Following a memorable run for our outsiders column at Augusta, Paul Krishnamurty recommends a trio of trades on this week's main two events...
"Early in his career Brian Harman looked a good prospect and he retains plenty of potential. Now 30, he's at the age where golfers often peak and a second PGA Tour win is certainly within range."
Yet again the Masters proved what a wonderfully entertaining sport and exciting betting heat golf can be, even when it ultimately breaks your heart. After the buzz of seeing our picks hold the top two opening day positions, then Charley Hoffman regain his clear lead on Saturday, it was a massive anti-climax to make only three units profit on the event.
Nevertheless it was great fun to watch and re-affirmed the potential for making money on outsiders even when they don't contend on Sunday. Despite their earlier heroics, neither Hoffman or William McGirt played a role down the back nine or even finished in the top-20. Hopefully after that frustrating near-miss we're due a break and this week's events both offer plenty of potential.
This in-form pair look under-rated in a weak Trophee Hassan field
Back Carlos Pigem 2u @ 120.0119/1
Place order to lay 10u @ 15.014/1
First a couple of picks for the Trophee. This is a pretty ordinary field and I was slightly surprised to find anyone with recent form credentials at 100.099/1 or better, yet Carlos Pigem can certainly boast that. Last time out he sat first or second for almost the entire Indian Open before a final hole disaster sent him spiraling to fifth place.
The 26-year-old was also fourth in the Alfred Dunhill Championship and, in between, was second in Myanmar. Pigem has so far mostly plied his trade on the Asian Tour and could be under the radar now back in Europe. Plus as Steve Rawlings argues in his preview, there's good sense in backing Spanish golfers this week who could be inspired by Sergio's victory at Augusta.
With Pigem, the plan is a straightforward back to lay. By placing an order to lay in-running at 15.014/1, we'll at least win five times our stake if he hits that target, with an extra 90 units still riding on the win.
Back Chris Paisley 2u @ 200.0199/1
Place order to lay 10u @ 25.024/1
Place order to lay 10u @ 8.07/1
Likewise at these enhanced odds on the exchange, Chris Paisley appeals as a back to lay. The Englishman has caught the eye a few times in recent years and strikes me as the type to cause a big-priced shock somewhere. Without ever appearing consistent, he's popped up a few times in serious contention, usually on account of his putting.
On the evidence of last year, putting and scrambling are all-important. Over the past 12 months among this field, Paisley ranks first and fourth respectively in those two categories. In terms of recent form, finishes of 29/15/13 during the Gulf Swing - all of which involved much stronger fields than this - reads very well.
In this case, I'm setting two lay orders with a view towards partially cashing out for a profit - at 25.024/1 and 8.07/1. Hit the first target and we'll make five times our stake. Hitting the second would add a further ten units, whilst still leaving an extra 70 available for the win.
Capable Harman could be about to peak entering his thirties
Back Brian Harman 2u @ 160.0159/1
Place order to lay 10u @ 15.014/1
Place order to lay 10u @ 5.04/1
Place order to lay 20u @ 3.02/1
Back Brian Harman for a Top 20 Finish 2u @ 9/2
Just the one pick for the RBC Heritage, for which the plan is another back to lay along with a bet on the Top 20 Finish. Details of the recommended lay targets are listed above.
Brian Harman started the season in excellent style with four top-25s, including third at La Quinta. Though falling away since, 13th on his penultimate start at Bay Hill showed he hasn't completely lost form. Early in his career Harman looked a good prospect and he retains plenty of potential. Now 30, he's at the age where golfers often peak and a second PGA Tour win is certainly within range.
Fairly accurate and excellent around the greens - ranking 19th and 8th for scrambling and putting respectively amongst this field over the past year - Harman has the right skills-set for Harbour Town, where he's already finished seventh in 2014.
Finally, a couple of discarded names are also worth a mention. Perhaps sentiment was clouding my vision but the namesake of last week's nearly man loomed large in my thoughts. Morgan Hoffman has made the last two top-25s here and 250.0249/1 are big odds about a guy who was runner-up at the Honda Classic. Last year's Zurich Classic winner Brian Stuard - another with excellent short-game skills - also makes some appeal around 220.0219/1 following a nice Masters debut.