, notably a win at the WGC Match Play, and hasn’t missed a cut in 2013. He’s finished inside the top 15 each of the past two years at this tournament, including a tie for sixth in 2011.
Charl Schwartzel, Oosthuizen and Bradley are all +2000 on WagerWeb.com. Schwartzel is playing this event for the first time. A T55 at the Players Championship last week ended his string of top 25s in stroke-play events at 13 straight. He ranks 33rd in strokes gained-putting, sixth in adjusted scoring and first in three-putt avoidance.
Oosthuizen has made five PGA Tour starts in events with a cut this year, but has played the weekend only twice. Those two efforts, though, resulted in a tie for 10th in Houston in addition to last week’s T-19 finish at the Stadium Course.
Bradley broke through at this tournament in 2011 en route to Rookie of the Year honors. Tied for 24th in his title defense. He’s missed his last two cuts, but he has five top 10s this season. Ranks 16th in adjusted scoring average.
PGA Tour odds: The Players Championship
It’s the richest event on the PGA Tour this week as the pros head back to Florida for the Players Championship on the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass outside of Jacksonville. It’s often referred to as the fifth major.
World No. 1 Tiger Woods and defending champion Matt Kuchar head what is typically one of the year’s strongest fields. Overall, the field features each of the top 30 in this week’s world rankings and 38 of the top 40. The Stadium Course provides a stern test each year, with firm and fast conditions and a finishing stretch of holes 16-18 that will test the nerves of even the strongest competitors. Of course No. 17 is the famous island green.
No two consecutive holes on the Stadium Course play in the same direction, doglegs were created in both directions and care was taken to offer both short and long holes of every par. No hole, though, gets more attention than its shortest – the 137-yard 17th over water to a green reachable only by narrow pathway from the back. The notable par 5-3-4 closing stretch averaged 11.937 in 2012 (-0.063 strokes to par). That’s primarily due to the 16th hole where everyone in the field of 145 must be thinking birdie (or better) to build a cushion for the demanding finish on the 7,215-yard layout.
The PGA Tour’s flagship event celebrates its 40th playing this week. And there has never been a repeat champion since the tournament began in 1974 at Atlanta Country Club. Since TPC Sawgrass first hosted in 1982, only four of the 31 winners have posted as many as two titles at the tournament, and none since Davis Love III in 2003. Of that quartet, only Steve Elkington (1991, 1997) didn’t wait over a decade to secure victory No. 2.
Woods is the +700 favorite on WagerWeb.com. Woods, with three wins in 2013, tries again to solve a course that may have given him the most fits among those he regularly plays. He owns just one top-10 finish since his lone Players win in 2001, with injury forcing him to withdraw twice in the past three editions.
Adam Scott and Rory McIlroy are +1600 on WagerWeb.com. Scott is making his first start since a breakthrough win at the Masters, Scott returns to a course where he won in 2004 and finished T-15 a year ago. The Aussie has played sparingly thus far in 2013, but when he’s teed it up he has played well, with top-10s at both Doral (T-3) and Riviera (T-10).
McIlroy, meanwhile, has missed the cut in all three previous trips to this event. He has recorded four top-25 finishes in his last five starts this year and currently leads the PGA Tour’s all-around ranking, comprised of a variety of key metrics. The reigning PGA champion is fourth on Tour in GIR percentage, fifth in par-4 birdies, sixth in driving distance and eighth in birdie average.
Luke Donald is +2000 and Phil Mickelson +2200 on WagerWeb.com. The Englishman has a strong record, with three top-six finishes over the past seven years at a venue where he has never won. After a near-miss in Charlotte, Lefty returns to TPC Sawgrass where he won in 2007 and has recorded seven other top-25 finishes. A winner earlier this year in Phoenix, Mickelson now leads the Tour in birdie average and sits 16th in strokes gained putting.
Please note that all betting lines listed above are opening lines. Check our current lines here.
PGA Tour odds: Wells Fargo Championship
Normally the big-money Wells Fargo Championship in Charlotte draws most of the top players in the world. But because there were only two tournaments in between this event and the Masters this year and because nearly every top player is teeing it up next week for the Players Championship, the only player ranked in the world’s Top 10 teeing it up at Quail Hollow is Rory McIlroy. The world No. 2 is the +900 favorite on WagerWeb.com.
Fairways at Quail Hollow, which will host the PGA Championship in four years, are among the hardest to hit among all courses on the PGA Tour — it ranked third-lowest in driving accuracy (47.59 percent) for the third straight year in 2012 — and the proximity-to-the-hole measurement is always among the longest. After four consecutive years as No. 1 on Tour, it ranked third in 2012 at exactly 40 feet.
