Steve Bamford

Steve Bamford's Barbasol Championship Tips 2023

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Close but no cigar at the John Deere Classic last week for this column as Sepp Straka took his second PGA Tour victory at Monday 50/1 best price. We had to make do with a full 30/1 each-way return on Adam Schenk, plus part each-way returns on Denny McCarthy (16/1) and Lucas Glover (90/1).

The co-sanctioned Genesis Scottish Open takes centre stage on both the DP World Tour and the PGA Tour this week in the build-up to the Open Championship. It would be easy to cast aside the Barbasol Championship at Keene Trace Golf Club in Kentucky, but I always like to solve the betting puzzle of these alternate PGA Tour events. The full 2-year PGA Tour exemption available to the winner is a huge carrot, as is the possibility of harvesting enough FedEx Cup points to grab a spot in the magical top 70, with the FedEx Cup Playoffs just over the horizon.

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Before we go into the detail surrounding the Barbasol Championship, we always have new visitors to Golf Betting System at The Open approaches. Welcome and let me point you in the direction of our weekly Golf Betting System podcast (published every Tuesday of the golfing calendar), the Steve Bamford Golf Channel on YouTube and our hugely popular, +6,200 strong, private Group on Facebook – you can Join Here.

Course Guide: The Barbasol Championship was introduced in 2015 and is now played at the Keene Trace Golf Club in Nicholasville, Kentucky. The course is a 7,328 yard, Par 72 where the green light is always on to shoot low scores. Hot and humid weather conditions where the ball really flies, this medium-length golf course has no real defence for PGA Tour professionals with watered, receptive greens accepting darts.

Champion Course, Keene Trace Golf Club, Nicholasville, Kentucky: Designer: Arthur Hills 1997; Course Type: Resort, Medium Length; Par: 72; Length: 7,328 yards; Number of Holes with Water In-Play: 6; Fairways: Bentgrass; Rough: Kentucky Bluegrass with Fescue; Greens: 6,000 sq.ft average featuring Bentgrass; Stimpmeter: 11ft; Course Scoring Average 2018: 69.91 (-2.09), Rank 48 of 51 courses. 2019: 69.59 (-2.41), Rank 46 of 49 courses. 2021: 69.89 (-2.11), Rank 46 of 51 courses. 2022: 69.82 (-2.18), Rank 46 of 50 courses.

Course Overview: This is a full-throttle golf course where eagles and birdies are the true currency. Perennially in the 6 easiest courses on the PGA Tour, the Champion Course at Keene Trace features wide fairways and large Bentgrass green surfaces. Hot and humid weather conditions allow the ball to fly long distances and this tournament is often played with soft turf and receptive green conditions. It’s a recipe for a good old-fashioned PGA Tour birdiefest.

The longest of 4 par-5s only measures 573 yards and a set of par-4s which vary from 392 yards (shortest) to 462 yards (longest) offer up very little resistance and we have seen some severe scoring here over the first 3 renewals.

James Hahn holds the course record with a 60 – pretty mad on a Par 72 – whilst Kelly Kraft has shot a 61, with Jim Herman, Troy Merritt, J.T. Poston, Adam Svensson and Brandon Hagy adding 62s over the 4 renewals here.

barbasol championship tips

Barbasol Championship Winners: Hosted at Keene Trace: 2022: Trey Mullinax (-25); 2021: Seamus Power (-21); 2019: Jim Herman (-26); 2018: Troy Merritt (-23); Hosted at Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail: 2017: Grayson Murray (-21); 2016: Aaron Baddeley (-18); 2015: Scott Piercy (-19).

  • 2022: Trey Mullinax 65-65-67-66 -25/263 AM/PM Wave
  • 2021: Seamus Power 65-68-67-67 -21/267 PM/AM Wave
  • 2019: Jim Herman 65-65-62-70 -26/262 PM/AM Wave
  • 2018: Troy Merritt 62-67-69-67 -23/265 PM/AM Wave

OWGR of Barbasol Championship Winners: 2022: Mullinax 370; 2021: Power 210; 2019: Herman 1252; 2018: Merritt 327.

Cut Line: 2022: -5; 2021: -4; 2019: -4; 2018: -4.

Lead Score Progression:

  • 2022: Round 1 -10; Round 2 -16; Round 3 -22; Round 4 -25.
  • 2021: Round 1 -8; Round 2 -13; Round 3 -19; Round 4 -21.
  • 2019: Round 1 -10; Round 2 -14; Round 3 -24; Round 4 -26.
  • 2018: Round 1 -10; Round 2 -15; Round 3 -18; Round 4 -23.

