On this page you find articles on golf tips and sports betting in general.
January 4th, 2012 / Lee A Jackson - Category:
The Hyundai Tournament of Champions is the season opener on the PGA Tour, as we head back to the Plantation Course at Kapalua in Hawaii. This really is a tournament of Champions, not just a catchy name, as only winners from the 2011 PGA Tour get their invite to the event, so it is tough to get in and the players can expect a tough time in winning it. The timing is a little odd on this one though, as your 2012 Hyundai Tournament of Champions golf betting actually starts on Friday and finishes on Monday, not the usual Thursday start and Sunday finish. Scoring has never really been too difficult at the event, this is largely due to the fact that players can really pull out the big drives with little worries, because the greens are huge to hit, so wayward tee shots can be made amends for quite easily. The Kapalua course is a par 73, going over 7,411 yards and because of those greens expect some great Greens in Regulation stats over the four days, as well as plenty of birdies flying in, left right and centre. This is a very good field, naturally, it being full of TOUR champions. Players are not going to have a hard time with the course, so it is going to be something of a pretty cool shoot out for the players at the top of the leader board. And what a lineup it is. Here is a look at the 2012 Hyundai Tournament of Champions golf betting odds for our selections.
Steve Stricker: 17/2 at Stan James
Stricker went on a really hot streak last year, but was interrupted a bit by a neck problem. However, he produced some fantastic form at the Presidents Cup for his country. Has a solid enough record in this event to expect him to get inside the top ten again. That is where he has finished in his last three attempts at the event, so will be worth backing for a top ten finish or a place. Just builds on so much consistency, and is usually a strong starter to the New Year. Well worth looking at.
Webb Simpson: 17/2 at SportingBet
Time to wipe the slate clean for Simpson and start a new year full of new challenges. His remarkable year last season brought him so much fame and glory, and now that tricky second year in backing up all that starts here. He will go as one of the favourites in 2012 Hyundai Tournament of Champions golf betting simply because of the remarkably prolific and consistent golf he produced last year., in which was just his third year on the PGA Tour. If he starts off with a bang then there’s no guessing just what he can accomplish this year. Has to have more titles on his way, has to be a contender here, simply has the perfect all round game. This is Simpson’s first crack at the Tournament of Champions, but it shouldn’t phase him.
Nick Watney: 10/1 at SkyBet
Another player with great consistency, but just want to see him win more. Picked up a couple of Tour titles last season, and that is why he is here in 2012 Hyundai Tournament of Champions golf betting. Went off the boil a little bit in the last quarter of the season, and really didn’t hit the headlines as he was expected too in the Majors. Still, clearly the talent is there to build upon and you really want to see him with a strong start on the Plantation Course. It should suit him well and if he gets going with the putter than can see him being a strong place bet.
KJ Choi: 16/1 at Bet365
Is at the head of a crop of players around the same odds, and that is because they are all so evenly matched. Choi brings a bit of punch to a round of golf, very plucky but just have questions over his consistency over four rounds. You expect to see his name floating around the top ten at most events, but simply doesn’t capitalize enough.
Keegan Bradley: 18/1 at Stan James
Walked off with the Rookie of the Year title last year thanks to his PGA Championship title last year. He beat out the other Major winners at the Grand Slam of Golf too right at the end of the year, so proof that he can live at the top of the game. If he can improve upon his all round stats, getting up around the mark of Simpson, then he will be phenomenal. Exciting player to watch, not afraid to have a go at things, and with the course being the way it is, he is going to be our top outside tip for 2012 Hyundai Tournament of Champions golf betting.
Bill Haas: 18/1 at SkyBet
The FedExCup winner is here and will be looking to improve upon the top eight finish he managed twelve months ago. What Haas up his sleeve is an uncanny knack of sticking it on the greens. Clearly that is not going to be an issue this week, but is he going to have a red hot putter? Racked up good consistency stats as always last year, but translating it into wins is a little short.
Gary Woodland: 18/1 at Totesport
Woodland has attracted a huge amount of interest in 2012 Hyundai Tournament of Champions golf betting. Here is why. The American is one of the biggest hitters on the Tour, and we mean, big. But he also pulls accuracy into that as well, and because true length is going to be rewarded at the Plantation Course, then Woodland has to be looked at as a serious contender. Is on a very strong consistency streak, great stats in making the greens, but it is that driving which is the big feature. Watch out for him in making a big charge. Worth a place market punt, for sure.
Bubba Watson: 18/1 at SportingBet
Like Woodland, Watson has fantastic distance with which to tear up the course. His accuracy does get him down at times though, but a forgiving course, and the ability he does have to move the ball in the air, he could have a good four days.
