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LPGA Tournament of Champions Betting Preview and Picks: Season Starts in Orlando

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LPGA Tournament of Champions Betting Preview and Picks: Season Starts in Orlando
Lydia Ko prepares to play her shot from the second tee during the third round of the CME Group Tour Championship. Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images via AFP.

The LPGA Tour begins its season in Orlando this week at the Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions. We examine the tournament odds and pick our top LPGA Tour outright bets.

In the season opener for the LPGA Tour, Jessica Korda is back in the field to defend her title. Last season, Korda won the Diamond Resort Tournament of Champions, which was played at the Four Seasons Golf & Sports Club in Lake Buena Vista. A new sponsor has signed on to the tournament, which is now being held at Lake Nona Golf & Country Club.

It is a small field with only 29 golfers teeing it up this week. It is the first tournament in the Florida swing for the LPGA; they will play at Boca Raton and Fort Myers the following two weeks.

Here are my outright picks for the LPGA Tour’s Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions at Lake Nona Golf & Country Club in Orlando, FL.

LPGA Tournament of Champions Odds

SEE ALSO: The American Express Betting Preview

LPGA Tournament of Champions Odds Analysis

Nelly Korda, the world's number one, will tee it up in Orlando this week. She will face a star-studded field that includes six of the top-10 players in the world. Lydia Ko will join Korda and they will be the short shots to top the leaderboard at the end of the week.

Among the field is Yuka Saso, winner of the U.S. Women's Open, as well as Anna Nordqvist and Patty Tavatanakit, two other major champions from 2021.

Qualifying for this tournament required winning an LPGA event within the last two seasons. This has allowed other top golfers such as Brooke Henderson, Danielle Kang, and Inbee Park to take part in the event.

Lake Nona Golf & Country Club Betting Profile

Tom Fazio designed Lake Nona Golf & Country Club, which hosted the first-ever Solheim Cup in 1990.

Fairways and greens are Bermudagrass, and this week's tournament will be played over 6,645 yards. It is a par-71 course and the AON Risk Reward Challenge hole will be the par-5 17th, which plays 550 yards.

LPGA Tournament of Champions Picks

Lydia Ko (+450, consensus)
Patty Tavatanakit (+1200 via Barstool Sportsbook)
Yuka Saso (+2200 via BetMGM)

LPGA Tournament of Champions Outright Picks

Lydia Ko (+450)

Ko's 2021 season was very strong and she climbed to No. 3 in the world. With a scoring average of 69.33, she ranked third on tour. One of the leading putters on the LPGA, Ko finished second in putting average (28.79) and first in putts per green-in-regulation (1.72). Last season, she won the Lotte Championship and finished in the top two on four occasions.

In a golf tournament, +450 is a very small number, but I feel confident backing Ko at this price due to her experience on this golf course. The tournament is being held at Lake Nona Golf & Country Club, which is where Ko lives. This is literally in her backyard, and she finished T-2 at the Gainbridge LPGA, which was also played at Lake Nona last season. On greens she is very familiar with, she should easily demonstrate a putting clinic.

For Ko, the number is the same at all sportsbooks, she is a consensus +450. Watch for any movement and maybe you can snag a +500 before the tournament tees off on Thursday.

Patty Tavatanakit (+1200)

During her first season on tour in 2021, the Rolex Rookie of the Year made a lot of noise. After winning the ANA Inspiration, Patty T took a dip in Poppie's Pond and became a major champion in her rookie season. Tavatanakit earned eight top-10 finishes and five top-fives last season. Although she finished eighth on Tour in driving distance (274.70), she was no slouch on the greens. On average, she putted 29.23 times per round, which was 11th best on the LPGA.

After shooting a final round 74, Tavatanakit finished T-5 in the Gainbridge LPGA at Lake Nona last season. She was only one shot off the lead of eventual winner Korda heading into Sunday's round. Despite the talent of Korda, I would rather wager on someone with Tavatanakit's skillset and course history at the +1200 odds.

Patty T's best number can be found at Barstool, where she is +1200. She is +1100 at most other sportsbooks, so her odds don't really differ much.

Yuka Saso (+2200)

Despite not being a member of the LPGA Tour, Saso won the U.S Women's Open. After her victory, the 20-year-old Japanese player accepted LPGA membership and began her rookie season. It's wise not to be deceived by her distance off the tee as she is an excellent putter and finished fourth on tour with a 69.36 scoring average.

Saso holds the greatest value on this odds board at a price of +2200. Due to her relative inexperience, her pricing is still longer than it should be. My guess is that you won't find many more tournaments where you can buy her for more than +2000 in the future. One day her odds will be consistently shorter than these since she is one of the best players on the tour. Although she has never played Lake Nona before, she has a very similar profile to Patty T, who enjoyed success on this course in her debut. I could not overlook the value of +2200 for a player of this caliber in a small field.

You can find her most competitive price at BetMGM where she is +2200. The majority of sportsbooks have her odds at +2000 for this week's tournament in Orlando.

SEE ALSO: All picks and odds. Be sure to check out SportsbookReview.com’s community forums and betting tools.

Picks made on 1/18/2022 at 12:54 a.m. ET.