The Northern Trust First-Round Leader Tips: Wolff can wow on day one

American Matthew Wolff
Matthew Wolff can start fast

Liberty National stages this week's FedEx Cup opener and Dave Tindall has three each-way picks to be First Round Leader...

"He's got a good record of bursting out of the blocks in big events. In this very tournament last year an opening 65 put him fifth after day one while a Thursday 66 in the 2020 US Open saw him end the first round in second place."

Back Matthew Wolff E/W @ 86.085/1

Each-way terms: 1/5 odds, 6 places

Weather forecast for Thursday: Temperatures are pleasant and should be touching 80 degrees but, after rain in the build-up, thunderstorms are predicted throughout day one. Winds are fairly modest at 8-10mph.

First-round leader history at Liberty National:

2019 - 62 Troy Merritt
2013 - 64 Kevin Stadler
2009 - 65 Paul Goydos, Steve Marino, Sergio Garcia

Strategy: With the threat of t-storms it's hard to say who will be teeing of when. At least that simplifies matters: in terms of strategy based on start times, there isn't one. Instead, I'll lean on players who have a reputation for going low on day one.

Matt can make it happen early

It's not that easy to produce a long list of compelling evidence why Matthew Wolff should be the headline pick for FRL this week. But there's enough there to suggest a punt at 85/1.

Wolff has had his struggles this year, his game clearly affected by some mental health challenges. But after a sabbatical from April to June he's showing some good signs again. He returned with a T15 in the US Open and earlier this month was T17 at the WGC-St. Jude Invitational.

That hints at an ability to step it up when the elite gather and a look at the entry list this week gives him another chance to do so.

Notably for this bet, he's got a good record of bursting out of the blocks in big events.

In this very tournament last year an opening 65 put him fifth after day one while a Thursday 66 in the 2020 US Open saw him end the first round in second place.

He was 11th on the R1 leaderboard at this year's US Open and his opening 64 at St. Jude put him second following the opening lap.

Wolff didn't exactly excel here at Liberty National in 2019 although his best lap (69) came on day one. Let's chance him to come out throwing early punches again.

He's an early starter at 07:42 local.

Put trust in Tringale

Cameron Tringale may be a frustrating customer in betting markets but there's no doubt that he's been playing some fine golf.

He was the 54-hole leader at the 3M Open on his last start and even 12th at halfway in the Open Championship. Prior to that he'd closed with a 66 to finish in the top 15 at the Rocket Mortgage Classic.

But he's done some strong work on day one too, so much so that he ranks second in R1 scoring on the PGA Tour.

Looking at his last 12 events, Tringale has ended the first round in ninth or better in five of them.

Previous first-round leaders in this event haven't exactly been the leading lights so he'd be following that pattern.

Tringale has played the course twice without much success it has to be said but a second-round 67 on debut offers hope.

Take the 95/1 on the American, who tees off at 12:33.

Back Bradley

Keegan Bradley is 16th in R1 scoring this season and is another with a proven record of starting fast.

In his case, that often manifests in actually ending the day as first-round leader.

He's done that four times in his last 50 starts, the most recent in May's Valspar Championship.

In his next two events, he landed the each-way cash after ending the opening 18 in second place at the Wells Fargo and the US PGA.

Ninth at halfway in his last start, the 3M Open, Bradley could be a tad rusty but it's far from unusual for a player to come out hot after a month off before the lack of sharpness emerges on day two.

Bradley's course form doesn't look ideal (T33 and T64) but he has a 63 to his name at Liberty National.

He's had some superb SG: Tee To Green numbers in recent events so, if a few putts drop, he can be looking down on the rest again.

Bradley, who tees off in the same 12:33 group as Tringale, looks appealing at 85/1.

Get a Free £/€20 Exchange Bet

  • Join Now - Open account using promo code VAL225
  • Bet - Place a £/€20 Bet on the Exchange
  • Earn We'll Refund You £/€20 If the Bet Loses
Bet now

T&Cs apply.

Discover the latest articles

Read past articles