I really like this course, and it is a decent field, so I came up with a lot of options. Here was my list, Let’s go process of elimination style:
Jeev Milkha Singh
Brendon de Jonge
Jeev Milkha Singh: W/D, that is an easy cross off.
: Forgot he won this year in Canada.
Nicholas Thompson: Not really his style course, in my opinion, finished too well at turning stone for a guy who legitimately should be a long shot. A couple of things to like about Thompson, though. He is 145th on the moneylist and should have some extra motivation to play well to get inside the top-125. Also, he has underperformed from 2008. Kevin Streelman, Brendon de Jonge, Stephen Ames: Ehh.
That leaves the final four of Kevin Sutherland, Mathew Goggin, John Merrick, Briny Baird.
Kevin Sutherland: I like Sutherland’s game for this course, which doesn’t quite require the flashy birdie making ability that some of the TPC style courses do. The problem is he played well here last year and I don’t see an upside. I’d be willing to overlook one or maybe both if it was an obvious overlay, but the 58-1 my numbers have is not that much better than 60. Mathew Goggin: Again, Goggin is in same boat as Sutherland. Overall, he probably has more upside but several good finishes at Grayhawk is enough to scare me off a small edge.
Briny Baird and John Merrick: I don’t know what to say about these guys. Both of them have underperformed by about the same margin in 09 compared to 2008. They are both pretty good ball-strikers, Baird screams “Marginal to me.” I’m not feeling much better about Merrick, except for the fact he has missed 4 straight cuts. It was 150-1 when I looked on Monday, and now it’s 180-1. So:
John Merrick to win +18000(.11)
I should add, I think this is no where near as strong as Bob Allenby in Europe.
Tim Clark +110 v. Mike Weir(1)
Really like Clark for this course as well. His apparent coming out party at Harding Park is a knock for sure. But, I think it is less of a knock, considering he was irrelevant last week, than Mike Weir playing like Tiger Woods on this course the last two years. Clark and Weir have pretty similar styles of play, and overall are about the same. Clark is a little better so I’ll take the chance that back-to-back good showings at Grayhawk are just statistical noise.
A little bit slower on the actual tours this week, but I don’t see a whole lot of good things out there. Plus, I am going to be far too involved in the Volvo World Match Play Championship next week.