Jordan Spieth one PGA away from winning career Grand Slam

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If Spieth wins, he’ll become the youngest player to ever capture the slam. Tiger Woods was 24 when he did it at the 2000 Open.

It’s a wonderful opportunity for Spieth, but one that also comes with a heavy burden.

“It’s good and bad, because a lot comes with it. And a lot more attention,” he said. “I wanted to be in this position but then, you know, here and there, it becomes harder when it doesn’t go your way. And you’re harder on yourself because you expect so much.”

Spieth joins Rory McIlroy (Masters) and Phil Mickelson (U.S. Open) as the only active players with three legs of the slam.

While the pressure will mount in the coming weeks, and even more the longer it takes for him to win the PGA, Spieth isn’t going to worry about it at the moment.

“I’m going to thoroughly enjoy this. I look back on ’15 and thought, yeah, I enjoyed it, but I never realized the significance until you kind of hit a low, hit a pitfall, to appreciate the high so much,” he said. “And this is as much of a high as I’ve ever experienced in my golfing life.”

Four golfers headline 2018 THE PLAYERS odds

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THE PLAYERS Championship features one of the top fields of the year on the PGA Tour, and sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com have a logjam at the top of the board for the event which gets underway on Thursday at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.

Rory McIlroy, Jason Day, Justin Thomas, and Jordan Spieth are pegged as +1400 co-favorites on the odds to win THE PLAYERS Championship at the sportsbooks, with Dustin Johnson and Rickie Fowler just a step back of that quartet at +1800 odds.

Of those golfers, both Day and Fowler are past champions at the event, with Day taking the tournament by four strokes in 2016 and Fowler picking up a victory in a playoff against Sergio Garcia and Kevin Kisner at the event in 2015.

Last year’s winner at THE PLAYERS, meanwhile, is pegged as a longshot to claim the tournament title once again this weekend. South Korea’s Si Woo Kim topped Louis Oosthuizen and Ian Poulter by three strokes at the event last year, becoming the youngest ever winner of the tournament. The 22-year-old is back with the longer shots at +7500 odds for this week.

Oosthuizen is also down the golf odds list at +7500 for this year’s edition of THE PLAYERS, with Poulter set at +6600. Rafa Cabrera Bello and Kyle Stanley tied for fourth place the tournament last year, finishing four strokes back of the leader; they’re both longshots at +10000 odds this week.

Martin Kaymer, the 2014 champion, is at +20000 odds this week, with Tiger Woods, who won this tournament for the second time in 2013, sitting in the second tier of contenders on the odds at +3300. Woods also won this event back in 2001, and hasn’t played in this tournament the past two years.

Joining Woods at +3300 on THE PLAYERS Championship odds is Phil Mickelson, who won this event in 2007. Mickelson finished well back in the pack in a tie for 41st place at this tournament last year, 13 strokes behind the leader, but is a strong third in the FedExCup standings so far on the season.

Matt Kuchar, the 2012 champion, sits at +6600 odds for this week, while 2009 winner Henrik Stenson, riding a strong three-tournament run, is listed at +2800. Jon Rahm (+2200), Justin Rose (+3000), and Paul Casey (+3300) round out the top of THE PLAYERS betting lines.

For more odds information, betting picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes or listen to it at OddsShark.libsyn.com.

 

Jordan Spieth Has Top Odds, Tiger Woods Making Charge on Masters Betting Lines

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Jordan Spieth has top odds and Tiger Woods is charging up the futures board, but recent history at Augusta National dictates fading those who have already won the green jacket.

Spieth is the +900 favorite on the 2018 Masters betting lines at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com, with the golf season’s first major due to commence on Thursday. All told, nine men in the field have odds of lower than +2000 (or 20/1), including Rory McIlroy (+1000), Justin Thomas (+1100), Dustin Johnson (+1100), Woods (+1400), Justin Rose (+1400), Bubba Watson (+1600), Jason Day (+1800) and Phil Mickelson (+1800).

However, only two recent champions – Mickelson in 2010 and Spieth in 2015 – have gone off at lower than +2000 odds. Woods is drawing a lot of action at many sportsbooks and it’s all well and good to indulge the thought of an all-time great writing a comeback story, but it will be his first major since 2015. Also, no one over age 40 has won the Masters since 1998.

Eight of the last nine major winners have been first-timers, with Spieth (2017 British Open) being the only exception in that span. Those trends don’t mean automatically having to rule out a favorite. Rose, who was the runner-up at the 2017 Masters, has had five top-10 finishes in the event and is also playing well so far this season, with three top-5 placings.

With a 7,435-yard course that is free of flat hole layouts, Augusta rewards golfers who are efficient with their approach. While there hasn’t been a repeat winner since Woods in 2001-02, defending champion Sergio Garcia (+2800) leads the PGA Tour in strokes gained: approach, while Thomas and Mickelson are also among the leaders.

Two-time winner Bubba Watson missed the cut in in three of the 2017 majors, including the Masters, but his recent win the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play is a reason to consider investing in him.

If one is bent on backing someone who is on the Yet To Win A Major Shortlist, there’s Paul Casey (+2200), who has finished sixth or better in his last three majors. A wrist ailment has affected Hideki Matsuyama (+3300) at times this season, but the Japanese star has finished 11th or higher in his last three starts at the Masters. Matsuyama’s odds are right in the range of several recent Masters champions.

For more odds information, betting picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes or listen to it at OddsShark.libsyn.com.