The PGA Tour is in Georgia this week for the McGladrey Classic, and a good field has assembled for the third event of the PGA Tour’s Fall series.
American Ryder Cup players Zach Johnson and Jim Furyk have made the trip to Sea Island Golf Club’s Seaside Course, but the emphasis this week will be on earning a 2013 PGA Tour card.
There are only two events left in the PGA Tour season, with those finishing outside the top 125 on the money list facing the prospect of a daunting trip to Q-School in November.
The Seaside Course isn’t the longest or most difficult on tour, but the 7,004-yard par 70 places a premium on accuracy, shot selection and putting.
Ben Crane carded a closing 63 last year to force his way into a play-off with Webb Simpson, securing victory on the second extra hole after an untimely three-putt from the 2012 US Open champion.
He returns to Sea Island to defend this year, but will encounter stiff competition from a range of competitors hoping to seize his crown.
Unsurprisingly, Johnson and Furyk are favourites with the bookmakers this year, but there are plenty of other players worth considering this week.
Jason Day, at 16/1 with Labrokes, is one of those. The Australian has been very quiet this season, and will be determined to give himself some momentum heading into to 2013. He was seven-under-par after nine holes in the final round of the JT Shriners en route to a fourth place finish. He led the field in birdies that week, and currently stands 10th on the PGA Tour in Strokes Gained – Putting and seventh in Driving Distance.
Jeff Overton is well priced at 33/1 with Ladbrokes this week. He is in good form, finishing seventh at the Deutsche Bank, 13th at the JT Shriners and eighth at last week’s Frys.com Open, where he shot a final-round 66. He is 13th on the PGA Tour in Birdie Average, 14th in Actual Scoring Average and, what’s more, he finished sixth at the McGladrey last year.
Talented young American Billy Horschel is worth backing at 50/1 with Ladbrokes. He was tied for second last week in California at the halfway stage and inside the top ten with one round remaining at the Wyndham Championship. If he can eradicate that one costly round, it won’t be long before he wins on tour. He ranks 12th in Total Driving and 16th in Greens in Regulation, and he led the McGladrey at the halfway stage last year after two 64s. He also comes into the tournament way outside the top 125 on the Money List, which should provide some additional motivation this week.
Tim Petrovic, at 80/1 with Ladbrokes, could also feature. The American, whose first and only PGA Tour victory came at the 2005 Zurich Classic of New Orleans, had endured a terrible season until his second-place finish last week. As a result, he rose from way outside the top 200 on the Money List to 132nd position, needing to move up just seven more places to earn a full card for 2013. He is also a great putter and leads the PGA Tour in scrambling.
Greg Owen is a decent each way punt at 100/1 with Ladbrokes. He found some form last week at the Frys.com Open, bouncing back from two missed cuts to finish in a tie for 22nd. The Englishman ranks 12th on the PGA Tour in Greens in Regulating and will be relaxed, having already secured his 2013 card.
McGladrey Classic advised bets:
3pts each way on Jason Day at 16/1 with Ladbrokes
2pts each way on Jeff Overton at 33/1 with Ladbrokes
2pts each way on Billy Horschel at 50/1 with Ladbrokes
2pts each way on Tim Petrovic at 80/1 with Ladbrokes
1pts each way on Greg Owen at 100/1 with Ladbrokes