Get the best bets for this week's golf events as the PGA Tour heads to the BMW Championship and the European goes to the stunning Swiss Alps...
Steve Rawlings: "Collin Morikawa is a tempting price again but the only one I'm chancing before the off is last year's FedEx Cup winner and two-time BMW Championship winner Dustin Johnson."
Following Tony Finau's win in the Northern Trust on Monday, the PGA Tour heads to Maryland for the second of the three FedEx Cup Playoff events. Steve Rawlings previews the BMW Championship.
Steve says: "Keegan Bradley was very much a surprise winner three years ago. He came into the event ranking 52nd in the FedEx Cup standings and he was a 210.0209/1 chance before the off but he's the only big outsider to take the title so far.
"Looking back over the events history, with the possible exception of Camilo Villegas 13 years ago, whose price I can't recall or find, we hadn't seen any wild outsiders before Bradley and four of the last six winners have been very prominent in the market.
"Leishman was matched at 55.054/1 before the off four years ago but the two winners before him were first and second favourites, Thomas was the third favourite in 2019 and the second favourite, Rahm, beat the favourite, DJ in extra time last year.
"What little evidence we have shows that it's possible to win from off the pace here. Don Pooley got the better of Tom Watson in a playoff at the 2002 US Senior Open here in 2002, having trailed by six at halfway and Scott McCarron caught and past the 36 and 54 hole leader, Bernhard Langer, at the 2017 Senior Players Championship having sat tied for third and six off the lead with a round to go.
"Pooley made his big move with a 63 in round three in 2002 and McCarron's 66 in round four catapulted him to the front after the front two with a round to go, Langer and Brandt Jobe, shot disappointing final rounds of 73 and 72..."
"Collin Morikawa is a tempting price again but the only one I'm chancing before the off is last year's FedEx Cup winner and two-time BMW Championship winner, Dustin Johnson.
"His missed cut when defending last week make turn out to be a plus given the tournament went into Monday, he has a tiny bit of course form given he played in the Palmer Cup here, and he's just too big given his propensity to suddenly find a bit of form and win (like he did in The Northern Trust last year).
"Although he appears not to be in great shape, he did finish tenth in his penultimate start in the WGC- FedEx St Jude Invitational, he traded at odds-on in the Palmetto Championship at the Fazio-designed Congaree (finished 10th!) and he looks a decent enough price to chance."
Steve's bet: Dustin Johnson @ 26.025/1
Dave Tindall seeks more profits with three tips for the action at Caves Valley Golf Club...
Dave says: "Patrick Cantlay's form stands up to some close scrutiny. Take out his missed cut at Royal St George's (even then he shot a Friday 69) and he hasn't been outside the top 25 in six other starts.
"The highlight of that was a victory at Memorial while in his last two outings the Californian has built some further momentum with T23 at the WGC-St. Jude Invitational and T11 at The Northern Trust.
"His last seven rounds read 67-69-67-68-67-69-68 so there's a consistency there that's lacking in so many of his big-name rivals.
"Cantlay is in the top 25 for Driving Distance on the PGA Tour and putts well on Bentgrass greens which are the surfaces this week. A lengthyish par 72 - the same description as Muirfield Village where he won - certainly looks up his street."
Dave's bet: Back Patrick Cantlay E/W @ 23.022/1
Andy Swales supplies the stats for this week's BMW Championship and the lowdown on the course in Maryland...
Andy says: "Those who were not in contention at Liberty National on Monday (when the Northern Trust overran) should be mentally a little more alert and less tired than those who were.
"These include Xander Schauffele, Brooks Koepka and Patrick Cantlay who are all in decent nick and ready to go again less than three days after holing out in New Jersey.
"Louis Oosthuizen should be completely refreshed having sat out the last two events, while Dustin Johnson and Collin Morikawa went home last Friday after missing the cut at the Northern Trust.
One other guy, who has already secured his spot at next week's Tour finale in Atlanta, is Abraham Ancer. The Mexican will not be looking over his shoulder this weekend and after having a quiet few days at the Northern Trust should be ready to go again on Thursday."
"Ancer's solid tee-to-green game should come in handy on a course that few of this week's competitors will have ever played before."
