Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Saab Wales Open- Celtic Manor 2011

Graeme McDowell defends this week at Celtic Manor, scene of the start of amazing few weeks in his career this time last year and no doubt he will be looking for a good outing this week before heading off to Congressional GC to defend his US Open title in a couple of weeks.He may not have done too well in the Powerplay on Monday but I do see Graeme being up for this one this week, its a course that has served him well- winning the Wales Open and holing that putt to clinch the Ryder Cup. Its enough for me to side with GMac this week and back him to sucessfully defend. He is favourite @ 12/1 with Victor Chandler Golf.
I cannot back Ross Fisher this week! he is just out of form, couldn't get through the qualifier at Walton Heath on Monday for The US Open and therfore needs big showing this week to get inside the Top 50 before cut-off Monday.He is capable of doing it but the form suggests he has too much to do.I would like to back Noren again despite MC last week but he bounced back with a nice 64 at Walton Heath to clinch his spot and so maybe in confident mood. Again, though I have put him up too many times without a return so I will pass. Simon Dyson is a player I dont back too often but he is a streaky player and has shown signs of real momentum lately and the best price 20/1 has appeal with Paddypower. Has had great form at Celtic Manor too and is worth backing. My third choice was going to be Shane Lowry but he is a bit skinny at 28/1. 4th last week and seems to be improving each week. Colm Byrne did write a nice article in the Irish Times today about the potential of the Offaly man and I wouldn't be surprised if he did win this week. Instead I like the odds of Frenchman, Gregory Havret @ a whopping 80/1 with Paddypower. he missed the cut at Wentworth but was 5th in Spain and 7th in China recently so his form is not too bad.

TIP 1: 2 pts win G.McDowell to WIN @ 12/1 Victor Chandler Golf

TIP 2: 1 pt e/w S.Dyson @ 20/1 Paddypower

TIP 3: 1 pt e/w G.Havret @ 80/1 Paddypower

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

BMW PGA Championship 2011

Top class field assembled for this week's tournament at the revamped Wentworth Course. Luke Donald, who was beaten by Ian Poulter in the final of the Volvo World Matchplay last week heads the betting. He is in great form but for me does not seem able to close it out too often and for that reason alone I wont be backing him. Best odds of 15/2 certainly dont entice me anyway. This is a course where accuracy along with length off the tee is key so that should mean I would be all over Lee Westwood. 9/1 best odds for a quality field of this calibre are just a tad bit small for my liking. That said, having reviewed the winners enclosure the past couple of months, form players and favourites are coming in, so he should be considered.
Course is a key factor here and that means I have to stick with Ross Fisher. I know, I know, I keep putting him up and he hasn't done too great this season but thats purely down to limited involvement in my eyes, just 9 starts which included 2 matchplays, the Masters, the Players and a WGC event. Ross has been close in this a few times, almost reeled Paul Casey in back in 2009 with a closing 64, stark contrast to a closing 80 2 years previously when par would have seen him in a play-off. Two top 10s to boot and the home player should be at ease here, despite the little added pressure of dropping outside the all important top 50 World rankings. 33/1 is still good value for proven "horses for courses" selection and is my first tip for the event with Paddypower.
Second up is yet again another favourite of mine (despite the fear of losing regular readers of this blog-I can hear the groan before I announce the name), Alex Noren! Has been in great form and this is the type of course he excels on, has brilliant form here and has early tee time Thursday to perhaps get himself up the leaderboard early on. Incredible odds of 80/1 with Paddypower have to be taken, with the added incentive that 6 places are on offer.
I wanted to put up Thomas Aiken too, but am aware of siding with my favourites once too often. He did finally win a couple of weeks back and I missed him ! So I missed him, and relunctantly will have to pass, but he too likes this course and has great form in the event. I also want to back Paul Casey @ 30/1 but am not overly happy about his form so the final selection is going to recent maiden winner, Nicolas Colsaerts @ 66/1, also with Paddypower. The big hitter is showing a lot of confidence now with the first win under his belt and really should have made it to the final last week before being pegged back by eventual winner, Poulter in their semi-final. He will take solace in that performance last week though and can very well contend at very big odds in my eyes here at Wentworth.

TIP 1: 1 pt e/w R.Fisher @ 33/1 (Paddypower)

TIP 2: 1 pt e/w A.Noren @ 80/1 (Paddypower)

TIP 3: 1 pt e/w N.Colsaerts @ 66/1 (Paddypower)

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Madeira Islands Open 2011

Its another weak field this week in Europe as attention switches to the Madeira Islands and the Porto Santo Golfe Club, designed by the late Seve Ballesteros. James Morrison defends here having won on the same course last year. The course is hilly and wind blows 90% of the time, so consideration is given to those who can compete in these conditions this week. Unlike in previous years, where the winner has come from recent Challenge Tour players, I like the prospects of veteran, Paul Broadhurst. The Englishman has the experience to perform here and represents great value at 50/1 with Paddypower.Another experienced player that I have high hopes for this week is Alastair Forsyth (4th last week), great wind player and if he can get the flatstick going will be a great bet for the title. Best odds @ 28/1 with Paddypower. My third selection this week, completes my theory of going with experience and a player that has not be challenging in recent times but could well surprise a few here. Andrew Coltart has shown glimpses that his form is improving, will relish the course and the conditions and is worth a punt @ 125/1 with Victor Chandler Golf

