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Symetra pro opens up on the harsh financial realities of life on Tour

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In the week that hundreds of thousands of dollars will be dished out to the highest-ranked player on many tours, including the LPGA, it is sobering to read the latest interview from Golf Monthly.

Hannah Gregg, a second-year professional and rookie on the developmental Symetra Tour, opened up about the tribulations of those at the lower levels, looking ahead to their futures and yet wondering, quite simply, how they will afford to cope.

“My annual expenses cost on average $50,000, and if you look at the purses on the development tours like the WAPT (Women’s All Pro Tour) – which is the highest paying feeder tour – the average winner walks away with $5-$7,000.” said Hannah.

“Expenses for a cheap tournament are generally $1,500-$2,000, so unless you finish 1st, 2nd or 3rd in every single event, you’re not going to make a profit.”

Put simply, “expecting to average top-three for an entire season is not feasible. Even the best players on tour miss cuts and have bad stretches.”

It’s not even a decent living if you do progress. Hannah explains, “…. when you do play well and start winning, you generally start moving up to the next level where travel and accommodation are even more expensive. Suddenly, you need to figure out how to pay a caddie”

The costs are, of course, not limited to the women’s game.

In March 2018, Hannah wrote for GolfWRX examining how much it costs to ‘chase the dream’ of professional golf and whilst nobody should ever deny that the elite players deserve every success, the warning signs are still there many months later.

Explaining in the more recent article how she has to use social media to obtain more sponsorship, Hannah freely discusses the main issues including getting that vital step onto the bigger platforms:

“Lots of girls stop playing because they can’t afford Q-School, which is the most expensive event of the year.” she says. “if you don’t play in that, then you have no Tour status and are left with very few events to play in. You get phased out and others just lap you.”

Last year, I spoke on my podcast to Hannah Holden of National Club Golfer (@HannahHoldenNCG) about the opening up of the women’s game and how attitudes are changing. Slowly, yes, but they are changing, and yet when I caught up with her today she again reiterated what she and many other prospective professionals have experienced.

“It is ridiculously expensive even for amateur golf. I can fork out over £6k to play a pretty small amateur schedule and have my golf lessons, S&C, physio etc… makes it very hard to keep playing if you don’t have anyone supporting you financially.

Even if you make a national team you are getting thousands of pounds of funding a year so people who just miss out on those spots are losing a great deal which is mad considering the last person in a squad and the first person to miss probably have very little splitting them.”

From a player that has been through the junior game and competes in various amateur events nowadays, as well as being involved with equipment manufacturers, this is another voice worth listening to.

“It is a lot more common for boys/men to get people sponsoring them just because the men’s tour game is more visible. Most top female amateur golfers don’t even give professional golf a try because it is so expensive yet so hard to make a living from.

It’s also a deep stem issue because from my experience with England development squads there is a noticeable difference in parents attitudes. Boys parents very much see it as a career and are more ingrained in it. For the girls, they see it as more of a hobby and not a viable career option, so even from a young age girls are disadvantaged in terms of buy in.”

It may be a coincidence that the Golf Monthly interview was published just days after the controversy surrounding the lack of coverage of the important and hugely exciting Pelican Women’s Championship, but I’ll leave it to Hannah Gregg to sum up.

“When it comes to making purses bigger and getting donations from sponsors, everyone has an excuse.

I always hear ‘well the women aren’t fun to watch’ but I’ve never understood that. The men weren’t popular to watch compared to the scale they are now. It takes years of marketing and people engaging with women’s sports for them to have a chance to succeed and grow. 

If people really want to help, we should start building up women’s sports and acknowledging that there is a quality product there. Help us raise money when you can, spread the word and find players that you like to watch and then follow their careers.

All of us love knowing that people out there are enjoying our journey and it makes even the struggles that much more enjoyable.”

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  1. Kev

    Nov 26, 2021 at 10:25 pm

    Watching symetra tour players play is like watching men’s +1 handicap to 4 handicap play from 6200yds.

  2. Adam

    Nov 23, 2021 at 8:57 am

    Well written article but the perspective of the golfer featured is skewed. Golf is expensive but it becomes even more expensive when you’ve cashed 2 checks in 3 years of pro golf and have become a donation on the WAPT. Instead of complaining about the pay maybe take accountability for your lack of performances and get better so you can move up to a tour with more money. Pro golf isn’t for everyone and this article shows exactly that.

