Table of Contents
By Alex Lauzon from the “Course of Life” podcast
California, Here We Come
The third major championship of the year is here, and somehow none of the headlines have to do with the playing of the actual tournament. It’s the future of the game and the millions of questions lingering on the heels of the massive breaking news that the PGA Tour, PIF (hence LIV Golf), and the DP World Tour were merging. The biggest news story in the history of professional golf came with zero warning and only a handful of people in the world knew what truly was being negotiated. Now, we all attempt to exhale and conduct a major championship…and find a winner in this mess at Los Angeles Country Club.
It’s been a good spring for the picks and last week’s Canadian Open was a second consecutive week of playoff heartbreak, this time Tommy Fleetwood delivered the death blow. I’m all around the W lately and I’ve got the first two major winners in my back pocket already – time to get serious and find a winner that may surprise you.
Country Club Gem
For decades Los Angeles Country Club aka LACC has been one of the most sought-after courses by the USGA. They kept it as an uber-private course in the heart of Los Angeles and didn’t host any tournaments of any kind for over 50 years until the 2017 Walker Cup. Now six years later the world gets to see the North Course which photographs as a Gil Hanse gem of a track. Interesting spots of undulation, wispy heather grass that reminds you of New England, and tree-lined fairways that seem like a golf course hours or days away from La La Land. The primary hasn’t grown out quite as much as the club wanted, but they’ll be making up for it with slick greens and fairways on every hole.
The top names in the field that bettors will look to wager on is topped by 2021 US Open champion Jon Rahm, a guy who can’t putt named Scottie Scheffler, and the always-in-contention but never winning Rory McIlroy. Beyond that, it’s anyone’s game here, and I’ve got this fuzzy feeling this week’s champion could come from a surprising angle.
Forecasting The U.S. Open
Well, if history is any indicator then the USGA is coming for blood and they’ll trick this course out to the fullest. Par should be your friend, and the early forecast is indicating sunny, rain-free conditions that are optimal for baking a course out. As for how it gets done, it’s mental fortitude, patience, and a rock-solid short game to get it done this week and weekend.
1. Who’s hot and trending – recent high finishes, top-10 streaks, and consistent play are never a bad thing.
2. Horses for courses – players love certain courses and course familiarity and experience are invaluable in a field of the world’s best.
3. What the numbers tell you this week – while I’m far from analytical, there’s always a tournament darling or two scattered across the golf talk stratosphere that stuns on paper.
4. Intangibles – while this allows for theater of the mind, there’s a mysterious optimism surrounding that feels “due” or if the price looks just right for buying.
At The Canadian Open at Oakdale, it was another solid week of picks where I chased the victory all week and got bit in sudden death for the second week in a row. I am officially OFF Tommy Fleetwood bets until further notice. It was Fleetwood’s close call, and Corey Conners and Eric Cole finding the leaderboard Sunday that made this past week a B for picks.
(Wanna start a Pick-X pool with your friends? Learn more here! Or, if you’re looking to start your own PGA One-and-Done pool, check those out here) (Hint: the main difference between the two is how many players you’ll pick each week)
1: Max Homa – I know, he knows, and we all know the major performances haven’t been there, but some local course knowledge and his recent uptick in putting stats have me ready to fire this week.
2: Collin Morikawa – Sticking with the theme of finding some value in odd spots, questions do surround his back but that seems to be a one-off flare-up. Morikawa can be the straightest driver of the game and it would bode extra well this week.
3: Cameron Smith – Just like Brooks Koepka followed LIV Tour wins with impressive major weeks, I expect the Aussie to follow his recent LIV win and contend on a demanding and new track to most.
4: Sahith Theegala – He’s been quietly making cuts on tour but hasn’t put it together since August and Hilton Head. An emotional player that should get a boost as a SoCal local.
5: Corey Conners – Two weeks in a row for me…but if we’re needing a ball striker who’s capable of saving a bunch of pars, Conners isn’t too far down on that list.
6: Denny McCarthy – one of the better putters on tour statistically came so close at The Memorial, and he should be looking to erase that bad beat from his mind and continue to play well on demanding tracks.
RYP One and Done Pick: Max Homa
Where to watch: SWITCH UP – it’s USA Network for the afternoons and NBC in primetime thanks to a West Coast locale. Cue the shots of surfers and beachgoers all week long. Happy Hour golf on TV is the Best.
Why to watch: The US Open is annually the toughest test in golf, and with it being major on the heels of huge golf news, what’s not to be pumped for?
What to eat: Though a majority of LA is on an Ozempic diet, the fish tacos are usually on point there.
Purse: $25 million
Winner’s Share: $4 million
How do PGA Golf Majors Pools work?
In PGA Golf Majors Pools, member select six golfers to compete on a roster over the course of an event. The member with the best combined score from the six golfers wins.
Can you include all four majors into one pool?
Yes, but your commissioner can also customize these setting with RunYourPool. Pools can include up to all four majors, repicking golfers each time or adding bonus points for finishing positions
How do I assemble a roster?
Golfers are broken up in to six tiers, as members select one golfer per tier to be on their Major roster.
What happens to golfers who miss the cut?
Any PGA Player who does not make the cut will be given the highest score of Round 3 and Round 4, respectively.
What are the four golf majors?
The Masters is the first major of the season, in April. The PGA Championship and the U.S. Open follow, with the British Open ending as the final major.
How do PGA One and Dones work?
Members in a pool select one golfer to win a tournament, but can't pick that golfer again for the rest of the season. The member with the best score at the end of the season wins.
What is a PGA One and Done pool?
A PGA One-and-Done Pool is a contest similar to Survivor Pools, in which members can only select a golfer one time per season for events.
Which tournaments are played for PGA One and Dones?
Pool commissioners can set up the season for as many or as few tournaments as desired. Go crazy and do all of them! Or dial it back for the major events. As commissioner of a RunYourPool contest, you decide which events to play in!
How to run a weekly golf pool?
In order to run a golf pool, you must first crown yourself as Pool Commissioner. Begin by picking a game type like One and Done or Pick-X Pools. You'll want to establish rules before inviting friends, family, and colleagues to join. As commissioner, you make the rules and also need to enforce them equally and fairly.
How do golf Pick-X Pools work?
Members select a certain number of golfers per tournament, set by the pool commissioner. The member earns the total winnings that their selected golfer won for the tournament. Whichever member earns the most winnings over the duration of the season wins.
What is a golf Pick-X Pool?
A Pick-X Golf Pool calculates tournament winnings rather than strokes gained when deciding a winner. This amplifies the big name events that feature a higher prize purse.
How to run a golf pool?
How you decide to run a golf pool varies greatly depending on the game type. In each case, however, you'll want to determine the rules and settings before you begin inviting members to join you. You'll want to clearly establish how score will be kept, how tiebreakers work, and how winners are decided before anything else.
What is a prop bet?
Prop bets are any sort of pick or wager on a game that has nothing to do with the score or the final score outcome. Props can range from game types, to team types and even player types - such as who will score the game's first and last touchdowns? Other props, such as novelty or exotic, feature bets on things such as the coin flip or the Super Bowl Halftime Show.
How do Masters Prop Bets Pools work?
Pool members simply fill out a wide range of prop questions, each question worth a different value. Commissioners decide on the point value for each question, along with the amount of questions. Whichever member earns the most points based on corret answers wins the pool.
When is the Masters?
The Masters is typically in April and the first major of the golf season. The 2023 Masters is set for Thursday, April 6 and will run until Sunday, April 9.
Where is the Masters played?
The Masters is annually held at the Augusta National Golf Club located in Augusta, Georgia, USA.