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Handicapping Open Picks Open
Dates: October 6 – 9, 2011
Course: CordeValle Golf Course – San Martin, CA
TV: The Golf Channel
by Evergreen Golf Betting Handicapper,

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The summer is officially over and the PGA regular season was complete with the TOUR Championship but a few tournaments remain as the Tour enters week two of the fall schedule.  This week marks the fifth Open and a normally average week for the PGA became a big deal after Tiger Woods announced he was planning to attend.  Woods looks to regain form and takes on a pretty strong field that includes several big names, including Paul Casey and Ernie Els.

Some players have a lot on the line this week as only two events remain to get into the top-125 on the Money List and remain fully exempt for the 2012 PGA season.  David Duval and Boo Weekley are among the notables currently outside the top-125 and Q-School awaits those that can’t make up ground in these last few tournaments.

The online golf betting websites still like Tiger as the betting favorite with the former best in the world listed in the 7 to 1 range to win the event outright.  That is an insanely low potential return for a player that has put up the results that he has this year but it understandable as the bookies can’t run him out there at 50 to 1 just to find out that he suddenly figured it out and take a bath because of it. Woods is also heading out for the first time with his new caddie.  Joe LaCava, formerly on Fred Couples' bag, is Tiger’s new teammate their relationship will be under the microscope as much as Woods’ swing.

CordeValle GC in San Martin will serve as host for the second year and the 7,368 yard, par-71 course produced some fireworks in last year’s event.  Rocco Mediate recorded four eagles during the week and carded a course record 64 on the way to a one shot victory at 15-under as the course played right in the middle of the pack in terms of overall difficulty in 2010.  The Robert Trent Jones design features some very large greens so hitting the surfaces won’t be all that hard but accuracy is still needed to get in birdie range.  The 2010 cut came at even par so players will be out to go low in order to keep up with a scoring pace likely to be in the 14 to 18-under par range.

Each week, we take a look at the online betting sites and highlight a few players that we think can win it all.  We give you a short, middle and long odds pick to win and breakdown a few head to head matches that you can find at any offshore sportsbook.  Here are our picks to win the 2011 Open.

Short Favorite: Ben Crane (33 to 1 odds to win)
After making it just two weeks into the Playoffs, Crane had about a month off but came back strong with a top-10 at last week’s Shriners that included four rounds in the sixties.  Ben is among the best on Tour in hitting fairways and his top-40 rank in total putting will come in handy on the large greens.  Crane is also 21st in scrambling so there won’t be too much chance of any string of bogeys to derail him if he gets into contention.

Middle of the Road: Chez Reavie (40 to 1 odds to win)
Reavie could be on the best streak of any player after making all four playoff events and is currently riding a nine week stretch that saw him in the top-25 seven times including a runner-up and solo eighth place finish at the Duetsche and BMW.  Chez is 22nd in fairways hit and 7th in total driving and hits enough greens to come in at 5th in ballstriking.  The putter has been spotty at best for Reavie but anything above his average on the greens this week should have him near the first page come Sunday.

Longshot: Brendon de Jonge (50 to 1 odds to win)
The native of Zimbabwe has had a nice season with over one million in earnings after making 21 cuts while competing in three Playoff events.  De Jonge finished the regular season in the top-6 in both par-5 performance and total birdies and ranked in the top-30 in the all around category.  Brendon should be fine on the greens with the 34th best strokes gained putting stat and was 12th in three putt avoidance.

Bonus Pick (press time came a bit before the bookies has the head to head matches posted, so here is bonus longshot to win)

Cameron Tringale (66 to 1 odds to win)
Cam finished the regular season with just nine missed cuts against four top-10’s with his best coming at the Greenbriar where he ran T4.  Tringale is long off the tee with a nearly 300 yard average and can be aggressive at CordeValle.  Cameron is in the top-50 in greens hit, strokes gained with the putter and total putting so there should be plenty of birdie looks for the youngster.

Good Luck!

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