  3. Dan

    Nov 22, 2021 at 6:48 pm

    I love watching the LPGA tour and I would love to see more TV coverage and money for them and the mini tours. An earlier poster had it right when he said these smaller tours are supposed to weed out those who don’t have the talent or grit to make it. It should be hard, yes – but not impossible.

    I encountered the same thing in becoming a professional guitarist in Nashville. You come up through the ranks, pay your dues, make terrible money at first, work a day job or some other side gig, and keep at it. Everybody is insanely good, and those who can’t hack it figure that out pretty quickly and head home. But you also need some luck and a couple of good breaks.

    I can’t help thinking it’s probably harder for the women on the mini tours because there’s simply less money, and that’s too bad and I hope it changes. But fortunately, women are tougher than men.

  4. Pingback: How much each player won at the 2021 CME Group Tour Championship – GolfWRX

  5. Progolfer

    Nov 19, 2021 at 4:27 pm

    As a current men’s professional golfer at the mini tour level with some success, I can tell you it’s basically the same…

    Q school is way more expensive than it should be, and it doesn’t even grant one access onto the PGA Tour anymore. I have friends on Tour who got through q school back when it got them onto the PGA Tour, and they told me with the current system they probably wouldn’t have made it.

    Chasing single events is no cake-walk either with pre-qualifying, and then needing to shoot 62/63 in the Monday qualifier to get into an event. Even If one gets through the Monday, 90-95% of the time the qualifier gets lapped in the event by pro’s who know every bump of every green. There goes another $5,000 by missing the cut…

    The system is set up to weed out people who either don’t have enough talent or don’t have enough money. Seems like Hannah falls into both categories.

  6. ballswet

    Nov 19, 2021 at 10:54 am

    Chris = golfs economist.

  7. Neal M

    Nov 19, 2021 at 9:53 am

    It is shocking and bothersome to find another golf reporter has interviewed Hannah Gregg. It’s as if Google doesn’t exist to these people. A simple search reveals that Gregg has no actual status on the Symetra tour. She has played in one Symetra event, only got into that one because it was the prep week for Q-School and most full status players chose to prep in Palm Springs, creating an opening for Gregg. She shot +10(79,75). It should also be noted that EVERY girl who registers for Symetra Q-School is placed on the provisional status list, Gregg was 496th for the 2021 season.

    Gregg only plays in occasional mini-tour events, rarely breaking par and making very little money (less than $200 total career earnings), this is due to poor play and nothing else. Again, a simple google search shows this to be fact. With average scores well over par, it is hard to conceive how this person would claim to be a professional golfer. She is an influencer and quite good at that. The unfortunate part is she falsely portrays the former and somehow cons people into giving her money and products. This is an insult to players, both men and women, who have the skills, work ethic and scores to play professional tournament golf, even at the mini tour level. Gregg should stick to “influencing”, perhaps promote herself as that and ONLY that. She should play mini tour events and spread the growth of the game rather than presenting a fraudulent version of herself that no one with any actual golf knowledge is buying.

    Women’s golf is growing and the purses are fair given the amount of people and viewers each event attracts. People like Gregg only hurt the growth with misleading and false representations. She and this author should take this into consideration before printing articles such as this one.

    In an earlier comment, the author suggests it is difficult to find a Symetra tour player to interview, I suggest this to be false. Simply go to any event roster, find 5-10 names near the cut line, reach out tot them via social media, most will appreciate the opportunity and it will produce an article with information from a qualified player; who is no doubt more worthy of the exposure Gregg will receive from this fraudulent piece, “ Hannah Gregg, a second-year professional and rookie on the developmental Symetra Tour”, this statement exposes this piece as misinformation and negates any information in the article.

    To the author – do better work on a subject that matters to the girls with the skills, work ethic and integrity to make it at the highest level.

    • Steve Cantwell

      Nov 25, 2021 at 11:57 am

      Thank you. I would suggest that this website Hire you for future contributions. However, it is “fluff” rather than facts that gets the clicks.

      • Neal M

        Nov 26, 2021 at 5:15 pm

        Of all the sports, golf is the only game where true integrity matters. To highlight a player who clearly has no idea what that word means is a sad commentary on where we are in the game.

