The Old White TPC course in Greenbrier, West Virginia, is where the 2020 season kicks off this week. It’s a 7286 yard par 70 course that does not require players to be particularly long of the tee in order to win at this venue, one of the oldest courses on the PGA tour. Accuracy off the tee is a far more prized attribute here than length.
Most of the big guns are still on holiday, so the field is particularly weak. This presents an excellent opportunity for the lessor known players on tour to get their name up in lights early and get some valuable cash in the bank for that top 125 money spot come later in the season.
Being that its very early days in the season I am going to go really wide here with three of my four selections. But there is method to my madness. And if I’m right then it could be a great start to the season returns wise.
Blue Horseshoe Loves:
TIM WILKINSON – currently at 400/1 with starsports.bet
The kiwi was on tour a couple of seasons ago and came close to winning but couldn’t quite get the job done. However, he produced a very sold season on the Korn Ferry tour and has qualified again for the big show. Wilkinson’s main strength is his accuracy of the tee and his putting. If there was ever an opportunity for him to take his strong current form and convert it for a PGA tour win on a course that suits his game and without many of the stars of the game around to clog up the leader board then this is it.
CAMERON SMITH – currently at 45/1 with starsports.bet
I was left feeling a little frustrated by Cameron Smith late last season. After a rocky start to the year his form came good and he went close at a couple of big events including the Open. But time after time he shot himself in the foot with a sloppy round or a calamitous hole. I think he will be every keen to iron out those mental errors and carry on his good overall form into this season. This is a great chance for Smith to come out of the gates flying. He is easily one of the class players of the field and he represents great value for me here.
TALOR GOOCH – currently at 150/1 with starsports.bet
Gooch had a strange season in 2018/19. He promised so much and at times played some brilliant golf to be right in contention at a few events, but consistency proved to be an issue. I think last season will have given him the confidence and belief that he can compete and I think he could go well on this course. Gooch is not particularly long of the tee, but he is straight, and if he gets the flat stick firing he is one of the best putters on tour.
VICTOR HOVLAND – currently at 14/1 with starsports.bet
Watch this kid (pictured). He is going to be a huge star in the game over the coming years. He feels a bit too short in the market for my liking, but there is no doubt this young man has got the game to compete at the highest level and this event could be an easy touch for him after playing well in the qualifiers to secure his first PGA Tour card. Something tells me we’ll be hearing the name Victor Hovland a great deal more from this point on.
EW 1/5 odds 6 places
RECOMMENDED BETS (scale of 1-100 points)
BACK TIM WILKINSON 1pt ew at 400/1 with starsports.bet
BACK CAMERON SMITH 1.5pts ew at 45/1 with starsports.bet
BACK TALOR GOOCH 1pt ew at 150/1 with starsports.bet
BACK VICTOR HOVLAND 2.5pts ew at 14/1 with starsports.bet
PROFIT/LOSS SINCE JAN 1 2017: PROFIT 226.01 points
(excluding Ryan Sidebottom Ashes bet (c/f double, Ashes preview outright, 4th and 5th Test), Political Bets posted 8 August, Premier League ante-post, Cameron Brown football bets)