Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Alfred Dunhill Championship 2012

After a very frustrating week in Durban last week, the action moves towards Kruger Park and Leopard Creek GC for the Alfred Dunhill Championship on Thursday. Fresh from a win in Thailand last week, Charl Schwartzel heads the betting from fellow countryman and co-Major winner, Louis Oosthuizen. The former has good form here and will be a contender but as always we will look for some value outside these top two.

 I backed Thomas Aiken last week stating that he always plays well on home soil, and despite last week’s event being washed out, I have opted to leave the Joburg native out of my line-up this time round. Richard Sterne, however, who never got going last week, was on my radar for the upcoming events as I stated last week and given that he is a former winner here with some decent returns over the years in the Championship, I have to side with him again this week at odds of 40/1 with Betpack. He may well have loosened up last week and with a favourable track this week complemented with obvious course form, the course could serve as the catalyst for a good performance.

I am going to stick with David Howell again this week at the generous odds of 100/1, also with Betpack. Last week has to be ignored, so the odds do excite me as I believe the Englishman could have a better 2013 than the results of 2012 produced. Bar the two favourites, the field does seem quite open and if getting a good first round under his belt, he may just have a decent shout this week. As per my post last week, there have been signs of a return to some form and therefore I won’t abandon him this week.

My final pick this week was a toss up between Marc Warren and Robert Rock. I’ve gone with the latter purely because of his record on this track with numerous top 20 finishes. The 33/1 on offer is fair and despite not winning often enough, the course should help him compete. Always in favour for “horses for courses”, Rock has one of the better records apart from dual winner, Pablo Martin in recent years and hopefully that form shines through again this week.


TIP 1: 1 pt e/w R. Sterne @ 40/1

TIP 2: 1 pt e/w D. Howell @ 100/1

TIP 3: 1 pt e/w R. Rock @ 33/1

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Nelson Mandela Championship 2012

No rest for the wicked they say! Just two weeks ago, the 2012 season finale was played out at the DP world Championship in Dubai where World Number 1, Rory McIlroy emerged victorious. In between, qualifying has been completed for 2013 cards, and the Challenge Tour graduates along with the qualifiers, are all looking to make good starts to the new season. A new event, the Nelson Mandela Championship, will be played at the Royal Durban GC which will be a new venue for the tour. Locals always tend to go well in South Africa and this is reflected in the blog’s selections for this week as 2 of the 3 picks hail from this amazing country.

 I backed George Coetzee in Dubai, despite is lack of killer instinct to get the job done and considered him again for this week. But I genuinely believe its bad value backing big George this week. He wants to win badly, his good friend Brendan Grace graduated onto the tour last year and promptly won on 4 occasions. He will be under a small bit of pressure to do well this week and with his good buddy (Grace) they head the betting at 8/1. Whilst not a great field, there is some value to be had further down. Thomas Aiken owes me at this stage, but recent outings have shown he is getting back into top form and he always goes well in his homeland. He did finish 3rd at the SA Open last month and but for a poor opening 73, he could have contended. At 18/1 with Boylesports, this is a good price and makes my staking plan.

My second pick is Aiken’s compatriot, Richard Sterne. He had a mixed bag of fortune in 2012 due to injury but did manage a handful of top 10s. He has 5 European Tour titles, 2 of which came on hone soil, again echoing the achievements of Thomas Aiken. 33/1 is very generous in my eyes and with a short course in play this week; I expect his iron play to stand him well. He is one I will be watching over the South Africa swing that’s for sure.

My third and final pick is Englishman, David Howell. He has shown signs of improving over the course of 2012. Over 20 events that he played in, he missed 8 cuts, 5 of which were in the early parts of the season. He recently finished 5th in Perth and his top 5 finish at the French Open on a tough course highlights the case that he can still compete and in this field assembled for the season’s opener, Howell is fantastic value at e/w 66/1. If he fins the fairways, he will score this week and hopefully get the blog off to a good start for the new campaign.

The weather forecast is not good for the 4 days with rain and wind expected and this may help the more experienced, patient golfers and the 3 picks above have that.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Dubai World Championship 2012

The season’s finale is finally upon us and the top 60 players on the European Tour have rightly qualified for the World Championships to be played on the Earth Course at Jumeirah Golf Estates in Dubai. This is the 3rd instalment of the Race to Dubai showpiece where Alvaro Quiros & Lee Westwood have won the previous two years. Big hitters are well suited to this course but the approach shots on undulating greens will be vital too. It’s a top field so expect a top tournament to complete a rather successful one for the European Tour that saw European players dominate the World Rankings and regain the Ryder Cup in spectacular fashion. If you are reading this post today and wondering where I’ve been, I had been quite busy at work and spending more and more time with my family at the weekends. My 3 & 5 year old girls aren’t into golf…yet!

 I do hope to kick on and get the blog updated on a weekly basis going forward, its not been a great year tipping wise(I’m putting this down to work commitments- sure it couldn’t be my fault) but the new season will be full of winners. In the meanwhile don't forget I can be followed on twitter at @birdieclubtips . The aim is to finish this one with a bang!


            So, onto this week’s event itself and the players will tee it up on Thursday with the lowest ranked player in the R2D standings hitting off first culminating in the last pairing of Peter Hanson & Rory McIlroy. The latter rightly goes off the tournament favourite after a fantastic year in which he won his second Major despite a missed cut last week, which is to be taken with a pinch of salt. He will be up for this here no doubt at all. But he is not backable at 6/1 for me. With a reduced field (just 57 playing) there is some surprising value to be had and as I write some of that value has disappeared since yesterdays prices but nonetheless some value still remains.

Last week in South Africa, Martin Kaymer produced solid golf the weekend to finish 3rd and there is evidence that a real return to winning ways is imminent. He was 22/1 yesterday but has come into 16s today. At 22s I was keen but will pass at 16s regrettably. Westwood at 14s for me would be better value than the German, proven winner in this field and of course, winner here in 2010. At slightly better odds are Justin Rose & Peter Hanson at 20s which again are better value than Kaymer’s, purely because of recent form. In fact, Hanson has real form going into this and has top results on this course the past couple of years too, but despite holding McIlroy off recently at the BMW Masters in October, I have reservations if he has the bottle to see them off again come Sunday afternoon for a win. Instead I’ll put up my first tip in the shape of a non-European who finished well last week in his native homeland. George Coetzee. He can be backed at 30/1 which just about holds an interest for me. The big hitting South African has improved throughout the season and is due a big one. He certainly is one to watch out for next season and over the New Year back on home soil, but the course will suit him and he makes my staking plan this week.

