Author: Paul Atkin
Published: 08:40 06/05/2015
This event was commonly known as the 'fifth major', though to be honest I feel the WGC events have taken a little of the esteem and gloss of the event. Though it's still one of the biggest and best events on tour, and every player would like a win this event and have it on the CV. The course measures 7,200 yards and plays to a Par of 72. The course really suits accuracy, over power, and straight driving and scrambling are also key attributes. Past winners that underline this are the ultra straight, but short Fred Funk, consistent Davis Love and another GIR merchant, Martin Kaymer. The course itself is tree lined, the rough is thick, and the Bermuda greens are notoriously hard, which will cause any errant shots not been able to hold the greens on many occasions. Of course all eyes will be on the Par 3 17th, who's going in for a dip this year!
From a betting perspective, I would be against any players that went 'deep' in last weeks matchplay event, as even Rory has to be jaded surely after playing seven rounds in five days.
Billy Horshchel lives locally at this event, and has played many practice rounds here. There were definitely signs that he is starting to run into form, and it has obviously taken him a little time to get over winning the FedEx last year. Though he was just edged out by Rory, he played some great stuff, and on twitter after the match he said, 'that's why I play golf, love competing against the best'. So it looks as if his morale is fine, and I think he may do well this week.
Justin Rose had a very slow start to the season, but has started to motor now. He came close in the Masters, and then went on to win the Zurich Classic. Can't say he's had outstanding form at the TPC, but was fourth last time, and may of started to solve the puzzle of how to play here.
For my last tip, I feel I have to put up Henrik Stenson again. He went out of the matchplay after a sloppy start, but played some decent stuff. His record in Florida is stellar this year, with three top five finishes already, and he really should do well in this years tournament, as he a good solid driver, has towering high accurate irons, and is a decent scrambler. As always with Stenson it's just if he can make the putts. He could win soon, and if he does he might put the field away in comprehensive fashion. He loves the course as well, he's won here and has had many high finishes.
Billy Horshchel 66/1 E/W BetFred (6 places)
Justin Rose 20/1 E/W Bet365 (6 places)
Henrik Stenson 20/1 SkyBet (7 places!)