Finding greens in regulation was likely to be a strong indicator for success this week, but with reports that several of the greens at Quail Hollow may be in poor condition, the importance of having as many birdie putts as possible will only increase. Since 2009, three of the four champions have finished T-5 or better for the week in GIR percentage: Sean O’Hair (T-3), McIlroy (T-4) and Rickie Fowler (T-5).
Quail Hollow features possibly the toughest closing stretch in all of golf. The final three holes are known as “The Green Mile” and feature two 480-yard par 4s surrounding the par-3 17th, which is 217 yards and guarded lots of by water.
McIlroy won this event in 2010, thanks to a course-record 62 for this first PGA Tour win, missed the cut the following year and then lost in a playoff to Fowler last year — the runner-up finish did return McIlroy to No. 1 in the world for the rest of 2012. In a strange twist, the last three defending champions have failed to make the cut the next year in the Wells Fargo Championship.
Lee Westwood and Phil Mickelson are +1600 to win at WagerWeb.com. Though he struggled in his last start at the Masters, Mickelson’s record at Quail Hollow is stellar. Prior to last year’s T-26 finish, Lefty had posted six top-10 finishes in his last eight appearances, having never finished worse than 35th in Charlotte.
Westwood tied for fifth a year ago in Charlotte. He finished T-8 at the Masters in his most recent event, and has notched top-25 finishes in four of his last five starts this season.
Webb Simpson, who lives less than a mile from Quail Hollow, and Fowler are +1800 on WagerWeb.com. Simpson took a week off after losing in a playoff at the RBC Heritage following the Masters, his third top-six finish of the season. Simpson was solo fourth here last year. Fowler won in thrilling fashion last year and had strong results in each of his prior two Charlotte appearances (sixth in 2010, T-16 in 2011). He’s cracked the top 30 only twice in six stroke-play events since January, however.
Please note that all odds on this article are opening lines. Check our current betting lines.
Here are the first-round tee times. The times and tees are flipped in Round 2.
7:00 AM Pat Perez, Tag Ridings, David Hearn
7:10 AM Matt Jones, Colt Knost, James Hahn
7:20 AM Chez Reavie, Chris Stroud, Ryo Ishikawa
7:30 AM Scott Brown, Ryan Moore, Hunter Mahan
7:40 AM Andres Gonzales, Martin Kaymer, Chris Kirk
7:50 AM Andrew Svoboda, Padraig Harrington, Trevor Immelman
8:00 AM J.J. Henry, Jonathan Byrd, Wes Short, Jr.
8:10 AM Scott Stallings, Michael Bradley, Retief Goosen
8:20 AM Greg Owen, Josh Teater, Jordan Spieth
8:30 AM Steve Marino, Robert Streb, Bud Cauley
8:40 AM Michael Letzig, Darron Stiles, Patrick Reed
8:50 AM Paul Haley II, Steve LeBrun, Joey McLister
9:00 AM Peter Tomasulo, Eric Meierdierks, John Peterson
12:25 PM Bo Van Pelt, Brendon de Jonge, Nicolas Colsaerts
12:35 PM Chad Campbell, Jimmy Walker, Martin Flores
12:45 PM John Rollins, Neal Lancaster, Nicholas Thompson
12:55 PM Rory McIlroy, Bubba Watson, Angel Cabrera
1:05 PM Zach Johnson, Lucas Glover, Lee Westwood
1:15 PM Ben Curtis, Ben Crane, Rory Sabbatini
1:25 PM Ted Potter, Jr., Kyle Stanley, Stuart Appleby
1:35 PM Jason Bohn, Vaughn Taylor, Daniel Summerhays
1:45 PM Andres Romero, Camilo Villegas, Ricky Barnes
1:55 PM Cameron Tringale, Ken Duke, Joey Snyder III
2:05 PM Aaron Watkins, Ross Fisher, Henrik Norlander
2:15 PM Doug LaBelle II, Jin Park, Nate Smith
2:25 PM Shawn Stefani, Morgan Hoffmann, Jack Fields
7:00 AM John Senden, Boo Weekley, David Lynn
7:10 AM Joe Ogilvie, Richard H. Lee, Erik Compton
7:20 AM Seung-Yul Noh, Robert Karlsson, David Lingmerth
7:30 AM Sergio Garcia, Webb Simpson, Bill Haas
7:40 AM Phil Mickelson, Nick Watney, Rickie Fowler
7:50 AM Johnson Wagner, Stephen Ames, Scott Verplank
8:00 AM Tommy Gainey, Gary Woodland, Mike Weir
8:10 AM Jonas Blixt, George McNeill, Jerry Kelly
8:20 AM Robert Garrigus, James Driscoll, Hunter Haas
8:30 AM Kevin Sutherland, Brandt Jobe, David Mathis
8:40 AM Jeff Gove, Will Claxton, Justin Hicks
8:50 AM Brad Fritsch, Bobby Gates, Derek Ernst
9:00 AM Justin Bolli, Jim Herman, Kelly Mitchum
12:25 PM Troy Matteson, Brian Davis, Fabian Gomez
12:35 PM Kevin Stadler, Roberto Castro, Scott Langley
12:45 PM Dicky Pride, Jesper Parnevik, Brian Stuard
12:55 PM Martin Laird, D.A. Points, Henrik Stenson
1:05 PM Kevin Streelman, John Merrick, Russell Henley
1:15 PM Sean O’Hair, Geoff Ogilvy, Robert Allenby
1:25 PM Charlie Beljan, John Huh, Brendan Steele
1:35 PM Charles Howell III, Brian Harman, Luke Guthrie
1:45 PM Jeff Maggert, Tom Gillis, Kevin Chappell
1:55 PM Jason Kokrak, Casey Wittenberg, Ben Kohles
2:05 PM Scott Gardiner, Lee Williams, Luke List
PGA Tour golf odds: Zurich Classic of New Orleans
Just six of the world’s Top 25 golfers will tee it up this week in the Big Easy as the PGA Tour visits TPC Louisiana for the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. It’s obviously a popular spot to visit but this tournament doesn’t often draw well because of the two big-money events that follow: the Wells Fargo Championship and Players Championship.
