The Players Championship Longshots

Paul Williams' view of the best longshots and outsiders for the 2011 The Players Championship.

STOP PRESS! The following boookmakers are going 6 places Each Way at The Players Championship!

Every year, in every Major or big golfing event, there's a player or 3 who seemingly come from nowhere to contend at silly 3-figure prices. Picking a short-priced winner at any golf tournament is gratifying, however picking a long-priced player who finishes in the money can be even more profitable!

With a small number of bookmakers paying out to 6 places each way, there's extra incentive to pick ourselves a player at long odds who can finish in the money. Those bookmakers who are offering the additional places are listed above along with a link to get further details of their new account offers. No point settling for 5 places when 6 are on offer!! Steve's picked out some of the key attributes required to succeed around Sawgrass in his tips - using that same logic here's my view of the best 5 outsiders who have a chance of sneaking into a top 6 position:

Retief Goosen 100/1 with Paddy Power Free Bet £50 In Free Bets, get it here: Paddy Power Free Bet

The Goose at 100/1 I hear you must be a mistake! Well fear not - at the time of writing 100/1 is available exclusively with Paddy Power and my only advice is be very quick if you fancy a bit of this action! With a great record on tough Florida based courses, it's no surprise that Goosen has done well on occasion here in the past - his runners-up spot behind Stephen Ames in 2006 his best effort to date. After struggling to get to grips with the course in his first few attempts - missing 5 out of 6 cuts - Goosen has now made the weekend on each of his last 5 visits.

7 times a winner on the PGA Tour, it has been a couple of years since the South African added to his trophy cabinet and 2010 was frustratingly consistent with 10 top 6 finishes. However in this game we're looking for a top 6 finish and, despite a slow start to 2011, Goosen's talent is undoubted and he could easily reward us here.

Stewart Cink 100/1 with Paddy Power Free Bet £50 In Free Bets, get it here: Paddy Power Free Bet

Turnberry champion Stewart Cink is very, very close to top form - having followed him closely for a few weeks it's clear that just a small improvement in accuracy off the tee (which has always been his Nemesis) will ultimately result in a victory in the near future. The rest of Cink's game is in great nick - his approaches, scrambling and putting just need to be complimented with some form with the big stick.

Cink's first top 10 of the season came last week at Quail Hollow - all the more impressive when you consider he hit just 33% of fairways. Thankfully the Georgia Tech graduate will be under less pressure to knock the spots off his golf ball this week at a Sawgrass course measuring a little over 7,200 yards. This is a prime opportunity for him to get inside the top 6 and potentially improve on his 3rd place finish here in 2007.

Scott Verplank 100/1 with Paddy Power Free Bet £50 In Free Bets, get it here: Paddy Power Free Bet

Steve came close to placing Verplank in his main tips for obvious reasons. Experience pays around Sawgrass. Knowing where to miss, knowing where to patient, knowing where to place the ball from the tee. Well this will be Par 70 specialist Scott’s 17th TPC Sawgrass appearance and 2nd(05), 8th(03), 11th(98) and 13th(10) highlight a real consistency of performance.

Marry that to his recent form where he finished an unbelievable 2nd at Houston in March and a contending 9th at Hilton Head and you have a powerful 3-digit combination. Verplank also ticks a lot of boxes this week with his form at linked courses. TPC Four Seasons, Colonial, Cog Hill, Deere Run, Bay Hill…the Oklahoma man has won at a couple (Cog Hill & Four Seasons) and contended at all of them. A really dangerous outsider who's best to cover.

Camilo Villegas 150/1 with Bet365 Get £200 in free bets via this link: Bet365

There is absolutely no doubt that the Jupiter-based Colombian’s game is in somewhat of a slump, but Villegas is an absolute Florida and Bermuda specialist. If something clicks in his game this week don’t be surprised to see Camilo near the top of the leaderboard.

His liking for Florida golf can be seen in his CV where he has Top 10 results at virtually all PGA Tour stop-offs, including 3rd here on debut in 2005. We’re also lovers of ‘major’ type players around Sawgrass and Villegas showed no signs of his imminent slump when finishing 8th at Whistling Straits last August. Indeed he also finished 4th in the 2008 PGA Championship so understands the pressure of contending in majors. A champion at both the Honda Classic (2010) and Tour Championship (2008) on Bermuda greens it’s just a matter of time and 150/1 6 places Each Way with Bet 365 is just plain wrong!

Carl Pettersson 200/1 with Paddy Power Free Bet £50 In Free Bets, get it here: Paddy Power Free Bet

North Carolina man Pettersson is an interesting outsider this week at a massive 200/1....the kind of player the 6 place Each Way on offer from Paddy Power was made for! PGA Tour victories at Copperhead, Sedgefield and last year at St Georges in Canada highlight the beauty of the big Swede on short technical courses, of which TPC Sawgrass is the ultimate. Carl indeed finished 8th here in 2006 and he’s not averse to great performances both on Bermuda and in Florida.

He started this season with an unlikely 4th at the Kapalua power track on Bermuda and 2010 saw 5th at Waialee and 8th in Tampa again on Bermuda greens. May through August tends to be when the “Big Bear” awakes from hibernation and, sure enough, he popped up last week with a semi contending 9th at Quail Hollow. His experience, patience and course management in partnership with an improving game is a strong partnership this week at this standout price with Paddy, especially when he's half the price almost everywhere else.

Odds and bookmaker offers correct at 20:00BST 10.5.11 but naturally subject to fluctuation.

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