The McGladrey Classic Betting Preview

McGladrey Classic

Seaside Course, Sea Island, Georgia
7,055 yards, Par 70

The Course

The PGA Tour travels to the windy Seaside Course in Georgia this week, where local resident Chris Kirk is the defending champion. This course is a par 70 and was developed in 1999 by designer Tom Fazio and can be a tough test, especially if the wind gets up. It has two par 5’s, four par 3’s and 12 par 4’s.

Previous winners include Heath Slocum (2010), Ben Crane (2011), Tommy Gainey (2012), and Chris Kirk (2013). The main thing that stands out here is that length is not important, however SGP, greens in regulation and par 4 scoring stats are certainly worth mentioning.

The Seaside Course has links style bermuda greens that have tricky run off areas which could be penalizing if the ball doesn’t stay on the short grass. The fairways are quite generous but any wayward tee shots could find long grass or one of the many strategically placed bunkers.

The main areas of focus for me this week are the usual, current form and previous form, SGP,GIR, par 4 scoring, strokes gained tee to green and proximity to the hole.

Webb Simpson 2

Webb Simpson 14/1
Webb had a great start to the new season last week at The Shriners Open in Vegas shooting four rounds in the sixties to finish 15 under par and T4th for the week. He also had a good finish to the 2013/2014 season with a T5 at The Wyndham, T9 at The Deutsche Bank and a respectable T23 at The Tour Championship in East Lake.

Simpson has a great record here at The Seaside Course finishing T7 last year, second in 2011 losing to Ben Crane in a playoff and T12th in 2010. Last week Webb ranked second in GIR and GIR tee to green, 10th in par 4 birdie or better leaders and first in GIR from 75 yards and 100 yards. After a good week in Vegas combined with a great record here over the last few years, it’s hard to bet against Webb this week.

Bill Haas pic 1

Bill Haas 16/1
Haas played well towards the end of the season not finishing worse than T16 in his last five events. He finished T2 at The Wyndham which included a final round 64, a T15 at The Barclays, T9 at The Deutsche Bank, T16 at The BMW Championship and 16th place finish at The Tour Championship. Haas also has a good record at The Seaside course finishing second in 2010 in his one and only appearance.

He also ticks a lot of boxes statswise, ranking 15th in GIR, 17th in strokes gained tee to green, 38th in par 4 performance and third in par 5 performance last season. He also ranked sixth in GIR from 150 yards and eighth in proximity form the sand, which will be a big help if he gets himself into some of these tricky greenside and fairway bunkers. This could be an event where Haas could really flourish, especially after finishing the season so well recently.

Scott Brown Pic 1

Scott Brown 33/1
Scott Brown arrives to Sea Island this week with two top 12 finishes in his last two events. He started the season well at The Frys with a T12 finishing on ten under par for the tournament. He then followed that with another good performance in TPC Summerlin last week shooting a final round 66 to finish T10th on thirteen under par. In his previous two appearances here, Brown finished T20 in 2012 and T4 here last year.

So far this season he ranks 15th in strokes gained putting, 30th strokes gained tee to green, 14th in par 4 birdie or better leaders, fourth in par four scoring and 33rd in proximity to the hole. After starting the season well, I expect Brown to continue that good form this week in a weaker field.

Tony Finau pic 1

Tony Finau 50/1
Finau has been riding on the crest of a wave recently with five top 20 finishes, including two top 10’s, in his last six events. He finished the Web.com season well with good performances at The Hotel Fitness Championship (T19), The Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship (T6) and The Web.com Tour Championship finishing T14th. He has started his PGA Tour season exceptionally well with a T12 at The Frys and a T7 at The Shriners Open last week in Vegas.

Statswise he ranks 20th in GIR, fourth in strokes gained tee to green, first in par 5 performance and 37th in par 4 birdie or better leaders. With a great start to the season, Finau could be one to watch here this week.

Robert Streb pic 1

Robert Streb 66/1
Streb is another player that as started the season well with a respectable T31 at The Frys and a T10 last week at The Shriners. He also had a good finish to the season with good performances at The Barracuda Championship (T14), The Wyndham (T18) and a T9 finish at The Deutsche Bank Championship.

He is also another player that seems to fit the bill in terms of stats. He ranks 35th in strokes gained tee to green, first in par 4 scoring, 25th in total putting and 15th in approaches from 125-150, which is a big plus for approaches into the par 4’s. With a T10 last week, he’ll be arriving here with a lot of confidence and should have a good week.

Final Selections
Webb Simpson 2pts EW at 14/1
Bill Haas 2pts EW at 16/1
Scott Brown 1 pt EW at 33/1
Tony Finau 1 pt EW at 50/1
Robert Streb 1 pt EW at 66/1
Total staked = 14 pts

Good luck and enjoy the golf,

DB

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