Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Open de France 2010

Bank Balance after BMW International Championship +123.12

The fields continue to get stronger each week on the European Tour as the season hots up. With The British Open just a few weeks away, getting into form is crucial for the potential challengers not to mention Race to Dubai points. This week sees the action at Le National GC outside Paris, straight driving a necessity and a tough mental attitude requirement to finish out over the closing holes. Last year Martin Kaymer beat Lee Westwood in a playoff after the Englishman dumped his ball in the water. Ian Poulter was looking like the winner until a cameraman "upset" him and his temper took its toll, but Poults record on this course is excellent and if he can focus on his game rather than the media and "unruly" fans, he can win this week @ 27/1 (betpack).
There are many to consider this week who could go well. I fancy the chances of Rory McIlroy (22/1), Adam Scott (50/1), Karlsson(40/1), Cabrera (55/1) not to mention Kaymer (18/1) Schwartzel (22/1) and Fisher (25/1) and its the latter that I have relunctantly left out to accommodate and outside bet in the shape of Shane Lowry again @ 125/1. The Irishman is hitting a bit of form and but for a poor opening round last week could easily have challenged for the BMW. He is well capable of putting a good couple of rounds together and despite a late start Thursday the gamble is for a solid opening round with early start Friday to yield the birdies!
I am tempted to back Ricky Barnes at the AT & T in the USA this weekend rather than take one of the above mentioned as an extra interest in France purely because Barnes has recorded so many top 10s this year surely he will win soon and at 40/1(Boylesports) it could be this week.

Alstom Open de France Selections:

1 pt e/w I.Poulter @ 27/1
1 pt e/w S.Lowry @ 125/1

AT & T Selection:

1 pt e/w R.Barnes @ 40/1

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

BMW International 2010

Good field assembled for the BMW International this week and its an event artin Kaymer will be expecting to go well in having won it in 2008 and hitting form lately by finishing in a tie for 8th at Pebble Beach, but at odds of 12/1, whilst not afraid to take the skinny odds, I will not back him this week in a field that includes Els,Casey, Karlsson, Fisher, Schwartzel, Jiminez and Garcia. Instead I will opt for Charl Schwartzel who does grab his share of birdies and this is a low scoring tournament and hope that Ross Fisher will ignite his season this week on a course suited to his game. Shane lowry is still overpriced at 150/1...its getting near time to defend his Irish Open, he shot course record at Sunningdale for British Open Qualifier couple of weeks ago and is the sort of player than can shoot low scores, whether he can maintain it over 4 rounds as will be required this week remains to be seen but the odds are great value.

Bank Balance after US Open + 121.12 pts

BMW International Selections:

1 pt e/w C. Schwartzel @ 20/1
1 pt e/w R.Fisher @ 28/1
1 pt e/w S.Lowry @ 150/1

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

US Open Pebble Beach 2010

Its a return to Pebble Beach for this years US Open, a full 10 years on since Tigers amazing 15 shot victory when last played there. That sort of fact would normally trigger me to look at the betting without Tiger market but such is the fall from grace in Tiger's world he has to be taken on. With Channel 4 set to broadcast revelations over a possible love child on British TV on Thursday night, Tigers focus will be disturbed and he may struggle to make cut here.
Also, unlike last year,where the players who went out late Thurs and early Friday, got a huge advantage, the weather forecast is so good with wind at a minimum this week, players will be at a level playing field. That said, the groupings are interesting. Rory McIlroy out with Ryo Ishikawa with Tom Watson to put manners on them, Adam Scott with Ogilvy & Allenby (all-Aussie), Goosen with Furyk & Cabrera (all recent winners), Watney with Mahan & Barnes, Duval with Lehman & Curtis (British Open winners),and Westwood with Els & Woods. I like three of these groupings- the All-Aussie grouping should mean nerves will settle quicker and conversation should be pleasant, all 3 should go well. But the Goosen group has me very interested. Its a great group for the South African looking for his 3rd Open. Having just returned from injury at last week's St Jude Classic where he posted 3 68s after +2 opening rd. Playing partners are crucial in majors and in the shape of Furyk & Cabrera he wont be sidetracked but focussed on scoring and at 50/1 (Ladbrokes) paying 5 places its 1 pt e/w on a player who has the patience and putting game to prevail here this weekend. I have been watching Ricky Barnes a bit the past few weeks and his ball flight may suit this course and I can see him going well. He has posted 5 top 10s this season from 16 starts and its this market that I will have 1pt @ 9/1. At 100/1 and paying 6 places .5 pts e/w also is invested with Betpack as i like the grouping, Watney is leading scrambler on Tour this year and Mahan is big game player so the group should bring each other along. Ernie Els has to have a chance, two tour wins this season already although disappointing Masters but I would have preferred him not to be playing with Tiger but he's seen it all and he shouldn't be distracted by South Africa's exploits back home in the World Cup (Uruguay may end their involvemnet on Friday). Lee Westwood should be favourite- outstanding form at present, winner last week and great US Open form. I want him to win it but at 12/1 I don't think its great value. (always felt this was his best chance of major - the US Open)

