This could be a golf board for the ages.
West Virginia online bettors have an interesting and potentially lucrative quandary when the Honda Classic kicks off Thursday from Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.
Find the name Joaquin Niemann down in the sixth spot at DraftKings.
He is +1800 to win, +400 to finish in the top five and +200 to reach the top 10. How’s that for a guy who just annihilated the best PGA field of the season?
Niemann completed the improbable dream, wiring the Genesis Invitational for the first time in 53 years. Yet, in the magical world of betting, he’s a price.
So rare was his feat that the DraftKings WV number is +1400 for anyone to do it this week and +11000, or 110-1, for Niemann.
There’s a lot of opportunity for the long shots on this board. Conversely, there’s not as much at the top.
Honda Classic odds at WV sportsbooks
Sungjae Im finished 33rd at the Genesis, 14 strokes behind Niemann. Yet he’s the favorite this week.
In no other sport would someone who finished that far behind another participant be considered the chalk one week later.
But Im opened at +1000 to win, +270 for the top five and +140 for the top 10 at DraftKings.
The odds reflect the fact that many players on tour are taking off this week. The Genesis had the top 10 money winners on tour for the first time in its history last week.
Many of the players will take a breather for the Honda, enabling some unfamiliar or dormant names to rise.
Tommy Fleetwood is the second favorite at +1400 to win, +330 for the top five and +170 for the top 10.
Louis Oosthuizen is next at +1600 to win, +400 for the top five and +190 for the top 10.
Daniel Berger opened at +1600 to win, +400 for the top five and +200 for the top 10.
Billy Horschel is at +1800 to win, +400 for the top five and +200 for the top 10.
How to watch the Honda Classic
- Thursday-Friday: Golf Channel, 2-6 p.m.
- Saturday-Sunday: Golf Channel, 1-3 p.m., NBC, 3-6 p.m.
PGA Honda Classic: Why is Im favored?
A score of -12 captured this tournament last year. Winner Matt Jones was the only player in double figures below par, prevailing by five strokes.
This course may reward players who avoid trouble even more than those who normally get hot.
That could explain the support for Im, a steady if unspectacular player. He rarely goes on a birdie or bogey streak.
On this course, which is probably in the top half of the difficulty range among PGA layouts, his methodical style may fit.
Long hitters may not necessarily prosper here. Some tight fairways and water on 15 holes could make this more of a shot maker’s week.
Water also is involved in a three-hole package known as the Bear Trap.
The name is in deference to PGA great Jack Nicklaus, “The Golden Bear.” Nicklaus redesigned the course in 2014, and the Bear Trap holes, 15-17, have a common denominator in the wind and the water. They play harder than they look.
Inside PGA National golf course
The holes are not long. Two are par 3s. But there’s a lot that comes into play.
The 15th tee shot aims at a diagonal green running left to right, with a large body of water on the right. Prevailing winds make this tricky.
If the wind blows hard from left to right, for instance, the tee shot may have to be aimed slightly off the green and allowed to be blown back onto the putting surface.
The 16th is a par 4 with a narrow landing area. Many players will use an iron off the tee and then need a mid-iron into an elevated green.
The 17th is a par 3 that is all carried. The shot must clear the water, which guards a small green. It usually plays downwind; thus, it’s easy to overshoot the putting surface.
Bettors can observe how players fare throughout the week on these holes and decide which next-hole wagers they may wish to make.
Birdie possibilities look strong on holes one, three, five and nine. The sixth, a long par 4 with a three-level green, is a bogey threat.
Player notes for the Honda Classic
Defending champion Jones is listed at +5000 to win, +800 for the top five and +400 for the top 10. He’s not in top form.
There is a betting angle for consideration here. Just look at last week.
Max Homa was the defending champion for the Genesis, although he had not been playing good recent golf.
Homa went off at odds of +4000 to win, and although he didn’t win, he finished 10th.
Some players are more comfortable with certain courses.