Second on the list is one of my old favourites, Alex Noren who has proven that these type of courses plays into his hands. Strength is his main asset but approaches to the greens when on song can be deadly and if he hits it well this week he could go under the radar. I backed him yesterday at 90.0 on Betfair but he is widely available at 66/1 in the bookies and this for me is just too big in a 57 man field. He comes well rested so hopefully his opening round playing alongside Danny Willett will see him open with a score to build on for the remainder of the tournament.

I was undecided before writing this post as to whether to side with Thomas Aiken or Shane Lowry for my final tip. Of course, we are betting folk, and rather than make the decision, I have decided to back both of them. The Irishman got his first professional win last month in Portugal and is playing exceptionally well. He had top 10 here before so likes the place and is great each way value at 60/1. (If you are following these with me on Thursday, amazingly they go out one after the other- would be nice if I was there). Thomas Aiken hasn’t really produced the goods that I was expecting the past 3 years or so but can be awfully streaky. He also finished well last week (top5) but has a tendency to play better at home but also shows a tendency to play well in the big events, so I had to include him too. He can be backed now each way at 80/1.


TIP 1: 1 pt e/w G.Coetzee @ 30/1

TIP 2: 1 pt e/w A.Noren @ 66/1

TIP3: 1 pt e/w S.Lowry @ 60/1

TIP 4: 1 pt e/w T.Aiken @ 80/1

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

KLM Open 2012 - Hilversumsche GC

The Dutch KLM Open is on again this week at the Hilversumsche GC just outside Amsterdam where tournament specialist Simon Dyson goes off as defending champion seeking a 4th title in 7 years, and his 2nd title at the course having the other 2 at the Kennemer GC. Its hard to look past him too with that sort of form in Holland. His past 3 starts saw him finish 27th at Crans and a MC at Gleneagles and a MC at the USPGA. Last week might just be the outing he needed before coming here. He seems to play well on this type of course and a general 25/1 across most bookies will ensure that I keep him onside, and I hope he gets a lift being back on Dutch soil which obviouly has served him well over the years and prevail once again come Sunday.

My second pick is Martin Kaymer at 20/1. Winner 2 years ago, the German will be anxious to get some form ahead of the Ryder Cup especially after a disappointing season. Again, he doesn't have to travel too far from Dusseldorf up to Amsterdam. He missed the cut here last year after an opening 74 but ran away with it the year before winning by 4 shots in the end. I'm a big fan of Kaymer and when 20/1 is on offer its hard to resist despite the form, but he comes rested not having played since the USPGA. In fact over the past couple of months he has played just 6 events, missing the cut in 3 of them including the BMW International in Cologne. He will be very keen to go well this week now that the Ryder Cup team is finalized and restore confidence not just for himself but his captain, Jose Maria Olazabal and his team mates. The price is like a carrot dangling in front of me and I can't ignore it. let's hope he sees this week as a real chance to lay down his marker for Ryder Cup.

My third pick is Ross Fisher. Again he is in some sort of decent form lately and has good record here also. Tied 11th 2 years ago and tied 6th in 2010 not to mention winner in 2007 on the Kennemer Course, he too like Dyson obviously likes playing here. Fishers driving and iron play will be a big advantage here this week and if he gets the flatstick going he could win this one and at 33/1 with Betpack, he too, cannot be omitted off my list this week. I was going to put up Shane Lowry who I also believe will be suited by the course and despite the odds of 45/1 I have taken the Englishman on course and toournament form in much the same vein as Dyson & Kaymer.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

FedEx Playoffs- The Barclays 2012

Its business end of the 2012 PGA Tour season now, with the FedEx Cup playoffs commencing in New York with The Barclays Championship on Thursday. Mega bucks up for grabs for any of the top 125 qualifiers. Of course, those ranked lowest now need to move up the standings (to top 70) to make it to next week but they will find it tough at Bethpage, host of the 2009 US Open where Lucas Glover prevailed over David Duval. The Black course will suit the big accurate hitters this week and will ultimately go against those struggling of late. That said, the 2009 US Open did produce a lot of surprises but I don’t expect the same this week as far too many are in excellent form as of late. One of those is recent PGA Champion, Rory McIlroy and this course will be his cup of tea. He finished top10 in 2009 too! But 7/1? If I was a big punter then maybe yes, and to be honest, I had contemplated half of my staking plan on Rory this week….but its not the value bet for me….there are some players at decent odds that can win this week.

Top of my list is the recent WGC winner, Keegan Bradley. Its been a fantastic 12 months for the 2011 PGA Champion and following his win at Bridgestone, he finished 3rd at the PGA this month, emphasising the form he is currently in. 25/1 for me is great value considering the form he is in and he could be the one to watch over the 4 playoff events. He didn’t play the 2009 US Open but he has played a lot of golf on this course in his amateur days, therefore he should know his way round it. A must pick for me here.

Second pick this week is Adam Scott. I am hoping the playoffs will come as a distraction of some sort following his heart wrenching Open exploits and that he will see this as a new challenge. The course should be right up his alley and if driving well and produces the sort of form he has shown this season a win here could be the perfect tonic to end the season on a high. 25/1 also available and the Aussie is sure to give me a run for my money.

