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Nic Ladds 25th Aug 2009 - 16:06

We bank on three at the Barclays

After his PGA Championship disappointment Tiger Woods takes to the course this week as 15/8 favourite to capture The Barclays on the brand new Liberty National course in New Jersey.

It would of course be foolish to write off the wounded Tiger who will be coming back seething and desperate to put the record straight after Yong-eun Yang (66/1 to win again here) got the better of him and it is hard to truly knock someone with US form figures of, 1, 1, 1, 2 coming in to a tournament.

However, with no tournament form to go on punters will be looking elsewhere to find their picks for the PGA Tour tournament this week and on a course that is an unknown quantity, it could pay to look beyond Tiger.

The Liberty has been designed in a links style which, of course, is different to an actual links course, the main similarity is the long rough. but one venue it has been likened to is the scene of the 2004 PGA Championship, Whistling Straits.

If we go on this theory that players who did well there could translate that to this similar course then our first pick is none other than the 2004 PGA champion, Vijay Singh.

After a poor start to the season with knee troubles, Vijay has put in some encouraging displays and given that last year he didn't win until August he could be about to peak at the right time.

He has won this tournament four times including last year, and while the venue has now changed, all players are in the same boat and what we have to go on Vijay looks a cracking each way bet at a big price of 45/1.

At the top of the market, one that does catch the eye is 2005 winner Padraig Harrington at 20/1.

'Pod' has come back to form at exactly the right time of year, getting himself in to winning positions in the Bridgestone and PGA Championship before blowing his chances with one terrible hole on the last round.

If these errors have not set back Harrington's confidence too much then he is one player who can beat anyone in the field on his day, and his renowned mental toughness should help him move on from those errors and is best of the front runners at the 20/1.

Of the other market leaders, Phil Mickelson continues his comeback after taking time off to deal with his wife's battle with cancer. Lefty performed well at the 2004 PGA but his last two performances provide enough doubt to leave him at 25/1, while Sergio Garcia blew a fantastic winning opportunity in the Wyndam and is to be ignored at 25/1.

Instead we turn to a 100/1 shot in the shape of Justin Leonard whose accurate driving and excellent putting should have him in good stead for a shot at glory here.

He lost out in a play off to Singh at Whistling Straits and he has been in consistent form for most of the year without ever quite getting his neck over the line. If he gets in to a winning position, there is no doubt he has the temperament to win and could reward each way backers at the 100/1 with William Hill paying ¼ the odds for the first five places.

Recommendation:

Vijay Singh - 45/1

Padraig Harrington - 20/1

Justin Leonard - 100/1

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