World No. 1 Rory McIlroy heads to Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas, this week as the favorite at the PGA Tour’s Charles Schwab Challenge.
For the first time since The Players Championship was abruptly canceled in March, golf bettors will have a tournament sanctioned by the PGA Tour featuring the world’s best players to wager on. And though the two charity matches were fun and provided a bit of sports relief during the pandemic, golf’s best players are ready to get back inside the ropes in full competition mode.
The Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas has McIlroy the frontrunner at 10/1. He’s followed by Jon Rahm at 12/1, Justin Thomas at 16/1, and Webb Simpson, Bryson DeChambeau, and Xander Schauffele at 25/1.
Former world No. 1 Brooks Koepka, who dropped two spots because of a knee injury suffered last year, is making it no secret who he’s after.
“I’ve got eyes on Rory,” Koepka said Wednesday. “That’s the goal, to get back to No. 1 in the world. That’s the whole point of playing, is to be the best.”
Koepka is at 30/1 to win this week. “I dug myself a hole, obviously, getting injured. But you play good, you win, everything will take care of itself,” he added.
Golf Goes Social, Interactive
The PGA Tour, like most aspects of life following the impact of COVID-19, will result in a new normal for the world’s best golfers.
Fans will not be permitted this week at the Charles Schwab Challenge, though they are expected to return in reduced numbers at the PGA Tour’s Memorial Tournament scheduled for July. As for this week, the Tour is debuting an innovative fan engagement initiative.
Several players each day will wear a microphone during their rounds, and take questions at times from on-course reporters.
This is a wonderful opportunity for the game and for the PGA Tour,” said CBS Sports lead announcer Jim Nantz. “They have a chance to go before a sports-starved nation and create a fan base, a wider fan base than it’s ever had before. How do you do that? A lot of it has to be personality driven.”
Nick Faldo, the lead analyst for CBS’s golf coverage, added, “We have plenty of fun talkers, fun tweeters, haven’t we out there? I can’t see any harm. They have to switch it a little bit, as the players are entertainers right now, and they have to do a little entertaining.”
Las Vegas resident Kevin Na, last year’s winner at Colonial who finished four strokes ahead of his nearest competitor Tony Finau, is at 60/1. Finau is at 40/1.
Phil Mickelson, a two-time winner at Colonial, is at 150/1. A $5 bet and Lefty winning on the Tour for the first time since February 2019 would net $750.
Numerous former world No. 1s are additionally in the field, including Thomas, Koepka, Dustin Johnson (30/1), Jordan Spieth and Justin Rose (40/1), and Jason Day (60/1).
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