The Firestone Club has one of the longest courses on the tour. There’s even a Par-5 hole that stretches 667 yards…Driving distance will thus play a big role in determining the winner here, but it will require solid mid range play as well. Basically, to play this course well, the golfer must have it all…
Last year’s champion was Adam Scott, and there are only 78 golfers in this event so the field contains some of the elite names. Let’s take a look at a few of the favorites and a few of the favorite long shots.
Betting Odds from Bookmaker
TIGER WOODS (+475)
Tiger’s back on top, and he’s won this particular tournament 7 of the 12 times he’s participated in it. He would likely be a much heavier favorite if not for the fact he has been pretty bad his last two times in it. Still, he is completely healthy now and appears to be less distracted by his tumultuous personal life. Combine those two factors with his desire to perform better after a bad weekend at the British, and the 9/2 odds begin to look very appealing.
LUKE DONALD (+1200)
Donald finished tied for fifth in the British and while he is a rather poor 102nd on the PGA tour in greens hit, he is 4th in stroked gained putting — 12th in adjusted scoring. He doesn’t quite have the range off the tee that Tiger or some of the other’s have, but he’s so good on the greens and even with the long irons. His odds here are very enticing.
ADAM SCOTT (+1600)
The defending champion is at 15/1 odds, but he was horrible in the British Open. He is going to try to get back on track here, and this course almost seems like it was designed for golfers like Scott. Expect him to have a much better performance, but a win might be a bit of a stretch and sucker’s bet.
LEE WESTWOOD (+1200)
Westwood finished in the top 10 in his last 4 appearances prior to this event, and he tied in 2008. He should have a good performance, because he seems to be overdue to win this event. He has the distance off the tee, the mid range game, and the putting to finish it off.
RORY MCILROY (+2000)
McIlroy tied for 9th in this event in 2010 and tied for 6th last year, but he hasn’t been at his best. For some reason he just seems more disturbed than in years past, and it’s difficult for him to discern what changed. I don’t like him even at odds that seem this good.
BUBBA WATSON (+2000)
Watson has two top 25 finishes in his last two events. He is 1st in both driving distance and Greens In Regulation. Due to his distance off the tee and the nature of this course, this is a major value bet on a golfer who has a game that will be well favored by a course with such long fairways.
NICK WATNEY (+4000)
Watney’s odds have fallen to less favorable — at least for those who don’t believe in his chances. He has finished top 25 in his last 4 tournaments and has top 25s in this tournament over the last two years. It would be very foolish to count Watney out and he makes an incredible value bet.
ERNIE ELS (+4500)
Els is not good on this course. He has no top 20 finishes in his seven appearances, but due to his recent play, you just can’t count the South African out. He’s likely to have his best showing yet on this course, and if that’s enough, it is. Els is another one of my favorite value bets.