The Greenbrier Classic | Thursday 02 July - Sunday 05 July | The Old White TPC
Last week golf fans were treated to a hotly contested four days on the PGA Tour and at the end it was Bubba Watson who came out on top after edging out Paul Casey in a play-off. Unsurprisingly, Bubba now finds himself as favourite in an event that hasn’t attracted the strongest field but fortunately for us this is an event which is renowned for its upsets, so we can ignore Watson and try and find some real value.
So what do we know about the course? Well for starters it’s one of the easier layouts on the Tour and generally scores here are low. That means those who rank highly in birdie making stats should be on the shortlist. The last few years have also shown us that in order to make birdies distance off the tee is a huge asset - another reason Bubba is favourite - so keep a close eye on the big hitters. The fairways are pretty generous so accuracy can be compromised for a few extra yards. As usual putting will also be key as there’s no point in banging it down the fairway and missing two footers. Whereas last week ended in a playoff between two of the bigger names competing, I have a feeling that someone is going to run away with this one. So who will emerge victorious in West Virginia? Let’s have a look.
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Bubba Watson 11/1
Paul Casey 22/1
Webb Simpson 22/1
Patrick Reed 25/1
JB Holmes 25/1
Kevin Na (40/1 a win, 88/10 a place)
Missing the cut at the Travelers could well be the best thing that’s happened to Na all season because he’s been working himself to the bone and almost certainly needed a weekend off. Sure, he’ll be disappointed that his cut streak of almost nine months has finally come to an end but consistency like that is almost unheard of and I can’t imagine he’ll miss another cut for a while. Na will arrive here with a bit of course form, having finished inside the Top 10 two years ago, and the stats show he’s one to keep a close eye on. He’s currently ranked eighteenth in birdie average and a majority of those who rank higher are sitting this one out so let’s see if Na can win his first tournament of the season. I’ll be backing him each way this week.
Tony Finau (35/1 a win, 77/10 a place)
Finau let me down last week but I’m sticking to my guns and backing him again this time around because this course looks like it will suit his game perfectly. He’s one of the longer hitters on the Tour at the moment and that stands him in good stead on a course that rewards it. Over the past few months he’s also shown he has a good touch around the greens and he should make enough birdies to make sure he’s in contention come Sunday. It still remains to be seen how he will fare when things heat up on Sunday afternoon but so far in his young career he’s displayed a cool head under pressure and it’s only a matter of time before he wins his first big tournament. This is an event that is known for it’s upsets so don’t be surprised to see Finau near the top come Sunday.
Graham DeLaet (28/1 a win, 62/10 a place)
Graham DeLaet has been going from strength to strength over the past few weeks and last week he put in his best performance in a while, managing a solo fourth at the Travelers. That was the result of some great iron play and even better putting and although he’s not the biggest hitter around, he’ll almost certainly make easy work of this course. At this price I feel like DeLaet is worth an each way bet, let’s hope my confidence is not misplaced.
Bill Haas (28/1 a win, 62/10 a place)
Bill Haas came out firing at the Players on his way to a T4 against stiff competition and although he’s gone off the boil a bit since then he’ll arrive in West Virginia confident he can take this course apart. He’s one of the few players in this field who boasts consistent course form and seems to enjoy the wider fairways and smaller greens, which suit his accurate iron play. After he missed the cut at Chambers Bay I would have hoped for a slightly better price but the bookies are obviously a bit nervous and rightly so. I have a feeling Haas will be a serious contender this week. Back him each way.