Having fallen foul of the cut on his last PGA Tour outing, most punters won’t be rushing to back Henrik Stenson at The Players Championship, despite his 2009 triumph at TPC Sawgrass
However, the rarity of the Swede’s blip at the Wells Fargo Championship prior to The Players, is just one reason to take a risk on Stenson’s odds of 33/1, especially as Ladbrokes will pay ¼ of the odds on five places.
Stenson hadn’t missed a cut on the PGA Tour for two years before ducking out early at the Quail Hollow.
The numbers are extremely impressive
Therefore this anomaly shouldn’t detract from what has been a superbly consistent season for the former double tour winner, illustrated by enviable statistics in the game’s vital areas.
Stenson ranks second in ball striking, fourth in the vital TPC Sawgrass marker of strokes gained: tee-to-green and eighth in both GIR and birdie average.
These numbers go a long way to explaining why he is so far up the PGA Tour’s own power rankings for golf’s unofficial fifth major and in contention to end his inexplicable two-year exile from the winners’ enclosure.
Seasonal and course form tie up
When you marry the European golfer’s seven top 25s in 10 starts this season with his form at golf’s most lucrative event, then Stenson’s chances of joining a very select group of multiple Players Championship victors look far healthier than his odds might suggest.
The 2009 champ has made all of the last four cuts at Florida’s unique Stadium course which has played host to the world’s top 50 golfers every year since 1982.
Those results include a tie for fifth in 2013 and 17th a year ago, when a final-round 68 could have counted for so much more had the Swede not carded a 73 to begin the weekend.
McIlroy and Na among other fancies
Rickie Fowler is among the leading fancies off the back of his memorable three-way play-off triumph a year ago, though the American’s 16/1-rated chances are seriously hampered by precedent.
No player has successfully retained the trophy, something 8/1 favourite Rory McIlroy – who has strung together a trio of consecutive top 10s at Sawgrass – will be hoping to exploit.
Some way down the supposed pecking order is Kevin Na at 80/1.
The American was T4 on his last outing at Harbour Town and is looking to improve on three separate finishes in the top 10 since ’09.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.