Stan James are the only bookmaker currently offering 6 places Each Way at the Wyndham Championship - click here for details, current odds and a £10 free bet!
So we struck gold again last week with Rory McIlroy winning the US PGA Championship at 20/1. I said in my commentary that 20/1 would look a great price come Sunday afternoon - and so it proved. That's 2 recent Major wins for me that have been with Rory so he's obviously my lucky charm! Many of our Facebook Golf Betting System Group members (click on the header link to Join Up) were on board last week and I hope you were too. My latest 2012 PGA Tour Profit stats are here.
This week we go from the pressure cooker atmosphere of Kiawah to the more subdued surroundings of Sedgefield Country Club in North Carolina for the Wyndham Championship. This tournament signifies the cut-off point for the season end FedEx Cup Playoffs, where the top 125 point scoring players will move forward to The Barclays at the mammoth Bethpage Black in New York State next week. From there 125 players will be whittled down to 90 for TPC Boston, 70 for Crooked Stick and then 30 for the Tour Championship at East Lake the week before the Ryder Cup.
The field itself contains a mix of big names all with different agendas. US Ryder Cup team automatic qualification members Jason Dufner and defending Sedgefield champion Webb Simpson will be striving to keep their good form intact on a Par 70 course that suits. Sergio Garcia and World Top 50 qualifying Nicolas Colsaerts will be focussed on trying to grab an automatic Europe Team spot away from Ian Poulter. Brandt Snedeker, Bill Haas, David Toms and Nick Watney will be trying to 'make waves' and grab an unlikely Captain's Pick from DL III, with Charl Schwartzel simply striving to find form. Those in attendance and outside the Top 125 include Brandan Steele (126th), Y.E. Yang (129th), Gary Woodland (130th), John Daly (137th) and Camilo Villegas (146th). Charl Schwartzel, Sergio Garcia (102nd so needs to improve dramatically) and Jason Day also need to improve both current form and their positions as they currently sit way down the FedEx Cup standings with East Lake looking a long shot, unless they get on a Playoff roll which a handful of players do every year....it's just picking those that will!
So what of the host course Sedgefield? Well the Wyndham has been played here in recent times since 2008 where the moderately slow Bent greens and its short and wide 7,130 yard, Par 70 format made dancefloors easy to find and red number scoring easy. Indeed this Donald Ross design (he also designed PGA Tour tracks Aronimink, TPC River Highlands and East Lake) - is a classical Carolina course which doesn't tax off the tee in terms of either accuracy or length - has culminated in winning scores of -21, -16, -20, -18 from 2008 to 2011. However the arrival this year of faster (we are told 12 on the stimp) Champion Bermuda greens which were laid only 3 months ago could well see scoring increase slightly and will certainly favour players who are Bermuda friendly. Tranquil conditions are forecast so I'm still expecting resort course type scoring with potentially -15/265 to -17/267 getting the job done.
Finally Stan James are the only bookmaker this week who are paying out 6 Places Each Way. With Arjun Atwal famously winning here 24 months ago at 200/1, long priced players always get in the mix so that extra place could be extremely valuable come Sunday night - you can grab a £10 Free Bet with Stan James here.
Let's face it, Tim Clark is a class act who due to his 2011 elbow injury is in a totally false place both in the World Golf Rankings (151st) and the FedEx Cup Standings (109th). That makes him very dangerous on a short Par 70 where the new Champion Bermuda greens will actually benefit him. I tipped the South African up at 135/1 back in May at Colonial so the 30/1 on offer this week highlights that the Scottsdale based PGA Tour winner is fighting his way back to where he belongs in the World's Top 50. Indeed including Colonial his recent form line reads: 19(Colonial)-42(St Jude)-MC(Olympic Club)-4(River Highlands)-36(Deere Run)-MC(Lytham)-15(Hamilton)-11(Kiawah). Interestingly the 4th at River Highlands was on a Ross design and featured a -12 total, but last week's stress-free 11th on the alien 7,676 yards of the Ocean Course really grabbed my attention. The shorter confines of Sedgefield are sure to suit the North Carolina educated Clark who won at TPC Sawgrass in 2010 - the ultimate 'Par 70 type' track (yes I know its a Par 72) on the planet. His quality record at Waialae: 2nd (11); PGA West: 2nd (05 & 10); Colonial: 2nd (08 & 09); Deere Run: 2nd (07); Disney: 2nd (07) excites and he was 6th here back in 2008. RESULT: 2nd
