Golf Betting: Fowler wont fall foul after Fargo
First up is Rickie Fowler, who really should have bagged this event two years ago when he went into day four with a three shot lead before trading odds-on and crashing late on
Steve Rawlings brings you his insightful analysis and all the market leaders for the Memorial Tournament.
First staged in 1976, this will be the 37th renewal of the Memorial Tournament.
Muirfield Village, Dublin Ohio
Par 72 -7,265 yards
Stroke Index in 2011 - 71.96
Muirfield Village Golf Club is named after course designer Jack Nicklaus' favourite Open Championship venue. It's a proper test and a good warm-up event for the US Open in a fortnight's time.
The fairways are fairly generous but the rough is demanding and the greens are tough to find from the long grass, and that's pretty important as it's a tricky place to get up-and-down. This is again one of those weeks where accuracy will win over power and a good scrambling game won't go amiss.
The front nine is much easier than the back nine and it's a case of making your score early and hanging on. Last year's winner, Steve Stricker, actually played the back-nine in four over par last year and he failed to make a single birdie there all weekend.
Without doubt the key stat is Driving Accuracy. Although the fairways are fairly generous, missing them spells disaster. Eight of the last nine winners have all ranked inside the top-ten for Driving Accuracy and I wouldn't dream of risking money on a loose cannon around Muirfield.
Last Five Winners
2011 - Steve Stricker -16
2010 - Justin Rose -18
2009 - Tiger Woods -12
2008 - Kenny Perry -8
2007 - K.J. Choi -17
Favourite Luke Donald is back at the top of world rankings and if he continues to play like he did at Wentworth he'll stay there a bit longer this time. He has a fair record at Muirfield Village and he's a tempting proposition but winning back-to-back is really tough and there's enough of a concern regarding how much Moet was consumed on Sunday night. He's had to travel back to the States and get back down to earth. I wouldn't put anyone off him but there are enough niggles there for me to turn my nose up @ Betfair odds of 11.5.
Watching players certain to miss the cut taking ages over two foot par putts is baffling on the face of it but I can see why they do it. I don't think a top-class golf game is a tap that can be turned on and off and of all the players I watched at Wentworth last week; Rory McIlroy looked the most disinterested. After two missed cuts in-a-row he's sure to improve this week but whether he'll bounce-back well enough to win is extremely debatable and at @ Betfair odds of 15.0 he makes no appeal.
Tiger Woods is apparently getting there....again. Not for me he's not. Almost every time I watch him play he looks a shadow of his former self and he's miles off keeping tabs on the world's best, should they turn up with their A games intact.
Phil Mickelson would love to win this title I'm sure, but the strong likelihood is that his often shabby long game will put far too much pressure on his short game. There aren't many weeks that I readily dismiss Lefty but this is one of them.
And finally, 2010 champ Justin Rose @ Betfair odds of 19.0 is just a shade too short. He loves the course and he's in good nick but he has to lift himself after Sunday's defeat at Wentworth and all week there his putting wasn't razor sharp anyway.
Just two picks from the get-go this week and I'm in agreement with Mike Norman with both of them.
First up is Rickie Fowler, who really should have bagged this event two years ago when he went into day four with a three shot lead before trading odds-on and crashing late on. To say he's in fine form now is stating the obvious. After a win at the Wells Fargo, a runner-up finish at The Players Championship and possibly even more encouraging, a top-five spot at Colonial last week, he'll pitch up at Jack's Place brimming with confidence. He's been the talk of the game for a few years now but he could just be fulfilling the hype at last.
If you'd have told me a month ago I'd be backing him anywhere soon at just 23.0 I'd have replied "and where will I go for rehab?", but not now. Rickie is starting to look the real deal and I'd have been happy to take Betfair odds of 20.0 about him here.
Ben Curtis didn't quite get going at Wentworth last week, a venue that he'd played well at in the past so it's a bit of a concern that he may just have gone over the top. If he can get back in the groove after his trip across the pond70.0 was far too big. He's a very accurate driver and a great scrambler and if he can re-find the form he had before his little trip he won't be far away.