Competitive golf returns to television for the first time in more than two months when the 2020 TaylorMade Driving Relief skins event tees off on Sunday, May 17 at Seminole Golf Club. World No. 1 Rory McIlroy will team with Dustin Johnson against Rickie Fowler and Matthew Wolff in the charity event in Juno Beach, Fla. The players will be vying for a purse of $3 million to be donated to the charities each team has chosen.
The golfers have been idle since the Players Championship was canceled after the first round on March 12, but golfers, fans and bettors alike are ready to get back into the swing. William Hill lists McIlroy and Johnson as -220 favorites (risk $220 to win $100), with Fowler and Wolff at +190 (risk $100 to win $190) in the latest 2020 TaylorMade Driving Relief odds. Before making any 2020 TaylorMade Driving Relief picks, you need to check out the McIlroy/Johnson vs. Fowler/Woff predictions from SportsLine’s resident golf insider, Sal Johnson.
A media legend and consummate golf insider, Johnson is coming off a red-hot year on his golf picks that has continued into this season. He featured Woods in his best bets for the 2019 Masters and backed Brooks Koepka in his picks for the PGA Championship, and both players pulled off victories. In the season-ending Tour Championship, he nailed it, pegging Koepka, McIlroy and Xander Schauffele as main contenders to come out on top, and McIlroy won the event for the second time, Schauffele was second and Koepka tied for third.
Johnson also has a strong feel for what it takes to win on courses in Florida. At the Honda Classic in March at Palm Beach Gardens, he tabbed Sungjae Im as one of his players to watch, and the 21-year-old notched his first PGA Tour win.
Johnson noted that the South Korean had played poorly on the West Coast last year before surging after the Tour hit Florida, and he expected him to repeat the pattern. “He has been uninspiring this year out West, so look for good things in the weeks to come,” Johnson wrote. Im shot a final-round 66 to finish six-under par at PGA National.
Now, Johnson, the first producer of “Inside the PGA Tour,” a longtime ABC Sports golf producer who has worked with Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Greg Norman, and the founder of the world’s top golf statistics database, has released his highly confident 2020 TaylorMade Driving Relief picks. You can head here to see them.
2020 TaylorMade Driving Relief expert analysis
The golf guru is well aware of the talent that McIlroy and Dustin Johnson both possess and knows they make plenty of birdies, the key to winning a skins competition. McIlroy ranks 12th in birdie average on Tour this season, averaging 4.33 per round, and while Johnson has only played 12 competitive rounds this year, he was 13th last season at 4.21. They have 159 birdies between them in 40 rounds this year (3.98 average), and are two of the four longest hitters on Tour.
But Sal Johnson also has seen Fowler come through when least expected and knows Wolff has the confidence to play with the big boys. Wolff won the 2019 NCAA individual title at Oklahoma State in May, turned pro in June and got his first Tour win at the 3M Open in July. The 21-year-old is 11th on Tour in strokes gained off the tee this season. Fowler, who also played at Oklahoma State, has five Tour victories and is 38th in total strokes gained this year. He owns a World Golf Ranking of 26 and has finished in the top three in all four majors.
How to make 2020 TaylorMade Driving Relief predictions
Sal Johnson knows bookmakers are high on McIlroy and Johnson. But he also knows skins games can involve luck as well as skill. He has also identified a critical X-factor that makes one of the teams a must-back. You can find out what it is, and get his detailed breakdown and picks, right here.
Who wins the TaylorMade Driving Relief skins competition 2020? And what critical X-factor will determine the winner? Visit SportsLine to see Sal Johnson’s full pick and analysis for the 2020 TaylorMade Driving Relief event, from the insider who nailed the Tour Championship and knows what it takes to win in Florida, and find out.