PGA veteran’s comeback trail about to lift off at Zurich Classic

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All of the last four and five of the last six PGA Tour winners’ first names have started with the letter J, which for some of the more superstitious punters among us is the beginning and end of the research required to find the Zurich Classic winner.

But in case a punt on every John, Justin and Jamie between Jason Day at 10/1 and 1000/1 shot Joe Affrunti doesn’t pay off, news.ladbrokes have put a little less faith in serendipity and logged long hours poring over the form.

The man that catches our eye almost instantly is a Tour veteran who made a heart-warming return to action at the Masters without allowing the beastly Augusta course to better him.

Steve Stricker’s appearance in Georgia was his first since undergoing back surgery last December and the final-round 68 he posted gave him a share of 28th place and a one-under-par total.

Having recorded a T5 in his last tournament before the operation, it seems the layoff hasn’t allowed too much rust to collect around the Wisconsin native’s game.

That is good news for followers of the 33/1 shot at the New Orleans tournament, as the 48-year-old has collected a dazzling record at the event during his career.

In his 10 appearances at TPC of Louisiana since 2002, the Ryder Cup stalwart has registered seven finishes inside the top 25, with his best two results coming in his last three outings.

His 2009 7th was bettered by one position the last time he played in the competition, where he opened with a 66 to take a share of second after the first day.

With his game clearly suited to the Louisana course and in full working order following a layoff, an each-way punt on Stricker to crown a fairytale comeback at the Zurich Classic is the only way to go.

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.