Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Volvo Golf Champions, Bahrain-2011

The 2nd leg of the Gulf Swing takes place for the first time at the Colin Montgomerie designed Royal GC Bahrain this week in the inaugural Volvo Golf Champions. With the past 2 weeks winners going to betting favourtism, one can be forgiven for looking at the market leaders again this week, and they are Paul Casey, Ian Poulter, Padraig Harrington, the Molinaris,and Robert Karlsson who won in the desert last year in the finale. I tipped Casey last week, he struggled on day 1 but got himself up the leaderboard over the 3 following rounds, aided by a hole in one on the Saturday, but he nor anyone else was ever going to reel in the impressive Martin Kaymer. The big question this week is, is he worth backing at 8/1. Its a relatively small field so perhaps he is, but for me it is still a bit skinny when considering Harrington & Poulter who are both available at 12/1 . The former will be bullish(or perhaps not, as his demeanour would suggest that he can never be "bullish") following his unfortunate disqualification last week, and with the course playing like a links course he may just be the man to have the extra incentive to do well here this week. I had considered Karlsson also but prefer to see him get a tournament under his belt this season before diving in. The Molinaris are always dangerous at the moment but with all golf betting, there has to be value betting somewhere in the field and this week it could very well lie with Seung Yul-Noh, who I have great admiration for. He played extremely well over the final 3 rounds last week also and his iron game could be ideal for this track where accuracy will be vital. He is available @ 33/1 (Boylesports). My ouside bet this week is Stephen Gallacher @ 90/1 (Betpack) who is great on links and may just be suited by the conditions this week.

I am also looking at the prospects of Michael Campbell this week. Cambo owes me nothing over the years from by betting and its sad to see the loss in form the past 3 years but recent outings suggest he is coming back to his best soon. 3 top 20 finishes in Australia in December/January plus solid golf last week in Abu Dhabi where he missed the cut by 1 shot. The feature of his game last week was the reduced amount of bogeys on his card and if he can gain the confidence with the new driver that he has been praising lately, I'm sure it will progress to his putting as well. He can be backed @ 300/1, but the advised bet would be to take him @ 25/1 for top 10 finish (Paddypower) or 14/1 for top 20 finish (Extrabet).

TIP 1: 1 pt e/w P.Harrington @ 12/1 (Paddypower): Great opening round last week....has had loads of practice since and is ideally suited to a course of this type. Most incentive to win this week following last week's unfortunate disqualification.

TIP 2: 1 pt e/w S.Y-Noh @ 33/1 (Boylesports); Up and coming future star of World Golf. Brilliant tee to gree and accuracy could be the answer this week. Odds are too good to pass over.

TIP 3 : .5 pts e/w S.Gallacher @ 90/1 (Paddypower): One of those who should be doing better with results on tour. Has the game to excel and will be suited by course type. Big odds must be taken here.

TIP 4: .5 pt M.Campbell TOP 10 Finish @ 25/1(Paddypower) and .5 pt TOP 20 Finish(Extrabet) : If he can post a good opening rd and get himself up the leaderboard, the confidence could carry him the weekend. Chance bet.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship 2011

The European Tour is quick to gather its star members so early in the new year with the action returning to Abu Dhabi for the 6th time. With no early season form really to go on, the bookies have marked up the main contenders fairly low in the betting with defending champion, Martin Kaymer as low as 8/1 to score a 3rd success here. World Number 1, Lee Westwood will also be suited by the course, as too will McIlroy, Casey, Oosthuizen,Fisher,McDowell and Phil Mickelson. Regualr readers of this blog will know I rate Kaymer & Westwood as Europe's best 2 players, but I am finding it difficult to pick the winner this week as there is no form to go on...That should suggest that Gmac is in the one to side with but I am taking a chance this week on Paul Casey to score for the 3rd time here and beat Kaymer to that feat. The Englishman may want to prove something on European soil this year having been omitted from the Ryder Cup team and its clearly a course he likes. 15/1 (Boylesports) may be just a bit short normally with this calibre of field but for previous success here its worth a punt. I will take one of my own favourites, Ross Fisher, 40/1 (Boylesports) also, as I am expecting a big year from Ross this year. The fast greens this week will suit him, he just needs to add more good rounds in the same week. He has been prone to shooting low scores on Fridays only to "undo" that round with an average rd come Saturday. My 3rd pick is Oliver Wilson, not a great year last year but is quite capable of challenging any given week and had decent enough effort in South Africa two weeks ago. The odds of 125/1 just have to be taken, 2011 may just be his year he finally gets that elusive win and just like with Padraig Harrington with all the runner-up placings once that win comes, others will follow!

