Quail Hollow Championship
Date: April 29th May 02nd, 2010
Where: Quail Hollow Club Charlotte, NC
TV: The Golf Channel/CBS
By Evergreen of Predictem.com
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If youve been missing your favorite superstars on Tour the last few weeks, youll be happy to know that they are likely in the field this week for the 2010 Quail Hollow Championship. This event will again back up its reputation for very strong fields with Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson among the confirmed entrants. Quail Hollow remains one of the more prestigious non-Major titles on the Tour schedule due in part to the solid fields but the host course is also well liked by the players and will be a stern test. Sean OHair is the defending champion and will have to be on his game to make it two in a row with past champions Jim Furyk, Anthony Kim and Woods all looking for another crown.
The Quail Hollow club is definitely one of the new age courses that feature length as a key component and the par-72 will play at 7,422 yards for the championship. Accuracy off the tee as well as length will be necessary to get good looks into the greens, especially as players continue to figure out how to play out of the rough with the new groove regulations. The finishing stretch of 16 through 18 will have a lot to say in Sundays outcome as the three holes rank fourth, second and first overall in terms of difficulty with the par-4 16th and 18th both measuring 480 yards. The course will give up good scores as the course record of 64 has been shot in 2004, 2006 and 2007 but the scoring pace will likely be in the moderate range with the winner in the neighborhood of 10-under par.
Each week, we take a look at the online golf sportsbooks and highlight the players that we like to win it all. We pick a short, middle and long odds player to win and breakdown a few head to head matches as well. After a few cold weeks, the pick set is still doing well at +42 units on the strength of four correct picks in the early season. Here are our picks for the 2010 Quail Hollow Championship:
Short Favorite: Lee Westwood (20 to 1 odds to win)
Westwood simply knows big time golf. The Euro star plays well in events with strong fields and knows how to manage his game on the toughest tracks. Lee has played in only five PGA Tour events in 2010, but has made over a million already with three top-10 finishes including a runner up at the Masters. Westwood doesnt qualify for most of the official stats due to lack of rounds, but his 293 yard driving average and 71% greens hit mark are very nice to have at a long course. Lees 4.13 birdies per 18 and 69.2 scoring average would be among the best on Tour when he eventually qualifies and his consistency is evident by his 13 consecutive cuts made, the second longest current streak.
Middle of the Road: Nick Watney (33 to 1 odds to win)
Watney is still making a name for himself on Tour but hell be a household name if he continues to play the way he has in early 2010. Nick has made nine of ten cuts so far with four top-10s and a solo 7th at Augusta. Watney is among the best drivers on Tour, ranking 17th in total driving and a 9th best GIR% has him in the top-10 in ballstriking. The putter has been average at best this year but Watney still owns the 7th best birdie average and wins are only a hot week on the greens away.
Longshot: Boo Weekley (80 to 1 odds to win)
After a rough start to the season that saw as many missed cuts as checks cashed, Boo has righted the ship and reeled off four top-25s in his last five starts including consecutive top-12s in the last two weeks. Weekley is one of the best at finding the fairway with length and his 17th best greens hit mark goes well with that. The missed cuts in the early going were due to some poor putting, but the recent run of good finishes has been due to a hot streak and its always nice to back a player on the upswing. Weekley is a bit deeper than we usually go with this pick, but his T11 here last year makes the 80 to 1 a bit shorter than at first glance.
Hunter Mahan (-115) v. Padraig Harrington (-115) (Mahan)
Harrington has the name game won here but Mahan has clearly out performed Paddy this year and has the better stat sheet for a course like Quail Hollow. Mahan has the big edge in the driving categories and hits more greens as well. The putting game does favor Harrington but hell be putting a lot of pressure on himself if he keeps hitting the rough as much as he has been. Hunter may not make a ton of putts for birdie, but tap-ins for par are good on tough courses.
Sean OHair (-115) v. Matt Kuchar (-115) (Kuchar)
Betting against the defending champ can be hard as players are often riding high when coming back to someplace they have won before but Kuchar has a dominant edge in all the right stats in this match. Matt outranks his counterpart by large margins in greens, putting, birdies and scoring. Im not sure the good mojo that OHair will have returning to Quail Hollow is enough to overcome that.