Golf Tips: Best bets for WGC St Jude, Barracuda and Hero Open

  • Max Liu
  • 4:00 min read
TPC Southwind
One man is a selection for both Dave Tindall and Steve Rawlings at TPC Southwind this week

Get the best bets from Steve Rawlings, Dave Tindall and the rest of our golf experts for a monster three events this week at the WGC St Jude Invitational, Her Open and Barracuda Championship...

Steve Rawlings: "I fancy the Scandinavian Mixed will prove a good form guide for the Hero and I'm more than happy to take another chance on James Morrison at 130.00129/1."

WGC-FedEx St Jude Invitational: Berger backed for a tasty threepeat

We're off to Memphis on Thursday for the final World Golf Championship of the year so read Steve's comprehensive preview.

Steve says: "Collin Morikawa is impossible to ignore. He was only 20th on debut last year but he shot 67-66 over the weekend to move up from 49th at halfway, suggesting the venue suits him, and he arrives in Memphis in incredible form, with current figures reading 8-14-2-4-71-1-3.

"Like 18 others in the field, Morikawa (who missed out on a bronze medal after losing the third-place playoff at Kasumigaseki County Club) appeared in the Olympics in Japan last week so he needs to overcome the 14-hour time difference. That could be significant.

"Brand-new Olympic champion, Xander Schauffele, has improving TPC Southwind form figures reading 52-27-6. He's bound to be full of beans after his brilliant win in Japan but it would be an incredible feat to back up his first victory in two-and-half years with another seven days later on the other side of the world.

"My sole selection is a very obvious one in the shape of Daniel Berger, who I backed at 28.027/1. His course form figures read 1-1-MC-2 so it's hard to imagine him not contending given he's just finished seventh in the US Open and eighth in the Open championship in two of his last three starts and that he's already tasted victory this season at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am."

Steve's bet: Back Daniel Berger @ 28.027/1

WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational Each-Way Tips: Back Southwind specialist Berger

Dave Tindall also likes the look of Berger at the TPC Southwind as he makes the case for three each-way bets.

Dave says: "The course is a par 70 with Bermuda greens and it was when taking the same examination paper that Berger first rose to prominence: a play-off loss to Padraig Harrington in the 2015 Honda Classic. He was World No.170 at the time but he lines up this week ranked 18th.

"A tied seventh at the Sony Open (another Bermuda par 70) was part of an excellent opening quartet of West Coast tournaments which peaked with victory at Pebble Beach. He's barely put a foot wrong since and showed how much his all-round game has advanced by posting tied seventh (US Open) and tied eighth (Open Championship) in the final two majors of the season.

Berger wins at Pebble.jpg

"They rank as his second and third best finishes in the majors. The Par 4 count rises to 12 from 10 on a Par 70 and Berger slots in at 12th on the Par 4 Performance charts this season. In addition, he's 14th for Approach, 27th in Putting and 10th in Scoring Average so all the numbers point to Berger having another big week.

"I'll also take it as a positive that he's not coming back from the Olympics and having to deal with a 14-hour time difference. That's something four of those above him the betting - 12/1 Collin Morikawa, 14/1 Xander Schauffele, 16/1 Justin Thomas and 18/1 Rory McIlroy - have to deal with."

Dave's bet: Back Daniel Berger E/W @ 23.022/1

WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational First-Round Leader Tips: Pick Palmer

Next up Dave picks three players who have got the game to make a strong start on Thursday at TPC...

Dave says: "Ryan Palmer was the joint-leader after 18 holes here back in 2015 when starting out with a 64 before slipping to tied 22nd. This is a course he clearly likes and that had already been shown a few years earlier when Palmer finished third in 2012 and fourth in 2013.

"He's started with a round in the 60s in his last three visits and closed last year's event with another 64.That seems a familiar number as the American shot it again to conclude the recent Scottish Open, a lap which vaulted him into fourth.

"Palmer had started his week in Scotland with a 66, a round which put him fourth after day one. His ability to start fast and go low on this particular course makes him well worth a play for first round leader at 60/1. Palmer heads out at 09:48."

