McIlroy, Johnson vs. Fowler, Wolff odds: 2020 TaylorMade Driving Relief picks from top golf expert

Televised golf will be back for the first time in more than two months when the 2020 TaylorMade Driving Relief Challenge tees off Sunday at Seminole Golf Club in Juno Beach, Fla. World No. 1 Rory McIlroy and No. 5 Dustin Johnson will team up against fan favorite Rickie Fowler and 2019 NCAA champion Matthew Wolff in the team skins competition to benefit coronavirus relief efforts. But which team should you back with your golf picks?

William Hill lists McIlroy and Johnson as -220 favorites (risk $220 to win $100), with Fowler and Wolff at +190 (risk $100 to win $190) in the latest 2020 TaylorMade Driving Relief odds. Before making any 2020 TaylorMade Driving Relief picks, you need to check out the McIlroy/Johnson vs. Fowler/Woff predictions from SportsLine’s resident golf insider, Sal Johnson

A media legend and consummate golf insider, Johnson is coming off a red-hot year on his golf picks that has continued into this season. He featured Woods in his best bets for the 2019 Masters and backed Brooks Koepka in his picks for the PGA Championship, and both players pulled off victories. In the season-ending Tour Championship, he nailed it, pegging Koepka, McIlroy and Xander Schauffele as main contenders to come out on top, and McIlroy won the event for the second time, Schauffele was second and Koepka tied for third. 

Johnson also has a strong feel for what it takes to win on courses in Florida. At the Honda Classic in March at Palm Beach Gardens, he tabbed Sungjae Im as one of his players to watch, and the 21-year-old notched his first PGA Tour win. 

Johnson noted that the South Korean had played poorly on the West Coast last year before surging after the Tour hit Florida, and he expected him to repeat the pattern. “He has been uninspiring this year out West, so look for good things in the weeks to come,” Johnson wrote. Im shot a final-round 66 to finish six-under par at PGA National.  

Now, Johnson, the first producer of “Inside the PGA Tour,” a longtime ABC Sports golf producer who has worked with Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Greg Norman, and the founder of the world’s top golf statistics database, has released his highly confident 2020 TaylorMade Driving Relief picks. You can head here to see them

2020 TaylorMade Driving Relief expert analysis

The golf media veteran has a strong feel for what makes McIlroy and Johnson tick, and he doesn’t expect them to take long to round into form. McIlroy has finished no worse than fifth in his past six events and won the WGC-HSBC Champions in November. He is playing the best golf on Tour by almost any measure. The Northern Irishman leads the Tour in Scoring Average (69.9) and is hitting more than 71 percent of greens in regulation. 

Johnson has been working his way back after having arthroscopic knee surgery in September and has two top-10 finishes in four events this season. He has shot in the 60s six times in his 16 rounds, but his stats are skewed because he hasn’t played much. In fact, he has not played a competitive round since the WGC event in late February. He was fourth on Tour in strokes gained off the tee and driving distance (312) last season and has been one of the Tour’s bombers for years.

Johnson has been keeping a close eye on one-time phenom Rickie Fowler, who is having a roller-coaster season but says the time off has him refreshed. The 31-year-old has finished in the top 10 in two of his six events but missed the cut in two others. He has shot in the 60s in five of his eight rounds over his last three outings but scored 74 or worse in the first round each time. He has 79 birdies in 20 rounds with a scoring average of 70.5. 

The golf expert also knows Wolff has an unorthodox swing but has also seen that it gets results. The 21-year-old needed just three pro events to get his first PGA Tour victory, prevailing in the 3M Open less than two months after winning the individual title for Oklahoma State. Wolff is just the third player to win the NCAA individual title and a PGA Tour event in the same year, joining Ben Crenshaw and Tiger Woods. He is 21st on Tour in driving distance this season at 310.1 and 11th in strokes gained off the tee.     

How to make 2020 TaylorMade Driving Relief predictions

Sal Johnson knows bookmakers are high on McIlroy and Johnson. But he also knows skins games can involve luck as well as skill. He has also identified a critical X-factor that makes one of the teams a must-back. You can find out what it is, and get his detailed breakdown and picks, right here

Who wins the TaylorMade Driving Relief skins competition 2020? And what critical X-factor will determine the winner? Visit SportsLine to see Sal Johnson’s full pick and analysis for the 2020 TaylorMade Driving Relief event, from the insider who nailed the Tour Championship and knows what it takes to win in Florida, and find out. 

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