The tournament that is sandwiched between the first two WGC events of the year always has a strong field, and Colombian Camilo Villegas took the spoils last year seeing off a host of stars.
This year is no different with three of the world’s top four in action, Lee Westwood, Luke Donald and Graeme McDowell. Rory McIlroy is also in the field and that makes the top four in the betting all European.
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My first selection is a certain young American, though. Rickie Fowler looked particulary sharp in the Match Play especially when seeing off Phill Mickelson 6&5. I expect him to perform well here. He’s a player that looks full of confidence and when he next gets in contention on a Sunday I fully expect him to convert for his first win. There’s a determined look about the youngster of late that tells me he’s ready to step up.
Jeff Overton is an 80/1 shot but I don’t believe his form had dipped that much and even though he has shown signs of nerves when being in contention before, I can’t help but feel he’s got great each-way credentials.
Another player to have caught my eye in the Match Play last week was YE Yang. The 2009 USPGA champion looks to be playing his way back into form and I’m hopeful he can do some damage this week at 33/1.
My main selection has to be European at a time when they just look so comfortable wherever they are playing. Whether Donald can take his excellent form into this strokeplay event remains to be seen. Westwood doesn’t look at ease with his game right now and McIlroy seems a little hit-and-miss at the moment.
I was interested to see whether GM’s playing editor, Graeme McDowell could carry on from where he left off last year and the signs are, after changing clubs, that he’s in for another great season. He says he’s not far off and we’re backing the Ulsterman to land a blow in the US this week.
Golf Monthly’s Honda Classic bets: