The Champions Tour (over-50s), stops off at the Greystone Country Club in Alabama for the first “Major” of the seniors’ season, The Tradition.
Senior golf is particularly uncompetitive, and has a habit of being dominated in waves as more youthful and able 50-year-olds join the tour and enjoy perhaps five years of dominance before being swept away by the next great “youngster”.
German legend Bernhard Langer has done better than most in prolonging his reign. He won this last year by six shots, and although he is now knocking on the door of 60, he remains extremely fit and capable. Whether he is quite at the peak of a couple of years ago is however doubtful.
Colin Montgomorie has swept up a few Majors on the senior tour since passing 50 a couple of years ago. His game hasn’t been quite so sharp of late after injury.
The fact that Monty could be so good at senior level having left the full tour as a rank no-hoper shows the extent of the step down into the senior grade.
That step-down can be exploited here by US tour star Steve Stricker. He turned 50 in February and has 12 PGA Tour wins to his name. Most recently he finished in the top 20 of the Masters and the Zurich Classic, whilst also making the cut at last week’s brutal Players Championship.
This is a level of golf well above senior-norm. At full tour level, Stricker is known for being a straight-hitter, not very long, but a superb wedge player and putter. The course here demands accuracy and should suit him down to the ground, and in this company he probably goes from being one of the shortest off the tee to one of the longest.
He is a short priced favourite for a golf tournament, but reproducing any of his recent golf is likely to be good enough to win and it was only last year he was 4th in the Open. He is a confident pick, and we think he can lead from the off.
Recommendation: Steve Stricker to win, 7/2 generally available, & Steve Stricker to be First Round Leader, 15/2 Bet365
Please subscribe for notification of up-to-date tips and news, and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.