Centurion Club, St Albans, UK
Team-focused match play over two days.
Instead of the traditional four-day, 72 hole stroke play, Greensomes format will take its place, with the teams selecting their best tee shot and playing the alternate shot thereafter.
On Saturday the teams will be split into four groups of four, similar to the UEFA Champions League football group stages with the top two teams from each group progress to the knockout stages – the quarter-finals, the semi-finals, a 3rd/4th place play-off match and the final – all of which will be contested on Sunday.
Of the 32 players, 19 have represented their country at professional level before.
1. ENGLAND: Chris Wood, Andy Sullivan
2. THAILAND: Thongchai Jaidee, Kiradech Aphibarnrat
3. AUSTRALIA: Sam Brazel, Scott Hend
4. SOUTH AFRICA: Darren Fichardt, Brandon Stone
5. DENMARK: Thorbjørn Olesen, Lucas Bjerregaard
6. FRANCE: Alexander Levy, Grégory Bourdy
7. SPAIN: Pablo Larrazábal, Alejandro Cañizares
8. WALES: Bradley Dredge, Jamie Donaldson
9. USA: Paul Peterson, David Lipsky
10. NETHERLANDS; Joost Luiten, Reinier Saxton
11. BELGIUM: Nicolas Colsaerts, Thomas Detry
12. SWEDEN: Johan Carlsson,Joakim Lagergren
13. INDIA: S.S.P Chawrasia, Chikkarangappa S
14. PORTUGAL: Ricardo Gouveia, José-Filipe Lima
15. ITALY: Matteo Manassero, Renato Paratore
16. SCOTLAND: Richie Ramsay, Marc Warren
The Course and set up
Located North-west of London, the Centurion Club near St Albans was designed by Simon Gidman in 2013. Many of the carries and rough areas feature indigenous fescue grasses which have occasionally been added across approaches to greens or across fairways to give the course a distinct links feel.
Raised tees well above fairway level provide spectacular views across the landscape with some 80 bunkers and four major water features on the entire 18 hole course.
Power: The 525 yard third hole is an opportunity for the players to demonstrate their power as the leader board is transformed into a long drive competition.
Shot clock: Speed is of the essence with the shot clock counting down from 40 seconds for each shot. There will be a stroke penalty for any breach of time, with digital clocks displayed at the green, fairway and tee.
Accuracy: This time, it’s about getting closest to the pin for the professionals.
Finale: The final hole on the six-hole circuit will feature post-match interviews. On Sunday, any play-offs will tee off from a special tee box.
• This event comprises of 16, two man teams. Of the 32 competitors, 24 have won a European Tour event.
• England’s Andy Sullivan is the highest ranked player from the Official World Ranking.
• France’s Alex Levy is the highest ranked player in the current Race to Dubai. Our 25-1 winner from last week :o)
Larrazabal/Canizares (Team Spain) 10-1 Bet 365
The Spanish pair have both won us a lot of money in the past. Pablo just missing out last week finishing third one shot back with Canizeres missing the cut. I just feel as a team they will gel and help each other’s games this week.
Peterson/Lipsky (Team USA) 16-1 888 Sport
Team USA my outside pick at 16-1, both players in really good form and having a great 2017 season. I think they will bounce of each other with the feeling of a Ryder Cup format and being on UK soil. Shop around you might be able to get higher odds. But a very good bet at 16-1.
Luiten/Saxton (Team Holland) 25-1 Sky Bet
Luiten has been knocking on the door a lot this year. A player in great form as for Saxton not that well known on the European tour. But has played as an Amateur for Holland back in 2008 in the Elsenhower Trophy where he finished tied ninth. So does hold some experience with this type of format, and not a bad partner in Luiten.
Wells Fargo Championship 2017
Phil Mickelson is back in North Carolina this week to compete in the Wells Fargo Championship. This event first took place in 2003 and the host course has been the Quail Hollow Club, Charlotte, North Carolina but it is being prepared for the venue as the PGA Championship in August so it will not be used for this tournament in 2017. The host course this year is the Eagle Point Golf Club, Wilmington, North Carolina.
The Past Winners
2016 James Hahn - 9
2015 Rory Mcilroy - 21
2014 J B Holmes - 14
2013 Derek Ernst - 8
2012 Rickie Fowler -14
2011 Lucas Glover -15
2010 Rory Mcllroy - 15
2009 Sean O'Hair - 11
2008 Anthony Kim - 16
2007 Tiger Woods - 13
The Eagle Point Golf Club, Wilmington, North Carolina.
A par 72 of 7396 yards with four par 5's and four par 3's and some of the par 4's are shorter than average so could see lots of birdies. It is flat course with tree lined fairways with just over 100 bunkers situated on the course whilst water hazards are a feature on seven holes. The Bermuda grass greens can be firm and play fast depending on the weather and some of them are multi-tiered. Scoring can be made harder because conditions can sometimes get windy here.
Players suited to this course
1. Six of the latest nine winners have been under the age of 28.
2. Eight of the last thirteen winners competed in the Masters in the year of their success.
3. Four of the last nine winners were obtaining their first PGA tour victory when they were successful here.
There is a change of venue this year so the trends may not apply so much. It is difficult to know for sure how this course will play as it has never hosted a PGA tournament previously but there are quite a lot of hazards here so players who are reasonably accurate and are able to putt well on fast greens may perform well this week. It has been noted from our team that it resembles a similar Augusta type set up.
Adam Scott 20-1 (AUS) Bet Victor 5 places
Good price at 20-1, of course with record of any PGA events staged here before. But on looking at the setup it is very similar to Augusta National. So been looking through the past few results from the Masters 2017. Adam Scott had a very good putting record at Augusta and finished tied ninth this year. Having a solid 2017 season with two top ten’s and five top 25’s.Back to his putting stats taken from the PGA Tour he is 1st from 8ft and 3rd from 4-8ft so could come in very handy come Sunday afternoon.
Phil Mickelson (USA) 25-1 Boyle Sports 6 places
I had to put big Phil in the mix this week. We all know his history record at the Masters, and this course might well help him with a few wider fairways.
His last results at the Wells Fargo have been very good:
- 2016 – Tied 4th
- 2015 – Tied 4th
- 2013 – Third
Very good odds at 25-1 with Boyle Sports paying 6 places.
Kevin Tway (USA) 100-1 Boyle Sports 6 places
A big each way bet here is Kevin Tway at 100-1,a very good price which I am sure will be down to around 80’s come Wednesday evening. Playing so well at the moment finished third last week and the week before was tied third again at the Valero Texas Open. A player under the bookies radar if he can make the cut this week be sure to have a great week.