So last week we took favorite Rory McIlroy at 9-1 at the WGC event in Memphis. And he was leading by one going into the final round, following a 62 on Saturday. But the guy right behind him was World No. 1 Brooks Koepka, who was nearly the co-fave. So I didn’t have the best feeling. And I was right. McIlroy faded and Koepka wound up winning. I wasn’t all that surprised. I felt like Mush at the racetrack in “Bronx Tale.” Sometimes it’s not meant to happen, even when you’re in a pretty good spot.
Now we move on to the Wyndham Championship, in Greensboro, N.C., the last regular stop of the season before the three-tournament FedEx Cup playoffs begin next week. The field isn’t all that, which means there’s probably some values out there to be had. You just have to find them. Paul Casey is the only player in the Top 10 on the PGA Tour money list who’s teeing it up.
The shortest odds belong to Webb Simpson, at 11-1. He won this thing in 2015, and was second last year. He was also second last week. So there is all that. Hideki Matsuyama, who hasn’t won in two years, is 12-1. As is Collin Morikawa, who won the “other” tourney last week, the Barracuda Championship, for his first win. That moved him from 172nd in the global rankings to 90. Casey is 16-1, and Jordan Spieth, who also hasn’t won in two years, is 18-1. Hard to compute that, but he wasn’t even going to play until a late change to his schedule. I guess he doesn’t want to miss out on the Tour Championship again.
Victor Hovland, who’s fighting to keep his Tour card, is 22-1. Patrick Reed and defending champ Brandt Snedeker are 28-1. Again, think about that in terms of some of the guys listed ahead of them. But it is supposed to be about what you’re doing at the moment, right? Or at least maybe capable of doing.
Lucas Glover is 33-1. So is Billy Horschel. Adam Hadwin, Charles Howell III, Martin Kaymer and Alex Noren are each 40-1. Of course the guy I have in my yearlong pool that I picked way back in December, Ryan Moore, isn’t playing. It seems like that’s about the 20th straight time that’s happened. Chez Reavie is 45-1. Joaquin Nieman and Rory Sabbatini are 50-1.
Really, your guess might be as good as mine. I almost want to take Simpson, but what fun is that? I would like to take Spieth, but something tells me no. I could say much the same about Reed and Snedeker. Maybe even Sabbatini, who’s played well this summer. But I have to pick somebody, right. Actually, I’m going to pick my usual three or four, because I can.
How about we give Hideki Matsuyama a try, at 12-1. He can play. But just in case, it might be a good bet to hedge the investment by taking him to finish in the top five too. I’m also going to take Paul Casey, on the basis that he’s probably the best bloke in the field and you’re getting 16-1. For one of my longer shots I’m going to throw out Alex Noren, at 40-1. He has been in the top 12 the last two weeks, which includes a major (British Open) and the WGC. Hopefully that can carry over. I’ll also take a stab at Billy Horschel, at 33-1. For no real good reason. Sometimes that’s the way it works. Anyway, you don’t have to go nuts, especially with the longer shots. And you can always feel free to put a few bucks down on a few others too. I’m just trying to have a name or two to root for come Sunday, and get on to cash. Unlike Rory.
Kern's picks: Hideki Matsuyama (12-1), Paul Casey (16-1), and Alex Noren (40-1)
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