NEW world No.1 Dustin Johnson claimed his first win of the year at the weekend and gave me my first winner. He was majestic over the four days, with a 49-hole bogey-free run. Nobody could get anywhere near him as he finished five ahead of his nearest challenger.

The PGA National Championship course in Palm Beach, Florida, is the first tournament of this year’s Florida Swing. The National was redesigned by Jack Nicklaus which resulted in the famous “Bear Trap” (holes 15, 16 and 17). Last year Adam Scott had a quadruple seven at the 15th in the third round before going on to hold off Sergio Garcia to win the title.

There are lots of bunkers and water in play on 13 of the holes but GIR and putting average will be important on the 7158 yard course.

In his first outing on the PGA Tour this year Thomas Pieters set the heather alight at the Genesis Open last week. In his fourth round he hit a superb bogey-free eight-under 63 to finish second on his own. The Belgian is beginning to show the form he was in at the Ryder Cup last year and I can see him contend in quite a few tourneys this year. His GIR is 68.75 per cent and a putting average of 1.657 and he will definitely be confident going into the Honda Classic.

With three wins and a further two top-10 finishes Justin Thomas has had a brilliant season. He went off the boil a bit after winning twice in Hawaii, missing the cut at the Phoenix Open and a T39 last week, but that is maybe understandable. Last week included four solid rounds, finishing with a 68 and although he didn’t give me a return on my selection there was nothing there to stop me picking him again. Last year at the National he was the only golfer to hit four sub-70 rounds, finishing T3. His GIR stat is 74.15% and putting average of 1.686.

Daniel Berger lost in a play-off here after a brilliant 64 in the final round. Not quite back to the form he showed when he won the Fed-Ex St Jude Classic last year but a T7 at the Phoenix Open at the beginning of this month looked promising. With a GIR is 71.21% and putting average of 1.759 and the fact he has already played well here he is well worth a shout.

Recommended Bets

1.5pts ew Thomas Pieters (Betfred, 40-1)

1.5pts ew Justin Thomas (Betfair, 18-1)

1.5pts ew Daniel Berger (bet365, 35-1)

Ace Venturer

  1. lee cunliffe 5 years ago

    Good week for me last week with my two picks coming 1st and tied 4th.
    This week am looking at 2 players again
    Russell knox 28/1 e/w
    Seems to be improving is now ranked in top 20 officially and hasee good record here with 2 finishes in top 5 at this course

    Adam Scott 12/1
    Decent price for guy who is in good form this year played well last week and won this last year. Will be my tenner on nose this week

  2. townie 5 years ago

    Kelly Kraft @ 150/1 Honda classic, came 2nd at the at & t pebble beach & a different pick
    from the rest

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