Final pick is outsider, Kyle Stanley. He looked a real prospect earlier this year before going off the boil but the course could suit him also. His recent form has suggested he may be coming back into form, despite missing the cut at the PGA. I’m gonna take a punt at 150/1 with Ladbrokes who are paying 6 places this week

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

USPGA Championship 2012

Tomorrow, the final Major of the season tees off on the Pete Dye designed Kiawah Ocean Course in North Carolina where last weeks winner at Firestone, Keegan Bradley defends. This Major is rapidly becoming the 2nd hardest of the 4 Majors to win, but is still keeping a trend in being the Major that produces a first time major winner. That said Americans are still dominating despite Harrington, Kaymer & YE yang prevailing in recent years. I like both of the statistics- first time major winner and American to boot! To be honest I really want to back Dustin Johnson but the 33/1 on offer last Monday is well gone and there are alot of tipsters on him this week. Simply this course suits him and he has great Major credentials in past couple of years and will win one soon. But I 'm gonna be either brave or stupid and sidestep to oppose all the other tipsters seen as I have missed the good odds (the joys of busy workload during the day). Instead I'm siding with me new "mate", Jason Dufner. he should be coming here as defending champion but was pipped by Bradley but he has proven this year that he can contend when in the mix and is my top tip this week to win it @ 25/1. Another top 10 ten last week, he is in incredible form and his accuracy from tee to green will serve him well here.
 The wind and the fact that 10 holes run along the coastline suggests that a links player of renown will do well. I want to back GMac again. He didn't play well on Sunday at the Open and his final day stats in Majors is poor thus giving me doubts, but one thing Graeme does have is confidence, and buckets of it. If he gets a good start and gets into the mix he may be a bit more patient this time round than he did in Blackpool last month. I'll still take him again at 40/1.
 Third pick this week is Matt Kuchar @ 35/1.Ultra consistent performer who is Major Champion in waiting and this could be his week. If he gets his putting going he will definitely be up there and he can break his duck and keep the trand going for a win in the PGA as his first Major.
 Fourth pick is Webb Simpson, the US Open champion. have to include him, he is the in form player alongside Dufner and simply cannot be left out and the 45/1 on offer is good value in my book.
 My final pick for this week is to pick a big hitter as this is a big long course with genrous fairways. Its a toss up between Colsaerts, Woodland & Garrigus and I'll go with Robert Garrigus who has shown some decent form this season. He is 100/1, I'll have a nibble !

Wishing Padraig Harrington best of luck though. I really hope he contends this week, perhaps he was expecting it all to come together at St. Lythams and he will be quietly confident playing on this course in the wind with accuracy being a premium. Must be some money for him though as he was available Monday at 75/1 but I note he's down to 50s now ?

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

The Open 2012

The Open is upon this week from Royal Lytham and St Annes, scene of David Duval & Tom Lehman’s sole Major victories in 2001 & 1996. American winners! Will there be one this week? Tiger? He always prepares well for the Majors, obviously, but although he has had some success lately his recent wins have come on courses that he likes and has vast experience on. The course week will be tough; the well documented rough will ruin anyone’s scorecard if it catches a ball in the wrong place. Accuracy is key this week. Tiger with iron off the tee can negotiate a score and I won’t be surprised to see him doing this with many three quarter shots in his bag. At 9/1 I have been tempted but when compiling the shortlist some others have better value at better odds even if they make a placing. Paddypower offers 7 places this week so this influences the selections.

I cannot drop Padraig Harrington this week can I ? I have sided with the twice former Champion for a few weeks now and he is playing very well. The putting let him down at Portrush on the Sunday but as per his performances at Augusta and Olympic he loves the tough tests and will be looking forward to it. I have already backed him at 28/1 but he is still available at 20/1 now.

My second selection this week is Dustin Johnson @ 50/1. The American has already won this year following a return from injury and has clearly demonstrated a liking for links golf. He should have won US Open at Pebble Beach in 2010, could have won at Whistling Straits. He has won tournaments at Pebble beach though and has good links form all round. 50/1 is too big and he could complete the USA hat-trick this week. He plays alongside GMAC who pipped him Pebble Beach, has a 09:30 start on Thursday, so a good start is possible and a good start is needed this week. Another American who could win is Rickie Fowler, excellent Open form but I think he still needs to serve his Major apprenticeship before he wins one. But Johnson has arrived very early for this one and is well rested up. I expect him to contend.

Third pick is Jason Dufner at 50/1 (Ladbrokes). Fantastic tee to green player and can putt when it matters. Has shown great consistency and can now contend on Sunday afternoons. He lost the PGA to Keegan Bradley when he should have won but has the bottle to win one now. If I was to pick another American I might have some interest in Stewart Cink, Open champion and excellent British Open form. Early start and could be great bet for first round leader.

I have to put in Ross Fisher. Great return to form the past few weeks and he has a penchant for links golf. Accuracy is strength and if he can limit the mistakes he will give us a great run at 80/1 over the 4days. It’s very open this year and I think he can prevail in one of the Majors and he is my Englishman to do well here this week over Westwood, Donald, Poulter & Rose. I would love to see Westwood win, so I’m leaving him out this week (maybe I need to give him some luck and not put my cash down on him).The other Englishmen mentioned should go well too.

My final pick is GMac. Decent form this year and came so close to a second US Open at Olympic last month. He will be confident of putting in a good effort here and the links format will be down his alley. 33/1 is still good value with proven credentials and I’m confident he is up for this. He is slightly preferred over Martin Kaymer who is still not back to his best despite some good rounds last week at castle Stuart. Former winner at the Dunhill, he can compete on links in the rain 7 wind but at 40/1 I’ll pass for the Northern Irishman instead.

So there is my list- queue 5 shot victory for Lee Westwood over Tiger Woods and Martin Kaymer!

