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I visited Ballyliffin Golf Club recently to catch up with preparations for the 2018 Irish Open and got to chat with Links Superintendent Andy Robertson for some insight into the test that awaits the players from the 5th to the 8th of July.

Ballyliffin Head Greenkeeper Andy Robertson
With the Glashedy course selected to host the event, Andy warns it'll be a tough test.

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2018 Travelers Championship Betting Preview And Tips

June 21st – 24th, 2018
TPC River Highlands, Cromwell, Connecticut
Par: 70 / Yardage: 6,841
Purse: $7 million with $1,260,000 to the winner
Defending Champion: Jordan Spieth

Last week: We tipped Brooks Koepka at 20/1.

The good news at The Travelers is this is not one of your typical crappy 'week after a Major' fields (Spieth, McIlroy, Thomas all play and are around the 12/1 mark) but the bad news is we just don’t know how much the bruising week in Shinnecock has taken out of our battle weary warriors.  If you fancy a bet on the tournament I recommend a betting comparison site like MaxFreeBets to get the best odds.

Doc's Top 5 Best Travelers Bets

Daniel Berger 33/1

Daniel will be leaving with a wheelbarrow of cash this week. So will we.

I think Daniel is the bet of the week at on average 33/1 across the bookies and here's why.  He started great on Tour this year all the way to Houston and then it all sort of went pear shaped.  But sharing the 54 hole lead at the US Open and finishing a creditable T6 will have given him huge confidence. I'm sure he's looking at Spieth, JT and co and thinking "I'm as good as these guys…why am I not doing what they are doing??"  Twice a winner in June, lost in a playoff to Spieth last year and was T5 here in 2016; Daniel is a great each way bet.

Paul Casey 18/1

Paul just being his giggly loveable old smiley self.

Discovered Cromwell Connecticut late in life but loves the place with a solo 2nd, T17 and T5 return from his three visits. Paul got a deserving win at the Valspar a couple of months back before a back injury forced him to withdraw from The Players.  He returned (still affected with niggles) with a T20 in Wentworth and the fact that he's in the field following a T16 at Shinnecock indicates his back is up to the test.  If he plays anywhere near his potential Casey can contend here.

Patrick Reed 18/1

I have no idea who did this.

The hallmark of Jordan Spieth's win at TPC River Highlands last year were his irons and putting and there's nobody doing that better right now than Pat Reed.  For the Masters winner to battle his way into contention at the US Open was nothing short of sensational.  Rounds of 73, 72, 71 and 68 showed a man with a plan and having finished T11, T5 here in 2016 and 2017 I think he can certainly place.

Bubba Watson 33/1

Bubba winning coffee table now on sale

Poor old Bubba missed the cut at the US Open last week but slinging sidespin and the Shinnecock's USGA pin locations were never going to work for him.  After a weekend off he returns to the more sedate TPC River Highlands where his face adorns the posters as a two time victor in 2010 and 2015.  After winning the Genesis and placing T5 at The Masters the season hasn't kicked on for Bubba but I guarantee he'll be trying his hardest to make it three victories here this week. Good memories and feeling loved to drive Bubba to a happy place!

Xander Schauffele 40/1

Xander. More dodgy letters in his name than a game of Countdown. 

Wait a second, what about Xander Schauffele turning into a big game player?  Didn't he win last years Tour Championship, tie 2nd at The Players this year and finish in the top-6 in the last two US Opens?  Yes he did and finished T14 on his debut at TPC River Highlands.  Worth a look at 40/1

Long Odds Glory Shots

The Hoff. Legend is he had them all. Except the one bottom right. Too skinny he said.

Charley Hoffman is 50/1 and finished T3 here last year needing only 106 putts. The Hoff is a perennial contender at The Travelers and seems to be on the way back after a torrid run of form with a better T20 at the US Open where he was 2nd on the leaderboard after 36 holes.

Russell Henley at 66/1 shot his bolt with a third round of 77 at Shinnecock last week but overall he got a lot of air time with some fine play. T11 last year and will bring confidence.

I see Brendan Steele and Danny Lee at 100/1 in the odds and it might be worth charting their progress this week.  Steele has a stack of top 25's in this event and Danny Lee fronts up every now and again with a big performance and tee to green impressed me last year here.

