When it comes to betting on golf, wagering on PGA Tour favorites thus far has been a losing proposition. Of the 10 events in 2020, only one of the favorites has cashed. That was Viktor Hovland in the Puerto Rico Open, a second-tier tournament the same week as the WGC-Mexico Championship.

Sungjae Im PGA Tour favorites
Sungjae Im, who was 30/1 at the Honda Classic, became the second, first-time winner this year as PGA Tour favorites are coming up short in tournaments. (Image: Tannen Maury/EPA)

The other 10 PGA Tour favorites (Brooks Koepka and Tommy Fleetwood were co-favorites at last week’s Honda Classic) have had decent success in the events where they were the top pick. Six of them finished in the top 10, while only two missed the cut.

Tournament                            Favorite                         Odds          Finish

Tournament of Champions                   Jon Rahm                                                 9/2                     10

Sony Open                                             Justin Thomas                                         6/1                     M/C

The American Express                          Rickie Fowler                                          12/1                   T-10

Farmers Insurance                                Rory McIlroy                                            7/1                     T-3

Waste Management                              Jon Rahm                                                7/1                      T-9

Pebble Beach Pro-Am                          Dustin Johnson                                        13/2                     T-32

Genesis Invitational                              Rory McIlroy                                             8/1                      T-5

WGC-Mexico                                          Rory McIlroy                                            6/1                       5

Puerto Rico Open                                 Viktor Hovland                                          10/1                      1

Honda Classic                                       Brooks  Koepka                                       12/1                     M/C

Honda Classic                                       Tommy Fleetwood                                   12/1                      3

Fleetwood Comes Close to Victory

Tommy Fleetwood had a chance to be the second favorite to win this season. He was a stroke behind eventual winner Sungjae Im going into the last hole at Sunday’s final round of the Honda Classic in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. The Englishman bombed his drive on the par 5 finishing hole, and tried to get to the green in two. His approach shot came up short, splashing into the water guarding the green. He settled for a bogey six and a third-place finish.

If he had made an eagle, Fleetwood would have carded his first PGA Tour victory. Fleetwood had no regrets about his shot selection, telling reporters afterward that it was just a matter of execution.

“I think we picked the right shot 100%,” Fleetwood said. “I just didn’t pull it off.”

Who to Bet on in Future Tournaments

Pros new to the PGA Tour seemingly have all of the momentum right now. Golfers such as 21-year-old Joaquin Niemann, 27-year-old Sebastian Munoz, and 31-year-old Lanto Griffin all picked up their first PGA Tour victories in 2019. This year, Hovland and Im got their first wins.

The Arnold Palmer Invitational is this week at the Bay Hill Club in Orlando, Florida. Rory McIlroy is the favorite at 5/1, and this may be an event where the favorite actually prevails. McIlroy has posted three, top-10 finishes here since 2017, including a win in 2018.

Picking a long shot this week might be tricky considering the strength of the field. Of course, the Farmers Insurance Open, where McIlroy was the 7/1 favorite, had one of the strongest fields in years, and 50/1 long shot Tom Leishman won.

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