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December 6th, 2011 / Lee A Jackson - Category:
The Franklin Templeton golf betting this week, is clearly not going to draw as much interest as the Dubai World Championship over on the European Tour, but it still presents some good betting opportunities. The tournament is sanctioned by the PGA and is an event which raises money for charity and is played in Naples, Florida. There is a 24 man field and the entrants are paired up into twelve teams, and it is hosted by the golf legend that is Greg Norman. It just a tournament over three days, 54 holes of stroke play. Last year’s winners were Dustin Johnson and Ian Poulter, but neither player are back to play in the event. Would expect the event to be a pretty close run thing at the end, because it usually is. On just one has the event been won by a greater margin than two strokes since it moved to Naples. There’s some big names in the field and some interesting pairings. Let’s look at some Franklin Templeton shootout golf betting options
Steve Stricker/Jerry Kelly – 7/1 at SkyBet
What these two have going for them is consistency and they won the event back in 2009, so they know how to play together. This is just one of two teams out of the dozen who have played together. That has to count for something you would think and with the class that Stricker is able to bring to the table, then they are going to be worth a decent punt.
Keegan Bradley/Brendan Steele – 10/1 at Totesport
Well, this is going to be our tip for the event, simply because of Bradley. The PGA Championship winner knows the course like the back of his hand. He has been playing at the Tiburon course for years and after winning the Grand Slam of Golf as well, you would expect him to be relaxed enough to really drive this partnership forward. Trading at a decent price and naturally his knowledge and familiarity of the course should pay dividends.
Anthony Kim/Webb Simpson – 4/1 at BetFred
Well you can’t overlook a partnership that has Webb Simpson in it. The guy can pretty much do no wrong as he has proven in this remarkable year of his. When you pair him up with fellow American Anthony Kim, then on paper this is the strongest looking partnership in the field. If both of these get rolling off with confidence then they are going to take some stopping. No real surprise that they are the favourites in Franklin Templeton shootout golf betting.
Ricky Fowler/Camilo Villegas – 7/1 at Totesport
This makes for a really interesting partnership and you can just see them eyeing up the tee with pretty much every shot. Remember this is a relaxed event and a great chance for the natural young talent of Ricky Fowler to come through. Colombian Villegas really hasn’t shown too much this season. While he will be the experienced hand, will expect the fireworks to come from Fowler, who is a joy to watch.
Rory Sabbatini/Jhonattan Vegas – 12/1 at Boylesports
Going to dig deeper in the field and mention these two. South African Sabbatini has bags of experience in stroke play, appearing in the World Cup enough times for his country. Not a major threat in terms of winning titles this year, but with the driving ability of Vegas alongside him, this could be a very strong partnership.
Other Franklin Templeton Shootout Golf Betting Odds
Dufner/OHair: 9/1 at Boylesports
Cink/Pelt: 9/1 at Bet365
Howell/Leonard: 9/1 at Victor Chandler
Campbell/DiMarco: 18/1 at Totesport
Holmes/Perry: 18/1 at Totesport
Calcavecchia/Price: 33/1 at Totesport
McCarron/Norman: 33/1 at SkyBet
August 23rd, 2011 / Lee A Jackson - Category:
It is the start of the PGA Tour FedEx Cup play offs this week. It starts with the Barclays this week, but first a little introduction on what the PGA Tour FedEx Cup is all about. Players earn FedEx Cup points over the course of the regular season, and basically the higher they finish in events, the more points they will earn. So the FedEx Cup is something designed to reward consistency over the season. So the FedEx Cup play offs consists of four tournaments, The Barclays, the Deutsche Bank Championship, the BMW Championship and The Tour Championship. The Top 125 players in the FedEx Cup standings at the close of the regular season (which was the Wyndham last week), goes forth into The Barclays. From there, only the top 100 players left on the FedEx Cup points standings will go through to the Deutsche Bank Championship. From there, only the Top 70 will move forward to the BMW Championship, and then it is it the final cut, as only the top 30 points leaders go on to contest The Tour Championship. All points get reset for the Tour Championship finale, so that all contenders have a chance of winning. All FedEx Cup points are wiped out here, but the leader in the points standings going into The Tour Championship gets 2500 points, the second player get 2250 points and the thirty man field each gets awarded points on a descending scale, all the way down to the number thirty, who gets just 210 points to start off with. This is to give the players who finished near the top of the FedEx Cup points table an advantage for the big finale, while giving a slender chance to those who just about scraped in. For example, with 2,500 points up for grabs in winning a play off, should that thirtieth place golfer win the Tour Championship, he could take the FedEx Cup title as well, depending on how well the rest of the field place of course. So it is a good balance of things, which gives great excitement to the end of the PGA Tour golf season. It all starts now at The Barclays, with the top 125 battling it out. The points system here can get a little confusing but we’ll keep a solid track of it all as we go through the play offs.
