The Oak Hill Country Club is more than 100 years old and has already hosted six Majors. Many consider it to be New York’s finest golf course and in 2009 it was rated America’s 11th greatest course.
Ernie Els famously quoted that Oak Hill was “the best, fairest and toughest Championship golf course I’ve ever played in all my years as a tour professional.” No wonder the Bay Hill Club put these words on the home page of their website.
This is a tough East Coast golf course and will challenge the very best in the world. Considering this is the PGA and not the Open, there won’t be the same pressure on the Club to keep players under par. I personally hope they make the golf course play as tough as they can, as I like my Majors to be testing.
So who to bet on, I hear you ask? Well, let’s start with Tiger. The last time Tiger played at Oak Hill in the 2003 PGA he finished a horrible 12-over par. At the end of the tournament he said “It is frustrating but you know what? I’m so happy I’m done. It’s tough. It’s hard to get the ball close … it’s a brutal test.”
This was a long time ago but it’s obviously not the ideal memory to be taking into a Major. Having said that, it’s Tiger and he has the ability to run hot on any course, anywhere in the world. The one thing about Tiger in this particular tournament is that you must make sure you take a good price. Don’t consider backing him at under double figure odds. The other thing you could do is wait until the first round has finished and see how Tiger handles things. If he goes okay you can then back him at a slightly worse price with knowledge behind your investment.
I am looking for some golfers here that hit greens in regulation and then hope that their putts drop. Ricky Barnes is in the top 5 for hitting greens in regulation this year so I like him this week. The other player you would want to take is Sergio Garcia who from tee to green can be deadly.
Rory McIlroy is the sort of player who could really make waves here. At some stage the talented Northern Irishman will return to form and when he does this is the sort of course he could destroy. Whatever you do, look for players who are tight and consistent outside of McIlroy and Woods as I consider this pair the only two enigmatic type of players that are capable of shooting really low this weekend.
Good luck, look for value and I hope your ball finds the fairway.