JB HOLMES, Jordan Spieth and now Kiradech Aphibarnrat. That’s three winners in a row at 28-1, 11-1 and 40-1.
After a string of second places I’m on a remarkable run although Aphibarnrat did his best to blow it in China before winning in a play-off. Credit to Mr Fixit who predicted Jim Furyk to land a victory at Hilton Head. He was 22-1 so anyone on the double – and by the comments some were – was paid out at 943-1.
I know Mr F had a £1 ew on the double and that will go some way to paying for his Masters trip. I was interested to see he picked Furyk, who hadn’t won for more than four years, after watching him graft on the Augusta range after missing the cut – if he sent me to some events I might land even more winners.
Furyk also needed a play-off to beat Kevin Kisner but his win wasn’t as dramatic as Aphibarnrat’s as he finished double bogey, bogey on Saturday then eagled the 17th on Sunday to catch local man Hao-Tong Li.
So that’s win No.3 in a row in the bag – now for No.4!
The Zurich Classic of New Orleans is the last chance for players to book their place in The Players Championship by moving into the top 50 of the world rankings or top 10in the FedEx Cup points. Three players who were challenging in the Masters – Dustin Johnston, Justin Rose and Jason Day – are all here.
With wide fairways and large greens accuracy off the tee isn’t going to be a necessity as it was last week. So being able to get close with your second shot and good putting should come into play.
With that in mind Scotland’s Russell Knox looks a good pick. He is eighth in approaches to the green: proximity to the hole, 21st in GIR and 58th strokes gained: putting. His putting could be a bit better but I’m going to stick with him.
I’ve got a feeling Dustin Johnston is going to eat up this TPC Louisiana course. With rough not that punishing and wide fairways there could be a lot of low scores and this course will suit big DJ.
The par fives, putting and birdie average might come into play and DJ is ninth in putt percentage (43.75%), fourth in birdie or better on par fives and fourth in birdie or better. Looks a solid bet.
Meanwhile, the European Tour is in Shanghai for the Volva China Open. My first pick is young Argentine Emiliano Grillo who won his national tournament at the end of last year and finished second in the Puerto Rico Open on the PGA Tour earlier this year.
His driving accuracy is just short of 70%, with GIR at 75% and putting average of just over 30. At the prices being offered on this tournament he’s a great eachway bet.
I’m betting on Peter Uihlein to follow in ex-roommate Brooks Koepka’s footsteps this year. He had a bad year last year with injury and illness but hopefully he’s back to form after finishing T4 last week in Shenzhen. His driving accuracy is only 42% but that shouldn’t be too much of a problem on this course and GIR is 74.5%. Another one whose putting average is under 30.
I looked hard at Tommy Fleetwood last week but decided to leave him out which was a bit annoying as he finished third. He finished second in this tournament last year but has not had the best starts to this season. He has stats in GIR of 77% and driving accuracy of 62.5% but his putting can be a bit iffy. He’s the tournament favourite and I’m still taking for a place.
Knox 0.5pt ew (66-1, BetVictor, Ladbrokes)
D Johnson 4pts (8-1, BetVictor, William Hill)
Grillo 1pt ew (25-1, Coral)
Uihlein 0.5pt ew (40-1, Paddy Power)
Fleetwood 1pt ew (22-1, 888sport)