Bill Haas is as short as 22s elsewhere and I can see why some odds compilers are running scared of the North Carolina product who despite being tipped by me last week put in a half decent showing at the technical Kiawah Island. After all here is a player who won his first PGA Tour title on the Bermuda Poa Trivialis greens at PGA West in 2010 where he shot -30 across 90 holes. Indeed 2010 was the break-out season for Haas Jnr whose previous Top 5 finishes had been at the Bermuda Par 70 at La Cantrera (3rd -14) in 2009 and on the Champion Bermuda greens of Annandale (3rd -11 & 4th -16). In 07/08, as in 2010, he finished 6th at the WGC tournament at Doral and then won his 2nd PGA Tour title at, you've guessed it, Annandale where he shot -15. 2011 delivered 8th at Kapalua (Bermuda -16), 2nd at PGA West (-27) 4th at Quail (Carolina course), 8th at Colonial (Par 70) and 2nd at Old White (Par 70) before a similar vein of form to which he finds himself in now delivered that never to be forgotten win at the Ross designed East Lake (Bermuda Par 70) and a $11.4 million prize. The move to Champion Bermuda greens will only aid Bill's cause this week and he finished 10th at Sedgefield in 2009. A win here on top of his Riviera victory in February might well get him a Captain's Pick. RESULT: T7
Sedgefield has a habit of throwing up 1st time PGA Tour winners with Webb Simpson, Arjun Atwal and Ryan Moore all falling into that category. I've never tipped Alabama educated and Florida bred/domiciled Cauley prior to this week despite all the hype, but this particular week I'm taking the plunge on a truly amazing talent who is the real deal. With Bud's in-built geography it's no real surprise that in his first 12 months on Tour his best results have been on Bermuda but he just loves resort-style scoring. 2011 - Annandale: 4th (-20); Corde Valle: 3rd (-15). 2012 - Humble: 8th (-11), Annandale: 4th (-19); Hamilton. The level Cauley will ultimately reach was also highlighted when finished an amazing 4th on the Bermuda Poa Trivialis greens of Bay Hill on debut back in March. The real reason I've taken the plunge this week is that Bud is now visiting tournaments for the 2nd time and that makes for interesting reading. At the True South Classic he equalled his 4th from last season and at the RBC Canadian Open he delivered a 4th vs 13th last season. I'm thinking the low scoring and relatively target golf of Sedgefield and the new Champion Bermuda greens will favour Cauley who finished 53rd on debut. RESULT: 3rd
Not a bad price on a player who has 6 Top 10 finishes on the PGA Tour player to his name in 2012 and who briefly contended at the top of PGA Championship leaderboard on Thursday. Duke, who returned to the PGA Tour after 2 years on the web.com Tour, surfaced on the bigger stage when he was in the Final Group with Charlie Wi at Pebble Beach eventually finishing 7th. 5th at Copperhead (Carolina course feel), 7th at TPC Louisiana, 7th at TPC Four Seasons, 7th at TPC Southwind and 7th at TPC Old White have all followed. All relatively short courses, 4 I categorise as Par 70 in nature and 3 on Bermuda greens. Indeed you could say that Duke loves a Top 10 every month! Sedgefield will suit this week as Ken is a great putter (17th in Strokes Gained Putting), who also features in the PGA Tour Top 40 this season for Birdie Average, Scoring Average and Par Breakers. Interestingly Duke also won the web.com Tour Championship at Daniel Island last September in South Carolina and those positive connotations can only aid the Florida-based 43 year old as he strives to win his 1st PGA Tour title in his 6th season on Tour. Unlikely...potentially but I'll take the 20/1 for a Top 5. RESULT: MC
Finally my joker in the pack is John Rollins. Rollins will always be inconsistent so I will never jump on board when he isn't at the very least backable Each Way. For me though Rollins will win in 2012 and it's likely to be at a track where he comes totally from left field with no form or expectation in his mind whatsoever – Sedgefield sounds perfect. A recent form line of MC(Kiawah)-43(Montreaux)-MC(Castle Stuart)-MC(TPC Old White) will put many off but the fact of the matter is 3 of the 4 never suited and Rollins went into the 2nd Division tournament in Nevada as a favourite.....that was never going to end well. Instead I look at his record at Wyndham which reads MC (08), 3rd (10) and 25th (11) and also his last 2 appearances at the Ross designed TPC River Highlands which read 2nd (11) and 4th (12). Indeed the Virginian also makes sense when you realise that his 3 PGA Tour victories have occurred in June - Atunyote GC (06), August - Montreaux (09) and September Angus Glen (02). He's due a win and a CV that contains recent Top 10s on Bermuda tracks like Waialae, PGA West, TPC Scottsdale, PGA National, Bay Hill, TPC Louisiana and Disney fits like a glove this week. RESULT: MC