Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Tampa Bay Championship - 2013

Quality tournament fare again on the cards from the US PGA this week when the re-named Tampa Bay Championship taks place at Copperhead GC at the Innisbrook Resort in Florida. This is a par 71 course, tree lined with small greens and it is ranked as one of the easier par 71s on tour last year (5th easiest of 11 ) but the final 3 holes were ranked as one of the most difficult closing 3 holes on tour. These three holes are affectionately called "the Snake Pit" and comprise of a par 4 in between two par 3s. No Tiger or Rory this week but its still a quality field with Luke Donald, Adam Scott, Simpson, Dufner,Kuchar,Oosthuizen, Kaymer, Garcia and others competing.
This week I'm looking at players who are coming here in decent form and whose play suits the course.It will definitely suit Luke Donald but at 16/1 I am very relunctant to back him for the win.(he is the defnding champion too). One of the players towards the head of the betting market that I do like though is Webb Simpson @ 20/1. This price may shorten, hence why I tweeted this last night before I got a chance to write up this preview. Simpson has good course form and has come close on a couple of occasions to winning here. The US Open Champion is well suited to this type of track and should he get the flatstick to perform this week I think he can win this. He has his trusted caddy, Paul Tesori back on the bag now and this could hopefully act as the catalyst to return Simpson to winning ways.He was T 20th last week without really playing that well so a trip here must be an opportunity to go better. Ever consistent, a good start on Thursday could see him well positioned and that will bring added confidence to the putting. 1 pt e/w @ 20/1 Betpack

My second selection is Billy Horschel who I tipped up for the Honda Classic two weeks ago. He literally got blown away in the 3rd round when very nicely placed just 2 back off the lead after the 2nd round but it was his final round, a level par 70 in testing conditions that impressed me. Only 5 players bettered that score on that day. It showed fighting spirit after the 81 and his form has been progressive this season that a good result is not far away. Weather forecast for this week is quite good, so excuses Billy boy !.125/1 with Bet365 is very big and he is selected in good faith following decent form. - 1 pt e/w

I was in a dilemna as to whether to back Geoff Ogilvy here at 66/1 or opt for another big price or indeed include Jason Dufner at 25/1. Simpson gets the nod over Dufner so regrettably (I hope not) I have left him out. Ogilvy has shown he is getting back to his best again and went close at the Honda finishing second. He has an excellent track record here too and I'm finding it too hard to ignore him this week at this price. - 1pt e/w @ 66/1 Betpack

To complete the staking plan this week I am also going to add in two 0.25 pts each way selections at 125/1. Ross Fisher may like the setup here and his driving could serve him well. Again if he gets the putter going he could fly under the radar. I'm a fan of the Englishman and believe he can go on and win more often and have even been a bit surprised at how well he has started on the PGA Tour this season, this being his first full season in the US. Just 1 missed cut from 5 starts which have included a T21st and T38th is not bad in his first couple of months.But its the bunch of 66s and 68s, not to mention a 65 at the Humana following a horrendous opening round which has caught my eye and if he can eliminate a poor round this week he is bound to be up there. 125/1 with Boylesports is well worth a small wager.

Harris English is another who has threatened to do well the past 12 months and is worth the same small wager at 125/1 also with Boylesports.

Total staking Plan 7 pts.