Hilton Head, South Carolina
Par 71, 7,101 yards.
Hilton Head is a tight course with tree lined fairways and small greens so driving accuracy and greens in regulation will be two key stats to look at. With these greens being some of the smallest on tour, good scramblers and putters also tend to do well on this course. Hilton Head also tends to be quite windy so be on the lookout for good wind players.
The main stats to consider here are driving accuracy, GIR, par 4 scoring, scrambling and proximity to the hole. Unlike last week in Augusta National, you don’t need to be long on this course so a lot of the shorter more accurate players should come into the mix. Weather forecast is set for possible rain and thunder but the wind is predicted to be light, however there may be some weather delays.
Zach Johnson 20/1
Johnson seems to be a player that should really suit this course and ticks a lot of the statistical boxes. He comes into this week after missing the cut at The Masters but that wouldn’t hugely concern me here. Before the Masters, he had a good week at The Texas Open finishing in T6th on a total of five under par for the tournament. He was showing some very good form earlier in the season with a win at The Hyundai Tournament of Champions, T8 at The Sony in Hawaii and a T3rd at The Humana Challenge.
Zach finished second here in 2012 and sixth in 2007 so he has good previous form at Hilton Head. Statswise he ranks sixth in driving accuracy, 15th in GIR, 52nd in strokes gained putting, 13th I scrambling and seventh in par 4 performance. He also ranks third in putts from 25 feet which should be a big help around these small greens. He played well in Texas recently and should be a big contender here.
Luke Donald 18/1
Luke Donald is another player with a good history at Hilton Head. He finished third last year, 37th in 2012, second in 2011, third in 2010 and second gain in 2009. Luke’s form has been good lately playing well at The Valspar Championship a couple of weeks ago finishing T4th. He also played well at The Honda Classic at PGA National finishing in T8th.
Donald ranks seventh in strokes gained putting, third in scrambling, first in GIR from 100 yards and eighth in total putting. He is also a very accurate iron player which should be a huge advantage around this tight course. With great previous form here over the years, not to mention some good recent performances, Luke could be another big danger man here this week.
Harris English 25/1
English is having a good season so far and has been in the winner’s circle already this year with a victory at The OHL Classic in El Cameleon in Mexico back in November. Hilton Head is a similar layout to El Cameloen in that both courses demand accuracy off the tee, good GIR stats, are similar in length (6,923 yard par 71) and are prone to windy conditions. This is a big reason why I think this man could go very well here.
He has also shown some good recent from with 9th at The Phoenix Open, T10th at The Northern Trust Open, T9th at The Accenture Matchplay, T16 at The Cadillac and most recently a T14 finish in Bay Hill. He has played well here in the past finishing eighth back in 2012. English also seems to tick the statistical boxes here ranking 30th in total driving, second in GIR, first in par 4 performance and second in par 5 performance. He is playing well at present and has proven that he can win on tight windy courses before, which makes him a big threat here this week.
Will MacKenzie 40/1
MacKenzie is a player right on the cusp of a win and it could be any day now. He has four top seven’s in his last seven starts and is a player bang in form at the moment. He played well at The Farmers in Torrey Pines finishing T7th, T6th at The Honda Classic, T4th at The Valspar Championship and most recently, he played well at The Texas Open finishing T2nd.
He ranks 34th in total driving, 32nd in GIR, 11th in strokes gained putting, 17th in par 4 performance, third in par 3 performance and 12th in par 5 performance. He also ranks 28th in total putting and 13th in birdie or better conversion percentage. All in all a very solid player so far this season and looks to be knocking on the door for the last few weeks.
Chris Stroud 33/1
Chris is playing well over the last few weeks with three top 12’s in his last five starts. He had a good week at The Honda finishing T12th and followed that with a T9th in Puerto Rico. Most recently, he finished T12th at The Houston Open shooting seven under par in total. Stroud also performed well earlier in the season with a T3 at The OHL Classic in El Cameleon, which as I mentioned above, is similar to Hilton Head. He also had a good performance here last year finishing sixth.
Statswise he ranks 45th in driving accuracy, 27th in GIR, sixth in par 3 performance and 13th in par 4 performance. Stroud also has good putting stats ranking 16th in total putting and fourth in scrambling, which will be a big help on these small, tricky greens.
Zach Johnson 2 pts/4 pts ew
Luke Donald 2 pts/4 pts ew
Harris English 1.5 pts/3 pts ew
Will MacKenzie 1 pt/2 pts ew
Chris Stroud 1 pt/2 pts ew
Total staked – 15 pts
Good luck and enjoy the golf,
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