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  • Nick Fleming


As with last week I have tried to go for value, hopefully we can have 2 or 3 players challenging on Sunday evening whereupon we can lay off for profit, those of you that kept your nerve last week with Brian Harman's dramatic 40ft put to win did better than me I laid off when he went odds on at the 18th!! Obviously I won't pick 108/1 winners each week but hopefully the bets below will keep you entertained on sky sports on Sunday evening, as with last week I back more players to win than just doing less ew but your call, we actually had the 5th player last week Tway at 100/1 but Mr Harman's 108/1 win overshadowed this. I suggest keeping stakes to £10 win apart from maybe J Rahm and K Kisner increase to £20 as they are winners waiting to happen!! The extra fun bets on GB,Continental Europe, ROW, do ew but just small stakes There are two main tournaments to cover this week... We'll start today on the PGA Tour with the PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP and then come back to the European Tour event, the PORTGAL OPEN, later today. Here's a preview of the action in Florida... The Tournament - It's called the "5th Major" and with good reason as it's played on a superb course, attracts all the top players and provides great drama with signature holes like the par 3 17th. It only dates back to 1974 but has acquired the status (almost) of a Major... and there's talk it may well become one in time. A move in the rota a few years back, shifting the tournament from March to May, probably hasn't helped in this respect. But it's still a Major in all but name! The Course - We're at TPC Sawgrass this week at Ponte Vedre Beach in Florida. The layout is a par 72 at 7,215 yards, and it's here that the event has been held every year since 1982. Best known for the "island green" on the 17th it's a fine test for the players with scoring tough, but not impossible. 72-Hole Record - 264, Greg Norman (1994) 18-Hole Record - 63, Colt Knost & Jason Day (2016) Past Winners - Jason Day (2016), Rickie Fowler (2015), Martin Kaymer (2014), Tiger Woods (2013), Matt Kuchar (2012). The Field - Almost a standard field with 144 players teeing it up this week. Dustin Johnson is the 15/2 favourite. The Weather - No expected rain on any of the four days, some light cloud and very little wind. Temperatures in the mid-to-high 70's. The Bookies - Very few firms offer EW terms of 1/4 odds on 5 places. LAD, SPB, BFD & B36 payout on 6 places at 1/4 odds. WHL pay out on 6 places at 1/5 odds. SJA & SKY payout on 7 places at 1/4 odds - worth noting for Johnson, Rahm, Koepka, Chappell & Grace. BWY, BFS, BOY & COR pay out on 7 places at 1/5 odds - worth noting for Casey. PPW pay out on 8 EW places at 1/5 odds. The Bets - There are six bets this week from 15/2 up to 150/1. Here are the details... PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP - TOURNAMENT WINNER (starts 13:00 UK time on Thursday) Jon Rahm - - 24 betfair,23 SJA, BFD, B36 OVOM: 21 "Week after week Rahm is showing that if you have the game you can play any course no matter if it's your 10th appearance or your first. Nearly every event for Rahm is a course debut but that hasn't slowed him down at all. He has the whole package, long and straight off the tee, deadly accurate with long irons and a short game that even Seve would be proud of. Five Top 5's from his last eight starts worldwide goes to show that this youngster is the real deal. He's full of confidence and is another who comes here knowing his game is in great shape. In my opinion he's arguably Johnson's biggest threat this week." Sergio Garcia - - 20 betfair ,18 365 Recent masters glory is bound to have a positive effect on this sometimes moody Spainard,he won here back in 2008 and this could be big year for previous disappointing Ryder cup hero!! Kevin Kisner- - 74 betfair, 55 bet 365 Lost in play off here in 2015 has been knocking on the door this year with two seconds!! He's a player I follow so will be backing him most weeks. Brooks Koepka - - 41 SJA, COR, B36, LAD OVOM: 36 "Koepka has gone on record and said he's currently playing the best golf of his career. The latest results would back up this claim, form figures of 9-11-2-5 in his last four starts show a win isn't far away. That 5th place was at the Zurich Classic where he partnered up with his brother and Challenge Tour player Chase Koepka who was the lowest ranked player in the field by some margin. It just goes to show how well Brooks played that even with his brother dragging him down they managed to finish 5th. Brooks is a local lad being from Florida and he was 7th here last year heading into the weekend before a torturous Saturday ended some many hopes. Hideki Matsuyama- - 24 betfair, 20 bet 365 Unfortunately tipped in Racing post so price probably gone? Even so the household names Johnson,McIlroy,Speith,Fowler are priced lower and only Johnson deserves to be on this year's form and even he has dreadful Sawgrass form!!! So back Hideki who is a greens in regulation machine!! Adam Hadwin- - 110 betfair,100 bet 365 Best player to come out of Canada since Mike Weir,hes already won this season and continues to play well, it's a big ask to win in this field but better chance than odds suggest Justin Thomas- - 33 betfair,30 bet 365 Apologies for including another Racing post tip but I have had him in my short list for weeks for this event and it would be dumb to drop him because someone else agrees with me!! He's won twice this season and finished third here last year!! Justin Rose- - 29 betfair,bet 365 25 Justin nearly always contends in these top events, he was gutted to lose out in play off to his great friend Sergio in recent Masters !! Paul Casey - - 41 BWY, BOY, COR, GEN OVOM: 41 "Casey has been consistently good for over a year now without winning but I feel at the current price it's time to pull the trigger. He ranked as the best player in the field last week statistically even though he only managed to finish 12th. He shot -4 on the Sunday to catapult him up the leader board and set him up nicely for this week. Confidence is never lacking with him and he's always worth keeping onside on tough courses." Kevin Chappell - - 56 SJA, BFD, B36 OVOM: 51 "There is still not enough respect being shown to Chappell even though he now has his maiden victory under his belt. This guy has been class for years but would regularly struggle late on Sunday. Now this monkey is off his back I can genuinely see him winning multiple times this year. He missed the cut at the Zurich Classic mainly due to the fact his partner [Gary Woodland] was majorly out of sorts, so this can be ignored. This is a ball-striker's golf course and there aren't many better outside the big guns than Chappell. He was runner-up to Day last year and is capable of going one better this time around." Branden Grace - - 101 SKY, BFD, SPB OVOM: 91 "Grace is playing sneakily good at present with form figures of 27-11-10-24. His tee-to-green game is looking sharp but he just needs to see a few putts drop in order to contend. I've kept a close eye on him in recent weeks and he's playing better than even his good form suggests he just needs to start converting his fair share of birdie chances. European Tour players predominantly have good records here and Grace has three solid knocks to his name making the cut all three times. With this course being tougher than most as long as Grace continues to play well tee-to-green there's every chance he'll be in the mix on Sunday." In these big events I like to have side bets so to speak on top GB,Continental Europe and ROW. Top GB a Ireland ew 1,2,3 S Lowry 22/1 bet 365 G McDowell 20/1 bet 365 R Know 14/1 bet 365 P Casey 15/2 bet 365 Top Continental Europe ew 1,2,3 R Cabrero Bello20/1 bet365 F Molinari 7/1 bet 365 M Kaymer 15/2 bet 365 Top ROW EW 1,2,3,4 E Grillo 22/1 A Hadwin 18/1 Good luck

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