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Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Trophee Hassan 2011- Keeping faith with Ollie Wilson

On and upwards this week, the week before the Masters at Augusta. Its another mediocre field assembling on yet another new venue for this tournament in Morocco where previous Morrocan Open golf tournaments have been won by an illustrious list of whos who on the European Tour. Last years event was won by Rhys Davies who just edged out Open elect Louis Ousthuizen. With little course form to go on, the criteria needed for the winners enclosure suggests those that are in form and possess good GIR & putting stats are the ones to watch as both courses are relatively short, this being a PRO-AM also, the course should be playing easier than most weeks. Raphael Jacquelin heads the betting at 14/1 and he did make my short list of 7 who I think will win this week. That grouping of mine does include 3 selections I have made over the past couple of weeks who missed the cut, but I have given the thumbs up to Oliver Wilson to get going again this week. Chris Wood could also do well here but I have decided to overlook him and have opted for his countyman, David Howell who seems to be gradually getting back to his best and his putter seems to be getting hotter & hotter each week too. A crucial ingredient to do well this week is putting and with little emphasis on driving this could be a tournament that will suit Howell and at 50/1, yes please I'll have a wee interest in him. Again, the decision to make that third and decisive choice rests between Joost Luiten, Darren Clarke and Nicolas Colsaerts with the latter being the choice @ 45/1. The Belgian was ultra consistent last year and is finding form again lately, boasts 9th in GIR rankings and this could help him get close to making birdie putts this week.

TIP 1: 1 pt e/w Oliver Wilson @ 55/1 (Boylesports); Missed cut badly last week but closer look shows errors at the wrong time on a few holes. Has the temperament to bounce back

TIP 2: 1 pt e/w David Howell @ 50/1 (Bodog Sportsbook); Looking to be getting back to his best and short course should see him do well here...consistent lately has early start Thursday and a real value bet at these odds.

TIP 3: 1 pt e/w Nicolas Colsaerts @ 45/1 (Boylesports). In good form, has great GIR stats which are vital for these courses, deserves a win and quite capable of getting it.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Open de Andalucia 2011

Yet another poor week for the blog last week with only Michael Campbell making the cut and with a poor 3rd rd he was all but out of the top 10 finish market. Its been frustrating to be so far off the past 3 weeks but as with any punting, these streaks are inevitable, hence why I only bet 5% of my bank each week spread over the 6 pts (3 selections) with an exception made for the Majors when I usually take an extra bet. With the bank at 294.49 pts profit, the blog is still in a healthy state with a lot of golf still to be played before the year is out. That winner is not far away to kick start the 2011 campaign
A slightly better field is assembled this week for the Open de Andalucia which is hosted by Miguel Angel Jiminez. With the withdrawal of defending champion, Louis Oosthuizen due to illness, the spotlight falls on Alvaro Quiros to take the honours and he starts as favourite at a general 12/1. With the course very short this week, I am not convined that the big hitting Spaniard is at much of an advantage in that department this week and will look towards more accurate players in the driving accuracy & GIR rankings to hopefully cross the line. Chris Wood is the first to make the frame for me. I passed on him last week as I believed he would feel under pressure to win in Sicily given the field, but this week he is not under that same pressure and he could just sparkle @ 30/1, excellent odds Paddypower. My second pick is none other than Oliver Wilson, fresh from his exploits in Florida at the recent Tavistock Cup. His golf game clicked that week where he scored the lowest round of the week and that should exude confidence in the Englishman for this week where the maiden win may just materialize. If putting to his true potential he can win and the odds 45/1 are too good to pass this week Boylesports. My third choice is settled on Richard Green who will be all out to win and secure a spot at the Masters (runner up spot would also clinch it). He is in form and has the accuracy required to contend this week. Best price 35/1 Paddypower. I feel I shouldn't mention the other considerations that are missing out on my staking plan this week following last weeks mention of Anthony Wall, who really should have won in Sicily but eventually missed out by a shot to Raphael Jacquelin, but I will be watching Lowry, Morrison & Elson (all +100/1) also.

