The PNC Championship is a year ending, 36-hole tournament that involves father and son teams (played Saturday Dec 18 & Sunday Dec 19). It has been in place since 1995 but you could be forgiven if it’s fallen under your radar up until this point.
In 2022, the competition has attracted rather more media attention simply because of the involvement of a certain Tiger Woods. Along with his son Charlie, Tiger is taking to the course for the first time since his horrific car accident back in February and that return has suddenly brought the PNC Championship into the spotlight.
The destination is Orlando Florida for two days of competition and, while it may not be as intense as a regular Tour event, there are betting lines to be considered seriously and some interesting odds. So this PNC Championship preview will aim to unearth some valid predictions and picks despite the unique format of this tournament.
Team Thomas – son Justin and father Mike – are the defending champions and they will go into the 2021 edition as the red-hot favorites. Odds of +185 are available for this pair and the figures put them way ahead of the chasing pack.
Of the players currently active on Tour, Justin Thomas has the highest world ranking by a distance. Father Mike is a pretty decent player in his own right and, in 2020, they beat Vijay Singh and Qass Singh by one stroke.
Mike Thomas is a long-term PGA Tour of America pro so this really is a strong team and it will be tough for many to see past them.
Behind the market leaders, Team Kuchar are the second favorites at odds of +650. Matt Kuchar and his 14-year-old son Cameron were among the favorites last year but didn’t make any real impression on the tournament.
Next up is Team Furyk at +750, but as big as 12/1 with one of the leading sportsbooks, followed by Team Stenson at +900. Jim Furyk, along with his son Tanner, could be worth watching this week. They finished inside the top ten last year and, since then, the elder Furyk has enjoyed a solid year on the regular and senior tours.
Those that are tuning in to the PNC Championship for the first time will be closely monitoring the progress of Tiger Woods. At odds of +1000, the Woods family are on the fringes of the chasing pack at a price that is shared by Team Bubba Watson.
Many seem to be in agreement that Tiger looks way too short at those odds. Son Charlie is tipped to make an impression on the sport but he is just 13. Woods Senior is gently feeling his way back following those horrific injuries and, while we learned at August 2019 that Tiger should never be written off, a win here looks unlikely.
In a small field there may not be too much scope for outside value this week but Team Singh should be worth considering at +1400. Vijay Singh and his son Qass lost out by just one shot to the Thomas pairing last year and they also claimed runners up slots back in 2013 and 2006. There is plenty of experience in that side and they shouldn’t be ruled out.
Just behind are Team Nelly Korda at +1600 and then the markets start to move out. Team Lehman, Team Harrington and Team Beem are quoted at +2800 before Team O’Meara come in at +6600.
At the very bottom of the markets, Team Faldo, Team Player and Team Tom Watson are propping up the rest at +20000. Those sides are likely to be here just for the fun element of the competition and this preview is not expecting them to challenge the top of the leaderboard this weekend.
Our Preview’s PNC Championship Predictions, Format, Course & Betting Trends
The PNC Championship takes place over two days and, in 2021, it will run over the weekend of the 18th and 19th of December. Twenty teams will take part in a scrambling format so it’s a case of playing the best ball on each of the 36 holes.
To be eligible for an invitation, the main player has to have won either a Major or the Players Championship. They can then team up with their father or a son.
The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club in Orlando has been the regular home since the tournament returned to the schedules in 2012. It is a par-72 venue which carries some decent length at 7,234 yards and sand traps are its biggest defense.
This is by no means a regular tournament so this preview, with predictions, is not planning to dissect stats such as Greens in Regulation or Driving Distance. The Scrambling format tends to cover those up and it’s really all about the stronger teams.
With that in mind, it’s difficult to look past Justin and Mike Thomas. Of all the father/son partners, Mike is by far the best golfer on show. Those odds of +185 offer little excitement however, so, if you’re looking for a longer price for a smaller wager, we’d suggest Jim and Tanner Furyk.
Jim Furyk won his first senior Major this year at the US Open and stays competitive on the main tour. The team can certainly offer the biggest challenge and if Thomas and Thomas slip up, the Furyks are capable of stepping in.
Matt Harris is a golf and soccer expert for USA Betting. His other area of specialist knowledge is cricket. He is well known in sports journalism and contributes articles to a plethora of big-name websites and media outlets. Titles that he writes or has written for include: Betfair, BetVictor, Unibet & Just Bookies.