Tournament Stats: We’ve published some key player statistics for this week’s event that are well worth a look. Naturally they’ll help to shape a view on players who could go well this week: Current Form | Tournament Form | First Round Leader | Combined Stats.

My published predictor is available here. Top 10 of my published predictor are: Cameron Champ, Troy Merritt, Lucas Glover, Alejandro Del Rey, Akshay Bhatia, Vincent Norrman, Niklas Norgaard, Jeong Weon Ko, Kevin Streelman, Richy Werenski.

Our brand new predictor model is running alongside, where you can build your own rankings in live time, using the variables listed on the left hand side.

Barbasol Championship Winning Prices: 2022: Mullinax 150/1; 2021: Power 20/1; 2019: Herman 500/1; 2018: Merritt 55/1; 2017: Murray 66/1; 2016: Baddeley 55/1; 2015: Piercy 25/1. Overall Average: 124/1. For a full summary of winner’s odds on the PGA Tour since 2010 click here.

Historical Weather:

  • 2022: Thursday: Mostly cloudy. High of 91. Wind NW 4-8 mph. Preferred lies were utilized in the first round. Friday: Mostly cloudy with thunderstorms. High of 90. Wind WSW 10-15 mph. Preferred lies were utilized in the second round. Fog delayed the start of the second round with the first group teeing off at 8:45 a.m. ET. The second round was suspended due to inclement weather at 12:20 p.m. – total delay of 5 hours, 22 minutes. Saturday: Cloudy with occasional heavy rain. High of 80. Wind NE 6-12 mph. The second round resumed at 8:30 a.m. Saturday and was completed at noon. The third round began at 12:20 p.m. At 1:52 p.m, play was suspended due to unplayable course conditions caused by heavy rain (two and a half inches fell in a two-hour period) and resumed at 7:20 p.m., a delay of 5 hours, 28 minutes. Sunday: Mostly sunny. High of 85. Wind NE 10-15 mph. Delayed third-round resumed at 7:45 a.m. Sunday and was completed at 12:25 p.m. Preferred lies were used in the final round, which began at 10:40 a.m. with players remaining in the same groupings as round three, with the final grouping starting at 12:50 p.m.
  • 2021: Thursday: Thursday: Mostly cloudy. High of 88. Wind SW 7-14 mph, gusting to 18 mph. Play was suspended due to dangerous weather situations from 3:40 – 5 p.m. and from 6:16 – 7:31 p.m. Play was suspended due to darkness at 8:47 p.m. with 30 players yet to complete their round. Friday: Partly cloudy. High of 81. Wind SW 8-14 mph. Play was suspended due to darkness at 8:47 p.m. on Thursday with 30 players yet to complete their round. The first round resumed at 8:09 a.m. Friday and was completed at 9:33 a.m. The second round began as scheduled at 7:45 a.m. Saturday: Cloudy with morning showers and thunderstorms. High of 82. Wind WNW 7-14 mph. Play was suspended due to a dangerous weather situation at 9:04 a.m. and resumed at 11:03 a.m. Sunday: Partly cloudy. High of 82. Wind ENE 7-14 mph.
  • 2019: Thursday: Partly cloudy, hot and humid. High of 90. Wind SW 6-12 mph. Friday: Partly cloudy, hot and humid. High of 91. Wind SW 6-12 mph. Saturday: Mostly sunny, hot and humid. High of 94. Wind SW 6-12 mph. Sunday: Hot and humid, with severe afternoon thunderstorms. High of 88. Wind SW 6-12 mph. Play was suspended due to a dangerous weather situation at 2:07 p.m. with 32 players left to complete their round. Play resumed at 5:14 p.m. for a total delay of 3 hours, 7 minutes.
  • 2018: Thursday: Mostly Sunny, with a high of 86. Wind ESE 6-12 mph. Due to wet course conditions, preferred lies in closely-mown areas were utilized. Saturday: Partly cloudy in the morning, giving way to clouds in the afternoon. High of 79. Wind WSW 8-15 mph. Round two resumed at 7:32 a.m. Due to wet course conditions, preferred lies in closely-mown areas were utilized in round two and will remain in effect for round three. From Friday afternoon through Saturday morning, the course received a total of 2” of rain. Sunday: Just 21 players completed the final round Sunday. Monday: Overcast, with a high of 71. Wind NW 5-10 mph. A total of 5.2 inches of inches fell over the course of the week

Weather Forecast: The latest weather forecast for Lexington, Kentucky, is here.

