Dual Major champ Jordan Spieth gives the rest of the Tour a look-in by sitting out the Travelers Championship but nine of the World’s Top 30 are still teeing it up in Connecticut on Thursday.
Bubba Watson heads the market as Paddy’s 12/1 favourite and has posted four top six finishes – including a maiden win in 2010 – in his last seven visits to TPC River Highland.
But pre-tournament punters are banking on Sergio Garcia to one better after defending champ Kevin Streelman shot six birdies in his last six holes to pip the Spaniard and KJ Choi last year.
These are the six best-backed players in the book as of noon on Wednesday afternoon – with Zach Johnson closing in.
1. Brandt Snedeker 14/1
Just failed to reach the places at Chambers Bay (8th) when a double bogey on 14th undid a four-birdie blitz as he started to get hot with the flat-stick.
That was the Nashville native’s third consecutive top 10 finish and he’s already a winner this season at AT & T Pebble Beach.
His career has been curtailed somewhat by a rib injury and a segway injury in China but seems to be back to his best now and was 11th here last year – his highest-place finish in four attempts.
2. Sergio Garcia 18/1
Kevin Streelman’s late rattle (six birdies in his last six holes) derailed the spiky Spaniard as he ended up as joint runner-up on just his second visit in five years to the track.
Suffered play-off agony when runner-up to Rickie Fowler (with Kevin Kisner) at the Players’ Championship before a couple of no-shows at the Open d’Espana and Irish Open knocked his season off track.
Always a favourite with backers and hasn’t missed a cut Stateside in 10 attempts this season.
3. Billy Horschel 22/1
Do that. It’s not the behavior I wish to show to millions of viewers and fans. And it’s not the role model I wish to be……
— Billy Horschel (@BillyHo_Golf) June 22, 2015
Despite five consecutive top 25’s Mr Angry is still win-less since bagging the $10m booty as Fed Ex champ last September. Needs to start getting hotter with the putter rather than swinging it aggressively at the greens when the putts don’t drop. His two previous visits have seen him miss the cut and finish 24th.
4. Louis Oosthuizen 22/1
The South African spends less time in Connecticut than Patrick Reed does in the gym with just one run out in 13 years (47th to Marc Leishman in 2012). But despite an opening day 77 at the Chambers of Horrors last week, the 2010 Open Champion rallied to shoot 66-66-67 to end up T2 to Jordan Spieth for his highest-placed finish this year.
5. Francesco Molinari 40/1
With three top 5 finishes in his last five starts worldwide (including T3 at the Memorial Championship) and his ability to get it on the dance-floor all day long should stand to the Italian as he loses his virginity at TPC River Highland.
The Italian’s current form has made him profitable for £/€71.25 for a fiver each-way in every tournament this year
6. Tony Finau 40/1
The 26-year-old seems to be growing in confidence in his rookie year with every cut made & high-place finish. Has posted four top 10s and 11 top 25s in his 15 weekend appearances from 23 starts this year but is having his first-look here as a pro.
Got plenty of network attention as he bounded into the top five at Chambers Bay before a third-round 74 saw bumped him down to a very respectable T14 – his fifth consecutive Top 20 finish.
This tee-box bomber looks a winner-in-waiting soon if he maintains this consistency.