The Reno-Tahoe Open runs concurrently to the WGC Bridgestone Invitational this week at Jack Nicklaus’ Montreux Country Club. Last year, Scott Piercy triumphed but, having won last week at the RBC Canadian Open, will not be returning to defend his title.
Intriguingly, from a betting perspective, the tournament has switched to a Modified Stableford format this year, meaning the onus will be on aggressive play. This format awards two points for a birdie but only minus one for a bogey, which will reward a positive mindset.
This week, I would be looking towards those that rank high up on the PGA Tour’s Birdie Average category, and those who have the ability to churn out lots of birdies when they get on a roll. Players who make lots of birdies but their fair share of bogeys will be more successful than consistent, steady golfers who don’t make many mistakes but don’t often foray under par.
The bookmakers have installed Padraig Harrington as the favourite, and it is easy to see why. He is the biggest name in the field and in good form heading into Kiawah, but there are more than enough golfers capable of ruffling the Irishman.
Still, Harrington is a decent bet at 11/1 with Ladbrokes. He has the most pedigree of anyone in the field, and has only finished outside the top-15 once in his last six starts. He’s also sixth in scoring average this season on the PGA Tour, and I think he’ll enjoy playing in a new tournament with a different format.
Chris Kirk is a decent bet at 25/1 with Ladbrokes. He’s 30th in Birdie Average, 5th in Par 4 birdie percentage and 29th in Greens in Regulation, and is the form player in the field, finishing 30th, 10th and 4th in his last three starts.
Bet with Ladbrokes and get up to £50 on free bets:
Billy Horschel is playing well at the moment, and looks good value at 50/1 with Ladbrokes. He finished in a tie for tenth in Reno last year, third in Mississippi two weeks ago and comes off a final round 64 at last week’s RBC Canadian Open. He’s also seventh in total driving and 21st in Greens in Regulation.
Camilo Villegas may be having a poor season but, at 50/1 with Ladbrokes, he is well worth considering. The Columbian is a multiple-winner on the PGA Tour – which should give him confidence in an event with a relatively weak field – and formerly sat among the world’s top 10. He is one of those players who can make a multitude of birdies if he finds some form, and despite a poor weekend at the Canadian Open, he should take heart from entering the final 36 holes in the top ten after a second round 63.
Charlie Beljian, 125/1 with Ladbrokes, is an incredibly exciting player to watch, and his aggressive game should suit this format. He finished tied for third at the Greenbrier Classic a couple of weeks ago and is 4th in Driving Distance on the PGA Tour. He is erratic and inconsistent, but well worth an each way bet.
Reno-Tahoe Open advised bets:
3pts outright on Padraig Harrington at 11/1 with Ladbrokes
2pts outright on Chris Kirk at 25/1 with Ladbrokes
1pt each way on Camilo Villegas at 50/1 with Ladbrokes
1pt each way on Billy Horschel at 50/1
1pt each way on Charlie Beljan at 125/1