Dave's bet: Back Ryan Palmer E/W @ 61.060/1

Find Me a 100 Winner: In-from Morrison can contend again

Back to Steve Rawlings for selections at 100/1 and above and our man forgoes the WGC event in Memphis, instead heading to California and Scotland in his quest to land a winner a huge odds.

Steve says: "I fancy the Scandinavian Mixed will prove a good form guide for the Hero and I'm more than happy to take another chance on James Morrison, who finished fourth behind Caldwell in Sweden, after a very slow start (sat 104th after round one!).

"Morrison didn't quite reach the first lay back target at the Cazoo Open in Wales a fortnight ago when a selection at the same price as he trades at this week (matched at a low of 13.012/1) and he's far from consistent but if he can string four rounds together he can go close.

"I don't quite know what happened in Ireland last week when he missed the secondary cut after round three following a 76 on Saturday as he'd sat ninth and only five off the lead after starting the event with a pair of 67s.

"It was a similarly frustrating in-and-out performance in Wales, where he shot rounds of 66, 76, 66 and 74 but he's definitely playing well and if he can get off to a decent start with his favourable early draw tomorrow, he might just keep going this time.

Steve's bet: Back 2 u James Morrison @ 130.0129/1

Place order to lay 10u @ 10.09/1 & 10u @ 2.01/1

Hero Open: Prolific Van Tonder value to go in again

The European Tour returns to Scotland for a brand-new event with an old name this week - the Hero Open - and Steve 'The Punter' Rawlings has the lowdown ahead of Thursday's start.

Steve says: "As always with a links tournament, previous links form is a huge plus, so the usual rules apply; look at form at the recent Scottish Open over the last ten years, the 2009, 2012, 2015, 2017, 2018 and 2019 editions of the Irish Open, the 2019 British Masters from Hillside Links, the Open Championship and the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship for clues.

"Links golf is unique and those events have all been staged on links courses but the best event to look to for clues is the Scandinavian Mixed, which was won by Jonathan Caldwell in June."

FAIRMONT 2021 2.jpg

"I had a small bet on Andy Sullivan at 21.020/1 before the draw was made and I'm happy to keep it, just in case the forecast doesn't transpire, but my other two selections are both staring the tournament tomorrow morning.

"I thought 32.031/1 was fair for the only course winner in the field, Adrian Otaegui, and I was more than happy to take 50.049/1 about the Kenya Savanah Classic winner, Daniel Van Tonder, who showed his liking for links golf when he sat tied for seventh at the halfway stage of the Open Championship.

"He fell away at the weekend and reacted to that effort with a missed cut in Wales the following week but he looks a fair price to bounce back here given he's looking for his sixth win in 24 starts.

Steve's bet: Back Daniel Van Tonder @ 50.049/1

Hero Open Each-Way Tips: Scottish links can revive Caldwell

Matt Cooper has three each-way selections with the Betfair Sportsbook paying seven places for this week's European Tour event at the Home of the Golf.

Matt says: "Jonathan Caldwell landed three top four finishes in the home of golf on the third tier Europro Tour, then added tied seventh when this week's host, the Torrance Course at Fairmont St Andrews, held the last year's Scottish Championship. It's also true that if you dig a little deeper, fast running golf is undoubtedly Caldwell's favourite form of the game.

"His second win on the Europro Tour was at the modern links design of Machnys Peninsula in South Wales, he's played well on heathland at third tier level, made the top five at the seaside Golf Pleneuf Val Andre on the Challenge Tour, and his win a few weeks ago came at the heathland/moorland-like Vallda.

"He insisted ahead of last week that he hasn't sat back on his laurels after the win.

"'The big target is securing a spot at the DP World Tour Championship at the end of the season," he said. "Other small goals are to compete for tournaments again over the weekend, give myself chances on back nines on Sundays, things like that. If I can kind of take care of those small things, I think that top-60 is very realistic.

"'I had some decent results last year, a few good top-10s, top-fives. I knew that if I gave myself chances on the back nine on Sundays I could get over the line.'

