The Greenbrier Classic: Count on Keegan

Keegan Bradley has his eyes on another win soon
Keegan Bradley has his eyes on another win soon

Dave Tindall looks for more profits in his preview of this week's PGA Tour event at The Old White in West Virginia...

"The way he’s playing at the moment, Bradley is well worthy of support on any course that suits and The Old White definitely fits the bill."

Main Bet: Back Keegan Bradley @ 31.030/1

Each-way terms: 1/5 odds, 7 places


Main Bet: Back Keegan Bradley e.w. @ 30/1

Keegan Bradley gave me an each-way return at 50/1 when tied for fifth in last week's Quicken Loans National and I'm more than happy to play him again.

Okay, we have to accept 20 points less but there's very good reason why he's down to 30/1 to win the Greenbrier Classic this week.

That T5 followed T8 in the Travelers Championship so the former US PGA winner really is hitting his straps and there's every chance he'll shine again on a course with similar traits to last week's.

The Old White in West Virginia is a par 70 with bentgrass greens - just as Quicken Loans venue, Potomac, was.

This week's track which has been used since 2010 (apart from last year when it was cancelled due to poor weather) is very much a ball striker's course so given that it has two extra par fours, it's a logical move to make Strokes Gained: Tee-To-Green and the Par 4 Birdie or Better stats as a first port of call.

Bradley has risen in both charts after his performance last week and sits a very healthy fourth place in the Par 4 standings and is 43rd (up from 50th) in SGTTG. The rise of seven spots was due to him ranking second in SG: Tee-To-Green at Potomac so his long game really is sharp.

And it's not just those two elements that shows he's on the rise again. The man from Vermont was 1st on the All-Around last week and 3rd for AA at the Travelers so on his last two starts he's done everything well.

Of course, the cloud that many still see hanging over Bradley is his inability to hole putts.

Okay, he lost 2.284 strokes on the field last week when it came to the flatstick but, prior to that, gained 3.077 at the Travelers so it's not all doom and gloom and there are some positive signs.

It's time to add some course form and Bradley has that having finished fourth here in 2014 after shooting 67-69-71-66.

The Ryder Cup star was also 11th going into the final round in 2012 and in the 2015 event, the last to be played here, he closed with a 64 to finish T29th. He was also 5th for Putting Average that week which is another positive sign although the greens here have been redone since the floods.

Finally, looking through transcripts suggests he's been on the wrong side of the draw at this event a few times so perhaps with luck on his side this week he can be the one to lift the trophy.

The way he's playing at the moment, Bradley is well worthy of support on any course that suits and The Old White definitely fits the bill.

Take the 30/1.


Next Best: Back Johnson Wagner e/w @ 100/1

Another of the plethora of players to finish T5 last week was Johnson Wagner and that makes him interesting at 100/1 here.

That top five marked a real return to form after a string of missed cuts although T43 at the previous week's Travelers Championship did included an opening 64 to suggest something was brewing.

Wagner was 4th on the All-Around, 10th for Greens In Regulation and 2nd for Scrambling at Potomac last week and a closing 68 would have left a good taste.

This is all well and good but the timing of it could be really significant.

That performance last week gives the three-time PGA Tour winner some real momentum going to the Greenbrier which just so happens to be his home event.

Here's the background through a couple of press conferences he's given here.

"I went to college at Virginia Tech just down the road. We came up here a couple of times to play getting ready for tournaments. My brother went to school in Lexington, Virginia and his team used to come up here.

"I actually have people following me here other than my family. It's great."

As for the course... "I love it. I'm a classic golf course fan, connoisseur, if you will. I love Seth Raynor designs. Lester George, who redid it recently is one of the best Seth Raynor kind of historic designers as well. I love what he did. I love the golf course. I truly love this place."

It's one thing having local ties and raving about a course but can he actually play it?

The answer is definitely yes.

Although he missed the cut on debut (despite a second-round 66), Wagner returned to take T11 in 2011 and two years later he opened with a 62, added a third-round 64 to lead after 54 holes and eventually finished second.

He's also shot seven rounds out of eight in the 60s since, finishing T26 and T32.

Speaking at the Travelers Championship two weeks ago after his fast start, he revealed: "I played a nice round the first round of the sectional qualifying for the US Open, shot 64, and that was kind of the start of things turning around.

"I've been working pretty hard but not getting results and it's nice to finally see a good round on the board.

"I've got a stretch of tournaments I traditionally play really well at. Kind of practising, preparing, knowing that I could be ready to go and make a run, and a win can erase a bad year pretty quick."

Last week's top five suggests it's going to plan and he definitely looks value to put in another big performance in front of a supportive crowd here.


Final Bet: Back Stewart Cink for top 10 @ 6/1



The front of the market appears to be full of players that look too short.

That's 12/1 Patrick Reed, 16/1 Kevin Kisner, 18/1 Bill Haas, 22/1 David Lingmerth, Phil Mickelson, Danny Lee (winner in 2015) and Webb Simpson.

I have a feeling that Mickelson might just do something big in his first event since splitting with long-term caddie 'Bones'.

Had he done anything at the course I'd have been tempted but three missed cuts out of three is about enough to put me off.

Nothing else really takes my fancy so, instead, I'm going to switch markets and back Stewart Cink for a top 10.

Cink is 60/1 in the outrights but a couple of things temper expectations. First, this is his tournament debut and, second, he's not won since the 2009 Open Championship.

But a top 10 seems within his scope - especially as he's posted T10 in two of his last three regular PGA Tour events.

Going back to earlier this season, between the Farmers Insurance Open and the Valero Texas Open, the American racked up seven finishes between T20 and T28 in nine starts.

Since his MC at the Wells Fargo, he's stepped it up with 10-25-10-46, the latter coming in the US Open.

It's been a slow build to get towards top 10s again but he's there now and that strong baseline consistency suggests he's real value to add another at 6/1.

Cink is 4th in Par 4 Birdie or Better average, 32nd in Strokes Gained: Tee-To-Green and also 20th in Strokes Gained: Putting so should really take to this course straight away.

The final mention goes to Bubba Watson.

It's tree-lined and wide fairways this week and that's a combo he likes. In fact, he's shot all 12 rounds in the 60s at The Old White, posting 13-16-30.

He really is hit and miss at the moment but if it clicks the 28/1 would look big given some of the shorter prices around on players clearly inferior to a Bubba on form.

Dave's 2016/17 PGA Tour P/L (based on £5 e/w per selection outrights, £10 win top 5s/10s)

Staked: £950
Returned: £1974.68
P/L: +£1024.68

(After the Quicken Loans National)

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