PGA Tour Betting Review: Thomas Tough To Beat
Justin Thomas is having a proper purple patch right now and while his recent odds have been single figures, they have been winning ones.
2017 CJ Cup Winner’s Report
Justin Thomas captured the inaugural CJ Cup in a fashion we haven’t yet seen, adding to his growing reputation as arguably the very best golfer in the world right now.
At 6/1 in the betting market, he might well have still caught the fancy of some punters, it was a small increase in odds from his 4/1 on offer the week before, when trying to defend his title at the CIMB for a second year, it might have tempted a few to back him again. And for those that did, it was another winning week.
This time, perhaps we were slightly more impressed by his win, because he toughed it out for three rounds and a playoff after putting himself in pole position with a first round 63. That opening score of 9-under proved to be the winning one in windy conditions that proved challenging for everyone from Friday onwards.
It was a sixth win since his CIMB Classic this time last year and culminates a year which has seen him rise from 41st in the OWGR – after the PGA Championship in 2016 – all the way up to 3rd.“I‘m so pumped, I probably wasn’t very fun to be around those first two days. I was just glad I finally got back to myself being patient these last two days” – Justin Thomas
After that opening 63 he followed it up with 74-70-72 to tie Marc Leishman for the 72 hole score. In the playoff, he gritted it out with a par-birdie to win and show that he can win in tougher conditions too, not just birdie shoot-em-ups.
The course, softened up by plenty of rain the week before, looked to be a little defenceless when the players teed it up for the first time on Thursday, but like most golf courses, when the wind starts to blow, the course shows its teeth and the winning score was in single figures under par for the first time in a regular event (non-Major) since the Quicken Loans in early July.
2017 CJ Cup Betting Odds – Top 5
Obviously Justin Thomas (6/1) would still have had his backers this week, but for any other player in the Top 4 there were nice payouts to be enjoyed.Here’s a look at what you could have won:
1st – [-9] Justin Thomas 6/1 (fav)
2nd – [-9] Marc Leishman 25/1
3rd – [-8] Cameron Smith 40/1
4th – [-6] Whee Kim 100/1
T5 – [-5] Pat Perez 25/1
T5 – [-5] Jamie Lovemark 80/1
T5 – [-5] Brian Harman 100/1
T5 – [-5] Luke List 100/1
T5 – [-5] Scott Brown 150/1
T5 – [-5] Anirban Lahiri 50/1
starting odds from 888sport.com
Marc Leishman (25/1) has been enjoying some good finishes of late. This, his first appearance of the season shows that he hasn’t lost any of the momentum gained through the FedExCup playoffs earlier in the Fall.
After opening up with a 66 in the first round, he always looked like being able to stick around the top of the leaderboard and when he made a run on Sunday he looked to be heading for another win until a bogey-birdie finish (which matched that of the eventual winner Thomas) saw him reach a playoff he’d go on to lose.
But, for anyone looking at backing him soon then results of 3-1-T24-2 in his last four outings will certainly be encouraging.
Cameron Smith (40/1) backed up a really good showing at the CIMB (T5) with another money-finish a week later. He was, perhaps, just one poor third-round away from winning his first PGA Tour title. He is clearly one to watch this year…if his odds continue to hover around 40 to 50/1!
We noted the value of Whee Kim (100/1) in our betting preview but opted for fellow countryman Sung Kang instead…more fool us. For anyone who was on the Seoul native (who, according to the man himself, has never had a swing lesson in his life and modelled it from a Tiger Woods’ book) triple figure odds were the reward.
Meanwhile sharing 5th – and if you were anything like me and keen to know just how close you were to winning an outright T4 by delving into the hole-by-hole-scores over breakfast, you’d probably have found it tasting a bit sour – was our pick Anirban Lahiri (50/1) who managed to comfortably play the last 5 holes in 4-over par to drop from T1 to T5 and a practically worthless Each Way return on what seemed to be tidy odds.
But he was just one story of six golfers including Pat Perez (25/1), Luke List (100/1), Jamie Lovemark (80/1), Brian Harman (100/1), and Scott Brown (150/1) who all had similar frustrations as to why they left their backers just one shot short of a nice Each Way ROI!
For readers of this blog it was three straight winning (sort of) picks, although Lahiri’s returns may as well go in the kids’ piggy bank for what it was actually worth.
Next up is a double-header with the WGC-HSBC Champions and the Sanderson Farms Championship.
We’re busy previewing both, looking to find more winners as we head into week 4 of the new PGA Tour season.
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