Of the others, Lefty should be up there, has great record on the course, pressure to win back to back majors though could tell. Stricker has the game but has he got the bottle come Sunday? Its 40 years since a European last won, Lee Westwood could end that just like he became the first European to win in Memphis last week, but I dont think Europe's cream are playing particularly well at present apart from Like Donald but this tournament and course is not "the Plodders" forte so I am overlooking him. Padraig Harrington showed no side effects from recent surgery in his opening rd last week, BUT..he then just slipped further and further down the field. But he is the type to have refocussed for the major this week and could contend but I dont think he is near his A game just yet. Of the Europeans I think can surprise is Graeme McDowell. Its a hard call to say who is the most confident- Poulter or McDowell but the Portrush man performs great stuff when in confidence/form, and he certainly is, following his win at Celtic Manor 2 weeks ago and Pebble Beach will suit him. ( I would back Graeme if bank would allow extra bet @ 66/1).

Bank balance after Open de Portugal + 119.12

US Open Selections:

1 pt e/w E.Els @ 28/1 (Boylesports 6 places)
1 pt e/w R.Goosen @ 50/1 (Ladbrokes 5 places)
.5 pt e/w R.Barnes @ 100/1 (Betpack 6 places)
1 pt win TOP 10 Finish R.Barnes (Betpack)

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Estoril Open de Portugal- 2010

A very weak field for this weeks event in Portugal which is a bit disappointing following the blogs winner in Graeme McDowell last Sunday at Celtic Manor. The favourite this week is Chris Wood, who was tipped by the blog in Wales, but having opened as the first round leader he faded badly suggesting that he may be knackered and therefore find no value in backing him this week at such low odds. In fact I have found it difficult to find a good wind player in the field who could win at good odds and could eventually only narrow it down to Canizares, Colsaerts & Bjorn, but is the Spaniard I will put up this week. The young man should have the game to excel here, especially in the wind and as the weather forcast is promising VERY WINDY conditions have omitted Colsaerts from my selection process. The Belgium, along with Jamie Donaldson, have been ultra consistent the past 2 months but this may not be their week. As Alejandro is out early enough on Thursday morning too, I am putting him up for 1st rd leader also @ 25/1 (Boylesports). Canizares best odds are 15/1 with Betpack but its a win only bet of 2pts this week for the blog.

As this blog put up Brian Gay to win the St Jude Classic last year, which he duly obliged, I have had aquick look at the field for this weeks event and actually feel its between Gay, Heath Slocum & David Toms. As Gay has excellent form here (not as proficient tho as Toms) , I will be backing Gay again to defend @ 25/1.

Bank Balance after Wales Open + 125.12

Open de Portugal Selections:

1 pt e/w A.Canizares 1st Rd Leader @ 25/1
2 pts WIN A.Canizares @ 15/1

St Jude Classic Selection:

1 pt e/w B.Gay @ 25/1

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Celtic Manor Welsh Open

The tour returns to the UK this week, which begs me to ask "surely the golfers must voice their opinion about unnecessary travel to the UK to Spain back to UK and so on ?" Granted sponsorship and money dictate, but as the uropean Tour grows in strength, the schedule would have to be looked at to create an Iberian swing, Middle East swing, Celtic swing, Mainland Europe swing etc? It could mean more of the top players would play more events, the flipside of this though,is that I believe the Tour is getting stronger in that the young breed get a chance to excel more which instills confidence in their play meaning a bright 10-20 years ahead for the tour. Anyway, onto the selections for this week.
Luke Donald starts favourite again this week which is justified, which means I feel compelled to comment on last weeks blog where I said Donald couldn't win! I was so wrong and hats off to "The Plodder" , it was the perfect way to get over the disappointment of Wentworth. That said he was 12/1 in the betting whereas McDowell returned 10/1 for the place which was a better bet which resulted in this blog's profit reach the +100 pts again.Again though,Donald wont be backed at those odds for back to back victories although it would not surprise me, confidence is half the game on tour and he is full of it now. So can be said of McDowell, who is improving every week, he had a mediocre Saturday last week but showed the fighting sprit on Sunday and I think he has a shout again this week. He is 22/1 which is good value for a player in form but better value is in Chris Wood @ 28/1. The young Englishman comes into this event in great form and this event, like the BMW PGA 2 weeks ago, has produced a number of first time winners and it could be his turn this week. the added factor of the course being the venue for the Ryder Cup adds to the appeal, surely Monty is following the future star closely already this year. Another young talent is Northern Ireland's, Gareth Maybin who like his fellow countryman, Darren Clarke, posseses a great iron game and can go well here. At 70/1 he has to be taken.
The 3 selections are taken despite the threat of Kaymer(no form yet),Fisher (ready to kick on?),Jamie Donaldson (numerous top 10s already this year and home Open this week), Rhys Davies (Welsh expect?) and Francesco Molinari who probably is the most consistent this year...The bookies have them too low for my liking so the 3 nominated get the nod.

Bank balance after Madrid Masters = + 101.62

Celtic Manor Selections:

1 pt e/w C.Wood @ 28/1 (paddypower)
1 pt e/w G.McDowell @ 22/1 (paddypower)
1 pt e/w G.Maybin @ 70/1 (Betpack)