Wednesday, 6 May 2015

The Players 2015 - Sawgrass

No rest for the world's elite golfers this week as they head across to Florida for one of the richest golf tournaments; The Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass! Often dubbed the "5th Major" this tournament is one of the most watched and loved by golf fans all over! Germany's, Martin Kaymer defends this week, a feat not done before in the thirty three installments! Tiger plays though this week but he comes into this with a lot of emotional baggage - his recent split with Lindsey Vonn comes the week of the anniversary of his father,Earl's passing. This week, it's the Rory & Jordan show and amazingly they've been drawn together for the opening rounds!! Maybe golf does need the fanfare and the hype around the best two golfers in the world right now so we'll forgive the organizers for putting them out together, but for us punters it creates a nice betting event. Experience is meant to be a big help here but young Mr Spieth finished 4th twelve months ago and like his Masters debut last year, he could be the exception to the rule that Sawgrass knowledge and experience is a must.

From my seventeen man shortlist, I've decided on who best is placed to strike should Rory and Jordan not deliver. Louis Oosthuizen stays on my staking plan this week although I'm relying on reports that his back problems are indeed gone. He played 5 matches in San Francisco last week and it could cause problems if not exactly 100% but I'm prepared to take the risk @ 50/1. Oosty currently ranks top 10 in both "Strokes Gained Tee to Green" and "GIR" on the PGA Tour this season and its his current form I'm pinning my hopes on that he can improve on his best finish at Sawgrass of 29th two years ago. The South African has posted four top 10s in his last seven starts.

 Likewise Adam Scott is a decent price this week @ 50/1 and if he starts striking it as well as he has been and gets the putter going he could challenge. For Scott, it's all down to his putting performance this week. If it clicks he'll be there or thereabouts. The South Australian will be defending in a couple of weeks at The Colonial and I'm sure he'll be thinking of that along with his putting game ahead of next months US Open. Four top 20s in his last ten starts at Sawgrass augurs well and season ranking in the "Strokes Gained tee to Green" and "GIR" sees him sit inside the top 10.

Jimmy Walker hasn't been backed by myself before, but I just couldn't ignore his chances this time round.  At 35/1 he is worth a play where ball striking will serve him well. In his 5 starts here he has posted a debut 26th, mc and then produced progressive figures of 35-15-6th. He ranks highly for "SGTTG" and "GIR" and if getting a good start he'll grow in confidence following recent success. He might be entering this week in confident mood following reports he's been seeing Butch Harmon and if Butch has improved on something it can only augur well for a bold showing.

Kevin Streelman has been put up a couple of times already this season here and he's been given the nod again this week ahead of Brendon Todd @ 150/1. Streelman was runner up two years ago and posted a further Top 20 in 2011. He ranks nicely in the SGTTG & GIR as well and arrives well rested, unlike most. His T12th finish at Augusta suggests his game is in fine fettle for a course not too dissimilar in terms of positioning play and emphasis on ball striking. He's 12/15 this season with just the one top 10 in the bag, but he's streaky and can go well again here this time round.

Staking Plan (7pts)

1 pt e/w L. Oosthuizen @ 50/1 Bet365 * paying 6 places
1 pt e/w A. Scott @ 50/1 Betfair * paying 6 places
1 pt e/w J. Walker @ 35/1 Bet365 * paying 6 places
0.5 pts e/w K.Streelman @ 150/1Bet365 * paying 6 places

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