I’m honestly not too thrilled about the potential outright picks coming into this tournament. I’ve never really looked into my numbers straight-up against Vegas'(more on this tomorrow), mostly because I didn’t believe mine, but what I found kind of scared me. Only three players in the field had a more than 1% edge over the Vegas numbers. That convinced me that the edges were very small, especially on the players that I liked. I also see no reason to take guys at 400-1 before the tournament, when I think maybe one or two of them will be in contention and probably even more undervalued then. So, no pre-tournament outright picks, although I did get somewhat creative this week.

I think this was my final list of player I actually would have considered:
-Camilo Villegas*
-Kevin Na*
-Hunter Mahan*
-Sergio Garcia*

All four of those guys have really tight lines, which I would ignore for the upside, but they have seemed a lot more popular around the internets than anyone not named Mitch Lowe. I have a set list of real longshots this week that I will consider if they are at or around contention, so we will see how that goes.

****Side note: Am I getting stupider, or is Jason Sobel getting smarter? I’ll say I’m getting stupider, because he is yet to point out the greatness of Mitch Lowe. But, he just murdered all my pre-tournament thoughts with his rankings.

The real story, though is Mitch Lowe. Here is why he will win:

-Mitch Lowe has not missed a cut this year. Tiger has.
-Two-time NCPGA Player of the year.
-Mitch Lowe beat his head pro 70-75 in the Pro Assistant Championship. Tiger has never beaten Hank Haney.
From Johnny, Mitch Lowe built this when he was in the womb.
– Mitch Lowe once finished 17th at Cypress Point, without a scorecard.
-Mitch won an 8-man playoff. How many 8-man playoffs have Tiger, Phil, Ernie or Alvaro Quiros won.
-Mitch Lowe is cleaning up the NCPGA Pro Tour with 6 finishes of 2nd or better and leads the player of the year standings. Game Over.
-Mitch Lowe has a kid named Cheech.
-Mitch Lowe is the most famous thing to come out of Boise, Idaho. That includes the Blue Turf.

Go Get ’em Mitch.

Zach Johnson +122 v. Stewart Cink(1)
Lucas Glover -108 v. Angel Cabrera(1)

If you had asked me coming in, would I be backing two major champions in match-ups the answer would absolutely be no. Both Cink and Cabrera are getting way more credit than they probably deserve. I flat out hate Cabrera, so -108 wasn’t stopping me in that one, despite the fact that it opened at +110.

Zach was a more questionable decision, because even with the major Cink has played well below his performance from last season. I didn’t bother checking my two year ratings, but KenPom had this close enough that I lean towards 50-50 in this one. Of course, it is 100% that the wrong 50% wins.

Mitch Lowe +565 v. Goydos/Pettersson(1)
Pat Perez +155 v. Ross Fisher/Mike Small(1)
Lucas Glover +205 v. Cabrera/Cink(1)

We all wondered why 5dimes chose to match up Lowe with Quiros. It was pretty obviously a mistake, but it did create a certain internet obsession with Mike Lowe that has caused most of us to make stupid Mitch Lowe bets. In my opinion, this was the least -EV way to go. Go Get ’em Mitch.

Small is probably the most known of the Club Pro’s(although not the ASSISSTANT Club Pros) as he has played on the PGA Tour before and in PGA Championships. Realistically he still probably isn’t very good, and Fisher is overrated on the heels of a few high finishes at Big tournaments. I think it is worth a shot with old blog favorite PP.

Same logic on Glover, I just thought this was better than the -120 with Cabrera straight-up.

Phil over 20.5 -115(1)
Padraig over 20.5 -120(1)
Sergio under 20.5 +170(1)

I messed around with my numbers a little bit on this, using the loosest possible criteria (most likely there will be 20-23 golfers that finish in the top-20 and ties, I used 25) for Phil and Paddy finishing outside the top-20 and those still looked like good prices. Did the complete opposite with Sergio using the tightest possible number for finishing in the top-20. I think these were the best options for getting my opinion out on some overrated/underrated golfers, given the low juice.

And Finally:
Tim Clark +600, Charl Schwartzel +1400 and Louis Oosthuizen +1400 to be the low South African(Risking 1.38x to win 3.62x

Figured Els, Goosen, Sterne(two-time Euro winner) and Sabbatini (now correctly at 8-1) are all overrated so why not flat bet the other three who I couldn’t distinguish.

Good luck and stay tuned for the Mitch-a-palooza Freedom Fund PGA Championship Round 1 frequently updated post.


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