The Players Championship Round 1 3-Ball Bets (Bet on Matsuyama to Start Strong)

Mar 10, 2024; Orlando, Florida, USA;  Hideki Matsuyama walks off of the sixth green during the final
Mar 10, 2024; Orlando, Florida, USA; Hideki Matsuyama walks off of the sixth green during the final / Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

If you don't have the patience to wait for all four rounds to complete to find out if you've won your golf bets, then allow me to suggest round-by-round 3-ball bets.

These wagers are on a player to finish with the lowest score amongst the group he's playing in for that specific round. They're one of my favorites types of bets to place and they give us something exciting to cheer for on Thursday.

I'm going to break down my favorite 3-ball bets for Thursday's opening round.

I placed these bets over at BetMGM. If you want to tail them, be sure to click the link below to sign up for an account. If you do, you'll receive $150 in bonus bets when you place your first $5 bet!

The Players Championship Round 1 3-ball Bets

  • Sam Burns +188 vs. Fleetwood/Schauffele
  • Jordan Spieth +220 vs. McIlroy/Hovland
  • Hideki Matsuyama +175 vs. Homa/Fitzpatrick

Sam Burns +188 vs. Fleetwood/Schauffele

More than anything else, this is a fade of Tommy Fleetwood and Xander Schauffele. Fleetwood had one of the worst events of his PGA Tour career last week, missing the cut at the limited-field Arnold Palmer Invitational. He lost an astounding 3.69 strokes with his approach play and now he returns to an event where he hasn't finished better than 22nd in three straight years. Xander Schauffele also didn't have his best stuff last week, losing strokes with his irons.

Sam Burns had a tough final round, but he overall had a solid event in the first three rounds at last week's API. He's also tied for 12th on the Tour in first round scoring average so backing him on Thursday is a smart move to make.

Jordan Spieth +220 vs. McIlroy/Hovland

We all thought Viktor Hiovland got over his chipping woes when he got hot at the end of the 2023 PGA Tour season, but now he's back to losing strokes around the greens and it has cost him in recent starts. Rory McIlroy has also been struggling in recent starts, and he hasn't finished inside the top 20 in four-straight events.

Jordan Spieth may have struggled at the API last week, but he presents plenty of betting value at +220 to record the best score between him, McIlroy, and Hovland in the opening round. Let's hope he can keep the bogeys to a minimum.

Hideki Matsuyama +175 vs. Homa/Fitzpatrick

If you read my betting preview for the event or watched this week's episode of Green on the Greens, you know that I love Hideki Matsuyama this week. He has played fantastic golf in recent starts and is uncharacteristically gaining strokes with his putting.

Meanwhile, Matt Fitzpatrick has struggled mightily in the early goings of 2024 including missing the cut last week. Max Homa is the rightful favorite in this group, but I still think there's value on Matsuyama at +175.

Odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

You can check out all of Iain's bets here!