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Golfbet recap: Austin Eckroat claims maiden TOUR win at Cognizant Classic

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Golfbet recap: Austin Eckroat claims maiden TOUR win at Cognizant Classic

    Written by Will Gray @GolfBet

    It took an extra day, but Austin Eckroat is officially a winner on the PGA TOUR.

    A co-leader through 54 holes and the sole leader by a shot when play was halted overnight, Eckroat returned to PGA National Monday morning to put the finishing touches on a three-shot win at the Cognizant Classic in The Palm Beaches. A +10000 longshot entering the week, Eckroat’s victory over Erik van Rooyen and Min Woo Lee continues a trend this year of tournament winners coming from the back of the pack.

    Eckroat had 11 holes still to play but never lost the lead Monday morning, although he was not without a challenge. Lee climbed the board with an eagle and a birdie in a three-hole stretch to get within a shot, and van Rooyen’s 14-under total from overnight still held as the clubhouse lead for much of the morning. But Eckroat increased his lead to two shots with a birdie on No. 12, then closed the door on the field by playing The Bear Trap in 1-under, highlighted by a birdie on No. 16.

    Austin Eckroat odds to win Cognizant Classic in The Palm Beaches (via BetMGM Sportsbook):

    • Pre-tournament: +10000
    • Entering Round 2 (trailed by 1): +2800
    • Entering Round 3 (trailed by 1): +1000
    • Entering Round 4 (co-leader): +350
    • Entering Monday (led by 1 through 7 holes): -175

    Eckroat emerged from a three-way share of the lead through 54 holes, with fellow co-leaders Shane Lowry and David Skinns starting slowly en route to T4 finishes. The win gets Eckroat into this week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard, and he’ll now make his debut appearances in the Masters and PGA Championship over the next two months.

    Pre-tournament outright picks from Golfbet experts:

    • Ben Everill: Stephan Jaeger (+4000) MC
    • Will Gray: Shane Lowry (+3300) T4
    • Chris Breece: Byeong-Hun An (+2800) T21
    • Matt DelVecchio: Corey Conners (+3500) T41
    • Rob Bolton: Eric Cole (+2500) MC
    • Mike Glasscott: Russell Henley (+2500) T41

    Van Rooyen netted a T2 thanks to a closing 63 that he concluded before darkness Sunday night. Lee joined him at 14-under, three behind Eckroat’s winning total, with rounds of 66-67 over the weekend. The result was enough to get the Australian into the field at Bay Hill via the Aon Swing 5.

    The scene on TOUR now shifts north to Orlando, where 69 players will take on Bay Hill in search of donning the red cardigan made famous by tournament and course host Arnold Palmer. Rory McIlroy will be among the betting favorites on a course where he won in 2018, entering off a T21 finish at PGA National, while world No. 1 (and 2022 Arnold Palmer Invitational winner) Scottie Scheffler returns to competition for the first time since The Genesis Invitational last month.

    Rob Bolton Sleeper Picks and Golfbet Insider results:

    • Daniel Berger to win (+4000) MC
    • Denny McCarthy Top 5 (+800) MC
    • Christiaan Bezuidenhout Top 10 (+450) MC
    • Dylan Wu Top 20 (+500) MC
    • Chesson Hadley Top 40 (+130) T35
    • Max Greyserman Top 40 (+225)
    • Cameron Young Top 20 (+110) T4
    • Stephan Jaeger, Keith Mitchell, Sepp Straka all make cut (+188) MC/T9/MC
    • Matt Fitzpatrick to Miss Cut (+180) T21
    • Lee Hodges Top 20 (+375) MC
    • Billy Horschel Top 40 (+120) T8
    • Zach Johnson Top 40 (+300) T21
    • Jake Knapp to Miss Cut (+150) T4
    • Camilo Villegas Top South American (+500) T67
    • Kevin Streelman Top 40 (+300) MC

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