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GOLF—5 Bold Predictions From The Links For 2019 Special


1—A New X Factor? Upstart American Xander Schauffele Will Win His First Major Title in 2019

Currently priced at 50/1 to win the The Masters, The US Open and the PGA Championship and at 66/1 to win the The Open Championship in 2019—set to be played at Royal Portrush Golf Club in Antrim, Northern Ireland from July 18-21—at Online sportsbook Bovada, young gun Xander Schauffele looks to be in a good spot to be a potential longshot winner in one of these prestigious tournaments and may capture his first-ever Major this coming calendar year.

A 25-year-old product of San Diego State University and the 2011 California State High School champion (Scripps Ranch High School), Schauffele had two Wins (Greenbrier Classic, Tour Championship) and nabbed PGA Rookie of the year honors in the 2016-17 season and is currently ranked No. 11 in the World Golf Rankings. Schauffele also finished tied for 2nd place this past season at the 2018 Open Championship at Carnoustie, so Schauffele, so to speak, may be on the fringe of achieving his biggest win ever this coming year—in a Major—earning him some much-deserved notoriety and possibly a solid place in the PGA’s Top 10 rankings.



2—The Masters Will be Won by an American in the 22/1 to 66/1 Odds Range This Coming Year…

Sorry co-favorites Tiger (10/1, Bovada) and Jordan Spieth (10/1), but the number of quality golfers currently in the 22/1 to 66/1 range in the Futures market to win the 83rd Masters is too hard not to notice, and with American men playing so well in this sport this decade, backing a longshot US homeboy at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia from April 11-14 may provide the best betting ride through the pink (Hole No. 2) and white (Hole No. 11) dogwoods. But which one?

At 22/1, there’s Jason Day, Bryson DeChambeau and Bubba Watson—who won The Masters in 2014—last year’s champion, Patrick Reed at 28/1, Tony Finau at 33/1, legend Phil Mickelson at 40/1, UNLV product Adam Scott at 45/1, the aforementioned Schauffele at 50/1, and, Georgia Tech’s Matt Kuchar, Florida’s Billy Horschel and UCLA’s Patrick Cantlay, all currently at 66/1.



It’s hard to see Reed repeating at Augusta with such a tough field and on such a big stage, so, looking at DeChambeau, Schauffele and even Mickelson—who won in 2004, 2006 and 20101—for some perceived value in a tournament they could possibly win seem to be wise Futures plays for moderate amounts. American Zach Johnson (ranked #66) won The Masters back in 2007 and is at 100/1, but just isn’t playing as well as some of the others. Pick: Xander Schauffele 50/1 (Bovada)


3—Americans Will Win All Four 2019 Majors, Tiger Woods to Make a Serious Run at Augusta?

From 1975 to 1977, Americans captured all four Majors, the last time one nation has won all four of the PGA Tour’s premier events (The Masters, US Open, The Open Championship, PGA Championship), and after the US almost won all four legs for a second straight year with Patrick Reed (The Masters) and Brooks Koepka (US Open, PGA Championship)—winner of three of the L6 majors—with Italian Francesco Molinari spoiling any Red-White-and-Blue perfection in 2018 by winning The Open Championship, shooting an 8-under-par, beating four players at -6 by strokes, including two Americans, Kevin Kisner and Xander Schauffele at the iconic Carnoustie Golf Links in Angus, Scotland.

In 2017, Spaniard Sergio García ruined the party for the Americans before it even started, winning at Augusta (The Masters) in April, then seeing Americans Koepka (US Open), Jordan Spieth (The Open Championship) and Justin Thomas (PGA Championship) win the next three Majors on the Tour.



So can Americans win all four Majors in 2019? Why not? The last year an American didn’t win a PGA Major was in 1994 when Spaniard José María Olazábal (The Masters), South African Ernie Els (US Open) and Zimbabwean Nick Price (The Open Championship, PGA Championship) took the silverware and prize money home respectively to Europe and Africa.

