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Barracuda Championship Tips & Predictions: Three to follow in Tahoe

Alex Noren features amongst our Barracuda Championship tips and predictions.
Alex Noren features amongst our Barracuda Championship tips and predictions.

Our golf tipster Russell Palmer casts his eye over this week's PGA Tour event, the Barracuda Championship from Old Greenwood in California with three tips...

With the WGC FedEx St Jude Invitational taking centre stage this week, the PGA Tour event features a competitive looking line up for those players not in the world's top 70 or so. On the face of it its a poorer tournament for it, but we should remember that this is the tournament Collin Morikawa broke out in last year and has since gone on to only miss one cut and pick up another win.

Is there a Morikawa lurking in this year's field?

There's plenty of new kids on the block with the usual mix of old campaigners plus a few interesting Europeans making the trip to California.

Whether there's another Morikawa is debatable but the 2019 class was so hot, with the likes of Morikawa, Matthew Wolff and Viktor Hovland all emerging from college and winning in their first year on Tour. Interestingly, Justin Suh, who was bigged up alongside that trio does line-up this week. The American has struggled to emulate his peers having to ply his trade in the PGA Tour Latinamerico and is a 200/1 shot this week.

The market leaders are available to back at odds of 22/1 this week. Russell Henley showed some much needed form with a top ten at The Memorial but missed the cut last week, whilst the consistent Brendan Steele has also contended since the PGA Tour resumed last month.

One thing to bear in mind this week is that it's a different format to the usual strokeplay you find on the PGA Tour.

The Barracuda Championship is played as a modified stableford, with points awarded per hole instead of counting up the player's strokes. A player would accrue eight points for an albatross, five for an eagle, two for a birdie, no points for a par and start losing points for bogeys or worst, -1 point for a bogey and -3 points for any worst score than that.

With this scoring in mind and no course form to go on with the tournament being played at the Old Greenwood course at the Tahoe Mountain Club, I've looked at recent form, past form in this scoring format and some European class for this week's three selections.

Golf odds
Barracuda Championship at a glance

I like the look of Alex Noren in this field, with the Swede available to back amongst the favourites at 22/1 with Bet365.

The 38 year old had an eye-catching third place finish in the 3M Open last week having missed his two cuts prior, but the 38 year old is a class act on his day and could dominate this kind of field.

With ten wins on the European Tour, Noren is a former top ten player in the world back in 2017, has a third place finish in a WGC event and a Ryder Cup member in 2018. 

The 3rd place finish last week was his best ever on the PGA Tour and his second top ten of the season in the States.

Ranking in the top 25 for shots gained around the green, Noren is also 25th for eagles per round, a metric I'm interested in this week due to the stableford scoring.

Second up I'm interested in Sam Burns this week at odds of 28/1 with William Hill who are paying six places.

The American who is Arnold Palmer's grandson has been playing really consistently since the return of the PGA Tour, having recorded returns of 24-30-17-32 in his last four appearances, the 24-year-old does have a top 10 finish to his name this season, back in the American Express played in January and featuring a similar standard of field to this week.

Burns ranks 24th in shots gained off the tee, 10th in driving distance and 34th in shots gained putting which stacks up well in this field. With the stableford scoring, the American also ranks top 30 for eagles per hole and 16th on the PGA Tour for eagles, where his length and putting really comes to the fore. At 28/1 he's one I like the look of.

Third and finally I'm looking at a bigger price player in the shape of Bronson Burgoon this week who has a lively chance at 66/1 with William Hill this week.

The 33 year old carded a top ten finish at the Sanderson Farms Championship earlier in the season and has played solidly if not spectacularly the last few weeks on the PGA Tour.

The Texan ranks 22nd for birdie average which appeals to me alongside his finish in this tournament last year, fifth.

Putting is his strength ranking top 25 for putting average and one putt percentage and with his first round 66 last week I'm hoping there's signs of form that could see him feature here at a big price.  

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