        Gregg was recently called out in her IG profile, which is public, and proceeded to attempt to “dox” the commenter, tagging his place of employment and attempting to cause him issues at work.

        Gregg is a “public figure”, which opens her up to criticism, both good and bad, if she can’t handle both professionally, she needs to find a new line of work.

        Is this really the player this or any other site needs to be profiling? Surely there are players more worthy of this type of attention.

    • Benny

      Nov 26, 2021 at 8:28 am

      Wow nice work Neal. I didn’t even try to search and goad you did man. Sad!

  8. gwelfgulfer

    Nov 18, 2021 at 11:05 pm

    NO one cares about women’s golf, much lime women’s sports in general… The sad reality is that outside of a few sports, JV boys club teams can beat ‘professional’ women’s teams at virtually anything…

    SO why on earth are people going to sponsor an inferior product and put money into it when there is very little to no interest or appeal…

    • K44

      Nov 19, 2021 at 2:05 pm

      Big talk for someone who lives off their wife’s earnings.

    • Billy2Day77

      Nov 22, 2021 at 2:43 pm

      Too Funny> As a Fossil & a Guy!! I’ll take 3 Ladies off of the LPGA or Symetra Tour anytime & kick it to you!!
      & Laff all the way to The Bank!!
      BTW: What Cave are You In??
      Yep; These Girls Can Play!!
      Know I’m out on a Day Pass & smart enough not to tick off Canadian Ladies in any Sport!!
      Cheers.

      • gwelfgulfer

        Nov 25, 2021 at 5:52 pm

        No one denies they can play… Just no one cares… Which is painfully obvious as we see nothing but crying for equality in purse size when they can’t bring in the sponsors…

        It’s simple economics… A product no one wants, brings in no money…

    • Boyo

      Nov 23, 2021 at 6:26 am

      Another village idiot gets to sound off. It’s now wonder the Chinese censor the internet.

      • gwelfgulfer

        Nov 25, 2021 at 5:50 pm

        You know I’m right and still try and save face… Pure jokes from the peanut gallery…

  9. Johnny Penso

    Nov 18, 2021 at 7:25 pm

    Hannah is more along the lines of Spiranac than Brooke Henderson or Jin-Young Ko. Nothing wrong with that, you make the best with what you’ve got, but I’d guess her goal is more celebrity status than tour status.

  10. Getta Jawb

    Nov 18, 2021 at 4:43 pm

    Tough luck. Everybody is hiring right now.

  11. golf man

    Nov 18, 2021 at 3:31 pm

    If you want more prize money, then you need bigger entry fees. Players have to pay more to earn more. No gain/profit in that. #Economics. Things are the way they are for a reason

  12. Golfman

    Nov 18, 2021 at 3:27 pm

    Simple… play better golf and make more money. No handouts. Problem solved.

  13. Maria D.

    Nov 18, 2021 at 11:36 am

    Ms. Gregg does not have active status on the Symetra Tour. She did not make it through the first stage of qualifying for the 2022 season. She constantly promotes herself as a professional golfer on social media and while she technically is a “professional”, she does not have playing status on any tour and only plays in an occasional “pay for play” event for which anyone wishing to pay an entry fee can play. Playing in “pay for play” events is quite different that attaining status where tournament play is allowed based on playing ability. Although she lives in Arizona, she chooses not to play in Cactus Tour events where many high level players chasing their dream of the Symetra Tour and/or LPGA and most likely doesn’t play because it would discredit her social media posts which always imply she is a touring professional with status. Mr. Daniels should have done some journalistic homework before posting the article and while there should be higher purses and better opportunities for female golfers chasing tour status, there are hundreds of women with actual status on the Symetra Tour who could better represent the challenges they are facing.

    • Jason Daniels

      Nov 18, 2021 at 3:31 pm

      Thank you for your insight Maria. I would be very happy to interview someone with ‘actual status’ on the Tour to find out more about the life on the road. I’ll be interviewing one of the male mini-tour stars very shortly and it will be of interest to see how the life differs. Reading much of Ryan French’s stuff, there are many players of both sexes struggling to chase the dream.

