One of the smartest plays we’ve made at GOLF.com was to go all in on Erick Lindgren as our expert prognosticator. Lindgren is a star of the professional poker circuit, with more than $10 million in career earnings. But he has proven to be a shark at golf wagering, too, having chosen five outright winners over the summer and fall of 2021, among other spot-on bets.
That sparkling track record inspired us to strike a deal with Lindgren: every week through the end of the 2021 season, we’re giving him a $1,000 gambling budget (just play money!). In return, he’s giving us — well, you — his five best bets for that week’s event. With the 2021-22 PGA Tour campaign about to get started, here’s Lindgren’s playlist for the season-opening Fortinet Championship, which tees off Thursday at Silverado Resort, in Napa, Calif.
(Looking to place any of these bets yourself? We teamed with BetMGM, and the online sportsbook is offering a “Bet $20 to Win $100” promotion, regardless of your wager’s outcome, as well as a “Risk-Free First Bet” up to $1,000.)
Cameron Champ to win, $100 at 40-1
In 2020, Champ made Silverado his inspired stage, capturing a win that doubled as a tribute to his ailing grandfather. Lindgren likes these odds for a past champion whose length is as prodigious as ever, and whose short game has shown well on these Napa greens.
Joseph Bramlett to finish Top 5, $300 at 16-1
It’s been a long road back to the big dance for Bramlett, who lost his card in 2011, leaving him to work on what was then the Web.com Tour. But back is he ever, and in fine form, fresh off a victory in the Korn Ferry Tour finals earlier this month.
Brendan Steele to finish Top 10, $300 at 7.5-1
If golfers were grapes, Steele would be cabernet sauvignon, right at home in the Napa Valley. A top-10 finish for a guy who’s won twice at Silverado? Lindgren will take that every time.
Nick Taylor to finish Top 10, $200 at 9-1
Grass varietals are a part of Lindgren’s analytics. Having looked at performance on poa annua, he’s drawn to the way that Taylor putts this type of turf. Top that off with Taylor’s recent fine form tee to green, and you’ve got a wager Lindgren can’t resist.
Brandon Hagy to win, $100 at 150-1
A bomber who played collegiately at UC Berkeley, Hagy is comfortable in Northern California. His short game has also been rounding into shape. “He will win soon,” Lindgren says of this week’s long-shot play. “I like the idea of trying him here.”