Back to winning ways last week as Gmac delivered following a poor March which saw a few near misses. This week, phase 2 of the mailing list is open, which includes the Ballantines selections and staking plan.
Moving on to the Zurich Classic and the market is a very top heavy one. Plenty of short prices on runners that wouldn't fill me with too much confidence so, as is often the case, they are there to be opposed and we are left with some nice value further down the field. Power hitters generally have an advantage at the Zurich Classic around TPC Louisiana and scoring tends to be quite low. Fairways are generous and greens are undulating with many guarded by deep pot bunkers so we are looking at a second shot course with emphasis on proximity to the hole and good lag putting....
Ernie Els is a man that gets the attention where two-putt pars take precedence over birdies on many holes and indeed the "Big Easy" only lost out in a playoff here last year, shooting an average of 67 over the four rounds. Ernie finished top 15 at Augusta with a similar brief two weeks back and also ranks an eye catching 1st in eagles this year, which suggest he's playing par fives well and that could be key to scoring this week at the Zurich Classic.
KJ Choi has returned to form over the past few weeks with a recent record of -6-46-18. Again, Choi is a player who excels from tee to green. Despite a mediocre start to 2013, Choi still ranks 25th in proximity to the hole and the Korean hasn't finished outside the top 40 at the Zurich classic in his last four starts, which includes a 3rd place here in 2011
Chris Kirk is arguably the best ew value for me at 60/1 (six places). With three top 30s in his last three starts, form is there and I've noticed Kirk tends to do better when under the radar. I'd tend to ignore the narrow Zurich Classic missed cut last year and focus on his attributes to tackle TPC Louisiana. Kirk ranks 10th in the all round, 4th in strokes gained putting and an eye catching 1st in approaches from 125-150 yards and can also benefit from the generous fairways this week
Robert Garrigus is another who stands out at a price. Strangely enough he has three missed cuts here but he's a completely different player now to what he was a few years back. Garrigus posted a top 25 at the RBC last week despite three doubles and tweeted that he was striking it well and just needed to keep the big mistakes off the card. Again, the expansive landing areas can help him do this and he can potentially dismantle the par fives.
Zurich classic sleeper watch
Scott Piercy and Boo Weekly both get the nod in the staking plan this week. It's a couple of top fifteens here for Boo in recent years and he's been simmering this season thus far while Piercy was doing a Twitter Q&A last night and seemed in good spirits and mentioned his game was in good shape. He finished 13th here last year and the course should suit. As always you can follow me on twitter: @Nicspicks for in running thoughts and advice.
Zurich Classic staking plan - all prices from Monday's email and remember Stanjames are places 1-6 again this week.
Pick #1: 1pt ew Ernie Els @ 40/1 (Stanjames places 1-6)
Pick #2: 1pt ew KJ Choi @ 40/1(Betvic 1-6)
Pick #3: 0.75pts ew Chris Kirk @ 60/1 (Stanjames places 1-6)
Pick #4: 0.75pts ew Robert Garrigus @ 60/1 (Bet365 - £200 in free bets)
Pick #5: 0.75pts ew Scott Piercy @ 66/1 (Ladbrokes)
Pick #6: 0.75pts ew Boo weekly @ 80/1 (Stanjames places 1-6)
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