It was a good week to bet on golf longshots as Webb Simpson, and Graeme McDowell came through in their respective tournaments. Simpson was a 14/1 pick to win the Waste Management Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale. The No. 7th ranked player in the Official World Golf Rankings defeated Tony Finau in a playoff on Sunday. Finau was an even bigger longshot at 33/1.
McDowell was an 80/1 pick to win the Saudi Invitational at Royal Greens Golf and Country Club in Saudi Arabia. McDowell hadn’t won a European Tour event since the 2014 French Open. The 40-year-old told reporters on Sunday that it was nice to know he still could compete.
“It’s special” McDowell said. “I’ve been working hard the last year and a half, and I’ve said I want to be back up there one more time. I’ve got young kids at home and I want them to see me out there. I want them to see dad is tough and dad can do it and not have to pull up a YouTube video. I’m really relieved to get the job done.”
Being a Ryder Cup year, McDowell is hoping to earn enough points to get on the team. He also wanted to get back in the top 50 of the Official World Golf Rankings. After his victory at the Saudi Invitational, he jumped from 104th to 47th.
“My big goal this year was to be back in the Top-50 in the world, back competing in the big tournaments,” McDowell said. “I’m very excited that it’s happened a little faster than I expected, but hopefully it’s laying some foundations down for having a big year. I really feel like I’m moving in the right direction.”
Golf Longshot Simpson Improves Masters Odds
With Simpson’s victory in the Waste Management Phoenix Open, he saw his odds to win April’s Masters slashed. The Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook adjusted his odds from 60/1 to 40/1 to win golf’s first major championship. He opened last April at 80/1.
In four full-field events this season, Simpson’s worst finish is a tie for seventh at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. His last tournament before the Waste Management Phoenix Open was the Sony Open, where he finished third.
Even at 40/1, Simpson might be a strong pick to win the Masters. Last year he finished tied for fifth.
With his finishes this season it appears Simpson has figured something out.
“I’ve learned from every tournament, good or bad,” Simpson said. “I know what I’ve done wrong in the past I guess year, year and a half. But also I’ve had a few seconds where guys have shot 8- or 9-under, so I understand like to win out here now is getting harder.”
This Week’s Odds, Picks
The PGA Tour is at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am and Dustin Johnson is the 13/2 favorite. We like Paul Casey, who is at 20/1. He is rested after his top-25 finish at The American Express three weeks ago.
The European Tour has left the Middle East and is in Australia for the ISPS Handa Vic Open. Haotong Li is the favorite at 14/1. We like Brad Kennedy at 16/1. He finished tied for second here last year, and in his only tournament in the last three months, he finished tied for 19th.