The PGA Tour is well over halfway into its 2011 tournament schedule so we already have a good idea of which players have legitimate chances of winning this year’s PGA’s money title given the amount of prize money that is still left on the table. Bodog.com as updated its current odds for each player still in contention, so it is a good time to try and mine some value from the posted numbers.
Luke Donald is the odds-on-favorite to win this year’s money title at 3/1 and for good reason. The new No.1 player in the world is also atop the leader board in PGA money earnings with just over $3.3 million after playing in only eight events this year. He missed the cut in his first tournament of the season, but promptly atoned for it by winning the WGC Match Play Championship the following week. Since then he has six more top 10 finishes including a fourth-place finish in The Players Championship which netted him $418,000 in prize money. Donald would probably coast to the title if he committed to the PGA Tour full time, but his sparse schedule still leaves the door open for some other contenders to close the gap.
The second favorite at 11/2 is Phil Mickelson, but those odds are primarily driven by past performance and the betting public and less by current form. He is currently seventh on the money list with $2.3 million in earnings and certainly capable of making a run at the title, but is coming off a poor showing in The Players Championship which was a huge opportunity to add to his earnings. Mickelson has played in 11 events this season and has four top 10 finishes including a victory in the Shell Houston Open in early April. One thing in his favor is a putting stroke that is ranked 12th on the tour with an average of 1.733 strokes per hole.
Nick Watney is the third favorite at 8/1 to win the title. He is second in earnings with just under $3 million in 11 events. He also took home $418,000 from The Players Championship by tying Donald for fourth. He has finished in the top 10 in seven of his 11 events and earned $1.4 million for his victory in the World Golf Championships at Doral. Watney is also an excellent putter and ranked fifth on tour in total driving. His earning potential remains huge over the course of the rest of the season, offering some tremendous value given his current odds.
Another value pick at 12/1 is the third leading money winner this season; Bubba Watson. He trails Watney by less than $30,000 in total earnings while playing in a total of 12 events. Watson only has three top 10 finishes this year, but one was a victory in Farmers Insurance Open and another was a win in the Zurich Classic. He missed a huge opportunity to add significantly to his total with a 45th-place finish in The Players Championship, but like Watney has the earning potential over the second half of the season to make a run at Donald.
If you are looking to take a flyer on a major longshot then take a look at Mark Wilson at 80/1. While he is certainly not a household name in the world of professional golf, he is currently sixth on the money list with just over $2.5 million in earnings. Wilson is a grinder who has played in 14 of the PGA Tour’s 16 events and also has two victories this year; the Sony Open and Phoenix Open. He has missed the cut in three of his last five events, but still has the capability of making some noise if he can return to his early season form.
Cole started off as a part time handicapper and a full time computer programmer. After developing a computer program that consistently provided winners in NFL, NBA, MLB, and college sports Cole went into full time handicapping. The computer program and his knack for winners made him a rising star in the handicapping world. His complex computer program based on algorithms and analytical calculations have led to a 60% ATS rate.