The PGA Champions are at the Cologuard Classic at Omni Tucson National in Arizona after a two-week break. The seniors last played the Chubb Classic, with Scott Parel winning the event.
Parel is the third pick this week at 12/1, behind Bernhard Langer (9/1), and favorite Steve Stricker at 6/1. Two of the three top picks aren’t selections we would make. Langer has struggled a bit this season, though we’re confident he’ll find his form in the next month or so. Parel would be a logical pick, but winning back-to-back tournaments is difficult, and he did finish outside of the top 10 at the Cologuard Classic last year.
Here are our suggestions on golfers that might be worth backing this week, and others that should be skipped.
Golfers to Back
Steve Stricker 6/1
Stricker is the favorite at the Cologuard Classic, and for good reason. Stricker, who splits his time between the PGA Tour and the PGA Tour Champions, has spent the last two months with the youngsters, and is probably happy to be playing with guys his own age. He missed three cuts and tied for 56th in four tournaments on the PGA Tour. This is his first event on the PGA Tour Champions this year. Last year he finished this event tied for sixth.
Darren Clarke 125/1
The Irishman came to this event for the first time last year, and had a chance to win. He finished tied for second with Willie Wood, Kirk Triplett, and Scott McCarron. That quartet finished four strokes behind Mark O’Meara.
His finishes so far this year have been decent. He played in the Morocco Champions, where he tied for 13th, and at the Chubb Classic, where he was tied for 17th. He got into this event on a sponsor’s exemption, and his odds are so high we can’t resist the possible high payday.
Woody Austin 14/1
In three tournaments this season, Austin has finished tied for ninth twice, and tied for fifth. He did have a poor result at the Cologuard Classic last year, tying for 44th. He is seventh in scoring, and 13th in all-around ranking. He is a little lower on fairways hit, and greens in regulation, but should still be considered this week.
Golfers to Avoid
Doug Barron 28/1
It’s true that Barron has two top-10 finishes in three tournaments this year, but his last event was his worst. He finished tied for 17th at the Chubb Classic, and that, to us, is a big red flag. The other issue is that he’s never played this golf course before. We would like to see Barron get a year’s experience here before we back him at this event.
Scott Parel 12/1
We like Parel, but don’t like the fact that he won last week. Winning back-to-back isn’t impossible on the PGA Tour Champions, but it always seems to backfire on us when he back a golfer that won the week before. Parel absolutely could do it, though. In addition to his victory at the Chubb Classic last week, he finished tied for 12th at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai, and tied for third at Morocco Champions.
Scott McCarron 25/1
McCarron is the reigning Charles Schwab Cup champion, and finished tied for second last year at the Cologuard Class. Still, we’re not real high on him this year. McCarron has played in three events this season, and posted worse finishes each week. He had a tie for ninth at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai, but followed it with a tie for 17th at the Morocco Champions. Then at the Chubb Classic, the wheels fell off as he finished tied for 42nd. There are better wagers to make this week.