Expect plenty of birdies this week on a course where traditionally the winning score can approach 20 under. Scoring overall at 7,425-yard TPC Louisiana last year was at an all-time low of 71.00. Inversely proportional, its par-breakers split of 21.57 percent was an all-time high. Prior to their playoff, Jason Dufner and Ernie Els completed regulation in a course-record 19-under 269. With a birdie on the second hole of sudden death, Dufner secured his first victory on the PGA Tour.
Seventy-one bunkers and five water hazards pepper the Pete Dye design, so course management and distance control are keys. Last year, the field averaged 69.07 percent in greens in regulation; that tilts toward the easier half on Tour. Since moving to TPC Louisiana in 2005, this event has seen only one player win while making more than six total bogeys during the week – Andres Romero, who won in 2008 despite eight bogeys. Last year, Dufner made only four bogeys and Els made just three bogeys across 72 holes.
Could this be the fifth week the third-round leader at a Tour event doesn’t win? Winners in 10 of the first 12 stroke-play events of 2013 won holding at least a share of the 54-hole lead. Since then, four straight events have been won by players coming from behind on Sunday: D.A. Points at the Shell Houston Open (trailed by 1 shot), Martin Laird at the Valero Texas Open (trailed by 5), Adam Scott at the Masters (trailed by 1), and Graeme McDowell at last week’s RBC Heritage (trailed by 4).
World No. 4 Justin Rose is the highest-ranked player in the field and is the overwhelming +900 favorite on WagerWeb.com. Rose has 14 consecutive top 25s worldwide. He shared 10th at last year’s Zurich, ranking T2 in GIR and 10th in scrambling. This is a course where he shot three straight rounds in the 60s last year and if not for an opening-round 72, would have contended then too.
Dufner is the +1600 second-favorite on WagerWeb.com along with Bubba Watson and Keegan Bradley. Dufner’s 2013 season has been solid with six top-35 finishes in nine starts, but no top 10s. The defending champion ranks No. 1 in all-time earnings at this event.
Watson, the 2011 champion tied, for 18th last year in defense of his title, and this season has five top-20 finishes in seven starts. On a course where birdies will be prevalent, Watson leads the Tour in par-4 birdie or better percentage.
Bradley co-leads the Tour with five top 10s. He ranks 13th in adjusted scoring and 20th in the all-around. Shared 26th place in his debut at TPC Louisiana in 2011. Though he struggled over the weekend at Augusta National, Bradley had four straight top-10 finishes prior to the Masters.
Please note that all betting odds are opening odds, check our current lines here.
Here are the tee times for the first two rounds.
