The Players Championship Speciality Bets
FIRST ROUND LEADER
Two picks for me in this as follows;
JONAS BLIXT 250-1 ½ pt e/w 1/5 odds 1st 6 LOST
First up is the Swede Jonas Blixt.
It’s been a pretty lean time for Jonas over the past couple of years with not much to show results wise at all apart from his pairs win with Cam Smith in New Orleans last year.
However in his last two individual starts there has been a glimmer of light in his performances, which have lead to two top 30 finishes.
Blixt attended college in Florida and he is a resident of Ponte Vedre beach so I am sure he has had plenty of time over the years to acquaint himself to the challenges offered up by TPC Sawgrass.
This showed itself when he opened up here with two rounds of 67 back in 2016 when he was in poor form coming in.
Jonas has shown himself to be a more than capable performer on the big stage over the years having notched two PGA tour victories and two top 5 major championship finishes including a second place at the Masters.
With a nice morning tee time I can see Jonas getting of to a fast start on Thursday and giving us a good run at FRL at a huge price.
RORY SABBATINI 150-1 ½ pt e/w 1/5 odds 1st 6 LOST [7th After Rnd 1!]
For our second FRL pick it’s back to the well with our old friend of late Rory Sabbatini.
Our most recent dabble on the South African at the Wells Fargo last week ended with a steady 27th place from him but unfortunately no return for us.
However this further solid showing from Rory was further evidence that his game is ticking along nicely at the moment.
Whilst the prices that we have backed Rory at as of late have reflected the fact that he is winless for over 7yrs and the resulting weekend fragility that comes with this, there is no doubting that in his current form he is more than capable of getting of to a fast start when the pressure is off.
Only three weeks ago on his last start at a Pete Dye track Rory did just that and held the 18 hole lead at Hilton Head with a round of 64.
Due to his poor form over the past couple of seasons Sabbatini has not made the field for TPC for the past two years, however on his last visit to Sawgrass in 2015 he finished in 6th place so he can clearly handle the track.
With a morning tee time I can see Rory getting of to quick start on Thursday and giving us a good run at a big price for FRL.
72 HOLE MATCH BET – CAM SMITH to bt T FINNAU - 3pts win - EVEN MONEY - UNIBET LOST
I am keen to have the young Aussie on side this week, just as I am keen to oppose Finnau.
Similarly to his winning pairs partner from last years Zurich Classic Smith is a resident of Ponte Vedre Beach, so he should have had plenty of practice time on the course.
Whilst the young Aussie missed the cut on his debut in the event last year the event came at a strange time for him in that other than his win the previous week in the pairs event he had only one other top 30 finish to his name that calendar year.
This year however it is a completely different story for Cam as he has three top tens on the calendar year including his 5th place finish at Augusta.
As we know scrambling and the short game in general is key at The Stadium course and these are the areas of the game that Cam excels at.
He currently sits 9th on the seasons Scrambling stats and first in Scrambling Around The Fringe.
My thought’s therefore are that despite the MC last year Sawgrass really should be a course that would suit Cam
Finnau of course has been in pretty consistent nick this year as well, however his first two visits to Sawgrass have not ended well with two missed cuts.
As we know the main strength of Finnau’s game is his distance of the tee and this is something that is negated around the Stadium Course with the driver more often than not staying in the bag.
In addition his scrambling and putting stats are fairly poor compared to the rest of his game and are certainly not a patch on Smith’s.
Allowing for the style of Finnau’s game it is not surprising to me that his best round in four attempts here is 72 and to me, a bit like say DJ or Bubba, it would seem that TPC Sawgrass is not a course that would suit Tony at all and probably one he wouldn’t have on his schedule if it wasn’t such a high profile event.
I am therefore more than happy to take Finnau on this week particularly with a player who I feel is far more suited to the test ahead.