Andy's bet: Back Abraham Ancer @ 55.054/1
Get the lowdown ahead of Thursday's start in Switzerland with Steve 'the Punter' Rawlings' in-depth preview...
Steve says: "The Driving stats are always a little misleading here and probably not that useful. The course is short and at altitude so there's absolutely no need to go bombing it off the tee. The driver stays in the bag for most of the holes and neither the Driving Distance nor the Driving Accuracy stats are much use.
Accuracy is slightly more important than power and Matthew Fitzpatrick ranked first for Driving Accuracy in 2018 and 16th when he won in 2017 but the 2019 winner, Sebastian Soderberg, only ranked 31st for DA, the 2016 winner, Alex Noren, ranked 49th and the 2015 champ, Danny Willett, ranked 55th..."
"As a winner at Valderrama, Andrew Johnston has the right skillset for the venue and although lightly raced, he's played quite well on occasions this year, finishing inside the top-20 in four of his last six starts, including a fourth at the Canary Islands Championship."
Steve's bet: Andrew Johnston @ 70.069/1
The European Tour heads to the Swiss Alps this week and Dave Tindall has three each-way picks to be First Round Leader.
Dave says: "Frenchmen Mike Lorenzo-Vera and Gregory Havret have both topped the Thursday standings on two occasions in recent years so I'm going to put my faith in Paul Peterson repeating the trick too.
"The American left-hander was the joint first-round leader in 2016 and his two best rounds at Crans (a 64 and a 67) have come on day one. He's played this event just three times which seems strange given that the short, quirky layout should suit him. Perhaps there were scheduling issues.
"Peterson returns on the back of a fourth place in the Czech Masters where he ranked 10th for SG: Tee To Green and 3rd for Approach. There's a sharpness in his game that's needed for success at Crans and the 95/1 for him being FRL looks big.
"He tees off in the third last morning three-ball from No.10 at 09:20."
Dave's bet: Back Paul Peterson E/W @ 96.095/1
Matt Cooper has three each-way selections for this week's European Tour event with the Betfair Sportsbook paying seven places.
Matt says: "Justin Harding missed the cut in the Scottish Open, but bounced back with T19th at the Open (when in the top 10 throughout the first 54 holes). He then suffered play-off defeat in the Cazoo Open at Celtic Manor and was tied seventh at the ISPS Handa World Invitational.
"That's five top 25 finishes in six starts - and in all five he was in the top 10 with 18 holes to play. He's also a winner this year and the location (Nairobi) only further piques my interest because I like competent altitude performers in Crans and Harding is just that.
"He not only won by two in the Kenya Open, a week later he was leading by two after 54 holes in the Savannah Classic, then fatigue caught up with him. It wasn't the first time he's thrived in Nairobi - he was second there in 2019. He's also finished tied seventh in Madrid at altitude and has a crop of good efforts in Johannesburg.
"I thought he'd be something like 22/1 this week. Snap it up."
Matt's bet: Justin Harding 1pt each-way @ 34.033/1
Andy provides the key information about the picturesque course and the key player stats for this week's European Tour event at Crans-Montana.
Andy says: "With its reasonably small putting surfaces, and steep surrounding slopes, much of the emphasis at Crans is on accuracy.
"The tree-lined fairways have many severe slopes - both uphill and downhill - while over the past dozen years the number of water hazards on the course has increased to six. These all exist on the back nine, with three being added during the winter of 2012-13.
"It's important to avoid the many damaging slopes which can sweep the ball into tricky spots, sometimes oblivion, if the drive or approach is a little wayward.
"The key to success at Crans is to hit plenty of greens in regulation, and have a pretty solid scrambling game too. Good course management is paramount..."
"If accuracy from tee-to-green is going to be especially important this week then players such as Martin Kaymer could rise to the top in the Alps.
"The 36-year-old German and two-time major winner hasn't triumphed since the 2014 US Open, but has stood on the podium nine-times since then.
"He's performed well in central Europe this season, posting a brace of top-three finishes in Germany and Austria. He also finished second at Crans-sur-Sierre 10 years ago next month."
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