TIP 1: 1 pt e/w Chris Wood @ 30/1 Paddypower; First win not far away and has the all round game to win any given week. Course setup may be to his liking this week too.

TIP 2: 1 pt e/w Oliver Wilson@ 45/1Boylesports; Another Englishman still looking for that maiden win and he will be coming into this with a lot of confidence following his performance at the Tavistock Cup. When putting is on song he will challenge and this is the week he can finally break through.

TIP 3: 1 pt e/w Richard Green @ 35/1 Paddypower; The lefthander from Oz is in great form lately and has a chance to make Augusta in a couple of weeks time if he can finish in the top two. He can and is a great value bet for this week

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Sicilian Open 2011

Its back to the bread & butter stuff on the European Tour this week for an inaugural tournament to be play on the island of Sicily, Italy. Sadly, its a second tier field, but welcome all the same following the WGC events that proved disastrous for this blog. Its also sad that the sponsors dont see their national star players, the Molinaris & Mannesero supporting the event. Nonetheless, as always I will be looking for value in the field. I am very tempted to back Chris Wood who was beaten in a playoff back in January for the Africa Open, when I tipped him then, but I reckon he may feel the pressure to deliver here as he will surely see this as an opportunity to get that maiden win. There is no course form this week either to go on, but the weather forecasts that wind will be a significant factor and that excites me for the prospects of Shane Lowry. Its his first outing this year, has an early start and could be a great bet @ 80/1 Paddypower. He may be rusty but these conditions will suit him down to the ground and if he gets a good start then he could be there or thereabouts the weekend.
My second tip comes in the shape of Alex Noren. I can't ignore him this time round, in my view the best player in the field, its the lack of success that holds him back but he has shown good form since return from injury in the autumn last year and odds of 33/1 Paddypower are excellent for this calibre of field.
My third selection is once again a stab at an outside chance. I was contemplating backing Joost Luiten,Anthony Wall, or Robert Dinwiddie but felt their odds werent worth my 3rd tip as opposed to whopping odds for a former Major Champion ! Yes, Michael Campbell may have fallen off the face of the earth since victory at Pinehurst in 2005, but he has shown some level of improvement the past 4 months. His visit to the Middle East came unstuck in the wind (gales, but has been a good wind player so not a problem for this week)but there were a couple of very decent rounds in there. This time round he has an early start on Thursday which I believe is key for him to getting a solid start from which he can build from. he is also playing alongside Gregory Havret & Stephen Gallagher who will be solid and makes for a good threeball. the groups ahead & behind him are also of good quality so should settle him, should a Major Champion need settling. (the mind games are wrecking his scorecards these days). Its a bold decision to back him e/w- and to also back him for top 10 finish. 
This type of bet on a big odds player teeing off early on Thursday is one that I am considering on trading on Betfair in the future and would welcome any comments on trading the golf events from anyone who is currently doing this

TIP 1: 1 pt e/w A.Noren @ 33/1 (Paddypower); Quality player who should be winning again- this week gives him an ideal opportunity to do so.

TIP 2: 1 pt e/w S.Lowry @ 80/1 (Paddypower); The young Irishman is no stranger to windy conditions (winner of Irish Open at Baltray as an amateur) and makes his seasonal debut following a wrist injury in December in which he has taken his time to ensure full recovery. Early start on Thursday could be ideal for him too.

TIP 3: .5 pts e/w M.Campbell @ 300/1 (Betpack); Showed signs recently that the mistakes are being minimized and again an early start on Thursday should help establish his confidence for remainder of the week. Winners can get that winning feeling when in contention and 2011 could be good again for Cambo.

TIP 4: 1 pt TOP 10 FINISH M.Cambpell @ 25/1(Betpack).

