First day is in the books and it’s another round in the win column for Side Hustle Bets (which brings our total to 8 profitable rounds out of 9). We finished +0.935 units on the day but that number could have easily been higher if it wasn’t for Niemann’s breakdown on the back/Rahm only missing the top 10 by one stroke.
Our future bets are sitting pretty right now, shout out Rory/Matt Fitzpatrick, and we hit every single matchup bet for the first round. We definitely missed on Phil Mickelson, the guy sadly appears to be only a shadow of his former self currently, but we feel good about the pulse we have on the rest of the field up to this point. Rory looks extremely determined to win another major, Fitzpatrick feels like a player of destiny this week and the majority of the rest of our favorites are still hanging around the upper quartile of the field rolling into Friday.
The weather should be more consistent throughout the day tomorrow so we shouldn’t see the same disparity in conditions as we did today (even though the wind at Brookline didn’t seem to affect the players nearly as much as it did at Southern Hills last month). Let’s keep this train rolling, enjoy watching more tee shots disappear into the rough tomorrow and always remember to bet smarter, not harder.
2nd Round Bets
2nd Round Matchups
Sungjae Im (+120) (0.75 units) vs Mito Pereira (+130) (0.75 units) vs Erik Van Rooyen
This is a classic instance of “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it”. Sungjae Im and Mito Pereira didn’t jump out to a fast start after Thursday but neither looked rattled by the course and Erik Van Rooyen looked lost out there (5 bogies, a triple bogey and zero birdies on the day). I’m splitting my odds between the two once again as I fully expect one of them to make a move tomorrow and I also expect Van Rooyen’s struggles to continue.
Justin Thomas (+115) (0.6 units) vs Viktor Hovland (+200) (0.4 units) vs Tony Finau
Justin Thomas is really feeling it right now. Historically he’s been one of the worst players on tour in first rounds with the exception of the last month so the fact that he’s already under par after Thursday is definitely a good sign. Realistically I think he wins this group tomorrow but it makes sense to hedge our luck a bit with Hovland given his ball striking ability and +200 odds. Tony Finau is a great player but he tends to fade away at majors and we already got a taste of that on Thursday. We’re splitting a unit between JT and Hovland here with a slight nod to JT.
Matthew Fitzpatrick (-115) (1 unit) vs Dustin Johnson
Ah yes, our player of destiny. As we’ve said before, Matthew Fitzpatrick won the 2013 US Amateur at Brookline as a young gun. What we haven’t shared is that he is staying in the same house he stayed at in 2013, with the same family, in the same room/bed… the guy’s locked in. If it wasn’t for an unfortunate bogey on the last hole of the day he’d be sitting one shot off the lead going into tomorrow. Fitzpatrick plays better as the tournament progresses and despite DJ looking better today than I thought he would, he still didn’t look overly convincing. I’m confidently placing a full unit on my guy here and I can’t wait to see what he has in store for us tomorrow.
Collin Morikawa (+125) (1 unit) vs Jon Rahm
I’ll be honest, after Morikawa jumped out to a 3 under start through the front nine I got nervous that I may miss out on an opportunity to take advantage of his value. Luckily he bogeyed 18 which was enough to convince Vegas to grant us +125 odds for Morikawa against a clearly struggling Jon Rahm tomorrow. Don’t get me wrong, both players seem to have something off with their games as of late… The difference is that Morikawa’s flaws are nothing new… still clearly his game around the greens. That said, his game around the greens did look slightly improved today and most importantly… his iron play/approach game was immaculate. As long as he can keep bolstering his competitive advantage over the field (his incredible ball striking) then he should be able to compete on a difficult course like The Country Club. After all, if he hits every green then his ability to clean up pars around the green becomes less important. Jon Rahm on the other hand seems to be struggling in pretty much every facet of his game other than putting and once you take away his advantage over the field off the tee he becomes much less dangerous. Don’t be fooled by the first round 69s between these two players. Morikawa played a much more consistent round than Rahm and probably deserved to finish 2 under whereas Rahm had to bury a long putt for birdie on the 18th after catching a break from a wayward tee shot that allowed him to sneak under par right at the buzzer. I’m taking Morikawa’s iron play for a full unit tomorrow.
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