Just going to take a quick look at some people I think might be decent value:
Tiger Woods: There might be a touch of value in Tiger to win this week. Obviously, everyone hates him after what he did last week, but I’m not putting too much stock in that. Basically, if you think there is meaning into why Tiger has been so much better in majors 15-1 is probably slight value, if not, Tiger’s probably more around 25-1. I’m not convinced on him winning, but I think he has a great shot to finish ahead of Phil.
Steve Stricker: Apparently not even being in his home state gets full respect for Stricker. Whatever that is worth, plus whatever credit he deserves for a top-10 is probably worth something for the world’s second best golfer. Stricker’s major performance from the last 4 years is below average, but I don’t think there is a whole lot of meaning to that considering he has won plenty of big tournaments in that time. Since 2006, Stricker has been basically the same golfer as Phil Mickelson round for round, with Stricker being better in the recent years. A boring personality and variance at the majors are the only reasons people don’t realize this.
Anthony Kim: Obviously there are injury and performance concerns coming off last week. That should serve to make Kim quite unpopular. I doubt Kim will be 100-percent, but even at less than full health, Kim is good enough to make the chance he gets lucky at 150-1 pretty good.
Jim Furyk: Furyk back-doored another top-5 performance last week, which seems to be about par for the course for him. Like Stricker, he’s never been quite as good in majors as the rest of the tournaments, so no one considers how good he really is. Furyk along with Els and Singh are the three players I think you could make a very strong case that have been better than Phil Mickelson in the Tiger era. It’s close, though.
Paul Casey: I made pretty much the same case for Casey at St. Andrews where he finished 3rd. It seems like all of the Euros are getting hype now, except for the ones who really deserve it. It’s been kind of an up a-and-down career for Casey, but he has at least 4 seasons as good as 2010(which is down from 09).
Sergio Garcia Sergio has been awful this year, leading to what is probably a much needed vacation from golf. Still, everyone hates him because he’s such a whiner, and he has played decently in majors. From 2004-2009, this guy was really good, with play that stacked up in majors. In 2010, he fell apart. He probably has no shot at winning this week, which makes him at least a decent look.
Rickie Fowler: Didn’t think I’d be defending Rickie after such a high profile start to his career. Fowler has not been too much of a standout overall, but has shown the ability to go low when he gets hot and get into contention. I still think he might be a little short of putting four winning rounds together, but judging by his play at St. Andrews it might be worth a shot that he gets lucky.
Zach Johnson: ZJ is now almost always undervalued. His career has been so roller coaster that it’s tough to get a good stand on where he should be. With a major under is belt, three really good seasons and everything else pretty strong I think he’s worth a shot at a venue where his name jumps out to almost no one. (Remember Chris DiMarco and Justin Leonard made a playoff here last time)
J.B. Holmes: Holmes has been good enough in 2010 to make him worth 125-1. However, this is his only year on tour anywhere close to this good (largely because he has turned around a horrendous short game) so I’d say tread with caution.
Mitch Lowe: After a 103rd Finish in Reno, Mitch Lowe is trending up.
Kenny Perry: 2009 seemed to be such an outlier for Kenny at his age that I’m a little concerned here. Kenny definitely matched his level from earlier in his career last year, but the previous few years(as well as this one) have been down from that. At his age, that’s probably predictable, but he might be slight value playing well last week and at 200-1.
Steve Marino: Steve has back issues, reportedly from carrying the PGA Tour in Tiger’s absence, that forced him to miss Greenbriar. With two weeks to rest, I think that’s enough to make Steve worth a look at an inflated price.
Michael Sim: If, like me, you weren’t paying attention to Turning Stone Sim rallied on the final day to finish T-3. I doubt he made it onto TV that round. I’m not sure how much of Sim’s 2009 was luck or not, but you’re definitely getting a player with potential on a low here, who can really chip and putt.
Kevin Na: He’s going to win at some point, why not a major?
Soren Kjeldsen: Not that finishing top-5 last year actually means anything, but it shows you he was capable of contending in a major. It’s easy to write Soren off, because no matter what he does he is underrated, but he keeps popping up for wins somewhere around the world.
David Toms: His history, with a PGA win, is really pretty hard to ignore even though he’s had a down year. He should be able to rebound with at least one more strong year in his career and I’m thinking there is a better than 325-1 chance it starts this week.
Jason Bohn: Interestingly enough one of the big stats on tour that predicts success is approaches from outside of 200 yards. Bohn has been inside the top-10 in that category each of the last two years. Of course, the rest of his game is not that great, but he’s surprising strong enough in his career to be interesting at almost 400-1.
Mike Weir: Almost Identical comparison to David Toms. Will he win this week? Probably not, but there has to be better than a 500-1 shot.
Gonzalo Fernandez Castano: Sergio’s pal is your out-of-left-field random look of the week. He’s certainly been consistent enough in Europe, though if he came to America you would never distinguish him from the pros that finish 75-100 on the moneylist every year. What distinguishes him this week is that he is 950-1, while most of those guys are 400 to 500-1. Gregory Havret finished second in the US Open and GFC is way more accomplished than him, so you never know.