Move over Rory McIlroy, we have a new number one player in the world.
Sports fans were treated to the most dominant performance since the PGA’s return, as Jon Rahm (-9) won the Memorial Tournament on Sunday. Rahm pulled away from Ryan Palmer (-6) to emerge victorious for the fourth time in his career and claimed the top spot for the first time in his career. With the victory, Rahm surpassed Rory McIIroy (+4) who finished T32 in the Memorial.
Rahm, who entered as the sixth overall betting choice at odds of 22/1 to win the event, was outstanding the entire tournament. He was even the top betting choice of SI Gambling insider Ben Heisler in our weekly “Best Bets” breakdown.
The star Spaniard has now earned five top-10 finishes this season thanks to his three-shot victory and led by as many as seven strokes on Sunday.
The emerging 25-year-old star entered Sunday with a four stroke lead and his victory was never in doubt on the final day. His statement shot of the tournament was an incredible birdie shot on Hole 16 that put him back up four strokes with only two holes to play.
Palmer, who now has four top-10 finishes this season with his runner-up finish, has been tough to get a read on since the PGA restart. The 43 year-old veteran has posted two sensational efforts, both this past weekend in the Memorial and the RBC Heritage (T8), combined with three missed-cut efforts. Among those missed-cuts was the Workday Charity Open (77,81) at this very same Muirfield Village course just one week prior.
Rahm, who has finished inside the top-37 since the PGA restart due to the COVID-19 pandemic, shot 69, 67, 68 and 75 en route to victory.
A Bad Beat on Hole 16
Rahm’s sensational shot on 16 was not without controversy for the PGA Tour and sports bettors. After the tournament was over, it was announced that Rahm was awarded a two-hole penalty by tournament officials for, “a violation of Rule 9.4 after a ball at rest moved.”
Rahm’s over/under for Round 4 was set 73.5 and the adjustment caused all those who wagered on the “under” to lose after his score was changed from 73 to 75.
Setting the Scene
With six events in the books since the COVID-19 shutdown, the PGA will head to Minnesota for the 3M Open.
Wolff set the 72-hole course record (263) in 2019’s 3M Open and has been up and down in the PGA’s restart missing the cut in three of five tournaments. If he is able to return to his runner-up form from the Rocket Mortgage Classic, he could be an interesting play.
Dates & Venue:
Thursday, July 23-26. TPC Twin Cities in Blaine, Minnesota
3M Open Betting Odds
Three of the top 12 players in the World Golf Rankings: Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka and Tommy Fleetwood will all be in action this week for the 3M Open.
Fleetwood comes in at No. 12 and will return to the links for the first time since the Arnold Palmer Invitational in March when he missed the cut. Prior to the shutdown, Fleetwood was in tremendous form with four top-22 finishes in six tournaments.
Dustin Johnson (11/1) off his win in the Travelers Championship two weeks ago sits atop the FanDuel Sportsbook odds board. Following Johnson closely are Brooks Koepka (12/1), Tony Finau (14/1), Tommy Fleetwood (16/1), Paul Casey (25/1) and defending Champion Matthew Wolff (30/1).
Many sports fans and bettors were ecstatic when Tiger Woods made his return to the PGA Tour in style when he birdied his first hole at odds of 5/1. He followed that up by enabling all his backers who stepped out on his “Make The Cut” market to cash as well. However, Woods (+6) would come up short in his 25/1 odds to win the Memorial when he posted a T40 finish.
Woods admitted to experiencing difficulties in his return to the PGA restart to TigerWoods.com, including experiencing back problems on Friday:
“These were some of the more difficult conditions I’ve played in a long time,” Woods said.
The jury is still out on if golf fans will see Woods tee off ahead of the PGA Championship scheduled for August 6-9.
“I definitely need more reps,” said the former No.1 player in the world. Just when those reps will come is the question all sports fans are looking forward to learning.
Nevertheless, it's going to be another great week of PGA action.
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 3M Open as well as where the sharps are investing their money.