What, you thought the British Open was the only golf betting option for this week? When the Masters, U.S. Open, and PGA Championship are played, the PGA Tour doesn’t hold an opposite-field event. That makes sense those weeks because of all three in the USA and thus almost completely filled by PGA Tour players. However, the British Open has a large number of European Tour players so the PGA Tour offers the Barbasol Championship for those Tour members who didn’t qualify to head overseas. Check back for Mybookie Sportsbook odds.
2018 Barbasol Championship Golf Odds & Predictions
— Herald-Leader Sports (@KentuckySports) 16 de julio de 2018
- Location: Nicholasville, Kentucky, U.S.
- Established: 2015
- Course: Keene Trace Golf Club
- Tour: PGA Tour
- Format: Stroke play
- Prize fund: $3.5 million
- TV: Thursday-Friday, 5-8 p.m. (Golf Channel) / Saturday-Sunday, 4-7 p.m. (GC)
History & Other Details
The Barbasol Championship debuted in 2015 as an alternate event to the British Open. The first three editions of the tournament were played in Alabama at the Grand National course of the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail in Opelika, northeast of Auburn. This year, it moves to Keene Trace Golf Club in Nicholasville, Kentucky near Lexington. It’s the first PGA Tour event in the state since the Kentucky Derby Open in 1959. Valhalla in Louisville hosted the PGA Championship in 1996, 2000, and 2014.
This tournament has a lower purse than most Tour events with a $3.5 million total purse and $630,000 to the winner. However, because it’s an opposite-field event, the winner does not earn an invitation to the Masters and point values in the FedEx Cup and world rankings are smaller than usual. But the champion does earn two-year PGA Tour exemption and a trip to the PGA Championship.
Breaking Down The Field
The defending champion is Grayson Murray, then a rookie. Last year, he finished at 21-under 263 to beat Chad Collins by a stroke. Murray had rounds of 67, 64, 64 and 68 on the Lake Course at Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail. He trailed Tag Ridings by a stroke at the par-5 16th hole, where he made a birdie that along with Tidings’ double-bogey thrust him into the lead.
Needing par at 18 to avoid a playoff, Murray hit the green from 165 yards out and two-putted to clinch the win. Collins birdied holes No. 15-17 to give himself a chance, ultimately finishing alone in second at 20 under. Brian Gay, Scott Stallings, and Ridings finished T-3 at 19 under.
The two biggest names in the 2018 tournament are two people who have almost no shot of winning: Hall of Famer Davis Love III, now a Champions Tour player, and LPGA star Brittany Lincicome. Love III has won 21 times on Tour including the 1997 PGA Championship and heads the field that represents 182 victories on the PGA Tour overall.
Lincicome is the first woman since Michelle Wie in 2008 to play a PGA Tour event. Lincicome owns eight wins on the LPGA Tour, including two major championships. Lincicome nearly won last week at the LPGA Tour’s Marathon Classic. She took Thidapa Suwannapura into a playoff, falling on the first hole Sunday. She had a chance to win in regulation, but her birdie putt from about 10 feet did a nearly 360-degree turn around the edge of the cup and stayed out.
Lincicome will play Barbasol on a sponsor exemption and will become the fifth woman ever to play in a PGA Tour event, joining Babe Didrikson Zaharias, Wie, Suzy Whaley and Annika Sorenstam. It would be an upset was Lincicome to even make the cut.
“Super nervous but really looking forward to the opportunity.” Lincicome said. “Obviously, getting a sponsor invite really means a lot for them to think of me. Just going to go have fun with it. I’m playing well this week.”
Probably the most accomplished player other than Love in the field and who should be among the favorites is former FedEx Cup champion Billy Horschel. He teamed with Scott Piercy (also in this field) to win this year’s Zurich Classic of New Orleans in late April, the Tour’s only two-man team event. He won the New Orleans event in 2013 (at individual stroke play) for his first PGA Tour victory, the 2014 BMW Championship and Tour Championship en route to his FedEx Cup crown, and the 2017 AT&T Byron Nelson Championship.
James Hahn is 62nd in the FedEx Cup standings and owns the highest world ranking in the field at No. 89. With five weeks left in the regular season, time is drawing short for pros to pick up crucial FedEx Cup points. Next year will provide another wrinkle for this tournament. The PGA Championship is moving from August to May. The FedEx Cup playoffs are moving up on the calendar. So the Barbasol will be one of the last tournaments to earn qualifying points before the playoffs begin.
Expert 2018 Barbosol Championship Prediction
Hunter Mahan wins.