What a fantastic finish to this year’s US Open!
Congrats to Graeme McDowell for winning and congrats to my good buddy, Cam Stewart, aka the Ragin’ Redhead, who nailed him down last week at 76:1 odds. You can catch Cam every Wednesday at http://hardcoresportsradio.com at 5:30 for his weekly six pack. Or if it's easier tune into Sirius Channel 98 and you can catch the very same show.
McDowell is the first non-American to win the US Open since 1970 when Tony Jacklin got the job done with a dominating seven shot victory over the field at Hazeltine Golf Club in Chaska, Minn.—YOU BETCHA!
The course at Pebble was demonic. Instead of the typical “US Open rough effect”, you had the atypical, “US Open fairway effect.”
Fairways were extended right to the cliffs as the rough was shaved down to nothing. I am not sure about the rest of you, but I love watching pro golfers struggling to make par. It makes me feel better, plus it gives you an enormous perspective on how difficult a course can be when certain circumstances are adjusted by the grounds crew.
The US Open is a major, and it should be a difficult time. So to all you naysayers who want -23 scores posted, take a look at this week’s tournament in Connecticut. The average score for the tourney winner here in the past five years is almost 17 under par.
It’s time to head east for the Travelers Championship at TPC Cromwell. In the past few years this event has been dominated by Hunter Mahan. It is a sentimental stop on tour for Mr. Mahan, as this is where he earned his first ever PGA Tour victory. He should contend this week again, but I am concerned about his recent play. In his last five tourneys his best finish is dismal tie for 17th place at The Players Championship. Hunter has missed the cut in his last three attempts.
My favorite pick (Matt Kuchar 33:1) has decided to pull out of the event at the last minute. No info has been posted on his lame ass website as to why he has withdrawn. I guess he doesn’t need the million bucks..
It’s Yahoo fantasy update time! I now have 3,384 points on the season. I moved up one percentage in FOHM to the 69th percentile, and overall I stepped up two ticks into the 77th percentile. I now am leading one Yahoo expert, Eric Planer, by four points. I am trailing the others, but am slowly gaining ground. Greg Vara has me by 23 points, Mike Arkush has me by 51 points, and Matt Romig is still slapping me around with his 191 point lead.
It’s bombs away at TPC Cromwell, so let’s see who I am riding this week:
Start Kenny Perry
Sit Scott Verplank
Start Retief Goosen and Bo Van Pelt
Sit Stewart Cink and Hunter Mahan
Start Ricky Barnes
Sit Rickie Fowler
Before we jump into the six pack, here are some honorable mentions: Cink 25:1, Mahan 28:1, Perry 28:1, Barnes 50:1, Snedeker 40:1, Weekley 50:1, and Michael Allen 125:1
Let’s crack open a nice warm six pack, shall we?
This guy is becoming a mainstay in the six pack and for good reason! BVP has only missed three cuts this year in 17 attempts. He is playing much better than he ever has with a consistency to die for.
Bo has eight top 25 finishes this year, with five of those being top 10s, and two of those being in the top three. In his last five events he has placed fourth, 28th, 10th, third, and 40th at the difficult track at Pebble Beach in the US Open.
BVP always places near the top 20 when he makes the cut at the Travelers Championship. His best finishes have been ties for 21st, sixth and ninth, so you know he likes this track.
Check out BVP’s super stats:
- Still remains as the No. 1 ball striker on tour
- Is also No. 1 in birdies made this year with 249
- Fourth in total driving (combo of length AND accuracy)
- Fifth on tour in par four performance with -15 on the year
- Sixth on tour in par five performance with -80 on the year
This week Bo Van Pelt is my favorite golfer in the field at 33:1 odds.
The Fowler train is gonna keep on a-rollin’ until he wins. I am also increasing my wagers from my normal $10 to $50, because it really is just a matter of time before young Fowler hoists a trophy. I feel good this week about Fowler because this is the same track that I picked Hunter Mahan to get his first victory on back in 2007
Fowler has never set foot on the TPC in Cromwell, but the same was true at TPC Phoenix where he came in second earlier this year and at Muirfield Village for The Memorial where he also placed second.