So back to the 2011 Barclays golf betting for this week at the Plainfield Country Club in Edison, New Jersey. This is the top 125 gunning for glory here, and it is not so much about winning, but putting in good enough performances to get enough points in the bag to move forward. Twenty five golfers will be cut after this. So there are a very strong crop of players at the top of the FedEx Cup points standings at the moment, as expected, with Nick Watney leading the field. But a great place to start for 2011 Barclays golf betting is by looking at the players who desperately need to pull out a big performance to make it into the top one hundred. Among those who are starting outside of the cut, are players like Retief Goosen, Ian Poulter, Padraig Harrington and Camilo Villegas. So we are expecting Goosen in particular to put together something strong here, but we can also look just about the cut line to see the likes of Graeme McDowell, Anthony Kim and Bryce Molder under threat of being edged out. These are the kinds of players who you may want to keep an eye on for you 2011 Barclays golf betting because their play off lives are on the line. So while you look at those for one good batch of golf betting options for the Barclays this week, because the players near the top of the standings will be more relaxed due to their respective season’s points hauls, there are also good options up there as well. This is because the players will be relaxed. Here you have to look at Nick Watney, Steve Stricker, Webb Simpson and Luke Donald in particular, who are comfortable enough to look at the Barclays with a great degree of comfort. Remember, the FedEx Cup is about consistency, and these are the players who have excelled the most in that department over the course of the season. Here we present our 2011 Barclays golf betting guide, with a focus on who is in with a chance of winning here, represented by the odds (as opposed to the FedEx Cup winner).
Luke Donald 12/1 at Totesport
The Englishman finished fourth in the FedEx Cup points standings having played fewer events than those around him. That is a testament to his consistency for you. He is the leader on the Tour for adjusted scoring and his putting and short game has served him so well as always. Landed a great runners up spot at the Tour Championship and the Deutsche Bank Champions in last year’s play offs, so going to be a big threat again one would imagine. Has lost a little confidence of late, but the busy end of season should see him go well and get things together.
Adam Scott: 16/1 at SkyBet
Like Luke Donald, has only attended 14 events this season (compared to the likes of Webb Simpson who has hit 20). In very strong form at the moment, and remember that he picked up his first World Golf Championship title recently as well. Has also won at TPC Boston before, so could be a big threat here to win the tournament. Not sure about the FedEx Cup title, but a threat here for the Barclays.
Steve Stricker: 16/1 at Bet365
The American has been very much the man of late on the PGA Tour. His consistency is almost unrivalled as he just doesn’t do much wrong. Stricker is red hot with the putter, leading the Tour in strokes gained in putting and just lights up which ever stats column you look at, pretty much. He has had a couple of wins recently on the PGA Tour so that should put him in great stead for a run at a play off victory, as well as the FedEx Cup title. Looks to be the man to beat there. Dubbed Mr September because he is the only man on Tour to have played in all rounds of the FedEx Cup play off tournaments. This year is the fifth running of the FedEx Cup play, so it shows the power of Stricker.
Jason Day: 25/1 at Bet365
The young Aussie has impressed so many people this year, especially with his bravery and his temperament in the Majors this year. Is getting better and better and growing in stature all the time. Great all round stats for the season on Tour, and he came close to winning the Deutsche Bank Championship last year. Such an immense prospect, and don’t be surprised to see him come close in any of the play offs here this year again. Only one of two players in the top fourteen (along with Matt Kuchar) who hasn’t won on Tour this season. Could argue that he is well due one.
Nick Watney: 25/1 at SkyBet
The FedEx Cup points leader at the end of the regular season. Watney either looks brilliant or lacking concentration at times. Which seems like an odd things to say about such a consistent player. It is that line of holding consistency and pulling something magic out to win, or dropping below that line and having trouble getting back up to it. That is all, just a bit of focus here and that. Still, has two wins under his belt for the season and he is more than capable. Just expect him to be hanging around the top ten for most of the play offs. Definite strong bet for the FedEx Cup title.
Phil Mickelson: 28/1 at SportingBet
Sixth in the overall FedEx Cup points standing, with his one win and five top tens on the season. If you are looking for post season experience then Mickelson has it all in the bag really and should be considered in you 2011 Barclays golf betting. This is Mickelson after all, magical touch, needs to sort out the driver just a little bit, but class often tells in times of pressure. Not in the sharpest of form, but should shake it off here when it matters most.