  14. ck

    Nov 18, 2021 at 10:17 am

    There is a reason why they call them “Developmental Tours”! These tours are around to make the organizers money and provide a place to play competitively, gain experience, gain exposure, and finally try to make the next step. These tours do there job perfectly, they weed out the players by attrition. Either fiscal, Mental, or physically. Personally I look back at my time playing on the Moonlight, Golden Bear, Gateway, and NE Pro Tours. The amount of guys that competed week in and week out driving in a caravan of SUV’s was crazy. Every year it was a new crop of fresh faces, and some of the old dogs. Unfortunately golf in general is expensive, you have to go into the professional game knowing that. Most of the guys would have side jobs when not playing everything from bartenders, strip club bouncers, CC Caddies, waiters, etc. and compete around a schedule. Then you had the guys that would buy spots from the tour members on a week to week basis, that was me. And finally you had the guys that were out there full time because they had the bankroll from Dad or Dad’s Country Club buddy’s. To me this article did bring attention to the “plight” of the Lady Professional, but it came off as a little whine session. The economics of the game are very simple, the better you play the more money comes in through every avenue. But this is also indicative of woman’s sports, exposure for advertisers and corporate sponsors is everything. If you have an event and no one comes , then what type of exposure do you have? Everyone deserves to chase the dream, just make sure you can pay for it and you don’t have a fiscal situation you can’t get out of! This has been in place for years, if not decades.

  15. William E

    Nov 18, 2021 at 8:58 am

    Great perspective from Hannah, and interesting to hear from a pro golfer who is living this every day. Many large corporations want to be seen as “growing the game” but money and actions are the only thing that matter.
    I would love to see Callaway, TaylorMade, Titleist and Ping go to bat for these ladies and give them a more viable route to pro golf. These companies can all step up and give more back. Invest some of the profit into building the future of golf viewership.
    I also agree with the marketing comment. Hey GolfWRX, can you spotlight in a WITB series that the vast majority of amateurs should be modeling their bag off of the LPGA? (Chad, I know you carry your drive 350 and use a 80g TX Ventus platinum tipped 3 inches, take it easy bud)

  16. Dugan

    Nov 18, 2021 at 7:09 am

    The only way to get away from these smaller tours and join the big leagues is to play better. People hate to hear that, but it’s the truth plain and simple. The people running these events have to make a living too. If it cost too much to play in the “minor leagues” why not focus your money on Monday qualifiers? I grew up competing in rodeos and tried the prca (pga tour of rodeo) when I became an adult. Realized I wasn’t good enough to compete at that level and got a real job. But I still enter amateur rodeos on the weekends as a hobby cause I still love it.

  17. Jerry

    Nov 17, 2021 at 7:08 pm

    Mega millions are sloshing around golf and some of it should find it’s way to the feeder tours. Didn’t the PGA just give Tiger $8 million of that social media influencer money even though he has not played for almost a year? The rich keep getting richer. Bryson is right.

  18. John

    Nov 17, 2021 at 6:24 pm

    Those purses are pitifully small. That needs to be changed. There is probably money there, the players should get more of it.

    Oh, and Hannah, “give it a rest” lol, that’s a pretty typical response when someone dares to speak up. Just keep pushing, hopefully things will get better. Best of luck with your career.

