bovanpeltAT & T National Preview

The AT&T National has been part of the PGA Tour since 2007 and is held midway between the U.S. Open and the British Open to attract a strong field of competitors. The event takes place at the Blue Course of the Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Maryland with a $6.5m purse.

The tour benefits the Tiger Woods Foundation but the man himself has been forced to withdraw from the event this year with a sprained elbow. It is the third time that Woods has missed the tournament because of injury having been absent in 2008 and 2011. He returned to win it for a second time last year and there will still be a top quality field bidding to claim his title.

Among them are US Masters champion Adam Scott and recently crowned US Open champion Justin Rose. South Korean KJ Choi won the inaugural event in 2007 and was followed by Anthony Kim in 2008. With Woods having won in 2009, Justin Rose (2010) and Nick Watney (2011) are the other past champions playing this week.

AT & T National Stats

The 18-hole record of 62 is shared by Anthony Kim (2009), Nick Watney (2011) and Hunter Mahan (2009). The lowest final round was 65 by Anthony Kim in 2008. Kim came from 3 strokes back to win in 2008 and held a 2-shot lead after the opening round in 2009.

AT & T Betting Tips

What a great effort from Graham DeLaet (tipped at 90-1) to finish just one show out of the playoffs in the Travelers Championship at the weekend. His birdie at the last secured third place and a healthy payout at odds of over 22-1 for a place.

That was the third tournament in four that we have had a player in the final pairing for the last round with only Matt Kuchar able to convert the victory. The bookmakers have predictably priced up the recent majors winners Adam Scott and Justin Rose as favourites for the AT & T National.

Scott is only playing his ninth tournament of the season this week, his worst showing being his most recent at the US Open. Justin Rose held it together pretty well last week to finish tied for 13th but he has still not had a break since his US Open victory and, even as a previous winner here, is overlooked at his current price.

 

The first player I’d like to put up is Bo Van Pelt. He has performed consistently this season with only one top ten finish to show for it. He was runner-up here 12 months ago after finishing tied 11th in 2010 and 2011. This course obviously suits his game and he could get amongst the leading names this week.

Ryan Palmer missed the cut at the US Open but you don’t certainly become a bad player overnight and he has been knocking on the door all season. The tragic loss of a lifelong friend during the Players’ Championship was taken in his stride with a good fifth place finish and he has since been fourth in the St Jude Classic. His turn will come and he was 15th here last year.

Rickie Fowler is threatening to hit peak form and blazed a closing round of 64 at the Travelers on Sunday. That followed a highly respectable tied for tenth at the US Open and he is worth a bet this week.

One of the most surprising efforts of last week was the steady performance of JJ Henry who produced three rounds of 68 and a 67 to finish fifth. In so doing he almost doubled his tour earnings for this year. The winner Ken Duke had missed more cuts than he had made so consistency is not always the path to riches. JJ is still available at enormous odds on Betfair so I’m putting him as a wildcard at 161-1.

Bo Van Pelt 37-1 Betfair
Rickie Fowler 29-1 Betfair
Ryan Palmer 51-1 Betfair
JJ Henry 161-1 Betfair