One of the extra markets offered on significant golf tournaments is that of group betting. Bookies will typically group five golfers of similar odds and ask you to name which one will do best. This is often a tight and tricky choice, but not so we feel for one of the groups offered up by Stan James on the Players Championship.
They have grouped Patrick Reed, Tyrell Hatton, Kevin Chappell, Branden Grace and Tony Finau, and we think this is a gilt-edged chance to head for Chappell.
We tipped Patrick Reed for last week’s Wells Fargo and he has the lead with nine holes to play. Just how that happened was frankly miraculous as he barely hit a fairway all week, and his approach play was awful. It was magic scrambling and putting that kept him in there until even that deserted him on the back nine and he fell away.
Tony Finau hits the ball a mile – just not always in the direction of the hole. He and Reed will be hugely challenged by a course that demands accuracy and has watery graves at every turn for the errant shot. Neither look at all equipped at present to handle this challenge.
Hatton putts well and is an up and coming force – he though has suffered from temperament issues and his game can suffer when his frustrations boil over. That has happened on far less mentally demanding tracks than Sawgrass. Hatton is not the player that will deal well with a visit to the lake, and on this course only those right at the top of the leaderboard are likely to avoid that fate all week.
Grace loves a windy links and a course that doesn’t demand too much of a suspect putting stroke on those knee-wobbling six footers. That exactly describes what Sawgrass isn’t. It is the anti-Grace, and he could find this a difficult week.
So step forward Kevin Chappell. A winner a couple of weeks ago at the Texas Open and runner up in this event last year, he is a self-professed fanatic of this Sawgrass set-up. He has recent form, course form and the game to do well, and looks outstanding value to outplay the rest of this group who frankly have none of the above.
Recommendation: Kevin Chappell to win Group F, 7/2 Stan James
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