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PGA Tour preview: The McGladrey Classic

Preview – PGA Tour – The McGladrey Classic – Sea Island Resort Seaside Course – St. Simons Island, Georgia –

The PGA Tour returns to the U.S. for the final time in the 2013 calendar year this week.

This week’s The McGladrey Classic at Sea Island Resort in Georgia serves as the second-to-last event on the calendar before the holiday break. The tour moves to Mexico next week.

Serving as Tournament Chairman, Davis Love III attracted Webb Simpson, Matt Kuchar, Zach Johnson and Jim Furyk among others to the fourth edition of this tournament – now apart of the FedEx Cup series.

The par-70 Tom Fazio-redesigned Seaside Course reaches more than 7,000 yards and requires accurate shot-making. High winds are expected to impact the competition all week along with a stimp running at 12.

The field includes an international flavor including from Open champion Darren Clarke, Presidents Cup participant Brendon de Jonge, Tim Clark and Seung-Yul Noh, who finished third in the Web.com Tour Finals.

2012 Outcome:

  • Big Break reality-TV show alum Tommy Gainey broke through for his maiden PGA Tour victory here with a final-round 60. He had a putt at 59, but couldn’t convert. At 16-under, Gainey just a shot clear of David Toms and two ahead of Furyk. De Jonge, DL3 and D.J. Trahan finished T-4. Arjun Atwal’s second-round 63 was the story for a stretch, before he slipped back.

Past champions include Ben Crane (2011) and Heath Slocum (2010). The Golf Channel has the television coverage all week.

FANTASY: Find players with experience here like Toms, who was T-5 here in 2010 and was a runner-up a year ago. Hot hands heading into the week are always welcome including Simpson – a champion in Las Vegas last month.  With two victories on the year, Kuchar made 23 of 23 cuts in 2013 and finished third on the Money List. Boo Weekley comes in after a long flight from China where he contended at the WGC-HSBC Champions against a stellar field. Take de Jonge to contend.

BETTING: Simpson (10-to-1 odds) is the outright betting favorite at Ladbrokes.com and rightfully so. But, he rarely converts when dealing with the pressure of expectations to win. He did finish runner-up here in 2011. Consider Johnson at 12-1 as he comes in hot with seven Top 10s in his last nine starts including a victory in the FedEx Cup Playoffs. To fit the bill of past-champions status, take a player like Jonathan Byrd (66-1), Bud Cauley (66-1) or Brian Gay (100-1), who come in under the radar.

Other Golf News:

  • Brandt Snedeker withdrew from the Australian PGA Championship on the PGA Tour of Australasia with a knee injury. Adam Scott and Rickie Fowler are featured players in the field. Fowler fired a 63 in the opening round.
  • Tiger Woods, the World No. 1, headlines the field at the European Tour’s Turkish Airlines Open this week. The event is the second in a four-tournament series to wrap up the Race To Dubai. Woods is a 4-1 pick heading into the event. He finished second in the FedEx Cup standings and first on the PGA Tour Money List in 2013.
  • Gainey was T-29 heading into the final round last year before staging his comeback win.