LOUIS ROSS (@LouisRoss67) is back on the trail of the PGA Tour with Virginia hosting his best bets from the Quicken Loans National this week.
Quicken Loans National | 30th July – 2nd August 2015 | Sky Sports
The PGA Tour visits the state of Virginia for what was formerly known as the AT&T or Tigers Tournament. It’s the first time top-level golf has been seen at the course since 2005 with Congressional hosting the event for some time.
Golfers will descend upon the wonderfully named Robert Trent Jones Golf Club in Gainesville, just a few miles from the White House. A classical course with (for the PGA) some deep rough. At 7,385 yards, this is the longest Par 71 on the 2015 schedule; three Par 5s, only one of which is reachable, and five or six huge Par 4s make it a track where length is more than useful. Small green complexes will make ball-striking even more important. Firm fairways and greens will hopefully mean this is not the putting competition we have seen all too often this year.
I have tried to think of a nice way to say this, but it’s an awful field. It really is. Outside of the top-three in the betting that is… Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler and Jimmy Walker are in attendance but as far as world class goes, that’s it. That could be a strength depending on how you bet on golf.
There are those of us that quite happily punt small on big prices each-way and I am certainly in that camp. However, there are certain occasions when small prices can be huge value. Even in a field of 130 odd runners.On four occasions this year, I have tipped a favourite – three of those have gone on to win – the other won the week previously and the week thereafter. Cheers Rory!
Sorry to all you big price hunters but I really fancy a ‘short’ price this week. We would love a 9/1 winner in any other sport, so why not golf. Justin Rose is the absolute class of the field, in much better form than Fowler and Walker, a game that suits and vitally, his ball-striking and iron play is as good as it’s ever been. If I were 10/10 on Jordan Spieth at Augusta, I would have to be 9/10 on the defending champion in this field.
I would quite happily leave it there but there are always some great value big prices in any golf tournament and this week is no different. James Hahn won at Riviera in February. Certainly back in form with sixth at Old White TPC and 11th last week on a course that did not suit. This is much more his style and 80/1 is a standout.
Ricky Barnes is a man in great form. Third in The Barbasol on the weekend of St Andrews before an 11th-placed finish a week later in Canada caught the eye. The former US Open runner-up is 151st in the FedEx Cup so has plenty to play for. A Top 20 finish here will get him inside the 125 qualifiers. He’s more than capable and I think 150/1 is incredibly generous.
Will Wilcox is a player I had never heard of three weeks ago but he has really grabbed my attention with a couple of Top 10 showings – a great ball striker, long and a very decent putter. It’s probably the fact he is the only guy I have ever seen play a yellow ball but I really like him at 50/1.
It’s a really tricky contest this week with such a poor field. You can make a case for any of the front three but hopefully Justin won’t let us down.
Meanwhile, it’s the USPGA in a couple of weeks time, the last Major of the season. I would love to bag three out of four winners and I am very sweet on one player. I tweeted two weeks ago that I was convinced Jason Day will finally come good. I have to admit, I was delighted and surprised to see him win on Sunday although a little annoyed because his odds have gone through the floor. I managed to get on at 25/1 and 22/1 and if you’re lucky, there’s still some 20/1 around.