Webb Simpson: 40/1 at Totesport
A recent Tour winner, last week in the Wyndham to be exact, and has been landing in the top twenty pretty consistently of late. The thing about Simpson is that he has all the tools, highlighted by him leading the Tour in the all round stat. Not as experienced as some of the others here in the play offs pressure, but has set himself up well enough so that he can relax a little bit an enjoy the Barclays.
Dustin Johnson: 35/1 at SportingBet
We have lauded good ole DJ quite a bit here, as we still believe he is due a win. Has had a couple of runners up finishes, but just has not been able to get over the line. Boy does he deserve one though. He did pick up a win in last year’s play offs when he won the BMW Championships, so will be a threat. In great shape, very consistent in his play and want to see big things from him.
July 19th, 2011 / Lee A Jackson - Category:
Very interesting field at the Nordea Masters at Bro Hof Slot Golf Club this week on the European PGA Tour. Betting is being led by American Dustin Johnson, as he continues to be a major force in the game. He put in a solid showing at the Open Championship at Royal St George’s last week, and was in contention heading into the final round. However, it was yet another near miss for Johnson in a Major as he could not carry through momentum to challenge leader and eventual winner Darren Clarke. Johnson keeps getting himself in great positions in the Majors, but just has not been able to finish it off. Still, credit is due to the game he plays, which does keep getting him into positive positions. So he will still be worth looking at for your European Golf betting this week as he goes off as 8/1 favourite at Bet365. He is carrying momentum and form into the tournament in Sweden and will look to get over the Major disappointment with a win here. Johnson finished T2 with Phil Mickelson at the 2011 Open Championship, and is playing very well, and going great with the putter. While others are off contesting the Canadian Open, or taking a rest after The Open, Johnson stands in a good position to be able to make a run at the title. He really is the strong force in the field, and that is why he will attract a great deal of Nordea Open golf betting interest. Very strong in his all round game, lovely to watch off the tee and so strong with the putter, on paper, Johnson is going to be hard to stop. The only question about him which you would stop and ponder, is whether or not the near miss in the Major again last week will have dented his confidence. He has been through that before though and bounced back. Look for another bounce back performance again from the American here in Sweden as well. Johnson finished T19th in his first attempt at the tournament last year.
Fellow American Bubba Watson is also in the field, staying in Europe after The Open. Watson and Johnson are the two highest ranked players in the field here, so you would expect them to go well. Johnson is ranked 7th in the world, with Watson ranked 14th. This is the first time that Watson has attempted this tournament though, and will be interesting to watch how he goes. After a T30 place at the Open Championship on the weekend, Watson always has plenty of potential in his bag. He is one of the longest drivers on the PGA Tour and not only that, he takes a lot of chances off the tee, manipulating the ball through its flight to try and get himself into positions which others can’t. When it works, it is spectacular, and when it doesn’t then he can appear a little disjointed and wayward in his game. While a great player with a couple of PGA titles under his belt this year, he struggles to back up his driving with a solid enough all round game to get him out trouble, should he falter off the tee. Still, he is always pretty good value in golf betting, whatever tournament he enters, because he is a momentum player. Once he gets going in a tournament, he is like a train, and very hard to peg back. So in this somewhat limited field for your European golf betting this week at Bro Hof Slot Golf Club, Sweden, Bubba Watson does present a good option, and would be great to see him and Johnson battle it out at the top of the leader board. However, when you break it down, you would expect the higher level of consistency from Dustin Johnson to win that battle.
With the European PGA in Sweden this week, we may as well look at the strong home nation players who are entering the tournament. Robert Karlsson will be looking for a big week in his game, and he is a former European Tour number one. Has not produced a great deal on the European Tour this year, failing to pick up a win. Johnson finished 94th at The Open last weekend, so will be hoping for much better. Sweden’s Henrik Stenson is also in the field, with his best finish this year a ninth at the BMW International, along with the Wales Open winner Alex Noren, who is the only Swede to have won on the 2011 European Tour so far this year. Last year’s winner Richard S Johnson is also back in the line up for the Nordea Open golf betting as he attempts to defend his title. Look out for the thrills and spills which the new 17th hole at Bro Hof will definitely present. This is an island green which the players need to find their way too, and it is always a spectacular sight, with a new wall having been added around the green as well. The Bro Hof Slot course is a long one, so you need to back a player with distance and stamina. That automatically pulls you back to the two main American challengers in the field, of Dustin Johnson and Bubba Watson. The Swedish course fires over 7,603 yards, making it the longest on the European Tour.
