The final leg of the Fedex play-offs takes place north of Chicago, at Conway Farms Golf Club in Lake Forest, Illinois. The field will be whittled down from seventy to thirty for the final tournament in Atlanta next week.
The course is a par 71 and is a typical country course with heavy rough and difficult cross winds aided by the surrounding trees. This will be an even more interesting test, as its the first time a PGA Tour event has been played here, so expect some surprises over the four days.
Here are the six, I feel will do something this weekend, with prices coming from our friends at Bet 365.
My pick to win the event is Justin Rose currently 18/1. The Englishman has been in excellent play-off form with his last eight rounds all coming in under par. After finishing in 2nd in the Barclays event, he finished a somewhat disappointing 16th in the Deutsche Bank tournament. He has missed just two cuts in fifteen events this year, with the leading candidate for player of the year sitting in the top ten for Greens In Regulation, Scoring Average, Total Driving and Sand Saves stats on tour. His form and class make it difficult to look elsewhere for a winner.
The first of my four contenders is Steve Stricker, who like Rose is available at 18/1. Stricker has been very selective in the tournaments he plays, with just eleven events played on tour. However, the lesser workload has worked in his favour, seeing the Wisconsin player hit three runners-up spots this year. This culminated in a second at the Deutsche Bank last time out. He has made every cut this year and sits second in Greens In Regulation and Scoring Average stats, while also being in the top ten in Driving Accuracy, Birdie Average, Strokes Gained By Putting and Par Breaking. It was a toss of a coin between Stricker and Rose, with Rose’s last eight rounds swinging it for me.
Next up is Matt Kuchar at 22/1. He finished fourth at the Deutsche Bank and is in excellent form, with six top twenty’s (including a win, two runners-up and two top tens) in the last nine events. He is on a career best run of twenty-five consecutive cuts, whilst featuring in the top ten in Scoring Average and Sand Saves. The only issue with “Kooch” is his driving, with Driving Distances and Driving Accuracy rating quite low on tour.
Zach Johnson is the next player I feel will be in and around the top ten over the weekend, he is currently 33/1 for the tournament. Johnson’s run of five top tens on the bounce came to a halt at the Deutsche Bank two weeks ago, but his form has gained momentum over the last two months. His last sixteen rounds of golf have seen just one over par performance, and despite some average stats, he has risen some forty-plus places in Stroke Gained By Putting. If he can carry his form over to the new venue, he will no doubt pose a threat. A worthwhile each-way bet for sure.
Canadian, Graham DeLaet is available at 40/1 for the title. The man from Saskatchewan has been red hot in the last two events after missing two previous cuts. He followed his tied 2nd at the Barclays with a third in the Deutsche Bank, which including a round of -9 (62). His good form this year is highlighted by leading the way in Total Driving on tour and 3rd ranking in Greens In Regulation. 40/1 looks a steal for each-way considering recent form.
The choice for outsider is Texan, Roberto Castro, who sits at 80/1. Castro’s steady performances have seen him rise up the Fedex standings, with eight top 25 places in the last twelve events, including three top tens. His main strengths are his Driving Accuracy (ranked 20th) and his Par 5 Scoring which ranks third. He is prone to missing cuts however, with ten missed from twenty-seven played. If he can make the weekend, his 80/1 at each-way will look good value.
Good Luck Out There!