It came as a massive surprise to see that Brian Gay has never bettered 36th place in seven attempts on this course. I would have felt that the emphasis on accuracy would have suited him down to the ground. Still, I’d rather back the twice runaway 2009 winner than Monday’s hero Lucas Glover. Its not that I don’t rate Glover; at least I can say I have backed him before, even if his name didn’t even cross my mind for Bethpage; but I’ll be surprised if he’s stopped partying after pulling off one of the all-time great golfing upsets.
 
The one player to make both the cut at Bethpage, and my final staking plan, is BEN CURTIS. With hindsight it would have been better for him to have missed the cut as the course was just too long for him, but Curtis is young enough to cope and has shown great promise at River Highlands. The former Open champion’s four previous efforts on this course are 4th, 21st, 54th and 13th; not bad for a player who is still on the way up. He tends to peak around these summer months and consecutive top-10s in high-class Euro Tour events recently took the eye. Ben remains a player to watch in the weeks to come.
 
Finally, KEVIN NA edges out Steve Marino and Ben Crane for the final place in the staking plan. I’ve written before this year that Na is improving and will be making the winner’s circle before long, but have yet to receive any notable returns. A 2009 record of six top-10s and nine top-25s suggest it must be around the corner, so with ideal conditions at River Highlands he is worth persevering with. Na, still only 25, is generally seen to best effect on courses with small greens, that therefore reward his pinpoint iron accuracy, and has already shown a liking for this venue with 9th place in 2007.

Travelers Championship advised bets:
 
2.5pts ew ZACH JOHNSON @ 20/1 (TOTE, PADDY POWER, SKYBET, LADBROKES)
2pts ew DAVID TOMS @ 25/1 (BOYLESPORTS, BETFRED, BLUESQ, PADDY POWER)
1.5pts ew JUSTIN LEONARD @ 33/1 (GENERAL)
1.5pts ew BEN CURTIS @ 40/1 (SPORTINGBET, LADBROKES)
1.5pts ew KEVIN NA @ 45/1 (BET365, PADDY POWER)
 
BMW INTERNATIONAL OPEN
 
3pts ew RETIEF GOOSEN @ 18/1 (BOYLESPORTS, SPORTINGBET)
2pts ew ALVARO QUIROS @ 28/1 (BET365, BETFRED, STAN JAMES)
1pt ew THOMAS AIKEN @ 66/1 (GENERAL)
1pt ew DANNY WILLETT @ 80/1 (BET365, BLUESQ)
0.5pt ew RAFAEL CABRERA-BELLO @ 100/1 (GENERAL, 110/1 SKYBET)
0.5pt ew PAUL WARING @ 200/1 (BET365, BLUESQ)
 
LONG-TERM ALREADY ADVISED

RACE TO DUBAI

2.5pts ew ROSS FISHER @ 20/1
2.5pts ew PAUL CASEY @ 20/1
6pts win PAUL CASEY @ 8/1
1.5pts ew OLIVER WILSON @ 33/1

2009 OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP

5pts ew SERGIO GARCIA @ 16/1

2008/2009 STATS: -75pts
2007/2008 STATS: +618pts

Where next?

US Open 2009: Lucas Glover wins at Bethpage
Latest equipment review: Vega RAF-U hybrid review
Golf tips and instruction: Foot-up drill
Competitions: Win some excellent prizes