The St Jude receives an upgrade this week to WGC status and one of the better courses on tour TPC Southwind now gains a spectacular field having suffered between major Championships before. There is no doubt hitting fairways here is an advantage as hitting greens is one of the toughest aspects of this course. There are plenty who will miss greens despite playing well from tee to green so scrambling becomes a key stat. Dustin Johnson ran away with this event down the back 9 last year and rates a tempting 10/1 poke despite not appearing to be at his best lately. He is capable of ripping the course to shreds and I have to say I was close to punting him. The putting stroke lately in contention worries me though and that hopeful stroke may not be good enough in a field of this class this week.
Brooks Koepka has managed a 2nd and a 3rd placed finish here and looks well equipped to improve on that this week. The whiff of unpopularity among golf fans towards Koepka has no doubt filtered through betting markets and someone with a shade more likeability/charisma would be going off shorter in these events. Truth be told he hasn't made regular tour events his priority and that has been factored into pricing. A World Golf Championship will be high enough on his list given it is almost 300 days until the next major. He is yet to win one and Southwind looks like a track that he can get off the mark. Hia mjaor record this year read a phenomenal 2-1-2-4. That seems somewhat disappointing also believe it or not. He goes off a slightly bigger price on the exchanges this week than for last weeks Open and I don't think that's right. I'd have him clear favourite here over the rest and quite like his chances to break his WGC duck.
4u - B.Koepka To Win @+1000
Billy Horschel's missed cut last week in Portrush is of little concern to me and I think he has been somewhat underestimated by the layers this week. His year to date is solid but unspectacular with top 10s arriving at the Memorial and the Farmers. He arrives at Southwind though with better claims than most other events having finished in the top 10 here four appearances on the trot from 2013 through to 2017. He is another yet to get off the mark in a WGC but with wins in Playoff events including the Tour Championship (Zoysia same grass used here and East Lake) he has shown he can win some of the biggest events. Indeed another runner up at East Lake last year and two 3rd placed finishes at San Antonio is an example of how Horschel's chances increase on courses he has played well on before. Worth chancing at the price.
1u - B.Horschel To Win @+6100
1u - B.Horschel To Finish Top 5 @+1100
Sergio Garcia has at least one victory per season since 2011 and time is running out to continue that run. Southwind is a place where he must have a chance having finished 4th here back in 2008. His year has been blighted by controversy which has no doubt contributed to a handful of missed cuts but the better results have been posted in events in which he has completed. Of course you say, but generally speaking these results have been very solid. 7th at the Andalucia Masters, 4th at Quail Hollow, beaten quarter finalist in the Matchplay, 9th at the Honda, 6th in Mexico, 3rd in Dubai have all been impressive performances in between the poor showings. He has a solid tee to green game and if the putter behaves I think we could see Sergio compete for his first WGC victory. Of others towards the top of the market Cantlay and Schauffele appealed the most as they should have all the tools to cope with this test. I thought their prices were fair enough also. Simpson was another lively sort but his price is a shade skinny for me.
1u - S.Garcia To Win @+6900
1u - S.Garcia To Finish Top 5 @+1100