The ‘Top Rest of the World’ honour has been claimed by a player hailing from South Africa in three of golf’s last four majors, and as the tour hits Whistling Straits for the USPGA we are staying on the same track.
Louis Oosthuizen came out ‘best of the rest’ in both the Open Championship and the US Open this year, while Ernie Els took the honour in this event 12 months ago.
But it could be the turn of a different player from the Rainbow Nation to land the odds in the shape of Charl Schwartzel.
The Johannesburg native has a solid record in the final major of the season, recording three top-20 finishes in the past five years.
Add in that one of those occasions was when the competition was last held at the Wisconsin venue back in 2010, and he looks a solid bit of value at 16/1.
The characteristics of the links-style course at Whistling Straits seem to serve him well.
A seventh-place finish at Chambers Bay in the US Open this year and a T16 at Pebble Beach five years earlier highlight that there seems to be nothing Schwartzel likes more than the sea breeze in his face.
He’s also done well at Links courses this side of the Atlantic as well.
The world number 43 found just five others too strong when competing at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship two years ago, taking in St Andrews, Canoustie and Kingsbarns.
Even going back a month to the Old Course for the Open Championship and Schwartzel was going well in T15 heading into the final day in Fife, only for a calamitous 79 to ruin any chance he had.
He has often found one ‘ROW’ golfer out-doing him on those occasions, but that sort of consistency has to be admired.
Besides, at a double figure price, an each-way bet still offers an excellent opportunity for profit.
Fellow ‘Saffer’ Els may seem over-priced to take the honours at 25/1 when looking at his previous performances at these types of course, but on closer inspection can be swerved.
The Big Easy has recorded a top-20 finish here at Whistling Straits in 2010, and also made the top three on both occasions Pebble Beach has held the tournament since 2000.
Add in two Open Championship wins and 11 further top-10 finishes in that event and the links courses obviously bring out the best in the veteran, but the simple fact is that he hasn’t been showing that lately.
Eight missed cuts in 15 outings in 2015, and just one top-20 finish means that even with his penchant for delivering at coastal venues, it’s hard to recommend the veteran.
Instead, going with his younger countrymen to oust favourites Jason Day (11/4) and Adam Scott (5/1) from the top of the Rest of the World pile looks the way to go.
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All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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