Robert MacIntyre

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BEST BETS FOR THIS WEEK’S EVENT FROM PGA NATIONAL, FLORIDA

A better than usual lineup will contend this year’s renewal (formerly the Honda Classic), highlighted by the attendance of world number two, Rory McIlroy, along with a handful of top 30 players.

Maybe McIlroy is hunting form before another Masters tilt, but at +700 with the next contender at +2200 (Cam Young), the Northern Irishman must expect to go close, as would we if he’s anywhere near his best. This throws a lot of value into the field, across the markets that include the four-time major champ, and we start with top 5 pick.

TOP 5 FINISH: DANIEL BERGER (+850, DraftKings)

Berger really blew it here two years ago when shooting four over to lose the tournament by three, watching most of the field go under par that day. He started the week with back-to-back 65s however, which is quite incredible on this tough track, and more of the same wouldn’t be a surprise.

Born in Florida, attended Florida State and still now residing in the sunshine state, Berger’s very much at home at PGA National, with its Bermudagrass, and this shows in form figures of 4-T4-T36-T29 across his last four here.

Returning from a lengthy injury break, the 2021 Ryder Cup winner has registered a couple of good performances already this season and the trip home could bring about the sort of golf he was showing before his year out.

Whilst his stats aren’t quite what they were pre-injury… yet… Berger is still 15th on tour for Driving Accuracy and that’ll most certainly help with avoiding the extensive sand traps and water hazards presented by PGA National.

TOP 10 FINISH: ROBERT MACINTYRE (+900, DraftKings)

Robert MacIntyre really showed us up when missing the cut in the Farmers Insurance, but getting off the West Coast Swing seemed to spark the life back into the Scotsman, finishing T6 in Mexico last week, which should really have been better had it not been for a few poor holes to close.

As his new American base, Florida will see a lot of MacIntyre this season and you’d expect he’s more prepared for conditions than he was out West. His recent tweeting suggests so at the very least. Match that up with excellent performances in recent times across courses that demand accuracy, like the links of Scotland, and these odds look pretty big.

PGA National has played into the hands of the internationals over the past decade and MacIntyre has the profile to be another to make a very difficult course look somewhat ordinary.

TOP 10 PARLAY: RORY MCILROY & SEPP STRAKA (+1000, DraftKings)

It’s a Ryder Cup special this week with all of our picks having won the prestigious trophy in the last two editions. Perhaps it speaks to the quality of player required to navigate their way around PGA National.

The inclusion of McIlroy in this requires little explanation. Reproducing anything like his best or what he showed just over a month back in the Middle East should have him inside the top 10, if not winning this. Pair that with his driving stats this season, where he’s the clear leader on tour (6th in distance, 35th in accuracy). The pick feels like it hinges far more on the Austrian’s performance.

Straka won this in 2022 and finished T5 in 2023, carding -10 and -9 in the process. Consistent at the tricky PGA National. And whilst this season hasn’t been as consistent, it’s still brought about a T12 and T26 in four starts.

Much like Berger, amongst reasonable performances the Austrian’s driving accuracy this season has been very good, placing him 23rd on tour and hopefully keeping him out of trouble this week. A return to the Bermudagrass should help too, he’s previously been quoted saying how much he loves the Bermuda greens.

All odds listed from DraftKings, as of Tuesday February 27.

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