Picking winners for a golf tournament is incredibly difficult and requires -- we hate to say it -- tons of luck to get it right. One wayward drive, one plugged bunker shot, or one shanked approach is all it takes to turn your magical big money payout into a stone-cold zero. Fortunately, we can play the prop market on FanDuel Sportsbook for THE PLAYERS Championship and find a few other ways to wager on this week's tournament without that all-or-nothing downside.
Whereas outright bets only pay out if the golfer wins the event, specials and props can keep bettors interested all the way through the end of the tournament. This article will focus on finishing position, first-round leader, tourney specials, and props.
Patrick Cantlay for a Top 10 Finish (+250) - Cantlay has four top-10s already this season after posting seven in 2020-21. His game has no weakness right now; the ballstriking has always been elite, and both his around-the-green play and putting have been trending up for the past 12-18 months. He stands a great chance to contend this week, and if he falls short, we'll have this insurance.
Paul Casey for a Top 10 Finish (+1000) - Casey's burned everyone enough time to make us think twice about an outright bet, but he's a prime candidate for the finishing position market at a discount due to his disastrous weekend at Bay Hill. He was fifth here last year, and ignoring two poor rounds, he has been playing well of late with five straight top-25 finishes on the DP World Tour before coming stateside for the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
Harold Varner for a Top 20 Finish ( +550) - Varner's win in Saudi Arabia was a true joy in what was otherwise a rather dreary event with the specter of a breakaway league on many golf fans' minds. He returned home to find the ballstriking had escaped him. He first lost 5.2 strokes off the tee in Phoenix, and then 5.2 on approach and 3.0 more off the tee at Riviera. Both events were among his worst career performances in the respective stats, according to data from Fantasy National Golf Club. A bounce-back is in order, and Varner is not far removed from a run of four straight top-20s spanning the two legs of last year's FedEx Cup Playoffs and the first two events of the new season.
First Round Leader
Louis Oosthuizen (+5000) - Good form to start the season and an outlier poor result last time out at the Honda Classic bode well for a hot start for Louis. He lost 4.8 strokes on approach at PGA National -- his worst on the PGA Tour in almost four years. He's been putting well, so if he can flush it even a little bit, he has the upside to lead after Thursday.
Paul Casey (+6500) - Casey shot an 83 on Sunday at Arnie's Place, losing 2.5 strokes on approach, 2.3 strokes around the green, and 2.0 putting. That is a nightmare round if ever there was one, and his form was perfectly fine before that disaster. A T15 at the Genesis Invitational (and good form overseas) had him trending upward before Bay Hill gobbled him up. He's due for an overcorrection, and a hot putting round is all he needs to storm out to a first-round lead.
Paul Casey Top-20 finish, Webb Simpson Top-30 finish and Sergio Garcia Top-40 finish (inc. ties) (+4100) - We've made the case for Casey already, but Simpson and Garcia have great form at TPC Sawgrass as well. The former lapped the field in 2018 and has three other top 20s in the past seven years. Sergio, for his part, is one of the few golfers in the world with a really strong made-cut record here. He has been 30th or better in six of the last eight years, and in his recent events, he has seven straight finishes better than the 40th he needs here.
Hideki Matsuyama Top-5 finish, Dustin Johnson Top-10 finish & Shane Lowry Top-20 finish (inc. ties) (+6500) - Three major winners here get the group treatment and offer us up the opportunity to root for three of the coolest guys on tour. Hideki is on a heater and has flirted with his mark here before with a T7 and T8 in his last five years. DJ is undervalued with nine top-10 finishes last year, and Lowry was 8th last year entering with decent form overall.
Kyoung-Hoon Lee for Top South Korean Player (+360) - Lee loves TPC setups and only has to beat two golfers to cash this prop. He's been very consistent. He has just one missed cut since the beginning of last July. He was T41 in his debut last year.
Matt Wallace for Top European Player (+6000) - Wallace is a former top 25 player in the world, and while the competition is steep, he's still been able to pop up for top-five finishes in his career -- even against strong fields. Englishmen have fared well at TPC Sawgrass; multiple have finished in the top-10 each of the past two years, and at least one has made the top-10 in each of the last four years.