Nordea Open European PGA Tour Golf Betting Odds
Dustin Johnson: 8/1 at Bet365
Robert Karlsson: 10/1 at William Hill
Bubba Watson: 18/1 at Boylesports
Henrik Stenson: 20/1 at SportingBet
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July 19th, 2011 / Lee A Jackson - Category:
Canadian Open golf betting is on the cards for the PGA this week. Following the highs of a thrilling British Open Championship, it is back down to regular season work for the participants in Canada. There is a great, competitive fielding heading to Vancouver, British Columbia including the World Number One Luke Donald. The last time the PGA landed here was back in 2005. The course at the Shaughnessy Golf and Country Club has proven to be a pretty tough one in the past to negotiate, with the first hole being incredibly tough. Putting has also been a major challenge on the course, but the greens should be a little more welcoming this time around than it was back in 2005, however, flat and even are not words that you are going to associate with the greens here, so for your Canadian Open golf betting, you really need to look for someone who is going well in the putting stats. This course simply demands accuracy and the more length the players can get off the tee, the better served they will be. You need someone who is going very well in the putting stats to back with confidence in your Canadian Open golf betting here, and if you can couple that up with great bogey avoidance stats (because players will get into trouble out there at the Shaughnessy Golf club) you should be in good standing. Look for experience as that will count for a lot here, because the Canadian Open looks as if it will be as big of a mental challenge in trying to put four solid rounds of golf together, as it will be a matter of skill with the club. The nature of the challenge here in British Columbia should produce a pretty tight, low scoring event, with plenty of scrambling on display here. The weather should be ok without causing any dramas like it did at Royal St George’s on the weekend. Here we take a look at Canadian Open golf betting and weigh up the chances of the main contenders.
Looks pretty good value here does American Kuchar. Nope, didn’t show up well at the British Open at all, in fact he missed the cut which was the first time that had happened in nearly thirty outings. That is the consistency of the man, and looking down the stats, Kuchar is third in bogey avoidance, so has the putting power to go well here. Again, we look at Kuchar and want him to start winning more and more tournaments, and looking at the features of the course here, we really have to take him as one of the favourites in the betting. He has such a solid all round game which has put him in the top ten in 50% of his starts this year. The tricky thing about this, is that the event was played at a different course last year, so it is harder to read things from last year. However, Kuchar did finish T4 in last year’s Canadian Open and back on North American turf may see him more conformable than the links of southern England. His second place at the Memorial has been his best finish, but his scoring average is so strong and very good accuracy off the tee. Really could command this tournament.
Another disappointing Major for England’s Luke Donald at the Open Championship. Even he admitted he didn’t know why. Maybe the pressure of being the world number one perhaps? Has been enjoying a great season, and will be happier out here than on the links of last weekend. The course at Shaughnessy is tricky enough to allow the magic short game of Donald to come back into play. Needs a bit more confidence off the tee than he has shown in the last two Majors, but should be able to relax a bit here. Recently won the Scottish Open of course, and won that at a canter. Not too bad in bogey avoidance (ranked 17th) and that is down to his superb close control. This is another big test of confidence for him here at the Canadian Open and remember that he did finish third in last year’s event. Should be a contender to bounce back and threaten the top of the leader board. Kuchar is better value though.
Watch the South African a lot and he looks to just be getting better and better all of the time. He is well inside the top ten in scoring average and striking the ball so very well. Put in a very solid performance at the British Open and could have been better. This is a guy who is proving consistency of the highest order, and will win more and more in his career. The Masters Champion is scoring well, and drives so very well off the tee, and has the accuracy on his length to back up his game. Ranking 36th in the PGA for greens in regulation and seventh for scoring average. Needs his putter to go well here, but the all round game which he has should really put him in contention. Fantastic value and does not show any signs of slowing his progress at the moment. Good momentum to take for your Canadian Open golf betting.
Well, we know that above we said that you should be looking for good experience here to take in your Canadian Open golf betting options. However, we are going to go against the grain a little bit here for youngster Fowler, who really showed what he is capable of at the British Open. The young American is such an exciting talent, but he has not been able to put it all together consistently enough. Only has three top ten finishes out of seventeen starts this year, and is still waiting to land his first professional PGA title. His T5 finish at the British Open was his best performance of the year, and if he can build on that gritty performance, could go well here. Consistency is a question, talent is not. His overall stats don’t really put him in with a chance, but makes for a great value outside bet. The British Open will have done him the world of good.
Now, we can look at Moore based on the 2005 Canadian Open at Shaughnessy. He finished as runner up here back then, so has good course form. He is also carrying some decent current form as well, because he finished T28 at the Open Championship. He has also had some good finishes with a T2 at Travelers, a T4 at the Northern Trust and a T5 at the WGC Accenture Match Play Championship. No, not scoring quite as well as some of the other names above but pretty decent with his scrambling.