GOD ALMIGHTY has this morning expressed his happiness at the performance of his younger less well known son Tommy Fleetwood in finishing second at the US Open.

"Tommy did great," began God, peering out from over some clouds in Rome, "But the Devil has control of that bastard Mike Davis and his bunch of USGA heathens, so like I couldn't help Tommy much and he basically had to do it all on his own." 
"I mean it has always been difficult for Tommy," God continued.  The older lad 'Jesus' got all the headlines and when we said we'd try for a second coming of Christ 2,000 years later, well in 1991 to be exact, and sent down Tommy to Southport it was kindof impossible to get the same media coverage. There no was facebook or twitter in those days you know."

Despite being CEO of Heaven and Almighty Ruler of Earth God said he has no plans to rig the Open Championship next month so that Tommy wins.

"Mother Nature has been acting like a complete bitch lately and I can't even be in the same room as her so I might just let it play out and see if Tommy's God given talent is enough to win him the Claret Jug," said God. "And Carnoustie was one of the first 18 hole links courses designed by The Devil so my hands are tied there too."
"One thing is for sure," God added. "I am not helping Bubba Watson or Zach Johnson to win ever again. I mean since those bastards won Majors they haven't been to Mass once and haven't said so much as a prayer before meals. They just used me and I'm sick of it."

More as it emerges.

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What a day it was on Sunday at the US Open! Tommy Fleetwood shoots 63 on an apologetic set up from the USGA and Brooks Koepka along with Ricky Elliot on the bag putts his way to a second consecutive US Open.

As Paul McGinley said on Sky, Brooks is considered "one of our own" having cut his teeth on the European Challenge Tour.

The winning moment.

Loved this slo mo.

I tipped Brooks at 20/1

Always fun tweeting about Tommy Fleetwood!
Here's his 63.

But enough of the happiness.  Ian Poulter was angry.
Over heckling

and the course!

But "Bozo" was the best!

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Phil Mickelson cheated by purposely hitting a moving ball yesterday at the US Open in plain view of millions around the world and was defiant after. I'm christening it "Mickelgate."

First here's what happened.

Writer Alan Shipnuck texted Phil and got short shrift. He posted a screenshot of the reply.

"At that time I didn't feel like going back-and-forth and hitting the same shot over. I took the two-shot penalty and moved on... I don't mean any disrespect," he said after.

Here's Phil talking to Curtis Strange after.

Cannot wait to see what happens today!!

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You can watch all the US Open highlights on the mainstream channels but these are my alternative highlights from a thrilling windy carnage filled day at Shinnecock Hills and.....wait for it....Scottish Open venue Gullane?

First up there was the mass search for Dustin Johnson's ball.  Then Beemer finds it by accidentally stepping on it! All caught live on camera. And it was TV gold. DJ got a free drop and escaped with bogey to technically that 1 under round was all thanks to Rich.

and here's what happened next!

Poor old GMac summed up the sometimes cruel humour of the test.

Funny thing was Tiger didn't play that bad but three poor holes really cost him.  Best bit was where Robert Lee in commentary apologised after Tiger said "Christ" but after the apology came the really good stuff!! Listen carefully!!

And finally to Scottish Open venue Gullane where somebody forget the tent pegs!

And finally finally I loved Paul McGinley telling viewers about Shane Lowry's Dad Brendan, a GAA hero in Ireland.

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As always Mother Nature has her say in the golfing Majors and word from weather forecasters at Shinnecock Hills is that the early starters on Day 1 of the US Open will have a big advantage over those following in the afternoon.

Related Post:  2018 US Open Betting Tips

Wednesday saw the course softened up by heavy rainfall and more fell during the night.  With strong winds forecast all day Thursday Mike Davis of the USGA has changed several of the pin locations on the steeply-sloped greens to ensure they are playable.

The prediction however is that by Thursday afternoon the surfaces will have dried out greatly in the sun and with the strongest winds forecast from 2pm onwards the afternoon starters will have by far the more difficult of the conditions.

“I would also say that if we get some of the top winds that they’re predicting, it doesn’t matter how slow the greens are and how flat the surfaces are,” Davis said. “You will see balls blowing, and that’s just the nature when you get up into 30-mile per hour plus, which we might get gusts.”

