A big part of the reason in backing Ryan Moore this week is his form around this time of year.
The North Course at the Silverado Country Club in Calafornia is our host for the second year on the trot for the Frys.com Open. The course is a classic tree lined test which got rave reviews from the players last year. It tests driving as fairways are tight, although the rough is none too punishing. Greens are not easy to hit and the surfaces themselves are like glass which will test most of them out. When searching for a winner we're looking for the guys who play these classic tests reasonably well, but also a silky putter who can roll it in with the best.
We have two strong favs at the head of the market. McIlroy goes down to post at a top price of 5/1. He certainly hasn't been firing on all cylinders and it surprises me he turns up here for the start of the new season. I'd look to the Far East before getting involved with Rory and the price of 5/1 around a track which on the face of it doesn't suit his game doesn't interest an awful deal. Justin Rose around 10/1 appeals slightly more as he tends to win one of these events almost every year. He too though has failed to convince me he is in some serious form and I'd need a few extra points before getting involved. We've got three selections to go war with in this event.
rates our top selection this week even though it is not without risk. He just fell short of qualifying for the Tour Championship season finale having finished in the top 30 in the BMW. Previous to that he had two missed cuts having posted a top ten finish at the Wyndham. A 5th placed finish earlier in the season at the Valspar might just suggest he likes this kind of test more than what we think. A big part of the reason in backing him this week is his form around this time of year. He won the Wyndham late August 2009, won the Shriners in October 2012 before winning the CIMB two years on the trot in October 2013 and November 2014. He clearly likes this time of year and this is where he earns his crust. He is on the 2nd or 3rd tier in terms of the quality of his golf compared to the best but with many who sit this time of year out this represents a decent opportunity for the plodding soul. Moore can putt well on fast greens also so the 66/1 available is more than tasty enough for me to gnaw at.
Ryan Moore - 1pt e/w @ 66/1Lost 2pt
is another who has shown form around this time of year. He notched his only win in the 2011 Shriners event then finished 2nd in the CIMB in 2014. He too may see this time of year as an opportunity to climb the world rankings. He impressively only missed three cuts last term and went all the way to the Tour Championship. This is the very first time this lad will have carried any of my money as up until now I could not suffer watching his on course actions. They almost always resulted in him beating himself. Last year was a very consistent one with twelve top20 finishes and his game is certainly maturing. I would put my neck on the line and say he'll win in the 2015/2016 season and these wraparound events should interest him a lot. He plays a straight ball and has a decent putting stroke and although the price has crumbled somewhat we'll still invest at the 40/1 on offer.
Kevin Na - 1pt e/w @ 40/1Placed 10pt
Another just to fall short of making it to East Lake last season was Ben Martin
and I am surprised to see him chalked up at a top price of 200/1. 5 missed cuts last season was a decent return for Ben although he will have been disappointed not to build further upon his win in last years Shriners Open. With five other top 5 finishes in his two full seasons on the tour this lad certainly has a game. A 4th placed finish at Sawgrass and a 5th placed finish at the Arnold Palmer in 2015 demonstrate just what this lad could do with a bit more experience under his spikes. He has a solid enough long game and I'm prepared to have a small investment at the 200/1 on offer.
Ben Martin - 0.5pt e/w @ 200/1Lost 1pt