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Michael Taylor 28th Jul 2010 - 16:49

Overton in the mood to make the step up to champion

To many he's still an unknown but if the past few months are anything to go by Jeff Overton will soon be one of the names to beat on the PGA Tour.

The big right hander has been enjoying his finest season to date in 2010 with a host of top ten finishes including two runners-up in the Zurich Classic and HP Byron Nelson.

Furthermore it seems his determination to break his professional winless streak is only getting stronger with a series of results that's seen him do everything but claim the top prize.

In the last six events entered he's managed three top-fives and five top-fifteens and as such he can now boast an unexpected but not underserved position of 12th in the FedEx Cup standings.

This week you have to believe he has a great chance of doing even better though with a track in his favour and the form book hinting that it's his time to shine.

The Old White Course at Greenbrier where the Greenbrier Classic is hosted for its inaugural running plays as a 7,000 yards par 70 with more than enough to suggest low scores will come fast and furious.

The back nine especially should provide a feast for big hitting Overton with two very makeable eagle opportunity par fives and several straight and simple par fours.

His approach play will need to be top notch with undulating greens perhaps providing the biggest burden to the field, however he's already shown that for such a big man he knows how to handle a putter (23rd in putting average).

It goes to say that in a field lacking any real depth you have to be delighted to get 22/1 about Overton and if you look at the remainder of the field this feeling gets stronger and stronger.

The favourite for instance is Jim Furyk (14/1), a man who's managed just one top ten in the past six events including stinking up St Andrews at the Open and missing the cut by a fair few strokes.

Someone who looks far more dangerous is the second favourite Matt Kuchar after a set of decent performances over the past couple of weeks.

He managed an admirable fourth in last week's RBC Canadian Open despite failing to really kick into top gear while he's only been outside of the top 30 once in his past seven events.

In many ways he's displaying the same sort of consistency as my first pick Overton, I'm just a little cooler on Kuchar because he's failed to turn good weeks into genuine championship chasing conquests.

Either way though at 18/1 he carries a lot of each way value (he's finished in the top-10 in four of his past five tournaments).

Finally, my last pick comes a little out of left field but there's something quite attractive about Martin Laird at 125/1.

The Scotsman's swashbuckling style hasn't brought him much success this year but the old-style course design could may lend a big helping hand with the rough likely to be very playable for drivers lacking accuracy.

His putting or approach play will need to step up a gear or two from the dross he's served up for large parts of this season, no one can be in doubt though that when he finds his line he's extremely dangerous.


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