Champions To Mount Strong Title Defence
The Franklin Templeton Shootout is a team golf tournament without depth and, therefore, one ought to be interested in backing the defending champion duo of Sean O’Hair and Kenny Perry at odds of 17.00 with Stan James.
Following the withdrawal of Retief Goosen and Boo Weekley for personal reasons – the latter has lost two members of his family in recent days – the Franklin Templeton Shootout field comprises 12 sides, most of whom one can put lines through. For example, no-one is going to want to back the team of Jonas Blixt and even host Greg Norman, even at odds of 71.00 with Stan James. There are very few live chances.
Harris English and Matt Kuchar are the general Franklin Templeton Shootout favourites at odds of 4.50 with BetVictor. English and Kuchar are the form pairing going into the Franklin Templeton Shootout, with English second on the FexExCup points ladder as a result of one victory and another top 10. Kuchar has played one PGA Tour event for one top 10, as well as performing extremely well outside North America. The issues with backing English and Kuchar are that the former is making his Franklin Templeton Shootout debut and the latter is not on the tournament’s honour roll.
Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood are not far behind English and Kuchar, with the all-English team trading at odds of 5.00 with Bet365. Poulter took out in 2010 what is now the Franklin Templeton Shootout, partnering Dustin Johnson to victory. History shows that Poulter is a force at this time of year but the event has a reputation for requiring low scores and Westwood is famous for not being hot on the greens. If Westwood could putt as well as he plays from tee to green he would have won several majors and not zero.
Jason Dufner and the aforementioned Johnson are the final Franklin Templeton Shootout side whom bookmakers are listing at single-digit prices, with Stan James top of the shops at odds of 5.50. Their recent form is not quite on par with that of English and Kuchar but Johnson is a former winner and that counts for a lot, hence why backing O’Hair and Perry appeals even more at their double-digit prices.
O’Hair and Perry combined to great effect in the Franklin Templeton Shootout last year, registering rounds of 64, 61 and 60 to finish the 54-hole tournament 31 under par, one stroke better than Charles Howell III and Rory Sabbatini. Defending titles is an onerous task as an individual but it is a different kettle of fish as part of a collective so the usual concerns about backing a golfer to go back to back do not really apply and one can focus on the course form.
Both O’Hair and Perry are Franklin Templeton Shootout old timers so they have plenty of experience of playing at the Tiburon Golf Club in Naples, with the latter loving the course more than almost any other golfer. Perry won the event in 2005 with John Huston and he took out the 2008 edition with Scott Hoch before making it three titles in 2012 with O’Hair. No-one in this year’s Franklin Templeton Shootout field can equal or better Kelly’s numbers.
Backing O’Hair and Perry at odds of 17.00, either win or each way, is the pick of the Franklin Templeton Shootout title bets. Each-way betting is attractive in this event because most bookmakers are paying one-quarter the odds about the first three places. Also, Spreadex has framed a Franklin Templeton Shootout match bet with O’Hair and Perry up against Graham DeLaet and Mike Weir. The American duo is the 2.10 underdog versus its Canadian opponent.