Buick Invitational odds: No Woods to go for his fifth straight title
WHAT: The Buick Invitational
WHEN: Thursday, February 5 to Sunday, February 8
WHERE: Torrey Pines Golf Club in La Jolla, CA
KEY STATS: Tiger Woods has won the past four Buick Invitationals
PICK: Phil Mickelson
Online betting players looking over this week’s Buick Invitational odds can expect a new champion at Torrey Pines, as the injured Tiger Woods will not be back to defend the crown that he won four years in a row. Last season’s Player of the Year and two-time major winner, Padraig Harrington, is the co-favorite in his first event of the year, and he shares this status with a hometown player who stumbled in his PGA debut last week.
Harrington has skipped this tournament over the past few years, but Buick Invitational odds still have him at +1000 to win. The Irishman roared through 2008, defending his British Open crown as well as a win in the PGA Championship, but he is looking for a good start to 2009 after being on the losing side of the Ryder Cup with his European teammates.
Phil Mickelson shares the favorite tag with Harrington, and he would love to bounce back after missing the cut at the FBR Open in his first start of the year. Torrey Pines is near Mickelson’s hometown of San Diego, and he’ll have ample support from the galleries.
The last time he missed the cut at the FBR Open in 2007, he went on to win his next outing. “Lefty” has won this tournament in 2000 and 2001, and he came in sixth last season.
Luke Donald enters with Buick Invitational odds of +1600, and the Englishman loves this event, with three Top-10s and two runner-up finishes in five tries. Donald has a 23rd and 25th-place finish in two events so far, and those who create sportsbook odds feel it’s about time he fulfills his vast potential.
Other players that will be in contention are Rory Sabbatini (+2000), who finished T-3 here last year and has a pair of 12th-place finishes so far in 2009, and Camilo Villegas (+1600), who tied with Aaron Baddeley (+2800) in 13th in this event last year.
The last time these players were at Torrey Pines, it was for Woods’ heroic win in the U.S. Open, and this course plays much differently for the Buick Invitational. It’s much easier to score, as shown by Woods’ -19 in this event, and a -1 in the Open. Harrington could be a bit rusty, leaving the door wide open for Mickelson to put on a show for his hometown fans. Donald and Sabbatini will challenge, given their familiarity with this course, but you should go with the favorite and make Phil Mickelson your Buick Invitational odds pick.