Amateur and professional bettors alike are gearing up for golf’s “fifth major,” the 2019 Players Championship. TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. will host the next event on the PGA schedule, with the first 2019 Players Championship tee times scheduled for 7:40 a.m. ET on Thursday. The 17th hole island green might be the most iconic location at TPC Sawgrass, but challenges await the world’s top golfers on every hole of the par-72, 7,189-yard course. Sunny skies are expected on Thursday and Friday, but off-and-on showers are in the weather forecast, so Mother Nature could play a role. The latest 2019 Players Championship odds list Dustin Johnson as the favorite at 12-1, followed closely by Rory McIlroy at 14-1 and Justin Thomas at 16-1. Past champions like Tiger Woods (25-1), Rickie Fowler (22-1), and Jason Day (35-1) are also in the field. Before locking in any 2019 Players Championship picks of your own or entering a PGA DFS tournament or cash game on sites like FanDuel and DraftKings, see the latest PGA predictions from SportsLine’s proven golf model.
SportsLine’s prediction model, built by DFS pro Mike McClure, has nailed four of the past eight majors entering the weekend and called Tiger Woods’ deep run in the PGA Championship despite being a 25-1 long shot. The model has been spot-on early in the 2018-19 season. It was high on champion Dustin Johnson at the 2019 WGC-Mexico Championship, projecting him as one of the top two contenders from the start. It also correctly predicted Brooks Koepka’s (9-1) victory at the CJ Cup earlier this season. Additionally, it correctly called Bryson DeChambeau’s (9-1) seven-shot victory at the 2019 Omega Dubai Desert Classic. Anyone who has followed the model is up huge.
Now that the 2019 Players Championship field is locked, SportsLine simulated the event 10,000 times, and the results were surprising. One huge shocker the model is calling for: Woods, a two-time winner of this event and a 14-time major champion, doesn’t even crack the top 10.
Woods withdrew from last week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational, an event he has won a record eight times, due to a neck strain. The 43-year-old has dealt with multiple injuries in recent years but has been playing extremely well, finishing in the top 10 in three of his past five PGA Tour starts, which includes a victory at the 2018 Tour Championship. And with a win this week, Woods would tie Jack Nicklaus for the most victories in the history of the Players Championship at three.
However, Woods’ last Players Championship victory came all the way back in 2013. He also enters this week’s event hitting just 64.29 percent of fairways off the tee, which could cause major trouble at TPC Sawgrass. He’s not a strong pick to win it all and there are far better values in this loaded field.
Another surprise: Brooks Koepka, a 22-1 long shot, makes a strong run at the title. He’s a target for anyone looking for a huge payday.
The world’s third-ranked golfer is getting longer PGA odds after missing the cut last week at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. But that’s created value on the same pro who finished second at the Honda Classic earlier this month and already has a win at the CJ Cup at Nine Bridges during the 2018-19 PGA Tour season.
Koepka’s drive power should pay dividends at TPC Sawgrass this week. He ranks 12th on tour with an average of 310.2 yards per drive. That’s helped him hit 71.2 percent of greens in regulation, ascend to No. 8 in the FedEx Cup rankings, and bank $2.59 million in winnings, the fourth-most on Tour this season. If he’s able to keep his momentum going this week, he’ll have a strong chance to rack up plenty of birdies and eagles and climb the 2019 Players Championship leaderboard quickly.
Also, the model says five other golfers with 2019 Players Championship odds of 20-1 or longer make a strong run at the title. Anyone who backs these underdogs could hit it big.
So who wins the 2019 Players Championship? And which long shots stun the golfing world? Check out the 2019 Players Championship odds below and visit SportsLine now to see the full Players Championship projected leaderboard from the model that nailed the winners of four golf majors.
Dustin Johnson 12-1
Rory McIlroy 14-1
Justin Thomas 16-1
Justin Rose 18-1
Brooks Koepka 22-1
Francesco Molinari 22-1
Rickie Fowler 22-1
Tiger Woods 25-1
Xander Schauffele 25-1
Tommy Fleetwood 28-1
Jon Rahm 28-1
Bryson DeChambeau 28-1
Sergio Garcia 33-1
Jason Day 35-1