For very similar reasons of price, I abandoned an initial plan to end my ban on backing Tim Clark. He too has the absolutely perfect game for success at La Cantera, and finished 5th on his last visit five years ago. Clark’s recent form is strong, finishing 9th at Sawgrass and 13th in the Masters, but at less than 20/1 the ban stays.
Doubtless, many will be attracted by Anthony Kim as he finished runner-up here in his rookie year and knows the place well. It certainly does take the eye that Kim, regularly available in single figures at the start of the year, is now a bigger price than the likes of Johnson, Leonard or Clark. However, whilst I’m sure he will bounce back soon, just for now he looks to be struggling with the weight of expectation created by such a fast start to his career.
In his fourth season on the PGA Tour, CHARLEY HOFFMAN has looked one of the most improved players around. Eleven 2009 starts have produced no missed cuts, and seven top-20 finishes, including runner-up at Scottsdale. That sort of run points towards a second title sooner or later, and Hoffman’s earlier La Cantera performances suggest this could be the ideal opportunity, after finishes of 8th in his rookie year and 11th in 2007 when a markedly lesser player.
Very few players have been more accurate lately than last year’s runner-up CHARLIE WI, which must bode well for La Cantera. The 37 year-old Korean has become a regular contender at this level, as three top-10s in his last six events testify. Wi has nine international titles to his name already, so given that his career is evidently on an upward curve, there’s no reason he can’t become the latest overseas PGA Tour winner any time soon.