The third leg in the race for the FedEx Cup makes a return to the “Crooked Leg” course after a four year absence this week. At just over 7,500 yards, it’s widely recognised as being one for the bombers. So who should we be looking out for?
Rory McIlroy – 11/2
Winner at the Deutsche Bank after a fantastic final three rounds. Nike’s decision to get out of the golf club business looks to have already benefited the Northern Irishman, who had been a having a fairly torrid time on the greens with his putter. Last week though, upon switching to a Scotty Cameron and employing a new putting coach, he was 7th in strokes gained in putting. When you take into account the fact he had been 130th for the season up until that point, it’s not hard to pinpoint which aspect of his game clinched him the win ahead of Paul Casey. Oh yeah, he also picked up the trophy here in 2012 (as pictured above).
Dustin Johnson – 9/1
A no-brainer. The longest hitter on tour, DJ comes into the week off the back of an 8th place at the Deutsche Bank and a season which has seen him climb to #2 in the world rankings. At 7,512 yards with four par-5’s, this is Johnson paradise.
Rickie Fowler – 37/1
After a back nine collapse which saw him gift the opening FedEx event to compatriot Patrick Reed a fortnight ago, Fowler was a little out of sorts at the Deutsche Bank with a 46th place finish after a disappointing final round 72. Will still have Ryder Cup thoughts on his mind as he needs a wildcard to make the Davis Love III’s team so that, coupled with his top-25 driving average clinches his spot as one of my picks.
Tony Finau – 94/1
Ranks third in driving, 8th place finish last week, has already won on tour this season and needs a high finish to seal a place at the Tour Championship. 94/1 is too good to miss.
My outside bet for this event is Hudson Swafford. I’ll admit I hadn’t heard of him before doing my research for this event but Swafford ticks boxes. At 230/1, the man currently 61st in the FedEx rankings needs a strong week – probably top 5 – to make it through to the final event (only the top 30 in the FedEx rankings progress). Momentum counts for so much through these play-off events and you can bet that the 29 year old will take a huge amount of confidence from four solid rounds at the Deutsche Bank (T15) into this week, where he’ll be able to use his distance to great effect (8th in driving average).
As a fail safe against Rory McIlroy having a dodgy week, Justin Rose at 5/1 for top European looks a good option. Rose is sneakily long off the tee and would have been close to the McIlroy at the top of the leaderboard last week had it not been for a disastrous +10 back nine. Russel Knox at 11/1 for the same title also looks quite promising given recent events.
Rory McIlroy – £1 EW
Dustin Johnson – £2 EW
Rickie Fowler – £1 EW
Tony Finau – £1 EW
Hudson Swafford – £1 (top 20 at 5/2)