While Mahan may well be a pick in the weeks ahead, I simply cannot have him as favourite here. Odds of 20/1 are a consequence of three straight top 20s in elite events and a previous win at the Phoenix, whilst rather overlooking the fact that he’s never bettered 42nd in six cracks at this event.
O’Hair has a decent record here both before and after the changes, and looks one of the men to beat. Recent form is reasonable if unspectacular, with four top 25s from his last eight, though never in contention.
Crane‘s 2010 form has been so consistent that he warrants consideration every time he tees it up, with his latest fourth at Sawgrass a particularly good effort. He’s been runner-up here before too, albeit long before the changes.
Y E YANG
There’s an argument to be made that Yang should actually be favourite here on his best form over the past year or so. He’s won three titles, including a Major, and produced some of the best golf from anyone in April. All that is putting me off is the fact he’s yet to thrive in Texas, including on this layout.
Should any of my selections withdraw, Slocum is first reserve. Nobody is driving it straighter right now, and there’s been plenty to like about three of his last four events in better company. He looks likely to be there or thereabouts.