OTHER CANDIDATES

PADRAIG HARRINGTON

Padraig initially made the staking plan, as I feel this is a course
where his inaccuracy off the tee might not be too heavily penalised, and
where his scrambling skills will be a huge asset. He was eventually
relegated to first reserve.

PAUL CASEY

Having potentially hindered his Ryder Cup claims to focus on the Fedex
Cup, Casey had better make it worthwhile with a lucrative month. He was
seventh at Ridgewood in 2008, and after finishing strongly for 12th
place at Whistling Straits, could be on the verge of returning to his
best.

BUBBA WATSON

I could never have picked out Bubba for the USPGA, but his near-miss
there was the perfect rebuttal for those of us who criticise players
with one-dimensional, attacking games. Ridgewood could provide a similar
tale, for while it doesn’t look like a bombers’ layout, Bubba went
close in 12th two years ago.

RETIEF GOOSEN

Eight top-ten finishes is a decent return on the year to date, but
Goosen was poor last time at Whistling Straits and missed the cut here
in 2008.

DUSTIN JOHNSON

For the second time this year, we’re all waiting to see how Dustin will
cope with massive disappointment in a major, although this time his fate
was sealed by bad luck rather than design. As with fellow bomber Bubba
Watson, Ridgewood doesn’t suit at first glance, but then it didn’t at
Whistling Straits either.

JUSTIN LEONARD

Third at the Wyndham was Leonard’s best result of the season, and having
finished seventh here in 2008, he rates a likely candidate.

JUSTIN ROSE

Rose commands the utmost respect on the basis of his two recent PGA Tour
titles, but was disappointing when surprisingly missing the USPGA cut.

NICK WATNEY

Again, the focus must be on how quickly Watney bounces back from the
shock of that disastrous final round at Whistling Straits, with the
tournament at his mercy. In the longer-term he’s too good a prospect not
to forgive, but I’d rather employ a watching brief for now.

LUKE DONALD

Despite poor performances in his last two elite events, Donald made the
shortlist. The emphasis here on patience, ball-striking and scrambling
looks ideal.

HUNTER MAHAN

Mahan leads the ball-striking stats so should love Ridgewood. After his
win at the WGC-Bridgestone, Hunter is on the verge of challenging the
elite, as soon as he becomes more consistent.

CAMILO VILLEGAS
Speaking of challenging the elite, regular readers will know I’ve been
tipping Villegas to do just that for some time. I’d lost interest over
the summer when he was struggling, but his fast finishing eighth at
Whistling Straits was an eyecatching performance. He is already the
fifth highest ever Fedex Cup points-scorer.

2010 STATS: -100pts

LONG-TERM ALREADY ADVISED

5pts MARTIN KAYMER TO WIN THE RACE TO DUBAI @ 9/1

Where next?

Tour news: Johnnie Walker betting guide
Competitions: Win some great prizes
Equipment: Callaway X-24 Hot irons