We have spent the last few weeks in Elevated events with deep fields, big purses, and big time value in the betting markets. This week at the Honda Classic we get to see what a non elevated event brings (which I guess is a sunken event?). The Honda Classic at PGA National in palm beach gardens, FL (keep an eye out for me this weekend, I will be “reporting live” from the course) boast a not deep field and a relatively tiny purse. Buttttttttt, some one is going to win, matchups will be won, and random golfers you will only hear about here will win obscure nationality props. So while the coverage of the tournament won’t be as big as the Phoenix open or a Tiger return at Riv, our ability to win money is still there. Picks will be in the article, but I just watched Full Swing on Netflix and I have thoughts.
Justice for Will Zalatoris
Arguably the best ball striker in the world saw his name come up in multiple episodes, but his voice and his story was rarely in focus. Zal Pal (his friends or maybe just me call him Zal Pal) burst onto the scene in 2020 with a T6 at the US open and has proceeded to compete in just about every big time tournament he’s played in. Zal’s resume includes a second at the Masters, a T8 at the PGA and an 8th place finish at the first playoff event in 2021. But in his Rookie of the Year winning season, Zalatoris left without a win but with lofty expectations for his sophomore season. Enter 2022 where Zal kicked it off with 5 top tens in his first 8 events but none of them first place finishes. After a missed cut at the Byron Nelson, Zalatoris teed it up at the PGA Championship with arguably the lowest expectations of his career. If you watched the documentary, you saw Zalatoris’s name sprinkled on the leader board throughout the Justin Thomas Matt Fitzpatric, and Mito Periera epsiodes which saw Thomas on top, Fitzpatrick flounder at the PGA but win the US Open and Mito melt down. Zalatoris left both the PGA and the U.S Open in second and with more memes about his putting stroke than victories. Cut to the first round of the PGA tour Playoff, the Fedex St. Jude Championship. There, Zalatoris won a wacky playoff against Sepp Straka, exclaiming “What are they going to say now” after sinking the winning putt. Wellllll, they’re still talking about the putter but it is quite over blown. There was definitely a concern with the putter when he made it to the PGA tour, but Zalatoris really improved his putting over the last year despite the memes, gaining strokes putting in 9 of his last 12 events. Not only that but he’s really good putting at the Masters (averages about 6 strokes putting) and gained 7 strokes putting this year at the U.S Open. After the win, Zalatoris WD the next week with a back issue and had to make real changes to his golf game to protect his back. Zalatoris has made four starts since his injury with mixed results but a 4th place finish at the Genesis has me excited about Zal pal yet again. Jon Rahm having an all time heater makes it tough to pick anyone else to win anything when Rahmbo is around, but Zalatoris is always a play at the big time events.
I don’t care about the 54. The only thing I bet LIV wise is Cameron Tringale and Harold Varner III to win because I think if either of the two guys famous for not winning on the PGA Tour go out and win there it’ll show just how much of a joke that tour is. Greg Norman and the Saudi backed LIV tour made waves by throwing oodles of cash at anyone who’s ever swung a club but not a lot of splashes. When both tours meet at the various majors throughout the year, LIV really only has two true contenders (Cam Smith and Dustin Johnson) and three maybes in terms of talent (Joaquin Neiman, Brooks Koepka and Bryson Dechambeau) with Phil Mickelson as the moderately disgraced face of the tour. Other than that it was mainly just a bunch of young guys who want their first big check and guys who want to cash out before they’re stock crashes. LIV is still trying to get names onto their tour, Greg Norman was boasting about maybe getting 7 of the top 20 guys in the world, but the best they got was Mito Periera and Sebastian Munoz who are both good golfers but neither is anywhere near a top 20 talent. It seems to be that if they haven’t gone already, the big names are not going. I think this points to a Tiger effect, as he was very outspoken against it and the Greg Norman effect. Greg “the shark” Norman has spent his post playing career making money and enemies and as the head of the LIV tour, Greg has continued to do both. I do not see peace coming between the two competing tours but if there is, I could see LIV replacing the Champions tour as the “place where golfers go when they’re old”. The 3 round format and the shotgun start make it better for the guys on the championship tour but a PGA tour vs. LIV makes no sense because what value does LIV have to the PGA? They have no fans, no TV deal and Patrick Reed (probably gonna get sued for that one). The only thing LIV has to offer the PGA is more money than Gods but the PGA makes billions and is a non profit. I think they’ll be alright without the 54.
The Jesster’s Laughably good picks of the week
I am going to bet Sungjae to win this week at 10-1. I don’t think I need to keep talking about Im, as I’M a big fan but lets look at what else is available. Not really going to explain why but if I like them, you should too
Jt Poston +3500 to win. Top american +1800. +165 to top 20
Thomas detry +3500 to win. -150 to top 40
Piersson Coody +18000 to win (First tour event I don’t like it to win but he’s going to be really good). top 40 +175
S.H Kim +6000 to win. +300 to beat Ryan Palmer, Hayden Buckley, Jhon Vegas and B.H An
About the Author
I am 3 for 16 making picks in these articles but am up 9.86 units this year on golf in 5 weeks. I am good at this I swear. This is tough and nerve wracking. But thank you for reading.
Cody “the Jesster” Jess