McGladrey Classic Picks

The McGladrey Classic
Dates: October 13th-16th, 2011
Course: Seaside Course – Sea Island, GA
by Evergreen, Golf Betting Handicapper,

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The PGA Tour schedule ends for some after the PGA Championship while others see the TOUR Championship and the conclusion of the Playoffs as the finale but the true final event comes this week as players travel to Georgia for The McGladrey Classic. Tiger Woods brought a lot of buzz to last week’s tournament and while Woods is not at the Seaside Course, a very strong field remains to battle for the last title of 2011.

The McGladrey is in just its second year but the Seaside Course has seen top level USGA golf in its 80+ years. The 7,055 yard, par-70 course ranked as the 33rd hardest course of the 52 used in 2010 play but played as one of the easiest par-70 layouts and players should enjoy plenty of opportunities at birdies this week. The links-style course has pretty generous fairways and greens but still rewards shot selection and execution despite the relative ease in the tee-to-green game. The best birdie looks will come from the correct side of the fairways and from the proper section of the large greens so loose shots will still lose shots to the field if not shots to par. The greens are also pretty fast by Tour standards so the better putters will distance themselves by the weekend. Heath Slocum was among the best in hitting both fairways and greens on the way to a one-shot victory last year.

Each week we take a look at the golf sportsbooks 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 couple of head to head matches that you can find at any online betting site. Here are our picks for the 2011 McGladrey Classic.

Short Favorite: Rickie Fowler (15 to 1 odds to win)
After high expectations in 2011, Fowler did finally break through with a win but had to travel to Asia to do so. Maybe that mojo can carry over and produce a win in the final event here in the states. Fowler did manage a 2nd at the WGC-Bridgestone against a very strong field and cashed nearly $2 million worth of checks while making 19 of 23 cuts so he did have a very productive season. Rickie has a nice mix of long and short game, ranking 25th in driving distance and 22nd in total putting while a solid overall game had him 15th in the all around stat. Fowler can use his distance to challenge the Seaside course and he finished 2011 with the 4th best birdie average.

Middle of the Road: David Toms (25 to 1 odds to win)
Toms had a nice finish to 2011 with T16 and a T10 at the final two playoff events and was T3 here last year. The Crowne Plaza winner is as accurate as they come with top-6 ranks in both fairways and greens hit and can finish with the 13th best total putting stat. Toms finished the year 9th in scoring average and the rest of the sheet was good for 3rd in the all around category. David should be able to use his strengths to stay out of any trouble and will be on the first page with a strong putting week.

Longshot: Lucas Glover (50 to 1 odds to win)
Glover’s playoff win at the Wells Fargo event was his only top-10 in a year that was probably dissapointing year for this talented player. Lucas’ stat sheet is filled with pretty average ranks across the board but the sumproduced the 33rd best all around mark. There are no glaring holes inhis game, which is odd for a 50-1 shot, so aminor change here and there or just a week where it all clicks isall that stands between Glover and a win.

Headto HeadMatches *picks to win based on entire event. Check with your online sportsbook for single round matches and a variety of prop bets.

Matt Kuchar (-110) v. Webb Simpson (-110) (our pick to win: Kuchar)
Simpson came out hot during the early weeks of the playoffs but Kuchar has the crowd support as a Georgia Tech alum. Kuchar is the better putter and hits more fairways so he should get the better of this match that could eventually produce the outright tournament winner.

Charles Howell III (-110) v. Bo Van Pelt (-110) (our pick to win: Howell III)

Howell looks a bit better on the stat sheet as his putter is quite a bit better than Van Pelt and he also hits just about the same amount of greens despite missing more fairways. A better scoring average for Howell despite a lesser birdie average also points to CHIII being the more consistent player and that usually shows up on par-70 courses.

Good Luck!