Hot and humid are the standard conditions at this time of year in Lexington. Temperatures around the 27-30 degrees Celsius (81-86 Fahrenheit) mark will greet the players with little wind. Chances of thunderstorms are at over 50% across every day between Thursday and Saturday, so there’s the potential for disruption and soft turf conditions, which will only aid the low scoring.

Player Strokes Gained Rankings: These top 25 in the field rankings are based on an 8-tournament window that stretches back to the PGA Championship which includes both PGA Tour and DP World Tour events, where recorded. Player rankings are based on performance relative to the rest of the field:

  • Top 25 SG Off The Tee: 1) Vince Whaley; 2) Peter Kuest; 3) Trevor Cone; 4) Akshay Bhatia / Alejandro Del Rey; 6) M.J. Daffue; 7) Lucas Glover; 8) Vincent Norrman; 9) Kevin Stadler; 10) Taylor Pendrith; 11) Andrew Novak; 12) Tyler Duncan; 13) Kyle Westmoreland; 14) Kevin Tway; 15) Kiradech Aphibarnrat / James Hahn / Grayson Murray / Matti Schmid; 19) Satoshi Kodaira; 20) Derek Lamely / Kevin Roy; 22) Chad Ramey; 23) Scott Brown / Tano Goya / Brandon Matthews.
  • Top 25 SG Approach: 1) Ted Potter Jnr; 2) Peter Kuest; 3) Jonas Blixt / Kevin Stadler; 5) Kevin Chappell; 6) Kevin Streelman; 7) Lucas Glover; 8) Kiradech Aphibarnrat; 9) Geoff Ogilvy; 10) Russell Knox; 11) Kyle Stanley; 12) D.A. Points; 13) Grayson Murray; 14) Patton Kizzire; 15) Akshay Bhatia / Justin Lower; 17) Satoshi Kodaira / Kevin Roy; 19) Marty Dou / Cody Gribble; 21) Kelly Kraft; 22) Jason Dufner / Vincent Norrman; 24) Brian Stuard; 25) Taylor Pendrith.
  • Top 25 SG Around The Green: 1) Jonas Blixt; 2) Satoshi Kodaira; 3) Ryan Gerard; 4) Grayson Murray; 5) Jonathan Byrd; 6) Matthias Schwab; 7) Adam Long; 8) Andrew Novak; 9) William McGirt; 10) Tano Goya; 11) Chad Ramey; 12) Kevin Streelman; 13) Derek Ernst; 14) Wesley Bryan; 15) Austin Cook; 16) Peter Malnati / D.A. Points / Trevor Werbylo; 19) Ryan Moore; 20) Kevin Chappell / Russell Knox; 22) Scott Harrington / Sung Kang; 24) Ricky Barnes; 25) Akshay Bhatia / Austin Smotherman / Robert Streb.
  • Top 25 SG Tee to Green: 1) Jonas Blixt; 2) Ted Potter Jnr; 3) Kevin Chappell / Peter Kuest / Kevin Stadler; 6) Satoshi Kodaira; 7) Grayson Murray; 8) Akshay Bhatia / Lucas Glover; 10) Kevin Streelman; 11) Vincent Norrman; 12) Kiradech Aphibarnrat; 13) Andrew Novak; 14) Trevor Cone; 15) Ryan Gerard; 16) Chad Ramey; 17) Russell Knox; 18) Taylor Pendrith; 19) Jason Dufner; 20) James Hahn / Carl Yuan; 22) Wesley Bryan; 23) Geoff Ogilvy; 24) Justin Lower / Ryan Moore / Alejandro Del Rey.
  • Top 25 SG Putting: 1) Jonas Blixt / Harry Higgs; 3) M.J. Daffue; 4) Sangmoon Bae; 5) Kevin Roy; 6) Peter Malnati; 7) Justin Lower; 8) Peter Kuest; 9) Sung Kang / Andrew Landry; 11) Bo Hoag; 12) Grayson Murray / Seung-yul Noh; 14) Cody Gribble / Kelly Kraft; 16) Austin Smotherman; 17) D.A. Points; 18) David Hearn; 19) Carl Yuan; 20) Andrew Novak / Chris Stroud; 22) Martin Trainer; 23) Kevin Tway / Richy Werenski; 25) Alejandro Del Rey / Chad Ramey / Nick Watney.
  • Top 25 SG Total: 1) Jonas Blixt; 2) Ted Potter Jnr; 3) Grayson Murray; 4) Peter Kuest; 5) Kevin Streelman; 6) Lucas Glover; 7) Ryan Gerard; 8) M.J. Daffue; 9) Chad Ramey; 10) Andrew Novak; 11) Satoshi Kodaira / Vincent Norrman / Kevin Roy; 14) Justin Lower; 15) Kiradech Aphibarnrat / Kelly Kraft; 17) Taylor Pendrith; 18) Austin Smotherman; 19) Harry Higgs; 20) Peter Malnati; 21) Alejandro Del Rey; 22) Carl Yuan; 23) Russell Knox / Troy Merritt; 25) Jonathan Byrd.

