After a Florida swing that has really tested even seasoned golf punters not many will fancy their chances of finding the winner of the Valero Texas Open.
There has been shock after shock of late, culminating in Adam Scott relinquishing a seven-shot half-way lead at Bay Hill last week, when a victory would have taken him to next month’s Masters as World Number One and as this week’s event has been won by long-shots Martin Laird (100/1), Ben Curtis (150/1) and Bradley Steele (300/1) in the last three renewals, it’s not an easy one to decipher.
Charley Hoffman is my cautious selection; he was runner up to Bradley Steele in 2011 and tied third last year so he clearly plays the course really well. He is also fresh unlike many others contenders and subsequently looks decent value at 28/1 given that Paddy Power offer six places to each-way backers.
Ernie Els also has a game well suited to this course and looks a tempting each-way wager at a generous looking 66/1.
Phil Mickleson heads the market at 16/1, with Zach Johnson and Matt Kuchar on his coat tails at 18/1 while Jordan Speith and Jimmy Walker are both popular 20/1 shots.
Making winning a habit in recent months, Walker looks a Ryder Cup cert and it would be a suprise if there is not more to come from a player whose career has really taken off in his mid-thirties.
Another exciting event is assured then but from a punting point of view it is a bit low key ahead of the season’s first Major; the Masters at Augusta in a fortnight’s time.