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Nic Ladds 24th Jun 2009 - 9:29

The Zach attack can have you back in the black

It was just a few days ago that the US Open finished and it was a truly exhausting experience for punters so what on earth can players be thinking?

The Travelers Championship gets underway this week on the PGA Tour and this short River Highlands course favours accuracy over power and puts an emphasis on putting rather than brute force.

For this reason we're going to wade straight in and make Zach Johnson the main bet at odds of 18/1.

Johnson missed the cut at the US Open but the general opinion is for the purposes of this tournament is that is a good thing. He will be fresh and not have been through the gruelling five days that others have been through.

He has a poor record in the US Open anyway and although he missed the cut here in 2007, he has finished third in 2004 and played well in both 2005 and 2006.

Johnson has been quoted as saying it's one of his favourite courses and he lies 13 in the driving accuracy stats while his putting is generally solid - should definitely be on the premises.

The unsurprising favourite is Hunter Mahan who has finished 2,1,2 here the last three years which gives him an obvious chance to build on his US Open sixth, but at odds of 12/1 his emotional 2-ball with Phil Mickelson may have taken a lot out of him.

He is by far the most obvious winner but as we are going with the theory that those who were on the premises in the US Open will be drained, he is best left alone at the price.

Sergio Garcia and Vijay Singh are almost two of the forgotten men on the Tour seeing as its been so long since either record a notable victory.

Both players look like they are improving as the year goes on and a victory for either may not be far away and both are currently 16/1 in the betting.

Out of the two, Singh would be preferred, as he has finished in the top five here for the last two years.

The second selection is David Toms who lies first in the driving accuracy statistics, 17 in the GIR and 17 in putts per GIR leaving him second in the overall rankings.

Six top ten finishes this year, including two T2's and he finished in a share of sixth place in this in 2007. Like Johnson we ignore his missed cut last week and we have a real live contender for Travelers glory.

Kenny Perry at 18/1 can't be backed with any confidence until he shows signs of picking up from his Masters heartache, while Anthony Kim is finally returning to some kind of form but is a little skinny at 28/1 to be backed with full confidence.

Stewart Cink will have his backers having won this tournament twice, including last year and coming in the top five on three other occasions.

He has been putting in some solid performances recently and is a big danger to all at odds of 22/1, if bringing his game to a course he obviously loves.

The first of the other picks is 66/1 chance, Heath Slocum who has recently been showing a return to form with a share of 10 in the St. Jude before missing the cut in the US Open.

Slocum is 16 in driving accuracy and midway down the standings for putting. A share of 21st place in 2007 was followed by an excellent fourth place finish here last year and at a tasty price, Slocum could well be on the premises.

The other main pick at a whopping 125/1 is Kevin Streelman who may not have the best stats coming in to this but seems to excel at this time of year.

He held the lead last year after the first round of the US Open before going on to have four top 10 finishes even though he was a rookie.

Last year here he was 142nd after the first round before shooting 63-62-70 to end up in the top 10. He is not totally out of form with a finish of 13th at the Byron Nelson last month and his price is big enough to warrant some interest.

A mention of course to last week's US Open winner Lucas Glover who is 33/1 to follow up that victory here but while he wouldn't enter if he didn't think he had the head for it, Major winners just do not win the next tournament they play in, and chances are we will need a few weeks to get over the excitement.

Other dangers to consider are 2004 winner Woody Austin at 33/1, Kevin Na who has finished in the top 10 here and is well rested at 40/1, Ryan Moore who has the putting skills to compete here but needs the course to bring him back to life and a mention to 2005 winner Brad Faxon who is woefully out of form but has excellent putting stats and could be worth a tickle at 200/1.

Zach Johnson - 18/1
David Toms - 20/1
Heath Slocum - 66/1
Kevin Streelman - 125/1

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