For a summary of the Strokes Gained Performances from this week’s field here at Keene Trace since 2018 click here.

Trends & Key Factors: Analysing the Strokes Gained Stats of the Barbasol Championship winners here at Keene Trace since 2018 gives us a little more insight into the requirements for this low scoring test:

Strokes Gained Tournament Trends:

  • 2022, Trey Mullinax (-25). SG Off the Tee: 7th, SG Approach: 1st, SG Around the Green: 34th, SG Tee to Green: 1st, SG Putting: 21st.
  • 2021, Seamus Power (-21). SG Off the Tee: 15th, SG Approach: 17th, SG Around the Green: 8th, SG Tee to Green: 6th, SG Putting: 19th.
  • 2019, Jim Herman (-26). SG Off the Tee: 18th, SG Approach: 13th, SG Around the Green: 20th, SG Tee to Green: 5th, SG Putting: 4th.
  • 2018, Troy Merritt (-23). SG Off the Tee: 12th, SG Approach: 1st, SG Around the Green: 32nd, SG Tee to Green: 1st, SG Putting: 51st.

Strokes Gained Tournament Skill Averages:

  • SG Off the Tee: 13th, SG Approach: 8th, SG Around the Green: 24th, SG Tee to Green: 3rd, SG Putting: 24th.

Tournament Trends & Key Factors: Analysing the final stats of the winners of the Barbasol Championship back to 2018 gives us a little more insight into the requirements for this resort scoring-level test:

  • 2022, Trey Mullinax (-25). 310 yards (5th), 57.1% fairways (58th), 81.9% greens in regulation (1st), 25’9″ proximity to hole (1st), 84.6 % scrambling (8th), 1.66 putts per GIR (21st.
  • 2021, Seamus Power (-21). 290 yards (28th), 66.1% fairways (30th), 79.2% greens in regulation (8th), 31’5″ proximity to hole (27th), 80.0 % scrambling (5th), 1.67 putts per GIR (10th).
  • 2019, Jim Herman (-26). 301 yards (30th), 73.2% fairways (8th), 87.5% greens in regulation (1st), 26’8″ proximity to hole (4th), 88.9% scrambling (1st), 1.73 putts per GIR (39th).
  • 2018, Troy Merritt (-23). 291 yards (16th), 73.2% fairways (15th), 84.7% greens in regulation (5th), 27’4″ proximity to hole (7th), 81.8% scrambling (3rd), 1.64 putts per GIR (4th).

Tournament Skill Averages:

  • Driving Distance: 20th, Driving Accuracy: 28th, Greens in Regulation: 4th, Proximity to Hole: 10th, Scrambling: 4th, Putting Average 19th.

Let’s take a view from players as to how the Champion Course at Keene Trace sets up and what skill sets the course favours:

Trey Mullinax (2022): “Yeah, it played longer. Ball’s not rolling out as much. The course was super firm and fast, the fairways were, before that rain came. Yeah, played a little bit longer into some holes, but all in all, had to change a few clubs off the tee, but that was about it. ”

“Yeah, I like the course. It’s a lot of drivers. On the back nine, on the finishing holes you have some holes that aren’t drivers, but I feel comfortable on it. It’s a golf course where I feel committed on most all the tee shots, so that’s kind of the goal was today, just don’t hit one that we’re not committed to, so I did a good job of that today.”

Seamus Power (2021): “Key this week is staying aggressive. What am I, 11 under? You’re not winning anything at 11 under. I mean, you know you’re going to have to go well up into the 20s. So I’ll do a little bit of practice here and try to get the game sharp to go at some pins tomorrow. It’s one of those courses you’re going to try to make as many birdies as you can.”

