The players return to their respective tours on the European and PGA stage this week after an exciting week of golf at Torrey Pines where Jon Rahm won the US Open to win the first major of his career, the first of many I’m sure.
It was his hot putter on the closing 17th and 18th holes that secured the victory with 30 foot plus birdies on both holes to seal the deal to win by one stroke to the nearest challenger, Louis Oosthuizen, although you could have thrown a blanket over almost a dozen of them on the final back nine.
Congratulations to Jon Rahm and anyone who backed him. He said in interview it was karma after having to withdraw from the Memorial with a 6-stroke advantage going into the final round just the other week but that he remained even more determined, positive and focused after his disappointment at Muirfield Village.
Torrey Pines holds a special place in the Spaniard's heart and even more so now, it’s where he won his breakthrough maiden PGA title in 2017 and now his maiden major breakthrough.
Although I never selected Rahm to win the US Open, I did select three out of four winning selections after Viktor Hovland was forced to retire with an eye injury. Colin Morikawa who I advised at 16/1 Each Way finished 4th to land the place money while Patrick Reed beat Shane Lowry in the 72 hole matchbet and my NAP of the tournament Patrick Cantlay to finish in the Top 20 also prevailed to make it yet another profitable weekend.
Well done to anyone who followed my selections and to everyone who singled out any winners of their own.
Travelers Championship Preview
So on to this weeks action as the PGA tour resumes with Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands, Cromwell, Connecticut.
This stunning par 70 course will be playing almost 1,000 yards shorter than Torrey Pines and we should see a birdie fest with a winning scorecard in the -20s.
The 156 field will competing for the $7.4 M purse with the winner receiving $1.3 M and the title .
The weather is forecast to be sunny and warm throughout with Saturday expected to be cloudy and breezes expected to peak at around 13 mph .
This event will be screened on Sky Sports Golf with live coverage starting at 11.45 am GMT.
For my main selection this week I’m liking the look of Paul Casey 18/1 EW Bet365.
The 43 yrs old Englishman was on fire last weekend at Torrey Pines, carding a 67 on Saturday and 70 on Sunday to finish a very respectable 7th.
Casey will welcome a return to this venue where he has four Top 5 finishes in six starts.
Casey is one of the best ball strikers and his statistical profile this year is excellent; 5th strokes gained approach play, 7th strokes gained tee to green, 14th ball striking and 20th in Proximity.
In his last three starts he has finished no worse than 7th, this includes two majors, 7th at last week's US Open, 6th at the European Porsche Open and T4th at the PGA Championship.
In his previous ten events to these tournaments, Casey has seven Top 20 finishes with five of those inside the Top 10 including a victory at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic.
Currently ranked inside the Worlds Top 20, it’s fair to say Casey comes to a track he adores with form. I can only see him at the top of the leaderboard on the back nine on Sunday on his way to yet another well deserved PGA title.
For my next suggestion I’m going to advise Abraham Ancer 28/1 EW Bet365.
The 30 yrs old Mexican just has to win his maiden PGA title soon and it could be this week at TPC River Highlands where he has finished inside the Top 11 in his last two starts at this venue.
Ancer is ranked 2nd in bogey avoidance, 4th in par four scoring and 19th in ball striking, it’s these figures that see him ranked 23rd in the world at the moment.
He has missed the cut in his previous two tournaments but I’m willing to let that go especially with Torrey Pines being one of those events. I’ll focus more on his runner-up efforts at the RBC Heritage and the American Express as both those tracks have a similar feel to this course.
Ancer finished inside the Top 20 at his four previous tournaments to those missed cuts, including yet another second prize at the Wells Fargo Championship.
He has certainly been knocking on the door to win that elusive maiden PGA title and I’m thinking it’s not going to be much longer, possibly this weekend at the Travelers Championship.
For my next pick I’m going to single out the defending champion, Dustin Johnson 14/1 EW Betfair.
The 37yrs old American carded a winning score of -19 here last year and will continue from where he left off last year, birdie after birdie, possibly emulating last year's scorecard with an even better score this year.
I just feel he is the one they all have to beat at this tournament. Currently ranked as the World number 2 , he will be looking for that World No.1 crown after Jon Rahm dethroned him with the US Open victory last week.
DJ does come here with some form to his name, he had a Top 20 finish at Torrey Pines finishing 19th and a top 10 finish at the Palmetto Championship. The big, talented, humble American has some good stats and figures to boast as well; 7th in shots gained approach play, 7th shots gained tee to green and 6th in putts per greens in regulation.
Last year at this tournament he carded a bogey-free third round 61, 9 under par on his way to victory so DJ clearly enjoys playing here at TPC River Highlands.
Johnson will be more motivated than ever to get that World Number One crown back and can get on track with the successful defence of his title at the Travelers Championship with another double digit winning scorecard.
Charlie Hoffman v Matt Wolff
For my final selection it’s the 72 hole matchbet and and I’m going for Charlie Hoffman to get the better of Matt Wolff 10/11 Nap Betfair.