Dustin Johnson will be having a well-earned rest this week after his heroics at Oakmont to win the US Open but there is no rest for the PGA Tour which is back on track with the Quicken Loans National. The tournament has now become a staple on the PGA Tour thanks in no small part to Tiger Woods. Tiger hosts this event on behalf of his charitable foundation and he’ll be at Congressional Country Club this week to hand the trophy to the winner. But who will that winner be?
Troy Merritt is the defending champion but this is not an event where outsiders have tended to do well. Merritt is by far the lowest ranked winner of the Quicken Loans National and we should be looking towards the upper part of the market for our bets this week. Previous winners of this event include Bill Haas, Justin Rose and Tiger Woods himself and there are some big name players in the field vying to join that impressive winners list.
Being well ranked does not, however, simply guarantee anybody a good week at Congressional. The par 71 layout can stretch to a pretty mammoth 7,569 yards and it is also a stern test of accuracy off the tee. As well as needing a solid driving game, hitting greens in accuracy and putting well are important skills to have for anybody with genuine desires of winning.
Ordinarily the bookies’ favourite, Rickie Fowler, would offer great appeal in a field of this calibre but his form is nowhere near good enough to suggest that he can get the better of Congressional. Rickie is fighting his swing a little at the moment and his aim is to get his game back to tip top shape rather than winning events. That should make Patrick Reed the man to beat.
Reed infamously suggested that he has the game to be one of the top five golfers in the world but there is substance to support his hubris. The 25-year-old is strong off the tee, a world class ball striker and he currently ranks first on the PGA Tour for strokes gained around the green. He’s already a multiple winner including at the WGC-Cadillac Championship and he could well be set to dominate this week at odds of 20/1 with Betfred.
Byeong Hun An is not currently considered amongst the true elite of the game but there are plenty of people who think that he is on the road to stardom. The Korean has forged a very good name for himself on the European Tour where he won the 2014 BMW PGA Championship and he is currently 27th in the world. An hit the bar at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans and could just bag his first PGA Tour win at 35/1 with Betfred.
Daniel Summerhays has been quietly going about his business in recent weeks but a quick examination of his form shows that he is playing some very good golf. A top 10 at the US Open last week was a very tough achievement and he could follow that up with another top 10 at 9/2 with BetVictor.