The Players Championship: English veteran to end PGA drought

There will have been more than a few occasions over the course of Lee Westwood’s career when, as a big golf tournament approached, the Worksop Wonder has gained considerable betting support, before letting those backers down with his play.

The most recent rendition of the Masters, where Westwood enjoys a superbly consistent top-10 record, was the latest example of his uncanny ability to flatter to deceive.

It was something of a shock, considering the 42-year-old’s stature in the game, to discover that Westwood only has two PGA Tour wins to his name in a career that has included 42 professional triumphs across six tours.

The last of those successes Stateside came all the way back in 2010, when he was a playoff victor in the St.Jude Classic over Robert’s Garrigus and Karlsson.

But despite the obvious dangers of being sucked into a familiar trap with Westy, his price for the upcoming Players Championship simply cannot be ignored.

Considering 22-year pro has never managed to secure a Major during a glittering career, it could be said that winning the tournament often referred to as the sport’s fifth may be beyond him as well. However, recent strong showings at TPC Sawgrass, coupled with fabulous current form, are enough to dissuade such thinking.

After a disappointing T46 at the Masters, Westwood has bounced back with his first tournament win of the season, an the Asia/European co-sanctioned Indonesian Masters, and finished tied for ninth at last week’s WGC Cadillac Match Play.

He generally enjoys this event, having finished inside the top 10 in three of his last four appearances and in both of the last two.

Although he’ll have to play supremely to beat Rory McIlroy (the 7/1 favourite) in flying form, an each-way punt on Westwood’s 50/1 odds simply cannot be overlooked this week.

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.