Well now, that didn’t go so well. After taking a thorough beating at the Memorial, we go again this week with the FedEx St Jude Classic at TPC Southwind.
It’s been a terrible run of form lately, with players storming off the course early and numerous missed cuts by a single stroke. The betting gods have deserted me, folks. Fear not – the worm will turn. The putts will start dropping and the money will start rolling in once again.
After all, the only thing tougher than golf is golf betting. However, nothing can match the thrill of victory. That mesmeric moment when everything aligns and the payout lines your pockets.
With many of the big-name players opting to sit this one out, there is big chance of an outsider taking the title here. Players like Woody Austin, Len Mattiace, Bob Estes, Notah Begay, Ted Tryba and Dicky Pride have all won here.
Fedex St Jude Classic | Thursday 9 June - Sunday 12 June | TPC Southland
Last Five Winners
2015 Fabian Gomez -13 | 2014 Ben Crane -10 | 2013 Harris English -12 | 2012 Dustin Johnson -9 | 2011 Harrison Frazar -13
To Win Outright
Dustin Johnson 7/1 | Brooks Koepka 14/1 | Phil Mickelson 14/1 | Ryan Palmer 16/1 | Gary Woodland 22/1 | Harris English 25/1
Justin Leonard (175/1 Win & 77/2)
Hero of the memorable US Ryder Cup victory at Brookline 17 years ago, Leonard has become a bit of enigma on the tour. Sporting a glorious beard and unkept hair, the Texas local has slipped to 482nd in the world. Hardly inspiring stuff, ey? He’s only played eight events this year, but returns here to a course he clearly enjoys. His last win on tour came here back in 2008, while he also claimed the title in 2005. He’ll be playing in the feature group with Phil Mickelson and David Toms for the first two rounds and I’m banking on him to lift his game in their presence. At 175/1 for the win, you can’t get hurt backing him at that price.
Camilo Villegas (125/1 Win & 24/1)
If it’s outside bets you’re looking for, Villegas is your man. Much like the country of his origin, Villegas is capable of supreme beauty on his day and also hideous displays of cruelty (for the punter that is). I’m banking on the former this week. In 10 appearances at this tournament, Villegas has made nine cuts with six Top-20’s. He doesn’t show that sort of consistency anywhere else on tour. He has finished inside the top 15 four times since 2010. If you’re not going to back him to win, a place bet could still be worth your while.
Chad Campbell (70/1 Win & 15/1)
If the previous winners at this tournament tell us one thing, it’s that experience cannot be underestimated. Campbell has plenty of that. The 42-year-old turned pro back when Bill Clinton was in the White House and has won four times on the tour. He’s also picked up a number of good finishes at the FedEx St Jude over the years, including a tie for third in 2012 and a tie for eighth last year. It is his most recent form, though, that has me thinking he can compete here. He comes into this one following back-to-back top 12 finishes, punctuated by a final round 63 at the Dean & DeLuca Invitational and is well worth a punt in this weaker field.
Harris English (25/1 Win & 11/2)
I’ve steered clear of DJ due mainly to his wretched course form following his triumph in 2012. I’m also not a fan of single-digit odds. Instead, I’ve opted for another former champion. In his previous start, English was unlucky not to triumph in Dallas – undone by a freakish back nine from Jordan Spieth. We won’t be seeing a repeat of that this week. Harris has a solid record on Par 70 courses, where he ranks 23rd for strokes gained per round. English’s accuracy drastically improves at the shorter courses, allowing his solid all-round game to flourish. Simply put, the closer he gets to the hole, the better he gets.