Matsuyama Matters In California Open

Outright Betting

The PGA Tour moves to the CordeValle Golf Club in San Martin, California this week for the Open…

The Tournament
The Open is one of the newer events on the PGA Tour, established in 2007 and originally forming part of the Fall Series. But last year the Tour moved to a different schedule and this tournament became the opening event of the new-look PGA season. The total prize fund has been increased to a healthy $6 million and this year the winner will take home a touch over $1 million.

The Course
The tournament has been hosted by the CordeValle Golf Club in San Martin, California since 2010, but this year will take place on the North Course at the Silverado Country Club in Napa. The course has been altered since the last Champions Tour event was held there in 2002, and is now a touch over 7200 yards, but is a typical parkland course, with wide, forgiving fairways and fast greens that shouldn’t prove too much of a challenge for the PGA’s finest.

In The Bunker
Matt Kuchar will always give you a good run for your money and you can usually count on a top twenty finish from him, but is he worth backing as antepost favourite this weekend? After a string of consistent efforts through the spring and early summer, his form fell away in the last few events of the FedEx Cup play-offs and he had a poor Ryder Cup. On his tournament debut, I’ll be giving him a miss at 14/1.

Recommended Bets
Brandt Snedeker is another player making his tournament debut, but at bigger odds than Kuchar, makes more appeal. He missed the cut in his two FedEx Cup play-off events, but was probably pushing too hard to earn a captain’s pick for the Ryder Cup. Prior to those disappointments, he was in good form and having had a month off he should be refreshed for the new season. Back him at 30/1 to kick off with a win.

Hideki Matsuyama was one of the stars of the last PGA Tour season and he can kick off his second full campaign with a victory in California.

He finished with a solid performance at the Tour Championship and after three weeks off, should be raring to go.

He started last season with a third at this event and I think he can improve on that effort in 2014. Back him at 22/1 to land his second PGA Tour victory.

The field features a number of players stepping up to the full PGA Tour after good seasons on the Tour and the pick of the bunch is Canadian Adam Hadwin. He finished as top earner on the Tour, achieving a couple of wins and finished the season with four top ten finishes in his last five events. He’s played a few PGA events before so won’t be overawed, and offers plenty of value at 66/1.