We're off to Germany and Connecticut this week in the pursuit of a monster-priced winner...
"Ryan Armour ranks second for Par 4 Performance over the last three months on the PGA Tour and he putted superbly at the Palmetto – ranking fifth for Strokes Gained Putting and first for Putting Average."
Huge outsiders have won the last two renewals of the BMW International Open at Golfclub München Eichenried (previewed here) and although the last six winners of the Travelers Championship (previewed here) have gone off at less than 100.099/1, it's a tournament that's produced more than its fair share of shock winners over the years, so I've got one pick in Germany and two in Connecticut.
Otaegui value to go one better
Spain's Adrian Otaegui was matched at a low of 1.444/9 at the Scandinavian Mixed two weeks ago when he finished runner-up to Jonathan Caldwell and he looks well worth chancing to go one better in this week's BMW International Open.
A three-putt bogey at the 72nd hole cost him the chance of victory in Sweden but his stats were incredibly good. He putted quite nicely and he ranked eighth for Driving Accuracy, fourth for Scrambling, third for Greens In Regulation and first for Strokes Gained Tee-to-Green (15.42). And that was after a slow start on Thursday that saw him languishing in a tie for 79th place.
Otaegui won the Paul Lawrie Match Play in Germany in 2017, two weeks after finishing fifth here in the European Open, and he won the Belgian Knockout the following year, straight after finishing second at the China Open.
He's demonstrated on numerous occasions that when he finds his form, he can hold it, so he has every chance of backing up his performance in Sweden and having won the Scottish Championship in impressive fashion in October, he looks a very fair price to win his fourth European Tour title and his second on German soil.
Hot-putting Patton an obvious pick again
Patton Kizzire has missed his last two cuts but that doesn't unduly bother me. As he demonstrated in this event last year, when he finished sixth after two missed cuts and prior to two more weekends off, which Patton is going to turn up on any given week is very hard to gauge.
Prior to his latest two missed cuts, he'd finished third at both the Byron Nelson and the Charles Schwab Challenge (where he was a selection at 220.0219/1), and his approach play and putting were both very strong so like Dave Tindall, who's made Kizzire one of his three each-way selections, I'm more than happy to chance him again at a big price.
As highlighted in the preview, the Travelers Championship is a low scoring event so given Kizzire can get red-hot with the putter, this type of tournament is ideal.
Roll the dice with Ryan
I could have quite easily picked at least four in this event at a triple-figure price.
I've backed the 2019 winner, Chez Reavie, at 200.0199/1 and Sebastian Munoz at 280.0279/1 but my final pick for the column is Ryan Armour at a massive 500.0499/1.
Reavie contended but didn't quite hit the first lay back target at the Palmetto Championship (finished 14th) two weeks ago when a selection at 240.0239/1 and he wasn't awful when finishing 40th in the US Open last week. I can see him enjoying it this week but he definitely needs to improve his putting whereas it's Munoz's poor course form that stops me putting him up.
Like Kizzire, Munoz is a strong putter with in-and-out form so although he's missed the cut here in three previous visits, given he finished third at the Charles Schwab just three starts ago, where he ranked fifth for Putting Average and first for Strokes Gained Putting, he could very easily contend out of the blue again this week.
Ryan Armour looks too big to ignore after he signed off the Palmetto Championship last time out with a 64 to finish eighth and that he finished last year's edition of this event with a 64 to finish sixth.
He proved that to be no fluke when finishing fourth at the Rocket Mortgage Classic the following week and I can see him following up his Palmetto performance here given how well he fits statistically.
Armour ranks second for Par 4 Performance over the last three months on the PGA Tour and he putted superbly at the Palmetto - ranking fifth for Strokes Gained Putting and first for Putting Average.
I'll be back on Friday with the In-Play Blog.
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