FRESH from a 30/1 winner last Sunday Louis Ross (@LouisRoss67) bids to continue his hot form in New Orleans this week.
Zurich Classic Of New Orleans | Thursday – Sunday
There are a couple of really interesting weeks ahead for golf fans. Next week sees the Wells Fargo Championship at the testing Quail Hollow followed by perhaps the best tournament of the year outside of Augusta, The Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass.
Patrick Reed gave a performance worthy of note in last weeks Valero Texas Open. His iron play was outstanding and although he missed a couple of 6-8 foot putts on the closing holes, I think you will see him winning very soon.
Branden Grace who I was very keen on in San Antonio came through the field on the weekend for a creditable Top 10. Anyone considering ante-post bets on The Open or US Open needs to take the South African into account. He's excellent in windy conditions and his short game just continues to get better.
On to this week and TPC Louisiana is the host once again for the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. After six weeks or so of extremely difficult, technical courses with penal rough, this is the polar opposite. Short Par 4s, reachable Par 5s, this Pete Dye design has its main defence in its multi level Green complexes.
Very much a traditional American resort course. The Par 72 of some 7425 yards plays easy with wide receptive fairways and just five water hazards. There are few trees in play and Greens in Regulation is a huge stat to look for.
This tournament always sees low scoring and a packed leaderboard. I wouldn't be surprised to see 20-25 players within five shots of the lead on Sunday. If your bet is going well after 54 holes, don't think it's a done deal. Someone will go very low in that last round and you probably want to see -22 or -23 before you have a live chance.
I wanted to get this piece out early as there are a couple of prices I see dropping fairly early on. However that means a whole lot less information on weather which makes tipping slightly more risky. If winds are around the 20mph mark, expect scores to be one to two shots per round higher than the last couple of years.
Jason Day goes off as an 11/2 favourite in a field that is fairly weak outside of the top 5 or 6 players in the field. Realistically the Aussie should win this by a distance but I don't think anyone is reading this for an 11/2 tip. A short priced favourite always means some value elsewhere and this week is no different.
Billy Horschel is similar to his compatriot Patrick Reed in many ways. Deeply passionate and very vocal on the course, Billy clearly has the tools to the do the job on a track that brought his breakthrough win in 2013. He went almost unnoticed last Sunday in the second last group alongside Reed and winner Charley Hoffman.
He has been quietly coming back to his game throughout 2016. The 2014 FedEx Cup winner had a dip in form last year but Billy is a streaky kind of golfer and like a lot of my recent picks, I am backing the man in form on the right course. 22/1 with Paddy Power is a standout to me.
Danny Lee is another who seems way too big in the betting. The New Zealander had a breakthrough season in 2015 and is just starting to get back to the kind of form that brought him a first PGA Tour win at the Greenbrier Classic and a whole host of other Top 5 and Top 10 finishes.
16th at Augusta this month represents a best ever Major performance. A change of putting style in late 2014 brought immediate benefits and on a course where birdie scoring is premium, I want a guy who can putt his way to a Top 20 at Augusta, 6th at the Bridgestone and 2nd at the Tour Championship.
Quoted at 60/1 by 888 Sport, I think that's 10-15 points too long. Lee shot -15 here last year and has since jumped 50 plus places in the world rankings.
Cameron Tringale comes here off of the back of some awful form and is really not one of my typical picks but look back on 2015 and his second place here came off of the back of a missed cut at Hilton Head and some similar results all round. Four Top 20 finishes in six starts is a stat that's hard to ignore on a track that's not to everyone's liking. 60/1 with BetFred is a price I'm happy to play.
Zurich Classic Of New Orleans – Billy Horschel each way (22/1 Paddy Power)
Zurich Classic Of New Orleans – Danny Lee each way (60/1 888 Sport)
Zurich Classic Of New Orleans – Cameron Tringale each way (60/1 Betfred)
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