Jim Herman (2019): “I thought the last two days were good, but improved on it. You just know that you got to go low. Kelly played great, shot 61 for him, I shot 62. So, no lead is safe, so you got to keep the pedal down and see how many birdies you can make.

I’m just driving the ball well. Have had a really good iron game the last three days. And I’m rolling the ball really well. So, any time you can have those three, you’re going to be in good shape, so it’s a great place. I guess the tee shots line up for me, and I’m reading the greens really well.”

Troy Merritt (2018): “I was very pleased with the way I struck the ball. Hit the driver very well. With ball in hand in the fairways it’s pretty important to get the ball in the fairway, and it gives you a chance to get a preferred lie and be able to attack the pins out here with it being as soft as they were. The course has dried out quite a bit since Tuesday when I first played it. It’s a fun track. If you can get the ball in the fairway and the right the ball in the right quadrants on these greens you can make some birdies. That’s kind of what we did today. Got it in the fairways, hit some good shots, and made a lot of nice putts.

You know, you like to think that most courses are going to set up to your game, that’s for sure. On the Tour most don’t for me. I like this one, especially off the tee. There is more left-to-right holes off the tee. I like to work a fade. The ones that work right to left I can get away with playing a fade back into the fairway. They’re wide enough and soft enough right now to where I can do that. I really enjoy the green complexes. There is a lot going on, but if you get in the right quadrant you can make birdies. We’ve done that for two days now.”

Path to Victory: Below are the end of round positions for the winners of the Barbasol Championship since 2018:

  • 2022 – Trey Mullinax: Round 1: 4th, Round 2: 5th, Round 3: 3rd.
  • 2021 – Seamus Power: Round 1: 3rd, Round 2: 4th, Round 3: 5th.
  • 2019 – Jim Herman: Round 1: 4th, Round 2: 1st, Round 3: 1st.
  • 2018 – Troy Merritt: Round 1: 1st, Round 2: 1st, Round 3: 1st.

Shots From the Lead: Below are the Barbasol Championship winners since 2018 and where they were positioned in terms of shots from the lead during the tournament:

  • 2022 – Trey Mullinax: Round 1: 3 back, Round 2: 2 back, Round 3: 3 back.
  • 2021 – Seamus Power: Round 1: 1 back, Round 2: 2 back, Round 3: 3 back.
  • 2019 – Jim Herman: Round 1: 3 back, Round 2: 1 ahead, Round 3: 1 ahead.
  • 2018 – Troy Merritt: Round 1: 3 ahead, Round 2: 2 ahead, Round 3: level.

Incoming Form of Barbasol Championship winners since 2018:

  • Trey Mullinax: MC JDC/MC Travelers/69th Canadian Open/MC Colonial.
  • Seamus Power: 8th JDC/8th Rocket/19th Travelers/19th Palmetto.
  • Jim Herman: MC JDC/MC Rocket /MDF Travelers/MC Canadian Open.
  • Troy Merritt: 43rd JDC/17th Quicken/MC Travelers/12th St Jude.

For the record, here’s the breakdown of pure Bentgrass green PGA Tour victors in the field since 2008:

  • 3 – Lucas Glover, Ryan Moore.
  • 2 – Jason Dufner.
  • 1 – Sang-moon Bae, Jonas Blixt, Jonathan Byrd, Derek Ernst, Jim Herman, Ryuji Imada, Russell Knox, Geoff Ogilvy, Sean O’Hair, Ted Potter Jnr, Kyle Stanley, Kevin Streelman, Nick Watney.

Won by Trey Mullinax (150/1), Seamus Power (20/1), Jim Herman (500/1) and Troy Merritt (55/1), the full 2-year PGA Tour exemption available to the winner is a huge carrot, as is the possibility of harvesting enough FedEx Cup points to grab a spot in the magical top 70 (FedEx Cup Playoffs) or top 125 (PGA Status for 2024). Played in sweltering and humid conditions in deepest Kentucky, -25/263, -21/267, -26/262 and -23/265 have been the winning totals required.

Linking these 4 champions is a task I have not got enough spare days to master. Mullinax had inbound form of MC-MC-69-MC across his last 4 appearances when arriving in Kentucky. Power on the other hand was in red-hot form and was the betting favourite. Jim Herman arrived off the back of 7 Missed Cuts and a single MDF in his previous 8 appearances. Troy Merritt had finished 12th, 17th and 43rd across 3 of his past 4 appearances, so was in decent enough nick.