So far Fowler has made 10 cuts in 16 attempts on the year. When he makes the cut, he tends to be a force to be reckoned with. He has five top 25 finishes, and they all happen to have fallen in the top 10. You already know about the two runner up finishes…
Rickie has two top 10’s in his past five efforts, and I expect his great play to keep on coming, until he can secure that inaugural trophy hoist.
Look at some of Fowler’s keys to success:
- He is 11th in total driving
- He is the fifth best ball striker on tour
- He ranks 12th in GIR at 69.14 percent
- He is 26th on tour in driving distance at almost 292 yards
I am feeling the love with Fowler this week. He is at 35:1 odds of winning, so the sports books are getting wise to his talents.
In 1990 and 1991 Scotty Verplank missed back to back cuts here at TPC Cromwell. He took some time off from this track and returned in 2001 to tie for 17th, then in 2002 he tied for fourth. His next two attempts saw him tie for 21st back in 2007 and a very nice tie for ninth here last year. I think Scott has warmed up to this course.
I love that he is quietly cruising through 2010 with very little attention being paid to him. He has already made $1,000,000 this year and has also racked up five top 25 finishes in his 10 made cuts on the year. His best finish this year was a tie for fifth at both the Crowne Plaza Invitational and the HP Byron Nelson Classic.
In Verplank’s last five efforts he has only one cut, and three top 13 or better finishes. Those two previously mentioned top five finishes have been sandwiched in his last five efforts.
Here are some numbers on Verplank:
- 13th in driving accuracy at 69.11 percent
- 20th in putts per round with 28.45
- 23rd on tour in par breakers at 21.97 percent
- No. 1 on tour in approaches from 100-125 yards
Go ahead and ride Verplank this week as he is a nice 40:1 odds of winning.
Here is another guy who appears to be stepping his game up a notch here in 2010. Although he turned pro back in 2001, he hasn’t seen too much action in the PGA Tour except for 2007 and 2009. He had some success on the Nationwide Tour earning a victory back in 2006.
Molder has been carving out a niche for himself this year on the grand stage. He has made ten out of 16 cuts notching up seven top 25 finishes. Five of those seven efforts yielded him top 10’s. Molder placed 19th here last year, but his recent play is what has drawn me to select him this week.
Bryce has progressed nicely in his last five efforts. He had two cuts, then went on to tie for 41st, he followed that up with a nice tie for fifth, and then a respectable tie for 23rd.
Molder is not an upper echelon stats guy, but some numbers deserve praise:
- 20th in scoring average at 70.27 strokes per round
- 23rd in putts per round at 28.52
- Seventh in par four performance with -13 on the year
- 13th in scrambling at 64.16 percent
The value in the field is not fantastic this week, but I think Bryce Molder is a viable candidate at 50:1 odds.
This 27-year-old Indiana native is stringing together a very impressive year on the PGA Tour here in 2010. It seemed like he was missing the cut every other week, but then something clicked. Since that click occurred this kid has been on fire.
Jeff has been extremely impressive in his last five events. He has placed second, cut, 26th, second, third and 12th. He is now coming into one of the easier pro tracks at just the right time. Although he has had his struggles on this course, his recent play trumps everything, so keep your eyes on him this week.
Here are some of Jeff’s numbers:
- 18th in driving distance at 293 yards
- 14th in all around Ranking
- 14th in par breakers at 22.43 percent
- Third in approaches from 75-100 yards
I know he’s not a big name, but he is currently playing big time golf, so lay some dough on him at 50:1 odds.
Tim Petrovic is my new go to guy in the six pack.
He has been pretty poor this year, but recently he has shown me that smooth swing he is known for. In his last five events he has done great placing sixth, 33rd, fifth and 15th.
Even though he is a New Englandah, he has had his woes at TPC Cromwell. I like him to rise above this week and make a run.
Here are some of Tim’s strengths:
- 14th in driving accuracy
I’m giving Tim a shot at 50:1 odds this week.