TEE NO. 1
7 a.m.: Vaughn Taylor, Ricky Barnes, Matt Every
7:10 a.m.: Tag Ridings, Lee Janzen, Daniel Summerhays
7:20 a.m.: Chez Reavie, Tim Herron, Nicholas Thompson
7:30 a.m.: John Merrick, Charlie Beljan, Aaron Baddeley
7:40 a.m.: D.A. Points, Freddie Jacobson, Justin Leonard
7:50 a.m.: Jonas Blixt, Jonathan Byrd, Robert Allenby
8 a.m.: Kyle Stanley, Sean O’Hair, Michael Bradley
8:10 a.m.: Joe Ogilvie, Graham DeLaet, David Lynn
8:20 a.m.: Charley Hoffman, Brendon de Jonge, Martin Flores
8:30 a.m.: Rod Pampling, Kevin Stadler, Patrick Reed
8:40 a.m.: Aaron Watkins, Steven Bowditch, Marcel Siem
8:50 a.m.: Doug LaBelle II, Alistair Presnell, D.H. Lee
9 a.m.: Jin Park, Luke List, Matt Fast
Noon: Jason Bohn, John Senden, Will Claxton
12:10 p.m.: Kevin Sutherland, Greg Owen, Darron Stiles
12:20 p.m.: Boo Weekley, David Lingmerth, Robert Streb
12:30 p.m.: Michael Thompson, Ernie Els, Rickie Fowler
12:40 p.m.: Keegan Bradley, Justin Rose, Billy Horschel
12:50 p.m.: George McNeill, Gary Woodland, Stephen Ames
1 p.m.: Troy Matteson, Chad Campbell, James Hahn
1:10 p.m.: Charlie Wi, Seung-Yul Noh, Roberto Castro
1:20 p.m.: Jesper Parnevik, Ken Duke, Justin Hicks
1:30 p.m.: John Rollins, Colt Knost, Richard H. Lee
1:40 p.m.: Justin Bolli, Henrik Norlander, Guan Tianlang
1:50 p.m.: Casey Wittenberg, Derek Ernst, Eric Meierdierks
2 p.m.: Bobby Gates, Lee Williams, Shane Lowry
TEE NO. 10
7 a.m.: Camilo Villegas, D.J. Trahan, Steve Marino
7:10 a.m.: Jeff Overton, Fabian Gomez, Jordan Spieth
7:20 a.m.: Andres Romero, Harris English, Ben Kohles
7:30 a.m.: Nick Watney, Jason Dufner, Bubba Watson
7:40 a.m.: Scott Piercy, David Toms, K.J. Choi
7:50 a.m.: Johnson Wagner, Rory Sabbatini, Stuart Appleby
8 a.m.: Ben Crane, Retief Goosen, Mike Weir
8:10 a.m.: Jeff Gove, Brian Stuard, Joey Snyder III
8:20 a.m.: Charles Howell III, Brandt Jobe, Jason Kokrak
8:30 a.m.: Billy Mayfair, Greg Chalmers, Brian Harman
8:40 a.m.: Peter Tomasulo, Jim Herman, Shawn Stefani
8:50 a.m.: Cameron Percy, Andrew Svoboda, Ken Looper
9 a.m.: Scott Gardiner, Ross Fisher, Jake Narro
Noon: Cameron Tringale, Michael Letzig, Hunter Haas
12:10 p.m.: Bob Estes, Robert Karlsson, Matt Jones
12:20 p.m.: Brian Davis, Erik Compton, Luke Guthrie
12:30 p.m.: Scott Stallings, Lucas Glover, Jerry Kelly
12:40 p.m.: Scott Brown, Chris Kirk, Brendan Steele
12:50 p.m.: Tommy Gainey, J.J. Henry, Trevor Immelman
1 p.m.: Chris DiMarco, David Mathis, Nicolas Colsaerts
1:10 p.m.: Ryan Palmer, David Hearn, Thorbjorn Olesen
1:20 p.m.: Josh Teater, James Driscoll, Jimmy Walker
1:30 p.m.: Jeff Maggert, Chris Stroud, Scott Langley
1:40 p.m.: Steve LeBrun, Morgan Hoffmann, John Peterson
1:50 p.m.: Andres Gonzales, Donald Constable, Jon Curran
2 p.m.: Brad Fritsch, Paul Haley II, Zack Fischer
TEE NO. 1
7 a.m.: Cameron Tringale, Michael Letzig, Hunter Haas
7:10 a.m.: Bob Estes, Robert Karlsson, Matt Jones
7:20 a.m.: Brian Davis, Erik Compton, Luke Guthrie
7:30 a.m.: Scott Stallings, Lucas Glover, Jerry Kelly
7:40 a.m.: Scott Brown, Chris Kirk, Brendan Steele
7:50 a.m.: Tommy Gainey, J.J. Henry, Trevor Immelman
8 a.m.: Chris DiMarco, David Mathis, Nicolas Colsaerts
8:10 a.m.: Ryan Palmer, David Hearn, Thorbjorn Olesen
8:20 a.m.: Josh Teater, James Driscoll, Jimmy Walker
8:30 a.m.: Jeff Maggert, Chris Stroud, Scott Langley
8:40 a.m.: Steve LeBrun, Morgan Hoffmann, John Peterson
8:50 a.m.: Andres Gonzales, Donald Constable, Jon Curran
9 a.m.: Brad Fritsch, Paul Haley II, Zack Fischer
Noon: Camilo Villegas, D.J. Trahan, Steve Marino
12:10 p.m.: Jeff Overton, Fabian Gomez, Jordan Spieth
12:20 p.m.: Andres Romero, Harris English, Ben Kohles
12:30 p.m.: Nick Watney, Jason Dufner, Bubba Watson
12:40 p.m.: Scott Piercy, David Toms, K.J. Choi
12:50 p.m.: Johnson Wagner, Rory Sabbatini, Stuart Appleby
