From one star-studded field to the next, the PGA Tour flips coasts and goes from Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles to The Concession Golf Club in Bradenton, Florida, for the first WGC event of 2021. This event was previously played in Mexico but moved this week to the Jack Nicklaus-Tony Jacklin co-designed course that hosted the NCAAs in 2015 (won by a skinny Bryson DeChambeau). Nearly everyone in the top 50 in the Official World Golf Rankings will be present at this event, which kicks off a month-long Florida swing.
Let’s take a closer look at this week’s contest, with odds and prop bets provided via William Hill Sportsbook.
What: WGC-Workday Championship at The Concession
When: Feb. 25-28
Where: The Concession Golf Club — Bradenton, Florida
Three things to know
1. Bounce back: Following a tough cut last week, Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas and Bryson DeChambeau are all looking to rebound with four guaranteed rounds here. All three could use a nice boost before the Players Championship in two weeks, and all three should fare nicely at a demanding, long course that requires great play from tee to green.
2. Major players: The only two golfers to win stroke-play WGC events in the last four years who were not already major champions are Xander Schauffele and Hideki Matsuyama. The point being that big-time players almost always win these events, mostly because the field is almost exclusively made up of big-time players (see below). This is such an opportunity for an Abraham Ancer or Bernd Wiesberger or Victor Perez to take advantage of all the spoils that come with winning a WGC, but the reality here is that they often do not.
3. Will it play as tough as it looks? Everything about this golf course screams that it’s going to play like a U.S. Open, but know that length alone doesn’t upend the best in the world. Will they set it up like a U.S. Open? Will something in the single digits under par win the golf tournament? All of that is likely weather-dependent, but for the second week in a row the Tour is going to a golf course that is legitimately difficult (albeit for different reasons than Riviera was difficult).
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Grading the field
It’s somehow even more loaded than last week’s field at the Genesis Invitational. Tiger Woods (obviously) won’t be there and neither will Phil Mickelson (this is the first WGC they will both miss), but when your alternates list includes Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler and Si Woo Kim, you know you’re in pretty good shape as a tournament. Grade: A+