It was a case of good old Charlie Hoffman last week and, though I was pretty sure he was going to bottle it at some point, or Patrick Reed was going to charge past him, it just shows that every dog has his day.
Finding players with consistent course form this week at the Zurich Classic and Volvo China Open is pretty hard to do, and it’s a week in which I’m only recommending four small bets.
The Zurich Classic is played at the 7,400+ yard TPC Louisiana, though it’s length hasn’t stopped the last 5 winners averaging around 20-under par. A solid tee-to-green game is usually a must, and it tends to be a player with that skill-set who has an unusually good week with the putter who wins.
It’s easy to find reasons for taking on the front few in the market. Jason Day (11/2), after two clinical victories earlier this season, hasn’t quite been finishing the job off recently and looks sure to have his set his targets on The Players Championship and the US Open. Last season’s champion Justin Rose (8/1) has the added pressure of defending, and Rickie Fowler has apparently spent plenty of time off recently, probably with a view of peaking for a defence of his Players Championship title.
Therefore it might well be worth firing three big-price darts at this week’s event, and the three getting my money are powerhouse Luke List, Byeong Hun An and Danny Lee.
Luke List finished 31st here in 2013 when he had shown little elsewhere at the time and, though he’s not played here since, he’s definitely improved as a player in the meantime. Meanwhile, the improving Lee’s performances here have matched that progression 52/25/22, and he could get his second PGA Tour victory in a week where the big names might not hit the leaderboard. Finally An may be seriously motivated by the victory of his fellow Korean last week, and looks overpriced in this field.
Luke List 0.5 points each-way @ 100/1 (Various Bookmakers) ¼ odds 5 places
Danny Lee 0.5 points each-way @ 55/1 (Betfred) ¼ odds 5 places
Byeong Hun An 0.5 points each-way @ 66/1 (Betvictor, Coral) ¼ odds 5 places
Volvo China Open
The tournament moves to another new venue in Topwin Golf Club this week, and at just over 7,200 yards it shouldn’t overly favour any type of player. However, that’s just speculation as nobody seems to know much about the course or how it will play. Therefore, in my eyes the local boys may well have a significant advantage, and I make no apologies for putting-up Haotong Li again, despite a missed-cut last week.