    • Chris

      Nov 18, 2021 at 11:24 am

      It’s simple economics but go ahead and push your strawman argument that a statement of fact is some kind of attack on someone speaking up just because it contradicts their BELIEF of how something should be vs the REALITY of what it is and why it is that way. What a lazy, unintelligent rebuttal lol. If you feel so strongly about the purses for women’s golf becoming larger and it “needs to be changed” then put your money where your mouth is and start sponsoring some of the events out of pocket or go fundraising. Better yet create your own broadcasting company and make women’s golf the majority of your programming and let me know how that goes for you. Once you reach the level of the sport that these women are playing at it’s no longer a game it’s a business and businesses runs on money. Let me know when creditors start accepting idealism as payment. Is air time free? Should companies purchase commercial spots at the same price they do during mens events out of the goodness of their hearts even though ratings tell them they will not get the same bang for their buck? Now I have nothing against women’s golf, I watch it when it’s on because I love golf in general but I admittedly don’t make an effort to seek it out like I do men’s golf. I’ll go out on a limb and say men make up the vast majority when it comes to viewership of sporting events so if the majority of men don’t find women’s golf entertaining enough to garner their attention and it’s only myself and others in the minority that occasionally watch then revenue will be smaller which means the pie i smaller which means smaller pieces will be available. Consumer demand drives money and the consumer demand is clearly not there. You want them to have more revenue available but who’s going to foot the bill? Your reply reeks of the “everybody is a winner” mentality that has been taught to the children of this generation and some in the previous generation by their parents which has only polluted their minds into believing life can never hand them an L. The golfers are the talent and without them there is no business so if the problem is as big as you believe it is then I would suggest that the ladies start withdrawing from tournaments which will in turn obviously affect the revenue. No product to sell, no money coming in. Businesses understand money not feelings. The problem with this of course is for every golfer that decides to withdraw there are ten others hungrily waiting in the wings for their opportunity and they will gladly take that spot. If it takes finishing in the top ten each week to survive the grind then practice more and get better. If that doesn’t work and the stress becomes unbearable then maybe it’s time to accept you just don’t have what it takes and move on. Life’s hard and it doesn’t care about your feelings. There are people working two sometimes three jobs just to put food on the table and I’m going to sit here and worry about someone complaining that it’s too hard chasing their dream of playing a sport for a living? LOL

      • AlsoChris

        Nov 18, 2021 at 10:11 pm

        Chris.

        You just really, really don’t get it.

      • RationalChris

        Nov 19, 2021 at 9:14 am

        Chill out Chris.

        • Chris Fan from Canada

          Nov 23, 2021 at 11:03 pm

          Not seeing anything wrong with Chris’ comments.

      • Brian

        Nov 26, 2021 at 4:07 pm

        Paragraphs are your friend, Chris. You may have made some excellent, salient points but I’ll never know because I refuse to read a wall of text.

  19. Chris

    Nov 17, 2021 at 5:57 pm

    Give it a rest already. Viewership influences sponsorship which influences the dollars attached. If the demand for women’s golf matched the demand for men’s golf then the “supply” of money would follow and purses would be larger. Equal opportunity doesn’t mean equal outcome. As far as the cost of trying to make it goes, if it becomes too much for you then choose another line of work. No doubt the financial stresses may be there but you and you alone choose to keep chasing that dream or not.

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19th Hole

MLB All-Star sued for $64k by North Carolina Country Club

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Booking tee-times has often been a contentious issue even for the most private of clubs, but San Diego Padres star, Will Myers, has found his frustrations leading to the courts.

According to a recent report by The Charlotte Observer, Myers and his wife, Margaret, joined Carmel Country Club in ‘lockdown’ year 2020 after issues with his previous club, problems that included availability of tee-times due to high demand.

Per the report, after paying 20 percent of his $80,000 initiation fee, the remainder was to be paid annually over a period of four years. However, with golf experiencing a boom during the year of the pandemic, tee times were again hard to obtain and in December 2020, the Myers’ resigned and cancelled their membership.

In response to his resignation, Carmel then charged the couple for the remainder of the fee – $64,000 – and set a date of December 2020 for the amount due. They then took to the courts in March 2021 to find the couple countersuing three months later, stating they had suffered |knowing misinterpretations and commissions.”

Court filings state that the MLB star “found it almost impossible to find a tee-time and frequently could not even use the driving range.”

Carmel denied all accusations and would go on to say that the COVID-19 pandemic “immediately and overwhelmingly altered the lifestyles and available leisure activities for all members of the club.”

The trial is set for February 2022.

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The Match V: Brooks vs Bryson – Full Viewer’s Guide

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Those with long memories might recall the halcyon days of television’s Shell’s Wonderful World of Golf, a series of two or three-player stroke-play ‘match’ events that showed many of the top golfers of the day in light-hearted but competitive action over 18 holes.

Players such as Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus, Ernie Els, Phil Mickelson, Karrie Webb and Annika Sorenstam were some of the miked-up stars that thrilled the crowd and viewers with their comments throughout the hour or so of recorded coverage.

Not in their wildest dreams could they envisage that 27 years later, we would get to a point where two golfers meet in what has become a huge grudge match, with both Bryson DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka ramping up the hate over the past few months and even further over the past couple of days.

Cartoon hate or real? Either way, this made-for-TV match has the golfing public eagerly awaiting the best of-12 hole bout and here is the outline of how, when and what this is all about.

