A strong line-up will contest this week’s Transitions Championship at the Copperhead Course in Innisbrook, Florida.
This course is not your typical Floridian course, mainly because the fairways are tight. This tree-lined layout might play to a yardage over 7,300 but solid ball-strikers generally rule the roost over the long-hitters as all the par 5’s are reachable in two, even for average hitters.
Wind tends to play havoc in Florida at this time of year but the players in the Transitions field this week should be wearier of the heavy, thick rough as well as the final stretch of holes, dubbed “The Snake Pit” which will ensure that this year’s Transitions Championship is a stern but fair test of golf.
A world-class field tees-up at Copperhead, including Nick Watney (20/1 Tournament Winner @ Boylesports
), Webb Simpson (20/1) and the reigning Players champion, K.J. Choi (50/1). The Korean is no stranger to success at the Transitions Championship having claimed victories in this event in 2002 & 2006.
Five of the top six players on last year’s PGA Tour money list are also part of the 144-strong field this week and one of those is the former world number one Luke Donald (11/1). The Englishman finished tied 6th on his last appearance at Innisbrook and is a worthy favourite this time round on a course that really suits his golf game.
Another golfer who has seemingly taken to Copperhead like a duck to water is last year’s winner Gary Woodland (50/1). The 27-year-old is noted as one of the biggest hitters on tour but he changed his golfing mind-set in this tournament last year, usually taken a 2-iron off the tee to keep the ball in play.
One player familiar with seeing his ball on the fairway after every tee shot is Stephen Ames (200/1). The Canadian has a fine record over the years at Innisbrook and he could spring a big surprise at massive odds this week.
There’s also a strong international flavour to the Transitions Championship field this year with Justin Rose (16/1), Jason Day (33/1), Padraig Harrington (66/1), Sergio Garcia (33/1), Camillo Villegas (100/1), Ryo Ishikawa (66/1), Louis Oosthuizen (100/1), Peter Hanson (40/1), Jhonattan Vegas (200/1) and Charl Schwartzel (16/1) all teeing up, the latter set to make his first appearance at Innisbrook.
One of the most surprise and eye-catching participants is young English golfer Tom Lewis (150/1), who makes his PGA Tour debut at the age of 21.
Transitions Championship Betting Tips:
Matt Kuchar 25/1
Kuchar had a stellar weekend of iron play at last week’s WGC Cadillac Championship and there’s no reason to suggest this class act won’t continue that form over to the Transitions Championship. Kuchar grew up in the Florida area and currently lives in Sea Island so has tonnes of experience in playing in windy conditions
Webb Simpson 20/1
He is one of the finest ball-strikers on tour and arguably the best putter. Simpson plays exceptional on bermuda grass courses and his runner-up finish here last year means he’s a cracking bet for this year’s Transitions Championship
Big-priced e/w selections:
Heath Slocum 150/1, Brian Gay 125/1, Rory Sabbatini 125/1, Brendon de Jonge 125/1