1 p.m.: Ben Crane, Retief Goosen, Mike Weir
1:10 p.m.: Jeff Gove, Brian Stuard, Joey Snyder III
1:20 p.m.: Charles Howell III, Brandt Jobe, Jason Kokrak
1:30 p.m.: Billy Mayfair, Greg Chalmers, Brian Harman
1:40 p.m.: Peter Tomasulo, Jim Herman, Shawn Stefani
1:50 p.m.: Cameron Percy, Andrew Svoboda, Ken Looper
2 p.m.: Scott Gardiner, Ross Fisher, Jake Narro
TEE NO. 10
7 a.m.: Jason Bohn, John Senden, Will Claxton
7:10 a.m.: Kevin Sutherland, Greg Owen, Darron Stiles
7:20 a.m.: Boo Weekley, David Lingmerth, Robert Streb
7:30 a.m.: Michael Thompson, Ernie Els, Rickie Fowler
7:40 a.m.: Keegan Bradley, Justin Rose, Billy Horschel
7:50 a.m.: George McNeill, Gary Woodland, Stephen Ames
8 a.m.: Troy Matteson, Chad Campbell, James Hahn
8:10 a.m.: Charlie Wi, Seung-Yul Noh, Roberto Castro
8:20 a.m.: Jesper Parnevik, Ken Duke, Justin Hicks
8:30 a.m.: John Rollins, Colt Knost, Richard H. Lee
8:40 a.m.: Justin Bolli, Henrik Norlander, Guan Tianlang
8:50 a.m.: Casey Wittenberg, Derek Ernst, Eric Meierdierks
9 a.m.: Bobby Gates, Lee Williams, Shane Lowry
Noon: Vaughn Taylor, Ricky Barnes, Matt Every
12:10 p.m.: Tag Ridings, Lee Janzen, Daniel Summerhays
12:20 p.m.: Chez Reavie, Tim Herron, Nicholas Thompson
12:30 p.m.: John Merrick, Charlie Beljan, Aaron Baddeley
12:40 p.m.: D.A. Points, Freddie Jacobson, Justin Leonard
12:50 p.m.: Jonas Blixt, Jonathan Byrd, Robert Allenby
1 p.m.: Kyle Stanley, Sean O’Hair, Michael Bradley
1:10 p.m.: Joe Ogilvie, Graham DeLaet, David Lynn
1:20 p.m.: Charley Hoffman, Brendon de Jonge, Martin Flores
1:30 p.m.: Rod Pampling, Kevin Stadler, Patrick Reed
1:40 p.m.: Aaron Watkins, Steven Bowditch, Marcel Siem
1:50 p.m.: Doug LaBelle II, Alistair Presnell, D.H. Lee
2 p.m.: Jin Park, Luke List, Matt Fast
PGA Tour golf odds: RBC Heritage
After one of the most exciting Masters in years ended with an Adam Scott victory in a playoff — Scott become the first Aussie to win a green jacket — the PGA Tour moves a bit north this week for the RBC Heritage on Hilton Head Island. A field of 144 players will tackle Harbour Town Golf Links, where driving distance is almost irrelevant on the short course and a strong emphasis is placed upon the ability to accurately shape approach shots.
Narrow fairways and small greens combine to create a strategic challenge, requiring well-positioned shots to create birdie opportunities. Harbour Town ranks inside the top-10 shortest in average driving distance every year; it was fourth in 2012 at 277.8 yards. Meanwhile, last year’s fairways-hit percentage of 64.94 was its lowest in recorded history (since data was first archived in 1992). In recent years, six of the last seven Heritage champions have taken less than 104 putts for the week (an average of 26 putts per round), with the lone exception coming when Boo Weekley won in 2008 despite taking 107 putts.
Former world No.1 Luke Donald and Brandt Snedeker, combatants in a 2011 playoff won by Snedeker, join defending champion Carl Pettersson in a field that gathers 10 of the top 25 in the world rankings.
Snedeker is the +1200 WagerWeb.com favorite. He has that win in this tournament two years ago and finished T-17 in his title defense last year. Sunday at the Masters, he finished T-6. He’s been out of the hunt since the Tour moved east, but his West Coast finishes included four top-3s capped off by a win at Pebble Beach.
Donald is +1400 on WagerWeb.com. From 2009-2011 at Harbour Town, he finished T2, T3 and solo second, respectively. Ranks seventh in all-time earnings here, highest among non-winners.
Jim Furyk and Matt Kuchar are +1600 on WagerWeb.com. Winless for nearly three years, Furyk returns to Hilton Head where he has four top-10 finishes since 2006, including a win in 2010. This year, Furyk ranks seventh on Tour in fairways hit and 27th in adjusted scoring.
