Live on Sky Sports 3: Thu: 19:00 Angus Loughran previews this week’s WGC Bridgestone Invitational tournament.
It has been a strange season for Tiger Woods, who has produced the goods at events he has previously won but failed in the majors, despite having had his chances. It could pay to follow the world number one this week at a top price of 5/1 with Ladbrokes, in the WGC Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone, where he has won seven times. At worst a saver is advised but I will probably go in a bit stronger.
Lee Westwood did not blow last month’s Open Championship, Phil Mickleson won it and for fans of the Worksop man, he performed with great credit at Muirfield. At 28/1 this week with 1/4 odds on the first five places, Westwood should once again give backers a good run for their money.
Paul Casey missed the Open but is still in rich form having won the Irish Open. Nevertheless, he remains the forgotton man of European golf to many and that’s shown in his quote of 100/1 (Coral) to prevail this week. Casey enjoyed two top ten finishes here in 2006 and 2008 and is playing with such confidence at present that those look particularly generous.
Steve Stricker at 33/1 is the other player to interest me here in an event which will feature 48 of the 50 leading players in the world and is missing only the injured Louis Oosterhuizen and Hunter Mahan, who has taken a week off to be with his newborn daughter.
Aaron Baddeley had been woefully out of form until last week’s Canadian Open when he putted superbly to finish 9th. At 66/1 courtesy of Coral he looks a real value each way bet in the Rene Tahoe Open which is one of the most wide open events I have ever seen.
Ladbrokes agree, going 33/1 the field, something I have rarely seen and Columbian Camillo Villegas, who should love the conditions, is my other selection at an enticing 50/1.
At St Andrews, Inbee Park (11/2) bids to make golfing history by winning four consecutive majors in the same season. She should go close and is worth taking a chance with as her price will collapse if she makes a fast start.
With the BBC covering the event this week, the market may be stronger than one would normally expect and those looking for an alternative to the Korean market leader should look no further than Karrie Webb from Australia at 20/1.
A winner over 50 times and in fine form, Webb is a class act who goes well at links venues as she demonstrated when tied fifth at Hoylake last year and when runner-up to Catriona Matthew at Lytham in 2009.