Rory McIlroy is playing very consistently at present, and apart from a few wayward shots in round 3 at Wells Fargo, he would have been challenging for the win. Shooting a 66 in the final round is a great stepping stone coming in to a big tournament like The Players. He was too short to back last week but at Sawgrass there are more class players to take up part of the book and give Rory bigger odds, so he’s definitely backable at the fifth major. He’s played well the last few years at Sawgrass and his stats read 8th, 6th, 8th which is pretty good going considering the make up of the field each year. I think he’s ready to win his first title of the season and kick on for the remaining three majors and Ryder Cup later in the year.
Another player who loves this course is Sergio Garcia. He lost to Rickie Fowler in a play off last year and has been in the mix many a time before that. His last outing was at the Open de Espana where he hosted the event and only just came up short winning the tournament with a late charge on the final day. Although he’s known as a nearly man, Sergio can come to Sawgrass knowing the course suits his game and aslo he’s kept his schedule to a minimum this season so as to maximise the big tournaments he enters. I like his chances this week and a place is definitely on the cards.
I’ve backed Billy Horshel a couple of times this season and he’s always given us a run for our money. He’s a big time player and the more pressure the better for the multiple tour winner. He’s only played Sawgrass a few times, missing the cut once but playing well the other two times and finshing well up the field. His confidence in his game is gradually returning and a big performance is expected.
Finally my outsider to cause a shock and belie his odds is Rafael Cabrera Bello at massive odds. Making his debut at Sawgrass he could well spring a surprise and get amongst the elite names. This season he’s played quite a few PGA events and more than held his own everytime, challenging the top 10 and even getting to the semi final of the WGC Matchplay, no mean feat considering the calibre in that field. He’s at home on the big stage and massive odds for the Spaniard are worth a few quid on each way.
I’ve made some good money on the First Round Leader market so far this season, and once again we go to Charley Hoffman who can pull out a really low round, especially first round. He has a respectable record at The Players and his last time out here he opened with a 67 which would be enough to get in the money. He’s pushing for a Ryder Cup place and after finally getting the win a couple of weeks ago he will be full of confidence. I can’t see him competing for victory, but he’s worth a small bet on the first round.
(ALL 1 point each way except Rory McIlroy 2 points eachway)
- Rory McIlroy E/W @ 15/2 with Bet365 (Click Here)
- Sergio Garcia E/W @ 28/1 with BetVictor (Click Here)
- Billy Horschel E/W @ 60/1 with BetVictor (Click Here)
- Rafael Cabrera Bello E/W @ 140/1 with Bet365 (Click Here)
- Charley Hoffman (1st Round Leader) E/W @ 66/1 with BetVictor (Click Here)
Winners so far this season
Phil Mickelson (placed) @ 25/1 (Wells Fargo)
Li Haotong @ 90/1 (China Open)
Charley Hoffman @ 28/1 (Valero Texas Open)
Charley Hoffman (placed) @ 33/1 (Valero Texas Open – 1st Round Leader)
Joost Luiten (placed) @ 16/1 (Shenzhen International)
Jason Day @ 14/1 (Arnold Palmer Invitational)
Jimmy Walker (placed) @ 22/1 (Farmers Insurance)
David Lingmerth (placed) @ 50/1 (CareerBuilder Challenge)
Phil Mickelson (placed) @ 33/1 (AT&T Pebble Beach)
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