Those in the afternoon draw and 1.46pm include the Tiger Woods, Justin Thomas and Dustin Johnson grouping.

Bubba Watson, Jason Day and Brooks Koepka start at 7.40am on day one and thus should have the best of the weather.

You can see the full draw here.

2018 US Open Betting Preview and Tips Video

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Just a day after Jason Day sat through his 2018 US Open press conference  wearing what appeared to be a bullet proof vest, Hideki Matsuyama has turned up for his in full SWAT gear.

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Related Post: 2018 US Open Betting Preview and Tips
Related Post: Top Five 2018 US Open Long Odds 100/1 Bets 

Jason Day's Bullet Proof Vest at the US Open presser and poor old gullible Hideki!

2018 US Open Betting Preview and Tips Video

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A lot of the news from the 2018 US Open buildup seems to be the New York traffic and how some players are getting caught in frustrating three hour tail backs just to get to and from the course.

Tiger getting in some putting on "Privacy"

One man who wont be having that problem is Tiger Woods.  After failing to secure on site accommodation (booked out years ago) Tiger put plan B into operation by bring his $20 million Yacht named "Privacy" to Montauk Yacht Club for the week.  Then on discovering the 32 mile commute from there to Shinnecock Hills was a pain in the arse, he had Privacy brought to a berth in Sag Harbour.  That's just 25 minutes from the course and he can chopper in and out.

Tiger's new commute

The majority of the questions put to Woods in his presser yesterday surrounded his putting.  And he was quite bullish?

QUESTION: Tiger, by any chance, besides reps, have you done anything specifically to address your putting? And by any chance did Stricks take a look last night?

TIGER WOODS: No, Stricks didn't take a look at it. I worked on it pretty hard this past week. Just had to hit a lot of putts, just put in the legwork, and I was able to do that. My stroke feels good, and we're back on old bumpy poa. So hopefully hit good solid putts and see what happens.

2018 US Open Betting Preview and Tips Video

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2018 US Open Long Odds 100/1 Betting Tips

June 14th – 17th, 2018
Shinnecock Hills Golf Club, Southampton, New York,
Par: 70 / Yardage: 7,440
Defending Champion: Brooks Koepka

If you read my original 2018 US Open Betting Tips Post and watched my YouTube Video in association with you'll have seen me allude to some crazy long odds value available in the market. With some bookmakers paying out up to 10 places, it's well worth exploring some of the longer odds players that have credible chances of finishing high on the final leaderboard but may have snuck under the radar.
Be sure to check out the top sports gambling web sites beforehand if you decide to put any money down on these long shots, as the sportsbooks there are based on in-depth reviews and pinpoint ratings.

2018 US Open Long Odds Betting Tips

Here's my five top Long Odds picks of odds around 100/1 or maybe even better.

Byeong Hun An 100/1

The bookies have Ben out at long odds because of three missed cuts from his four US Open starts but he's been learning his craft over the years and has emerged in 2018 as a global force who can now contend on the biggest stage.  Top-10's at the Honda and Heritage were matched with a T30 at The Players and then a T15 at Wentworth at the BMW PGA Championship on the European Tour where he won a couple of years back.  But it was perhaps his T2 on a tough golf course at The Memorial two weeks ago that made everyone sit up and take notice and I think those 100/1 odds look pretty  good now!

Brandt Snedeker 100/1

There's this belief that the modern US Open has become a slugfest designed only for the muscled up longer hitters but if you ask Mike Davis and the USGA they will tell you the opposite.  And I believe Shinnecock Hills, as long and tough as it plays, is a proper old school test that doesn't eliminate the shorter hitters.  And that's where Brandt Snedeker comes back into the reckoning.  We know he's fit again and in form after a great week at TPC Southwind and with four US Open Top-10's and six Top-15's since 2011 he's certainly a man that has the ability to engineer his ball around these tests.

Rafa Cabrera Bello 100/1

Another who has struggled in US Opens but has found consistent form on both sides of the Atlantic this year is Rafa Cabrera Bello.  From a T3 at the WGC Mexico, to a T17 at The Players, a T8 at the BMW PGA and solo fourth at the Italian Open the Spaniard has shown a world class level of ball-striking.  You have to think this US Open  is perfectly suited to his creativity; just needs one stellar week with the putter and he can contend.

