The World Golf Championships is basically a group of four tournaments that take place every year. Created by the International Federation of PGA Tours, this competition is one of the most popular in golf, attracting professional players from all over the globe.
All four events offer great sums of prize money for the best players, which is why they are considered the most important events after the major championships. However, some would argue that The Players Championship is a bit more important than WGC, as it is often considered the “fifth major.”
Best Sportsbooks for Betting on the World Golf Championship
Thanks to their popularity and frequency (as they happen four times a year), many sportsbooks saw an opportunity to spice up golf betting by offering golf fans a chance to place bets on all four events.
In fact, some of the best sportsbooks in the business are ready to offer quite interesting odds for these events — you just have to know where to look. Also, before you actually proceed to bet on the World Golf Championships, you need to pay attention to a couple of things that are important for each of the events that are part of it.
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All You Need to Know About World Golf Championships
The World Golf Championships tournament is not that old, as the first three events officially began in 1999. The three events are:
- WGC-Mexico Championship (stroke play)
- WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play (match play)
- WGC-FedEx St- Jude Invitational (stroke play)
All of them were pretty new at the time but they all were successors to some older events. For example, the WGC Invitational was actually just another name for the World Series of Golf which has a much longer tradition, having started back in ‘76. Moreover, the only WGC match play event succeeded the popular Andersen Consulting World Championship of Golf that had started a couple of years before that.
The World Golf Championships had contained three events for ten years until the WGC-HSBC Champions was introduced. This event started back in 2005 and was simply called HSBC Champions; it was later given a World Golf Championship status and added to the three active events.
All these events are similar, but they all are also unique and worth further exploration. Let’s take a look at each of them.
Since four events are grouped under the World Golf Championships, there are slight differences when it comes to betting on these events. Let’s take a look at the most popular types of bets and what specific events they can apply to.
The majority of sportsbooks will allow you to bet on the outright winner of any of the four events. Your only job is to pick one player and see if your prediction was correct. This is the most common and the easiest type of betting in golf. However, if you’re going to be brave and bet on an underdog, you could potentially increase your payday by getting the outcome right.
Instead of betting on the winner of the whole event, you can bet only on the winner of the first round. It’s a bit easier to make these bets once you have an insight into the performance of golfers after the first round.
Sportsbooks often choose two random players and compare them in a single event, and your job is to bet on one or the other and their performance in a head-to-head comparison.
This type of bet is applicable only to the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, as it is the only event in the WGC that has groups of four. Your only task is to bet on individual groups and try to predict their winners.
Try to guess whether a certain player would end up in the top 10 or 20 (or whatever the number sportsbooks suggest).
Prop Bets & More
Prop bets play a very special role in golf betting, as there are punters who love making these. This type of bet is simply made of a proposition which you back by placing a bet.
For example, a proposition as simple as “There will be a hole-in-one in the event” will be posted, and you can place your bet and confirm the statement. Naturally, since hole-in-one is not such a common occurrence, the odds for supporting the claim would be much higher than those for not supporting it.
Strategies for Improving Betting
Now, in order to improve your betting skills, there are a couple of things that you need to pay attention to. Let’s take a look at these useful pieces of advice.
Study the Admission Criteria
All the events that are a part of the WGC have unique rules on how they choose players who are eligible for taking part in them. Once you study those, you will have an overall idea about the potential field. The next step is to study individual performances of players that are likely to participate, especially if they have already taken part in one of those events.
Pay Attention to Course Changes
As you have probably noticed, almost all the events that are part of the WGC change their courses from time to time. You need to watch when that happens and see how players previously played on those courses, or whether they have played on them at all. These things significantly impact their performance in the upcoming tournament.
It’s All About the Stats
Once you’re familiar with the field, you need to make sure that players you want to bet on have had a good past couple of months or years. What you need to do is study individual player statistics from their previous performances.
The Weather — It’s Always Important
Finally, you always need to pay attention to the weather, especially to the wind. Some of the courses may have more stable weather compared to others, but given that these events change courses from time to time, studying weather is never a wrong approach.
History of WGC Events
Now that you understand the dynamics of the World Golf Championships a little better, it’s time for us to dissect the history of events so far. We mentioned three events in the opening paragraph, two of which were stroke play, and one – a match play. Here is a little more about their background as a way to wash down what you have just learned about the betting on WGC in general.
The WGC-Mexico Championship has had a kind of identity crisis, as it changed both its name and its location several times. Its previous names were WGC-Cadillac Championship, WGC-CA Championship, and WGC-American Express Championship. Although it settled at the Club de Golf Chapultepec in Mexico in 2017, it changed a lot of locations in the US and Europe before that. The event takes place every February.
The format is stroke play, and the prize fund is set to $10,250,000. Apart from the hefty prize, winners also receive a Wedgwood trophy called Gene Sarazen Cup. At the moment, the player with the best score is Tiger Woods who managed to top this even a total of seven times.
The field is relatively small as it consists of only 72 players who need to meet one of the criteria that is stated in the rules.
There are 72 holes stroke play and no cuts. If a tie occurs after 72 holes, the sudden death playoff takes place.
WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play
The WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play is the second event in the World Golf Championships tournament and the one that has also changed a lot of names during its brief history. Some of the names were WGC-Dell Match Play, WGC-Cadillac Match Play, WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, and WGC-Andersen Consulting Match Play Championship. The event officially takes place in Austin, Texas, but it has changed a couple of locations, as it was also held in Arizona, California, and even Australia.
This is the only match play event in the WGC that offers a prize fund of $10,250,000. Winners receive a trophy called Walter Hagan Cup, and the player who has managed to win the most of them is — once again — Tiger Woods who won three WGC Match Play events.
The field is even smaller compared to the first event, as only 64 players can participate in it. The criterion for selecting those is pretty simple — the top 64 players on the list of the Official World Golf Ranking are automatically invited to the event.
Players create groups of four and make a total of 16 groups that compete in the round-robin format. The best from each group proceed to the round of 16 and the knock-out stage of the event.
WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational
Played in July, WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational is the third out of four WGC events, and it is a direct successor to the popular golf competition called the World Series of Golf. Its other names were WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and WGC-NEC Invitational. Although it is currently hosted at Firestone Country Club located in Ohio, the event changed a couple of courses during its history.
The prize fund of this tournament is somewhat smaller compared to the previous two, as it is set to $10,000,000. Apart from the money, winners also receive a trophy named The Gary Player Cup. The player with the most top finishes is — you’ve guessed it — Tiger Woods who managed to win it eight times.
The event’s field consists of 75 players who are selected by the criteria stated in the rules.
The WGC-HSBC is the newest addition to the World Golf Championships, and it takes place at the Sheshan Golf Club in Shanghai. It is the last tournament to be played, as it takes place in November.
The tournament offers the prize money of $10,250,000, and it hosts mostly players who did well in popular events during the season. Believe it or not, Tiger Woods is not the most awarded player of this event. In fact, the only player who won the WGC-HSBC Champions twice is Phil Mickelson.
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