It’s a pivotal week in the PGA Tour season with the final qualifying event before the Fedex Cup play-offs. Those within the top 125 on the Fedex Cup Points List on Sunday night will go through to the first play-off, next week’s Barclays Classic, before further cuts are made after each event. So one way or another, whether trying to get into the top 125 or improve position before the forthcoming cuts, everyone in the field has plenty to play for.
Sedgefield Country Club plays host for the second time, after last year’s debut following a substantial renovation. Driving distance proved virtually irrelevant on that occasion, confirming the suspicion that the key to Sedgefield is position off the tee, and quality approach play to undulating greens. Analysis of the stats, however, suggests a huge emphasis on putting average. In fact, I can never remember seeing a leaderboard where that stat was as important.
Like the KLM Open, the consequence is a wide open affair with the favourite starting at 20/1. And why not when pretty much every tournament in recent months has produced one of two possible results; a win for either Tiger Woods or a rank outsider? Another similarity with the Euro event is that again, I find myself in a dilemma concerning whether to back a short-priced player who has all the right form credentials, but a terrible win ratio.
Initially, I broke a golden rule and backed my gambling nemesis, Tim Clark, at 25/1 but since the price has shortened to 20/1 it has become just too short to recommend. Clark played his college golf in this state, finished sixth last year and stands out on the key stats. However, he still hasn’t won a PGA Tour event and keeps blowing golden opportunities to do so; most recently when runner-up in the Crowne Plaza Invitational. Clark will win in the States eventually; he’s too good to fail forever; but its hard to forgive somebody who has let me down so many times before. Nevertheless, I’ll be surprised if he’s outside the top-10.