Jason Dufner  125/1

If you can keep your head while all about you are losing theirs….you'll be Jason Dufner several times at the US Open. Tied 4th in 2012 and 2013 and T8 at Oakmont in 2016 and when he's in the mood possesses the game that simply bores courses into submission with his machine like precision.  But therein lies the very problem, judging his form.  Comes in off missed cuts at The Memorial and Fort Worth but fronted up with a T5 at The Players Championship.  If the "fifth" Major is a formguide for this week, don’t count the 2013 PGA Champion out.

Jimmy Walker 100/1

It's absolutely wonderful to see Jimmy Walker back producing some of his best golf this year after his battle with debilitating Lyme Disease.  A T20 at The Masters sparked a run of good finishes including a 4th in Texas, T2 at The Players, T6 at The Byron Nelson and T20 last time out in Fort Worth.  Best of T9 in the 2014 US Open but Jimmy Walker is also a former Major Champion and when in position knows how to win.

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Lots of videos and stuff on social media following Monday practice at the US Open and one of the highlights was Andrew "Beef" Johnstone meeting Donald Trump.  It went something like this....

Golfcentraldaily Funny Pic

Related Post: 2018 US Open Betting Preview and Tips

Brocaddy also demonstrated the false front and slope on the 18th green.  You need to be hitting 20 yards onto that green or else this will happen.

The general consensus is that the fairways are generous at Shinnecock Hills but miss them and the second cut of rough is gnarly lost ball stuff.

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2018 US Open Betting Tips

The hotly anticipated second Major of the season is here, and with plenty of winnings in the pot, we preview the Top-5 Best Bets and some Long Odds Glory shots in the 118th U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills.

US Open Betting Tips GolfCentralDaily
2018 US Open Betting Tips

Shinnecock Course And Weather Info

June 14th – 17th, 2018
Shinnecock Hills Golf Club, Southampton, New York.
Par: 70 / Yardage: 7,440
Defending Champion: Brooks Koepka

We are at Shinnecock Hills this year, 16 under won last year at Erin Hills, expect scoring to be tougher this time around, but Mike Davis and the USGA will be keen to avoid a repeat of 2004 when the 7th green at Shinnecock was rolled before the third round and became virtually unplayable.
Weather is set to be comfortably warm and fair with breezier conditions Thursday and Friday and lighter winds at the weekend. Check it out here.

Favourite Discussion

Now as always my strategy  is based on each-way value; I don’t generally tip guys pre-tournament that are below 10/1 because that would be crazy in my opinion, the risk is too great, and they'll probably still be the same odds after two rounds anyway. So sorry guys I wont be tipping DJ at 8/1 after winning the St Jude by 6 shots because that's just no fun!

Doc's Top-5 2018 US Open Betting Tips

Now just before we get to my top-5 tips a word for my fantastic US Open tips sponsor, the very best in club hire in Europe and now in several locations worldwide. You can the latest models too from €35 a week, make sure to check them out.

US Open Top-5 Bets Facebook Video

Tip 1: Jason Day 20/1

You just cannot leave Jason Day off your US Open betslip; he's a warrior, a fighter, a scrapper, he'll take the hack-outs and bad kicks and just keep on trying until the end.  That spirit has seen him score five top-10 finishes from his seven US Opens and after winning twice already this season at the Farmers and Wells Fargo, he'll be fit and raring to go and add to his 2015 PGA Championship win.

Tip 2: Brooks Koepka 20/1

My second US Open tip is Brooks Koepka who plays his fifth US Open and of course is the defending champion from 2017 at Erin Hills.  Brooks has had an injury hit season but since his comeback has impressed with a T11 at The Players, solo second at Fort Worth and was got his prep done quietly last week at the St Jude Classic.  Never been outside the top-20 at a US Open, his ball striking and power give him a huge advantage on some of those daunting carries; Brooks will be there or thereabouts again. Trust me!