Take a look at the figures and hop over to Matt Vincenzi’s article on all the betting odds available and his final verdict.

  • TV: TNT, TBS, truTV and HLN.
  • When: Friday November 26th 4pm E.T 1pm P.T
  • Where: Wynn Golf Club, Las Vegas
  • Commentators: Phil Mickelson and Charles Barkley
  • Play-by-play: Brian Anderson
  • On-course: Amanda Balionis
  • Format: 12-hole Matchplay
  • Bonus (charity holes): 3-6-7-9-11

And as they want to play it like a boxing match, let’s have a ‘Tale Of The Tape’:

                                      Bryson vs Brooks

 

Is it all nonsense? is it all genuine? Is it all for PIP (Player Impact Programme) income?

Who knows. Whatever, it’s going to be the best ‘The Match’ yet.

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The Match V: Brooks vs Bryson – Top prop bets and who we’re picking to win

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“The Match V”: Brooks Koepka vs Bryson DeChambeau is all set to take place at Wynn Golf Club in Las Vegas, Nevada, on November 26th at 4:00 PM ET.

For those who want to make the event a bit more interesting, there are plenty of betting options in the prop market for the Brooks Bryson showdown.

Odds via betonline.ag

  • Bryson is a slight favorite to win the Match at 4/5.
  • A hole-in-one by either player pays 50/1.
  • Bryson is the obvious favorite for the longest drive however, Brooks is getting nearly 4/1 on this prop.
  • A blowout match decided by hole 9 or earlier pays 11/2.
Winner of The Match V
American Odds
Fractional Odds
Bryson DeChambeau
-125
4/5
Brooks Koepka
+105
21/20
Both Drives to Find Green on 12?
No
-2500
1/25
Yes
+900
9/1
DeChambeau Drive to Find Green on 12?
No
-240
5/12
Yes
+200
2/1
Koepka Drive to Find Green on 12?
No
-300
1/3
Yes
+250
5/2
Closest to Pin on Par-3 11th Hole?
Bryson DeChambeau
-110
10/11
Brooks Koepka
-110
10/11
Either Player to Hit a Hole-in-One?
Yes
+5000
50/1
First to Break Par on a Hole?
Tie
+130
13/10
Bryson DeChambeau
+190
19/10
Brooks Koepka
+210
21/10
Leader After 1st Hole?
Tie
-130
10/13
Brooks Koepka
+270
27/10
Bryson DeChambeau
+270
27/10
Leader Thru Six Holes?
Bryson DeChambeau
+160
8/5
Tie
+175
7/4
Brooks Koepka
+195
39/20
Longest Drive?
Bryson DeChambeau
-500
1/5
Brooks Koepka
+395
79/20
Match Settled By Play-off?
No
-300
1/3
Yes
+250
5/2
Total Holes Conceded
Under 2½ Holes
-180
5/9
Over 2½ Holes
+160
8/5
When will The Match be decided?
After a Play-off
+250
5/2
Hole 12
+300
3/1
Hole 11
+325
13/4
Hole 10
+400
4/1
Hole 9 or Earlier
+550
11/2

The Match V: Best Bets

Winner of The Match V: Bryson DeChambeau -125

For these types of events, I typically tend to side with the underdog due to the variance that can occur in a single match. With the match being only 12 holes, the outcome becomes even more unpredictable. However, there are a few reasons why I still believe that the value lies with DeChambeau at a slight -125 favorite.

For starters, DeChambeau has experience in this type of event. Aaron Rodgers and Bryson appeared in the match last year and defeated Tom Brady and Phil Mickelson quite convincingly. After a slow start, Bryson really appeared to gradually settle in as the match went along and should have a better idea of what to expect this time around.

Additionally, DeChambeau is just playing much better golf than Koepka recently. In their past 24 rounds, DeChambeau ranks 9th on Tour for Strokes Gained: Total whereas Koepka ranks 121st of 150 qualified golfers. Brooks is also coming off of back to back missed cuts at Mayakoba and The Houston Open.

While it is entirely possible that Koepka’s killer instinct kick in as he attempts to take down DeChambeau (who I genuinely believe he truly dislikes), I am siding with the guy who is simply a better golfer right now as a slight favorite.

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