TIP 1: 1 pt e/w P.Broadhurst @ 50/1 Paddypower

TIP 2: 1 pt e/w A.Forsyth @ 28/1 Paddypower

TIP 3: 1 pt e/w A.Coltart @ 125/1 Victor Chandler Golf

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Value at Sawgrass 2011

As the post title suggests, I am switching my interest this week to the "5th Major", the Players Championship. Three main reasons for doing so are;

1. Iberdrola Open in Mallorca doesn't have any value in it whatsover from a betting point of view and the bookies seem to have priced this up by grouping the top 25 contenders in a 12/1 - 50/1 bracket. Paul Lawrie might tempt some people at 25s(he did tempt me slightly) but not enough victories for the Scotsman would suggest he might go close without actually winning.
2. The Players Championship has a top quality field with real betting value on offer
3. Some of my preferred bookies are offering 6 places for e/w backers.

So my first selection this week is Hunter Mahan, who simply relishes the big events, has shown some recent good form despite recording a double bogey on the last hole to drop out of a top 10 finish at Quail Hollow. His game also suits this tight course and I honestly don't see Woods,Mickelson or Donald winning this week so the 33/1 with Paddypower has to be taken over the 40/1 with Victor Chandler Golf simply because of the extra placing on offer.
My 2nd tip is the ever accurate Martin Kaymer. Augusta does not suit his natural fade off the tee but the Dusseldorf native will be at home here, is very accurate and possesses one of the best short games there is. The 35/1 on offer with Betpack, also playing 6 places, is taken ahead of some 40/1 on offers only paying 5 places.
Third tip is Florida based, Zach Johnson who may stop the international list of winners at Sawgrass continuing. Accuracy is a given with Zach, not to mention his short game and if the putter is hot this week he will be up there. A former US Masters Champion will know how to stay patient, which is vital on this track. 66/1 with Paddypower again is exceptional value.
It not quite a major, but it is fondly called the 5th Major by the golfing peers so for that reason I am selecting a 4th this week in the shape of Ross Fisher. I admire this player greatly and firmly believe will win a Major. Has the cool head required to do so, comes here nice & fresh and the 125/1 is a steal. I considered top 10 for this bet at 14/1 but with the 6 places on offer, have decided to chance the e/w @ 125/1 with Paddypower

TIP 1: 1 pt e/w H.Mahan @ 33/1 Paddypower

TIP 2: 1 pt e/w M.Kaymer @ 35/1 Betpack

TIP 3: 1 pt e/w Z.Johnson @ 66/1 Paddypower

TIP 4: 1 pt e/w R.Fisher @ 125/1 Paddypower

There have been quite a lot of tributes on various blogs and golfing press throughout the world paid to the late Severiano Ballesteros who passed away last Saturday and who was laid to rest today in Spain, so perhaps I'm not of the same calibre for paying similar tributes but Seve earned alot of respect throughout his golfing career and touched many hearts so I think it appropriate for me to mention my thoughts on his passing here. He was simply one of the best players we ever saw, his imagination on a golf course was remarkable and he will be sorely missed. I had the fortune to see him play here at Portmarnock GC but its when marshalling at the European Open at the K Club that I had exchanged a "good morning" with the great man that I realized what a great family man he was as he played football with his kids admidst a fit of laughter, but the time he took out to acknowledge fans and those around him without being flustered or aggravated was refreshing to witness, and I for one will miss his wit and expert analysis on the game. May Seve rest in peace

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Open de Espana 2011

Yet another new course to contend with this week at the Real Club de Golf El Prat near Barcelona where Alvaro Quiros defends. Statistics show that no one has defended this title since its inuagural event in 1972 and so for that very reason alone I am relunctantly passing on Quiros @ 12/1 this week. Alexander Noren did stop the rot for us last week with his T5th BUT he really should have won. Once again having got in front he managed to come back to the pack, but as I say he should have won as his form is excellent at the moment. 33/1 this week is still good value but I am also relunctantly going to pass on him this time round. This blog almost grabbed an 80/1 winner of this event last year in James Morrison and as I stated last week seems to go well this time of year (he finished T7th last week) and can be backed at 66/1. I am gonna sidestep him in favour of some other value in the field. At lower odds, but with good form not just recently (2nd in China) but also in Spain is Dubliner, Peter Lawrie.40/1 with Victor Chandler Golf is the suggested bet (especially with the VC offering to pay out anyone who has a hole in one as winner if backed pre-tournament.) I also like the progress lately of Lawrie's fellow countryman, Shane Lowry.The Esker Hills native, took time to recover from injury before hitting the tour last month and finished 13th last week at The Ballantines. It has been raining a lot in Barcelona the past few days and the course is expected to be windy which will also suit. 100/1 with Victor Chandler Golf is far too big for a player than can go very low and if he starts well tomorrow morning he can get involved the weekend. My third selection is Anthony Wall @ 70/1 Boylesports, ultra consistent performer who really should have won in Sicily in March this year.

TIP 1: 1 pt e/w Peter Lawrie @ 40/1 Victor Chandler Golf

TIP 2: 1 pt e/w Shane lowry @ 100/1 Victor Chandler Golf

TIP 3: 1 pt e/w Anthony Wall @ 70/1 Boylesports