TIP 1: 1 pt e/w P.Harrington @ 20/1 Ladbrokes

TIP 2: 1 pt e/w D.Johnson @ 50/1 Paddypower

TIP 3: 1 pt e/w J.Dufner @ 50/1 Ladbrokes

TIP 4: 1 pt e/w R.Fisher @ 80/1 Paddypower

TIP 5: 1 pt e/w G.McDowell @ 33/1 Paddypower

TIP 6: 0.5 pts e/w FIRST ROUND LEADER S.Cink @ 100/1 Paddypower

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Scottish Open 2012

We are back on the links this week for the Scottish Open at Castle Stuart GC, Inverness. The inaugural hosting last year was reduced to 54 holes where Luke Donald emerged victorious. A great lineup this week, the week before The Open, will ensure the winner will need to be at top of his game if he is to win. I should sidestep Padraig Harrington being the week before the Open, but as always Pardraig will be out to win and but for his putter 2 weeks ago, he could have won his home open at Portrush. He can backed at 14/1 with Betpack where 6 places are on offer. No doubting his liking for links, he has been playing so well this season that the win is surely to come soon. Win this week and confidence will be sky high next week.
My second selection was a toss up between Nicholas Colsaerts & George Coetzee. The former did well here last year, did well in Ireland two weeks ago, but 20/1 is a bit skinny for the Belgian Bomber so I'll plumb for the South African at 40/1 also with Betpack. Martin Kaymer on paper looks value at 33/1 but poor showings both in Germany & France doesn't instill confidence in backing he's bound to win now !
My third selection is proving more difficult each week, and perhaps I may have to review my staking plan going forward as a result. I'd better declare all of my shortlist contenders now rather than after the off ......Chris Wood,Louis Oosthuizen,Simon Dyson, Shane Lowry,Stephen Gallagher,Peter Whiteford and Alejandro Canizares were in the mix before I decided upon the Irishman and the Spaniard. Lowry went well here last year throwing in a 65, was brought up on links golf (won Irish Open at Baltray) and will feel no pressure this week. Canizares has spent a bit of time in the US and played very well at Portrush despite a 75 on Sunday dropping him down the field. I'll split my stakes to cover both with Lowry at 90/1 and Canizares at 200/1, both with Betpack.

TIP 1: 2 pts win P.Harrington @ 14/1 Betpack

TIP 2: 1 pt e/w G.Coetzee @ 40/1 Betpack

TIP 3: 1 pt e/w S.Lowry @ 90/1 Betpack

TIP 4: 1 pt e/w A.Canizares @ 200/1 Betpack

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

French Open 2012

Europeantour action switches to paris this week for the French Open to be staged at Le Golf National,venue for the 2018 Ryder Cup. It boasts one of the hardest finishes in golf from 15-18 and often its the player that performs best over these 4 holes over the 4 days that goes onto win. The course should suit the likes of Lee Westwood, Martin Kaymer, Justin Rose and its no surprise that they head the betting market. Kaymer disappointed in Cologne 2 weeks ago, perhaps the pressure of hometown boy caught up with him, but after 4 holes in the 2nd round he had closed within 4 shots of the lead before he threw it away. he won here in 2009, was 6th in 2010 and 4th last year so with that record I cannot but back him this week. he will be smarting after the missed cut back home and will be out to put it right this week. His game clearly suits the course and if the weather forecasted does get showery etc , he can handle it and come out on top.
 Thorbjorn Olesen showed a return of form last week at Portrush and comes here this week confident following a runners up place last year. He is streaky and is destined to win more tournaments and can challenge here again this wekk. 40/1 is great price and he makes the staking plan.
 My third pick is a bit of an outsider this week. Richard Green also missed the cut last week in Ireland but he clearly loves this course. He finished tied 11th last year having shot a 76 on saturday,tied 6th in 2009, 4th in 2008, tied 7th in 2006 and tied 2nd in 2004. With proven form on this course the 80/1 on offer cannot be ignored and for traders out there I think this is well worth a punt this week.

TIP 1: 2 pts WIN Martin Kaymer @ 14/1 Betpack

TIP 2: 1 pt e/w Thorbjorn Olesen @ 40/1 Betpack

TIP 3: 1 pt e/w Richard Green @ 80/1 Betpack

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Irish Open 2012

As an Irishman I delighted that this years Open is being held at Portrush GC in Northern Ireland as a tribute to outstanding achievement of its 3 Major winners in recent years, Graeme McDowell, Rory McIlroy and Darren Clarke. Its very ironic that after these successes of the 3 Northern Irishman that the Irish Open is without a "major" sponsor following the withdrawal of 3 (Telecom Operator) who preferred to sponsor the Republic of Ireland soccer team instead. I.m sure the marketing team are well pleased! Despite the lack of sponsorship, the field assembled for the week is very strong and its now being touted as SOLD OUT !. It will be a real Irish Open this year too, inclement weather on a links course....none of this tree lined parkland, "whack it and birdie 'em" shootout we are dished up on Sky Sports nearly every week. Real golf ! So, with that analysis, who should be best suited to the links conditions and weather to prevail come Sunday? There are  a few that jump out, ut over the years the Irish Open has produced a number of surprise winners but down through the years the winners list includes some of the games greats.....Seve, Faldo, Langer, Monty,Woosie,Olazabal, Crenshaw. There has been mixed home success. Padraig Harrington broke a 25 year wait since John O'Leary won in 1982 at Portmarnock GC. Shane Lowry last won for Ireland at Baltray in 2009(another links). Obviously the betting market is headed by the home boys, McIlroy, GMac & Padraig. Of the three it will come to no surprise of regular readers of this blog that I would pick the Dubliner to fare the best. Tied 8th at Augusta and tied 4th at Olympic this year and another solid showing last week at the Travelers, means he is gaining momentum and is bound to end his winless streak soon. He treats this one as the 5th Major and will be keen to win it again and bring solid form into the British Open in a few weeks time. He is only 12/1 this week but is a must on my staking plan.

Chris Wood in his short career has shown a liking for links. Strong showings in the British Open back this up. He finished just 1 shot outside a playoff in Cologne last Sunday and recent results clearly indicate solid form and he will quietly fancy his chances this week. Seeing Danny Willett win last week could inspire him to believe his turn his coming and he has the skills and temperament to contend up North this week. At 33/1 he is real each way value with 6 places on offer.

My third pick this week is Joost Luiten. The Dutchman has also shown a penchant for links golf. Not in great form this season although finished runner up at Celtic manor a few weeks back and but for a poor weekend last week could have finished much higher than 38th. He will like the setup here and could come under the radar which many have done in the past at this event but is well worth taking e/w at 50/1.

TIP 1 2pts WIN .P. Harrington @ 12/1 Paddypower.
TIP 2 1 pt e/w C.Wood @ 33/1 Paddypower.