TIP 1 1 pt e/w P.Casey @ 15/1 (Boylesports): Twice winner here and may be motivated to perform well in Europe this year....Will be up for the rivalry with compatriots, Westwood & Poulter also which should inspire him.

TIP 2 1 pt e/w R.Fisher @ 40/1 (Boylesports): Excellent driver of the ball and when putter is hot he is unstoppable. Course will suit him.

TIP 3 1pt e/w O.Wilson @ 125/1 (Boylesports):2011 may just be his year he finally gets that elusive win and just like with Padraig Harrington with all the runner-up placings, once that win comes, others will follow!

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Joburg Open 2011

The final co-sanctioned event between the Sunshine & European Tours takes place in Johannesburg this week over 2 courses, the East & West of the Royal & Kensington Club, the East being the hardest of the 2 and the course in play for the weekend. Despite a very big field, albeit a weak one too, Charl Schwarztel is as low as 4/1 to defend his title he won by 6 shots last year. No value there so its next best option again this week for value betting. Charl may just win here, seems to like the course and is in good form but its not a confident bet @ this price. Thomas Aiken didn't do much last week either, although he is in his hometown this week, 18/1 is too small for a player I have been following for too long waiting for the breakthrough. He is omitted again this week from my selections in favour of another favourite, Alexander Noren. Not a great 2010 following injury for the Swede but he showed signs of form over his last 4/5 tournaments and he could go well here being fresh, accuracy is akey component of his game which is a big requirement this week. 35/1 available with Boylesports represents good value for this field. I put up Darren Clarke last week, had 2 poor rounds Friday & Saturday, so perhaps the outing was needed and may go better this week. He was a distant 2nd here last year so he will have fond memories of the course and there aren't too many better iron players in the world than Darren so at 25/1 the odds do represent value and is taken again to do well.The fact he is playing with Charl Schwartzel & Thomas Aiken may also help him. My third pick this week is Aussie Scott Hend who does tend to play well in the southern hemisphere and is quite capable of a going showing if he gets a decent opening round under his belt. He plays the more difficult East course in the afternoon on day 1 so perhaps he can judge where he needs to be before early enough start Friday on the West course. Hend is available at 110/1 with Boylesports

TIP 1: 1 pt e/w A.Noren @ 35/1 (Boylesports). Fresh and looking to build on decent showing towards the end of 2010.

TIP 2: 1 pt e/w D.Clarke @ 25/1 (Betpack). Good grouping for the first 2 days, showing signs of returning to form. 2nd here last year and will be confident having had a top 25 under his belt last week.

TIP 3: 1 pt e/w S.Hend @ 110/1 (Boylesports). The Aussie is inconsistent but if he can post decent opening round could get onto leaderboard. Great odds for a player who can go low.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Africa Open 2011

Firstly, Happy New Year to you all, lets hope 2011 is as profitable as 2010 !

The first event of the new year takes place at the East London GC where once again its a tournament that has been dominated by home players over the years, which the bookies have marked up accordingly. Goosen, Schwartzel & Oosthuizen all less then 6/1 to win this week so its an immediate decision to look elsewhere, those odds do not represent any value at all. I am also going to overlook Thomas Aiken @ 18/1, needs a few decent showings together before I will invest in him again. This week I am selecting 3 NON African players who do represent excellent value for a course similiar to links where the wind will be a factor.

TIP 1: 1 pt e/w Darren Clarke @ 33/1 (Paddypower). Darren will be looking for a fast start to the year as he rebulds his career. With the excellent year posted by compatriots McDowell & McIlroy, big Darren will be motivated and has the game to go well here.

TIP 2 1pt e/w A.Forsyth @ 150/1 (Paddypower). Alaistair Forsyth is a player quite capable of challenging on this course and the odds are just far too big to be ignored.

TIP 3 1 pt e/w Chris Wood @ 35/1 (Betpack). The Englishman will relish the course and is another looking for a good start to the season. Could be in for a very good year.Link