Not sure where he has gone this season. Faded away a little big, but has such a good ranking in making greens in regulation. Better than his current form, so on the outside of things and surprised he’s not a big longer in the odds.
Going out on a limb here for a dark horse Canadian Open Golf betting tip. Levin has good accuracy and solid enough distance, and hits enough greens in regulation to put him in with a chance. His T4 at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, where the greens were similar to what will be found at the Canadian Open. Is also up there ranked as 10th in bogey avoidance.
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May 18th, 2011 / Lee A Jackson - Category:
Luke Donald primed for more match play golf success – England’s Luke Donald will fire off as favourite in this week’s Volvo World Match Play Championship golf betting, held out in Spain. This is a fantastic tournament to watch, with the excitement of straight knockout rounds, as players battle it out, Champions League style to reach the final. All three of the World’s top players are there, Lee Westwood, Martin Kaymer and Luke Donald, who head a strong field of 24 (including six of the world top ten) for the tournament which runs from May 19th to 22nd. The format of the tournament sees the players split into eight groups of three for the first two days of the competition. Each group will play in a round robin format, with the top two moving through to the last sixteen. All of the group matches are played over Thursday and Friday. All of the players will be vying for a place in the last 16 to tee off on Saturday. It is Luke Donald who will draw so much attention here, because not only did he win the WGC Accenture World Match Play Championship this year over Martin Kaymer, but he is probably in the richest form of his life, rolling out top ten finish after top ten finish. There does not appear to be any let up in his momentum at the moment, and that will make him a very strong player to back in your Volvo World Match Play Championship golf betting. In our European PGA betting guide, we will look at the all important draw and the players who should be in the mix come the latter stages of the tournament.
The Draw for Volvo World Match Play Championship Golf Betting
Gary Player Group: Francesco Molinari, Ian Poulter, Paul Lawrie
Assar Bagrielsson Group: Charl Schwartzel, Miguel Angel Jimenez, John Edfors
Greg Norman Group: Paul Casey, Alvaro Quiros, Soren Kjeldsen
Gustal Larson Group: Rory McIlroy, Retief Goosen, Nicolas Colsaerts
Ian Woosnam Group: Graeme McDowell, Louis Oosthuizen, Jhonattan Vegas
Arnold Palmer Group: Martin Kaymer, YE Yang, Seung-yul Noh
Mark McCormack Group: Luke Donald, Ryan Moore, Ross Fisher
Seve Ballasteros Group: Lee Westwood, Anders Hansen, Aaron Baddeley
You can cast your eye of the group stage and pretty much pick out the expected top two from most. The Gary Player Group could be very well contested through between Molinari, Poulter and Lawrie, which could be a close run thing. The Ian Woosnam Group with Graeme McDowell having to face the tough duo of Louis Oosthuizen and Jhonattan Vegas looks as if it could be an almighty tight affair as well. Great variety in the players there. Along with Luke Donald’s group with Ryan Moore and Ross Fisher, which should play out as a close tussle for second behind Donald, looks fascinating as well. Don’t immediately see any major upsets happening from the state of the draw. We have all four current Major Champions in the field for the first time ever in the Volvo World Match Play. US Open champion Graeme McDowell, Masters champion Charl Schwartzel, Open winner Louis Oosthuizen and US PGA Champion Martin Kaymer. Tough field, which should produce some fascinating and exciting action.
The new World Number two after finishing in fourth at The Players last week. Is in awesome form right now, and well worth a punt for your Volvo World Match Play Championship golf betting. He just looks so composed and not putting a foot wrong right now. What Donald has is craft. He may not back the punch of the big hitters on the PGA but he more than makes up for it with his accuracy and ability to put the ball in the right place, just where he wants it. Should be a big threat, and while he faces off against fellow country man Ross Fishers, and America’s Ryan Moore, both of who should put up solid challenges (as Ross Fisher won this event back in 2009), with the rich vein of form that Donald is in, you would look for him to progress comfortably enough from the group stage. Looking beyond that, Donald has to be considered as outright winner, and is very well priced to do just that. This is a man who has landed 13 top ten finishes in his last 14 appearances in the PGA. He is looking for the Match Play double this year, after landing the Accenture Match Play title earlier in the year. There he simply looked immense, putting in some of the best match play golf rounds you could possibly hope to see, where he never once fell behind in a match. There will be bigger fish to fry on his mind as well, because while he goes off as World Number two for the first time in his career, he is getting ever closer to that coveted World Number One spot which Lee Westwood holds at the moment. Match play golf is just so suited to Luke Donald’s style and that is why he worth backing here, because his records in match play, including the Ryder Cup is pretty impressive. There’s extra ranking points up for grabs this week, and the composed Donald could just continue his rise.