An up-and-down week at the Masters resulted in a T8 for Kuchar, his fourth top 10 of the season. He ranked T17 in greens hit and T10 in scrambling for the week. Survived his last seven cuts at Harbour Town, four of which led to a top 25.
Last year Carl Pettersson cruised to a five-shot victory at Harbour Town, earning a fifth Tour victory that tied him with Jesper Parnevik for the most by a Swedish-born player. Pettersson (+6000 on WagerWeb.com) will attempt to become the RBC Heritage’s fourth back-to-back winner, joining Payne Stewart (1989-90), Davis Love III (1991-92) and Weekley (2007-08). No defending champion has missed the cut at Harbour Town since Love in 1993 – a run of 19 consecutive years. Love, a five-time winner here, isn’t playing this week.
Please note that all betting lines in this article are opening lines. Check our current lines here.
2013 Masters tee times
The golf season’s first major of the year and the sport’s Super Bowl, the Masters, tees off at historic Augusta National on Thursday. Tiger Woods’ quest for a fifth green jacket will begin at 10:45 a.m. Thursday. That’s when he’ll tee off with Luke Donald and Scott Piercy. Defending Masters champion Bubba Watson will tee off 11 minutes earlier with Ian Poulter and U.S. Amateur champ Steven Fox.
Watson will attempt to become just the fourth back-to-back champion in Masters history. The others to do so were Jack Nicklaus (1965, ‘66), Nick Faldo (‘89, ‘90) and Tiger Woods (2001, ‘02). Watson’s driving accuracy this year is just 53.94 percent, which ranks 157th on the PGA Tour. Watson said in his Masters news conference on Tuesday that his stats have declined from last season to 2013. Indeed, his accuracy off the tee has dropped (he was 135th at 58.84 percent in 2012) and his driving distance is also down (315.5 to 301.5).
Sandy Lyle, the 1988 Masters champion, will be the first player to follow the ceremonial tee shots of Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player. Lyle will play with John Peterson and U.S. Mid-Amateur champion Nathan Smith. Three-time Masters champion Phil Mickelson will play with last year’s runner-up, Louis Oosthuizen, and former PGA champion Martin Kaymer.
Last season, Augusta National played its most difficult in four years. The field posted a scoring average of 73.50 that included a 74.43 clip during a breezy second round. After the cut the third- (72.94) and final-round (72.87) scoring averages also checked in as the highest post-cut since 2007 and 2008, respectively.
Augusta National is a track that requires experience and the proper gameplan upon arrival. Picking up par breakers on the par 5s is always essential. Watson went 8-under (averaging 4.50) with nine birdies, six pars and a bogey on the quartet of par 5s (holes 2, 8, 13 and 15). Overall for the field, the par 5s averaged 4.72. The par 4s served as the primary challenge as they do every year. Augusta National ranked T2 among all courses played in 2012 on the par 4s at 4.20. The par 3s averaged 3.14, tied for seventh-most difficult last year.
*-Length: 7,435 yards.
*-Purse: To be determined ($8 million in 2012).
*-Field: 93 (87 professionals, six amateurs).
*-Cut: Top 44 and ties, and anyone within 10 shots of the lead.
*-Television: Thursday and Friday, 3-7:30 p.m., ESPN; Saturday, 3-7 p.m., CBS Sports. Sunday, 2-7 p.m., CBS Sports.
Here are the Masters tee times:
8 a.m.: Sandy Lyle, John Peterson, Nathan Smith
8:11 a.m.: Larry Mize, Brian Gay, Russell Henley
8:22 a.m.: Ian Woosnam, David Lynn, Kevin Na
8:33 a.m.: David Toms, Richard Sterne, Ted Potter, Jr.
