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Thursday, 17 January, 2019

Fragile Snedeker may struggle to get back in the swing

Johnson more likely to contend for title

Zach Johnson is hungry for a trophy
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Day one Sky Sports Golf from 6.30pm Thursday

Brandt Snedeker has not competed on the US Tour since June, forced to rest an injury which meant he could not touch a golf club for nine weeks, and the Nashville man must be vulnerable on his return to action in the RSM Classic.

Snedeker has been put up against Zach Johnson in a 10-11 your-choice RSM match by Betway, creating a wonderful betting opportunity. Two-time Major champion Johnson looks a rock-solid investment.

Snedeker suffered a sternum joint problem which left him doubting whether he would be able to play top-flight golf again. A new workout regime, though, along with a new diet and, most significantly for punters, a revised swing, has allowed the former FedEx Cup champion to make a comeback.

Sugar and carbs have been axed from Snedeker's diet to combat the injury, with raw vegetables replacing them, and he admitted in practice this week that eating has become a miserable and boring experience. Will the suffering be worth it? Not if the new swing fails to get results.

More from Steve Palmer

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Snedeker would be opposable in the RSM even if he was at full fitness – his tournament form figures are a humdrum 32-MC-45 – but he will surely struggle in his current state.

Johnson, who lives near this venue, is determined to end a victory drought which stretches back to the 2015 Open. The veteran playing the OHL Classic last week was a noteworthy schedule change, hinting that he was eager to get sharp for his home event. The warm-up went well, a final-round 64 in the OHL sending him to the RSM with confidence.

It was only three months ago that Johnson was contending for WGC glory, finishing runner-up in the Bridgestone Invitational, and his last three tournaments have yielded form figures of 20-13-23.

Players Championship victor Si Woo Kim bounced back to top form in Mexico at the weekend, closing with a 65 for third spot in the OHL, and the classy Korean youngster can outscore the much more erratic Jason Kokrak at Sea Island.

Bill Haas is another dependable tee-to-green operator who should prove too steady for ultra-aggressive slugger Jamie Lovemark over 72 holes at the two short, tight and fiddly tracks being used this week.

Z Johnson to beat B Snedeker
4pts 10-11 Betway
S W Kim to beat J Kokrak
2pts 10-11 Coral
B Haas to beat J Lovemark
2pts 8-11 Hills

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It was only three months ago that Johnson was contending for WGC glory
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