"He's proved that once and, back on a test that he already know suits him, he can thrive again."

Matt's bet: Back Jonathan Caldwell 1pt each-way @ 91.090/1

Hero Open 2021: Form stats for this week's event in Scotland

Andy Swales has all the latest form stats and course info you need for the Hero Open at St Andrews.

Andy says: "Last week illustrated that in tournaments with mediocre fields, such as this event, it is not impossible for Challenge Tour golfers to prosper at this slightly higher level.

"Daniel Gavins proved this at Galgorm Castle where, on Sunday, he claimed his maiden European Tour title thanks to a closing 65. The 30-year-old from Yorkshire had never even won on the Challenge Tour but went into last week's ISPS Handa World Invitational following back-to-back top-10s.

"Another in-form Challenge Tour player is Spaniard Santiago Tarrio who during the past two months has won twice, while posting four other top-six finishes. He stepped up a level last week and finished in a tie-for-15th, just five strokes behind winner Gavins.

"Japan's Masahiro Kawamura has enjoyed his weeks on this year's 'British Isles Swing' which has yielded back-to-back top-5s in Wales and Northern Ireland.

"And if you're searching for someone with a bit more experience of Scottish conditions, then three-time European Tour champ Richie Ramsay might be worth checking out. His 'British Isles' form so far this summer reads 4th-15th-25th, with the 38-year-old searching for his first title in almost six and a half years.

"On weeks like these, opportunity knocks for many pros waiting to take that first step into a winners' enclosure. Dale Whitnell falls into this category, with the Colchester-born golfer arriving in Scotland on the back of his tied-11th at Galgorm."

Andy's bet: Back Dale Whitnell @ 100.0099/1

Barracuda Championship: Perez the value to pile up the points

The Barracuda Championship is an interesting side event with a unique format this week so read Steve's comprehensive preview.

Steve says: Since the tournament switched to the modified Stableford scoring system, nine years ago, the usual tournament stats haven't been published but that hasn't proved to be too much of a problem as the tournament has basically been a low-scoring birdie-fest.

"Richy Werenski made only 18 birdies last year and that was a low tally for a winner. Scott Stallings in tied fifth was the only player in the top-eight to make less (16) but Werenski won courtesy of two eagles and only seven bogeys.

"The 2019 winner, Collin Morikawa, failed to make an eagle all week but nobody made fewer bogeys (three) and nobody made more birdies (25), and that's basically how it panned out in 2018 too..."

"The 45-year-old three-time PGA Tour winner Pat Perez has been in fair form of late, although it's been a case of one good week, one bad. His 10th at the Palmetto Championship at the start of June was followed by a missed cut before he finished 14th at the Rocket Mortgage Classic and he failed to make the weekend the following week at the John Deere Classic before finishing 11th in the 3M Open two weeks ago.

"Perez finished only 18th in this event last year but he made giant strides over the weekend and I thought he was a fair price at 60.059/1 given his profile."

Steve's bet: Back Pat Perez @ 60.059/1

Barracuda Championship 2021: Form guide for this week's Stableford event in California

Andy provides the form lowdown as the Old Greenwood course at Tahoe Mountain Club stages the Barracuda Championship for the second time...

Andy says: "Last year's runner-up Troy Merritt might fancy his chances this week, with the world No 89 chasing a third victory on the PGA Tour.

"He came close in Detroit last month when losing a play-off at the Rocket Mortgage Classic. This would be the perfect event for 25-year-old Aaron Wise to re-discover his confidence. The South African-born American has had a couple of T10s since early May and was eighth at Tahoe Mountain Club last August.

"Finally, the excellent progress being made by Guillermo 'Mito' Pereira continues.

"At the end of April this year, the 26-year-old Chilean was world No 395. Since then there have been two victories and one second-place finish on the Korn Ferry Tour, as well as consecutive top-10s on the PGA Tour. On Sunday he was one of seven players involved in a play-off for the Olympic bronze medal, a result which moved him to No 103 in the World Ranking."

Andy's bet: Back Troy Merritt @ 32.031/1

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