PGA Tour Golf Betting: Johnson Leads St Jude Classic Market Ahead of Last Chance To Seal US Open Spot

Next stop Memphis and the St. Jude Classic will be the last chance saloon to book a US Open spot. Force yourself into the top 60 in the world come the end of play and book your ticket for the second major of the year - that's the brief for the likes of three time major winner Padraig Harrington - 101.0.

Speaking of the US Open, there was the little matter of the sectional qualifying yesterday all around the US where a number of players claimed their spot at Chambers Bay. Form from these qualifiers often goes unnoticed in prices for the St. Jude Classic and it's an angle I often look to try and exploit.

We have a decent field assembled this week with some of the bigger names opting to try and hone their skills with competitive action in Tennessee. 2012 St. Jude Classic winner and major champion in waiting Dustin Johnson tees it up and Phil Mickelson - 15.00 - will also feature; Phil posted a runner up spot here last year. Billy Horschel - 17.00 - is the man with the current and course form concoction and could prove the one to beat, while Ben Crane defends at 151.00.


The course - TPC Southwind

A tight treelined track with numerous water hazards lurking for the errant, TPC Southwind has played the toughest par 70 (7,239 yards) outside the majors in two of the last three years. Fairways and greens (averaging just over 5,000 feet) are annually some of the hardest to hit on tour. Par 4 performance and bogey avoidance are always the key stats to look at around here. We've seen all sorts of winners at TPC Southwind from bombers like the aforementioned Dustin Johnson - who leads the market at 7.0 - and Harrish English, to short accurate plotters like Gay, Leonard and Toms. The latter two of that trio have both won multiple times at TPC Southwind. Big-hitter Robert Garrigus - 251.0 - exploded here on hole no. 72 making triple in 2010 and eventually lost the playoff.


Three from the pack

Russell Knox - 61.00 or 13.00 - ticks all the boxes this week. The Scot has had an excellent season with a myriad of top 20s to choose from including the Players Championship and last week at Memorial. Knox's best finishes this season are a pair of 3rd places at the Shriners and the Honda classic. Russell hit over 80% of fairways at Memorial and ranks 20th in Driving Accuracy in '15. He's 8th in GIR% and an eye catching 3rd in par 4 performance and T9 in bogey avoidance. His form coming here shows a progressive reading of T58 - T24 - T18.

Jason Bohn - 51.00 or 12.00 - is another to stand out in the key stats department this week, sitting 4th in par 4 performance, and before Memorial last week he was 5th in bogey avoidance. Bohn has form at TPC Southwind with a number of top 30s to his name in the St. Jude Classic. A T9 at the Wells Fargo was followed by a runner up finish at Colonial, just one stroke off the winning total and a challenge could be on the cards.

Will Wilcox - 67.00 or 15.00 - comes into the week ranked 4th in GIR% and 25th in driving accuracy. He posted a top 20 on his TPC Southwind debut last year. 8th in total driving and 3rd in ball striking, Will also ranks high (26) in par four performance but above all else, he sits top of the tree 1st in bogey avoidance. If we are looking to statistically profile the winner this week, this may be your man at a decent quote. The 29 year old was 22nd last time out at the Byron Nelson, shooting  rounds of 68-67-67-67.


Sleeper watch

There are a number of big odds players on the radar this week but Camillo Villegas - 81.00 or 19.00 - has a standout record at TPC Southwind and when a player puts up such great numbers on a certain track, he's hard to ignore. Villegas' current form line makes for terrible reading after an encouraging run of four top 30s in four strong events earlier in the year but I refer back to the angle I mentioned earlier: The Colombian found something at memorial, posting a T40 finish and then went down to Brookside to qualify for the US Open. Villegas carded a round of -8 in the process. He returned to the winner's enclosure last year at Wyndham and the multiple PGA Tour winner can get the job done. 

Quick mention for David Toms - 101.00 or 21.00 - who owns an incredible form line here, especially towards the beginning of the noughties which included two wins. That propelled him to the top of the St. Jude Classic money earners and Toms - although just missing out on US Open qualification - posted a 65 2nd round in Memphis on Monday so his game is there or there abouts. Carl Pettersson and Roberto Castro (also qualified for the US Open) may also be worth a glance this week.