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Fedex St Jude Classic betting preview: The 80/1 shot who needs a big finish to qualify for the US Open

by Sean Goff | June 10, 2015

The big-bombing Dustin Johnson heads the field from big-tipping Phil Mickleson ahead of the traditional warm up for next week’s US Open where no winner in Memphis has ever gone on to lift the second Major of the season.

But there are still some seats available for the Chambers Bay bus for those on the wrong side of the world’s top 60 and the chance for the smug ‘made its’ to hone their ‘A’ game a week out from Seattle.

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We’re saying nothing but Paddy’s paying six places for the 20th time this season where 21 players have put more cash in your pocket as the rest of the competition struggle more than Tiger Woods to keep up.

As of 11am on Wednesday morning – here are the six best-backed players in Paddy’s book at the home of rock ‘n’ roll.

1. Billy Horschel 16/1

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The reigning Fed Ex champ and notoriously streaky loudmouth may be about to hit his stride after posting a T13 at the Players and T11 at Memorial last weekend.

Horschel has gradually moved through the gears at the Memphis track with finishes of 72-10-6 since 2012 and if that upward graph continues he should be bang in contention come Sunday.

Trousered $10m when going back-to-back at the BMW Championship and Tour Championship last September and will look to build on his Major’s record next week after finishing a best-placed T4 at Merion Golf Course in 2013.

2. Webb Simpson 18/1

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  • Drive over to all the latest FedEx St Jude odds on desktop | mobile 

A T2 in the Wells Fargo Championship behind Rory McIlroy marked the high point of the 2012 US Open champ’s season so far but Simpson arrives in Tennessee with fond memories – and proven course form – of TPC Southwind from last year.

Finished T3 to Ben Crane 12 months ago after a three-year absence and will be hoping to shake any rustiness from his game ahead of Chambers Bay as he hasn’t played since chasing the World No 1 home almost a month ago.

3. George McNeill 45/1

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McNeill has been showing the type of form that has brought him two wins on Tour (2007 Frys.com, 2012 Puerto Rico Open) so far.

The Floridian has posted seven top 25 finishes in the 14 cuts he’s made from 17 starts. The high-water mark came when T5 to Chris Kirk at the Crowne Plaza Invitational.

No outstanding course form to boast at TPC Southwind with a 28-MC-38-47 on his last four visits but ranks highly on ability to drive it straight and get on the dance floor which is important at this tight venue.

Will also be buoyed by booking his Seattle spot last Monday at US Open qualifying.

4. Luke Donald 30/1

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The former World No.1 did what Padraig Harrington failed to do and won a qualifier for Chambers Bay – but needed his home course and his swing coach on the bag to do it.

Donald hasn’t played TPC Southwind before and a T7 at the Honda Championship and T15 at the RBC Heritage are his best placed finishes on Tour this season.

Back on the US Tour for the first time since missing the cut (his fifth this year) at the Players Championship he posted a pedestrian T38 at the BMW at Wentworth and T18 at the Irish Open.

5. Padraig Harrington 80/1

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  • Drive over to all the latest FedEx St Jude odds on desktop | mobile 

The three-time Major winner is drinking in the last chance saloon if he wants to get his freak on at Chambers Bay.

Paddy H missed out on qualifying by one shot at Walton Heath last month and needs to be all over the leaderboard on Sunday night if he is to have any chance of securing the ranking points to leave himself inside the World’s top 60 (currently 91st) and automatic qualification for next week’s Major.

Proved he still has the game somewhere in his bag when snatching the Honda Classic in a play-off last March (to book a US Masters’ place) to end a six-year drought on the US Tour and reward backers at 200/1.

Showed up well on the first two days of the Irish Open before sliding back to finish T43.

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6. Camilo Villegas 90/1

The Colombian pro best known for his Spiderman pose when lining up putts has missed as many cuts as he’s made this term but is a solid course-form pony.

Eventually got to Sunday when T40 at Memorial last week after five straight early-flights home (and a WD) but has gone 11-10-MC-3-8 in his last five visits to the Fedex St Jude Classic.

Needs to get back to that sort of form to kick-start his season if he’s to deliver his fifth Tour win and first since the Wyndham Championship in August 2014.

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