TIP 3 1 pt e/w J.Luiten @ 50/1 Paddypower.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

BMW Open 2012

After a pulsating US Open last week, action returns to mainland Europe for the BMW Open Championship to be played at the Gut Larchenhof GC outside Cologne, Germany. Home favourite, Martin Kaymer won’t have far to travel. The Dusseldorf native and Mettmann GC member can sleep in his own bed this week, an added bonus after the grueling 4 days in San Francisco. It’s been awhile since he won but he definitely has shown signs of a return to winning ways and he will be happy with his tied 15th at The Olympic Club last week. At 8/1 he may be a bit short but further study of the lineup suggests that this may not be too bad a price. A class standout player returning to form has to be considered. I’m a big fan, think he has the right attitude and the overall game to dominate on the European Tour and contend regularly at Majors. I like Ross Fisher, as regular readers well know, but just cannot believe he is as low in the betting as he is this week. In fact the odds on Ross are so low (16/1) it makes the 8/1 on Kaymer more appealing with Paddypower.
  Paul Casey returns to action this week too following his injury worries. He made a return a couple of months ago and had some decent scores before further injury problems sidelined him again. I would like to think he is teeing it up this week believing he can compete over the 4 days, having been practicing the past couple of weeks or so. I can’t see how he is making the trip to simply “make up numbers” and test his competitiveness and at 60/1 I find it very tempting. If at 90% fitness he could go well here on a track that suits his game.
 Raphael Jacquelin had an impressive US Open last week. Comes here so in great form and is one of those players that tends to feed off new found form for a period and at 50/1 he is great value this week also. Thomas Aiken can be backed at 80s, very tempting, but I have to confess I’m not sure what state the South African’s game is in at present as he hasn’t played much this season. Shane Lowry is hot & cold, has the potential to be a multiple winner on tour and I am waiting for him to settle down and start being more consistent. 100/1 this week is not to be sneezed at but the 50s about Jacquelin seems to be the wiser selection.
Henrik Stenson (22/1), Sergio Garcia (11/1) and even Retief Goosen (25/1) could challenge for the title but the odds don’t excite me and in my opinion are not great value, so the chance is taken on Casey and the decision to back Jacquelin over Lowry is made. Good luck if you follow me on these.

 TIP 1: 4 pts WIN Martin Kaymer @ 8/1 Paddypower

TIP 2: 1 pt e/w Paul Casey @ 60/1 Paddypower

TIP 3: 1 pt e/w Raphael Jacquelin @ 50/1 Paddypower

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

US Open, Olympic Club San Fransico 2012

Olympic Club, San Francisco hosts the 2012 US Open this week where Ireland’s, Rory McIlroy defends the title he won on the opposite side of the country at Congressional in 2011. Maybe up to 4/5 weeks ago, smart money was going down on “Rors” but 3 successive cuts have put doubt in a few punters mind. He rescheduled his plans to ensure he got competitive practice in by playing last week in Memphis and almost came away with a win. That showing suggests his game is alright, despite some errand tee shots and again some crucial missed putts. But those two ingredients are a must for what always proves to be the most difficult of the 4 Majors to win.

I do however, expect the Co. Down player to be challenging the weekend.

I’m putting up 5 players this week (normally do 3 each week with a 4th for a Major). The 5th is a good triple price e/w chance which I just couldn’t leave off my staking plan.
I keep putting him up, he keeps challenging but is yet to win a Major. He has good record in the US open in recent years and should have won when Tiger beat Rocco Mediate in a playoff. He has the temperament to stay patient which is paramount this week, tee to green is excellent and if he can make his fair share of putts this may very well be his week. I firmly believe he is playing his best golf the past 9 months so step forward Lee Westwood. At 12/1 with Paddypower he is my firm favourite to prevail.

The most consistent player on tour this year is Jason Dufner. He comes into this having just narrowly failed to win 3/3 when Zach Johnson edged him out last time. He almost won the PGA Championship last August too (Keegan Bradley got there in the end) so Major experience is fresh and he has a superb iron game that will stand him in good stead here on this course. Generous 28/1 also with Paddypower
My third selection is another ultra consistent player in Matt Kuchar. Probably has underachieved so far this season but his game does look like its about to ignite. Has the coolness to stay patient also and at 30/1 is slightly preferred over Jim Furyk (will love this course) and Hunter Mahan ( who is only average lately, but one I hate to ignore). I’ll be backing “Kooch” with Bet365
My 4th pick this week is of course Padraig Harrington. Played well again last week albeit not challenging for the title and he would have enjoyed those first two days with Rory & Gmac. He put in a great performance at Augusta and was right in contention on Sunday. Has done well in past Opens, loves the harder tracks and has the short game to carve out a score. He is saving it all up for this week I hope. Great value for me at 80/1 with Betpack
That 5th selection is another American who has been playing very well this season and could surprise a few at very big odds and that’s Bill Haas. Looks one to watch over the next few seasons and I am having a wee interest in him this week. He is quite capable of producing the goods despite big time experience. 100/1 with Betpack

TIP 1: 1 pt e/w L.Westwood @ 12/1 Paddypower

TIP 2: 1 pt e/w J.Dufner @ 28/1 Paddypower

TIP 3: 1 pt e/w M.Kuchar @ 30/1 Bet365

TIP 4: 1 pt e/w P.Harrington @ 80/1 Betpack

TIP 5: 1 pt e/w B.Haas @ 100/1 Betpack

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Memorial Tournament 2012

As mentioned on twitter (@birdieclubtips), I see the Wales Open this week as being very open and dont see value at the head of the betting. Alex Noren is a favourite of mine, played well during the week to qualify for the US Open and is the defending champion. He is currently 20/1 having been 33/1 on Monday but 2 decent rounds at Walton Heath to qualify for Olympic Club dont really instill "form" and therefore I am gonna pass this week. Jamie Donaldson might just be inspired to do well this week as a home player and Miguel Angel Jiminez has the credentials to see off this field and the Spaniard would be my pick if forced to have a bet here. However, over in Ohio I think the Jack Nicklaus hosted Memorial presents better value even though this is just as open. It may be just as open due to the quality assembled, Luke Donald & Rory McIlroy tee it up here with the Irishman looking to get back on track following two consecutive missed cuts. He did miss the cuts on two courses that he doesn't like so they can be discounted but he's still too skinny at 14/1. Also teeing it up is Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson,Rickie Fowler, Justin Rose ,Stricker, Bubba & Adam Scott.

