Almost Heaven For Casey In West Virginia
After missing out on the Travelers Championship title last week, Paul Casey represents more value at 22/1 for the Greenbrier Classic than the favourite, Bubba Watson, at 10/1.
The Greenbrier Classic was founded in 2010 to replace the Buick Classic, and was originally played at the end of the month before being moved to early July in 2012. All five winners so far have been unfancied going into the tournament. In 2010, Stuart Appleby earned his first PGA Tour win in four years and two of the last four winners – Scott Stallings and Ted Potter Jnr – were claiming their first PGA events.
The Old White TPC, at The Greenbrier, West Virginia, was opened in 1914. It has been altered since 2010, and is now over 7200 yards, but is still not particularly long by PGA standards. The fairways are generous, and low scores are common, with the trickiest aspect of the course being the undulating greens. This isn’t a particularly competitive venue, so look out for big-priced outsiders in good putting form.
In The Bunker
Bubba Watson bounced back from missing the cut at the US Open to clinch the Travelers Championship and that effort means he’s a short-priced antepost favourite this week.
He should still be fresh, having completed only six rounds of competitive golf since the middle of May, but given the fiercely competitive nature of PGA events, back to back wins are a rarity on Tour and odds of 10/1 don’t look particularly inviting.
Paul Casey missed out on his second PGA Tour title at the Travelers Championship on Sunday but at much bigger odds than the favourite, he’s worth sticking with this week.
His play-off defeat to Bubba Watson was his second of the year, and his sixth top-ten finish in a PGA event this season.
He’s playing as well now as at any stage of his career and at 22/1 he looks a terrific bet this week.
Webb Simpson’s form this season hasn’t been particularly eye-catching but he has six top-twenty finishes to his name and given his record in this event, he should be on your shortlist. His five visits to West Virginia have produced three top-tens, including a third last year, which featured an impressive final round of 63. At 22/1, he should give you a good run for your money.
A top five finish at Colonial has been the sole highlight of George McNeill’s season so far, but at decent odds, he could represent an interesting bet this week. He missed the cut on each of his first two attempts at this tournament, but improved on those efforts to finish seventeenth in 2013 and last year finished second behind Angel Cabrera, thanks to a superb final round of 61.
That performance gives us a reason to overlook his poor form in 2015 and to add him to the shortlist at 40/1.
*Prices correct at time of publication