Tip 3: Jon Rahm 20/1

You almost get the impression that my third tip Jon Rahm is going under the radar for this US Open at 20/1 but he has been in fine form this season.  An early win at the Career Builder, fourth at The Masters, won again at home in Spain on the European Tour and tied 5th at Fort Worth last time out.  This is only his third US Open and temperament on tough courses is a question mark but anyone who witnessed Rahmbo's demolition job on the field at Portstewart links in the 2017 Irish Open will fancy him on a links like and windy Shinnecock Hills.

Tip 4: Branden Grace 40/1

With two top-5 finishes in his last three US Opens and coming into form again I've gone for Branden Grace at 40/1 as my fourth tip.  Now some of you canny punters will know that Coore and Crenshaw got their hands on Shinnecock Hills for a redesign/refurb/upgrade  since it last staged the US Open in 2004 and the PGA Tour have already played a Coore Crenshaw linksy course in 2018 at Trinity Forest, where, yes you guessed it, Branden Grace did quite well tying 3rd in the Byron Nelson.  Now of course Mike Davis and the USGA undid several of the changes by narrowing in the fairways again but I still fancy Grace to guts out an each way place if the course is hard, its hot, and the wind gets up.

Tip 5: Henrik Stenson 33/1

I remember well the 2004 US Open at Shinnecock Hills and Retief Goosen holing pretty much everything he looked at and while it’s the only aspect of Henrik's game I'm not completely in love with, I think Shinnecock Hills represents his best chance of a US Open win. Why? Because he's the straightest driver on the PGA Tour, by a mile.  He hits the most greens on the PGA Tour, by a mile. Just look at the stats from his last six starts, they are amazing.  When he misses the greens he ranks 6th in total scrambling, first in scrambling from the fringe and 12th in sand saves. And wait until you see the sand at Shinnecock, its real deal Irish or Scottish links sand. Tied 5th at The Masters and Henrik's been solid all season without really breaking through.  Statistically the players that hit the greens in a US Open win and you dont need to be a great putter and while I'm not fully convinced of that one I really fancy Henrik to come into a place.

Long Odds Glory Shots

Looking down the odds there is a huge amount of value around the 100/1 mark.  Down there you'll find Ben An who has a great year on the PGA Tour and tied second at The Memorial recently.  You'll also find Jason Dufner at 100/1; he's something of a US Open specialist with three top-10 finishes since 2012 and fronted up recently with a T5 at The Players.  Brandt Snedeker and Jimmy Walker are also both at 100/1 as is Rafa Cabrera Bello who has 2004 Shinnecock winning caddie Colin Byrne on the bag.  Could that be an omen??!!  There really is a lot of value down there and I might just make a second video for anyone looking for some crazy long odds shots.

It is going to be a fantastic week in Long Island and the New York crowds as they always do will make this an old school US Open with an electric atmosphere.  Once again thanks to my video sponsor, and make sure to check out their Race To Quinta where, if you can lose 10% of your handicap, you could be on your way to Quinta Do Lago for the finals later in the year.
As it is, we are all off to Shinnecock where its going to be a cracker.  Bet responsibly and see you next time.

2018 US Open YouTube Video

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The inaugural Shot Clock Masters on the European Tour has gotten off to an exciting start with reports coming in that up to six slow players have already been wounded by referee John Paramor's paintball gun during the opening morning's play.

Under the rules of the tournament, dubbed locally as "The Hunger Games", players have up to 40 seconds to hit their ball and if they fail to do so within the allotted time, they get shot by the referee.

But don't worry, the refs are using a paintball gun and not aiming for the head because that would be absurd and dangerous.  Instead they are aiming only for the testicles.

"Our aim is to shame the slow players, and pebbledash their balls with emulsion," said Paramor. "I don't know if you've ever tried to play golf with a swollen scrotum, but by golly it hurts. Especially putting."

More as it emerges.

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The European Tour have unveiled their new state of the art caddie facilities to be used at every event from now on.  The aim is to improve the overall working conditions and well being of the caddies on Tour.

"For too long the caddies have been forgotten about on the European Tour  and today that all changes," said Tour boss Keith Pelley. "Caddies are extremely skilled load carrying golf things.  They are the sherpas to our Edmund Hillary's. They are the donkeys to our Shreks. They are the Baldrick's to our Blackadder's and it's our job to keep them quiet, I mean happy.  So Ladies and Gentlemen I present to you our new European Tour caddie sheds."