I am growing to be a fan of Webb Simpson's, very consistent and is sure to challenge again this week. he is my first pick and the experince gained in winning over the past 12 months will help his quest here. at 35/1 with Betpack (paying 6 places) he is a must for me this week.

 Hunter Mahan started the season very consistently but has dropped off a little bit lately. That said, he is definitely one for the bigger occasions and he could just just string it together this week and attention focusses on the big tournaments including the aforementioned US Open in a couple of weeks. Mahan is available at 40/1 with Paddypower and just about gets a bite from me this week over Jason Day at the same odds.

My third selection is taking a chance on Bill Haas at 80/1. They say you need experience and the younger lads are not potential winners here but Haas has a good head on them shoulders. His game when on song is up there with the rest of them. Afterall I did say this is a quality field and the 80s are very generous for someone who does have a good approach game, a big plus for this course.

TIP 1: 1 pt e/w W.Simpson @ 35/1 Betpack

TIP 2: 1 pt e/w H,Mahan @ 40/1 Paddypower

TIP 3: 1 pt e/w B.Haas @ 80/1 Paddypower

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

BMW PGA Championship 2012

Once again I'm stuck for time this week so please note I have put up selections on twitter (@birdieclubtips) for the BMW PGA at Wentworth. TIP 1: 1 pt e/w J.Rose @ 22/1 TIP 2: 1 pt e/w S.Lowry @ 80/1 TIP 3: 1 pt /w R.Fisher @ 80/1

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Players Championship 2012

All 4 picks missed the cut last week in Seville. Very disappointing. Can mean only one thing, we simply have to find the elusive winner soon and a change from the European Tour to the USPGA often tends to do the trick. Not a hard call to make though as the Madeira Island Open is simply a lottery this week with a very weak field assembled. I was tempted to back Simon Wakefield there but it really could go to anyone so the excitement on offer at Sawgrass grabs the attention this week. In stark contrast to Madeira, the Pete Dye designed Florida course attarcts a very strong field where only Bubba Watson is missing from the World's Top 10. Rory upset the Americans last year by not playing here but they will be looking forward to seeing the Irishman this week who has been in scintillating form this season and having just been beaten in a play-off at Quail Hollow last Sunday, he will be drawing a lot of attention again this week. Its hard to ignore Rory given the form that he is in, but this strong field does give us some real good value.

I'll start of by picking Rory's compatriot, Graeme McDowell who has been playing very well the past couple of months and is the type of player that excels when confidence is high. He comes here fresh and has a good record at Sawgrass and could have won last year. The 66 /1 on offer is just too big and with 6 places on offer this week with most bookies he has to be on my staking plan.

Martin Kaymer is too big at 60/1 with Bet365. The German will like sawgrass and his iron play will serve him well here. He is due another big performance and indeed won the USPGA Championship at Whistling Straits, a Pete Dye course.

Another player who has been in sparkling form is of course Louis Oosthuizen. Runner up at Augusta bfore winning in Malaysia, his tee to green play has been excellent this season and is showing not only the temperament for these big events but seems to be enjoying them too. 40/1 is just about right and worth taking with Paddypower.

My fourth selection is Adam Scott, a previous winner here. I stated earlier in the year that he was looking to a good season and although he has not played an awful lot has shown signs he can post some good scores. If the long putter clicks he will be there or thereabouts. Again 40/1 with Ladbrokes with 6 places on offer.

I am tempted to back Tiger Woods at 25/1.....smashing price despite his mediocre form at Sawgrass. I'm only begining to look at trading on the exchanges and feel this is a trade worth investigating this week. If he gets a decent score on Thursday this price is bound to plummet and therefore create a trade for profit. My only worry is that I'm not sure if it will plummet enough to cover all bets and lock in profit etc but its a trade I will experiment this week.(The trades will need to be studid for m to be able to assess how I think the market will react but I presume with Tiger it will cause a shift if he opens with a 68 or something)

My fifth selection this week, afterall this is the "5th Major" is a 1 pt /w on Padraig Harrington at 110/1 with Betpack. Just a crazy price for the Dubliner who is about to click having shown good performances already this season including a top 10 at the Masters. If the driver behaves he can scramble for the scores which is good to have here on this course.

TIP 1 1 pt e/w G.McDowell @ 66/1 Bet365

TIP 2 1 pt e/w M.Kaymer @ 60/1 Bet365

TIP 3 1 pt e/w L.Oosthuizen @ 40/1 Bet365

TIP 4 1 pt e/w A.Scott @ 40/1 Ladbrokes

TIP 5 1 pt e/w P.Harrington @ 110/1 Betpack

Monday, 30 April 2012

Open de Espana 2012

Marcus Fraser provided some place money last week for the blog so hopefully the much awaited winner is not too far way. The Open de Espana return to the Real Club de Golf de Sevilla this week where Alvaro Quiros won 2 years ago. This week is the 100th staging of the event and coincides with the first anniversary of Seve's death. With a lot of rain having fallen the past couple of weeks the course looks set to play long which immediately suggests that Quiros comes into the reckoning. The 6 time winner on tour may get his best results in the Middle East but he cannot be discounted this week despite a lack of form in 2012 as he has won this event and the Portugal Masters in the past suggesting he does have form in the Iberian Peninsula. The 25/1 on offer with Paddypower is worth taking for an event that he will be excited about.

Second selection this week is Alex Noren.He is starting to show form and the long course will suit him this week. When Noren hits form he tends to be streaky and the 30/1 with Betpack is great value for a player hitting form after a slow start to the season.

My third selection this week is George Coetzee. I tipped him last week and he finished T7th just one shot away from a placing. He is very consistnt and that elusive win is not far away and I have to keep him on the staking plan for the time being.

I am taking a fourth pick this week, only because one of my favourites, Ross Fisher has shown glimpses lately that he is nearing his best again.(would hate to miss out !) He finished well last Sunday and hopefully he will come here in confidence following a good showing in Korea. 50/1 with Boylesports is decent value for a player that click any week soon.

