Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Valero Texas Open - 2013

Only one event this week as the European Tour takes a breather from all the travelling around the world. It was a starnge week for the blog on both sides of the Atlantic where 4 of our 6 picks missed the cut, and by some way too. In Morocco, we will just put it down to luck (or lack of) the draw as Scott Jamieson & Rafa Cabrera-Bello failed to cope with the wind and the rough on a course that was well set-up. Its certainly an event that with the right sponsorship could be a player on the tour in coming years. Lee Slattery made the cut, again, and finally put together a decent final round to finish in a tie for 21st. On the PGA, the blog almost produced the winner in Dustin Johnson who was on fire in his final round. Unfortunately I only saw bits of the coverage over the Easter, but I hear he missed a 5 footer for birdie on 11 and then went for the green on the 12th to find water. Had he made birdie on 11, things could have worked out better, but I'll never bemoan a player who goes for it. He finished T 4th to ensure some return and therefore minimize the damage of the 4 missed cuts. This result is prime example why e/w golf betting is important in my view as these place returns keep the bankroll somewhat tidy before the winner comes along. So then, where's the next winner I hear you say?
The Valero Texas Open takes place this week at TPC San Antonio where Ben Curtis will defend. He is joined in the field by Rory McIlroy who has expressed his desire to get more competitive golf under his belt before he heads to Augusta next week. Its a good decision in my eyes and we can be assured he is working very hard on his game to peak before he drives up Magnolia Lane. I expect him to play well this week, but I am sure he is not worried about winning the tournament, therefore he's not a bet for me. Of the favourites I would be tempted by Matt Kuchar, but he too is off to Augusta next week and I'm a bit wary of backing a player that has real high hopes of wearing a green jacket come Sunday week. Also in the field is Charl Schwartzel, Padriag Harrington, Ian Poulter, Peter Hanson and Freddie Jacobsen who are playing next week. Harrington is interesting and is a player I want to back next week and having won the par 3 at Augusta to "jinx" himself before, I'm sure he wont mind winning this week either. His driving is better suited to Augusta than here but he is a definite watch this week.
I have found three players that have some value and who I do expect to compete on the Greg Norman designed course, rated as the most difficult on tour outside of the Majors. The course has undergone some changes namely to 4 or 5 greens, and the run offs around them , as well as shortening of the rough.It will be interesting to see if it plays a bit easier this year on the back of these changes. Its  a 7,500 yarder, bunkers are quite deep and straight hitters and good GIR stats are what I'm looking at this week.

My first selection is Jim Furyk @ 33/1 with . Jim has not played this event in almost 20 years and makes his 7th start this season having made 6 cuts already. Not the longest of drivers, but his ability to find fairways is key here as he is ranked 8th currently on tour,and the "veteran" is quite capable of winning this as the par 5s this week will play for most as a "three shotter". The price is good for a player that has 3 top 25s in his 6 starts this year.

My second pick has to be Billy Horschel who I have put up twice already this season at bigger odds. Billy currently has the longest cuts made streak on the tour standing at 20. Last week he nearly won, the week I wasn't on him so I have to keep the faith in him this week. He is 55/1 with Bet Victor. Thats still good value despite not having won, but that win is coming. Following injury two years ago and a slow path back to the Tour, the early potential looks like its about to reap reward and having tweeted that he and his wife, Brittany had bought their first home a couple of weeks ago, all seems good in his life at the moment and that good feel factor goes along way on a golf course.

My final pick this week is Brendon de Jonge @ 66/1 with .From 11 starts this season he has made 9 cuts which include 4 top 25s and 2 top 10s. He's in form and had a good weekend in Houston. He is 26th in GIR, and 10th in all round scoring which comes on the back of making the most birdies on tour this year. A streaky player, so hopefully he continues the form he has shown already in Texas.

TIP 1: 1 pt e/w Jim Furyk @ 33/1

TIP 2: 1 pt e/w B.Horschel @ 55/1 Bet Victor

TIP 3: 1 pt e/w Brendon de Jonge @ 66/1