Golfcentraldaily european tour satire
Keith Pelley trying out the powerhose at the new caddie facility yesterday.
The new fully mobile sheds can house up to 150 stock of caddie, with each beast having its own bay with Facebook Twitter and Netflix.  Hygiene is also vastly improved with slatted floors so that slurry from the caddies can be collected in a tank below the sheds and be sprayed back on the golf course to fertilise the grass as part of the Tour's "Caddie Giving Back" program.  Each bay also has its own trough where cheese sandwiches and Heineken can be safely thrown to them.

Before leaving, Mister Pelley tried the new powerhose also provided for the caddies.  "This is an extremely pressure skilled expensive water hose device so don't break it," Pelley said. "We hope the caddies will enjoy the fifteen horsepower Briggs and Stratton engine and the 20 bar of powerhose pressure to help strip off the layers of dirt and grime that tends to accumulate on them.  Remember a clean caddie means less chance of a player picking up a bug from them so everybody wins."

More as it emerges.

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2018 FedEx St. Jude Classic Betting Preview And Tips

2018 St Jude Classic Betting Tips

June 7th – 10th, 2018
TPC Southwind, Germantown, Tennessee
Par: 70 / Yardage: 7,244
Purse: $6.6 million with $1,188,000 to the winner
Defending Champion: Daniel Berger

Favourite Watch

Brooks Cupcake

Favourite in the betting is Dustin Johnson at 6/1 and while ordinarily I would strongly advise against betting win-only pre tournament, for me Brooks Koepka looks a very strong prospect at 10/1.  His rehab and comeback from injury has been so clinical and so professional and now he's reaping the rewards with a T11 at The Players and solo second in Fort Worth last time out where he went a cumulative 15 under for just the par 4's.  Loves TPC Southwind too and has a T3 in 2015 and T2 in 2016 to draw inspiration from.  Would be in my top-5 if the odds were not so low.

Doc's Top 5 Each Way St Jude Bets   

Charl Schwartzel 28/1

Charl is a very hirsute man.

Charl's Memorial was over after a 77 on Thursday last week but his form of late still warrants inclusion with a T2 at Sawgrass and T9 at the Wells Fargo.  Returned after seven years to play the event last year and finished T2 behind Daniel Berger (who has won it last two years!!) and on this extremely tough par-70 I fancy him to contend again.

Billy Horschel 28/1

Fingered by Billy Ho. Ugghhh 

The week before the US Open…..everyone is keeping their powder dry….the perfect place for one of the gutsiest men on Tour Billy Horschel to score big! And he has form in Memphis with four top-10's from his last four visits here including a T4 in 2017.  Form is pretty much irrelevant with Billy but worth bearing in mind is that win alongside Scott Piercy at the Zurich Classic.

Joaquin Niemann 33/1

Joaquin Niemann. World no.1 amateur when he was an embryo

After a 6th at the Texas Open, T8 at Fort Worth and T6 at The Memorial,  the 19 year old wonderkid from Chile now has an exemption on the PGA Tour for the rest of the year and the way he's playing just now, he could win.  I mean hitting 56 greens at Muirfield Village on your first try is stellar stuff; TPC Southwind should be a breeze!

Kiradech Aphibarnrat 40/1

The Barn Rat

I've been watching Kiradech more closely of late and though he's a debutant this week, I like him on these really tight and condensed par-70 courses where the tariff is high and accuracy is key.  The average winning score here over the last 7 years is 10 under. If you look at Aphibarnrat's last three outings you'll see he putted his way to a T30 at The Players, was incredible with his irons for a T5 at Wentworth and drove the ball great for a T13 at The Memorial.  If it all comes together watch out!

Ben Crane 100/1

Ben Crane. Slow as fook but at least he stopped making the videos.

It's always nice to return to a venue at which you've won in the past and 2014 champ Ben Crane will do that this week.  I spotted him down at 100/1 in the betting and after a T8 in Fort Worth and T11 in Texas with nine of his twelve rounds in the sixties I think he's a great shout.  T10 also last year.

Long Odds Glory Shot

2018 has been nothing short of terrible for Wesley Bryan (200/1) but something changed at The Memorial last week; for three rounds at least.  Wes sat T11 before a final round of 77 then, but hopefully will have taken some positives from the week.

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