TIP 1: 1 pt e/w A.Quiros @ 25/1 Paddypower

TIP 2: 1 pt e/w A.Noren @ 30/1 Betpack

TIP 3: 1 pt e/w G.Coetzee @ 25/1 Paddypower

TIP 4: 1 pt e/w R.Fisher @ 50/1 Boylesports

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Ballantines Championship 2012

I dropped Alex Noren from my staking plan last week and he put in a good showing ! thats the frustration of golf betting, knowing what week to strike. He does come back into the reckoning this week as we have yet another tough course in Korea. Adam Scott I wanted to back but the price is just too short. That should pave the way now for the Aussie to go on and win !
There is one player that could just strike this week as he has been contending very well lately and will be well suited to the tough conditions and the fact that he is South African could help as his compatriots are cleaning up all round him lately. Branden Grace won his 3rd event this season last week, following Louis Oosthuizen's victory in Malaysia and it could be a hat-trick if George Coetzee can progress from a bold effort last week. he is on offer at 28/1 with Betpack which is decent value in this field.

Marcus Fraser always seems to go well in this part of the world and he put in a decent effort last week following a Missed Cut the week before. Ultra consistent and sure to win soon, he is selected this week over Noren as my second selection. 40/1 with Bet365.

My third selection is Oliver Wilson. Its been awhile since he clocked up all those runner-up placing a few seasons ago, but he is striking the ball so well lately he cannot be dismissed. He was 1st in GIR last week.He has also tweeted this week that he thinks its time to use his belly putter this week and if he does, it may just get the ball rolling into the hole for those all too important birdies. At a very big 150/1, he is on the staking plan this week.

TIP 1: 1 pt e/w G.Coetzee @ 28/1 Betpack

TIP 2: 1 pt e/w M.Fraser @ 40/1 Bet365

TIP 3: 1 pt e/w O.Wilson @ 150/1 Betpack

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Malaysian Open 2012

After the excitement of the Masters at Augusta last week, it's back to the bread and butter of the European Tour this week and the Malaysian Open. Fairly strong field where Martin Kaymer, Charl Schwartzel and last weeks beaten play-off Louis Oosthuizen head the betting. Oosty is sure to go well again this week but I want to back old favourite Martin Kaymer this week. He finished tied 9th last year, and may head here somewhat pleased to have finally made the cut at the Masters last week on a course that really does not suit him. This weeks course does and he is great value at 12/1 with Boylesports.
Speaking of old favourites Alex Noren is a must for the staking plan this week also at 60/1 with Bet365.  The Swede finished 4th here last year just 3 shots back and this mostly due to a 71 on the Sunday. Matteo Manessero won last year ahead of Gregory Bourdy & Rory McIlroy so he will be comfortable with the course and having won twice since will be more confident in closing it out should he get into poistion. The odds are just too big this week.
My third selection is Marcus Fraser who does seem to play well this part of the world and again is great value at 80/1 with Betpack

TIP 1: 2 pts WIN Martin Kaymer @ 12/1  Boylesports

TIP 2: 1 pt e/w A.Noren @ 60/1 Bet365

TIP 3: 1 pt e/w M.Fraser @ 80/1  Betpack

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Masters 2012

The most eagerly awaited Major is finally here with the Masters kicking off Thursday at Augusta National. So many players are in great form at present that it makes this year's event the most entriguing and exciting in years. Tiger Woods goes looking for his 5th green jacket, Phil Mickelson his 4th! Both players are fantastic records at the Masters, even Tiger finished in the top 4 last year in his most disappointing season to date. He simply loves the place and comes here after winning at Bay Hill. No qualms seeing him set off as the favourite and certainly no qualms seeing Paddypower returning all losing WIN bets places before Thursday if Tiger wins. Thats a great offer and cannot be ignored. Will he win ? He sure could but at that price I wont be backing him, I'll take some better value with the good feeling that should he win I'll get some of my money back.

I would love to put up Padraig Harrington on the blog this week. I wrote the post believing the Dubliner was about to win again but last weeks showing in Houston wasn't he best preparation but he has done this before too. As I stated before I have him backed at 66s, he can be got at higher prices now, but that will have to be a side personal bet for me and not one for the blog. I do however, want to back a player that alot of people are labelling the choker and that's Lee Westwood. The Englishman has fine form at Augusta and whilst the putter needs to be hot this week so too does the driver and there is none much better than Lee in this department. Winning Majors takes patience - he has this and perhaps the argument can be made that he has shown too much of it recently instead of "going for it". He has been ultra consistent in Majors the past 3 years and I fully expect to be up there again this week.

Adam Scott finished tied 2nd last year with Jason Day. I think he may just go well again this week. Hopefully the putting lives up to the requirements needed to land the jacket. Steve Williams on the bag is a plus and will keep the Aussie focussed and in the zone to contend. Would have preferred slightly better odds but he has to be on the staking plan.

Third selection is Bradley Keegan. Not 100% convinced he can win but he has shown he what it takes to win the big ones. Winner of the PGA last year and recent good form means he has the tools to land it. he has finished well in the tough ones this year already and that means for me he will come into this confident. Debutants don't normally do too well here but doesn't always have to be the case.

I'll take a fouth selection in the form of defending champion Charl Swchartzel. The South African is playing very well and will be surrounded by great South Africans, Gary Player, Louis Oosthuizen, Tim Clark,Trevor Immelmann,and Rory Sabbatini. No Ernie Els though and that may just inspire the lads to play well this week.

So no Rory McIlroy for me either. I dont like to look of his draw to be honest. Second last group out on Thursday and partner with fellow bombers, Bubba Watson & Angel Cabrera. A recipe to get sucked into a driving "match". As an Irishman though I'm be shouting him on as well as Padraig and GMac and if he does come through the first 2 days in touch with the leader I may just back him to finish ahead of Tiger Woods.

Others to watch for me are Webb Simpson, Y E Yang, Matt Kuchar, and Patrick Cantley and I would not be the least bit surprised if paul casey puts in a good showing.

