The action at the Players Championship at Sawgrass kicks off at a bleary-eyed 7.10am local time, and we will be hoping that one early bird will be catching the worm.
A virgin course, no spike marks, no delays, greens softened by morning dew can be ideal for a fast start, and one man absolutely appeals. Stand up Francesco Molinari.
The pint-sized Italian fairway-fiend is exactly the sort of straight hitter this course demands. We will always be wary of his Sunday afternoon nerves, but he has already shown opening day form this season.
Setting aside a brutally long Augusta course at the Masters, Moli’s last three tournaments have been on similar tracks to Sawgrass and seen him finish 8th, 11th and 1st respectively after day one. The 8th, at Hilton Head came from the opening group of the day, whilst his lead in last week’s Wells Fargo came from group 10 on the course.
He is back in the opening group this week. He has played in two of the last three Players Championships, finishing 6th and 7th overall, showing how well this course suits his accurate game.
We think he looks very tastily priced, and can hopefully put a 65 on the board before the big guns have finished their croissants.
Recommendation: Francesco Molinari, 1st Round Leader, 50/1 each way, 1/4 the odds first 6, Stan James
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