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The Ryder Cup was a memorable/forgettable distraction depending on where your loyalties lie but for the PGA Tour’s rank and file it’s time to get to work again.
This is the first of six tournaments over the next seven weeks that offer a chance for those outside the world’s top 50 to improve status and secure full playing privileges for 2024 by finishing in the top 125.
That also applies to the tournament favorite, European Ryder Cup star Ludvig Aberg.
The Swede, who teamed up with Viktor Hovland to deliver a record 9&7 foursomes beating to Scottie Scheffler and Brooks Koepka, is 136th in the FedExCup rankings.
While he already has a card locked up after qualifying via PGA TOUR University, the 23-year-old needs to finish in the top 60 in the FedExCup rankings to secure spots in the 2024 PLAYERS Championship, the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am and the Genesis Invitational.
He’s the clear betting favorite this week and has an incentive.
Five others in the field already have their top 50 places secured so bettors playing the ‘more relaxed, free hit’ angle should look to Eric Cole, Lee Hodges, Tom Hoge, Adam Svensson, and Emiliano Grillo.
Home American players had a good run in this event but in the last four years, we’ve seen winners from Canada, Spain, and Colombia.
|Champion and winning score
Mackenzie Hughes (Canada) -17
Sam Burns (United States) -22
Sergio Garcia (Spain) -19
Sebastian Munoz (Colombia) -18
Cameron Champ (United States) -21
Ryan Armour (United States) -19
Cody Gribble (United States) -20
Peter Malnati (United States) –18
Nick Taylor (Canada) -16
Woody Austin (United States) -20
Aberg won two of his four matches in a solid Ryder Cup debut and is the only one of the 24 Rome players on show pegging it up here. It’s easy to strike a line through him on grounds of fatigue but history shows that those contesting Ryder Cups often thrive the week after. This is his course debut but before the showdown at Marco Simone, he’d gone 10-1-4 on the DP World Tour.
Cole, a late bloomer, has had a superb 2023 although has yet to get the win. Is this the week? A runner-up at the Honda Classic, he’s continued to thrive and followed a run of 14-31-25 across August with a top four in last month’s Fortinet Championship. He missed the cut here last year but did shoot a 68 in round two.
The 34-year-old from Munich, Germany has six Korn Ferry wins but none at PGA Tour level. Plenty have made the breakthrough in this event which bodes well, as does his current run of 14 straight cuts which include seven top 25s. He’s 4-for-6 at Country Club of Jackson with finishes of 30-26-MC-14 in his last four.
Seven of the last 11 winners of this event were landing their very first victory on the PGA Tour.
Beau Hossler will be hoping to make that eight in 12 and, at +2800, is worth a bet to do so.
Still just 28 years old, the American is 2-for-2 in this event and on debut was third with a lap to go before posting tied 10th.
The former University of Texas grad has been showing strong form over the last few months.
Tied 26th at the John Deere, a sixth place in the Barracuda Championship sparked a run of three top 20s in four starts.
After sitting out the FedExCup Playoffs, there was perhaps a little rust gathering but he still managed 30th in the Fortinet Championship and that should allow him to kick on here.
Hossler says he’s playing his best golf in years so back him each-way (1/4, 5 places) with bet365.
Davis Thompson should have good support in Mississippi this week as he hails from neighboring Alabama.
The 24-year-old made both cuts here when still a Korn Ferry Tour player and returns in decent shape after ending the previous campaign with tied 22nd at the Wyndham Championship and starting the Fall events with a top 30 in the Fortinet.
He ranked 5th for Par 5 Scoring last season so should be able to make hay on the four long holes this week.
Akshay Bhatia hit the headlines when returning to his native California to capture the Barracuda Championship at the end of July but he’s struggled since.
Many first-time winners take a dip and Bhatia has followed that win with a pair of missed cuts. He also failed to make the weekend on his only start here in 2019.
Thompson holds the better hand so back him to beat Bhatia in a 72-hole match at -134 with bet365.
With the rough reported to be less thick than usual, that could be good news for Peter Kuest, who smashes it a mile but not always straight.
The 25–year–old enjoyed a spike in form in the summer when posting tied fourth at the Rocket Mortgage Classic and tied 17th in the John Deere Classic.
He was a combined 35-under for those two events so birdie-fests suit him.
With that in mind, back Kuest for a Top 20 at +280 with bet365.
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Dave Tindall is former golf editor at SkySports.com and Golf365.com and has been writing betting previews for the PGA Tour and European Tour since 1997. He has also written for a range of betting companies, including William Hill and Betfair, as well as being a regular columnist for Rotoworld, The Guardian, Sporting Life and Planet Sport. His other area of speciality is football while he's also covered cricket and tennis.
Email: [email protected]More info on Dave Tindall
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