Workday Charity Open: Side with Streelman

American Kevin Streelman
Kevin Streelman can make a big run at the title
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Dave Tindall is back to preview the Workday Charity Open and has three each-way selections for the action at Muirfield Village...

"Streelman ranked seventh for SG: Tee To Green when finishing tied second at last week's Travelers Championship. That was the veteran's second runners-up finish in his last six starts following a near-miss at Pebble where he ranked 2nd Tee To Green."

Main Bet: Kevin Streelman each-way @ 60/1

While the Workday Charity Open sounds like a new event held in the autumn/fall, course form punters need not fret.

Due to revised scheduling and logistics, this is a one-off event held at Muirfield Village. Jack Nicklaus' iconic course will then stage its usual showpiece, the Memorial Tournament, the week after.

Muirfield Village is a classic 'second shot course' with some room off the tee and fast, bentgrass greens.

While Strokes Gained: Approach could be the first metric to reach for, the more straightforward SG: Tee To Green tells the best story.

The first two home last year - Patrick Cantlay and Adam Scott - were ranked 2nd and 1st in TTG, the TTG rank of the top five finishers in 2018 was 12-3-9-2-4 while 2017 winner Jason Dufner was ranked 1st in TTG (and Approach).

Cantlay did everything well when lifting the trophy in 2019 but runner-up Scott was only 37th in SG: Putting. Byeong-Hun An, who finished T2 in 2018, was 43rd in that category while Dufner actually recorded a negative SG: Putting figure when winning three years ago.

As with putting, there also seems to be some leeway around the greens when looking at the ATG stats.

So, we're very much in the hunt for tee-to-green merchants this week.

I'll open with Kevin Streelman, who ranked seventh for SG: Tee To Green when finishing tied second at last week's Travelers Championship.

That was the veteran's second runners-up finish in his last six starts following a near-miss at Pebble where he ranked 2nd Tee To Green.

In other words, when his long game is on, he's a threat.

Muirfield Village looks an ideal place to show those skills and it's not surprise to see he has a strong record there.

Streelman has posted two top eights and a further pair of top 20s in his last five visits and was also T7 in 2011.

When fourth last year he ranked 2nd for Approach and 5th Tee To Green, gaining over nine strokes in both categories.

He also putts these greens well (third for SG: Putting in 2017) so he really does look a great fit.

The final piece of the jigsaw is Par 5 Performance.

Patrick Cantlay, Adam Scott and Martin Kaymer ranked joint-1st for Par 5s last year with -12 and they finished first, second and third.

Streelman is T5 for Par 5 Scoring in 2020 and plays this week's set of four well, shooting -9 on the four long holes last year and -11 in 2015.

Main Bet: Corey Conners each-way @ 70/1

Corey Conners is 23rd Strokes Gained: Tee To Green this season and was 9th in the previous campaign so we know where the strength of his game lies.

Since golf returned he's posted T19 at Colonial, T21 at Harbour Town (second at halfway after a Friday 63) and missed the cut at last week's Travelers.

Conners was in the top ten after 54 holes in both those two comeback events so his good play has slightly been masked by modest closers (although 70 and 71 are hardly shoddy).

The missed cut at the Travelers was unexpected but he shot a 66 in round two at TPC River Highlands last Friday, gaining 3.167 strokes Tee To Green over those 18 holes so was in the groove again after being out of whack for some reason on day one.

He played Muirfield Village for the first time last year and T65 doesn't look great but he was in the top 25 at halfway after a second-round 69 before a poor weekend.

Conners seems a little happier with his putting and his figures in the three events since the restart are better than the previous five events he played which is a sign of encouragement.

Dufner, as stated, won this event with a negative SGP figure so if Conners can keep pelting greens he could go a long way.

Take the Canadian, who won last year's Valero Texas Open with a score of 20-under, at 70/1.

Final Bet: Rickie Fowler each-way @ 28/1

RICKIE FOWLER NOV 2018.jpg

At the front of the market, I'm very drawn to Hideki Matsuyama although the 14/1 is a tad short.

His long game was stunning before lockdown, helping him to top six finishes at the Genesis Invitational and WGC-Mexico and it looked sharp again last week as he gained 7.435 strokes Tee To Green.

He also loves this place having won here on debut in 2014 and added fifth (2015) and sixth (2019) since.

His putter is stone cold but a half-decent week with the flatstick should see him contend.

It would also come as no surprise to see last year's Memorial winner, Patrick Cantlay, win at Muirfield Village for the second straight time. Also fourth in 2018, he excels on these Par 5s and made a positive return to competitive action with T11 in the Travelers.

But at bigger odds of 28/1, I'll play Rickie Fowler.

Fowler's Tee To Green numbers were far better last week - his best this season in fact - as he shook off a pair of missed cuts to take T12 at the Rocket Mortgage.

He climbed the leaderboard on the weekend with rounds of 69 and 67 and definitely took plenty from the week.

A double runner-up at Muirfield Village (2010 and 2017), he was also T8 in 2018 and T14 last year when in the top five again at halfway.

For the last three years at Jack's place, Fowler has fired -9 on the Par 5s so he really does play that quartet very well and this is where he can make his move.

He gave this fair reflection of his game at the Rocket Mortgage Classic on Sunday: "Happy with my ball-striking. I continue to get better, so I definitely feel like I'm in a good spot and excited for the next two weeks at Muirfield.

"Over the weekend I definitely drove it better, iron play was good. The biggest thing for me right now is just waiting for some more putts to go in. Finally got the putter back where I want it, hitting putts online. I just struggled a little bit with lines and pace this weekend."

Fowler's confident putting stroke works well on fast greens and, with a few of the big names sitting this one out, this could be a good time to catch him.

***

Get all the course and form guides for Muirfield Village Golf Club here

Staked: £754
Returned: £516.26
P/L: -£237.74

2018/2019 P/L: -£338.25
2017/2018 P/L: +£362.84
2016/2017 P/L: +£1179.89

Dave Tindall,

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