Bulldogs boost for Todd in Mexico
Brendon Todd can be inspired by best friend Chris Kirk's win with a big display of his own at the OHL Classic.
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The PGA Tour's new wraparound 2013/2014 season heads into winter quarters this week in Mexico at the OHL Classic at Mayakoba before reconvening in January at its regular Hawaii starting point.
The El Camaleon course designed by Greg Norman is well named as its nature constantly changes while it winds through mangrove, jungle and then down to the sea.
- 1pt e.w. Brendon Todd at 66/1 (1/4 1,2,3,4,5 Ladbrokes) - Promising form figures and saw his best friend win last week.
- 1pt e.w. Chris Stroud at 40/1 (1/4 1,2,3,4,5 Coral) - Knocking on the door for a first win and could come in this line-up.
- 1pt e.w. Jhonattan Vegas at 200/1 (1/4 1,2,3,4,5,6 Stan James) - On the way back from surgery but upbeat signs and worth a dart at the price.
A bit Bertie Bassetts then and the first player I like is Brendon Todd, who could well take some inspiration from Chris Kirk's victory last week at Sea Island.
Todd was Kirk's roommate at the University of Georgia for four years and the latter revealed in his post-round press conference last Sunday that the former Bulldogs were still very close.
He said: "Pretty much best friends, and thankfully he was there when I finished on 18, too, which was really cool."
So while Kirk was taking advantage of the final-hole collapse from the unfortunate Briny Baird, Todd slipped down the leaderboard after a closing one-over-par 71 but that performance does not mask the current general wellbeing of his game.
He has three finishes inside the top 26 from three starts on the PGA Tour in the fledgling 2014 campaign while he finished the Web.com Tour with a T2 at Sawgrass.
So he scores highly in terms of current form while there is the inspiration angle as well so the 70/1 on offer is tempting.
Chris Stroud at 40/1 also gets a positive vote and is forgiven his missed cut last week in Georgia.
I thought he played really nicely in Malaysia at the CIMB Classic and after his play-off defeat to Ken Duke at the Travelers Championship earlier in the year, he looks to be one of the up-and-coming players on the Tour knocking on the door of a maiden success.
It could come in this company too as he and his coach sat down recently to map out a plan of attack to get Stroud across the line and become a winner.
He has played well at El Camaleon in the past, clearly handles conditions as he hails from neighbouring Texas and with part of his strategy to play tournaments in two or three week bursts to avoid burn-out, this fits the pattern nicely before the regular Tour wraps up for 2013.
I am going to take a real punt at 200/1 for a final selection this week and plump for Venezuela's Jhonattan Vegas as he continues his return to fitness after shoulder surgery seven months ago.
It was a procedure that he had put off for some time and his game suffered as a consequence having looked so promising winning the then Bob Hope Classic back in 2011.
Three missed cuts at the start of this year forced him to take the plunge but he is back now and has 20 tournaments to win 369 FedEx Cup points or $595,483 and regain his status.
He said recently at the tournament in Las Vegas: "The best part is that things are trending in the right way.
"I'm feeling like the old me. I just have to keep rehabbing it. I'm hitting the ball as long as I used to hit it, so I have my power back."
He ended up T40 that week after shooting promising rounds of 67-68-67 before closing with a two over 73 and that effort followed a T32 at the Web.com Tour Championship.
It is understandable that the match sharpness is taking a little time to return and in a field of only a handful of players who know how to get the job done, I am prepared to give him a chance at springing a comeback surprise.
His situation mirrors that of Baird and look what he managed - almost - at Sea Island.