The first leg of the FedExCup playoff series returns to Bethpage State Park, New York and among our trio of picks for The Barclays is a man well-versed in the Black Course’s rigours.
This is the time of the year when the PGA Tour gets down to business, reflected by the roll call of players vying for the 2000 FedExCup points and purse of $1.5m awaiting the winner.
Of the 125 men participating in Farmingdale, 100 will qualify for the second instalment of the playoff series, the Deutsche Bank Championship, and further their chances of a crack at the season-concluding Tour Championship.
Present among the field are world number one Jason Day (15/2), multiple major winners such as Rory McIlroy (12/1) and Jordan Spieth (18/1), as well as men of the moment Henrik Stenson (12/1) and Dustin Johnson (10/1).
Despite the depth of quality including defending champion Day (who won last year’s edition at Plainfield as 10/1 favourite), it’s worth noting the average winning odds over the past five years is 67/1, so we’re looking for some value across the spectrum.
Henrik Stenson 12/1
The Swede has hit a majestic run of form this summer, picking up a first Major and Olympic silver along the way.
Boasting the lowest stroke average on the European Tour, the Claret Jug holder is arguably the best value of the cluster of market leaders, with three men shorter in the betting than him.
Stenson also finished ninth at the Bethpage-hosted 2009 US Open, so he knows his way around the Black Course.
Brandt Snedeker 33/1
This horse-for-course selection is backed up by current form too. Snedeker was runner-up when the Farmingdale venue last hosted The Barclays back in 2012 and he’s been coming to the boil in recent months.
The PGA Tour leader in par-4 scoring added a third place at Sedgefield on his last start to a tied fifth before that in late July. Still one of the most fearsome putters on the circuit, if Sneds gets the flat stick singing then he’ll be right in contention this week.
Russell Knox 66/1
This bet has its roots in Ryder Cup ambition. Knox’s position of fourth in the FedExCup standings heading into the playoffs indicates a fantastic season for the understated Scot.
Indeed, he would have already qualified for Europe’s team with room to spare had his initial WGC-HSBC Champions triumph back in November 2015 earned him the Ryder Cup points it merited. Knox was denied them having overlooked registering for his European Tour card beforehand.
Still, a win at the Travelers at the start of August thrust Knox back to the front of the wildcard queue and, having rested since then, this last chance to impress team captain Darren Clarke cannot be passed up.
His PGA Tour stats are super impressive too; Knox ranks 11th in fairways hit, second in greens in regulation, T13 in proximity and eighth in bogey avoidance.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.