It's been a rough trot for golf fans over the last few months. Not only have the majority of the golf courses around the country seen some form of closure of limited play due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but professional play on the PGA Tour has also been put on hold.
Fans got a glimpse of some light at the end of the tunnel last month when the PGA Tour announced a tentative schedule that would see play resume. Following that, they were treated to the announcement of two massive exhibition skins games, the first of which will be played this weekend at the famous Seminole Golf Club.
This weekend’s skins match will see World No.1 Rory McIlroy and No.5 Dustin Johnson face off against fan favourite Rickie Fowler and youngster Matthew Wolff in the TaylorMade Driving Relief!
We have a full preview and betting tips for the exhibition match below!
Teams: Rory McIlroy/Dustin Johnson vs Rickie Fowler/Matthew Wolff
Course: Seminole Golf Club, Juno Beach, Florida
Time: Monday, 18th of May, 4am (AEST)
Broadcast: Fox Sports 3, GOLF.tv
The four ball skins game will see all four players play their separate ball and each team will take the lower of the two scores for each hole. Each hole will be worth one skin and in the event of a tied hole, the money will be carried over to the next hole. All money earnt will go towards the players nominated charities.
Holes 1-6: $50,000
Holes 7-16: $100,000
Hole 17: $200,000
Hole 18: $500,000
In the event that the 18th hole is tied and play ends before 5:45 p.m. the players will play the 17th hole (from approximately 125 yards). If that hole is tied, the players will play the 17th hole again and the skin will be decided by a closest to the hole competition (played from same shortened yardage).
One of the most intriguing parts about this matchup, which will essentially be a bit of a hit and giggle between some of the best players in the world, is the location. There is a lot of unknown surrounding the Seminole Golf Club, which is a private club that has hosted some of the corporate elite over its history including the likes of Gerald Ford, Dwight Eisenhower, Jon F. Kennedy and the Duke of Windsor.
The course plays as a Par 72 at around 6,836 yards and its main challenges lie in the greens and although it isn’t super lengthy, it should still be a tough test for players who haven’t played competitively in over a month.
The star duo of Johnson and McIlroy enter the tournament as hot favourites, and rightly so given their standings in the world golf rankings. When the PGA Tour was put on hold after round one of The Players back in March, McIlroy was without doubt the most in-form golfer in the world, however, Johnson had experienced a pretty lean 2020 season to date, with just four total tournaments under his belt.
We think DJ could be a bit of a liability here. Reports suggest that when Dustin Johnson left The Players back in March, he didn’t swing a golf club again until just four days ago. Throughout his career he’s been known as a bit of a gunslinger with a careless attitude, and we’re just not sure that translates to a good performance in a charity match.
Love the value of the fan favourite Rickie Fowler and the youngster Matthew Wolff here, who will be desperate to impress with more eyes on him than ever before.
Another market that really interests us is the ‘most skins played for on any hole’. The line is currently set at 3.5, which we think goes under comfortably. With players having not played a round of golf in a while, there will likely be some rust creeping into games, which will see three out of the four golfers making par/bogey often, with one player likely making birdie on each hole, they are pros after all.
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