As always, the Bob Hope Classic is the year’s first event on US mainland. Played over five days and ninety holes, across four target golf courses, it isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. It’s hard to keep track with developments across the different venues, and the TV coverage tends to be far too concerned with the fate of irritating celebrities. Still, you can’t have your own way every week, and from a betting perspective, who cares?
Because it’s essentially a putting contest, one might expect a series of random, big-priced winners. There have been a few; the last two champions DJ Trahan and Charley Hoffman were both outsiders; but before that pair the last five had all been top-class. No doubt the extra round enables the class to rise to the top, though twice former champion Phil Mickelson, who really is ideally suited to this sort of test, is conspicuous by his absence.
Anthony Kim was the stand-out favourite at 6/1 before withdrawing on Tuesday due to a shoulder injury.