The current world number one will seriously be looking over his shoulder at Luke Donald, with all the ranking points on offer this week. Westwood has experience winning a match play tournament, but that was a while ago when he won the World Match Play title at Wentworth in 2000. Didn’t deliver at all at the Accenture in Arizona this year, which was a bit disappointing, but somehow not too surprising after an indifferent start to the new year. Westwood recently got back to winning ways though, as he landed the Ballantine’s Championship out in Korea. That was enough to keep him at the top of the world rankings. You would expect Westwood to negotiate his way through the group easily enough, probably along with Aussie Aaron Baddeley (and those two going head to head should be very interesting). As far as backing Westwood as an outright winner, well, he is trading along the same mark as Luke Donald at the moment, but out of the two Englishmen, would pick Donald. Good value on Westwood though, but not sure if he is set up right for this.
If someone deserves a break this year, it will be Rory McIlroy. He had The Masters in his hand until half way through the final round. It all fell apart for him then, and it has been a mental challenge to stay on top of his game. He has done pretty well though, and this chance of pace could just suit him well. Fancied him at the Accenture earlier in the year, where he did OK, put can really see him putting The Masters behind him with a strong run here. The youngster should have enough to handle the experience of Retief Goosen as well as Belgium’s Nicolas Colsaerts in the group stage. Great value and if he goes brave here and doesn’t hold back, can see him hitting the semi’s at least in Volvo World Match Play Championship golf betting.
The German former World Number one will be hungry for some points to get him back to the top of the rankings. He went close at the Accenture Match Play this year, but could not live with the inspired Luke Donald in the final. Kaymer has parted with his caddie Craig Connelly, and so Kaymer’s brother Philip carries the bag this week for the star. Admittedly, Match Play is not really his cup of tea, but he can pose a threat. He did not look as if he had all the tools to get to the finals in Arizona to face Donald, but he put in some solid match play golf, being just aggressive enough when needed to. That will have done his confidence in this form of golf some good. Has been tweaking his game just a little bit of late as he hasn’t been happy. Has not quite delivered since his impressive victory in the HSBC Abu Dhabi Golf Championship. Still, we should see him in the last sixteen, as he groups up with Koreans YE Yang and Seung-yul Noh for the first round. Decent shot as an outside bet, simply because of his Accenture performance. Landed a good top twenty at The Players last week, which is something to build on.
Looked so very good at The Masters and truthfully should not be overlooked here. It is easy to get swept up in the Luke Donald match play betting hype, but Schwartzel is a canny player who can deliver. Can see him winning his group over Jimenez and pushing on deep into the competition. Solid outside bet.
Always like Graeme McDowell in these situation, because as shown in the Ryder Cup, he can deliver under high pressure. Didn’t quite hit the spot at the Accenture, but still has the tools to win this. Started off the season pretty strongly, but has not managed to nail a win yet during 2011. The defence of his US Open is on the line next month and he will want to be building some confidence and momentum ahead of that. Has been placed in a tough group with Louis Oosthuizen and Jhonattan Vegas, both of who have won on tour this year. McDowell has a lot of good close control, but you wonder if he is quite on top of his game or not. Quality player when he is on song, needs a solid start.
Volvo World Match Play Championship Golf Betting Outright Winner
Luke Donald: 7/1 at SkyBet
Lee Westwood: 7/1 at Bet365
Rory McIlroy: 9/1 at Totesport
Martin Kaymer: 9/1 at Totesport
Charl Schwartzel: 14/1 at SkyBet
Graeme McDowell: 16/1 at SportingBet
Ian Poulter: 18/1 at Totesport
Paul Casey: 18/1 at Extrabet
Volvo World Match Play Championship Golf Betting Tip: Hard to look past the form Luke Donald is in for your Volvo World Match Play Championship golf betting, but fancy McIlroy and Schwartzel to have a very good attempt here.
