After a relocation from Mexico, the season’s first World Golf Championships event heads to Bradenton, Florida, opening the PGA Tour’s Florida Swing of 2021.
The top-15 golfers in the Official World Golf Ranking will tee it up at The Concession for The World Golf Championships – Workday Championship which begins on Thursday.
A stout field is led by reigning FedExCup winner Dustin Johnson, while Patrick Reed – a winner already this season – looks to defend his WGC-Mexico title from a year ago.
Course: Concessions Golf Club
Length: 7474 yards (Par 72)
Architect: Jack Nicklaus and Tony Jacklin
This is the tournament that has been WGC Mexico for the past few years but due to the economic fallout and travel restrictions from Covid-19, it has been moved to this Jack Nicklaus designed private club in Florida.
So naturally, we don’t have any history to rely on this week and have to try to figure the puzzle out with the scorecard, some aerial photos and later in the week some player quotes.
So, what do we know?
Well, it is a medium-length par 72 with a lot of water, smallish dramatic Bermuda greens that are heavily bunkered. while the around-the-green areas not occupied with water or bunkers seem to be shaved off and overall, the rough does not seem that tough.
This reminds me of a couple other Florida courses the Jack Nicklaus (re) design PGA National where the Honda Classic is played and Bay Hill and if so, it will be important to be somewhat straight off the tee, have a killer long iron game and make some puts on fast Bermuda greens.
With four par 5s and a couple of shortish par 4s that at least some of the days can be set up to be driveable could sway the course heavy towards the bombers but I think all the water and strategically placed bunkers and tricky greens offset that and makes me focus instead on people that are long enough but who stand out with their approach play.
Here are some of the things I will be looking at/for:
- Strokes gained off the tee
- Strokes gained approach
- Par 5 scoring
- Proximity 125-150 yards
- Proximity 200+ yards
- Bermuda puting
Wagered: +35.61 units
Wagered: 108 units
Won: 234.42 units
Result: 126.42 units
Outright winners: Waste Management – Brooks Koepka 41-1, Genesis Invitational – Max Homa 56-1
Tyrrell Hatton @ 21.00
5 pts to WIN
Hatton has turned into a world-class player by winning 4 of his last 22 starts including here in Florida at Bay Hill last year and is the 5th raked player in the world he still has to figure the majors out where he missed all three cuts and haven’t had a top 5 since 2016.
But back here in Florida on a technical course and on his preferred putting surface he should be the 3-4 favourite and when we get him behind names like Xander and Finau that equals value.
Viktor Hovland @ 23.00
5 pts to WIN
The Norwegian has been on fire over the past couple of months, racking up the following results 1-3-31-2-6-5, so if this becomes the ball striking test I think it will be, then he sets up particularly well ranking 6th off the tee and in the top 5 from both 125-150 and 200+ yards.
It always comes down to how bad his around the green game is but even there we have seen some improvements as of late whit him being slightly in the positive over the last 10 tournaments we have stats from.
Last year at this time he was playing the opposite-field event in Puerto Rico, an event he won, and I can definitely see him pick up his third win in this stellar field just a year later.
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