LIV Golf Tucson Picks & Odds: Cam Smith Favored in the Desert

Cam Smith climbed the Mayakoba leaderboard with a final-round 67 three weeks ago. Can he carry that momentum with him to Tucson? Find out in our full LIV Golf Tucson betting preview below, including outright odds, picks, and more.

Last Updated: Mar 15, 2023 12:11 PM ET Read Time: 4 min
Cameron Smith LIV Golf Tucson
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

LIV Golf is heading to The Gallery Golf Club in Tucson, Arizona for its second event of the year after Charles Howell III won the season-opener in Mayakoba.

Cam Smith was the most impressive of the top dogs in the opener and thus, is slated as a +900 solo favorite in the desert this week. 

We break it all down in our full LIV Golf Tucson betting preview below, including outright odds, free golf betting picks, and more. 

LIV Golf Tucson picks and predictions

Cameron Smith (+1,000 – 0.5 units)

There was some concern with Cameron Smith to begin the year, arguably the most talented golfer on the LIV circuit who failed to crack the Top 20 in either of the final two tournaments of the 2022 campaign. However, those issues were put to rest in this season’s opening event at El Camaleon in Mexico.

Smith finished tied for fifth after catching fire on Sunday, gaining some momentum to carry into Tucson. If you’ve been betting on LIV Golf in any fashion, you’ll know that some combination of Cameron Smith, Dustin Johnson, and Joaquin Niemann has routinely made up the top three betting favorites.

Those three guys are, by a decent margin, the most talented golfers on LIV and accounted for two of the seven winners last season. In fact, Smith is still ranked No. 5 in the Official Golf World Rankings (OWGR), the only LIV golfer inside the Top 25.

The top dog and betting favorite in this tournament, Smith should be in a great spot to carry that momentum from Mayakoba into Tucson. An elite iron player, he finished 28th on Tour in 2021-22 in strokes gained tee-to-green, fifth in strokes gained approach, and 47th in GIR%.

Sergio Garcia (+2,500 – 0.3 units)

After a seemingly average T23 finish at El Camaleon, Sergio Garcia looks to bounce back at this Fought-designed course. The good news for Garcia — and his backers — is that he typically thrives at Fought-designed tracks.

In 2021, Garcia won the Sanderson Farms Championship with a stellar 19-under. As mentioned in the course notes below, Fought also designed The Country Club of Jackson, which hosts the Sanderson Farms Championship.

Garcia is also one of the few guys on LIV who have played in both of the aforementioned Tour events at this course in 2007 and 2008. While that tournament featured match play, he still posted two Top-20 finishes and should be a good guy to back this week.

It makes sense that he finds success on these tracks, given his strong iron play. In his last full season on Tour, Garcia finished 13th in strokes gained tee-to-green, 57th on approach, and 11th in GIR% at a spectacular 70%.

Henrik Stenson (+4,000 – 0.2 units)

No matter which way you slice it, there's no doubt that Henrik Stenson will be the squarest pick on the board this week in Tucson. Not only did he win here on Tour in 2007, but he also followed that up with a third-place finish in 2008 and is one of the select few in this field who's previously played here.

With that said, I'm taking the bait on him at 40/1, a price I feel is still too long. While Stenson’s prime is long behind him, he has shown glimpses of his storied past in the LIV circuit.

He won at Bedminster in his first LIV appearance last season. Although the rest of his results were below-average, he performed well enough at Mayakoba to begin this season (T23) to show that he can still score.

In his last full season on Tour, Stenson’s iron game remained strong, finishing 22nd from tee-to-green, first on approach, and possesses a GIR% north of 66%. There is no denying that Stenson’s best days are behind him, but he showed last season he can still win, and perhaps lightning will strike once again on a familiar track.

Odds to win LIV Golf Tucson

Golfer Odds to win LIV Golf Tucson
Cameron Smith +900
Dustin Johnson +1,100
Joaquin Niemann +1,100
Paul Casey +1,200
Abraham Ancer +1,400
Talor Gooch +1,600
Patrick Reed +2,000
Charles Howell III +2,000
Mito Pereira +2,000
Matthew Wolff +2,200
Carlos Ortiz +2,200
Sergio Garcia +2,200
Branden Grace +2,500
Brendan Steele +2,800
Peter Uihlein +2,800
Thomas Pieters +2,800
Sebastian Munoz +3,000
Brooks Koepka +3,500
Jason Kokrak +3,500

Odds courtesy of bet365 as of March 14, 2023. 

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LIV Golf Tucson field and favorites

A final-round 67 pushed Cam Smith into the Top 5 in Mayakoba and with rather quiet finishes of T11 and T35 finishes from Joaquin Niemann and Dustin Johnson, respectively, it's the Aussie sitting atop the odds board this week as a +900 solo favorite. 

DJ and Niemann sit at +1,100, with Paul Casey (+1,200), Abraham Ancer (+1,400), and Talor Gooch (+1,600) the other three golfers available at better than 20/1 odds. Casey fired off an opening-round 65 and held a share of the lead in Mayakoba before spending the weekend in neutral (71-70, finished solo-fourth). 

Notably, Charles Howell III is seeing a big boost this week. He won the season opener with closing odds of 40/1 but is seeing a number half that size in Tucson at +2,000.

The Gallery Golf Club notes

The South Course at The Gallery Golf Club in Tuscon, Arizona hosts LIV Golf in its return to the United States this weekend. The South Course is a Par-71, 7,469-yard track that played host to the PGA Tour’s WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship in 2007 and 2008.

Henrik Stenson, a current member of LIV, won in 2007 while the great Tiger Woods secured his lone career win in Arizona here in 2008. In typical John Fought-designed fashion, mounded greens and wide fairways will benefit the strongest iron players who can put themselves in a good position to get off the greens quickly.

Fought also re-designed The Country Club of Jackson in 2008, which has hosted the PGA Tour’s Sanderson Farms Championship annually since 2014. While the climates are very different between Tucson, Arizona and Jackson, Mississippi, both courses still reward sharp ball-strikers who can hit greens.

The two most important metrics to look at for this course include strokes gained tee-to-green and greens in regulation percentage (GIR%). This tournament is LIV Golf’s first appearance in Arizona.

LIV Golf recent winners and odds history

Let's take a look at some recent LIV Golf winners and their closing odds to win:

Event Golfer Closing odds
Mayakoba (Feb. 2023) Charles Howell III +4,000
Jeddah (Oct. 2022) Brooks Koepka +2,500
Bangkok (Oct. 2022) Eugenio Chacarra +15,000
Chicago (Sept. 2022) Cameron Smith +600
Boston (Sept. 2022) Dustin Johnson +600
Bedminster (July 2022) Henrik Stenson +6,000
Portland (July 2022) Branden Grace +3,500
London (June 2022) Charl Schwartzel +3,000

Odds courtesy of GolfOdds.

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