PGA Betting – Transitions Championship Preview & Pick

Ray MonohanContributor IMarch 17, 2010

PACIFIC PALISADES, CA - FEBRUARY 07: Steve Stricker hits a tee shot on the 16th hole during the final round of the Northern Trust Open at Riviera Country Club on February 7, 2010 in Pacific Palisades, California. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

With the Masters just a few weeks away, many of the hottest players in golf are taking a breather after a busy stretch that yielded some great fields. Even with a so-so field, though, the Transitions Championship should be interesting.

The host venue, the Copperhead Course at Innisbrook Resort, played as the second toughest par-71 on Tour last year.

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Date: Thursday March 18th - Sunday March 21st
Event: Transitions Championship
Course: Innisbrook Resort - Copperhead, Palm Harbor, Florida
Purse: $5,400,000 Million
Defending Champ: Retief Goosen
FedEX Cup Points Up For Grabs: 500 

The event also still has plenty of big names who just haven’t gotten their games off the ground this year.

Leading off the picks is the guy I like to call “The Bully.”


Steve Stricker

Transitions Championship odds: +1415

I’ve nicknamed Stricker “The Bully” because he specializes in dominating weaker fields or non-marquee events where the pressure isn’t too high. He can handle Copperhead, having placed fourth there last year and led the field in birdies, so he should make a strong showing.


Vijay Singh

Transitions Championship odds: +1415

Vijay won at the Innisbrook Resort in 2004 and is finally looking like his 2004 self again, having posted two straight top-11 finishes and finished second in greens in regulation over that span. Maybe it’s time to catch him on the upswing.

Charles Howell III

Transitions Championship odds: +4050

The value is solid at +4050 for a guy who finished second here last year and ranks seventh on Tour in scoring average this season. He’s also above average in his GIR rank (30th) and putting (44th) – two numbers that are crucial at a course with five par threes.


Steward Cink

Transitions Championship odds: +4550

He has some of the best history at the host course out of anyone playing this week. Cink finished second in 2008 and third in 2005 when the event was held in the fall. He’s not at the top of his game right now but he does have two top-10s and finished with a 65 on Sunday at the WGC-CA Championship last week.

Kenny Perry

Transitions Championship odds: +5250

Considering how under-the-radar he’s been, Perry almost qualifies as a sleeper this week. He isn’t setting the world on fire in 2010 but he hasn’t been horrible and his peripherals suggest a breakout could come soon. Perry leads the Tour in total driving and ranks fifth in birdie average, seventh in par breakers and 17th in driving accuracy. He has the tools needed to tame Copperhead.


Matthew Goggin

Transitions Championship odds: +6600

The deep, deep sleeper Goggin gives you major value and isn’t a total stab in the dark. He finished fourth at last year’s Transitions, leading the field in greens hit and placing second in fairways hit. For anyone wanting to chase the home run pick, he could be your man.


It wouldn’t surprise me at all to see Perry bust out but I like Stricker to run the show this week. It seems like he capitalizes almost every time the course, field or conditions favor him and think he’ll do so at the Transitions Championship.

Pick: Steve Stricker +1415

This article also appears on Cappers Picks Golf Handicapping Blog.