Golf form expert Barry Plummer fancies a popular Englishman to finally get over the line in Florida. Here’s what you need to know
A new name and a new venue for the first WGC of the year, but the quality of field remains high. Here’s everything you need to know about the WGC-Workday Championship.
WGC-Workday Championship: The details
Venue: Concession Golf Club, Florida, USA
Date: February 25-28, 2021
Course stats: Par 72; 7,474 yards.
Course summary: This flat parklands course is littered with tricky green complexes, with increased importance this week on finding the right level. Water hazards are the main defence, with strategically placed bunkers also causing problems for players. Four reachable par 5s and two driveable par 4s will provide the sort of excitement we have come to expect from WGC events as the best players in the world weigh up the risk against the reward.
Purse: $10.5 million
Defending champion: Patrick Reed (-18)
WGC-Workday Championship: TV coverage
Thursday: Featured groups on Sky Sports Golf and Sky Sports Main Event from 4pm; Main coverage on Sky Sports Golf and Sky Sports Main Event from 6pm
Friday: Featured groups on Sky Sports Golf and Sky Sports Main Event from 4pm; Main coverage on Sky Sports Golf and Sky Sports Main Event from 6pm
Saturday: Featured groups on Sky Sports Golf from 1pm; Main coverage on Sky Sports Golf from 5pm
Sunday: Featured groups on Sky Sports Golf from 1pm; Main coverage on Sky Sports Golf from 5pm and Sky Sports Main Event from 10pm
WGC-Workday Championship: Staking plan
Patrick Reed – 3pts e/w @ 30/1 with Bet365
I’m surprised to see Reed posted at this type of price. He won at Torrey recently and is the defending champion – albeit on a different course – yet is one of the highest prices out of the principles in the market. As well as that Farmers win, he also has a 10th-place finish at the Masters and a 13th-place finish at the US Open on his form card this season. A missed cut at the American Express aside, Reed has not finished outside the top 21 in any PGA Tour event. In the last three months, Reed has gained strokes in all areas and has been prolific with his short game, ranking 2nd for SG: Around-the-Green. I could have easily put up Viktor Hovland this week, especially considering my run of being on the winner a week early, but at a better price I cannot resist Reed.
Sung-jae Im – 2pt e/w @ 35/1 with Bet365
After recently tipping Sung-jae, in an event where he failed to show his best stuff, I am gambling on him again this week. Im has played well this season, with a runner-up finish at the Masters and a T5 at the Sentry Tournament of Champions the obvious highlights. Along with respectable recent form, he has also performed excellently in Florida in recent years. Im won the Honda Classic last season, and has back-to-back T3 finishes at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, which equate to some of his best PGA Tour finishes to date. He also ranks 19th for SG: Off-the-Tee this season, and despite issues with the putter at times, he is currently 3rd for SG: Putting in the last 30 days. It will not be long before Sung-jae demonstrates his quality on another big stage, and it could well be this week.
Collin Morikawa – 2pt e/w @ 40/1 with Bet365
Morikawa is one of the best ball strikers on the PGA Tour and his consistency in this area played a huge part in winning the 2020 PGA Championship. We saw a resurgence from Morikawa at the Genesis, opening with a poor 73 before battling back to make the cut on the mark. An impressive 69 in very challenging conditions on Saturday, where very few players shot under par, is encouraging. In the last three months, Morikawa ranks 12th for SG: Approach and 15th for SG: Tee-to-Green. It is fair to say his putting has been dreadful, but he is more than capable of rectifying this on any particular week as evidenced by his performance at Harding Park. A lot will depend on the putter this week, but I wouldn’t bet against him going close here.
Tommy Fleetwood- 2pt e/w @ 40/1 with Bet365
Fleetwood has shown signs of a return to form recently, with a run of solid performances on the European Tour’s desert swing – including a 7th in Abu Dhabi. The Englishman likes Florida, where last season he finished 3rd at the Honda, as well as consecutive top-5 finishes at Bayhill and Sawgrass in 2019. Fleetwood can demonstrate quality in all areas of his game when on form, but his recent putting performance is perhaps most encouraging as he currently ranks 22nd in the last three months. If Fleetwood can pick up where he left off after his stint in the desert, he could have a great chance to challenge here in a stellar field.
Marc Leishman – 1pt e/w @ 80/1 with Bet365
After a disappointing end to last seasons by his standards, it feels like Leishman is starting to return to the sort of form that saw him win five PGA Tour titles. The Australian has actually won in three of his last four seasons on the PGA Tour and loves playing in events in this part of the world, with a win and a 2nd place at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in the last four years. In the last three months, Leishman ranks 27th for SG: Tee-to-Green and 8th for SG: Approach, which are likely to be key measures here. His flatstick has also started firing recently, ranking 9th for SG: Putting in the last 30 days. At this price, he represents strong each-way value and I can see him playing well in the run up the Masters.
For more prices, visit Bet365.