It’s a big week on the PGA Tour with the playing of golf’s unofficial fifth major, The Players Championship.
Some weeks it makes sense to take a shot on the best player in the field. The problem with that this week is 17 of the top 18 players in the world will be teeing it up.
With so many big names to choose from, who is generating the earliest action?
World No. 2 Collin Morikawa has golf odds to win of +1400.
As of Tuesday morning, those are the second-lowest in the field, trailing only world No. 1 Jon Rahm at +1200. Morikawa is pulling in 15.8% of the handle, by far the most in the field, and the second-most tickets (7.7%).
Morikawa, who recently turned 25 years old, is making just his second appearance at the event. He finished in 41st place a year ago.
That may seem uninspiring, but two things are going his way when it comes to generating good vibes at TPC Sawgrass. He shot a final-round 66 a year ago, which was tied for the best score on Sunday. And then in 2020, when the tournament was canceled after one round due to COVID-19, he shot a four-under-par 68, which was tied for seventh.
In less than three full seasons on the PGA Tour, Morikawa has quickly become one of the game’s best players. He has five PGA Tour wins, including two majors, as well as a win at the DP World Tour finale last year.
In addition, he enters the event in good form, having finished in the top 5 in his last three U.S.-based starts (The Genesis Invitational, Sentry Tournament of Champions, and The CJ Cup).
TPC Sawgrass is a course that will reward players with the best all-around games. The winner likely won’t be the player who simply drives it the best or putts the best. It will be the player who plays the best overall, and Morikawa has one of the best well-rounded games on Tour.
Current Handle & Tickets
- Collin Morikawa – 15.8%
- Brooks Koepka – 9.4%
- Patrick Cantlay – 6.3%
- Scottie Scheffler – 5.9%
- Xander Schauffele – 5.4%
- Brooks Koepka – 8.7%
- Collin Morikawa – 7.7%
- Patrick Cantlay – 4.7%
- Jon Rahm – 3.9%
- Xander Schauffele – 3.9%
In terms of early movement, defending champion Justin Thomas saw his odds go from +1200 to +1400, and Rory McIlroy went from +1600 to +2000. Meanwhile, last week’s winner at The Arnold Palmer Invitational, Scottie Scheffler, went from +2200 to +2500.
The last two years have seen the tournament decided by one shot, so it should be an exciting finish. And there should be some decent scores, as the last 12 editions of the tournament have had the winning total be double-digits under par.