February 16th, 2011 / Lee A Jackson - Category:
It’s easy to look at the line up for current golf tournaments and pick Phil Mickelson out as a winner, but this time, you have to go with the big left hander. Mickelson is the pick of the bunch in Southern California this week, as a fair chunk of the world’s top 50 players are out for the Northern Trust Open at the Riviera Country Club. This is one of the tough, classically designed courses, and it would take something very special from a first timer at the course to pick up a victory. It hasn’t happened very often here, and so would immediately discount that. Should be a rainy affair, and that will make conditions difficult and will add to the experience needed to pick up the title here. That is why you have to look at Mickelson, who is a two time winner at the course, which is one of the oldest in use on the PGA. Mickelson has the driving range and accuracy to make an impact here, and he is playing well at the moment, in what could be a massive year for him. He is the top money earner at the Northern Trust Open and should therefore be backed to do it again for a third time. He has the class to take this all of the way, and is current firing so very well in accuracy in approaching the greens. He should be able to deal with the conditions and track, and his greens in regulation stats should firmly put him at the top of the leader board.
The PGA has had some surprise winners so far this year, so the law of averages would kind of suggest that someone like Mickelson, one of the game’s top performers, is going to hit the mark sooner rather than later. This is the ideal course for a master to step up and lead the way, and Mickelson has done that twice before, and why he makes the strongest bet here. Well worth looking at for your betting. Mickelson has two top ten finishes this year already, and is surely building up stream for a big win. There really is not much room for outsiders here. Steve Stricker is another previous winner here and should be expected to go well again. Stricker starts the tournament as the defending champion, breaking Mickelson’s stranglehold on the competition. He actually represents much better value in terms of golf betting odds than what Mickelson does, but Striker is also a runner up in the tournament, and therefore makes for a great bet. But the list of opportunities doesn’t end there for the Northern Trust Open, as England’s Luke Donald has the right type of game to excel again here. The Southern Californian course is not one of the longest in terms of average to the green, so there is a prerequisite for a player to have a fantastic short game. That is what Luke Donald has in spades, and why he has been a consistently good performer that the tournament. Should be well within the top six when it comes to the end of the tournament, and has the short skill game set to beat the weather as well. Finished as runner up here last year, and he has one of the strongest records at the tournament. Hasn’t played since December though, but such a solid and consistent performer, he has to be in the running.
But, with the rain on the way, it could help the big hitters. That swings some advantage to some obvious names on the PGA at the moment. Mickelson is finally driving as well as his short game is going, but there are still better players off the tee than him. First name when thinking of distance, is recent Tour winner Bubba Watson, who has phenomenal length on him, and has shown good form early in 2011. Bubba Watson really should be a contender here, as there is a massive opportunity to attack the prestigious old course, and not get punished so much because of softer fairways. Has done pretty well around the course before, and will draw a lot of attention to follow up his amazing controlled success at Torrey Pines over Phil Mickelson. Watson is one of the best drivers around, and that should put him in contention. Is ranked third in greens hit on the Tour this year, top stats at the moment, top form and has to be in with a chance. Watson is fourth in the FedExCup standings at the moment, while Mickelson is down in 8th. Fellow American Dustin Johnson, an ever popular pick at PGA Tour events (and drawing a lot of interest here in the betting), is another of the strong big hitters. Is a decent price to look at, and has a best finish of third at the tournament during the past couple of years. More of an outsider than Watson, as Johnson can’t match the current form. The other name in the mix has to be Matt Kuchar, who has had an incredibly solid start to the new year. Kuchar, known for his consistency, has had three starts this year, and hasn’t finished outside of the top seven in any them. Hasn’t really shown up at the Riviera before in his previous five attempts, but he is a much better equipped prospect this time around. Certainly has the tools to get the job done here, and makes for a pretty strong pack to chase down Mickelson.
However, Mickelson looks to be the strongest bet, but if you want more value, don’t be afraid to look at Luke Donald or Bubba Watson. There is a tightly packed field of class acts and the PGA Tour tournaments have been wide open affairs so far this year. A big name should win the Northern Trust Open though, and that should dictate your golf betting. If someone comes to the fore outside of the main pack here, then it will be something of a surprise. In that field you would be looking at the young maverick Rickie Fowler to explode, or either the more steadying hand of Paul Casey, or perhaps the slightly wayward driving of Anthony Kim, who will be a popular figure around the course this week. Expect a wet and wild weekend in South California for your golf betting this week. Remember, experience on this course will count for a lot and all of these players have what is needed to make an impact. For a total outside bet though, look at Rory Sabbatini, another massive hitter, who won the tournament back in 2006 when Mickelson threw it away.
Phil Mickelson: 8/1 at Totesport
Steve Stricker: 14/1 at BetFred
Dustin Johnson: 22/1 at Bet365
Luke Donald: 22/1 at Boylesports
Hunter Mahan: 25/1 at Extrabet
Matt Kuchar: 25/1 at SportingBet
JB Holmes: 29/1 at Unibet
Paul Casey: 29/1 at Unibet
Rickie Fowler: 35/1 at Bet365
Bubba Watson: 40/1 at Bet365
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