8:44 a.m.: Tom Watson, Ryan Moore, Kevin Streelman
8:55 a.m.: Robert Garrigus, Carl Pettersson, Tim Clark
9:06 a.m.: Mike Weir, Lee Westwood, Jim Furyk
9:17 a.m.: Brandt Snedeker, Ryo Ishikawa, Justin Rose
9:28 a.m.: Jose Maria Olazabal, Marc Leishman, T.J. Vogel
9:39 a.m.: Charl Schwartzel, Webb Simpson, Peter Hanson
9:50 a.m.: Zach Johnson, K.J. Choi, Graeme McDowell
10:12 a.m.: Michael Thompson, John Huh, John Senden
10:23 a.m.: Stewart Cink, Nicolas Colsaerts, Thaworn Wiratchant
10:34 a.m.: Bubba Watson, Ian Poulter, Steven Fox
10:45 a.m.: Tiger Woods, Luke Donald, Scott Piercy
10:56 a.m.: Jason Day, Rickie Fowler, Padraig Harrington
11:07 a.m.: John Merrick, Thorbjorn Olesen, D.A. Points
11:18 a.m.: Craig Stadler, Ben Curtis, Michael Weaver
11:29 a.m.: Mark O’Meara, Martin Laird, Jamie Donaldson
11:40 a.m.: Paul Lawrie, Thomas Bjorn, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano
11:51 a.m.: Trevor Immelman, George Coetzee, Alan Dunbar
12:13 p.m.: Ernie Els, Steve Stricker, Nick Watney
12:24 p.m.: Ben Crenshaw, Matteo Manassero, Tianlang Guan
12:35 p.m.: Bernhard Langer, Lucas Glover, Henrik Stenson
12:46 p.m.: Vijay Singh, Bo Van Pelt, Y.E. Yang
12:57 p.m.: Angel Cabrera, Sergio Garcia, Adam Scott
1:08 p.m.: Fred Couples, Dustin Johnson, Branden Grace
1:19 p.m.: Hunter Mahan, Hiroyuki Fujita, Francesco Molinari
1:30 p.m.: Phil Mickelson, Louis Oosthuizen, Martin Kaymer
1:41 p.m.: Rory McIlroy, Keegan Bradley, Freddie Jacobson
1:52 p.m.: Jason Dufner, Matt Kuchar, Bill Haas
8 a.m.: John Merrick, Thorbjorn Olesen, D.A. Points
8:11 a.m.: Craig Stadler, Ben Curtis, Michael Weaver
8:22 a.m.: Mark O’Meara, Martin Laird, Jamie Donaldson
8:33 a.m.: Paul Lawrie, Thomas Bjorn, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano
8:44 a.m.: Trevor Immelman, George Coetzee, Alan Dunbar
8:55 a.m.: Ernie Els, Steve Stricker, Nick Watney
9:06 a.m.: Ben Crenshaw, Matteo Manassero, Tianlang Guan
9:17 a.m.: Bernhard Langer, Lucas Glover, Henrik Stenson
9:28 a.m.: Vijay Singh, Bo Van Pelt, Y.E. Yang
9:39 a.m.: Angel Cabrera, Sergio Garcia, Adam Scott
9:50 a.m.: Fred Couples, Dustin Johnson, Branden Grace
10:12 a.m.: Hunter Mahan, Hiroyuki Fujita, Francesco Molinari
10:23 a.m.: Phil Mickelson, Louis Oosthuizen, Martin Kaymer
10:34 a.m.: Rory McIlroy, Keegan Bradley, Freddie Jacobson
10:45 a.m.: Jason Dufner, Matt Kuchar, Bill Haas
10:56 a.m.: Sandy Lyle, John Peterson, Nathan Smith
11:07 a.m.: Larry Mize, Brian Gay, Russell Henley
11:18 a.m.: Ian Woosnam, David Lynn, Kevin Na
11:29 a.m.: David Toms, Richard Sterne, Ted Potter, Jr.
11:40 a.m.: Tom Watson, Ryan Moore, Kevin Streelman
11:51 a.m.: Robert Garrigus, Carl Pettersson, Tim Clark
12:13 p.m.: Mike Weir, Lee Westwood, Jim Furyk
12:24 p.m.: Brandt Snedeker, Ryo Ishikawa, Justin Rose
12:35 p.m.: Jose Maria Olazabal, Marc Leishman, T.J. Vogel
12:46 p.m.: Charl Schwartzel, Webb Simpson, Peter Hanson
12:57 p.m.: Zach Johnson, K.J. Choi, Graeme McDowell
1:08 p.m.: Michael Thompson, John Huh, John Senden
1:19 p.m.: Stewart Cink, Nicolas Colsaerts, Thaworn Wiratchant
1:30 p.m.: Bubba Watson, Ian Poulter, Steven Fox
1:41 p.m.: Tiger Woods, Luke Donald, Scott Piercy
1:52 p.m.: Jason Day, Rickie Fowler, Padraig Harrington
2013 Masters preview: Phil Mickelson
Phil Mickelson has won three green jackets since Tiger Woods won his last one at Augusta in 2005 and now Lefty looks to join Woods in the rare four-time Masters winner club when the tournament tees off Thursday at Augusta.
Lefty has had an up-an-down start this season, but shooting 67-68 on the weekend to climb into contention at the Shell Houston Open and tie for 16th had to give him some confidence going into the Masters. With three titles and another seven top fives at Augusta, he’s almost always in the mix. Already a winner earlier this year (WM Phoenix Open), he also posted a T3 at the WGC-Cadillac Championship. Ranks 14th on TOUR in adjusted scoring.
Mickelson was close to winning the Masters again last year, winding up in a tie for third by bouncing back from a 2-over-par 74 in the first round with scores of 66-68-72 to finish two shots out of the playoff in which Bubba Watson defeated Louis Oosthuizen. Mickelson plays this tournament like his whole life depends on it. Since 2000, the 42-year-old lefty has finished outside of the top 10 on only two occasions.
