The Northern Trust Picks & Betting Preview
Liberty National is back on our screens this week having hosted the 2017 President's Cup and before that two renewals of the Barclays in 2009 and 2013. Although 2009 was loudly ridiculed by the golfers both stagings have told us that those who gain ground from tee to green largely prevail here. It isn't so straightforward as backing the bombers though. Irons off tees are often rewarded and a general conservative approach off the tee can reap rewards, especially as we've seen some shorter hitters grace the leaderboards here. Greens aren't the easiest to hit either with Scott winning in 2013 hitting 69% and Slocum hitting 63% on way to his victory in 2009. Thus scrambling should play an important role throughout the week also. Winning scores of 11 and 9 under show us that it isn't easily overpowered this place and you'll need most aspects of your game in good working order to be in contention here on Sunday.
It remains to be seen how McIlroy reacts to losing to Koepka a few weeks ago. The course should suit the Irishman but the days of prolific winning like Koepka or Dustin (not recently) look to be a far way off. A season with 2-3 wins is an enormous success and that looks like the path McIlroy is on now and whether we'll see the superlative stuff from years ago is very questionable now. Dustin continues to have putting woes and looks unlikely to solve that quickly.
TONY FINAU (+5000) once again displayed a penchant for the big events when finishing 3rd at Portrush. That is now three top 5 finishes and a further three top 10 finishes in Majors. The lack of wins is a major cloud hanging over his career though and a win in a Playoff event would put pay to all that doubt. It has been an average in the lower tier events having finished 5th at Augusta earlier in the season. He showed his ability at Portrush to manufacture his way around a course that requires some strategy and with irons off a handful of tees here being the order of the day he may score well. He consistent in all departments I look to this week and I think a win can only be around the corner for someone with his talent. It's a tough field but I'm prepared to bet at +5000.
1pt T.Finau to win @ +5000
1pt T.Finau to finish top 10 @ +450