One of the features of many golf tours is no discernable offseason, and that is certainly true for the DP World Tour. Just a few days after wrapping up the 2023 season, the 2024 campaign starts “Down Under” in a joint tournament with the PGA Tour of Australia and the OneAsia Tour. Here the Fortinet Australian PGA Championship Betting Preview
This is why you’ll see some familiar faces who are now a part of the LIV Golf series, including favorite and defending champion Cameron Smith. Others on the odds board who are a part of LIV include Joaquin Niemann and Marc Leishman. While they would face sanctions from the DP World Tour for playing in one of its events, they are allowed to compete on the other two tours. It also marks one of the rare occasions that LIV pros can earn Official World Golf Ranking points.
This and next week’s Australian Open are two of the biggest tournaments to be held on the continent. The Fortinet Australian PGA Championship dates back to 1929, when it was known as the Australian Professional Championship. After a six-year break during World War II, it took its current name in 1946.
Smith has won three of the past five editions, but the record is five—held by Bill Dunk, who last won in 1976. Other legends like Greg Norman, Seve Ballesteros, Hale Irwin, and Gary Player have won this event.
The tournament plays several years on the same course before switching to another venue. This year will be the third in a row at Royal Queensland and fifth overall. The club, located in Brisbane on the continent’s east coast, was founded in 1920 but the current Championship course is just 16 years old.
The course, a par 71, is largely flat with wide fairways. Bunkers provide the biggest challenge to golfers. Last year, the hardest hole on the course was the fifth one—a par 5 that measures 483 yards. In the final round, it saw just six birdies but 21 bogeys and four double bogeys to go with 45 pars.
In 2022, Jediah Morgan set the tournament record with a score of 262 and tied the record to par at -22. Smith’s -14 last year was good enough to win the 2023 edition by three strokes.
Has made this event a priority in his home country of Australia, and his results confirm that. He’s won three of the last five editions, including last year’s at Royal Queensland. On the LIV Golf circuit, Smith won twice this year and also had a runner-up finish, but he finished the last couple of events poorly and lost the season-long points title to Talor Gooch. He did bounce back, however, with a runner-up finish in Hong Kong two weeks ago. Despite not playing on the PGA Tour, Smith remains one of the world’s top golfers and has to be considered a threat here.
Min Woo Lee (+700), an Australian who had called the DP World Tour home for the past several years before planning to join the PGA Tour, is the first one behind Smith on the odds board. Lee has played well all over the world this year, winning the Macao Open on the Asian Tour last month, was runner-up in Abu Dhabi last winter, and also has a fifth-place result at the U.S. Open to his credit. Lee also finished fourth here last year after being the round 1 co-leader, and it was his second straight top-five finish in this event.
Cameron Davis (+900) is the highest PGA Tour regular on the odds board. Davis, who finished in the top 50 in the FedEx Cup standings and will be in all of the big events in 2024, has five top-10 finishes in his last seven starts on the PGA Tour, including finishes in the Fall series of third, seventh, and 12th. He’s well-rested too, as it’s been about a month since he last teed off, which was in Japan at the ZOZO Championship.
Adam Scott (+1000) rounds out the list of home-country favorites. Scott, a 14-time PGA Tour winner, has won this event twice: in 2013 and ’19. He started and finished well here last year, but two rounds in the middle over par put him at 24th place. His PGA Tour season was inconsistent, but he is coming off a tie for fifth at the Butterfield Bermuda Championship two weeks ago.
Ryo Hisatsune (+2000) and Robert MacIntyre (+2250) have accumulated the most OWGR ranking points in the field since July 1. They both tied for 18th at the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai last week and are both recent winners on the DP World Tour. Hisatsune closed last year’s event with a 65 and finished tied for runner-up to Smith.
Jason Scrivener (+3000) is an Australian who tied with Hisatsune last year, finishing three shots behind the winning score of -14. David Micheluzzi (+3000) is your form horse, as he’s got a win and a runner-up in his last two worldwide events. In his win at the Victorian PGA, Micheluzzi erased a six-shot deficit in the final round to win the tournament. The Australian was also consistent in last year’s tournament, going 68-68-71-69 on his way to finishing sixth.
Even at short odds, it’s tough to bet against Smith, given his talent and his desire to want to perform well in his home-country event. Lee and Davis have also been playing stellar golf, so we’re going to back them along with Hisastune and Micheluzzi for some more value.
|GOLFER||ODDS TO WIN 2023 FORTINET AUSTRALIAN PGA CHAMPIONSHIP|
|Min Woo Lee||+700|
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