One fairly obvious thing does link the 4 though. All had motivation to play well, on the basis of their FedEx Cup ranking on arrival. Merritt, despite his good form, was 131st in the season-long standings, with no win exemption to rest his laurels on. Seamus Power was in career-best form, but at 123rd in the FedEx Cup still had work to do to lock-up full playing privileges for the following season. Trey Mullinax was at 140th in the FedEx Cup standings so had work to do to avoid playing in the Korn Ferry Playoffs.

As you would expect, Jim Herman was in the PGA Tour wastelands, ranking 232nd in the FedEx Cup with no win exemption prop to fall back upon.

My Final Barbasol Championship Tips Are As Follows:

Vincent Norrman 2pts ew 28/1 (7EW, 1/5) with Coral

Vincent Norrman should thrive for me this week at Keene Trace.

With plenty of space off the tee and 6 holes featuring water in play, I think Vincent will respond well to the set-up and he’s undoubtedly played some very nice golf since the turn of March. 21st in Puerto Rico and 16th at Corales were both at alternate events earlier in 2023, and to that point were his best finishes on Tour. He clearly takes these events seriously.

However since the end of April, 9th at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans when partnered with Matthias Schwab, 18th at the Mexico Open, 8th at the Byron Nelson and 24th last time out at the Rocket Mortgage Classic have followed. Strong results with Vincent now in a good position to push on across the rest of 2023 – to guarantee his full card for 2024.

Ranked 2nd in this field by Data Golf – behind only Kevin Streelman – Norrman’s game is all about power and attack. Season to date he ranks 11th for Driving Distance, 33rd for Off the Tee, 9th for Going for the Green and 10th for Eagles per Hole. The latter is useful here at Keene Trace which annually yields eagles.

40th for Birdie Average lags only behind Akshay Bhatia in this field for those who play regularly on the PGA Tour and he also ranks 20th for par-5 Birdie or Better. With the longest par-5 measuring just over 570 yards, all will be accessible to the 25 year-old Swede, who studied at Florida State University. 18th for Tee to Green at the Rocket Mortgage Classic, he closed with a -7/65. RESULT: Winner

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Cameron Champ – WD PRE-EVENT

Cameron Champ is always one that I’m drawn to on the basis that he’s both streaky and knows how to win.

Into his fifth season on the PGA Tour he has 3 wins behind him already, across the 2018 Sanderson Farms Championship, 2019 Safeway Open and the 2021 3M Open. That’s wins at the Country Club of Jackson, Silverado and TPC Twin Cities. To summarise, agronomy wise we are looking at Champion Bermudagrass, Bentgrass and Bent Poa Annua mix greens. 2 wins have also come on medium to long formats, so on a +7,300 yard course this week with wide fairways, I think Champ will be right at home.

Across my 8-week Strokes Gained tracker in this field Champ ranks in the top 10 for Off the Tee, the top 15 for Approach and the top 20 for Tee to Green. He also found the putter on Sunday at TPC Deere Run last week where he finished with a -5/66 when finishing T51. RESULT: WD Pre-Event

Troy Merritt – WD PRE-EVENT

I always like Troy Merritt in these scoreable, lower-grade events.

The winner here in 2018, he’s also won the 2015 Quicken Loans National played at Robert Trent Jones Golf Club. From a geography perspective that’s a win in Kentucky and Virginia, both located in the east south-central region of the United States. From an agronomy perspective both wins came on Bentgrass putting surfaces.

Troy also has a quality that I really like in these alternate events. A track history of taking them seriously and playing well in them, as well as winning the 2018 Barbasol he’s finished 11th in the 2016 Sanderson Farms Championship (County Club of Jackson), 2nd at the 2019 Barracuda Championship (Montreux G&CC) and 2nd at the 2020 Barracuda Championship (Old Greenwood).

At 129th in the FedEx Cup standings, he hasn’t had the best of seasons – hence why he’s playing here – but with a need to garner results, performances of late have improved. 14 missed cuts in 2023 – 9 of them consecutively – have been followed by 17th at the Rocket Mortgage Classic and 17th last week at the John Deere Classic. Both shorter, scoreable courses featuring Bentgrass greens – it all makes sense.

4th and 2nd for Strokes Gained Tee to Green across his last 2 appearances, the putter started to warm nicely on the weekend at TPC Deere Run. RESULT: WD Pre-Event

Odds and bookmaker offers correct at 16:00BST 10.7.23 but are naturally subject to fluctuation.