Rory can bounce back in U.S.

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This week, we have a huge betting dilemma.

If PGA Tour pros played well at The Open Championship, they are probably weary (and jet-lagged) because of all of the concentration it took to stay in contention (kind of as Shane Lowry left everyone in the dust) for four rounds.

If they didn’t play well or had an MC next to their name, they are probably weary (and jet-lagged) from trying to figure out what went wrong and if they can get it back on track this week.

And by this week we mean right now.

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The Tour is back in the U.S. with a quick turnaround to another high-profile event as the Tour’s top-ranked players will be teeing it up in the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational. (Sorry Tiger fans, he’s resting again).

This tournament, being held at TPC Southwind in Tennessee, is five time zones away from Northern Ireland.

See the dilemma? Who travels best? Those who were knocked out early of the year’s fourth major or those who lasted until late Sunday?

At the WGC, 46 of the top 50 in the world rankings — and 63 players overall at last count — will be on hand battling for an impressive 550 FedEx Cup points for a victory (yes, we are still harping on those always-important points).

With all of that information swirling around in our head, we’re going to give Rory McIlroy (10-1) a chance to get back on top of his game.

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Granted, he played horribly from the first shot through the last during his first-round 79 at The Open Championship. But, to his credit, he fired a second-round 65 and missed the cut by one. You know he’s not happy with not making the cut on his home course in front of just about the whole town. 

Add the fact that he has three top 10s in his last four WGC events and it shows he can certainly handle battling this field.

Then you’ve got Dustin Johnson (also at 10-1) who’s had a solid, if not under-the-radar, year. He’s got seven top 10s in 14 made cuts (out of 15). There’s no better time than now for him to step back into the spotlight. He’s won six of these WGC titles including the recent one in Mexico in February. He’s also won at this TPC Southwind course a couple of times.

If players are not qualified for the WGC event, they will keep flying west three more time zones to Montreaux Golf & Country Club in Reno and The Barracuda Championship.

There they will have the chance to play in this week’s secondary Tour event. This one features the Modified Stableford scoring system so if you’re a birdie (or eagle) machine, this will fit your game perfectly.

The field does have some star power. Watch for Ryan Palmer (25-1) and Martin Laird (20-1) to have impacts. Palmer is No. 7 on the PGA Tour in birdies for the year (the top 6 are playing in the WGC event) so look for him to have a field day. And Laird leads the world in eagles (16 on the season) and that means extra points in this event and this course can give them up in bunches.

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About the Author
Bill Bowman

Bill Bowman

Bill Bowman is a Las Vegas-based writer who has more than 40 years in the sports-writing business. He's spent the past 18-plus years covering the golf scene in Vegas including 10 years as a writer/editor with VegasGolfer Magazine. He also contributes to the GolfNow Network of websites and Las Vegas Golf Insider.

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