Every chance of an upset
David John previews this week's McGladrey Classic on the PGA Tour and has looked to five outsiders to make an impact.
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The PGA Tour returns to mainland USA with the McGladrey Classic after a couple of weeks on the road in the Far East and the event receives a boost as it now has full FedEx Cup status with 500 points on offer.
An increased prize fund and a ticket to the Masters next April as well for the winner makes this an attractive stop now for players along with a convivial welcome from Davis Love III, who hosts the event.
- 1pt e.w. Matt Every at 80/1 (1/4 1,2,3,4,5, bet365, Stan James) - More focused attitude now and results starting to come.
- 1pt e.w. William McGirt at 150/1 (1/4 1,2,3,4,5, general) - Improving all the time and a big fan of playing golf in this area.
- 1pt e.w. Scott Brown at 125/1 (1/4 1,2,3,4,5, bet365, sportingbet) - Winner on Tour who can push on and another with local knowledge.
- 1pt e.w. Ben Martin at 125/1 (1/4 1,2,3,4,5, sportingbet) - Exciting Web.com Tour graduate with a really solid game that can make an impact.
- 1pt e.w. Tyrone Van Aswegen at 400/1 (1/4 1,2,3,4,5, sportingbet) - Huge price but not without hope after securing his PGA Tour card
Las Vegas hero Webb Simpson, Zach Johnson and Matt Kuchar are the star names and it is 33/1 bar this trio so to my thinking there could be some reasonable value to be had a little further down the price grid.
I am going to put my trust in some of the local golfing talent as well starting with Jacksonville resident Matt Every at 80/1.
The University of Florida graduate has spent plenty of time moving between the main and secondary tour but the birth of his first child and turning 30 seems to have instilled a refreshed outlook and his results are starting to benefit.
That became clear towards the back end of the 2013 season as he qualified for the FedEx Cup play-offs and claimed two top-nine finishes from his final four starts.
He failed to thrive to any great extent in the CIMB Classic in Kuala Lumpur where he ended up T47 but what makes Every appealing this week is his tendency to play well in familiar surroundings.
As mentioned, he is a Florida native who lives just down the coast from this venue in Jacksonville while he has also got winning form on the Nationwide Tour a bit further north when he landed the prestigious 2009 Tour Championship at Daniel Island in South Carolina.
It was this time as well last year that Every posted his joint-best effort when T2 in the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Classic and once more highlighted how well he handles playing golf in the south east.
The obvious drawback is that he has yet to win at this level but I think his price makes up for that and looks well worth a chance.
Heading down a similar route, I also think that William McGirt could produce something decent at triple-figure odds.
McGirt is a player who I have watched for a couple of years now and opposed to a player like Jordan Spieth, who suddenly emerges from almost nowhere to make an immediate impact, the selection is a little more of a slow burner.
He looks to be becoming increasingly comfortable, as back-to-back runner's-up finishes in Canada suggest, while he has also shown a liking for playing events in the south with good finishes in Mississippi and a top 10 here in Georgia, albeit on the Nationwide Tour.
McGirt lives in South Carolina and his favourite places are just up the coast from Sea Island at Charleston and Hilton Head which all makes for a player feeling right at home. His recent form in Las Vegas hinted at better to come with middle rounds of 66-64 and 150/1 represents reasonable business.
The above duo are still waiting to break their respective duck on Tour but Scott Brown has already achieved that goal and could be ready to push on and double his advantage in conditions that should once again suit nicely.
Brown comes from Augusta, Georgia so the added incentive of gaining place at the Masters along with first prize should be tremendous motivation alone for him.
He knows that he can compete at this level, although obviously his triumph came in Puerto Rico which is played when the big names are competing at Doral, but nevertheless Brown is improving all the time and made the first couple of events the FedEx play-offs for the first time.
He too boasts form in Mississippi and while he has also done well up at Daniel Island, where he chased home Ken Duke in the Nationwide Tour Championship of 2011.
Add to that an eyecatching T3 to start the 2014 campaign in California at the Frys.com Open then there seem to be a few reasons to support Brown at 125/1.
Another selection as we dart around the South Eastern Conference goes to Clemson's Ben Martin at 125/1.
Martin turned pro in 2010 and got on to the PGA Tour thanks to a second place tie at the Qualifying School. He had a best finish of T6 at Reno that season but perhaps it was all a bit too much at the time and he dropped down a division to play the Web.com Tour.
He has flourished there since and 2013 saw him knock it out of the ball park with two wins while also ending up the year in the top five for five statistical categories and was at the head of affairs in the All-Around Ranking.
Martin has the potential to be a real star in the making and the experience he had in 2011 of playing the PGA Tour should hold him in good stead in terms of course knowledge - and that will be important this time around.
He was making a decent fist of things in this event that year as well until a closing 78 and he has all the ingredients of being a surprise package on what will be familiar turf.
A final pick this week is a roll of the dice for South African Tyrone Van Aswegen at 400/1.
He hails from Johannesburg and was a familiar name in events on the European Tour for a number of years staged in South Africa but has recently spent his career establishing himself on the Web.com Tour.
He now resides in San Diego, became a US citizen in June and his 24th place in the Web.com Tour rankings was good enough to get him his playing rights for this season on the main Tour.
Similar to the earlier picks, Van Aswegen has shown form in this part of the States having earned top-eight finishes in both South Carolina and Georgia.
He has made both cuts so far in California and Las Vegas without creating too many waves but still represents an interesting prospect who is worth chancing to get involved on Sunday afternoon.