Betting on Dustin Johnson has always been a good wager, and for the second time this year the 34-year-old paid off, winning the World Golf Championships-Mexico Championship. He entered the event as the second pick at 10/1, behind Justin Thomas, who was at 9/1.
It was the 20th tour victory for Johnson, who has now won at least one event every year for the last 12, and is now someone that can probably be looked at seriously for every event he enters.
“It clicked. I hit it really well this week,” Johnson said. “It means a lot, to get 20 wins out here is very difficult. To do it before I turn 35 is pretty incredible. This is a big win for me. It gives me a lot of confidence for the rest of the year. I feel like the game is in good form right now.”
It instantly improved his odds to win the first major championship of the year. Back in August, Johnson was a 12/1 pick to win the Masters, behind favorite Jordan Spieth, who was at 10/1. Before the WGC-Mexico Championship Johnson was still the second choice, lumped in with Thomas, Rory McIlroy, and Spieth at 14/1. Justin Rose and Tiger Woods became the top picks at 12/1.
After his victory in Mexico, though, Johnson is now the favorite at 10/1. Woods, Rose, and McIlroy are next at 12/1.
If Johnson keeps playing well, which should be the case, those odds might lower before April.
Longshot Comes Through
While a top pick was winning in Mexico, a virtual unknown was taking the PGA Tour’s alternate event, the Puerto Rico Open. Martin Trainer was an 80/1 pick before the tournament.
Those odds might not have been long enough considering Trainer’s resume. He came from the Web.com Tour, earning his card for the 2018-2019 season. In eight previous events, he missed five cuts and his highest finish was a tie for 28th at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am.
Winning was never in Trainer’s mind, he was just trying to survive on tour.
“I never thought that I would be able to win on the PGA Tour,” Trainer said. “I managed to do it today and that’s just incredible.”
When you are fighting to keep your tour card you play in as many events as you can.
“I never had the luxury of making a plan… I was just trying to play as many events as I could,” Trainer said. “So now I guess that will be a little different, I’ll be able to pick and choose where I want to go and have a little more flexibility with my schedule. It’s just such a great feeling to be able to have that.”
This Week’s Odds, Picks
The PGA Tour begins its Florida swing with the Honda Classic and Thomas is the overwhelming 5/1 favorite. Rickie Fowler is next at 10/1.
We like Sergio Garcia at 16/1. He has played well at this event and finished second in 2016.
The PGA Tour Champions is at the Cologuard Classic and Bernhard Langer is the top pick at 9/2.
This could be Fred Couples’ week, and at 18/1 he is an attractive longshot. He has two top-10 finishes this year and is first in ball striking and fifth in total driving.