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

WGC - Cadillac Championship 2011

The second instalment of 2011 WGC's events takes place in Miami, Florida this week on the infamous TPC Blue Monster Course. Formerly known as the CA Championship, the history of winners is illustrious, with Tiger Woods winning 6 times, Ernie Els twice, Phil Mickelson, Geoff Ogilvy & Mike Weir, all past major Champions. Indeed I have been fortunate enough to witness Tiger & Ernie winning at Mt Juliet in Ireland on those 2 occasions. This week I have given great consideration to both the course and the pedigree of potential winner as described above (Major Champions) and the one that sticks out is Graeme McDowell. A course record last week at National PGA propelled him into 6th and his 3rd sucessive top 10 finish on the PGA tour this year. Best price 14/1 Paddypower is good value when considering the size of the field. He is top on tour for GIR, a real criteria factor this week and as mentioned before on this blog, GMac excels when he is in confident mood. The other 2 selections dont quite fit the "Major Winner" billing but could have in the shape of Bubba Watson who narrowly lost out to Martin Kaymer at the most recent Major. Bubba is a birdie making machine, hits it a mile, was semi finalist at the matchplay and simply has to be the value bet this week @ 40/1 Boylesports. Again this week its proving difficult to find the 3rd and final selection to go well at this golf course and contend with the big guns where birdies galore are paramount. I have teased about backing Y E Yang again this week (we missed out by just 1 shot last week and but for Sabbatinis birdie on 16 he might have done it). The Korean is in great form and loves the bigger challenges, but I have got my shortlist down to 3 in Jason Day, Jeff Overton & Ross Fisher.  Overton went well last week and was very consistent in 2010 but I prefer the Australian, Day on the basis that his power and birdie haul stats suggest he could be a better investment. The Englishman is a player that I am tipping to do great things but I would rather see him play more often before backing him in stateside events but at 100/1 Paddypower he is worth a look and therefore will split the stakes between him & Day.

Check out my tip, Bubba Watson's pre tournament interview here:

TIP 1: 2 pts WIN G.McDowell @ 14/1 (Paddypower); GMac in very confident mood following course record 64 at PGA National last Sunday. May be setting his sights on World Number One too!

TIP 2: 1 pt e/w B.Watson @ 40/1 (Boylesports); The Left hander has the power and the ability to make birdies here. In great form and seems overpriced this week.

TIP 3: .5 pts e/w J.Day @ 66/1 (Paddypower); Very consistent player in 2010 and likes to make birdies. A win is not far away and can do so here at a big price.

TIP 4: .5 pts e/w R.Fisher @ 100/1 (Paddypower); Quite capable on any given day, just needs to put 4 good rounds together, Powerful driver of the ball and when the flatstick is working can hole from just about anywhere.

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Honda Classic 2011

With no tournament on the schedule in Europe this week I going to put up 3 selections representing excellent value for the Honda Classic at Palm Beach, Florida on a course that proves to be the most difficult on tour outside the majors, the PGA National Championship Course. The Europeans are to the fore once again with Luke Donald heading the betting following his victory in the matchplay last week much to this blogs frustration (see last weeks post here). Donald certainly has the game to take the honours here and is a former winner. Graeme McDowell will be expected to go well this week too but its a "home" based player in the shape of Matt Kuchar that I really fancy this week. Not only is he a former winner, he is in great form lately, a top 10 regular who will be winning again soon. Another former winner, YE Yang is also in great form and he thrives on the tough events. An outside bet comes in the shape of Webb Simpson who is returning to action following the birth of his first child. Recent form suggests that he is on the way up and is real value at 110/1. Slightly preferred ahead of Jeff Overton whose form in 2010 suggests he will perform well on this kind of course.

TIP 1: 1 pt e/w Matt Kuchar @ 20/1 (Paddypower); A regular top 10 finisher and is in brilliant form. Very realistic chance of victory here this week

TIP 2: 1 pt e/w Y E Yang @ 40/1 (Betpack); In excellent form lately and previous winner. Has a liking for the tough events.

TIP 3: 1 pt e/w Webb Simpson @ 110/1 (Betpack); Recent form suggests he is an up and coming player. Good each way value.