The final event of the regular FedEx Cup season is often a goldmine for outsider backers. Paul Krishnamurty has a trio of picks at 99-1 or higher...
"Bryan was rapidly rising the world rankings before a shoulder injury curtailed his career. At 199 on the FedEx list (but clearly capable of better) he's just the type to pop up in this event."
The USPGA was, I'm afraid to say, another frustrating major for the column. Perhaps more so because two of the three picks played pretty well, making the top-25, without ever looking likely to land even place money.
At least after this particular major, I can't complain that it was impossible to make money from outsiders. My betting.betfair colleagues Steve Rawlings and Dave Tindall both produced tremendous, profitable tips in Cameron Champ and Scottie Scheffler.
Next a tournament which is much more fertile territory for our purposes. The Wyndham Championship has a long history of producing either huge-priced winners or places, often players starting the final week of the regular FedEx Cup season outside the top-125 cut-line. Steve runs through many such examples in his comprehensive preview.
This set-up is all about good approach play to undulating greens, in order to set up the required stack of birdies. Greens in regulation and strokes gained: approach are key stats to follow, and driving accuracy very important.
Garnett to go well here again
First, a player who has hit 74% of greens in regulation since the resumption which rates second-best among this field. Brice Garnett also ranks 13th for strokes gained: approach during that period.
Whilst that iron play hasn't yielded fantastic results yet, his best during that period was a top-20 at a course which correlates well with Sedgefield - Harbour Town. That was his second top-20 in the Heritage and he's hit that target on his last three cracks at this event, including sixth last year.
Bryan eyecatching on comeback trail
Speaking of Harbour Town, my second pick won his maiden title at the Heritage in 2017, following a trio of wins on the Kornferry Tour. He was rapidly rising the world rankings before a shoulder injury curtailed his career. At 199 on the FedEx list (but clearly capable of better) he's just the type to pop up in this event.
Still recovering pre-lockdown, Bryan said he was excited about his golf. Since the resumption, he's started working his way back on this tour and fared pretty well, finishing top-25 at the Travelers and (perhaps correlating) Rocket Mortgage Classic. His efforts from three starts were enough to reward the best strokes gained: approach figures of anyone in this field.
Back Sam Ryder 1u @ [400.0]
Place order to lay 10u @ [25.0]
Back Sam Ryder for a Top Ten Finish 1u @ [18.5]
Finally, the emphasis on good iron play leads me to give another chance to Sam Ryder. He made both previous cuts here and his stats post-lockdown for accuracy and gir are respectable. As were seventh place in the Workday and 21st at the Barracuda.
Fast starter good for trading purposes
July and August saw Ryder's best spell of every year between 2015 and 2018. He's also likeable from a back-to-lay perspective as he tends to start stronger than finish. During a four-month spell finishing at the Sony Open (another correlating event), Sam was placed top-six at halfway on four occasions.
My first reserve is from well below the cut-line. North Carolina-based Seamus Power [320.0] has hit 71% of gir since lockdown and opened with 64 last year. He also scores very well in two useful stats - birdie average and proximity to hole. Ryan Armour [220.0] also made the shortlist on the basis of good course and relatively recent form.
2020: -44 units
2019: +70.5 units