Rory McIlroy

The return of the PGA Tour

Golf fans have been starved of any competitive action since the Player’s Championship ended after just one round back in March.

The PGA has been busy, and have come up with a rearranged schedule – to try and get as many events in the books as possible. 

Since March, eleven events have been either canceled or rearranged. Events that won’t return this year include the high profile John Deere Classic, Canadian Open, Byron Nelson, and the WGC Match Play.

Tiger and Phil

Although the British Open has been officially canceled for 2020, the remaining Majors have been rescheduled as follows: PGA Championship (6-9 August), US Open (17-20 September) and The Masters (November 12-15). 

It is going to take some time for golf fans to get their head around a Masters in the late fall – a Masters that will coincide with the NFL season, but it is a relief for all golf fans that these events have been saved. 

Since the Player’s was canceled, the golfing world has only had two real events to focus on. The COVID-19 fundraising charity event featuring McIlroy, Dustin Johnson, Rickie Fowler, and Matt Wolfe, followed by the return of the Woods v Mickelson rivalry in ‘The Match’.

Whilst it was entertaining to watch two of the greatest QBs of all time tee it up with 2 of the best golfers of all time, it wasn't quite the competitive action golf fans are looking forward to. 

The 2020 Season so Far

Sungjae Im

Golf fans were enjoying an exciting season before it was postponed midway through the Players. We had seen wins from the likes of Viktor Hovland, Adam Scott, Rory McIlroy, and Justin Thomas. 

However, it was Sungjae Im who had made the biggest impression. Playing for ten straight weeks, including a win at The Honda Classic and various other top 10 appearances – the Korean is certainly a player to keep onside when the action resumes. 

Webb Simpson (tipped for Masters Glory by OddsBoom in January) had also bagged a win at The Phoenix Open, he also remains a player to keep a close eye on when The Masters does get underway in late 2020. 

Charles Schwab Challenge

June 11 will see the return of the PGA Tour. Ordinarily an average event, the Charles Schwab Challenge will be anything but in 2020.

Last year saw Kevin Na triumph but he will have a fight on his hands if he is to go back-to-back. 

This year’s renewal sees each of the top five golfers in the Official World Golf Ranking teeing it up, in what should be a spectacular return of the Tour. Although no fans will be present it's clear that this year’s renewal is going to see some top-class action.

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Rory McIlroy heads the market in the outright betting, with John Rahm, Justin Thomas, Bryson DeChambeau and Webb Simpson completing the main contenders. 

Although the field is so deep that there is plenty of value to be had further down the betting – with the likes of Sunjae Im, Collin Morikawa and Matthew Fitzpatrick all catching the eye as potentially excellent value bets. 

Even further down the market bettors will find Brendon Todd, a 2-time winner at Colonial – available to back at huge odds of 150-1. It is always important to keep a close eye on past champions so Todd is another player that has to be kept on the radar before finalizing selections.

Former World Number One, Brooks Koepka, was experiencing a particularly difficult season before the pause – and he continues to fall down the betting – currently available to back at 22-1. This price would be unthinkable just 12 months ago.

Koepka will get back to the top of his game before too long and when he does, he will provide a huge payout to anyone who continues to keep the faith in him.

Whilst it is good news that the PGA Tour is to return. it is clear that a number of the players will be far from the top of their game. When it comes to selecting a bet in the Charles Schwab it may well prove important to closely examine those players who typically show good early season form.

Course form will continue to be as important as ever.

Coming Up

Over the next few weeks, we will return to publishing our weekly preview of the main golf events, both on the PGA and European Tours.

We will look to select the best value bets for followers and will hope to build towards tipping a range of winners across the remaining events. 

Whilst the PGA Tour has managed to rescue the vast majority of their events – and have been creative in their rescheduling, the picture on the European Tour is very different.

Golf will resume in Europe with six UK based events in a row. This is a very different picture to the original schedule, and it will be interesting to see how players react. We will, of course, keep a close eye on this tour and highlight ay value bets we can find. 

The remaining Majors will prove to be as popular as ever for golf fans across the world, and even though no fans will likely be present – backing a winner in any of these events will be just as rewarding as ever for all golf bettors. 

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