Betting when PGA Tour resumes will be tough

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If bettors thought it was challenging to pick winners wagering on golf tournaments week-in and week-out, wait until they see the challenge they will face when the PGA Tour gets back in action.

Just ask Nick Bogdanovich.

Bogdanovich, William Hill’s Director of Trading, recently put odds back on the board for the 2020 Masters. The Masters is now set for Augusta the week of Nov. 12-15.

“The new date didn’t really affect the odds that much,” Bogdanovich said. “But the date is going to help Tiger (Woods) and Brooks Koepka. Tiger was in bad health and Koepka was in bad form so we did drop them a little. This time off will be a big break for those two.”

Odds and trends for 2020 Masters

So while we wait for golf, still have plenty of questions that need to be answered. For example: What about the PGA Tour action heading up to the Masters? Here’s where there’s some good news. The Houston Open, which players used to typically play the week before the Masters, was in the slot this year’s Masters now has taken over. Houston has been rescheduled to the week before — Nov. 2-8.

It’s a win-win situation for the PGA Tour in Houston and Augusta but it is likely bad news for the Mayakoba Classic in Mexico. That event is still scheduled to be played Nov. 2-8 as an alternate event but will likely lose some of its higher-profile players who will now opt to check out the tournament in Houston instead.

Score one point for the PGA Tour but take away a few percentage points for not sticking the landing and dampening the Mayakoba event. And, as a disclaimer, all tournament dates and plans are subject to change by the hour.

Next question: Will the tournament after the Masters suffer a letdown in field strength? Probably not as it’s The RSM Classic, at Sea Island, Ga.

Luckily, again, it’s just a short hop, skip and jump from Augusta to Sea Island (a little over 200 miles). Score a second point for the PGA Tour.

Final question: Will the temperature change between the first week of April and the first week of November (average of 78 degrees vs. 64 degrees) make a difference? Probably not, at least for the players. Now if we were talking about New York or other places up north, yes. Score this point for Mother Nature.

So when all is said and done, the movement of the Masters from the spring when everything’s in full bloom to the fall when the foliage will hopefully be hanging on, should be fairly seamless.

But there are still a few mitigating factors: The health of the players, their tournament scheduling plans and the strength of their game.

With everyone having time off to figure out when and where they will play this fall (Augusta is a given if they have qualified), it’s going to be a tossup with who will come into the event in good form.

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Many players, especially the big guns, are usually using this time late in the year to start planning for the next season and getting in a little R&R with the family. Those still climbing the ladder of their career have a tendency to hit the early wraparound events hard. This could impact events before The Masters and the two other rescheduled majors.

With all of those changes in mind, William Hill has Rory McIlroy the favorite at 17-2. But it’s Woods who is bringing in the money as he’s garnered eight percent of the money wagered and comes in at 14-1.

With all of the shuffling of the PGA Tour schedule, might this be a good time to hunt for another longshot (remember Danny Willett in 2016) to don the green jacket?

Bogdanovich, like everyone else, isn’t tipping his hand.

“It’s going to come down to the weather and who is in top form at the time,” he said. “If you’re peaking at the right time, you’ll have a chance.”

Bogdanovich added that unlike previous years, the fall in the golf betting world in 2020 will be a very busy and exciting time.

“It’s going to be different,” he said. “We’ve got the Ryder Cup and three of the four majors. If we draw good weather, we could see lights-out golf.”

About the Author

Bill Bowman

Bill Bowman is a Las Vegas-based writer who has more than 40 years in the sports-writing business. He's spent the past 18-plus years covering the golf scene in Vegas including 10 years as a writer/editor with VegasGolfer Magazine. He also contributes to the GolfNow Network of websites and Las Vegas Golf Insider.

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