After a brief detour into Germany last week, the action is back in the US as the 2019/20 PGA Tour campaign gets underway. The Greenbrier Classic is the season opener and a competitive field with some notable absentees is assembling at White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia.
We claimed a return at the European Open on Sunday as our top 10 pick Bernd Wiesberger finished in a solo 5th so let’s see if we can keep the run going as we return to the west side of the Atlantic.
There’s always plenty of anticipation for the first tournament of any new season but we might have hoped for a stronger field at the Old White course. As it is, the highest ranked golfer in the pack this week is Bryson DeChambeau (+1200 ie: 12/1, with Bovada Sports Betting) who will be looking for a return to form after an indifferent end to 2018/19.
Bryson was the man to watch for some time and he started the campaign well with two victories. While he is the clear tournament favorite with the top American offshore sports betting sites, his distant ninth place in the Power Rankings is a better indication of his chances.
The second favorite for the 2019 Greenbrier Classic is Viktor Hovland (14/1) and then comes 16/1 shot Jason Kokrak. Hovland is one of a host of exciting Tour rookies while Kokrak heads up those Power Rankings after a tie for third here last year.
Close behind is Marc Leishman (25/1) who is a favorite of ours but issues with his back at the end of last year deter us from tipping the Australian. Elsewhere, Sung-Jae Im (at the same odds) is attracting some interest while Bubba Watson (also +2500) is another golfer looking for a return to form after a mixed campaign last time out.
Others to watch include Scott Piercy and Scottie Scheffler (both 33/1). Of those two, Scheffler is promising a strong season after leading Tour qualifying in a number of key stats. Piercy has the greater experience and he won on Tour as recently as 2018, albeit in the Zurich Classic team event with Billy Horschel.
Reigning Champion Kevin Na (30/1) is a fair way down the market for the Greenbrier Classic but in a weakened field there is no reason why he cannot make a strong defense. Behind Na, Keegan Bradley (33/1) is another man we like to watch and it is a little surprising that he is so short in the betting.
Bradley won the BMW Championship a year ago and while he was inconsistent last season, he will always be a threat.
At the same price as Keegan in places is England’s Tom Lewis (66/1). The rookie is getting a lot of interest this year and, after a strong finish to Tour qualifying, we also think he is in with a chance. Russell Henley (28/1) is also being talked up by the pundits this week. He has finished inside the top 10 at the Greenbrier Classic on three previous occasions and has a low scoring average of 67.56 over 16 rounds.
Other names that may be of interest among the outsiders include Harold Varner III, Russell Knox, JB Holmes and Zach Johnson. All could be in with a chance but what will it take to claim the 2019 renewal of this season’s curtain raiser?
Our Preview’s Greenbrier Classic Predictions & Betting Picks Verdict with Course Trends
The Greenbrier Classic has been held at the Old White Course in White Sulphur Springs since it first came onto the calendar in 2010. This is a par 70 but it is a relatively lengthy one at a shade under 7300 yards.
Accuracy can be an issue as the fairways are tree-lined but the surfaces are quite wide. However, any wayward driving will be punished by those trees and, on occasions, by water which is in play on four holes.
With the 2016 event cancelled owing to heavy flooding, we have had eight editions of this tournament and we are still waiting for our first multiple winner. Of those eight Champions, four have come from the US while the remaining four have been spread among overseas winners.
Taking all of those trends and stats into account, our 2019 Greenbrier Classic prediction and pick is Keegan Bradley. With plenty of long-priced contenders about, this could be a week to focus on the top 10 finish betting but Bradley has good, relevant numbers and if he is on his game, he can make those pre-tournament odds look foolish. So the picks are: