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A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier: betting preview, free tips, when to watch

Joaquin Niemann has great chance to claim opening PGA success in West Virginia

Chilean golfer Joaquin Niemann
1 of 1

Start time

Midday Thursday

Where to watch

Sky Sports Golf, from 12.30pm

Best bets

J Niemann
2pts each-way 28-1 Coral
Back this tip with William Hill
R Streb
1.5pts each-way 66-1 Coral
Back this tip with William Hill
J Kokrak
1.5pts each-way 18-1 Betfair, Paddy Power
Back this tip at Paddy Power
B Todd
1pt each-way 125-1 Betfair, Paddy Power
Back this tip at Paddy Power

Tournament preview

Just 16 days after Rory McIlroy sank the winning putt at the Tour Championship, the PGA Tour cranks up again this week with A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier.

Some of the game's big names are resting up but the early autumn provides a great chance for lesser lights and the young talent from the Korn Ferry Tour to make their mark.

If you possess a neat putting touch, then there's a chance this week will be a great opportunity, as Kevin Na, now established in the world's top 50, demonstrated last year when he claimed a five-shot victory at the West Virginia track.

Ian Wilkerson's top tip
Joaquin Niemann 28-1

Greenbrier is regarded as one of the most straightforward par 70s on the PGA Tour and a player who has already tamed it with closing rounds of 64 in each of the last two years is Chile's Joaquin Niemann.

Those performances were not enough for him to claim a maiden tour title - last year's fifth spot has equalled his best showing - but there are grounds for optimism that the South American can put in a strong show this week.

The 20-year-old has demonstrated over the last few months that he can live with the best players in the game and 31st is the lowest finish he has posted in his last 11 regular tournaments. In that period he found the competition too hot at the US PGA Championship and The Open and failed to make the cut on each occasion.

That shows excellent consistency for a player making his way in the game and it could be that he feels he has unfinished business in West Virginia - he would have given himself a chance last year had he not carded a two-over-par 72 on Saturday.

Some may have misgivings as to whether he has the putting ability to tame the undulating Greenbrier greens.

Admittedly, his 2019 season strokes-gained putting figure of -0.17 is little to get carried away about but after losing a shot to the field in every round at the Canadian Open, his figure in his last nine PGA tournaments has moved to a positive 0.45.

He possesses the all-round game to be a threat at this level and, considering he also carded an opening 63 in last year's tournament, he has shown he can tame the venue on his day.

Next best bet
Robert Streb 66-1

Robert Streb has twice been a runner-up at this tournament and there have been signs of life in his recent performances on the Korn Ferry Tour, which used to be known as the Web.com before a change of sponsorship.

Streb lost out in a four-way playoff in 2015 and was a shot behind Xander Schauffele two years ago, while a creditable 11th last year demonstrates that this is clearly one of his favourite tracks.

He finished third in an admittedly weak field at the Barracuda Championship and, after missing the cut at the Wyndham Championship in his following effort, he was fifth at the Nationwide Children's Hospital Championship on the secondary tour when his closing 66 was the best round in the field.

Streb was consistent enough in finishing 30th at the Albertson Boise Open, which means he is coming into one of his favourite tournaments in decent shape.

Other betting selections
Jason Kokrak 18-1
Brendon Todd 125-1

Jason Kokrak has posted four straight top-20 finishes, including a ninth spot at the Tour Championship and while he is still searching for a maiden PGA Tour success, this is the sort of place he could get it.

Kokrak showed little liking for Greenbrier in four visits before last year - he missed the cut twice and was unable to finish higher than 41st - but that all changed last year when he finished third having got off to a blistering start with opening rounds of 65 and 64.

He is likely to be competitive in this sort of company this week, while Brendon Todd could surprise a few people.

Todd has not visited the tournament since he posted a sixth spot in 2015, having finished fourth the previous year, and there have been recent signs of encouragement, liberally sprinkled with inconsistency.

He was second at the Nationwide Children's Hospital Championship, where nobody bettered his second-round 64 all week, before a poor third round put paid to his chances at the Albertson Boise.

His disappointing 67th at the Korn Ferry Tour Championship is easily explained by a third-round horror show of 79.

So it is a case of the 34-year-old from Pittsburgh piecing together four rounds and, if he can do that at a course where he has previously performed well, he could be a significant contender at a three-figure price.

Others to note

Bryson DeChambeau
Shot the seventh-best four-round tally at the Tour Championship which was a solid performance after criticism regarding his slow play. He was 14th on his only Greenbrier visit in 2017.

Kevin Na
His fine short game helped him to a five-shot success last year. He won the Charles Schwab Challenge in May but made little impression in the playoffs.

Viktor Hovland
Six successive top-20 finishes have to bring the first-year professional into calculations.

Russell Henley
Has two fifth-placed finishes at the venue and was tenth last year. He is a sharp putter on his day but second spot at the John Deere Classic was his only top-ten finish since his achievements at Greenbrier 15 months ago.

Tournament lowdown

Course The Old White TPC, White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia
Prize money $7.5m ($1.35m to the winner)
Length 7,286 yards
Par 70
Field 156
Course records - 72 holes 258 Stuart Appleby (2010)
18 holes 59 Stuart Appleby (2010)

Course winners taking part Kevin Na, Danny Lee, Ted Potter, Scott Stallings, Stuart Appleby

When to bet By midday Thursday

When to watch Live on Sky Sports Golf, 12.30pm Thursday

Time difference West Virginia is five hours behind the UK & Ireland

Course overview The tournament has been going since 2010 when it started life as the Greenbrier Classic. It became known as A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier for the first time last year and has moved from its previous July berth to be the opening event of the 2019-20 season.

The course struggled to provide much of a test in its early years - Stuart Appleby hit a 59 in the tournament's first year - but the course was lengthened and narrowed after that and now provides a sterner test. 

The old-fashioned design closes with a fairly easy 175-yard par three. The three other par threes are much longer, totalling 656 yards. There are only two par-fives (12th and 17th) and they are the easiest holes. The 492-yard par-four 13th is the most difficult assignment.

The fairways are generous and the greens undulate and it generally rates as one of the easier par 70s on the tour. The tournament was cancelled three years ago after severe flooding just a few weeks before play was due to start.

Story of last year Kelly Kraft surrendered a 54-hole lead as Kevin Na claimed his first PGA Tour success for seven years, triumphing by a five-shot margin.

Weather forecast The weather seems set to be fair all week with temperatures peaking around 32C. The chances of rain look minimal.

Type of player suited to the challenge Players with different strengths have won this tournaments but solid putting often tips the balance. Na topped the stats for strokes-gained putting last year and six of the last eight winners have been in the top five in that statistic.

Key attribute Touch/putting


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The 20-year-old has demonstrated over the last few months that he can live with the best players in the game
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