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Nic Ladds 5th May 2009 - 20:17

Gay it up and side with Brian

It at last looks like we've found a week we can confidently take on Tiger Woods, and the man you should get behind looks to be Brian Gay at odds of 80/1.

The Players Championship is seen by man as the 'fifth Major' and is an extremely prestigious tournament to win which has been won by some greats and shocks over recent years.

Tiger is as usual favourite at 4/1 in the betting and some may fell that this is big for the great man, but we delve a little deeper it becomes clear why he is this price and why he should be opposed.

Woods did win this tournament in 2001 but since then has had a miserable time of it at Sawgrass having failed to finish in the top 10 in any of his next six visits here.

This course has an emphasis on driving accuracy and greens in regulation rather than long, erratic driving and year after year shorter, straighter hitters prevail.

Tiger of course has the ability to pull miracles from nowhere and the fact he's won here before shows it is possible but he comes here after a poor effort in the last days of Quail Hollow where he could have won but could only manage a level round on the Sunday. As a result, he is worth taking on at his odds of 4/1.

The main man we have selected for you to put your money on is Brian Gay who recorded a fantastic victory in the Verizon Heritage, destroying the field by 10 shots.

What makes him such an interesting prospect are his fantastic stats which should ensure he can play this course well.

He is 2nd in driving accuracy, a fact which can prove key for staying on the fairways, 21st in G.I.R, 38th in putting average and 4th in scrambling.

Gay finished in a share of 32nd last year so has a big of course form and if history is anything to go by, the majority of previous winners had some course form before they won this tournament. At 80/1 in the betting, he looks a cracking each way bet.

Like Tiger, Phil Mickelson is in his usual place in the betting as second favourite at odds of 11/1.

Also like Tiger, 'Lefty' has won this tournament once in 2007 and finished tied 3 another year so he can clearly tackle the course.

However his driving is often erratic and he has some poor finished amongst the good ones and it is hard to back Mickelson with supreme confidence.

Sean O'Hair recorded a victory last week at Quail Hollow after a series of consistent, close efforts this year.

He almost won this tournament in 2007 before finding the water at the notorious island-green 17th and at odds of 25/1, could well be in the mix again.

Geoff Ogilvy always deserves a mention as the ultra-consistent Australian has the ability to mix it with and beat anyone on his day.

He is 1st in the birdie average stats and 2nd in the putting average table. His inconsistent driving though could be a hindrance and he can be backed at odds of 28/1.

Interesting at a big price is last year's winner Sergio Garcia. At 40/1 in the betting Garcia come in to the tournament with a few things in his favour.

His course form is fantastic, his win last year is backed up by a 2nd place in 2007 and a 4th place in 2002.

Six of Sergio's seven PGA wins have come in May and June which suggests he could be about to come right back in to form following a reasonable performance in The Masters.

Finally his good efforts in the Gulf and his 13th at the Honda Classic were all played on greens laid with Bermuda grass which is what he will face at Sawgrass.

At the odds of 40/1 the Spaniard could be well worth an each way wager as we look sure to get a run for our money.

Of some of the other market leaders in with a chance, Luke Donald at odds of 28/1, he has a second place finish to his name (2005), he has won on Bermuda grass before and is a good ball-striker.

Kenny Perry at 33/1 could have won this last year but blew up the last day, shooting an 81. His stats suggest he should do well here and as long as he is over his Masters heartache he could go close.

Jim Furyk, Retief Goosen and Padraig Harrington are all available at odds of 40/1 and all could be in the shake up if on a going day.

Rory McIlroy will no doubt win some huge tournaments one day but course form is key here and it is unlikely he will make a huge impact at odds of 50/1 on his debut.

Pat Perez is one that catches the eye at odds of 100/1. He has won on the tour at the Bob Hope Classic and despite some poor efforts at The Masters and Quail Hollow, he did finish 4th at Bay Hill behind Tiger, and his 3rd place here in 2006 shows he can handle the course and could go close at a big price.

Last year's runner up Paul Goydos can be backed at 150/1 in the betting but there is nothing in his form to suggest he is about to win, while two-time winner Davis Love III usually plays a good tournament here and his wealth of course form could stand him in good stead against some of his more experience rivals at 80/1 in the betting.

Don't forget about our host of other markets that include, top 10 finish, 1st round leader, match bets and 3-ball betting.

The action gets underway at on Thursday morning and there will be live coverage brought to you on Setanta Golf from 20:30.

Brian Gay - 80/1
Sergio Garcia - 40/1
Pat Perez - 100/1

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