A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier Picks & Analysis
Event: A Military Tribute at The Greenbriar
When: September 12-15, 2019
Where: The Old White TPC – White Sulphur Springs, WV
TV: The Golf Channel
Rory McIlroy won the Tour Championship and FedExCup less than twenty days ago, but the PGA literally waits for no one as the 2019-2020 season starts this week with A Military Tribute at The Greenbriar. Several rookies are looking to get things going now that they have full-time status and Viktor Hovland leads that list with Vegas thinking he may win. Hovland is in the 14 to 1 range at most online betting sites, just behind Bryson DeChambeau who is the 12 to 1 favorite. The Greenbriar stop has been around since 2010, but flooding washed out the 2016 event and organizers opted to move the event to the fall, meaning there was no tournament for the 2018-19 season. Kevin Na won here last as part of the 2017-18 schedule, and he was dominant on the way to 19-under par and a five-stroke win. Bubba Watson and Zach Johnson are among the more notable names teeing it up at the Old White.
The Old White TPC has seen some things over the last few years. The original design dates back to 1914 with the timeless standard hosting the Ryder Cup in 1979. The modern game required a remodel, and a full-scale renovation was completed in 2007 ahead of the bid to host PGA events. The devastating floods of 2016 necessitated another complete makeover, and The Old White was remade again to exacting Tour standards. The course has always been heavily influenced by famous European designs and has a personality that many new courses lack. The par-70 will play just shy of 7,300 yards for the week and winning scores here have been in the mid-to-high teens under-par for the most part. The inward stretch on Sunday could be fun as both par-fives reside on the back-nine, including the 616-yard behemoth at the 17th hole.
Each week, we take a look at the online betting sites and highlight the best values on the board. We make a short, middle, and long odds pick to win and breakdown a couple of head-to-head matches that you can at just about every golf betting outlet. Here are our picks to win the 2019 Military Tribute at The Greenbriar.
Jason Kokrak (16 to 1 odds to win)
Kokrak (+350 to finish in top 5 and +175 to finish top 10 at Bovada Sportsbook!) is coming off his best PGA season with five top-10 finishes, and only one missed cut in 24 starts. He topped out as the runner-up at the Valspar and finished strong with top-20 finishes in each of the playoff events. Kokrak was 3rd the last time this event was played, and his solid stat sheet makes him a good fit for Greenbriar. He is 17th in driving distance and uses that length to set up short approaches. He finished 2018 inside the top-35 in greens hit as well as in birdie and scoring average. The putter ranks right around Tour average, but he gets a little bump there as the field strength isn’t overly strong. He is a consistent player around the greens and is not as mistake-prone as many long drivers are. I think Kokrak can continue to build on the momentum gained from last season and no one will be surprised if he cashed in a win here.
Keegan Bradley (33 to 1)
Bradley is perhaps the best overall ball-striker in this field. He ranked 11th on Tour in total driving last season and was one of the few that ranked inside the top-50 in both fairways and greens. His overall tee-to-green performance was the 36th, and he is still long enough off the tee to take attack a course. Keegan’s Achilles heel remains a balky putter, and he finished as the 178th ranked player in strokes gained on the greens which actually translates to him losing strokes with the putter against a Tour average baseline. When he putts well, he contends, and he did manage a T2 at the Travelers while making 20-of-25 cuts on the year. I am OK in predicting he will have a solid week on the greens based on his T13 at the Greenbriar last summer and any improvement from his putting norm should have him near the top. A more conservative bet and one I personally will be betting this week is a head to head matchup with Bradley being favored at -125 odds vs. Brian Harman. This wager can be found at Bovada, where your credit card WILL work for deposits and where you’ll receive not only a 50% bonus up to $250 added to your account, you’ll receive a rebate on every single bet you place, win or lose! Signing up at at Bovada also helps support Predictem and keep us free to our readers.
Beau Hossler (100 to 1)
The 24-year old experienced the career setback of losing his full-time, exempt status but he immediately regained it with a runner-up finish on the Korn Ferry Tour. He was solid in 2017-18 with just four missed cuts and two T2 finishes, so he is not far from a near-breakout form. His ball-striking slipped a bit last season, but his putting did not, and he still managed a top-10 putting average in terms of strokes gained and finished with the 19th best total putting average. He is above average in driving distance and is respectable enough with the approach game to let that putter turn in a top-50 birdie average. I think the struggles have been character building and he could see a nice bump in results now that he is not having to figure out how to get back on Tour. I don’t think he has the juice to win a full-field event, but The Greenbriar is a step down from that and Beau could shine behind that stellar putter.
Picks to win based on predicted score after all four rounds. Check with your favorite online betting site for single round pairings and a variety of prop bets.
Branden Grace (-115) v. Bronson Burgoon (-115) (pick to win: Grace)
Burgoon has some nice stats with the driver and irons, but that didn’t translate to consistent results in 2018 as he missed eleven of his twenty cuts with just one top-10 finish in 2019. Grace wasn’t significantly better in terms of high-end finishes, but he did make the weekend in 16-of-22 starts and made the first weekend of the playoffs. Both are rather average on the greens, so I want to go with Grace, who has the better tee-to-green stats and also earns an edge around the greens. Burgoon trails Grace by about 100 spots on the OWGR and I will let that play out until Bronson proves he can be a more consistent producer on Tour.
Viktor Hovland (-110) v. Bryson DeChambeau (-120) (pick to win: Hovland)
Hovland splashed with a T12 at the US Open and finished off the summer with four straight top-16 finishes while DeChambeau scuffled a bit at the end with a missed cut at The Open and some lukewarm finishes in the playoffs. Hovland doesn’t have enough rounds in to qualify his stats, but the raw numbers are better than DeChambeau in fairways and greens hit over the last portion of the season with both players being about the same length off the tee. I think Hovland is riding a nice wave of momentum and there is probably little Bryson can do if Viktor is going to average 4.5 birdies per round like he did in his Tour starts.
Good luck and good golf!
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