Phil certainly did thrill last week, well at least for 71 holes. And, though that missed 4-footer on the 72nd hole cost us the chance of an extra 46-points profit, there was at least something heart-warming about watching a guy overcome vertigo to win his first title in 10 years.
This week, I’m concentrating my efforts in America again where the Northern Trust Open takes place at its traditional Riviera Country Club home.
Spieth and McIlory are playing but, as both look like they’d just like to fast forward a few weeks to Augusta and just get down to the important matter of winning the first major of the year, I’m happy to look for better value – and I’m recommending a 3-player each-way attack.
JB Holmes 2 points each-way @ 30/1 (Skybet) ¼ odds 6 places
JB has been close t his best form in recent weeks, and finishes of 6/6/11 show that he’s playing well enough to have a chance of being competitive at one of his favourite venues. Before he had his brain operation, he had put together a solid run of form here in finishing 7/6/3/12/8, and he looked set to add to that run last year when entering the final round in joint-first. However, a disastrous 5-over par final round saw him capitulate to 22nd. He’ll be keen to put that right this year, and the price looks right.
Sergio Garcia 1.5 points each-way @ 28/1 (Betvictor, Betfred) ¼ odds 5 places
The mercurial Spaniard will be desperate to get in Europe’s Ryder Cup and, as he’s precariously balanced as the fifth highest-ranked European in the world, he’ll know that a some good performances are required to keep him in an automatic spot. Having finished 4/13/4 in his last three visits to Riviera, it looks an ideal venue for him to grab plenty of world-ranking points, and a bold show is anticipated.
Bill Haas 1.5 points each-way @ 33/1 (Skybet) ¼ odds 6 places
Haas has been playing consistently for a few weeks with 3 top-tens in his last 5 events, and he returns to a venue at which he’s finished 12/1/3/23 in the last four seasons. He’s yet to play in a Ryder Cup, but an early win would give him every chance of making the team, and he looks motivated right now.