Tournament: U.S. Bank Championship in Milwaukee
Dates: July 17 - 20, 2008
Course: Brown Deer Park Golf Course - Milwaukee, WI
Television Coverage: The Golf Channel
Note: Heath Slocum is NOT in this tournament as noted below. We got bad info on our odds page during time of print. Please disregard his mentioning.
While the world’s best are teeing it up at the British Open, the U.S. Bank Championship welcomes those remaining stateside to Wisconsin to vie for a title and a $4 million total purse. Many young pros as well as veterans use the event to gain valuable spots on the money list to retain exempt status and the winner will reap the rewards of Major beths in ’09. Kenny Perry highlights the entrants in the field, and chose to leave the U.S. Bank on his schedule even after gaining entrance to the British, citing a desire to play events that best suit his game. The Golf Channel airs all four days of action.
The Brown Deer Park course will most likely continue the summer trend of high birdie totals and a double digit under-par winning total. Joe Ogilvie took top honors last year at 14-under, and it took 20-under to win in ’05 and ’06, so look for the hot putters to play here. For the Championship, Brown Deer will play par-70 at 6,759 yards.
As always, we breakdown a few contenders on the boards at the golf sportsbooks and make a pick to win from a short, middle and long odds look. We’ve picked a few matches we like as well, including our pick to win. Odds to win come courtesy of Bodog.
10 to 3 to win
Perry is as hot as any in the game right now and I’m sure that the players in the British are happy he stayed in the U.S. Perry has wins in three of his last five starts with a T24 and T6 as the other finishes. Kenny is a premier ball striker, ranking 20th in total driving and 9th in greens hit. Perry has wittled his scoring average to a 2nd best 69.47 and is the 8th All Around ranked player. Keny recored a 65 in last year’s event en route to a T5.
14 to 1
Campbell is a good look to contend should he make the cut this week. Chad has missed the cut in 7 of his 19 starts, but has 9 top-25’s in the 12 he has made. Campbell is coming off a strong John Deere where he finished solo 7 at 14-under. Campbell can go low with the 11th best birdie average and his top-25 ranks in GIR% and putting average will play well this week.
16 to 1
Slocum was riding high a few weeks back, with three top-25’s in a row, including a top-10 at the U.S. Open. The last few weeks have seen Heath make the cut, but not put together the low rounds needed to contend. Slocum is super accurate both off the tee and into the greens, so the chances should be there for birdie. The putting average is just inside the top-100, so a hot streak will be needed to seriously contend. Last year saw Slocum card four rounds of 69 to finish T22.
Tommy Armour III
20 to 1
Tommy is on his best run of the season, with a month that seen him inside the top-24 in his four starts with a T2 and T3 as his last two finishes. Over that stretch, Armour is an aggregate 29-under and will need to continue the trend to be a factor here. Armour has an 8th best birdie average on Tour and is a solid all around guy, with top-80 ranks in most stat categories. Tommy had a nice 66 here in ’07 and a T18 finish.
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25 to 1
Baird is another player on a good run, with five top-20’s in his last five finishes. Baird is third best on Tour in greens hit and gets off the tee well as the 35th ranked total driver. The putter will need to heat up to be on the first page come the weekend, but Baird does have the 17th best scoring average and is the 13th ranked All Around player.
28 to 1
Crane has been scuffling a bit lately, but had back-to-back top-10’s at the tough PLAYERS and Crowne Plaza a few weeks back. Crane is the ’05 U.S. Bank Champ and can go low with the Tour’s 12th ranked scoring average. Crane is solid overall as the 12th ranked All Around player, but his strength is on the greens with his 21st ranked putting average. A good week tee-to-green will have Crane a factor this week.
40 to 1
Adamonis has had an uneven year with only 10 of 18 cuts made, but both of his top-10’s have come in the last month. A ball in the drink ended his chance last week in a playoff against Kenny Perry and a T6 at the Travelers show he can hang in birdie-fests. The big knock on the stat sheet is the 170th rank in total driving. Adamonis is plenty long at 288 yards on average, but hitting only 55% of the fairways puts a lot of pressure of the recovery game. If the driver is straight this week, look for the good play to continue.
For the Win
Short: Kenny Perry - Winning three in a row is a tall order, but he is by far the best in the field.
Middle of the Road: Briny Baird - Solid since May and 24-under over the last two events.
Longshot: Brad Adamonis - Came close last week and playing the best of his season right now.
Head to Head Matches (our pick)
(all matches are for entire tournament and available at Linesmaker)
Chad Campbell (-140) v. Heath Slocum (+110) (Slocum)
Slocum is the value pick here as the dog, and both players have had similiar runs of late. Campbell is the better putter, but the scoring average is nearly identical. Campbell is a better candidate to miss the cut and give this one away.
Tommy Armour III (-115) v. Briny Baird (-115) (Baird)
Like the other match, both players are similiar on the stat sheet and the results of late. Baird’s run is a bit more extended versus the closer calls of Armour III. We’ll take the steadier run in a total score match.