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PGA Tour Expert Picks: The Players Championship

Xander Schauffele of the United States plays his shot from the second tee during the final round of World Golf Championships-Mexico Championship at Club de Golf Chapultepec on February 24, 2019 in Mexico City, Mexico.

Look, predicting a pre-tournament winner in golf isn’t easy. While it’s true sports bettors can find fantastic value, it’s incredibly frustrating when one of your picks doesn’t even make the cut. That’s why I’m here to help.

Every week I’ll highlight three golfers who have a good chance to win the hardware for the upcoming weekend. This week it’s The Players Championship.

Francesco Molinari came through for me yet again last week at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, cashing at his pre-tournament price of +3300. It’s the second time in less than a year I’ve won on the Italian Stallion after he prevailed at the 2018 Open Championship. You’re the man, Francesco!

For a full breakdown of the tournament, check out my betting preview.

Odds courtesy of Bovada

My favorite pick: Brooks Koepka +2000

Koepka is facing TPC Sawgrass for the fourth time, and while he’s yet to crack the top 10, he walked off last year with a course record-tying 63 in a T-11 finish. The back-to-back U.S. Open champion has ice in his veins when it comes to big stages, and The Players certainly qualifies in that regard.

Koepka is coming off a disappointing missed cut at Bay Hill, but his T-2 at the Honda Classic proves he’s in great form right now. Koepka is a set and forget pre-tournament play in my eyes.

My second favorite pick: Xander Schauffele +2500

Schauffele, who leads the FedExCup points list, is quickly climbing the ranks on the PGA Tour at 25. Inexperience is no problem for the American, as he posted an extremely impressive T-2 showing as a first-timer at TPC Sawgrass last year.

With two wins already under his belt this season (WGC-HSBC Champions and Sentry Tournament of Champions) along with a T-10 at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, Schauffele is a threat to win whenever he’s in the field. Besides, he’s gone under par in all third and fourth rounds in his last 10 starts on the tour.

My third favorite pick: Patrick Cantlay +3300

Oddsmakers haven’t caught on to Cantlay’s recent form, and his +4000 price is an example of that. Cantlay has a pair of top-25s in his last two appearances and ranks seventh on the PGA Tour in strokes gained: tee-to-green and second in adjusted scoring.

The California native has four top-10s among six top-20s this season and is ready to take the next step. He’s been within striking distance, and a win at The Players would be a great way to break through for Cantlay.