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23rd July 2024 5:43 pm

“A difference of opinion is what makes horse racing and missionaries."

PGA Players Championship – DeChambeau kept in bounds

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The Arnold Palmer Invitational last week saw, Bryson DeChambeau under extreme scrutiny, having threatened to cut corners on Bay Hill’s Par 5 sixth,  by driving across the pond. In the end, he didn’t, but the threat alone has made the PGA change the rules for the 18th at TPC Sawgrass, where the final hole is similar to Bay Hill’s sixth, the speculation being that DeChambeau might be tempted to drive left of the water and onto the nearby ninth fairway. That would leave him a simple chip-shot over the water onto the green. Now the PGA has made anything left of the lake out of bounds – which would include the ninth fairway as a landing site. The great man’s reaction? “You can’t Bryson-proof a golf course”.

Meanwhile, the defending champion is Rory McIlroy, who this week fell out of the top ten world rankings, suffering from a bad case of lost mojo.

He’s not for me but we are certainly going with two old favourites mentioned in posts passim, (use the search button, top left to see previous mentions), and they are TYRRELL HATTON (33/1) and XANDER SCHAUFFELE (20/1). The former is selected, not because of how well he is playing, but because his Friday and Saturday rounds at Bay Hill were revelatory of his determination not to be beaten. I think he is the wrong price. SCHAUFFELE has six top-5 finishes in his last 10 events and that might be the bet. He appears to be gathering momentum in recent weeks. I’m adding 34yo BRIAN HARMAN (175/1) who tied eighth in 2015 and again in 2019 for The Players Championship and he is 4/5 making the cut. He’s 6/6 making the cut PGA starts, finishing 4/6 in -9 or better. PATRICK CANTLAY (20/1) has tremendous form on Dye-designed golf courses and is hugely consistent in his strokes around the green. He has finished outside the top 17 only once this season. My lucky fifth and based entirely on all that I have read on the various USA Golfing sites – about the only place you can avoid the ghastly Madame Murkyel – is for JOAQUIN NIEMANN (50/1).

The best prices for these selections are for nine places e/w with William Hill, which are the prices shown in brackets after their name. For my own part, I shall dutch them with Betfair and hope to be able to trade out or “Green Up” on Sunday morning.

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