The penultimate playoff event in the FEDEX this week visits Crooked Stick – the venue that many of us recall watching open-mouthed as a beer swilling, skittle munching John Daly announced himself to the world in the 1991 US PGA. Sadly there are unlikely going to be scenes reminiscent of that this week, but we should expect another stellar display from Rory McIlroy.
It was great to see Rory capitalising on his great ball-striking with a half decent putting week and we fully expect him to go well again at the long Crooked Stick. When Rory previously signed up a new putting coach (Dave Stockton) he went well pretty quickly and there is no doubt that he looked far more confident on the short grass last week at The Barclays since his recent affiliation with Phil Kenyon.
Given the course set-up and the history there, we are fully expecting it to be a bombers paradise and are selecting accordingly. Though we like Rory’s chances, we can’t justify the 5/1 odds.
Dustin Johnson 10/1 – Stake £10 e/w Potential return £145
Barring a woeful 3rd round last week, DJ would have been right in amongst it to carry on his wonderful summer of golf. The course should suit him right down to the ground and with par 5 scoring a key factor last time the event was here, there are a lot of good reasons to feel good about his chances. The FEDEX title would certainly cap off a vintage year for DJ.
Sergio Garcia 40/1 – Stake £10 e/w Potential return £520
Sergio may not have been making headlines, but his form has been very impressive nonetheless. He had a couple of good years in the playoffs when he got himself in the mix only to fall agonisingly short in the end. He’s certainly not short off the tee and could do with a strong finish to propel him up the rankings ahead of the lucrative tour championship.
Louis Oosthuizen 40/1 – Stake £10 e/w Potential return £520
The smooth swinging farmer came charging through the field last week and threatened at one point. His game is certainly on the up and with his length he should fancy the challenge of Crooked Stick. As well as showing some good form, he will be motivated to perform well at Crooked Stick as he was first inspired to take up the game when watching the booze-fuelled John Daly tearing a swathe through the field back in ’91. “It was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen.”
Gary Woodland 60/1 – Stake £10 e/w Potential return £770
We’ve been burned by young Gary once or twice before, but he’s playing too well to be ignored. He is absolutely striping it right now and will probably find this golf course a little short for his palette! He’s firing well and may even be a decent outside bet on a Ryder Cup berth given his form and the length of Hazeltine.
Justin Thomas 90/1 – Stake £5 e/w Potential return £572.50
It won’t just be JT’s Mum who wants him to win this week – Davis Love III is desperate for him to get into the top 12 of the Ryder Cup standings in order to justify his pick. Otherwise Davis is going to have to fly right in the face of his task force, stats gang et al. JT is ranked right up there in the FEDEX and is another man bringing the form into the business end of the season.
Smylie Kaufman 150/1 – Stake £5 e/w Potential return £947.50
Making the Ryder Cup alongside the rest of the #SB16 crew may be beyond the fresh-faced Smylie, but he’ll have his sights firmly on making the Tour Championship to cap off an incredible debut season on the PGA Tour. He played great for 3 rounds last week before backing up the bus in spectacular fashion on Sunday. He will take the positives from it and look to continue his good form into Crooked Stick.