The PGA Tour stays in the South this week as Bubba Watson tries to defend his title in the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. Not only will Watson be stepping out as defending champion, but also for the first time since his Masters victory. Many bookmakers have Watson or Luke Donald as favourite, depending on where you look, with top prices of 15/1 and 12/1 available respectively.
Both are hard to back at those prices, with Donald showing more of his 2010 form than that of his incredible 2011 form of late. Watson could very well win, he is bang in form and clearly likes the course, but with so much expectation on him and a couple of weeks of celebration behind him, he is too risky at those odds.
So that brings us further down the betting, where we find Rose, Bradley and Simpson all around the 20/1 mark, and all very hit and miss of late. With top 30 finishes in his last 5 events, one man showing signs of consistency is Jason Dufner. Dufner was third here last year and has not finished outside the top 10 in his last 3 years here. His price of 25/1 might be small for some people, as Dufner has yet to win on tour, but this week probably represents his best chance to rectify this and with a relatively good chance of a place, I think that the odds are more than fair.
Next up I’ll take Charles Howell III at 40/1. Runner-up here in 2009 and T13 last year, Howell has also finished in the top 30 in his last 6 events. All signs point to another good week for the talented American, and hopefully for us as well.
Coming off the back of a 5 shot victory last week and a second place finish the week before, Carl Pettersson really is a man at the top of his game. While back-to-back victories are somewhat of a rarity on tour, top ten finishes are not, and with 10/3 available for the Swede to accomplish this, it represents decent value to me.
Running total for 2012: +64 pts
Bets this week:
1pt e/w Jason Dufner @ 25/1
1pt e/w Charles Howell III @40/1
3pts win Carl Pettersson to finish in the top ten @10/3