BRENDON DE JONGE
Two good weeks have elevated the barely famous Zimbabwean to favouritism, which is the point that I look elsewhere. He’s certainly playing well this year and perfectly capable of winning, but this is not an event to be taking 16/1 about someone without a title at this level.
Last year’s Atunyote runner-up is an obvious candidate. He also made the top 20 on both previous visits, and is in good form with top 11s on three of his last four.
Howell also has some Atunyote previous, finishing 18th and third on his two visits. He looked close to his best when making last week’s top ten, but is a player I’m usually loathe to back because of a dodgy temperament when in contention.
Another strong candidate with good course form, Senden has twice made the top five at Atunyote. This dual PGA Tour winner instantly made the shortlist after Sunday’s 65, registering his second top-25 in three starts.
This lower grade could quite plausibly provide the setting for Molder’s long-overdue breakthrough win. Fourth in Canada last time out was his sixth top-ten of the year, with the best efforts tending to come in low-scoring affairs.
Ames must command respect in this weaker grade, as he wouldn’t have been out of place in the Firestone line-up. Placed 21st last week was a decent effort, but I’m not convinced a birdie-fest on his course debut is ideal.
Few are putting better than the shock Reno-Tahoe Open winner, who has followed up with consecutive top 20s in the last fortnight. Bettencourt’s big-hitting further strengthens his claim.
Here’s another big-hitting, sometimes birdie-machine with good Atunyote form. Garrigus was third in 2008, and top 25 last year. Nevertheless, after his spectacular collapse at Southwind, and weak effort when in contention in Reno, Garrigus is on my ‘avoid list’.
Top-fives at Redstone, Southwind and last time out at John Deere Run read well enough, but that implausible 2003 US PGA success remains Micheel’s only title.
Rod was seventh last year, and had looked to be coming into form with consecutive top-25s prior to last week, after a poor run. Australians have a good record here.
Sim was 55th last year when in the form of his life, and while he remains a good prospect, the Aussie is yet to recapture his best since injury.
This big-hitter rates an interesting outsider at 100/1. Deleat has had his moments, mainly when finishing third at Redstone, and was also in contention on the final day in Reno before a shocking finish.
RICHARD S JOHNSON
Fresh from the career highlight of winning the Scandinavian Masters, Johnson played well to finish 21st last week. His best from three visits here, though, is just 47th.
Petrovic missed the cut when slightly fancied last week, yet still hit 68 in his second round. His previous US form was solid and he was also third last year.
As a long hitter who usually accumulates plenty of birdies, Piercy ticks many boxes after last week’s top 20. He looked very vulnerable when previously in contention, though.
2010 STATS: -39pts
LONG-TERM ALREADY ADVISED
5pts MARTIN KAYMER TO WIN THE RACE TO DUBAI @ 9/1
BRENDON DE JONGE