USPGA Picks

oakhill

New York’s Oak Hill Country Club welcomes golf’s elite to battle it out for the year’s final major. As always, there’s prices available to try and bag a nice win… It’s just a matter of finding the right ones.

After last month’s “oh so close” effort. I’ve decided to take my own advice and base this final major on trying to secure a profit. So I’m going to be looking at which golfers can potentially make the frame and bag themselves a top 5 spot. Oak Hill is as tough a course as any on it’s day. The fairways are tight, very tight! The rough is thick and the greens are quick. The players are in for a stern test customary of competing for a major. There is talk of rain coming down today though and if it does the softening throughout, particularly on some of the quicker greens, is said to be a big plus for the players in terms of course difficulty.

Nevertheless, whoever is going to be successful this week is going to require a lot of fairway/greens in regulation and putt solid from within 15 ft. Sounds obvious I know. But there are players on tour who can more often than not handle a rocky ride to success. In and out of rough, sand saves and audacious ‘risk-it-all’ shots. I don’t see that being the case this week. There’s plenty of water to be found and these types of players are going to get wet at least once this week in my opinion. The course cries out for a steady player who’s tee to green is one of the more solid on tour. So who’s it gonna be?!…

The “Steady Eddie’s”

I’ve followed Matt Kuchar for some time and he’s pretty much a rock when it comes to consistency. Currently 2nd in the FedexCup standings he’s bagged 2 tour wins and another couple of 2nd’s for good measure this season. Despite one of those 2nd places coming a few weeks ago though, Kuchar hasn’t been on best form the last month or so and his 40/1 (Bet365) price tag probably justifies his little slump. His driving accuracy is also the only other thing that concerns me. 144th on tour doesn’t make good reading for when tackling a course that features several holes with only 20ft wide fairways. However, he’s a grinder and he has a good temperament so won’t get his head down if things aren’t always going his way. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him put in a good showing this week.

Adam Scott is showing the world that he’s as good as anyone on tour right now. He’s as long off the tee as anyone that isn’t Bubba or Dustin and his putter never lets him down these days. He’s got over the psychological blip by winning a major already this year and he’s sure to go close this week. I can’t justify his 20/1 odds (Bet365) however if I’m looking for a decent top 5 shout.

Maybe Zach Johnson is the man for the challenge this week. He’s ranked 11th on tour for driving accuracy which is a stat that should hold him in good stead this week. Couple that with the fact he’s had a top 10 finish in his last 3 tournaments that would suggest he’s in the form to win this week. 50/1 (Bet365) is none too shabby to go close.

Keegan Bradley (40/1) and Jason Dufner (45/1) famously battled it out for this major back in 2011. Where Bradley came out the victor via a playoff after Dufner let him in the back door by letting a 5 shot lead slip in the closing holes. These two are both in good form of late and can give good accounts of themselves I’m sure. Dufner has already had 3 top 5 major finishes in his career and is 23rd and 40th in GIR and FIR respectively this season which is solid reading. Bradley has distance on his side (7th on tour) which will help and his 2nd place at the Bridgestone Invitational last time out can be classified as a win in my opinion as it was only a superhuman Tiger Woods that stood in his way that week.

My Pick – Henrik Stenson

If we’re looking at season stats alone then for me there’s only one stand out choice. That’s the in-form Swede Henrik Stenson. Ranked 6th for driving accuracy and 3rd for GIR are the sort of stats most players would drool over. Stenson has finally found his absolute A-game this year after a few torrid terms in the wilderness. Back to back 2nd place finishes prove he’s in the zone at the minute. And this time it’s clearly no fluke as he’s made 3 more top 5 finishes earlier in the season. At odds of 25/1 with Bet365 he looks the most solid to stake a claim for a top 5 finish. It’s thin value but the form he is in justifies that. I really think he has the perfect steady game to go close this week.