For just the second time since 1998, Lefty has come to Augusta National after taking the previous week off rather than competing. Mickelson altered his schedule this year because the Valero Texas Open made a one-year appearance on the PGA Tour calendar as the lead-up event to the Masters. The Shell Houston Open normally occupies the spot and has become known for trying to simulate Augusta National conditions, particularly around the green complexes at Redstone Golf Club, which was just to Mickelson’s liking.
So Mickelson decided to take last week off. He came to Augusta on Friday and spent three days putting in the hours on the state-of-the-art practice facility as well as getting reacquainted with the course. The last time Mickelson took off the week leading up to the Masters Tournament, it didn’t turn out well. After skipping the 2007 Houston Open, Mickelson never found his rhythm the following week at Augusta National Golf Club. He opened with 76 and closed with 77, and his tie for 24th ranks as his third-worst Masters showing since he became a fixture there in 1995.
“The course is very close to tournament setup, and so I’m hopeful that I’ll get off to a good start and take that preparation and shoot a low score,” said Mickelson. “But I am a little bit nervous.”
Country: United States.
World ranking: 10.
Worldwide wins: 43.
Majors: Masters (2004, 2006, 2010), PGA Championship (2005).
WagerWeb.com opening odds to win: +1100 (check our current lines)
Year Place Score Round Money
1 2 3 4
2012 3 -8 74 68 66 72 $ 384,000
2011 27 -1 70 72 71 74 $ 54,400
2010 1 -16 67 71 67 67 $ 1,350,000
2009 5 -9 73 68 71 67 $ 300,000
2008 5 -2 71 68 75 72 $ 273,750
2007 24 +11 76 73 73 77 $ 63,800
2006 1 -7 70 72 70 69 $ 1,260,000
2005 10 -3 70 72 69 74 $ 189,000
2004 1 -9 72 69 69 69 $ 1,170,000
2003 3 -5 73 70 72 68 $ 408,000
2002 3 -8 69 72 68 71 $ 380,800
2001 3 -13 67 69 69 70 $ 380,800
2000 7 -2 71 68 76 71 $ 143,367
1999 6 -3 74 69 71 71 $ 125,200
1998 12 -2 74 69 69 74 $ 64,800
1997 47 +6 76 74 $ 5,000
1996 3 -6 65 73 72 72 $ 170,000
1995 7 -8 66 71 70 73 $ 70,950
1993 34 +3 72 71 75 73 $ 8,975
1991 47 +2 69 73 74 74 $ 0
2013 Masters preview: Rory McIlroy
Two years ago, Rory McIlroy dominated the field at the Masters for 54 holes and still held the lead while teeing off at No. 10 on Sunday. However, things went totally south at that point and McIlroy shot a final-round 80 — tying the worst final-round score for a 54-hole Masters leader. McIlroy has won two majors since then but had struggled in 2013 before finishing runner-up last week in San Antonio. Can he become the first Irishman to don the green jacket?
McIlroy remains an enigma. If his iron play again deserts him he could struggle, but the potential he has for a high finish is nearly unmatched. After signing a lucrative endorsement deal and switching to Nike clubs in the offseason — a move he wanted to make in one step rather than multiple ones — McIlroy is also finally settled in with his equipment, particularly the driver.
“I’m 100 percent there,” he said. “I feel they are a part of me now.”
Last year, Mcilroy struggled on the weekend at the Masters, shooting 77-76 to tie for 40th. In four appearances here, McIlroy’s best result was his tie for 15th in 2011. But there are no demons McIlroy said, only one goal.
“Would anything less than a win be a disappointment this week?,” he said. Yeah, it would be. Every time you come here you’re wanting to win that green jacket, and every time that you don’t, it’s another chance missed.”
Three months into the season, McIlroy has lost his No. 1 ranking, apologized for walking off a course mid-round and struggled with his swing as he adjusted to new equipment. With very little competitive golf under his belt, McIlroy decided at the last minute to play the Texas Open the week before the Masters Tournament, which is now looking wise.
Even as he tries to find his swing, his putting has not left him. Adding the Texas Open at the last minute can only accelerate his return to form, and he has all the components to be a Masters champion. A win gives him the third leg of the Grand Slam at 23.
Country: Northern Ireland.
World ranking: 2.
Worldwide wins: 10.
Majors: U.S. Open (2011), PGA Championship (2012).
WagerWeb.com opening odds to win: +900 (check our current lines)
Year Place Score Round Money
1 2 3 4
2012 40 +5 71 69 77 76 $ 32,000
2011 15 -4 65 69 70 80 $ 128,000
2010 69 +7 74 77 $ 10,000
2009 20 -2 72 73 71 70 $ 71,400