Table of Contents

    By Alex Lauzon from the “Course of Life” podcast

    Clean Shave Before The Open

    We’re just a week away from The 151st Open Championship, and while the elite in the world of golf are taking a week off or heading across the pond early to play the Scottish Open (here’s that preview), the PGA Tour also hosts an opposite field stateside for those who didn’t qualify for the year’s final major. The Barbasol Championship has been played since 2015 on the same week as The Open, but this year that changes and it gets a bigger spotlight for golf fans. Plus, one non-exempt player who finishes the highest gets the final ticket to Royal Liverpool. The final golden ticket to Liverpool awaits in Kentucky.

    On the heels of an odd Sunday finish at the John Deere Classic, my streak of picking the outright winner came to an end at two (nine on the year so far). Sepp Straka grabbed win number two on his career and he was a true “feast or famine” type of player that feasted on Sunday with a 62 to win going away, even while drinking one on 18. Now, the haves and have nots split ways, and the vets and true grinders of the tour continue to play for their jobs at the Barbasol Championship. 

    Keene Observation

    Keene Trace Golf Club in Nicholasville. KY sits just south of Lexington and is an Arthur Hills open layout design that sits adjacent to farmland. It’s everything you would expect from a lush, green, beautifully modest Kentucky golf course. At just a hair over 7000 yards in distance, it’s a shorter track that allows Tour pros to go ham and make bridies in bunches, each year the event has been played at Keene Trace, the inner has -21 or better for the week. 

    It’s predictably a weaker field by PGA Tour standards, but the uniqueness of this event allows some fresh faces to make PGA Tour starts in the U.S. This tournament is co-sanctioned with the DP World Tour, so upstart names that have excelled across the pond like Julien Geurrier and Matti Schmid will introduce themselves to U.S. golf audiences, and young fresh faces like Peter Kuest and Niklaas Hojgaard find their names higher up on the betting board than they normally would. Most notably, Canadian tour winner Taylor Pendrith (18-1) and Lucas Glover (22-1) are the biggest favorites this week in Kentucky.

    Forecasting The Barbasol

    Well, it’s admittedly slim pickings at the top so I’m leaning towards a fresh young face getting it done for the first time. The last two Barbasol champions (Trey Mullinax and Seamus Power) got their first wins here, and I’m feeling that same vibe as there’s an intriguing group of young guns showing up to play this alternate field event. 

    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 John Deere Classic in the Quad Cities it was a circling of my picks around page one, but Adam Schenk and Denny McCarthy fell short again on Sunday and we were winnerless on the week. No three-peat here, but with four of my six picks in the top 25 it’s a solid team effort before Links golf forecasts are the new norm. I’ll give the picks a B- overall.

    The 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: Taylor Pendrith – Taking the favorite here and grouping him with fresh young faces – he came off a top 20 here last year and has good course familiarity.

    2: Niklas Hojgaard – Spurred on from the momentum of his brother’s win in Europe, expect the other Hojgaard to play well and try and play his way to Liverpool.

    3: Akshay Bhatia – In a similar Puerto rico Open vibe he finished 2nd, so I expect his game to shine through in place in contention for an alternate field event.

    4: Matti Schmid – The Dp World Tour member blew a great chance at a win here last year, and should be out for revenge in 2023.

    5: Peter Kuest – Can’t walk away from the table picking Kuest, who just secured his PGA Tour status for the rest of the season.

    6: Jonas Blixt – The PGA Tour vet made a brief cameo at the top of the John Deere board, so he’ll have another low round or two in him this week.

    RYP One and Done Pick: Taylor Pendrith

    The Deets

    Where to watch: This is a Golf Channel exclusive all week, with afternoon coverage every day from 4-7 pm ET and plenty of Kentucky farmland shots.

    Why to watch: The Barbasol has a unique collection of PGA Tour and DP World Tour players, and there’s a golden ticket to The Open on the line.

    What to eat: Kentucky Hot Browns – simply put it’s a meaty cheesy sandwich local to Kentucky and it looks divine.

    Purse: $3.7 million 

    Winner’s Share: $700k

    Golf FAQs

    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.


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    About Author

    Alex Lauzon

    Lauzon is a podcast host, live broadcaster, analyst and betting extraordinaire for the Course of Life brand. After earning a degree in broadcast journalism at Quinnipiac University, he worked in ESPN and ESPN radio newsrooms. He has interviewed athletes and celebrities from all walks of life who often love to play golf. When he's not playing golf or talking about the game on Course of Life, Lauzon enjoys time with his wife and dog, checking off the next island vacation destination or counting down the days to the next Dell Match Play in his hometown of Austin, Texas.

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