Luke Donald Betting Favorite At The Barclays

By: Michael Robinson | Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Keegan Bradley is a long shot to duplicate his PGA Championship magic when he starts play at The Barclays golf tournament beginning Thursday.

The event will be held at the Plainfield Country Club in Edison, New Jersey. It’s the first time this tournament has been held at this venue and the third different location in the last four years.

The Barclays is the start of the PGA Tour playoffs, with the four events culminating with The Tour Championship and the $10 Million FedEx Cup top prize. Tiger Woods is not among the top-125 players eligible to play this week after missing so much time with injuries.

Bradley is the nephew of LPGA Hall-of-Famer Pat Bradley. He made history by becoming just the third golfer in over 100 years to win a major tournament on his first try. He won that PGA Championship in a playoff over Jason Dufner.

The 25-year-old Bradley also won in a playoff at the Byron Nelson Championship in May, but has finished 25th or worse in 16 of his 24 events this year. He has moved up to fifth in the FedEx Cup point standings, but is listed as a 50/1 long shot to win this week, with 18 golfers ahead of him.

Luke Donald (8/1) is the favorite this week. The world’s No. 1 player finished in the top-10 his last two tourneys, WGC-Bridgestone (tied for second) and the PGA Championship (tied for eighth). He’s fourth in the FedEx Cup standings with one PGA Tour win this year (three worldwide).

Steve Stricker (12/1) was in contention for his first major win at the PGA Championship, but a 73 on the final day ended in a tie for 12th. He does have two tour wins this year since June, the Memorial Tournament and John Deere Classic. He’s second in the FedEx Cup and won this tournament in 2007.

Adam Scott (15/1) has been in the news a lot lately after winning the WGC-Bridgestone with former Tiger Woods’ caddie Steve Williams by his side. Scott also finished seventh at the PGA Championship. He’s ranked 13th in the FedEx Cup.

Nick Watney (15/1) is ranked first for the FedEx Cup and will tee off the first two rounds with Stricker and No. 3 Webb Simpson. Watney has two PGA Tour wins this year and eight, top-10 finishes. He ended up just outside that range for the PGA Championship (tied for 12th).

Jason Day (18/1) is paired with Scott and Bill Haas for the first two rounds. Day is a fellow Australian like Scott and he’s still looking for his first win of the year, although he did finish second at both the Masters (a tie) and U.S. Open. He’s ranked 14th in the FedEx Cup.

Phil Mickelson (18/1) will tee off with Donald and the upstart Bradley. He’s the biggest name at any U.S. tourney he enters, as long as Woods is on the sidelines. The unpredictable lefty hasn’t done much in his three tournaments since a tie for second at the British Open. His one win this year was at the Shell Houston Open in April.

Matt Kuchar (25/1) is the defending champion of this event (-12), ending with a playoff win over Martin Laird. He’s still looking for his first win of the year, although he does have eight top-10 finishes. He’s 12th in the FedEx Cup.

Dustin Johnson is also 25/1, followed by Charles Howell III, David Toms, Rickie Fowler and Webb Simpson (all 30/1). There are six more golfers at 40/1 with the biggest names Jim Furyk and Sergio Garcia.

Simpson won last week at the Wyndham Championship with a -18 score.  That was his first PGA Tour win ever and while it wasn’t a great field, he still needs to be watched at these odds. The relative unknown from North Carolina has seven top-10 finishes to go along with that No. 3 FedEx Cup ranking.

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