- The WGC-Workday Championship at The Concession tees off Thursday, February 25th from Bradenton, Florida
- Dustin Johnson is the favorite to be the first-round leader over Jon Rahm
- See the best bets and odds to grab the first-round in the article below
After a fantastic Genesis Invitational that saw Max Homa defeat Tony Finau in a two-hole playoff, the PGA Tour heads to The Concession Golf Club to kick off a four-week Florida swing. Normally this tournament is played in Mexico, but with COVID-19 safety concerns, the tour opted to play at this track for the first time in official play.
With 48 of the top 50 players in the world competing, it will be a hotly contested battle for the title with Dustin Johnson the favorite to win outright.
Unsurprisingly, he’s also the favorite to grab the first round lead over Jon Rahm. In this article, we’ll explore which players have the best chance of being the leader after day one and which players to this point of the season have begun tournaments the best on Thursday’s.
2021 WGC-Workday Championship First Round Leader Odds
All odds taken Feb. 24 at FanDuel
The forecast will be virtually identical the entire day, with perfect sunny conditions and 68 degrees late morning moving up to a high of 72. The wind will also be nearly the same throughout Thursday, with wind gusts staying around the twelve mile per-hour range.
With tee times ranging between 10:58am to 1:10pm, the greens won’t be as chewed up or as bumpy as they would in a typical week when there’s both a morning and afternoon wave of players.
Bryson DeChambeau Has Won Here
Given the fact that this golf course hasn’t hosted a PGA Tour event in the past, it’s harder to go on course history for the 72-man field. However, one player who can bash the ball anywhere he wants has won at this track – Bryson DeChambeau.
In the 2015 NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championship, the ‘Mad Scientist’ took home the individual title by a shot over C.T. Pan and two over Thomas Detry. He also was runner-up at this event last year, albeit in Mexico.
2015 NCAA Championship Individual Leaderboard at The Concession Golf Club
1. Bryson DeChambeau
T-3. Thomas Detry
T-22. Jon Rahm
T-33. Scottie Scheffler
T-45. Xander Schauffele
— The Fried Egg (@the_fried_egg) February 23, 2021
Last week’s opening round 75 at Riviera was his first in five openers that wasn’t 70 or better, as he last led after the first day at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. In his last twelve rounds, Bryson is first in strokes gained tee-to-green in addition to SG: off the tee and third in ball striking.
- Pick: Bryson DeChambeau (+2200)
Patrick Reed Best In First Round Scoring
He may not be the most popular golfer on the planet, but there’s no denying Patrick Reed comes to play in the biggest tournaments. In his last PGA Tour start, he overcame a controversial ruling to take home the Farmers Insurance Open title, the ninth of his career.
He’s attempting to win this tournament for the third time on his third different golf course, as he’s triumphed at Doral, then last year in Mexico. On the opening day in six events this year, he has five rounds of 68 or better (including a first round co-lead at Torrey Pines), with the worst score being a 70, good for first in scoring average.
2020-21 PGA Tour First Round Scoring Average Leaders
|1. Patrick Reed||67.17|
|2. Patrick Cantlay||67.44|
|6. Xander Schauffele||68.25|
|8. Joaquin Niemann||68.33|
|9. Cameron Smith||68.44|
|T-10. Jon Rahm||68.75|
|T-10. Ryan Palmer||68.75|
|13. Scottie Scheffle||68.82|
|15. Adam Scott||68.86|
|T-17. Daniel Berger||68.88|
|T-17. Webb Simpson||68.88|
|T-20. Justin Thomas||69.00|
|T-20. Bryson DeChambeau||69.00|
|28. Jason Kokrak||69.10|
|29. Louis Oosthuizen||69.14|
He’s seventh in total strokes gained and fifth in putting in his last 24 rounds on Tour, and you’re getting him at solid odds given his recent success.
Pick: Patrick Reed (+3300)
Joaquin Niemann Contending Often This Year
Joaquin Niemann finished in second place at the first two events of the 2021 calendar year, losing a playoff at the Sentry Tournament of Champions and placing T-2 at the Sony Open. Last week at the Genesis Invitational, he was right in the hunt through two days before a rough Saturday did him in.
In his last four opening days and six times in nine events this season, Niemann has posted a score in the 60’s on Thursday, including a share for the lead at the Sony Open. Of those competing this week, he has the fourth best first round scoring average.
Joaquin Niemann position after his 10 rounds played in 2021 on the PGA Tour:
12th – 10th – 7th – 2nd
1st – 7th – 2nd – 2nd
4th – 2nd
— Justin Ray (@JustinRayGolf) February 20, 2021
In his last 24 rounds on tour, Niemann has been playing strong golf, posting strong numbers across the board in key strokes gained categories.
Joaquin Niemann’s Strokes Gained Rankings In Last 24 Rounds
|Total||Tee-to-green||Ball Striking||Off-the-tee||Approach||Short Game||Around-the-green||Putting|
For a young superstar in the making who had shot ten straight rounds in the 60’s prior to that stumble Saturday in brutal conditions at Riviera, you’re getting good value on him to continue his strong play.
Pick: Joaquin Niemann (+3700)