Bet on Leishman to provide shock on PGA Tour

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Although many of the starring names attached to the PGA Tour are in the field for the Northern Trust Open, Mark Leishman may have the credentials to build on his strong start to the season and spring a surprise.

Leishman may still be waiting for his first career PGA Tour victory, but at 66/1 he seems slightly overpriced to string four solid rounds together at Riviera Country Club.

On his first start at the venue last year, the Australian finished in a share of 15th spot, while he also ended the tournament ranked in a share of second in terms of the number of putts he took each round.

His good form has continued this year as he has made the cut in all four of his PGA Tour events in 2011, finishing in the top 30 on each occasion.

This includes a share of ninth at the Farmers Insurance Open and a first victory does not seem a million miles away.

Furthermore, he hits the ball a reasonable distance off the tee, which could be an added advantage if the expected rain falls on the Californian course.

Other statistics which could work in Leishman’s favour in the Northern Trust Open are that he is ranked in tied tenth for the season in both scoring average and bogey avoidance, which will be especially critical if the rough begins to get muddy and boggy.

More obvious candidates who are likely to perform well in the tournament and feature highly in the PGA Tour betting are Phil Mickelson, Steve Stricker and Matt Kuchar.

Mickelson is a two-time winner of the Northern Trust Open and any improvement in his putting of recent weeks will surely see him go close at 7/1.

Stricker is 12/1 to win the event for the second year in succession, while he also finished runner-up in 2009.

Meanwhile, Kuchar is the model of consistency with no finish outside of the top seven this year and is 20/1 to secure a deserved victory in the Northern Trust Open.

A £25 stake on Anthony Kim winning the Northern Trust Open would return £825. New customers can sign up here for a free £25 bet.

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