HE gave us a top-five finish but what was Adam Scott playing at in the final round last week. Ten under after the first 18 holes he could only manage a 76 in the last. I think even I could have held on to the lead he had (well maybe not).
The PGA Tour moves over to Texas this week with the Valero Open on the Oaks Course in San Antonio. With narrow fairways, some bunkers as deep as 12ft and native vegetation which can give a few unplayable lies, we’ll be looking for a straight hitter.
So firstly we’ll go for Zach Johnson, the two-time winner here from three starts, who is third in driving accuracy with 73 per cent. He’s 10th in GIR and 25th in scrambling.
Three top-10 finishes with one win from nine starts is good going. I picked him last week but it just wasn’t there. He was level par and finished out of the top 25 for the fifth time this year. Hopefully the sparkle is back and he can do us a favour this week.
Next has to be Matt Kuchar who is ticking along nicely with four top-10sfrom seven tournaments. His driving accuracy is 63 per cent and GIR 67 per cent which isn’t superb but it’s not bad. I like the Kooch, he’s like a young Fred Couples the way he strolls around the course. Sometimes he’s too easy going and you just want to kick him up the backside but he looks a good each way this week.
Ryan Palmer is one I quite like the look of. He’s had two seconds in seven starts with one being in the Honda Classic three weeks ago.
The par-five average on this course in 2013 was 4.88, fourth highest on the tour and with its greens ranked the most hardest to hit when trying to reach in two strokes, long-hitter Palmer’s GIR stat of 70 per cent could come into play.
I can’t make my mind up about FedEx No.1 Jimmy Walker. His driving stats are horrific (48 per cent) yet he’s still managed to win three events so far this season. His GIR is 69 per cent so he seems to be able to reach the greens no matter where he ends up off the tee. He is the form man this season so we’ll take a chance.
With outsiders winning over the past few weeks I’ve decided to throw in a Bunker’s Bet. David Toms is my first. He’s No.1 in driving accuracy and GIR yet has only one top-10 finish from seven.
The 47-year-old is not the player he once was and hasn’t played that much on the Tour in the past two seasons but I’m going to give him a shot.
15pt staking plan
Zach Johnson (2.5pts ew) 18-1 Betfred
Matt Kuchar (2pts ew) 18-1 Betfred
Ryan Palmer (1pt ew) 25-1 Betfred
Jimmy Walker (1pt ew) 22-1 Coral
David Toms (1pt ew) 150-1 Betfred