The Childrens Miracle Network Hospitals Classic
Dates: October 20 – 23, 2011
Course: Magnolia and Palm Golf Course – Lake Buena Vista, FL
by Evergreen, Golf Handicapper, Predictem.com
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With one of the longest seasons of any sport, the PGA Tour is ready to finish it’s tenth month of events with this week’s Childrens Miracle Network Hospitals Classic. The tourmanent is the final of the fall schedule and a strong field is out to support the cause and look for one final win in the 2011 season. The Magnolia and Palm Courses at The Walt Disney World Golf Resort have been associated with this event since 1971 and have always seen the best on Tour with the winners list highlighted by the names of Jack Nicklaus, Payne Stewart and Tiger Woods. An oddity for this late in the season, the money title is still up for grabs as Webb Simpson and Luke Donald are in attendance withboth able to grab an award that will be listed near the top of either’s resume.
The birdies will be flying this week as both the Palm and Magnolia are player-friendly with wide fairways and large, flat greens that allow nearly everyone to attack the majority of the holes on both courses. Players will alternate between the two courses the first two days with the Magnolia hosting rounds three and four. Both are par-72 layouts with the Magnolia about 500 yards longer at 7,516 yards and both feature extensive bunkering with water in play throughout the courses. The driver will be the club of choice and long hitters have the advantage for the most part, a fact demonstrated by Robert Garrigus in his 2010 win.
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 longshot odds pick to win and breakdown a couple of head to head matches that you can find at any quality golf bookmaker. Here are our picks for the 2011 Childrens Miracle Network Classic.
Short Favorite: Webb Simpson (10 to 1 odds to win)
His playoff runner up last week was the fifth top-2 finish of 2011 for the best all around player on Tour. Simpson also has 11 top-10’s in 25 starts and has put together one of the better statistical years in recent memory. Webb is 24th in total driving, 12th in greens hit and is in the the top-3 in total birdies, birdie average and scoring average. No one should be suprised that this player in the consensus favorite at this point and has reason to sharpen his game with the Presidents Cup about a month away.
Middle of the Road: Gary Woodland (20 to 1 odds to win)
If you are looking for a player that is tailor-made for these courses, take a look at Gary Woodland. The Transitions champion is 5th on Tour in driving distance and 11th in greens hit for a top-15 overall ballstriking rank. Gary hits enough fairways to be 26th in total driving and he won’t have to work very hard to hit the short stuff this week. Woodland will be making his first start since the Tour Championship so he should be rested and ready to put the 16th best birdie average to good use.
Longshot:D.A. Points (80 to 1 odds to win)
Points isname that fans are used to seeing in the early rounds only to fade back to the pack as the week goes on but he did show the ability to hangthewhole weekin the shootout atmosphere at the Pebble Pro-Am, eventually earning a victory. D.A. hits fairways, ranking 35th and is long enough to be in the top-40 in total driving and his putter was good enough to produce the 35th most total birdies and 12th most eagles in 2011 play.
Head to Head Matches *Picks to win based on entire event. Check with your favorite online bookmaker more single round matches and a variety of prop bets.
Sean O’Hair (-110) v. Jeff Overton (-110) (our pick to win: Overton)
This is a tough match to call with both very similar in strengths and weaknesses but you have to give a slight edge to Overton as the better putter. When the greens are easy to hit, look for the better putter to shine as players will run into long putts when they miss hit approach shots instead of chips and pitch shots. Overton is the better ballstriker as well, so he should find the sand a few time less than O’Hair.
Charles Howell III (-110) v. Spencer Levin (-110) (our pick to win: Howell III)
Levin is the lesser name in this match but is very talented and will be a tough out for CH3. Howell does have a length advantage and is the superior putter so he gets the nod but Levin is a grinder that has nearly the same scoring average as Howell despite some struggles with the putter.