The Bookies point of view…
32Red’s Sponsorship manager Jack Milner delivers a weekly verdict on each tournament.
Much to the sponsors’ chagrin, the Valero Texas Open is very much the prelude to next week, with most of golfing’s big guns skipping the trip to Texas in favour of resting up prior to The Masters at August National. Of the more recognisable names in the field, Rickie Fowler heads the market as the 10/1 favourite and is respected on the back of his win last month in Phoenix.
He is short enough, and there is nobody that appeals at 50/1 or under in a wide-open event however, with Charley Hoffman making most appeal at those in the first two dozen in the market at 40/1. Hoffman has already attracted support (Cut already in from 50/1 with 32Red) and held his nerve superbly to win well in 2016 – birdieing the last to win by a shot. After a promising return from injury, he must go well at a price, whilst I can see plenty of massive prices out-performing.
Last week’s longshot Justin Harding won two of his three round robin games before bumping into Rory McIlroy, and at 80/1 I think he is grossly under-priced. The South African has a short game to die for and whilst perhaps an unknown to most of our friends across the pond, has won five times in two years across the Asia, Sunshine and European Tour respectively. He will be plying his trade in much bigger places in the coming weeks and years and looks yet another golfing prodigy from South Africa.
Of those at MUCH bigger prices, I can see the likes of Kelly Kraft (150/1), Mackenzie Hughes (150/1) and Grayson Murray (150/1) all performing well after excellent showings in last week’s secondary tournament on the PGA Tour.