Following a week where most of the PGA Tour’s big guns took a breather, the great and the good are back in full force for The Barclays led by world number one Rory McIlroy, chasing an amazing fourth straight tournament victory.
While McIlroy’s phenomenal winning streak, which sandwiched the Bridgestone Invitational between two majors has understandably drawn comparisons to the Tigers Woods of yesteryear, this may just be an event too far for the outrageously talented Ulsterman.
McIlroy is the heavy favourite once again at 4/1 to join Woods as one of only three post-war golfers to claim four consecutive PGA titles.
However, that the last man to achieve the quadruple streak before Tiger’s 2006-07 and 07/08 efforts was Ben Hogan in 1953, shows the weight of history against Wee-Mac at The Barclays, which moves back to Ridgewood Country Club New Jersey, its 2010 and 2008 home.
Perhaps he really has shaken the mental jitters which could at times cause meltdown when leading the field, but McIlroy doesn’t yet convince he’s about to replicate the seemingly invincible form of a mid-noughties Woods.
Also, unlike the utterly dominant ‘Tiger Years’ the chasing pack are hot on McIlroy’s heels this summer and queuing up to knock him off his winning perch.
Not least defending champion Adam Scott at 14/1, albeit at a different course, who comes off the back of six consecutive top 15s.
Even so, it’s sizeable Swede Henrik Stenson who gets the tip of our cap here. Stenson has taken his sweet time to get back into contention in tournaments this season after unprecedented success in 2013 appeared to knock him off course.
Stenson is a healthy-looking 16/1 following a T3 at the PGA – his best finish of 2014 – with the clincher being his incredible short game of last season finally returning on the greens of Valhalla.
The Swede led the field in strokes-gained putting at the final major of the year and if he gets firing on the dancefloor again at The Barclays even McIlroy will be looking over his shoulder.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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