Much of the talk surrounding the PGA Tour return from the pandemic shutdown has focused on two topics: the effects of COVID-19 on the tour and the transformation of Bryson DeChambeau’s body. On Sunday, the emerging talent put all that new bulk and muscle on full display en route to capturing the Rocket Mortgage Classic.
DeChambeau (-23) captured his sixth PGA Tour victory, edging out Matthew Wolff (-20) by three strokes and cashing for all bettors who backed the favorite at odds of 6/1. SI Gambling & Fantasy contributors Shawn Childs and Roy Larking were happy with the result as they both targeted the No.7 ranked player in the world as their “Player To Win” in our Rocket Mortgage Classic Predictions & Best Bets.
The budding PGA star, who entered Sunday three strokes behind Wolff, notching his seventh consecutive top-10 finish. DeChambeau continued his sensational play in the PGA’s first four events since the pandemic shutdown, shooting a 66, 67, 67, and 65 en route to the victory.
The PGA Tour highlighted how the hard work DeChambeau has put on reshaping his body is leading to him becoming a household name in the sport.
“I hope it's an inspiration to a lot of people that if they set their mind to it, you can accomplish it,” DeChambeau said. “It just takes a lot of hard work, a lot of figuring out things that you may not know and understand yet. But if you keep … working on it, figuring stuff out, eventually you'll get a little bit better each and every day, and hopefully, that leads to something great in the end.
“It’s a little emotional for me. I did do something a little different, I changed my body, I changed my mindset in the game, and was able to accomplish a win while playing a completely different style of golf,” DeChambeau told PGA Tour.
With four events in the books since the COVID-19 shutdown, the PGA will now head to Dublin, Ohio for the Workday Charity Open. When the coronavirus pandemic forced the shutdown of the sports world, the PGA came up with the decision to scrap the John Deere and instead host back-to-back tournaments at Muirfield Village Golf in consecutive weeks. This week’s Workday Charity Open will replace the John Deere, with the Memorial to be hosted the very next week; on the same course.
In addition, the PGA, which was planning to make the Memorial (July 14-19) the first tournament of the adjusted schedule to have fans in stands, has amended those intentions it was announced in a statement early Monday.
“We applaud the leadership, diligence and partnership it took from Jack Nicklaus, Dan Sullivan, the entire Memorial Tournament staff and State, County and City leadership to build a solid plan that would allow for limited fan attendance at next week’s event,” said PGA TOUR Commissioner Jay Monahan.
“But given the broader challenges communities are facing due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we need to stay focused on the No. 1 priority for our return to golf — the health and safety of all involved.
While this was a difficult decision, it was one made collectively, and we are appreciative of the process undertaken to this point that will allow us to welcome on-site fans when the time is right. In the meantime, we have no doubt that the Memorial Tournament will once again be an incredible championship and deliver the best competitive environment for our players and utmost entertainment to our fans around the world.”
DeChambeau won the Memorial back in 2018 and will take his first time off since the PGA Tour made its return. Patrick Cantlay, who won last year's Memorial Tournament, will be among a strong contingent of players ranked in the 2020 FedEx Cup standings teeing off.
DATES AND VENUE:
Thursday, July 9-10. Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio
Thomas (10/1) sits atop the Westgate Superbook odds board as the favorite following seven top-10 finishes this season. Following Thomas are Patrick Cantlay (14/1), Rahm (14/1), Koepka (14/1), Hideki Matsuyama (16/1), and Xander Schauffele (20/1).
Denny McCarthy (275/1), Nick Watney (600/1) and Dylan Frittelli (175/1), who all previously had tested positive for COVID-19, will make their return to the links this week. Their odds are according to DraftKings Sportsbook.
According to Golfweek, Tiger Woods, ranked (No.41) in the FedEx Standings, will skip his fifth straight PGA Tour event after not committing to play in the Workday Charity Open this week.
Be sure to check back here at Sports Illustrated later this week with the SI Gambling team’s predictions, best bets, values, longshots, and daily fantasy plays for the Workday Charity Open as well as where the sharps are investing their money.