QBE Shootout: Stricker can help guide his team to another fast start
Dave Tindall previews the opening rounds of the QBE Shootout and South African Open and looks at those who could make a fast start...
"Stricker has won this market for the last two seasons."
Each-way terms: 1/4 odds, 3 places
Weather forecast for Naples, Florida: Temperatures start at around 60 degrees for the first groups out (10.15) and later rise to the mid-70s. Winds are steady at 10mph.
Format: The opening round is Scramble (both tee off and then pick best shot from there until completion of the hole) and can produce some incredibly low scores. Last year's winners Steve Stricker and Sean O'Hair shot a 57 in round one 12 months ago.
Not only did Steve Stricker start with a 57 last year, he also fired a 56 in tandem with Jerry Kelly in 2016 to set the pace.
In other words, Stricker has won this market for the last two seasons.
Stricker once won all four matches alongside Tiger Woods at the Presidents Cup so he's a great partner to have and embodies the idea of making a duo stronger than the sum of their parts.
Sean O'Hair also took this title with Kenny Perry in 2012 so he's also a big fan of this week and Tiburon Golf Club.
Relevant form? Stricker teed it up twice in Florida in 2018, finishing T12 in the Valspar and T23 in the Players Championship, while he won his latest start on the Champions Tour.
O'Hair was last seen finishing T46 at the RSM Classic where he fired a second-round 63.
They're ninth favourites of the 12 teams and that looks to be undervaluing them. Take the US duo at 11/1.
South African Open
Over in South Africa, it's a bit of a headache for first-round leader punters given that 240 players go to post!
The field is split into two with half taking on the Firethorn, the course used on the weekend, and the other 120 playing the Bushwillow.
Both are par 71s but the shorter Bushwillow plays easier so that's the logical choice for first-round leader punts.
Those playing the Bushwillow in R1:
07:40 George Coetzee, Ernie Els
07:55 Thomas Aiken, Darren Fichardt
08:15 Branden Grace, Dean Burmester
08:25 Chris Paisley, Louis Oosthuizen, Matt Wallace
Full tee-times here.
There are no Sportsbook prices due to the course bias and the market hasn't settled on the exchange at the time of writing but fast-starting Matt Wallace would certainly be worth a look if odds become available.
Dave's 2018 R1 leader P/L (based on £5 ew per selection)
(After Aussie PGA)