Tuesday, 17 May 2022

PGA Championship 2022 - Southern Hills, Tulsa Oklahoma

 The PGA Championship looks set to be a cracker this week where there are so many in with a great chance of winning which in turn suggests we probably won't see a triple priced winner at a course that looks set to play tough. Southern Hills GC is the venue this week and the course looks like one that a strong T2G game is required.

It's an event I'm looking forward to viewing more than speculating on and in a selfish way I'm delighted that reigning champion, Phil Mickelson is missing so we can avoid the unnecessary interviews with him, about him and the bloody LIV. Tiger is here though so whilst he does bring a different aspect in terms of how will he fare, I'm hoping TV coverage provides us with a fair share of footage and not Tiger constantly.

I think Rory McIlroy can break the losing Major streak this week...He's been simmering for a while and if he does get a solid opening front-9 under his belt on Thursday and is within touch after that opening 18 I think he's going to go very close, I also think JT will have a solid week and he should take confidence from his 8th place finish at Augusta to bring into Major week and kick on in the Majors and add to his solitary Major, winning the Wanamaker Trophy back in 2017. They're my two at the top of the marker to be onside with but there's no denying that Jon Rahm's game is ideal for Southern Hills nor do I dismiss the chances of Slam-chasing Jordan Spieth, Patrick Cantlay, Morikawa and Scheffler.

Down the market I do like Daniel Berger at the price (50/1 - 10 places) as well as Cameron Young @60/1 - 10 places (but would take less without these number of places- not so sure 60s is value but I'm happy to take here) and I did take a couple of looks at Justin Rose @100/1 - 10 places given he has solid PGA Championship form and course design related form before deciding against inclusion.  JR has let me down at Augusta a few times although he prevailed for me at Merion but I'm not so confident he can do it this week. JJ Spaun was considered as too were Sepp Straka & Tyrrell Hatton (but we can't back him in a tense Major can we?)


Selections


3 pts WIN J. Thomas @ 18/1
2 pts e/w R. McIlroy @ 16/1 - 9 places
1 pt e/w D. Berger @ 50/1 - 10 places 
1 pt e/w C. Young @ 60/1 - 10 places

Wednesday, 11 May 2022

Soudal Open & Byron Nelson Championship 2022 - Rinkven International, Antwerp & TPC Craig Ranch, Dallas

Soudal Open 

Thomas Pieters heads the home challenge in Belgium this week at the Rinkven International GC in Antwerp. Born, raised and living in Antwerp, Pieters is surprisingly 2nd in the betting market this week behind Bernd Wiesberger. One week out from the years 2nd Major, the PGA Championship, it's always tough to decide if players are "warming up" ahead of the Major or whether there will be a determined effort to grab a win and I'm fully convinced given the status of a fledgling DP Tour, players will make every effort every week to do as well as they can, afterall next stop can only be the PGA Tour or the LIV association. At 16/1 - 8 places (7 places general and will settle to 7 for the blog's P&L)I'm onboard. A settled Thomas Pieters playing at home can only be a positive and think there's plenty of value in the price against the field here. Along with the Austrian he is well ahead of the field in terms of class and quality.

Adrian Meronk  is certainly in fine fettle of late having posted 4 TOP10s from his 8 starts which have included 3 TOP-5s. A missed cut last week can be ignored but a TOP-3 in Girona means he can tee it up here in confidence where a strong game is required to go low @ 22/1 - 7 places

Very tempted to get back onside with Victor Perez but he's obviously been backed in already this week(down to 33s) so I'll pass and go back to Ewen Ferguson who had a mare at The Belfry last week. 80/1 is fair enough, I wouldn't have taken lower, so he's added to recapture the form shown before the "once-off" in the MIdlands last week. At the same price I'm having a stab at Lucas Nemecz given his form to date is consistent (yes he also missed the cut last week) but 3 TOP-20s from his 11 starts is encouraging and his strong ranking in the T2G stats may prove to beneficial at Rinken.