With soon-to-be (Dec. 30) 43-year-old Tiger Woods (Will Tiger Woods Win a 2019 Major? Yes +250, No -350, Bovada) and fellow icon Phil Mickelson (Major? Yes +1100, No -2800) gradually getting their games back and both now possibly capably in spots to make runs at a Major(s), Spieth, Johnson (Major? Yes +200, No -275), Koepka (Major? Yes +350, No -550) Schauffele and upcoming American players like 2018 PGA Rookie of the Year Aaron Wise (Las Vegas), 2018-19 Rookie Cameron Champ (Sacramento) as well as talented guys like Rickie Fowler, Bubba Watson (Major? Yes +200, No -250) and Bryson DeChambeau (Major? Yes +1000, No -2500), No. 5 in the World Golf Rankings.

It’s been 24 years since Americans won all four Majors in the beautiful months of April, May, June and July, but with this nice mix of true talent, perhaps 2019 is the year golfers from the US repeat the feat with Woods (10/1 to win The Masters, Bovada) in a spot to maybe shock the world, the closest he’s been to his old golfing self in 2018.


4—Tiger, Phil to Meet in ”The Match II,” Lefty Wins The Digital Age Showdown Again, in 18 Holes…

Icons Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson met in a $9 million, winner-take-all event from Shadow Creek Golf Course here in North Las Vegas on Nov. 23 in a theoretical PPV event dubbed "The Match," and although there were some technical problems with the broadcast, expect the two to meet again somewhere down the road in 2019.

With Mickelson—who won “The Match I” and the $9 million in a playoff with a birdie on the 22nd hole—turning 49 in 2019 and Woods at 43, these two pros are still in solid shape and have been playing decent enough to occasionally make some noise in the PGA and may still be the two most popular players on the tour in the eyes of fans.



So, another PPV event can probably be expected, and as close as the first showdown was, expect probable underdog Mickelson to win a second showdown by more than one stroke (2 strokes) with conspiracy theorists thinking Lefty will tank a second meeting in order to set up a third, really winner-take-all “[The] Match.” This could never end?


5—Long Live the King? New Golfer Will End Up Winning 2018-19 FedEx Cup (Points) Championship

Dustin Johnson is the favorite in the 2018/18 FedEx Cup Championship (12/1 to win 2019 PGA Tour Championship, Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook), and although a fair Futures price, a price possibly worth grabbing before the 2018-19 PGA season gets in too deep with 2016 US Open winner Johnson poised to capture his first points title.

The next scheduled event on the PGA Tour is the Sentry Tournament of Champions from the Kapalua Resort Plantation Course in Kapalua, Hawai’i from Jan. 3-6 (GOLF, NBC, PGA TOUR RADIO), an event which was won by (Dustin) Johnson last year.

The 2018 points champion was Englishman Justin Rose (2,260 points) with Justin Thomas winning in 2016 (3,000), Rory McIlroy in 2015 (2,120), Jordan Spieth in 2014 (3,800), Billy Horschel in 2014 (4,750) and Henrik Stenson in 2013 (4,750). This championship trophy for the PGA Tour was first awarded back in 2007 with Tiger Woods winning in that first year (123,033) as well as in 2009 (4,000).


PGA FedEx Leader Into 2019 Social Media (Twitter) Insert Link


Some golfers who have seen money come in on them in the 2018-19 FedEx Cup Championship Futures market are Justin Rose (14/1 from 16), Brooks Koepka (14/1 from 20), Tony Finau (25/1 from 30), Bryson DeChambeau (20/1 from 30) and Xander Schauffele (40/1 from 50), Matt Kuchar (50/1 from 80) and Rookie Cameron Champ (50/1 from 150), so, the early money seems to be really smart and researched money with many of the young Americans we’ve looked at seeing their numbers move just days into December. Rust never sleeps?

Players whose odds have gone up from lack of interest and/or oddsmakers’ discretion include Jordan Spieth (20/1 from 14), Bubba Watson (60/1 from 40), Chilean Joaquín Niemann (60/1 from 40), Webb Simpson (60/1 from 40) and Henrik Stenson (60/1 from 50), among others.

Watch Koepka, Rose, Jason Day (25/1) and that Woods kid (14/1)—ranked 14th in the world right now—a man who would love nothing more than to be healthy enough and in the right mental frame on mind to play in all four Majors, perform well in them and have an even better season than he did in an impressive 2018. The cat ain’t dead yet.

Remember when betting (most) Futures markets that only one can win and often the best odds you are going to get are the ones you see at Open and the days after release. Pick: Dustin Johnson 10/1 (Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook)