For 63 holes, last week’s Masters looked like another Jordan Spieth masterclass, but yet again the last 9 holes produced another remarkable finish. It’s one that neither Jordan Spieth or Danny Willett will forget in a hurry – and it’s no surprise that neither are playing this week.
This week’s venue Hilton Head is a far cry from Augusta, a short course by modern standards, and one that puts the emphasis firmly on accuracy over power, with the ability to hit tight fairways and small greens at a premium.
Jason Day heads the betting and, whilst he can win anywhere if he puts his mind to it, event figures of MC/22/9/30 won’t have many running to back him at 6/1.
The shortest price runner in the field that catches the eye is Brandt Snedeker (20/1), who took the title in 2011. He doesn’t have much other form here, but has already won two tournaments twice, and is in good nick having finished 9th and 10th the last two weeks.
Matthew Fitzpatrick (30/1) is also of interest after finishing 7th at the Masters, as this course should be an ideal fit for him, and he finished 23rd here in 2014 when nowhere near the player he is now.
There also looks to be room in the portfolio for three bigger-priced runners, with Luke Donald (50/1), Russel Henley (60/1) and Ben Martin 70/1 all making it.
Donald may not have been making any headlines recently, but three top-30 finishes in his last 6 events suggest he could easily find motivation and some form in an event that has been both kind and cruel to him in the past. He’s certainly amassed plenty of prize-money here with three second-placed finishes and two third-placed finishes in the last 7 years, but he should probably have won here at least twice. At his best he was sent of 7/1 favourite one year, yet is seven-times that price now.
Meanwhile, Russell Henley is as hot and cold as they come, highlighted by his sixth-placed finish here in 2013, and two missed-cuts in 2014 and 2015. He started this season poorly, however he bounced back to form when fifth two-weeks go, and may have extra motivation having missed the Masters.
Finally, Ben Martin finished third here in 2014, and two top-20s in his last four events suggests he’ll hit peak form soon, hopefully this week.
Snedeker 1 point each-way @ 20/1 (Boylesports) ¼ odds 5 places
Matthew Fitzpatrick 1 point each-way @ 30/1 (Bet365, Betfred) ¼ odds 5 places
Luke Donald 1 point each-way @ 50/1 (Various Bookies) ¼ odds 5 places
Russell Henley 1 point each-way @ 60/1 (Betfred) ¼ odds 5 places
Ben Martin 1 point each-way @ 70/1 (Stan James) ¼ odds 6 places