While the eyes of the golfing world are on Scotland and St Andrews in particular the lower tier of the PGA Tour get the opportunity to shine Stateside when the inaugural Barbasol Championship takes place in Alabama. With a number of the best players involved in Scotland it is left to Chris Stroud to lead the betting at 20/1 with Ladbrokes.
The Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail in Alabama is new to hosting this tournament but it has hosted a number of college tournaments and indeed the Web.com Tour finals in the past so although it is new at this level a significant number of the field are likely to have played the course or at the very least been aware of it.
The course itself is a par 71 which measures a shade over 7300 yards. In the past there would be significant rough around this track but the bermuda is a little slow in growing this year so the rough surrounding the fairways isn’t too bad but it is a bit more tufty around the greens so you need to hit them. Water is in play on a number of holes so having complete control of your golf ball is paramount. The greens are large so putting is another key stat this week.
With it being 20/1 the field this week if you happen to find the winner you are going to get suitably rewarded for doing so. With this being a second tier event the amount of markets with genuine value in them are less so I’m just going to concentrate on three men in the outright market this week.
Andres Romero was going largely out of touch for much of 2015 but he came to prominence again when he finished in the top 15 of the US Open at Chambers Bay not so long back on a very long golf course with huge greens and that could serve him well here. He has followed that up with a good finish at the Greenbrier Classic not so long ago in much better company than he’ll be keeping here. Romero is never the most consistent but he can be streaky and given his form he’s worth a pop this week.
Another man who should enjoy himself in this company is David Toms. At his best Toms was a prolific tournament winner and while he is clearly no longer at that level he sits inside the top 15 for proximity to the pin on the entire PGA Tour so he’s clearly still competent from tee to green. With less pressure on the putter this week if he can get a nice roll on the ball he still has the quality to teach this field a lesson or two.
I’ll have a stab in the dark at a longshot this week too and that is in the hope that one of the best putters on the PGA Tour enjoys himself on these greens in the form of the Australian Aaron Baddeley. He saw his compatriot Steven Bowditch win not so long back so he will hope to follow in footsteps and given that some might struggle on these greens if he can keep the ball in play and get on the greens in the right number he should score well. He’s a big enough price to pay to see just how well he goes.
Back A.Romero to win Barbasol Championship (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 34.00 with Betfred (1/4 1-5)
Back D.Toms to win Barbasol Championship (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 56.00 with Bet365 (1/4 1-5)
Back A.Baddeley to win Barbasol Championship (e/w) for a 0.5/10 stake at 101.00 (1/4 1-5)