Memorial Tournament Betting: Stenson's beach break looks like perfect preparation
Ralph Ellis says a bit of sun and sand could be perfect to give Swedish star Henrik Stenson his first tournament win of the year...
"Clearly the sort of laid back character who needs his down time as well as his work, he could be perfectly freshened from that beach break to contend among this week’s stellar cast with eight of the world’s top 10 on show."
For Justin Rose, missing out on the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth turned out to be as huge a bonus as he could have asked for.
Rose wanted to play in the European Tour's flagship event, but had to skip it to follow the rules of which tournaments he had to play on the USPGA Tour. A ninth career PGA Tour victory, complete with $1.2m first prize, rather made up for it.
Meanwhile Rory McIlroy was at Wentworth only to suffer another frustrating near miss. Leading after 36 holes he ended up losing out to Francesco Molinari. Will this carry on being a nearly year for him?
I'd originally liked both of them as contenders for this week's Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village, but the more I think about it the more I think the stresses of last week might make this a tournament too far.
Can Rory [17.5] really cope with dashing across the Atlantic as a way of getting another disappointment out of his system? And will Rose [16.0], whose putting was admittedly brilliant last week, stand up to another test on a course with tight and rapid greens.
Relaxed and ready
I suspect this week is all about finding the man whose preparation was best, and it's left me drawn to an Instagram picture of Henrik Stenson with his three beautiful kids on the equally gorgeous setting of Ponte Vedra Beach in Florida.
The photo is a fortnight old, but if you want happy smiles to light up a rainy Wednesday I'd recommend it. And I can't help thinking it tells a sporting story too.
Stenson was recently criticised by his coach Pete Cowen for lacking focus - which seemed odd because in the same interview he revealed they'd spent nearly six hours working on the range.
That was just before the Swede finished tied 23rd in The Players, his final tournament before heading for the surf.
Go back before that, and Stenson's figures for the season have been outstanding - tied fifth in the Masters, second in the World Golf Challenge, and fourth in the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
He tops the accuracy stats
Clearly the sort of laid back character who needs his down time as well as his work, he could be perfectly freshened from that beach break to contend among this week's stellar cast with eight of the world's top 10 on show. At 42 years of age he knows when he needs to work and when he needs to relax.
He's [38.0] in the Winner's market and [3.9] a Top Ten Finish and ticks a lot of boxes with the US Open just a fortnight away.
Steven Rawlings points out the importance of both driving accuracy and greens in regulation in his detailed preview and guess who is top of the PGA Tour stats in both categories?
Stenson has hit 235 of 306 fairways so far this season, and on a course where the rough can be penal that sort of consistency will be vital.
Needing points to secure an automatic spot on Europe's Ryder Cup team, it was a big call to miss out on playing Wentworth and take his holiday instead. But just as Rose unexpectedly found different rewards, so Stenson could also be ready to claim a bonus.