Tim Fincham, PGA Tour Commissioner, has not made it easy for us golf tipsters and punters in 2010. The Frys.com Open’s move to CordeValle Golf Club in California marks the 6th new course on the Tour after TPC San Antonio, Aronimink, St Georges, The Old White Course and last week’s McGladrey Classic which was hosted at the Seaside Course on Sea Island Georgia. Hence the desert golf conditions of Greyhawk in Arizona have been replaced by the rolling splendour of San Martin, which is a 4 hour drive from San Francisco. That’s local in the US!
So what is worthy of note this week? Well the Frys.com Open marks the 3rd event of the 5 part Fall Series, which means the trapdoor of not finishing in the Top 125 is becoming near reality. CordeValle itself is a Robert Trent Jones Jnr design. Amongst its key attributes of note is 150 feet of undulation across the course, so this isn’t pan flat. Unlike many California courses which feature Poa Annoa greens, CordeValle features bentgrass greens and is a relatively lengthy test at +7,300 yards at a Par of 71 strokes. Water hardly features across the course and it would appear that a mix of total-driving and ball striking to produce birdie opportunities will be the order of the day. Expect the winner being lower than -14 as Heath Slocum was last week.
As ever in these events it’s likely that the favourite won’t triumph. Take Matt Kuchar who went off as short as 10/1 last week and finished 25th and Sean O’Hair who went off at 16/1 and wasn’t around for the Sunday at the previous Viking Classic. Can you see a pattern establishing itself?
As ever with my Fall Series selections like Slocum last week, who came in for us at a healthy 50/1, I’m looking for motivated players whose games are in shape and have both the need and desire to win.
Big J.B. is a West Coast specialist on the quiet. Holmes won both his PGA Tour victories across the state border in Arizona on the Par 71 Stadium Course in Scottsdale. His record in California is first class as well with his last 3 visits to the Riviera Par 71 in LA gleaning 7th, 6th and 3rd back in February. Being 31st in the Money List with over $2,500,000 banked is not the motivation for Kentuckian Holmes this week so ask yourself this…why is he even at the event? J.B. obviously likes the look of the course, loves playing ‘West Side’ and would love to grab another tournament winning 2 year exemption as his FBR 2008 Champion’s exemption is coming to a close. Holmes sees this as a superb opportunity so I love this price. Our No 1 pick in our profitable Predictor Model you’ll be better off following it! RESULT: T33
Sabba is in great nick right now as 5th in front if a stellar field at the recent Barclays tournament highlights. For a player of Sabbatini’s calibre a season with no tournament victory is a poor return and the Texas domiciled South African still craves a place at the Top Table of world golf which he dined at in 2007 where he peaked at World Number 11. Educated at Arizona State Rory is at home when he plays in the West and his Hawaii/California record is first class the highlight of which was his Nissan Open 2006 triumph at the Par 71 Riviera in LA. Our No 6 pick in our profitable Predictor Model you’ll be better off following it! RESULT: M/C
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As regular followers will recognise I always like the look of players who split bookmaker opinion. Step forward Kevin Chappell who is as short or long as 100/1 or 300/1. Whatever way you look at it he’s splitting opinions and it’s easy to see why. This event has a habit of throwing up surprises. Both Rickie Fowler and Jamie Lovemark introduced themselves to us last year when they were in a play off to win this tournament. I love the look of Chappell with Extrabet this week to finish in the Top 10. The Fresno resident who lives within 100 miles of CordeValle has won in California this season on the Nationwide Tour and who has 7 Top 10 finishes. He could well be the next ‘name’ to hit the PGA Tour when he arrives in 2011. Remember you read it here first! RESULT: T24
With Rollins late withdrawal I’ll swap into Texan Chad Campbell who likes to play on both bent grass green tracks and on ‘west coast’ courses. Chad’s Arizona college education dictates that he is comfortable playing in-land California, Nevada and Arizona courses and that links nicely to 2006 Bob Hope Classic triumph in Palm Springs. Campbell’s current form is okay with 70-68-67-69 generating 33rd at the McGladrey last week and if he starts well Chad will fancy challenging for his first tournament victory since the 2007 Viking Classic and more importantly the 2 year exemption that will come with it. Finished 3rd in 2008 at Disney and 2nd in Las Vegas last year so certainly not averse to contending at this time of the season. RESULT: T13
Some of the stingier bookmakers have gone as short as 40/1 on the West Coast specialist Jeff Quinney. I’d have struggled to have got on a perennial ‘non converter’ at that price, but at this price Quinney offers superb each way value. Put simply Quinney who sits at 140 in the Money List needs to bank another cheque. The 2000 US Amateur Champion is on a decent roll and bagged 4th in Canada and 9th last week on Sea Island with 67-68-68-68. Another Top 5 finish is required to guarantee playing privileges in 2010 and the man who has finished 2nd at Riviera and Reno in the past 2 seasons can deliver. Snap him up with Totesport. RESULT: M/C
Odds and bookmaker offers correct at 20:45BST 12.10.10 but naturally subject to fluctuation.
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