The Greenbrier Classic is always a popular event on the PGA Tour. Fans are treated to a beautiful course, low scores and plenty of off-course entertainment. The players enjoy it because it is a course that they can attack and the organisers do a great job in catering for their families. Bubba Watson is one player who especially enjoys his time here although he probably enjoyed his win at the Travelers Championship last week even more. This week he’s the bookies favourite once again and although we got stung by opting out of backing him last week, we’re going to be taking on the favourite again as this is an event where outsiders generally do well.
The 7,300 yard Old White TPC track may look as though it is more like Bubba’s length, the fact that the tournament is played at altitude means that even the shorter hitters on the field won’t be overly taxed by the distance required this week. Instead, it will take great concentration to ensure the players choose the right clubs and impressive powers of recovery should they miss these sloped greens.
Although the well-fancied players don’t have a good record here it is certainly worth siding with third favourite Webb Simpson. He’s got three top 10 finishes at Old White TPC in four starts here and ranks fourth in shots gained from tee-to-green, a key pointer for a strong showing. If he can back up his solid tee game and iron play with a good week’s putting, Simpson may well be difficult to stop. Having won the 2012 US Open, Simpson can cope with pressure and looks a good bet at 28/1 with Coral.
Away from the top of the leaderboard there are two players who have a number of PGA Tour wins between them that look like great outside bets. The first of these is 48-year-old Steve Stricker. Over the last couple of years Stricker has played much less golf, opting to conserve his energy for the events which he enjoys and feels he has a chance of winning. Nevertheless he regularly finishes towards the top of the FedEx Cup rankings and underwent back surgery just before last Christmas to prolong his career. He’s always been an excellent putter so should he hit a high number of greens this week he must have a good chance at odds of 66/1 with BetVictor.
The second outsiders to plump for this week is Johnson Wagner who can be found way down the bottom of the outright market at odds of 250/1 with Bet365. With three PGA Tour victories in his career so far, Wagner narrowly missed out on a fourth this season when he was edge out of a playoff at the Shell Houston Open. He hits nearly 70% of greens in regulation and his driving is certainly accurate enough to hit the wide fairways at Old White PTC. His putting has let him down at times this season but a good week with the putter could see him provide a massive win from an each-way bet.