Find Me a 100 Winner: Outsider picks for the Desert Classic

Golfer Richy Werenski
Richy Werenski finished 2018 strongly
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Relentless birdies will be the order of the day at the Desert Classic. Paul Krishnamurty recommends a trio of outsiders with the right skills set...

"Werenski finished an excellent ninth on debut in 2017 and followed up with a respectable 29th, before making marked progress later in the season."

Back Richy Werenski 2u @ [120.0]

The Sony Open was a very frustrating start to 2019 for this column, with two of the three reserves mentioned tying for third - Chez Reavie and Hudson Swafford - while the main trio blew out. Hopefully the annual birdie-fest now known as the Desert Classic will yield a change of luck.

This test is all about low scoring, with a hot putter and very high percentage of greens hit a pre-requisite of success. Check out Steve Rawlings preview for a comprehensive analysis of all the important stats and trends to follow.

Improving Werenski primed for a breakthrough

Back Richy Werenski 2u @ [120.0]
Place order to lay 25u @ [8.0]

First a player who evidently likes this test and tends to reserve his best for low scoring affairs. Werenski finished an excellent ninth on debut in 2017 and followed up with a respectable 29th, before making marked progress later in the season.

The 27 year-old went on to register a trio of top-four finishes at the St Jude Classic, Barbasol Championship and penultimate event of 2019, the Mayakoba Classic. Either side of that he finished top-25, hitting six sub-70 rounds. Back him to break through in 2019 in a birdie-fest.

Promising Burns should love these greens

Back Sam Burns 2u @ [270.0]
Place order to lay 10u @ [25.0]
Place order to lay 25u @ [8.0]

I'll also probably be backing Sam Burns on multiple occasions this year, especially on Bermuda greens. He's caught the eye several times on just 21 PGA Tour starts and progressed through the Web.com Tour with ease.

The 22 year-old is well clear at the top in Future of Fantasy's Bermuda specialists rankings. Those numbers are of course based on a small sample but there's his record to date is brilliant - top-12 in a pair of Florida Swing events, third in the Sandersons Farms and sixth at the 2017 Barbasol.

Course specialist Crane a worthy long odds punt

Back Ben Crane 0.5u e/w @ 375/1 (1/5 odds, seven places)

Finally a highly speculative bet at enormous odds on a player who has finished top-12 four times in this event. Ben Crane also has a fine record at Scottsdale, home to the Phoenix Open, where Steve identifies as longstanding form correlation with this tournament.

Ben was showing very little at the end of 2018 but, as Swafford showed last week, the Christmas break can work wonders. This six-time winner has always been the type to suddenly find form out of nowhere.

Three alternatives warrant a mention. Last week's failed pick Brian Gay [160.0] didn't play badly in 22nd place and is a former champion.

Bud Cauley [150.0] has returns of 14/3/14 here and also made the top-ten in the Shriners birdie-fest in November. Dominic Bozzelli was also shortlisted at [350.0], having finished top-five here in 2017 and showed a bit of form before Christmas.


Follow Paul on Twitter @paulmotty

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