The Home of Fantasy Sports Analysis

Cognizant Classic: Best Bets and Course Info

The PGA heads to Florida, with the first stop being in Palm Beach for the Cognizant Classic. Formerly hosted by Honda, Cognizant has taken over, and has seemingly brought in more excitement for the event. Years past have seen some fairly weak fields, but this year’s has a few of the big guns teeing it up. Rory McIlroy is the big favorite, followed by Cameron Young, Matt Fitzpatrick, and Russell Henley.

The Cognizant Classic kicks off the Florida Swing. Next week will be a signature event at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, followed by the biggest non-major event of the season, The Players Championship. While the next two events will certainly bring in more prestigious fields and larger purses, PGA National will certainly be the toughest course these golfers play in Florida. Let’s take a closer look at what makes PGA National so challenging.

Create a fantasy golf commissioner league, invite your friends and “master” your draft this season (no green jacket required). Our FREE PGA fantasy golf league manager is the most customizable, easy-to-use, and feature-rich platform in the industry.

The Course: PGA National

PGA National is one of the toughest courses on the schedule year in and year out. Typically the winning score is around the -8 to -10 range. Water comes into play on 15 of the holes, making ball-striking a huge factor. At 7,100 yards, you would expect a lot of short approaches into greens. However, with water and doglegs on just about every hole, most golfers will still have 150-200 yards on approaches.

The course only gets tougher as you play. The infamous “Bear Trap” is the toughest 3-hole stretch in the country. If you can get through 15, 16, and 17 unscathed, you will be picking up multiple strokes on the field. Naturally, bogey avoidance will be huge this week. Driving accuracy is a must, and scrambling around the green to save pars will be the deciding factor on who can contend and who misses the cut. Four solid, clean rounds of 67 or 68 will win this thing.

Best Bets: Cognizant Classic

Cameron Young (+2000)

Through 2 full seasons on the PGA Tour, Cameron Young has 11 finishes of 3rd or better. Somehow, none of those were victories. He’s been knocking on the door from the instant he turned professional, and I believe this is the week he finally gets the monkey off his back.

I think this for a few reasons. Firstly, Young’s distance will be an asset, both off the tee and into the green. He has never been below average in distance for any event in his entire career. His ball-striking is amongst the best in the field and only gets better the further he gets from the green. While putting can be hit or miss, he slightly gained on the greens in 2022, his only time playing PGA National.

It was shocking to see Cam’s odds this high. Other the Rory, Cam is by far the most talented golfer in this field. For the oddsmakers to completely skip over the teens shows they have little faith in Young. And that will be their dreaded mistake. Cameron Young can and will get his first PGA victory at the Cognizant Classic.

Matthieu Pavon (+4500)

Matthieu Pavon is taking the PGA by storm. He fully joined the Tour in January, previously being a consistent Top 10 golfer on the DPWT. In his 4 events as a Tour member, he has a Win, 3rd, 7th and 39th. His stats are even better than his finishes…

He currently ranks 1st in Approaching the Green, Proximity to the Hole, Birdie Average, and Total Strokes Gained. He also ranks 3rd in Putting. Being this good at both approach and putting is a rarity. If Pavon can continue to play this way, he will be a Top 5 player in the world by 2025.

I think it won’t be long before Pavon will be 20/1 and shorter for tournaments. I will HAPPILY take him at 45/1, given he’s the best in the field at approaching the green and second best at putting. This is the winning formula for the sport, and at odds this high, Pavon is an automatic bet.

Gary Woodland (+11000)

Although a shell of the player he once was, Gary Woodland still has some fight left in him. And he’s headed back to a course he’s loved in the past. In his 9 times playing at PGA National, Woodland has made all 9 cuts and finished inside the Top 10 4 times.

Similar to Young, Woodland’s distance and ball-striking is what I’m going off of. He has never lost strokes ball-striking here, and hasn’t finished below average in driving distance for an event in over 2 years. Woodland has had a tough run of putting over the past few seasons. If he wants to succeed this week, that will need to change. In his 4 Top 10s at PGA National, he gained strokes putting in all 4. The other 5 finishes you ask? He lost strokes putting in all 5.

He’s had success putting here in the past, and at 110/1, the odds are simply too good to pass up. If he can find a way to make 1 or 2 extra putts each round, Gary Woodland will undoubtedly compete. I’d hate to watch that happen without holding a long-shot ticket in my hand.

Fantrax is one of the fastest-growing fantasy sites in the fantasy sports industry, and we’re not stopping any time soon. We are the most customizable, easy-to-use, and feature-rich platform in the industry, offering the greatest fantasy experience for your dynasty, keeper, redraft, and best ball leagues. Fantasy sports doesn’t sleep, and neither does Fantrax, with seasons running 365 days a year. Take your fantasy leagues to the next level now at!
Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.