Wednesday, 14 April 2021

RBC Heritage 2021 - Hilton Head GC, South Carolina

 Back to its slot after the Masters, The RBC Heritage once again takes place at Hilton Head GC, South Carolina, a course that does not favour big hitters but as shown over the years, steady accurate type players. I like this course and the event, if only the scoring could be tightened up someway.

Just two players for me here - unlike the Austrian Open, I found  quite a number of players represented some value and it proved difficult to decide on a final shortlist. Ideal tournament to get involved in on the exchange if you have the free time to enjoy all 4 days. Carlos Ortiz is of interest to me @80/1 - 8 places here. 33rd on his debut last year isn't overly exciting but the warm up is complete and he'll be glad to get back to bread and butter stuff this week following missed cuts last time out at both Augusta & Sawgrass. Prior to those events, the Mexican was playing well, and from his 15 starts this season he's got a WIN and a further 2 T-10s and 2T-20s to lie 21st in the FedEx Cup rankings. He's gaining shots on the field this season in a few categories and referencing the excellent data-golf trend database, he is +1.36 on recent form. I made him ~66s for this track and am happy to have a punt over some of the others that were shortlisted.

Stewart Cink is enjoying a great 12 twelve months of golf having won last year and continued decent form into 202. The former Open Champion has posted 6 T-20s from his 14 starts this season including a 12th place finish at Augusta last week and 19th at the Honda last time out previously. 125/1 is a good price for this (I would have taken 90s) and if we see some wind then I like his chances even more.


1 pt e/w C. Ortiz @ 80/1 - 8 places
.75 pts e/w S. Cink @ 125/1 - 8 places

Austrian Open 2021 - Diamond GC, Austria

 Main Europeantour action returns to mainland Europe this week where we are once again back at the Diamond Country Club , just an hour northwest of Vienna.

I've tried to find some decent value here this week but have struggled really to focus on who is more likely to outplay their odds given 1/ the long layoffs in between events and 2/ decipher if the April slot for Diamond CC will show a different trend than in the past when played later in the season. Joost Luiten is the course "specialist" here having returned the following results below (most recent to the left/ I did not count Shot Clock Masters in 2019 as a guide for course form....should I have?)


Clearly, the Dutchman is at ease here but even @ 22/1 behind market leaders Schwab, Harding, Detry, Kaymer and Sam Horsfield I couldn't pull the trigger. Schwab & Kaymer I like here but I can't dive in @ 16s & 22s respectively. I'll watch for an inplay bet if the opportunity arises.

So, its just one for before the off in the shape of Jacques Kruyswijk @ 55/1 - 7 places. The South African had a decent spell in Kenya when last seen finishing 5th in BOTH events following a T-10 on the Sunshine Tour the week before and T-11th the week previous to that. He's playing well, albeit the field here this week may be slightly stronger than in recent events, but its not that a strong a field that he cant compete against, and I think he's 10-15 points bigger @ 55s than what I reckon his chances are.


1 pt e/w J. Kruyswijk @ 55/1 - 7 places

Monday, 5 April 2021

Masters 2021

It's a quick turnaround at Augusta National. Having hosted the 2020 Masters just 5 months ago,the 2021 version slots back into it's usual calendar this week as DJ defends but without a Champions Dinner to host, due to covid-19. And it's the defending champion that I usually have at the top of my shortlist for Augusta and despite little value in the betting market this week he's not instilling much confidence for me to pull the trigger when I can't get away from Justin Thomas to win his second major. At 13/1 he's my main bet for the week, whilst I mull over adding Rory McIlroy @ 18s as the Ulsterman does represent about the only value around between the title contenders. Whatever Rory does for the rest of his golf career or indeed his personal life, winning the green jacket this week or twelve months time or even later, will forever be marked in history as he would join a very elite but small group of players to complete golf's slam. If he's been working on his short game the past two weeks and he brings an upturn in that department over the 4 days ahead he will be challenging and he's worth punting at the price.

I was kind of interested in Patrick Cantlay,then Collin Morikawa and I then looked at Patrick Reed, but this year's Masters conundrum looks a tough one to crack so I went a bit lower down the pegging order trying to find a player or two who could place. Paul Casey if bigger than 40s would have been a bet so I took the plunge on Adam Scott @ 66/1 and Justin Rose @ 80/1 (Matt Kuchar pushing Rose close for the nod)

Whilst Scott has unusually played a bit more lately than the Englishman, a return to Augusta for Rose could see him produce a good week out of the blue as seen at last year's PGA Championship where he finished 9th before posting another solid result in Saudi this year when runner up to DJ. A back injury saw him withdraw at Bay Hill and again at Sawgrass, but he's prepared for this week and hopefully is pain free. The price probably accounts for the doubt but if he's fit to play and starts well Thursday I'm sure he'll hang about to late Sunday.

Adam Scott posted a top-10 at Torrey Pines at the end of January and posted T-13th at the PGA National last time out proving his tee to green game is in good nick,and as always with Scottie, we need to be aware of his putting woes but I'm happy to have a dabble at this price.

3 pts WIN J. Thomas @ 13/1
1.75 pts e/w R. McIlroy @ 18/1 - 8 places
1 pt e/w J. Rose @ 80/1 - 8 places
1 pt e/w A. Scott @ 66/1 - 8 places