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Nic Ladds 30th Sep 2009 - 19:47

Johnson won't find it Sim-ple defending his title

After the glitz and glamour of the FedEx Cup comes the annual grind that is the five-tournament Fall Series, which starts on Thursday with the Turning Stone Resort Championship.

Tiger Woods walked off with a cool $10,000,000 bonus for winning this year's FedEx Cup, the four-tournament series for the top 125 points leaders from the regular season. The 14-time major champion won one of the events, and finished in the top five in two of the others.

In contrast, the Fall Series' five tournaments feature a combined prize-pool of $19,000,000 - not even double Tiger's bonus.

The importance of these 20 rounds of golf cannot be underestimated. At their conclusion, any players who didn't qualify for the FedEx Cup, but manage to finish in the top 125 on the money list, will join the 30 FedEx Cup finalists in receiving their card for next year's tour.

The Fall Series all kicks-off with the Turning Stone Resort Championship, featuring a prize-pool of $6,000,000 - with $1,080,000 going to the winner.

The man picking up that winner's cheque last year was rookie Dustin Johnson. He beat Robert Allenby by a single stroke to take the spoils in a nail-biting finish, and starts this week as our 16/1 outright favourite.

However, in such a wide-open field, there is always value to be had if you can find it, and I think I've done just that with Michael Sim.

The New Zealander is making his debut on the PGA Tour after winning three tournaments on the Nationwide Tour this season.

The 24-year-old also has a second and a third to his name this year in eight top-10 finishes from his 12 starts. Adding this to his positions in the stats tables make him look a decent bet at 33/1, especially for all you each-way backers where you'll get a quarter those odds for the first five places.

He's comfortably clear in both the all-important all-around ranking as well as the money list, and sits top of the tables in scrambling, putts per round, putts per greens in regulation and birdie or better conversion percentage.

Sitting second in the driving accuracy category, he averages 68.80 per round - second in that particular stat too - and makes 4.45 birdies per round.

As said earlier, this is his first PGA Tour event - although he did finish an impressive 18th in the US Open - and he'll be eager to make an immediate impression. At 33/1, I'm willing to bet he does.

 

 
 
 

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