It's the total opposite theme this week to the 'hanging on for dear life' one at an exciting Merion for the US Open. Quiet so far, come Thursday the appetite will be whetted once again as pars are not the brief on either side of the pond - birdies, and plenty of them are there to be had. "Go low or go home" is a phrase some of you may be familiar with regards to the Travelers Championship and a quick look through recent leaderboards at the BMW International Open show the aggressive birdie makers are also prominent in that event..
Rickie Fowler is the man grabbing my attention towards the top of the Travelers Championship market. With progressive form of 54 / 37 culminating in a top ten at the US Open, Fowler also hit a top 15 here last time he visited. He fits the Travelers Championship birdie making profile and according to the PGA Tour site, greens will be only about 10.5 on the stimp which will suit Rickie's aggressive putting style.
Stanjames are top price every player in the Travelers Championship field and most prices quoted weekly on Nicspicks are with them - sign up here (often 6 places)
Bo Van Pelt is another who is just inside the 'value bracket' here IMO at 40/1 6 places. There are not many with more consistent form here at the Travelers championship than BVP who averages 19th in seven starts at TPC River Highlands excluding his missed cut in 2008. Bo has been in solid if not sparkling form this season but is a regular high up in the total driving and total birdies stat which should stand him in good stead on the back of a T21 at both Memorial and Merion.
BMW International Open - Stanjames the only bookie going places 1-6 on this
The top of the BMW Interntional Open market looks very thin value wise with only really Alex Noren (28/1) representing any for me out of the top 10 or so. I'd rather back him on the exchanges with a view to trading should he start fast though.
It's Paul Casey who I was drawn to here at 50/1 6 places (early best price from members email). Casey has been showing repeated signs this season of a return to the lofty heights he once occupied on the world stage and a strong challenge is just around the corner. Casey has hit five more than solid rounds from his last eight and only a poor final round left him finishing T45 at the US Open after mixed fortunes at the Nordea Masters. With three recent top 3s in Munich, he looks the value of the pack for me.
Elsewhere, a couple of outsiders get my attention with Coral opening 100/1 on Gregory Bourdy. Bourdy has course form here and indeed opened with a 67 in 2010. His current form consists of four top 25s in his last six, culminating with a T8 last time out and he looks a very big price in this company.
Graeme Storm was one I mentioned on Twitter as a "first round machine" during his day 1 exploits in Austria and indeed that's been backed up by stats of 6 first round leads and another 14 places in his last 250 or so appearances (most at huge prices) and this week I'll be putting my money where my mouth is in the first round leader market at 125/1 ew.
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There are a few more bets I like this week and you can see a list of all official selections and staking plan on the spreadsheet here now (all prices from members area email) and, as always, follow me on Twitter: @nicspicks for more thoughts and insight
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