KEVIN STREELMAN has a big interest this week, as the 31-year-old leads by two in the Kodak Challenge. This is a season-long challenge, played over one selected hole each week, carrying a $1 million first prize. So long as he plays the 17th well four times, the prize will be his. He also looks a decent candidate for the main event, given an excellent birdie conversion ratio and a promising sixth place on last season’s debut. Streelman is one of the best players around without a title to his name, and when it does arrive, it will be probably be on a low scoring track.
 
TOM PERNICE appears to have found a new lease of life since entering the Champions Tour and swiftly winning at that level. His last two Fall Series efforts have yielded results of 13th and seventh, with eight consecutive sub-70 rounds, and that must bring him into the argument on a course where he has plenty of previous. Pernice finished runner-up here in 2005, and also registered a series of top 25s around the turn of the century.
 
Another first time winner waiting to happen is JOHN MALLINGER, who I tipped in the last event that never took place. All of the same arguments apply. He always makes my shortlist for these low-scoring affairs, and 80/1 is a huge price given his best 2009 form, which includes runner-up at much shorter odds in the US Bank Championship and third place at Sawgrass.
 
I’m backing two of the group of chasers outside the top 125, RYAN PALMER and DEAN WILSON. Again, Palmer was advised for the Viking Classic so all the same arguments apply. He loves this form of golf, always ranking near the top of the birdie conversion stats, and proved when winning the 2008 Ginn Sur Mer Classic that he is capable of finding his ‘A game’ when most needed at the end of the season. His case is even stronger this week, having won this event in 2004 and finished third the following year.
 
Wilson is a far more speculative selection, as there really is very little to recommend him on 2009 efforts. However, there has been a slight improvement in recent weeks, reaching the top 20 in Nevada and registering some impressive long game stats. Like the others, Wilson has generally reserved his best form for easy, target golf courses, and as a seven-time worldwide winner will at least have the experience to know all is not lost just yet.
 
A few words about the rest. Stephen Ames and Davis Love are both former course winners who will have their supporters, but were overlooked because their putting hasn’t looked anywhere near good enough to win an event like this for some time. Alternatively, the best putter in the business, Brian Gay, would appear ideally suited so I was surprised to realise he’s never made the top ten at Disney. Heath Slocum has plenty of good Disney form, and played very well last time out at Grayhawk, but is plenty short enough at below 50/1.
 
Other birdie-machine types Jonathan Byrd, Robert Garrigus and Scott Piercy are all worth considering at decent prices. And finally, if Herron can get the putter going he could be the man to keep that Fall Series run going. I toyed long and hard about backing Herron, who has responded to his poor money list position with some improved results, but ultimately decided that anything less than 100/1 was too short.