The Greenbrier Classic: Preview and Tips

The Greenbrier Classic: The Old White TPC, West Virginia

Course

This week the PGA Tour moves to the Old White TPC in West Virginia for the Greenbrier Classic. It will be a return to the course after last year was flooded and the course was damaged beyond what could have been repaired in time for the tournament.

Since then the course has been redone somewhat although the nature of the golf course has not been changed. All the greens have been ripped up and re-laid with bentgrass which should make them a little bit more of a challenge but the changes to the other parts of the course are purely cosmetic.

This is another Par-70 measuring just over 7280 yards and has some of the widest fairways on the Tour. The Greenbrier promises to be a scoring fest wide open to the field and luckily the weather is forecast to improve throughout the week.

The Course has two Par-5s, both on the back 9 and the 18th hole is a Par-3 which always makes things a little interesting.

Tournament Overview

Danny Lee is the defending champion of this tournament as the 2015 winner while other winners include Angel Cabrera (2014), Jonas Blixt (2013), Ted Potter Jr (2012) and Scott Stallings in (2011).

The field for this week’s tournament is weak with a lot of the players already having their eye on The Open just three weeks out. Some of the top ranked players on show this weekend include Kevin Kisner, Patrick Reed, Bill Hass and Phil Mickelson.

Danny Lee will also be making an appearance in order to try and defend his title. Tony Finau, Bubba Watson, Webb Simpson and David Lingmerth, Charles Howell III are some other notable names in the field.

Lee won the tournament in 2016 scoring a 13-under Par which still left him in a four-way playoff! Kevin Kisner was one of the players involved in that playoff.

The Wolf thinks this is going to be a tournament where the bombers can really take advantage and wedge their way onto the greens, although, there is room for the accurate players to flourish as well. Players that regularly drain their putts and excel on the greens will be the ones that will be able to pull away from the pack. You need to be aggressive and score plenty of birdies in order to stay in contention making for an exciting weekend.

Stats That Matter

The Wolf is all about the scoring stats this weekend. Here are some of the things that stand out:

– Strokes Gained: Tee to Green
– Strokes Gained: Putting
– Par 4 Scoring
– Ball Striking
– Scrambling

Putting seems to be the one thing that ties together the last few winners at The Greenbrier with Danny Lee, Angel Cabrera and Jonas Blixt all finishing inside the top 10 for strokes gained putting.

Scores of 267, 264, 276 and 264 respectively have been the winning totals in the last four editions of this championship so unless the weather really worsens, it is safe to assume we are looking at another early to mid-260’s total required to win this tournament.

Predictions

A weak field opens the door for lower ranked players to grab a win and secure their tenure on the main tour but it can also result in some of the favourites being over priced. The Wolf is going to avoid the bookmaker’s favourite, Patrick Reed and instead back Kevin Kisner at $23.00 as his pick to win the tournament.

Kisner has taken his game to another level this season and he has all the stats to back his claim. He is 31st in ball striking, 25th in strokes gained putting, 30th in scrambling and 31st in par 4 scoring. He is consistent across the board and good weekend on the greens could see add another win to his tally. Kisner won the Dean and Deluca a few weeks back and finished T6 at the Memorial the week after. He is in rare form and is way over the odds.

The Wolf also likes the chances of Tony Finau at $34.00. Finau has been consistent in the last month or so without really making the leap to the top of the leaderboard and this might just be the place for him to come good.

He has 4 top-30 finishes in his last 5 tournaments and is a prolific scorer when his putter starts to warm up. He ranks 11th or better in driving distance, greens in regulation and birdie average. The generous fairways on offer this week should keep his bogeys to a minimum and we could really see him shoot low on multiple days.

For the long shot, The Wolf is backing Stewart Cink at $51.00. His stats are phenomenal for this type of course and his recent form also stacks up. Cink has two top-10 finishes in his last four tournaments with the other two being T25 and T46. He is 20th in strokes gained putting and 8th in Par 4 scoring. All things considered he is the one player the Wolf recommends backing most aggressively since this a clear case of the market under pricing a quality player.

Recommended Bets

Tournament Winner

Best: Kevin Kisner ($23.00)
Value: Tony Finau ($34.00)
Roughie: Stewart Cink – Each way ($51.00/$13.50)

Tournament By Country

Top Aussie: Steven Bowditch ($12.00)
Top USA: Kevin Kisner ($14.00)
Top Europe: David Lingmerth ($2.50)
Top Rest of World: Sung Kang ($8.00)

72 Hole Match Bets

Big 6 v Field: The Field ($1.25)
Hass vs Lingmerth: Lingmerth ($1.92)
Bradley vs Henley: Russell Henley ($1.90)
Streelman vs Holmes: Kevin Streelman ($1.90)