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Bob Weeks Picks Six – Cognizant Classic

Cameron Young Cameron Young - The Canadian Press

Last Week: Not a good week for the Pick Six page as we went oh-for-six with our selections, but once again, it was a week for the underdogs. Jake Knapp wasn’t on a lot of betting slips (except for colleague Adam Scully). Time for a week of retribution.

This Week:  The tournament formerly known as the Honda takes flight as the Cognizant Classic in the Palm Beaches. While not a signature event, this week’s field is considerably better than last week in Mexico. Part of the reason is that a number of players call this area home and can sleep in their own beds while they compete. The golfers will see a few changes to the course this year including the 10th hole, which has gone from a par 4 to a par 5 with the tee pushed back some 30 yards. Water comes into play on 15 holes including on the signature stretch of holes from 15 to 17, known as the Bear Trap, an homage to Jack Nicklaus who has given the course a number of facelifts over the years.

To Win

Rory McIlroy  +700

McIlroy frequents this page and more often than not in this category. That’s because we know what he’s capable of and we just keep expecting it to happen. He’s here this week because this is one of the hardest courses on the PGA Tour and when the difficulty rises, usually so does Rory on the scoreboard. Time for him to notch a pre-Masters win.

Cameron Young +2000

Only played once here, two years ago and posted a respectable tie for 16th. Being a long hitter won’t hurt him at this course and being able to hit it high will also assist him in finding and staying on more greens. Overdue for a win.

Top 10

Ben An +270

Five for five in cuts made, including his playoff loss at the Sony Open at the start of the season. Is playing some very consistent golf this year and currently sits 19th in Strokes Gained: Total. He has two top-five finishes at this tournament to his credit, as well as a tie for 21st last year.

Corey Conners +340

Here’s a guy happy to be back on the east coast. Conners has never had great results out west so playing in Florida is a welcome invitation. Having said that, he is five for five in cuts made so far. This is also a local tournament for him, as he lives not far from the course. Sleep in your own bed, eat your own meals. . . sounds like a recipe. Should be a good week.

Top 20

Shane Lowry +170

He’s finished fifth and second the last two years here so he’s coming in with some pedigree. Has played three events this season without anything spectacular having come out of it so we’re going on gut instinct here. He’ll likely need to make good use of those silky mitts around the greens as he tries to manage a big course.

Stephen Jaeger +190

Jaeger is five for five in cuts made with a couple of third-place ties on his record. One of those came last week in Mexico where he closed with a Sunday 65. The German golfer is 15th in Strokes Gained: Total and inside the top 72 in every SG category. A cut this week would be his 23rd consecutive time playing on to the weekend.