Brendan James – Golf Australia Editor

One of the great pleasures at the 2019 Presidents Cup was watching SUNGJAE IM hit balls on the range.

He’s one of those players that extracts a different sound at impact as the ball gets piped down the range. So I hope he gets the rewards from his pure ball-striking.

He dipped out in a play-off here in 2019, and, in the last eight rounds at this event, his scoring average is an amazing 68.625. He can find a birdie (498 last season) and he’ll be there when the whips start cracking this week.

Sportsbet odds: $19

JIMMY EMANUEL – Golf Australia Deputy Editor

There was plenty during his Ryder Cup performance to suggest Sergio Garcia could go back-to-back here, but ‘El Nino’ isn’t the young man he once was and the after party will likely have enough lingering effect to make it too big an ask.

So with my first choice out the window, I am going with HAROLD VARNER III. The American arrives in great nick, recording three straight top-20s and despite a missed cut in his last start here, has played ok at this venue before. And the former Australian PGA champion knows how to win, despite it being a long time between drinks.

Sportsbet odds: $34

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Rod Morri – Golf Australia magazine contributor and The Thing About Golf podcast host

CAM DAVIS. He’s got unfinished business after sharing the lead into the final round here last year before fading to a share of sixth.

It’s hard to imagine Davis is going to end his career without multiple PGA Tour victories and number two is a good chance to come this week in Mississippi.

Sportsbet odds: $31

Mark Hayes – Man About Golf

If I gave you 50 guesses, I’m willing to wager you probably wouldn’t recall SAM BURNS being as high as No.18 in the Tour Championship last season/month/a few minutes ago.

But here he is, back at a happy hunting ground – he was third at Sanderson Farms in 2019 – and is fresh from a year when he finished top-10 no less than eight times, including his breakthrough victory at Valspar.

These are the events at which youngsters – he’s 25 and coincidentally ranked 25 in the world this week – make the coin that sets them up for the wraparound season.

And Burns fits the bill, perfectly.

Sportsbet odds: $17


Brendan James – Golf Australia Editor

I’m happy to be wrong with this but as far as I can recall no Australian has ever won twice in Scotland in the same season. MIN WOO LEE has that chance this week at the Home of Golf.

The West Aussie won the Scottish Open across the Firth of Forth back in July and I believe he has the game that can excel at this event. If he can post a sub-par score at Kingsbarns and Carnoustie, and fulfil expectations of a low number on the Old Course he can go close to achieving the rare double.

Sportsbet odds: $81

JIMMY EMANUEL – Golf Australia Deputy Editor

With an extended field and the vagaries of links golf and the Scottish weather, picking a winner in this event is a tough ask. But I am quietly confident BILLY HORSCHEL will be in the mix come Sunday afternoon.

The American was very impressive at Wentworth a few weeks ago and still has a little fire in his belly about not getting a call to let him know he wasn’t part of Steve Stricker’s Ryder Cup plans.

Add in the fact he is playing with his father and with an experienced English caddie on the bag, Horschel the global player (we are all a little surprised by that) is a serious chance at a second European Tour win in as many starts.

Sportsbet odds: $15

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Rod Morri – Golf Australia magazine contributor and The Thing About Golf podcast host

Plenty of Australians in the field and I agree with my more learned colleagues that Min Woo Lee has an excellent chance this week but being agreeable lacks interest so in looking elsewhere I stumbled across the young Scot BOB MACINTYRE.

Fresh off a week playing his other favourite sport – shinty – the likeable left hander will feel at home in the conditions and having missed a Ryder Cup pick many thought he may get, his motivation may be just that little bit higher this week.

Sportsbet odds: $34

Mark Hayes – Man About Golf

At last count, there were nine Aussies (plus a handful of Kiwis) in the field this week. So we’re going to have a lot of people to barrack for, which is yet another reason to watch this epic golfers’ travelogue around south-eastern Scotland. I know this isn’t an ad, but go and have a look at the home page alone of if you want to be inspired!

Anyway, back to the tips … I’m all in on MIN WOO LEE this week.

He’s already had one stunning win in Scotland this year and I think the format really enables him to showcase his skills, not to mention to show off and carry his amateur teammate.

Sportsbet odds: $81


Brendan James – Golf Australia Editor

Since 2015, ANNA NORDQVIST has won this event twice, finished runner-up and some top-10s.

It is clear there is something she really likes about this Bay Course. I’m confident she can reach 16- or 17-under on this course, which will be good enough to claim the title.

Sportsbet odds: $23

JIMMY EMANUEL – Golf Australia Deputy Editor

For mine, it’s case of when not if JENNIFER KUPCHO wins on the LPGA Tour (bold statement I know). And this week shapes as the perfect place to break her duck and continue her ascent to a spot among the women’s game elite.

The American has been impressive since the Solheim Cup, with a T8 followed by a T16 last week in Arkansas. She was also runner-up her to Mel Reid last year, so the Bay Course is clearly a good fit.

Sportsbet odds: $29

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Rod Morri – Golf Australia magazine contributor and The Thing About Golf podcast host

As it is very week, trying to pick an LPGA winner is tough though this week’s course asks some different questions to the week in, week out offering. An ever present breeze and generally firm conditions combined with smallish greens put a premium on good iron play as well as a solid short game at the Seaview GC Bay course in New Jersey.

After some impressive golf in recent weeks without quite putting together four good rounds it may just be time for SU OH to step up on a course that should both feel familiar and suit her game. She’s only had one top -five finish here in four attempts but I’m tipping she’ll be in the mix come Sunday.

Sportsbet odds: $51

Mark Hayes – Man About Golf

I’m going left field – WAAAYYYY left field, actually – and tipping ANA BALEC, of Slovenia.

Firstly, this is a dip of the lid to the great vigneron and pretty good golfer Grant Dodd, the 1999 and still champion of the now defunct Slovenian Open.

Secondly – presumably if you’ve read this far you are not averse to my stupid humour – every time I see Ana Balec’s name, I can’t help but think of one of the 12th Man’s classic characters from Wired World of Sports, back in the day, the great Anna Bolic. So, in honour of the “22-year-old gym instructor from France” and her wardrobe malfunction, here we go …

Thirdly, and in the fair dinkum department, Balec was a really good player at Duke, won the Symetra money order last year and just looks like she’s starting to feel at home on the big Tour.

Sportsbet odds: $101


So far our so-called experts have combined to tip 24 winners in 2021, with 120 of their picks recording top-10 finishes that week and a best return of $61 for Max Homa to win the Genesis Invitational (tipped by Rod Morri).