Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Accenture WGC Matchplay 2011

The top 64 players in the world compete in this weeks WGC Matchplay where Ian Poulter defends. This event will always throw up some surprises so when making selections its best to ascertain who has the game to excel over his opponent in 18 holes and gather momentum once he progresses. Looking at the 4 brackets its looking like on paper that the Sam Snead bracket is by far the most difficult to prevail from. Tiger Woods heads the all star cast in this and the matchplay may come as a welcome bonus for the former World No.1 but if he is to win this title he needs to take some notable scalps.He should beat Thomas Bjorn to most likely meet Geoff Ogilvy before matching up with D.Johnson/B.Haas/B.Watson, the key match for Tiger in my opinion would be the Ogilvy/Harrington 2nd rd match.(Ogilvy surely will beat Padraig in this one).The other brackets that look appealing are the Gary Player & Ben Hogan where Rory McIlroy appears to have a great chance to make it all the way from the Player draw and the outside bet of the tournament could come from the Hogan in the shape of Peter Hanson, especially if he can defeat Phil Mickelson in his opening match. The Bobby Jones bracket looks to be a 3 horse field in Westwood, Donald & Stricker, with the latter two fancied to go well.

So to narrow it down to just 3 selections causes a dilemma, who to leave out or who should I keep as a potential saver from the bracket. I have decided to leave out Donald, siding with Stricker to just edge this bracket.

TIP 1: 1 pt e/w R.McIlroy @ 16/1 (Paddypower); Can get through the first 2 matches and once done so can stamp his enthusiasm for matchplay by overpowering his opponents from there on in...good chance and he will be secretly looking forward to this.

TIP 2: 1 pt e/w S.Stricker @ 30/1 (Boylesports):Well fancied to make quarter finals and can grow from there, ill be better suited to desert conditions than the European players.

TIP 3: 1 pt e/w P.Hanson @ 100/1 (Betpack): If he can overcome Mickelson in his opening game there is no reason why he cant make semis at least for "place money"

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Avantha Masters 2011

After 4 weeks of top quality fields in the desert, the tour gets back down to earth with probably one of the weakest fields to assemble this year in New Delhi for the Avantha Masters. As with the South African swing in January it would appear that the winner is likely to come from one of the tour's more consistent players but this week its hard to identify who has the best form. Market leaders Hansen & Singh are very poor value with relatively mediocre form lately. Of the Europeans, the two consistent accurate players who should do well are Gareth Maybin & Raphael Jacquelin whilst India's own 22 year old Gangajeet Bhullar looks a real value bet. He has played this course numerous times and is a multiple winner recently on the Asian Tour. A future star of Indian golf he should be in the mix and is preferred over Mark Brown who won on this course in 2009.

TIP 1: 1 pt e/w Gareth Maybin @ 35/1 (Betpack); The Northern Irishman is in fine form and his accurate iron play will serve him well on this course.

TIP 2: 1 pt e/w Raphael Jacquelin @ 28/1 (Paddypower); In very good form and is one of the more consistent players in this field. Odds are too good to pass up, has every chance here.

 TIP 3: 1 pt e/w Gangajeet Bhullar @ 28/1 (Paddypower); The rising star of Indian golf and makes better value than Jeev Milka Singh with numerous wins on this course and chasing a hat-trick of wins suggest he could be the one to excel for a home win.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Dubai Desert Classic 2011

The last event of the 2011 "Desert Swing" takes place at The Emirates GC in DUBAI this week with Tiger Woods re-appearing having won this event twice in the past. In fact, the Roll of Honour is quite impressive and Miguel Angel Jiminez will be keen to defend. Naturally, Kaymer will start off as favourite and this week's course will indeed be better suited to his game than last week's in Qatar, but at 11/2...thanks but no thanks. Its an exceptional field again and its very difficult to pick the likely winner but again the process to look at recent form and previous course form is the prime reasoning for my selections. Over the past few years the same contenders have been up there year after year and these players suggest they are likely to compete again this year. Henrik Stenson is one of those, a previous winner and multiple top 10 finishes indicate he has a liking for the course. But for the horror "9" he recorded on his 36th hole last week he could have challenged in Qatar so his form is good (as long he doesn't "throw" in another bad score somewhere). Ross Fisher hasn't had a great start to 2011 but he is the type to shrug off these minor worries and perform well in Dubai. The course will suit him greatly and he can win here. My third selection this week is Alexander Noren who has, bar Qatar, been in excellent form this season and he too has excellent form in Dubai. 2010 was plagued with injury but since his return he has gradually been improving and the year could be a successful one for the Swede, this is the type of tournament that will instill his confidence for the remainder of the season and he could very well sneak under the radar here. Tiger will be an interesting competitor, perhaps a trip to Europe could ignite his comeback away from the glaring eye of the American media but recent form suggests he has more work to do to eliminate the mistakes and his frustration needs to be controlled before he explodes altogether! I have to mention Michael Campbell again, 35/1 for a top 10 finish with Betpack could be worth a flutter but perhaps a watchful eye this week before his next event would be the recommendation.

TIP 1: 1 pt e/w H.Stenson @ 40/1 (Paddypower); Fantastic efforts over this course in the past, showed signs of form the past couple of tournaments.

TIP 2: 1 pt e/w R.Fisher @ 40/1 (Paddypower); The Englishman when on song is capable of beating the best and this could be the week!

TIP 3: 1 pt e/w A.Noren @ 66/1 (Paddypower); Another with excellent course form and playing well each week. 2nd European Tour win is not far away.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Qatar Masters 2011

Bank Balance after Volvo Champions +323.49 pts

Yet another quality field assembles for this years Qatar Masters where Martin Kaymer could become the new World Number 1! Last week, our tips went quite well with Stephen Gallacher finishing in 4th just 2 shots off the pace and Seung Yul-Noh finished 6th just a shot away from another placing. Cambo had too much to do after rd 1 but a credible 68 on the Friday meant he missed the cut by a shot but he is certainly watching out for. However, relunctantly my staking plan for this weeks event cannot accommodate him. I cant back Kaymer at 13/2 to win with such a quality field, although last week I did the same by sidestepping Paul Casey @ 8/1 who went on to win, but with Gallacher returning at 18/1 for the place, I didn't feel too bad, afterall, the name of this betting game is to find value. Value? It could well be with Lee Westwood this week @10/1, who will like both the length of the course and any windy conditions that may arise. He is certainly a better bet than Kaymer. Further down the pickings, I had contemplated Gallacher again this week and also Alexander Noren, who is coming into some consistency now, but I believe there is superb value in Joost Luiten @ 100/1 Boylesports and Brett Rumford @ 125/1 Paddypower, who simply loves this course. Rumford could be backed at 12/1Paddypower, for a top 10 finish but one to consider for top 10 as an outside bet is Andrew Coltart @ 25/1 Paddypower,who also seems to like this course.

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TIP 1: 2 pts WIN Lee Westwood @ 10/1 Paddypower,Slow enough out of the blocks last time out but this course will be more to his liking. Consistent driving is key here and he is one of the best in the business.

TIP 2: 1 pt e/w Joost Luiten @ 100/1 Boylesports; Very comfortable on desert type courses and should there be some wind will be even more confident. Quite capable of challenging the big boys.

TIP 3: 1 pt e/w B.Rumford @ 125/1 Paddypower; Quite simply loves the course and has had terrific results in Doha. Well worth backing this week.