The PGA Tour won’t officially resume its 2020 season until June 11 at the Charles Schwab Challenge in Fort Worth, Texas.
But golf fans and bettors will be treated to a pair of two-on-two charity events featuring big names the next two Sundays.
First on the tee is Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson against Rickie Fowler and Matthew Wolff at 11 a.m. Sunday on KSNV-3 in the TaylorMade Driving Relief skins match at Seminole Country Club in Juno Beach, Florida.
On deck May 24 is Tiger Woods and Peyton Manning against Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady in The Match at the Medalist Golf Club in Hobe Sound, Florida.
World No. 1 McIlroy and Johnson are -170 favorites at the Westgate over former Oklahoma State standouts Fowler and Wolff (+150) after the line opened at -200.
“We’ve seen some underdog support so far,” Westgate sportsbook vice president of risk Jeff Sherman said. “A lot of people think this formula lends itself to being somewhat equated.”
Each player will play his own ball, with each team counting the lower score between the two players on each hole.
Both teams will start with $500,000 in the bank, and hole values will increase throughout the match. Holes 1-6 are worth $50,000 each, and holes 7-16 are worth $100,000 each. Hole 17 is worth $200,000, and hole 18 is worth $500,000. All money goes to charity.
“Theoretically, Fowler and Wolff could be behind $400,000, but if they win the 18th hole, which is worth $500,000, they could win the whole thing,” Sherman said. “It’s not just outplaying them each hole.”
The Westgate has posted eight props, including odds to win the most money on holes 1-6 and 7-16 and on the team to win holes 17 and 18.
McIlroy and Johnson are -160 favorites to earn the most money on holes 7-16.
“There are three par 5s on that, which is going to help out DJ and McIlroy,” Sherman said.
There are also two long drive competitions, on holes 2 and 14. McIlroy and Johnson are -275 favorites to win the longest drive on each hole. A caveat is that the drives don’t have to land in the fairway to count.
McIlroy is No. 2 in driving distance, Johnson is No. 28, Wolff is No. 21 and Fowler is No. 150.
“Obviously, McIlroy and DJ have a large advantage,” Sherman said “One thing that changed some of my pricing is that usually when you have a long drive (contest), the ball has to end up in the fairway.
“I think all four guys will go up and rip it, and wherever it lands, it lands.”
At first glance, the event appears to be a mismatch in favor of McIlroy and Johnson, No. 5 in the world — whereas Fowler is ranked No. 27 and Wolff, the 2019 NCAA champion, is No. 110.
But William Hill sportsbook director Nick Bogdanovich said he would play the underdog or pass.
“You don’t know what any of these guys have been doing the last two months,” he said. “Wolff is not too far below McIlroy and DJ, trust me. He’s that good.
“I would only look to the ’dog in this matchup, just because the rust factor has got to be incredible and it’s a crapshoot to begin with.”
McIlroy-Johnson vs. Fowler-Wolff
TaylorMade Driving Relief 18-hole skins match
11 a.m. Sunday, KSNV-3
Odds at Westgate sportsbook
Win most money holes 1-6
Win most money holes 7-16
Win hole 17
Win hole 18
Win longest drive hole 2
Win longest drive hole 14