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Nic Ladds 18th Aug 2009 - 13:57

Laird set to strike at his favourite time of year

After last week's drama of the PGA Championship, Tiger Woods is licking his wounds elsewhere while Yang Young-eun is no doubt off celebrating and this leaves the door open for our main selection 40/1 chance Martin Laird to enjoy some glory.

Laird came so close for us in the Reno Tahoe finishing second and he appears to be hitting form at exactly the same time he did last year and in the same tournaments.

He finished fourth in the Reno last year then came on to finish fourth here and his clear improvement could well find it's way in to this tournament also.

He led last year after round one before shooting a 74 on round two but this was mainly due to him calling a 2 shot penalty on himself for forgetting to replace his marker on the green which clearly got to him as he proceeded to hit two more out of bounds - having had a poor second round he came back to shoot 64 and 63 in his next two rounds to finish in fourth.

He has plenty of length off the tee and has the ability to make plenty of birdies and shoot some really low scores which is key on such a low scoring course.

The second selection for similar reasons to that of Laird is 50/1 chance JJ Henry who comes here off the back of a solid display in the Reno Tahoe where he finished ninth and did well by making the cut in the PGA last week.

He finished fourth here at Sedgefield last year and also managed fourth back in 1999 when he was playing on the Nationwide Tour. Given that Henry seems to play well in the same tournaments he has played before, he looks a good bet to give punters a run for their money.

Although his form in 2009 is truly woeful, it is hard to leave out Carl Pettersson at 60/1 in the betting who won this tournament so convincingly last year.

The Swede went to college here and is still a resident who remains a regular player of this course and his knowledge shone through when the Wyndham was moved to Sedgefield last year.

He has said himself how much he loves the course and is on the Board of the tournament and with a host of friends and family coming to watch him, this is certainly his best chance of a revival having shown glimmers of returning to form in the Bridgestone Invitational where he finished first in the putting stats and fourth in driving.

While the pick is based on his locality and previous course form, there is enough in that to suggest he may be capable of another bold show at 60/1.

People may be unable to believe their eyes that Sergio Garcia is 16/1 in this quality of field but he is unbackable at the moment based on his recent performances and the Spaniard needs a marked improvement in his putting to be worth a back at that price and of the front runners, Lucas Glover who has largely held his form since his shock US Open win looks the best also at 16/1.


Martin Laird - 40/1

JJ Henry - 50/1

Carl Pettersen - 60/1

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