Ryan Moore successfully defended his CIMB Classic title in the PGA Tour’s Malaysia stopover last week, shooting a final round five under 67 to win by three from Gary Woodland, and the highest ranked player in the field, Sergio Garcia.
Moore’s fourth PGA Tour win makes him the first player to successfully defend a title since Tiger Woods achieved it at the Arnold Palmer Invitation in 2012/13.
The 31 year old mixed eight birdies and three bogeys on route to the win, withstanding a final round challenge from familiar foe Gary Woodland. Woodland finished runner up here last year (losing in a playoff to Moore) and again mounted a strong late challenge, but missed puts on 16 and 18 prevented him from putting serious pressure on Moore.
Third round leader Kevin Na saw his challenge fade at the 17th, after burning chances throughout the final round after a rapid start, Na put his tee shot on the 17th into a plan tree and couldn’t recover. South Korea’s Bae Sang-moon (69) was tied for fifth with 21-year-old Australian Cameron Smith (68). Smith has huge raps on him as a young player to watch; his week proved the undoubted potential.
FedEx Cup winner, Billy Horschel, finished tied for 37th.
Two events this week, one PGA Tour, one WGC.
Sanderson Farms Championship
The PGA Tour takes a reduced field to the Country Club of Jackson, a 7,354 yards, par 72 course founded in 1914. Missing the top 50 in the Official World Golf Rankings (they’ll play in Shanghai) the event offers up a lower than norm 300 FedEx Cut points. Without the big names the tournament again becomes one of FedEx Cup priority. Players will be chasing cheap points and this season’s winners Robert Streb and Ben Martin will be looking to pull away from the pack.
The field is a true lucky dip of players. Aside from the two above (Martin is the highest ranked player at 57), Padraig Harrington, Woody Austin (as last years winner), and John Daly are the main draw cards. That’s quite saddening.
Stay clear of this one. It’s too tough to pick a PGA Tour winner at the best of times, let alone a limited field. It might be quite tricky to find a bookie taking it on too. But if you have to, consider:
Nicholas Thompson ($101), Danny Lee ($61), William McGirt ($56) or Charles Howell III ($36) all at bet365.
WGC HSBC Championship
The spotlight on Asia continues during the Sheshan International GC (West) hosted World Golf Championship event starting on the 6th of November. Tiger Woods once called the course “the crowning jewel of all of Asian golf”, so it’s only fitting that only the top 50 players in the World make the trip. Some will use the tournament to mark their returns to competitive golf for the first time since the FedEx Cup concluded. Four of the top six golfers, and 12 of the top 20 join the field in competing for 550 FedEx Cup points and a ton of money.
Picking a winner here is equally tough given the quality in the field. In fact, most of the odds I’ve seen simply list the world rankings and odds in descending order. For example, Adam Scott, Sergio Garcia, and Justin Rose are the favourites; matching their World rankings.
Others to Watch
Jordan Speith – $29 – Unibet
Rickie Fowler – $21 – Luxbet
Thorbjorn Olesen – $71 – bet365
Bet on Henrik Stenson to become the BMW PGA Championship Winner.
Back Australia to take the Ashes home with them.
Back Rafael Nadal to become the Mens French Open Winner.
Back One For Arthur to win the Grand National.
Back Mexico to win the Confederations Cup.