Best Bets - TaylorMade Driving Relief 2020 Skins Game
Drew Phelps explores the fairways and reads the greens to help you place the best bets for this weekend's TaylorMade Driving Relief 2020 Skins Game.
Are you excited? You should be, we’ve got live golf to break down this weekend. It’s the TaylorMade Driving Relief 2020 Skins Game at Seminole Golf Club featuring Rory McIlory, Dustin Johnson, Rickie Fowler and Matt Wolff. That’s a stacked lineup which is why this event is getting national TV coverage on NBC, Golf Channel, NBC Sports Network, and Sky Sports this Sunday afternoon from 2-6pm ET. The teams will be McIlory and Johnson playing for the American Nurses Foundation against Fowler and Wolff playing for the CDC Foundation.
This event is doing its part to keep with the social distancing guidelines as best as possible. The players will not have a caddy which forces them to carry their own bags or use a pull cart. The players have been told to avoid handshakes, high fives and fist bumps. The flag sticks will be disinfected and a rules official will handle the removal of the pin. The course has also removed all rakes from around the sandtraps.
In this article, I’ll explain to you how this event works, give a course breakdown and give my picks for the best bets on the board for this special event.
WHAT’S A SKINS MATCH?
If you aren’t a golfer, most likely you don’t know what a skins match is but I’ll explain it. It’s a very popular way that golfers bet on the course. The ABC network helped grow the popularity of the skins game when they hosted an annual Skins Game event every Thanksgiving weekend from 1983-2008. How it works is a skin is given a monetary value, lets say $1,000 per skin. A player wins a skin by scoring lower on the hole than his opponent. In the event of a tie on a hole, that skin is carried over which means the next hole will be worth two skins. If the players tie for a second straight hole, the next hole will be worth three skins and so on. In this format, the value of the skins will increase throughout the round. Holes 1-6 the skins will be worth $50,000, holes 7-16 the skins will be worth $100,000, hole 17 the skin will be worth $200,000 and hole 18 the skin will be worth $500,000. There’s a chance that if these teams tie on the 17th hole, the 18th hole would be worth $700,000. If they tie on the 18th hole, the teams will replay the 17th hole and if there is still a tie, they will play a closest to the hole competition from the 17th tee box to determine a winner. Side note, they will be playing a four-ball format which means each guy will play their own ball out and the low score of the four wins the skin for their team.
SEMINOLE GOLF CLUB
This is one of the most private golf courses in the country. For real diehard golf fans, it’ll be a treat to see this track featured on television. The 90-year-old course is a short Par 72 stretching out just over 6,800 yards. The standard course on the PGA Tour these days is around 7,200 yards. I’ve talked to you about courses in Hawaii and Pebble Beach which play right along the water, wind is what makes those courses difficult. This course sits right on the Atlantic Ocean in Juno Beach, Florida. The forecast has rain leading up to the event and a 30 percent chance of thunderstorms on Sunday. They are also calling for wind gusts in the mid-teens. Sand is also a problem on this track with bunkers outlining most all of the greens. Holes 14-15 are back to back very reachable Par 5s followed by holes 16-18 which play right along the coastline which gives these players plenty of opportunities for heroics down the stretch.
If you are even a casual golf fan, you know names like Rory McIlory, Dustin Johnson and Rickie Fowler. Rory is the current number one player in the world and Dustin is currently ranked fifth but has been number one in his career. Rickie Fowler currently ranks 27th in the world but has been a Top 10 golfer in his career. The name that people may not be familiar with is Matt Wolff who currently ranks 101 in the world. You’re probably wondering why a guy with one career PGA tour victory would be participating in this event? He played college golf at Oklahoma State University and if you didn’t already know, so did Rickie Fowler. The reason you see Rickie Fowler wear orange on Sundays is because of his love for OSU. Wolff is no slouch, he finished 2nd in the 2017 U.S. Amateur and won the 2019 NCAA Division I Individual Championship. Turned pro in June of 2019 at the Travelers and just one month later won his first PGA Tour event at the 3M Open in Minnesota. We will see if this Cowboy connection is strong enough to take down two of the best players in the world.
These bets and odds are on the DraftKings Sportsbook right now. Fanduel does have bets available but right now all they are offering is the winner and first hole. I’m assuming both sites will offer live hole by hole bets as the event is going on. These are my favorite bets to place before the event begins. I have put them in order of preference.
Hole 13 - Any Player to hit a shot into the Bunker (YES +130)
There is so much sand on this hole. There is a huge one before you even get to the hole and then 7 bunkers surrounding the green. These guys will be hunting pins and that can get them into trouble.
Hole 5 - Any Player to hit a shot into the Bunker (YES -120)
Another hole with bunkers surrounding the green. I like the other one a little better and the odds are better but I wouldn’t mind taking this one either.
Rory McIlory ANY Hole Longest Tee Shot (+175)
Right now DraftKings is offering the longest tee shot on Holes 3, 4, 7 and 9. I’m sure they’ll add more live ones for the back nine especially 14 and 15. Rory McIlory is 2nd on the PGA Tour in driving distance and that is no fluke. He may be smaller than Dustin but that Irishman averages 320 off the tee. You can take him on any hole and feel pretty confident but if you want better odds, Matt Wolff is your play as he’s ranked 21st at 310. Those +335 odds are pretty tasty.
Leader After 3 Holes - Fowler/Wolff (+110)
I like for the two Cowboys to get off to a hot start but hurts them in the long run as the two studs pick up their game.
Dustin Johnson Green in Regulation - Hole 1 (NO +210)
I just have a feeling that Dustin is going to come out rusty. Out of the four of them, I think he’s the most likely to not hit the green in two.
Leader After 9 Holes - McIlory/Johnson (-159)
Like I stated above, I like for the two premiere players to take control by the start of the back 9.
Albatross in the Tournament (+25000)
I mean why not throw a few bucks down on this one. These Par 5s are all reachable and I could totally see any of these guys getting that lucky roll into the hole.