TONY FINAU is taking a break after winning the last two events on the PGA Tour, and providing us with mixed emotions last week.
Finau did us a favour by pushing Patrick Cantlay into joint second after I talked myself out of backing the reigning FedEx Cup champion.
But he made a nonsense of the suggestion that he does not look like a man capable of completing back-to-back wins!
Anyway it’s good of Finau to allow someone else a chance this week, with the final event before the play-offs begin offering an added incentive to pretty much everyone in the field, as they jockey for position.
It is a surprise to see Shane Lowry sharing top spot in the betting with Sungjae Im at around 16-1.
The Irishman has gone off the boil since he claimed a pair of thirds in April, including a fine effort at the Masters.
Im makes more appeal after finishing runner-up in his last start, and posting a couple of top ten finishes in this event in the past. But I think there is better value further down the market.
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Hot shot: Si Woo Kim, 25-1.
The Korean star seems to have made Sedgefield Country Club in North Carolina his second home since he clinched the first of his three PGA Tour victories here in 2016.
He has gone on to finish fifth, third and tied second here in the last three years – he was one of the men edged out by Kevin Kisner in a six-man play-off 12 months ago.
With those form figures he looks an each way steal with eight places on offer, and a share of 15th at the Open, followed by a tied 14th finish last week, suggests there is nothing wrong with his current form.
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Mid price: Adam Scott, 33-1.
The former world No 1 is probably still having nightmares over the toe-curling miss that cost him this championship a year ago.
Scott looked certain to bring an early finish to that six man play-off when he stuffed his approach at the first extra hole inside four feet, with no-one else threatening to make birdie.
Scott’s putt never touched the hole, and Kisner birdied the second by holing a longer putt – but redemption could be on the cards for the Aussie who showed he remains competitive with top 15 finishes at the Open and the US equivalent.
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Longshot: Roger Sloan, 400-1
The Canadian was another of the six players who went to extra holes last year, and at these odds he has to be worth a speculative each way touch at a course he clearly relishes.
Sloan was three shots better than anyone else in the field over the final 54 holes 12 months ago, shooting 64-64-66 after giving everyone else a head start with a clumsy one over par 71 to open proceedings.
His odds reflect the fact that he failed to make it through to the weekend nine weeks in a row over the past few months. But he ended that horror run by making the cut in each of his last two stars, and is capable of a decent show here.
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