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First Round Leader Odds at The Players Championship

Michael Harrison

by Michael Harrison in Golf

Mar 8, 2022 · 10:06 AM PST

Scheffler hits approach shot
Scottie Scheffler follows his shot on the first fairway during the final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational golf tournament Sunday, March 6, 2022, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
  • The 2022 Players Championship from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL at TPC Sawgrass tees off Thursday, March 10th
  • Jon Rahm and Justin Thomas are +2200 co-favorites to lead after the first round
  • See the best bets and odds to grab the first-round lead in the article below 

A phenomenal field converges on TPC Sawgrass for the PGA Tour’s crown jewel event – The Players Championship. Tabbed ‘the fifth major’, this tournament is prestigious, with legendary past champions including Justin Thomas and Rory McIlroy, who have won the last two.

With 46 of the top 50 players in the world teeing it up, it’ll be extremely difficult to outlast everyone else at the diabolical stadium course in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. Jon Rahm and Justin Thomas are co-favorites in the Players Championship odds. JT is attempting to become the first back-to-back champion of this event ever. There are also plenty of opportunities for sleepers and longshots to make some noise with such a deep field.

2022 Players Championship First Round Leader Odds

Golfers Odds Tee Time
Jon Rahm +2200 7:51am
Justin Thomas +2200 12:56pm
Rory McIlroy +2500 12:56pm
Collin Morikawa +2500 12:56pm
Patrick Cantlay +2800 7:51am
Viktor Hovland +2800 7:51am
Scottie Scheffler +2800 12:45pm
Hideki Matsuyama +3500 7:40am
Xander Schauffele +3500 12:45pm
Adam Scott +4000 7:29am
Cameron Smith +4000 7:40am
Sergio Garcia +5000 7:29am
Matt Fitzpatrick +5000 11:50am
Dustin Johnson +5000 12:34pm
Daniel Berger +5000 12:34pm

Odds as of March 8th at DraftKings Sportsbook

The forecast is expected to be cloudy with showers in the morning, with a risk of a thunderstorm in the afternoon in Florida. Temperatures will be consistent throughout the day, with high 60 degrees, reaching low 70’s. Wind gusts will reach around 15 MPH in the morning, but they’ll subside in the afternoon to a little bit less, to about ten MPH for those finishing in the evening.

A benefit for those teeing it up in the morning is the exact same as it is every week – less bumpy greens with fewer players chewing them up.

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Scottie Scheffler Is on a Heater

In his last three tournaments, Scottie Scheffler has been dynamite, picking up his first two PGA Tour titles and also had a solid T-7 showing at Riviera. He’s moved all the way up to fifth in the world, and is fourth in total strokes gained on the season.

Given his phenomenal recent play, he’s been excellent in several key ‘strokes gained’ categories.

Scottie Scheffler’s Strokes Gained Stats In Last Twelve Rounds

Total Short Game Approach Tee-To-Green Putting Ball Striking Around-The-Green
1 1 4 5 5 12 12

He’s tied for 16th in first round scoring, fifth in scoring average and sixth in birdie average as he tops the FedEx Cup points list.

  • Pick: Scottie Scheffler (+2800)

Billy Horschel Fantastic In Opening Rounds

We were high on Billy Horschel to grab the opening round lead at Bay Hill last week, and he very nearly got the job done, finishing the round in second place. He would eventually tie for second in the tournament, the fourth straight event he’s been inside the Top 20.

Only Patrick Cantlay has been better in first rounds than Horschel for the 2021-2022 season.

2021-22 PGA Tour First Round Scoring Average Leaders

Golfer Average Score Odds
1. Patrick Cantlay 66.00 +2800
2. Billy Horschel 66.57 +6000
3. Cameron Smith 66.67 +4000
4. Russell Henley 67.10 +6000
5. Matt Kuchar 67.63 +13000
6. Daniel Berger 67.75 +5000
7. Joaquin Niemann 67.89 +5500
8. Adam Scott 68.14 +4000
9. Patton Kizzire 68.17 +14000
10. Collin Morikawa 68.25 +2500

He’s shot in the 60’s in six of his seven opening rounds on the campaign, including five straight. Horschel is tenth in SG: putting for the season, and has gained over 20 shots tee-to-green in the last three tournaments. That has made him someone we are intrigued by in the outright win markets this week also.

  • Pick: Billy Horschel (+6000)

Chris Kirk Playing Solid Golf

In his last three tournaments, Chris Kirk has been been posting some excellent results, with a T-14 at the Phoenix Open, a T-7 at the Honda Classic and a T-5 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Those last two events have seen him squarely in contention in the final round on Sunday.

He’s also been solid on Thursday’s, ranking 15th in first round scoring. In his last twelve rounds, he’s put up some great strokes gained stats.

Chris Kirk’s Strokes Gained Stats In Last Twelve Rounds

Around-The-Green Total Short Game Tee-To-Green Ball Striking Off-The-Tee Putting
2 5 6 7 20 24 33

For the season, he’s twelfth in SG: tee-to-green, which will be imperative for success at this venue. Last year, he was also in contention through 54 holes at this tournament before a tough final round dropped him back.

He’s had three career top-15’s at Sawgrass, showing his comfort on this track. At these odds, he is extremely enticing to jump out in front on Thursday.

  • Pick: Chris Kirk (+8000)
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