Selections


2.0 pts e/w T. Pieters @ 16/1 - 7 places
1.5 pts e/w A. Meronk @ 22/1 - 7 places
1.0 pts e/w E. Ferguson @ 80/1 - 7 places
1.0 pts e/w L. Nemecz @ 80/1 - 7 places


Byron Nelson Championship


As mentioned in the Soudal Open preview above, the DP Tour is slipping more and more into oblivion I feel, as the quality of fields are diminishing each week, so my focus is undoubtedly switching to a more vibrant PGA Tour where so many new young players are coming to the fore. My initial preference was always for the Europeantour but the overall product in Europe from on course attendees (no spectators) and poor fields complemented by very poor Sky TV commentary makes the tour more unattractive each week and it's becoming increasingly frustrating to stay engaged.

Onto Dallas so, and the birdie-fest that awaits us here as TPC Craig Ranch ranks in the TOP-5 easiest courses on the tour. We have only one edition to refer to for course form so my approach this week is to see who is in current form, who likes low scoring tourneys and who is value to take on the market leaders that may very well be treating the next fews days as a warm-up for Southern Hills next week.
I'll opt once again for Sahith Theegala @ 100/1 - 8 places given he has been in form this season. Indeed his 3 TOP-10s this season have been at low scoring events so he's up for a birdie fest it seems. TOP25 last time out in Mexico, Sahith can continue a good season here this week at a decent price.

I don't normally rush out to back Marc Leishman but did so earlier this year to no avail and yet he was high up on my shortlist for this. Alas, he's been backed solidly it seems already this week and the 60/1 has evaporated and is now best price, 50/1 - 7 places. (60s with B365 with just 5 places). It could be tempting but feel I'm missing out on the value if I do, so instead I'll chance Luke List again here @ 90/1 - 8 places. List is in good form and ranking 4th on tour for SG:T2G and high in SG:APR, he can and should go much better than his 61st placing twelve months ago.

JJ Spaun @ 100/1 - 8 places also appeals. Winner 3 starts ago just 5 hours down the road from here in San Antonio, the Californian may not add a second title so soon having won his first but in his 150th PGA Tour start he can hit the frame here. He did win the event before The Masters - can he do it again ?


Selections


1.0 pt e/w S. Theegala @ 100/1 - 8 places
1.0 pt e/w L. List @ 90/1 - 8 places
1.0 pt e/w JJ. Spaun @ 100/1 - 8 places

Wednesday, 4 May 2022

British Masters & Wells Fargo Championship 2022 - The Belfry & TPC Potomac

 Very disappointing in Catalunya when Wiesberger finished 8th when taking 7 places and Fox finishing 9th when taking 8 places ! More disappointed with Ryan Fox's lacklustre final round when he did look comfortable on the course all week. 

I like The Belfry and having walked the course back in 2002 whilst waiting on a flight from Birmingham when I was lucky enough to follow Padraig Harrington on the back 9 that afternoon, have always considered accurate tee-to green players for an event at this course. Recent form is carrying over in recent events and I'm looking to catch one of them here.


The Wells Fargo Championship is being hosted by TPC Potomac , Maryland this week as Quail Hollow is being prepared for the Presidents Cup later this year. Rory defends having won this title 3 times previously at Quail Hollow and maybe the man to beat here too. I'll back four players to go up against him and include Max again whilst odds continue to be as high as they are and stick with last week's selections, Anirban Lahiri & Patrick Reed and include Cameron Young also who is sure to go in soon and his game was on point at Riviera so whilst Avenal Farms should play difficult this week, Young has shown he has the temperament to contend.

Selections

British Masters

1.25 pts e/w Lee Westwood @ 33/1  - 7 places
1 pt e/w Victor perez @ 50/1 - 7 places
0.5 pts e/w Ewen Ferguson @ 125/1 - 7 places

Wells Fargo Championship

1.5 pts e/w Patrick Reed @ 40/1 - 8 places
1.5 pts e/w Cameron Young @ 35/1 - 8 places
1 pt e/w Anirban Lahiri @  66/1 - 8 places
0.5 pts e/w Max McGreevy @ 500/1 - 8 places