Find Me a 100 Winner: Three outsiders with positive experience of Muirfield Village

Golfer J.B. Holmes
Paul is backing J.B. Holmes to come out firing after a long break

Paul Krishnamurty selects his three best outsider bets for this week's PGA Tour event from Muirfield Village...

"Kyle Stanley has finished top-six on three of his last five visits, including second in 2018."

A six-under par final round from Maverick McNealy on Sunday secured this column's first profitable week since the PGA Tour's resumption. We should be grateful for small mercies as these stronger fields have produced four relatively predictable winners.

An outsider will doubtless pop up sooner or later but the next fortnight is not obviously fertile territory. Both events will take place at Muirfield Village - regular host to the Memorial and which usually produces an elite winner from an elite leaderboard.

To be clear, the Workday Charity Open is not The Memorial. Steve Rawlings lays out the key differences in his comprehensive tournament preview. Most notably the rough is shorter and greens slower, which should make life easier and perhaps act as a leveller.

Quality iron play is the key to success

Nevertheless, this remains fundamentally about good approach play. Power off the tee is an advantage but not essential. Accuracy to undulating greens will be. More than likely, the cream will rise to the top here.

Muirfield Village has always produced course specialists and one must assume previous experience offers a big advantage. Only the world-class Hideki Matsuyama has won on debut this century. The outsiders to win here recently - David Lingmerth and William McGirt - had played at least twice.

Course specialists preferred

That theory deterred bets on a trio of debutants - McNealy at [200.0], Sepp Straka [270.0] and Matthew NeSmith [470.0] - who all ticked several boxes. Instead, let's try three with positive experience of Muirfield Village.

Back Kyle Stanley 0.5u @ [230.0]
Back Kyle Stanley for a Top 10 Finish 1u @ [14.0]

Indeed if previous course form were the only criteria, Kyle Stanley would be a fraction of these odds. The 32 year-old has finished top-six on three of his last five visits, including second in 2018.

It is notable that his best two results in a generally poor run since came at courses that correlate well with Muirfield Village - Quail Hollow and Firestone. Second-shot courses with a premium on quality iron play and both involving this elite standard of field.

Having missed three cuts since the resumption, Kyle is rightly an outsider but he played well enough for 24th (12th going into Sunday) at the Travelers, and was third in Puerto Rico before the break.

JB's scoring style warrants a trade

Back J.B. Holmes 1u @ [490.0]
Place order to lay 10u @ [25.0]
Place order to lay 20u @ [8.0]

Next a very different type of player. Bombers also go well at Muirfield Village and Holmes' quartet of top-20 finishes here - best of fourth - reads well. So too, five PGA Tour victories and decent pre-Covid results.

This is Holmes' first start since February but that uncertainty is reflected by the enormous odds. Recently he's been a better starter than finisher, leading at halfway in both the Phoenix and last year's Open. It isn't asking that much to bank a profit here from merely hitting the first lay target at [25.0]. Another good start might do it.

Hoge well-suited to this challenge

Back Tom Hoge 0.5u @ [500.0]
Place order to lay 10u @ [15.0]

Back Tom Hoge for a Top 10 Finish 1u @ [20.0]

Finally, I'm giving another chance to last week's pick. Hoge hasn't recaptured his early season form - the best of his career - since the resumption but did play well at the Travelers. If finding his touch this week, Muirfield Village should be perfect.

Hoge finished an excellent 13th on his debut in 2018 - his sole visit. He was also top-15 in March at a correlating Nicklaus track - Bay Hill. His forte is iron play as illustrated by good stats in the right departments for this test - for example, 21st among the whole tour for strokes gained: approach and 28th for proximity.


Follow Paul on Twitter @paulmotty

Profit/Loss

2020: -19.5 units
2019: +70.5 units

Paul Krishnamurty,

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