With runaway wins for Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson in the last two weeks, the PGA Tour has had a Back to the Future feel about it, with the two players who dominated American golf in the Naughties reminding pundits and punters of their undoubted talent.
So as the tour swings back to California, for the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, after last week’s sortie to Arizona, the advice is to back Padraig Harrington to continue that theme and roll back the years by winning for the first time on Stateside fairways since 2008.
The Irishman’s game has gone backwards since those heady days of five seasons ago, when he won two major titles and was named Player of the Year on both sides of the Atlantic.
His last full-field event win came in the 2010 Johor Open on the Asian Tour, although he did claim the Grand Slam of Golf in Bermuda last October. But there has been signs that a return to the winners’ enclosure in a higher profile tournament is imminent.
Ninth in the Phoenix Open last week came hard on the heels of fourth place in the Volvo Golf Champions event on the European Tour and with solid form at Pebble Beach, where he was seventh last year and fifth as far back as 2000 when the US Open was staged there, he is a confident selection at 25/1.
Four sub-70 rounds enabled Robert Garrigus to post another top-dozen finish at Scottsdale on Sunday – his fifth in his last eight starts – and this powerful performer should be followed to improve on his 20th place at Pebble Beach in 2012. Garrigus is another available at 25/1.
While Jimmy Walker’s brace of top tens at this week’s layout, plus his encouraging early season form, also marks him down as a player to follow at 40/1.
My three off the tee – Harrington, Garrigus and Walker.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date