I would like to welcome everyone to the 2012 Chevron World Challenge. This week’s event is a reduced field, with only 18 of the world best competing for the honor of being named this year’s Chevron World Champion. The players will be playing back in the United States this week at the beautiful Sherwood Country Club, located in sunny Thousand Oaks, California. Lets take a closer look at the golf course.
Sherwood Country Club
A course designed by Jack Nicklaus, Sherwood CC is a thinking mans track. Measuring 7027 yards, this Par 72 can give up scores in the mid 60’s but will also force some players to shoot in the mid 70’s. The course is carved through over 1800 fully matured oak trees, ensuring players must be accurate with both their tee and approach shots.
Sherwood is known as one of the most aesthetically pleasing courses in the world, but not a push over by any means. While you are watching this week I am sure many of you will be wishing you were walking this pristine track, something Jack Nicklaus tends to accomplish when he designs courses.
My favorite hole on the course is also Jack’s favorite finishing hole he has designed. The 444 yard, Par 4 18th will force players to hit an accurate drive and then a mid to long iron into a difficult green. The green is two tiered, slopping from back to front, and is guarded by thick rough, bunkers, and a water hazard featuring a waterfall. The 18th is truly a combination of beauty and difficulty.
Below is a list of the field playing in this week’s tournament.
Tiger Woods – A 5time winner of this tournament.
Jim Furyk – Won here in 2009
Bo Van Pelt
Graeme McDowell- won here in 2010
With the terrific group compiled we know great golf will be on display all week. Odds makers have Tiger favored very big at 2.75 to 1. We will not be taking him though. There is absolutely no value and until he proves he is deserving of these ridiculous odds again, why would you lay such a short price. With that being said, here is our 4-Pack for this week.
Steve’s “4 Pack” Picks (Outright Winner)
*(Note, we will lay 2 units on each player)*
Jim Furyk 13.5 TO 1 – Jim has dealt with his share of heartbreak on the golf course this season. He lost a playoff in March at The Transitions Championship to Luke Donald. We then all remember the collapse at the United States Open on the final holes, eventually losing to Webb Simpson. Here at Golfpicks we reaped the benefits to the sound of a 60 to 1 winner when Keegan Bradley beat Jim Furyk on the final hole at the WGC – Bridgestone Invitational. Jim then got out to a sizzling start through two rounds at the Tour Championship but ended up finishing in solo 7th thanks to weekend rounds of 72.
Possibly the hardest on Furyk was his poor showing at the Ryder Cup where he helped the team collapse on the final day to lose to the European’s at Medinah (he went 1-2-0). With all this heartache, 2012 will soon be forgotten by Furyk; but I feel a 2nd win at Tigers event would put a smile on his face. He has one of the best career records at this tournament with his finishes going as follows ( 2011- T6, 2010- 11th, 2009 – Win, 2008 – T5, 2007 – 3rd, 2004 – 6th, 2002 – 6th, 2001 – 15th). I look for Jim to be in contention yet again this week and utilize his excellent short game towards a possible win.
Zach Johnson 16 TO 1 – Zach Johnson is another player who has enjoyed plenty of success at Sherwood CC. Last year he fell just 1 shot back of Tiger Woods, finishing in solo 2nd. He has also managed finishes of 2010 – T9, 2009 – T5, and 2007 – 2nd. Zach has enjoyed a terrific 2012, as he managed two wins to go along with 2 runner ups. His 1st victory came at the end of May at the Crowne Plaza Invitational, beating out Jason Dufner in a two man race on the final day. Zach’s 2nd win however meant much more to the Georgia resident.
Johnson won his hometown John Deere Classic thanks to a great playoff shot. He was in the left hand bunker and hit an amazing draw to less than a foot. You could see after he tapped the putt in how much the Tournament meant to him, as he broke down with emotion. Johnson possesses plenty of course knowledge this week at Sherwood CC and the type of short game needed to pick up a victory. Zach is also the type of player who will not falter on the final holes if he has the lead.
Graeme McDowell 27 TO 1 – This does not make any sense to me that Graeme McDowell has some of highest odds this week. He has struggled a bit with his game of late but his success here should overshadow that. In his 1st start at this tournament (2009) he finished just 1 shot back of Jim Furyk and in solo 2nd. In 2010 Graeme produced one of the most memorable finishes at this tournament. Tiger Woods and Graeme were in a playoff and McDowell sunk a beautiful breaking putt that eventually won him the tournament. He did not play last year but his success over the 2 years he has is amazing.
Graeme is the type of player who gets very hot and makes plenty of birdies. Lately he has not been hitting his irons with precision, something that he relies on. I did however see an interview last week where he said that his game was extremely close and he was looking forward to the 2013 season. A 2nd victory at the 2012 edition of the Chevron World Challenge would be a great way for Graeme to ease into what I expect will be a big 2013 season.
Ian Poulter 13.5 TO 1 – Ian is currently playing the best golf of his career. He has been posting Top 5’s over the past few months and was the main reason for Europe’s amazing victory at the 2012 edition of the Ryder Cup. I feel that this week Ian will look to make a statement toward Tiger Woods that he is here to stay. This might sound silly to some of you but Ian has stated for years that he has the potential to be the best player in the world. Many people did not take him seriously but I feel they are now.
Poulter seems to be sinking every putt he looks at within 15 feet. I feel that Ian will have one of the best seasons in 2013 and contend in a few majors ( The Masters and Open Championship come to mind). I feel he is one of the best iron players in world and possibly the best putter. Look for him to enjoy Sherwood Country Club this week as he has had success during his two appearances here. In 2010 Ian finished T6, while in 2009 he finished T5. You will see some major fist pumps if it is Tiger and Ian battling on Sunday.
There will be no Head to Head selections this week.
THIS WILL BE OUR FINAL TOURNAMENT OF THE SEASON. We have enjoyed one of the most successful years ever and look to end it with yet another victory. As of today we are up 119.35 units on the season (outright winners, head to head and Ryder Cup). This means we achieved our 7th straight winning season and completed our goal of profiting over 100 units for the season. I will take the start of December to get everything ready for next season as it starts January 6th in Hawaii with the Hyundai Tournament of Champions.
Please have a happy and safe holiday season and we look forward to another amazing year in 2013.