Charles Howell lll
This week sees the tour pitch up in West Virginia at The Old White TPC course at the Greenbrier Resort. The course was designed by the first ever winner of the US Amateur Championship, Charles Blair Macdonald in 1914. Charles was born in Canada but was shipped of to St Andrews University where he fell in love with golf.
Located in White Sulphur Springs, the course was named after the famed Old White Hotel, which stood on these grounds from 1858 to 1922. You will see a lot of that Scottish influence on this course, where Macdonald used some of the courses he played in Scotland as a template, the 8th hole is based on the Redan at North Berwick, the 13th on the Alps at Prestwick and the 15th on the Eden course at St Andrew's.
President Woodrow Wilson was one of the first golfers to play at The Old White course in April of 1914. The Old White is a very strategic course with wide fairways and challenging, undulated greens.
In 2001 Lester George was commissioned to restore The Old White Course, bringing back many of the original features to this Charles Blair Macdonald masterpiece. All 18 greens, as well as the practice putting and pitching greens have been reconstructed with minor tweaks and narrowing fairways, lengthening to 7,274-yards and expanding the lake on the16th.
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My tips to win:
Bill Haas 18/1 with SportingBet went through a bit of a mid season crisis missing three cuts on the spin following The Masters. Thankfully it all seems to be back on track after making the Top 25 in all five of Bills following starts which includes two Top 5s one of which was at the US Open, the other was a charity event just after the US Open. Haas had a thirteenth place finish at last weekends Quicken Loans tournament and will be looking forward to teeing it up on a track where he has had a runner-up finish.
Two years ago Kevin Kisner 16/1 with Ladbrokes also had a runner-up finish here firing a final round 64 that see him storm up the learderboard. Kevin already has a win this year and two runner-up finishes and two other Top 10s and will know doubt be looking forward to this week.
It has been a strange year for Webb Simpson 28/1 with UniBet with three missed cuts and four Top 16 finishes, but the North Carolinian does have a good record over the Old White course with three Top 10s from six starts, which also includes two missed cuts a bit like his season really.
My each-way tips:
Another players that has been on a bit of a rollercoaster is Keegan Bradley 33/1 UniBet with six missed cuts this year, but things seem to be back on track over the last couple of weeks, a win in the charity event just after the US Open has seen Keegan bag two Top 10 finishes which should see him in buoyant mood this week.
After spending most of the season out with a rib injury Charles Howell lll 40/1 Bet365 came back with a bang at the weekend and just missed out in a play-off for the Quicken Loans title. The lad from Augusta, Georgia has not really played well over the Old White course with only one Top 10 finish here, but I am sure he will be bouncing to the tee this week after last weekends performance.
My outside tips:
There are a couple of decent outside tips this week. Sean OHair 75/1 with Bet365 is another player who has had a strange year that started so well, he made it four missed cuts when he crashed out of the US Open just when you thought he had gotten back on track with two Top 5 finishes one of which was a runner-up. A couple of weeks rest and practice will hopefully see the Texan back to form this week.
Johnson Wagner 90/1 Bet365 seems to enjoy the Old White course and has a runner-up finish here. Johnson had five consecutive missed cuts recently but a Top 5 at the weekend and coming back here could just be the positive vibes he needs to challenge this week.
As always good luck