Emiliano Grillo became the first winner of the new PGA Tour season, much to the annoyance of those of us who were cheering on Kevin Na. However, we did manage to back the runner-up on both main tours last week from just 4 selections – so close – but a profit all the same!
This week I’m concentrating my efforts solely on the PGA Tour, where we head to TPC Summerlin for the Shriners Hospital Open, a birdie-fest where the 72-hole score is often in excess of 20-under par as the wide-open fairways and big receptive greens are ideal for low-scoring.
At this stage of the season, it’s always worth taking a look at the World Rankings to try and work out which players will be desperate to achieve a victory to get them into the Masters and/or a high-finish that will get them into that all important World top-50 which also gets them into Masters as well as the US Open and Open Championship – and I’ve five each-way selections this week.
Ryan Moore 1 point each-way @ 28/1 (BetVictor) ¼ odds 5 places
Moore has slipped to 52 in the world rankings and will be desperate to get some high-finishes on the board as quick as possible. A previous winner here, he has also won the CIMB Classic twice, and is a serious birdie machine when he gets his eye in. Warmed-up with a 10th place finish last week.
Tony Finau 1 point each-way @ 35/1 (Stan James) ¼ odds 6 places
Arrived on the PGA Tour with a lofty reputation, and could easily have won this event last year, eventually finishing 7th. Proved his capabilities in much bigger events last year afterwards, and a maiden tour victory should come his way this year if he stays injury free. His 32nd last week on a course that didn’t play to his strengths should mean he’s raring to go, and he should soon rise up the world rankings from his current 85th spot.
Patrick Rogers 1 point each-way @ 50/1 (Coral) ¼ odds 5 places
Missed the cut here last year, but looked in great form last week when finishing 6th after a lengthy spell off the course. Another young starlet from whom much is expected, and another who looks sure to improve on his world ranking of 106.
Russel Knox 1 point each-way @ 66/1 (BetFred/Coral) ¼ odds 5 places
The Scotsman has had a few chances to win on the PGA Tour in his relatively short career, and looks sure to take one of those chances sooner rather than later. His course form here reads 13/30/3, and he’s another who knows a victory could see him gatecrash the top-50 from his current ranking of 79.
Jonas Blixt 1 point each-way @ 125/1 (Coral) ¼ odds 5 places
The Swede seemed to take his foot off the gas last season but, having been placed in two major championships, he’s certainly got the game to climb the rankings again if in the mood. Will be looking forward to returning to a venue where he finished 3rd on his only appearance. and one of the hottest putters on the planet when in the mood.