It's the third installment of the the McGladrey Classic as we hit the Seaside links at Sea Island. We can obviously expect wind to be a factor here and some of my picks have been made with this in mind. We only have two previous editions of the McGladrey Classic to look at but those with form here the last two years should be prominent on the radar
The Seaside course is largely exposed with conditions set to play fast and firm in the wind. Greens will run at 12' on the stimp and good ball striking skills with control of flight will be important. Solid course management skills along with scrambling ability will be key, with putting the premium on greens measuring 7,000 sq feet in total. The Seaside track measures just over 7,000 yards and with only two years course form to go on, a good base to gauge potential runners is Harbour Town Links (RBC Heritage), a course requiring similar attributes to the McGladrey Classic test.
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2012 McGladrey classic Picks
Pick #1: Ben Curtis e/w @ 40/1 (general) gets the nod for the first time since his 150/1 winner for us earlier in the year. Curtis fits the criteria for the McGladrey Classic, rounding back into form with two top 25s in his last two starts. Ranking 6th in driving accuracy, 7th in strokes gained putting and 22nd in proximity to the hole, Curtis is a proven wind player having won the Open championship. He was 2nd at the Players and eleventh at the PGA at Kiawah Island in strong winds this year. Curtis placed tied 15th at the McGladrey in 2010 and was in contention after R3 last year before a final round 75.
Pick #2: Charles Howell @ 40/1 ew (general) Sea Island Seaside course record holder Charles Howell is one of the biggest underachievers on the PGA Tour yet still seems to continuously come in towards the head of the market. This week however, a price of 40/1 in a weak field and off the back of a T11 last week, he's a must pick for me. T6 at the McGladrey Classic 2010 after his closing 62.
Pick #3: Chad Campbell ew @ 100/1 (Hills) Since placing T4 at the Wyndham, Chad Campbell has been hit and miss, with poor opening rounds, followed by rounds in the sixties. This has led to 2/3 missed cuts but I think his current form is better than the stats suggest. Born and raised in the winds of Texas, Campbell is a very competent player when it blows as he showed in the 2011 Open Championship, placing T5. He opened with a 65 at The Heritage in 2011 en route to a T14 to show what he can do at a similar set up to the Seaside course.
Pick#4: Chez Reavie ew @ 150/1(PP) is a very interesting sleeper pick this week. He's had a bit of a quiet season compared to 2011 where he finished by posting two top 10s towards the back end, including a playoff loss at the Deutsche Bank. In 2011 he ranked 2nd in putting from 15-25' and ninth in ball striking. This season he sits 10th in driving accuracy and hit rounds of 65-68-68 over the weekend at the Frys to finish T16 so signs are maybe another strong finish to the season is on the cards, hopefully starting at the McGladrey
McGladrey Classic Sleeper Watch (all ew)
Along with Reavie, two more triple figures odds picks that catch the eye are Brian Gay (125) and Tim Petrovic (150). Petrovic had been off the radar due largely to family reasons but carded a final round -7 last week at the Frys to post a number in the clubhouse. He fell just short but being in form and ranking no. 1 in scrambling on tour and with windy conditions forecast this week, 150 /1 looks huge.
Gay has been quiet of late but still sits sixth in strokes gained putting. Brian can only really contend on the shorter tracks now and off the back of a top 30 last week, his price also looks big for this track. Gay ranks 2nd in scrambling in 2012 and has the attributes to go well at the McGladrey. We have seen him blitz fields on a couple of occasions when he's gotten out of the blocks fast.
As always, the sleeper picks are worth looking at ew in the first round leader market and as potential long odds back to lay trades
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