PGA Tour: The Italian Job…

The PGA Tour heads to its headquarters this week, as the TPC at Sawgrass in Ponte Verda Beach, Florida hosts the Players Championship.

South Korea’s Si Woo Kim is looking to be the first player in the tournament’s 45-year existence to defend his title.

Favourite for this event is Rory McIlroy. The Northern Irish star does have a good record around the course of late, but has yet to win. That said, driving the ball long and straight is Rory’s main asset and this course doesn’t really play to that. And so you’re taking a short price for a slightly neutered player.

Jordan Spieth of a few years ago would be the ideal player for the course, superb tee to green and with a demon putting touch. And he did tie for fourth on his debut in 2014. But his putting has been less good of late and he has missed the last three cuts – too short a price.

Dustin Johnson has a poor record around here, and such is his poor form of late that he could lose his world number one label without a good finish.

With some decent each way terms on offer (1/5 the odds for top ten, in some cases), we’re going to look a little further down the list.

We were keen on Francisco Molinari last week and he played well, finishing just outside the top 10. And we’re going to tip him up again. The Italian finished tied for sixth last year and his brand of accurate play could go well around this course this week.

Our second selection is Kyle Stanley. The American is usually excellent tee to green and played well here last year, finishing tied fourth. He showed last week that he was in form, ending up just outside the top ten on a tricky, tight course. More of the same but with a slightly hotter putter and his long odds could look very attractive.

The Players Championship is widely regarded as the unofficial ‘fifth’ major, and we are going to treat it thus with a third pick.

Bryson DeChambeau is known for his analytical approach to the game, keeping most of his clubs at the same length. Whether this approach makes sense or not, the fact is he’s playing well at the moment, finishing fourth last weekend. We think this type of course, not over long, suits, and we’ll take a punt.

Recommendations:

Molinari 0.5 pts each way at 45/1, 1/5 the odds for first 10 places, Paddy Power 

Stanley 0.5 pts each way at 100/1, 1/5 the odds for first 7 places, Boyle Sports

DeChambeau 0.5 pts each way at 50/1, 1/5 the odds for first 7 places, Corals 

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