Phil Mickelson Wins Champions Tour Debut, DJ Favored at BMW Championship

Posted on: August 26, 2020, 04:06h. 

Last updated on: August 27, 2020, 01:55h.

Phil Mickelson has won the first tournament he has ever entered on the PGA Tour Champions circuit, a victory that will be a loss for most US oddsmakers.

Phil Mickelson PGA golf odds
Phil Mickelson is a winner again, but for the first time on the PGA Tour Champions. (Image: Brett Carlsen/Golf Digest)

After failing to advance to the second round of the FedExCup Playoffs, the 50-year-old Mickelson opted to join many of his longtime rivals on the seniors’ circuit. Lefty, a 44-time winner on the PGA Tour, was the heavy favorite entering the Charles Schwab Series at Ozarks National.

Sportsbooks had Mickelson at +200 prior to the three-round tournament, which was contested with 83 players. Bettors who took those odds on Phil prior to the first round netted $200 for every $100 wagered.

Those who waited found far worse odds. After Mickelson opened with a round of 61, his odds shortened to -220. A $100 bet on that line won just $45.45. The line continued to shorten following Phil’s 64 in the second round. Oddsmakers had him at -800 heading into today’s round, which won just $11.11 for every $100 wagered.

Mickelson shot 66 to finish at -22, four shots clear of Tim Petrovic.

“I really enjoyed seeing all the guys again, seeing how they were so accommodating and fun. It’s fun for me to compete,” Mickelson recapped.

Main Stage Set

The PGA Tour Champions event was a nice bridge for golf fans between last Sunday’s conclusion of The Northern Trust, won by new world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, and the second leg of the FedExCup Playoffs. This week, the 70 remaining players are at Olympia Fields in Illinois for the BMW Championship.

Johnson, now leading in the points standings, is the betting favorite at 8/1. Jon Rahm is second at 9/1, and Justin Thomas and Bryson DeChambeau are at 12/1. Xander Schauffele rounds out the top five at 14/1.

Thomas is the defending champion of the BMW, but it was played last year at Medinah Country Club.

Johnson Unbeatable?

Johnson was in prime form last week at TPC Boston. And when he’s on, few have a chance to top the 36-year-old. He won by 11 strokes by posting a staggering -30, marking only the third time in PGA Tour history that a player has gone 30 under in a four-round official tournament.

Johnson at Northern Trust:

  • 1st in greens in regulation
  • 1st in strokes gained tee-to-green
  • 1st in strokes gained approach
  • 1st in ball striking
  • 1st in putts (GIR)
  • 1st in proximity to hole
  • 1st in eagles

“For four rounds it’s the best I’ve ever hit it, for sure,” Johnson said. “All four days I drove it well. I really hit my irons well for four straight days. That was by far the best ball-striking performance I’ve put on.”

Kevin Kisner, who grew up with Johnson in South Carolina, says when DJ is on, he’s the best in the business.

I’ve been watching it for 25 years. I’m pretty accustomed to it. When he’s on, I just step to the side and try to add to my bank account,” Kisner stated.

Kisner is at 40/1 this week at the BMW. A few other notables include Rory McIlroy (16/1), 2020 PGA champion Collin Morikawa (20/1), and Tiger Woods (40/1).