Martin Laird tipped to prevail in his favoured Shriners Open

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Sang-Moon Bae became the first winner of the 2014/15 PGA Tour season with his two-shot victory at the Frys.com Open at California’s Silverado Country Club.

With that being the first event of the season, the red carpet wasn’t really required, with the handful of golf stars on show only needing the aubergine version to be rolled out.

We’re not quite at fully-fledged all-star levels yet, although the return of defending champion Webb Simpson and FedEx Cup millionaire Billy Horschel add a touch of glitter to the occasion.

Horschel’s exploits at the end of 2013/14 (which was incidentally only a few weeks ago) sees him installed as the 14/1 favourite. The surprise FedEx champ won his last two starts to claim the big season-ending prize, but will perhaps take a while to relocate his groove after a period of understandable celebration.

Simpson is the third favourite for the title with Ladbrokes, behind 16/1-shot Jimmy Walker at 20s. After a disappointing Ryder Cup the 29-year-old doesn’t inspire confidence, while Walker endured a difficult return to strokeplay with a level-par 63rd-place finish at the Frys.

Instead, look to Scotsman Martin Laird at 25/1 to earn you a return in your investment. Laird won this tournament back in 2009 and was a play-off loss away from defending that crown the following year.

His current form is encouraging too having finished an impressive tied-third in California last week, along with a T6 and T14 in his two starts prior.

While Laird has a hot hand, following Derek Fathauer’s luke-warm one could prove profitable too. At 100/1 to win, the Web.com Tour graduate is a worthy each-way punt considering his form and Ladbrokes’ promise to pay out at a quarter of the odds on the first four home.

Fathauer finished T12 at Silverado, carding a 68 and 69 in the final two rounds and ranked inside the top-10 for greens in regulation.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.