Northern Trust betting: Steve’s top tips
Were it not for a moment of madness, and a quadruple bogey on the last hole of the third round, Jason Day might have collected his second PGA Championship at Quail Hollow.
In the event, he finished just inside the top 10 and indicated that he’s back in good touch in time for the playoffs.
Day’s had a write-off of a year, trying to cope with illness to his mother and the usual niggles that always threaten to derail his progress.
But third in driving distance in North Carolina and in the top 5 in putting, that’s much more what we expect to see from the Australian.
What we also know is that he likes the playoffs. He won the Barclays and the BMW Championship two years ago and seems to be able to peak his game for his time of year. I like him here, especially at 22/1.
Justin Thomas, who did win at Quail Hollow, comes here on a high and he is also 22/1 – which feels a bit of a price to get on a newly crowned major champion.
Particularly one who has shown the ability to go on a tear up of victories, just as he did earlier in the season when winning three times in five starts. There is value in getting on him for back-to-back wins.
Northern Trust betting: Steve’s each-way back
Paul Casey came alive during last year’s FedEx Playoffs – almost winning twice – and has maintained that form throughout this campaign.
He’s had six top 10 finishes in 20 starts, and 14 in the top 25, so you’d like to think he’d be in and around the higher reaches of the leaderboard.
His tied 13th at the PGA Championship, last time out, doesn’t really tell the tale of the tape. Casey was right in the frame until a third round of 74.
That followed a top 5 at the Bridgestone Invitational so there is no doubt that he is hitting the ball well.
Why each way? Casey has a peculiar habit on the PGA Tour getting into position and not winning. He’s only won once in America and, for all his good stuff, his best finish this year is tied 3rd in the Safeway Open.
I think he’ll be up there, though, so 40/1 is too tempting. And remember, you can get odds with some firms for the first seven finishers this week.
Northern Trust betting: Steve’s outsider
Martin Flores is free-wheeling this week. Needing something special at the Wyndham Championship to keep his card, he aced the 16th and birdied the 18th to finish inside the top 125 and maintain his PGA Tour credentials.
All very nice and it helped him hit a lot of headlines. What it doesn’t show, however, is that Flores has been on a charge for several weeks. He recorded top 20s at the Barbasol Championship and the Canadian Open before finishing just outside the top 10 at the Barracuda.
Admittedly, in a weakened field last week, he cracked the top 10 and he’ll have much more to do here with the world’s best in the line up.
But the 35-year-old didn’t think he’d be here, probably didn’t think he would keep his card, and now can go and just play.
A really nice week could get him into the Dell Technologies Championship so he still has something to play for and, at 300/1, is worth a small each-way bet.