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2013 Tampa Bay Championship Preview | PGA Picks

Tampa Bay Championship Betting

The PGA pros head to Tampa Bay this week and the Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club – one week after a very intriguing Cadillac. Innisbrook proved to be a fairly easy track for the pros last year – the scoring average was 70.723 which made it the fifth easiest Par 71 track on TOUR.

2013 Tampa Bay Championship
Location: Palm Harbour, Florida, United States
Course: Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club
Date: Mar 14-17, 2013
Total Purse: US $ 5,500,000
Winner’s Share: US $ 990,000 (18% of total purse)
Golf Odds from Bovada

Defending Champion: Luke Donald ($990,000)

It is a course that sets up well for those ranked high in scrambling – driving distance is not exactly a deal-breaker and hitting greens and fairways should be relatively tame for some of the best golf has to offer.

Let’s break it down and acknowledge some of the names to keep your eyes on this week.

The Favorites:

Adam Scott 16/1

Scott is coming off a nice third at the WGC-Cadillac – he got better every round and finished with a 64 on Sunday. He is clearly ramping up and appears to have put the British Open debacle behind him. Scott has the all around game to get it done here but 16/1 may be a bit optimistic for my blood.

Luke Donald 16/1

Is the defending champion here but is coming off a pedestrian T43 at last week’s WGC-Cadillac although he fared well in some categories (T13 in greens hit). He has played three times this year with a T16th at the Northern Trust being his best finish. He is tremendous tee to green and we all know what his putter is capable of. That said Donald would be an easier choice if he was in better form!

Sergio Garcia 16/1

Garcia looks reborn doesn’t he? He is coming off a nice T3 at the WGC-Cadillac in a tournament he ranked second in greens hit. He has 12 straight top 25s worldwide and two straight top 20’s in this event. With newfound confidence in his putter, Garcia enters this week with a ton of optimism.

Matt Kuchar 16/1

Had a bad week at Doral last week – just one round under par! He will be looking for a bounce back after a tournament that nothing went right in hitting just 50% of the greens. He did have a T12 here in 2009 and he was T10 here last year however.

The Contenders:

Webb Simpson 20/1

Is coming off a T20 at the Cadillac last week even though his putter was a major disappointment. He’s finished T13 (2010), solo second (2011) and T10 (2012) in the last three years here and has to be on the radar this week. He has finished no worse than T26 this year with a T6 at the NTO and T5 at the Match Play. He is 6th Scrambling, 10th Bounce Back, 32nd in Total Putting & Proximity to Hole, 34th Par 3 Performance, 11th Par 4 this year – perfect for Copperhead.

Jason Dufner 20/1

Finally had a decent week – a T12 at the WGC-Cadillac where he ranked T4 in GIR, second in both proximity to the hole and scrambling, and T3 in par-4 scoring average. Could it be that Duf is returning to his 2012 form? He has made four straight cuts here and is coming off a T10 at this event last year.

Jim Furyk 25/1

Won this event in 2010 and was 13th here in 2011 and then lost in a playoff last year. Ya – Furyk likes this event. He is fifth on the PGA TOUR in fairways hit. This year Jim has played four events, making the cut in each with a T13th at the Northern Trust. His accuracy (Furyk ranked 4th last year on the PGA Tour in driving accuracy), patience and history on this track makes Furyk and intriguing 25/1 this week. [soliloquy id=”82219″]

Nick Watney 25/1

Has made the cut in each of his seven appearances here with 4 top 25s. Watney enters the tournament 4th on TOUR in greens hit but his putter has let him down this year so far. Without a hot putter it is hard to back Watney.

Jason Day 33/1

Had been playing pretty well this year before a T33 last week at the WGC-Cadillac – three top 10s in five starts. He was T20 here last year and is 21st Strokes Gained Putting, 3rd Sand Save %, 15th All Around, 19th Total Driving Efficiency, 7th Putting from 5-15′, 17th Bounce Back – all good characteristics for this track. Day is going to win some time – I just don’t love him this week!

Scott Piercy 35/1

Shot a tournament best 62 here last year en route to a T5 in a tournament he co-led the field in total driving and ranked 15th in strokes gained-putting. Piercy is coming off an OK T25 last week.

Michael Thompson 40/1

Won two weeks ago and kept the foot on the pedal by finishing T8 last week at the WGC-Cadillac where he ranked second in fairways hit and T9 in greens in regulation. He was T16 here last year and is absolutely on top of his game right now.

The Sleepers:

Sang-moon Bae 70/1

Lost last year in a playoff but played very well. He is currently 14th on TOUR in strokes gained-putting and ninth in par breakers. He hasn’t done a whole lot this year but has missed just one of seven cuts. Based on his tournament last year, Bae deserves some Sleeper consideration this year.

Retief Goosen 80/1

Won this event in 2009 and went on to a solo fifth (2010), T28 (2011) and T20 (2012). He shared the 54 hole lead here last year before posting a final round 75. He has played just three times this year but does already have a T9 at Pebble Beach on his résumé. Goosen is a battler and at 80/1 he deserves some attention based on his history on this track.

The Pick:

My pick this week is Webb Simpson at 20/1. He has shot eight straight sun-70 rounds here and has finished inside the top 13 three straight years. The course set-up is eerily similar to last year’s US Open – a tournament that he won.

My sleeper is Retief Goosen at 80/1. He has a great history here and at 80/1 could represent a very nice pay day!

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Dave B has been a Fantasy Football writer for us for 10 years. A couch potato wannabe, Dave’s insights have been read by 10’s of people for years. He hope’s for world peace + global relaxation. Enjoy and remember only smoke things that are completely natural.


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