Greenbrier Classic Tips: Simpson can shine again on The Old White

Brendon Todd is one of three each-way selections for Dave this week
Brendon Todd is one of three each-way selections for Dave this week

Dave Tindall brings us his analysis and each-way tips for this week's PGA Tour event in West Virginia...


"Given some obvious credentials, it's a surprise to see the 29-year-old at 50/1 this week and, on that basis, he gets the nod."

Back Brendon Todd @ 51.050/1

Each-way terms: ¼ odds, 5 places


Favourites: Back Webb Simpson @ 23.022/1

Bubba Watson is the clear favourite to follow up last week's Travelers Championship success but winning back-to-back on the PGA Tour is rare and, going through Watson's record, his finishes in his next start after a victory read: 24, 48, L16, 18, 48, 29, MC.

That suggests he'll breathe out and enjoy the week with his wife and young son at a venue known for being one of the most family-friendly on the PGA Tour.

Webb Simpson is likely to have his family in tow too but history shows he's good at getting his game face on when the action starts.

Simpson was third here last year after a closing 63, T7 in 2012 after leading through 54 holes and T9 in 2011 after leading at halfway.

He said last year: "I've always felt really comfortable on this golf course ever since I came here in 2010. I love playing here. I've had some good chances to win here since the tournament started."

Simpson's form has been rather in and out this season but only last month he was runner-up in the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow (like this week's venue, a course where he'd never missed the cut and had shown up strongly before).

On the stats, he's 8th in the All-Around ranking and 21st in Scrambling which has been an important skill here looking at the stats of previous winners.

Of those at the front of the market, Simpson looks the best bet at 22/1.


Mid-range: Back Brendon Todd @ 51.050/1

This is a toss-up between Pat Perez and Brendon Todd. Both are 50/1 shots but I'll just give the edge to Todd following his T15 in the Travelers Championship last week when shooting three 67s and a 70.

Todd also finished T17 at Memorial earlier this month so he's trending in the right direction again after a little wobble away from his usual consistency during May.

The American has played this event twice before. On debut in 2012 he shot 70-69-68-69 to finish T46 while last year he recovered from an opening 71 to shoot 67-67-66 and finish tied for fourth place.

Last year's Byron Nelson winner (that also came on a par 70) regards short game as his strength and that's shown by his 13th place in Strokes Gained: Putting but he hits it straight too (10th in Driving Accuracy) and is strong out of bunkers (12th in Sand Saves).

He's also 18th in Scrambling which, as stated, looks a good pointer for success this week.

Given some obvious credentials, it's a surprise to see the 29-year-old at 50/1 this week and, on that basis, he gets the nod.

Course debutant Tony Finau at 40s is another strong contender for best mid-range bet while, at the same price, Kevin Na also enters calculations.

Tiger Woods is also 50/1. That's worth a mention only because it's easy to forget he's playing. We're so conditioned to seeing him at the front of the betting that it's a bit of a surprise to scroll down so far and suddenly see his name pop up.

On recent form Tiger has no chance but at least diehard Woods fans who are pondering a punt on him for the Open Championship at St Andrews (winner there in 2000 and 2005) will get another chance to see if there are any signs of life from the 14-time major winner.


Long-shot: Back Jon Curran @ 101.0100/1

I did consider John Peterson for this as he has strong Scrambling and Par 4 stats - always good for an event on a par 70.

But, on latest form, the one at a three-figure price who stands out is Jon Curran.

Last week the 28-year-old was T10 at the Travelers Championship where he reeled off three straight 67s and a 69 to close.

Two starts earlier, Curran took T6 at the Byron Nelson Championship. There, he was the halfway leader after following an opening 67 with a 63 and he didn't do much wrong on the weekend with rounds of 67 and 68.

In fact, he's shot a final-round 68 in each of his last four tournaments so he's not exactly cramping up on payday.

Curran was also runner-up in the Puerto Rico Open earlier this year while last March he took victory in the Web.com's Brasil Champions. He's progressing nicely and hopefully capturing a lower-key PGA Tour event like the Greenbrier is the next step.

At the Byron Nelson he said: "Every week I learn something different and every week I kind of feel like I'm getting a little bit more comfortable with the player that I am and with myself. I've been working a lot with a sports psychologist, Greg Cartin, the past two, three years." 

This is the Florida resident's first look at the course but it has be noted that the last three winners hadn't played here before so coming in with a completely fresh eye appears to be no hindrance.

Useful stats? Curran is 19th in Scrambling and is 24th in Driving Accuracy so should have plenty of clean lies from which to attack the flags.


***


Follow Dave on Twitter @DaveTindallGolf


Dave's 2015 P/L (based on £5 e/w per selection)

Staked: £630
Returned: £262.50
P/L: -£367.50

(Includes last week’s Travelers)

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