THE Old White TPC Course in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, is the venue for the sixth Greenbriers Classic.
Designed by Scot Charles Blair Macdonald some of the holes have a distinct Scottish feel to them, modelled on ones at St Andrews, Prestwick and North Berwick.
The short par-70 course had extensive changes to it in 2012 after Stuart Appleby won after shooting a 59 on the final day and finishing 22 under par. The course is at altitude and makes clubbing quite hard but good putting is going to be the important factor here.
Paul Casey had a super Travelers Championship last week, just losing out to Mr Fixit’s tip Bubba Watson in the play-off after third and fourth rounds of 64 and 65.
Those of you who follow me know I am a fan of Casey and I’m seriously looking at him for The Open at St Andrews but in the meantime he is worth a bet this week. In the last three tournaments his GIR stats have been over 72 with a whopping 83% last week and his putting has improved with strokes gained:putting last week at .569.
It’s great to have a fit and confident Casey back and I’m looking forward to his first win on the US Tour.
After four top 10s from last seven, including a T12 at the US Open, Kevin Kisner looks in good form.
Since missing the cut in the Shell Houston Open Kisner has played some really good golf with 19 sub-70 rounds in 28 and his three worst rounds of 73.
He’s also 69 under par in those seven tournaments. In the US Open he was over 77% GIR and driving accuracy of 83.3%. His putting average is under 29 and with two seconds this year he could go the distance here in West Virginia.
Over at Le Golf National in Paris, the venue of the next Ryder Cup on European soil, there is quite a strong field for the French Open.
After his well-merited win in the BMW a few weeks ago Beyeong Hun An has had a T21 in the Irish Open after a final-round 76 and then missed the cut in the US Open.
Overall though this year has been quite good on the European Tour for An with a win and six top-15 finishes. He’s 12th in GIR and 32nd in putts per GIR, with driving accuracy at 59% letting him down. I wouldn’t be surprised if he does the business this week.
I have to go with tournament favourite Francesco Molinari although he let me down badly at the BMW after leading. With three top-six finishes from five he obviously likes the European Tour courses although his stats on PGA Tour are better (first in driving accuracy and second in GIR).
If he and An are teeing off last on Sunday, as they did in the BMW, I’ll be a happy man.
Paul Casey 2pts ew (25-1, BetVictor, Paddy Power)
Kevin Kisner 1pt ew (35-1, 888sport)
Byeong Hun An 2pts ew (33-1, BetVictor, William Hill)
Francesco Molinari 2pts ew (16-1, Coral)