Can Perry make it four at US Bank?
BY Bruce Young | US PGA Tour | 2008 US Bank Championship | Preview | 16 Jul 2008
For those PGA Tour players not qualified or who chose not to play in this week’s Open Championship on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, this week’s US$4,000,000 US Bank Championship in Milwaukee offers a chance to prosper while the game’s elite are battling it out at Royal Birkdale.
The original George Hanson designed and later remodelled Brown Deer Park Golf Club in Milwaukee, has played host to this event since 1994 and because of its regular scheduling around Open Championship time, has offered many lesser lights on the PGA Tour a chance to shine in the absence of the leading money winners.
The standout player in this week’s event is, of course, Kenny Perry, who is sticking to his schedule of playing events in 2008 that he feels will help his Ryder Cup aspirations. Perry’s recent brilliant burst of form, which he has seen him win three of his last five tournaments, has meant that goal has been well and truly achieved.
Perry will start as the favourite and a hot one at that as not only is he in such remarkable form but he has a win at this venue to his credit.
That win came in 2003 when he defeated Australian Steve Allan and Heath Slocum by one and his apparent ability to secure repeat wins on certain courses could see him extending his stunning record in recent events to four victories in six starts. In addition to the 2003 win here, Perry has also recorded six top ten placings and surely another is there for the taking.
Chad Campbell gave every indication last week in Silvis that he is nearing his peak once again. After missing five of six cuts earlier in the season, Campbell has played well in his last three tournaments and in the two times he has played this golf course he has done well. He finished third behind Ben Crane in 2005 and he appears on the verge of something better.
Heath Slocum has been playing very consistently of late, making his last 15 cuts on the PGA Tour. He has a runner up finish at this tournament in 2003 to assist him as he seeks his first victory since 2005.
A surprise winner here two years ago was Corey Pavin but a win by the 48-year-old this year might not be quite the same surprise. Pavin has been playing consistently of late with several top twenty finishes and could represent very good value at longer odds.
Ken Duke is gradually approaching the form that saw him as the leading player on the Nationwide Tour in 2006. He has yet to win on the PGA Tour but his recent 4th place at the Buick Open and another good week last week at the John Deere gives the impression that this could be the type of tournament for him to do so.
Charlie Wi finished runner up in this event last year and showed last week when 4th at the John Deere event that he is in the right sort of form to do well again at Brown Deer Park.
There are 12 Australasians in the event and several have a chance of a very big week.
Peter Lonard is close to playing very well, Nathan Green finished 9th in this event in 2006 including a round of 64 and showed glimpses of form last week in Illinois.
Mathew Goggin’s second place at the Memorial is not too distant of a memory, while Gavin Coles, Andrew Buckle, Mark Hensby, Stephen Leaney, Steve Allan, David Lutterus, Brett Rumford, Mark Hensby and New Zealander, Tim Wilkinson are also in the field and have chances of a much needed boost of fortunes.