“#How betters should treat Jordan Spieth as PGA Tour returns”
June 9, 2020 | 11:00am | Updated June 9, 2020 | 11:00am
Once the fastest-rising star in the game, Spieth has hit his lowest point as a professional. A three-time major champion by age 24, Spieth’s winless streak is nearing three years.
A player who was a betting favorite as recently as 2017, when earning his last win at the British Open, is now seeing soaring odds this week at the Charles Schwab Challenge in Fort Worth, Texas. As the PGA Tour returns from a three-month absence, Spieth will be looking to find his lost form.
“I wouldn’t quit on him,” William Hill sportsbook director Nick Bogdanovich said. “He’s hungrier than ever. He has performed horribly the past year. The world was expected of him. Spieth was beating himself up so much, and I don’t know if he puts too much pressure on himself or what.
“You just never know, when a guy loses it, will he ever show up again?”
William Hill opened Spieth at 50/1 odds, with Circa Sports going as high as 65/1 this week. Those numbers were unimaginable a couple of years ago.
Spieth, who’s from the Dallas-Fort Worth area, is playing his backyard at Colonial Country Club. A year ago in this tournament, he fired a first-round 65 and finished in a tie for eighth, so this could be a nice spot to launch his comeback. Even without Tiger Woods, the Charles Schwab Challenge features a strong field with the top five-ranked players in the world.
A former world No. 1, Spieth has slipped out of the top 50. He won 14 times from 2013-17. In 2015, Spieth won the Masters and U.S. Open, tied for fourth in the British and finished second at the PGA Championship. As recently as 2018, he finished third at the Masters.
Just as Woods bounced back from a lengthy winless streak, Spieth, 26, has the talent to do the same. The price is right for a low-risk, high-reward wager.
Spieth is one of a number of intriguing players to watch as the PGA Tour resurfaces with nine events prior to the year’s first major, the PGA Championship in San Francisco on Aug. 6.
Brooks Koepka, currently the No. 3 player in the world, finished runner-up at Colonial two years ago and is getting 25/1 odds this week. The two-time PGA champion is less than two months away from trying to make it a three-peat, but he was nowhere near that championship-level form when golf was put on pause three months ago.
Koepka has played in five events in 2020, but his best finish was just a tie for 17th in Saudi Arabia in January. He underwent a painful stem-cell injection for a knee injury that he played through for parts of 2019. Last October, he re-aggravated the injury which forced eventual surgery. The injury kept him out of play altogether until January, when he likely came back prematurely. The three months off may benefit Koepka to further heal his injury, and his progress will surely be something to monitor for the rest of the season.
If the layoff helped players that were either injured or in unimpressive form, it’s fair to wonder if the break came at the most inopportune time for players who were starting to find consistently top form, such as Bryson DeChambeau. Before the stoppage in play after the first round of The Players Championship, DeChambeau had three straight top-5 finishes, including a runner-up at the WGC Mexico Championship.
The 26-year-old has five PGA Tour wins in his early career, though he went winless in 2019. DeChambeau (25/1) majored in physics while at SMU and he has always been more of a scientist rather than an artist in terms of how he approaches the game. Late last year, he got in the gym and has moved his performance off the tee to among the best in the world.
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