TIP 1: 1 pt e/w Lee Westwood at 20/1 Paddypower

TIP 2: 1 pt e/w Adam Scott @ 33/1 Paddypower

TIP 3: 1 pt e/w Keegan Bradley @ 30/1 Paddypower

TIP 4: 1pt e/w Charl Schwartzel @ 45/1 Paddypower

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Trophée Hassan 2012

Was in two minds this week whether to opt for the Bay Hill Invitational in the US or stick with the European Tour as its a low key affair in Agadir, Morocco this week. Having had a look at Bay Hill, I found the odds of low value especially for Sergio Garcia @ 25s, Mahan 25s and possibly Haas @ 40s. (My 3 picks for it). I went back to Europe and decided on taking a chance on better value for the Trophee Hassan.

I put up Shane Lowry last week and he almost delivered a nice placing but for 2 late bogeys over his final 3 holes. With golf betting it pays to stick with your tips over a spell and with the course being a links with some wind thrown in for good measure I am gonna stick with Shane Lowry again this week at a rather generous 60/1 with Bet365. The Irishman has had a slow start to the season but his tied 6th last week will give him confidence for this week and if he can just get a decent opening round under his belt he should be up there.

My second selection this week is Alex Noren @ 40/1 with Bet365 also. Regular readers will know I am a fan. He stepped up last year but this year has been slow to get going. Following a nice relaxing break in New York & Monaco the Swede comes here well rested and practiced. He is one of the better players teeing it up here and I do expect him to be on the leaderboard. He has a midday start on Thursday and tees it up alongside Pablo Larrazabal and Jbe Kruger before an early start Friday. Good grouping and good tee times - no excuse then Alex ! I have opted for Alex over Jaco Van Zyl who can be backed at 22/1 with Paddypower, the South African is playing very well lately and is the main threat this week obviously as he is in form plus he was beaten here in a play-off last year by David Horsey but the value is with Noren as far as I am concerned- just!.

My third selection is Raphael Jacquelin who had a superb weekend last week in Malaga. He heads to Morocco in form a week before heading to Sicily to defend a title he won last year. The Frenchman can be streaky and with the trip to Italy surely on his mind, and that being a positive thought, he can use those good thoughts to go well here this week. 50/1 for the 3 time European Tour winner is excellent value with Bet365. He tees up alongside Van Zyl and Marcel Siem (also in decent form lately) so this threeball should bring each other along very nicely.

TIP 1: 1 pt e/w S.Lowry @ 60/1 Bet365

TIP 2: 1 pt e/w A.Noren @ 40/1 Bet365

TIP 3: 1pt e/w R.Jacquelin @ 50/1 Bet365

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Andalucia Masters 2012

The European tour finally makes it to European soil this week where Miguel Angel Jiminez hosts the Andalucia Masters. He has stated that he will lose money this week on hosting the event, so with that in mind I have scrathed him off my short list. These events prove to be quite open even though Robert Rock heads the betting due to decent form (Winner in Dubai). I have picked three with real value this week.

Due to time constraints the right up is brief this week but I will be updating on Twitter more regularly.

TIP 1: 1 pt e/w Chris Wood @ 50/1 Boylesports

TIP 2: 1 pt e/w D.Willett @ 66/1 Ladbrokes

TIP 3: 1 pt e/w S.Lowry @ 80/1 Ladbrokes

Monday, 5 March 2012

WGC Cadillac Championship

The new World Number One, Rory McIlroy heads the betting this week for the WGC Cadillac Championship to be staged at The Blue Monster at Doral, Florida. He sets off the 6/1 favourite and there is no reason the Irishman can't win again this week. Tiger Woods is available at 8/1 and maybe better value than Rory this week, but there is some serious value further down the list to take this one out.
Sergio Garcia is showing great return to form lately and will be suited to the course.I also believe he will be motivated by Rory's success coupled with Tigers return to form and he will want to be part of the terrific season that lies ahead. With The Masters looming this is the ideal event to assess where your game is at and the Spaniard will be well focussed for this one. I will be backing "El Nino" with Paddypower who are paying 6 places this week.
My second selection is Adam Scott who put a decent showing a couple of weeks ago at The Northern Trust Open despite being his first outing of 2012. The Aussie is sure to have a great season and is already on my shortlist for Augusta in a few weeks time. Again with 6 places on offer I will be backing Adam at 40/1 with Paddypower.
My third selection will be another Aussie in the shape of Jason Day. Loves the big events, loves tough courses and if gets going on the greens will be challenging for the title. This selection cannot be ignored this week at odds of 50/1 across most bookmakers,but Paddypower have him marked up at 45/1. For that extra place on offer I will take the 45s as I still think this is great value for a player about to explode on the tour this year.
There are many others to consider this week. But will stick with the selections as above despite the attentions of Schwartzel, Simpson,Haas,McDowell, and the return of Paul Casey (available at 125/1 with Boylesports).

TIP 1: 1 pt e/w S.Garcia @ 33/1 Paddypower

TIP 2: 1 pt e/w A.Scott @ 40/1 Paddypower

TIP 3: 1 pt e/w J.Day @ 45/1 Paddypower

If you don't hav a Paddy Power account and would like to avail of the 6 places on offer this week, check out Paddy Power and avail of the sign up offers by clicking on the advertisement here.

Monday, 27 February 2012

Honda Classic 2012

There is no event on the European Tour this week so I'll have a look at the start of the Florida Swing on the PGA Tour and The Honda Classic. It is played at The National Champion, ranked the 2nd most difficult course on tour. Its a strong field, Tiger Woods even plays. Looking at past winners it does seem to throw up winners who have won Majors or eventually win Majors.The par 70 layout will be a test no doubt and the betting provides a chance for some real value.I have completed my shortlist- it usually is about 10 but this week I have 16 on it, so its proving a tough one to make the final call. I like the chances of Kyle Stanley this week. he is playing very well and seems to do well on tough courses as does Keegan Bradley. I'll take the 33/1 with Bodog Sportsbook who once again are paying 6 places.
Mark Wilson played great last week to take the "Consolation Final" at the WGC Matchplay, won the Humana a few weeks ago and is a former winner here back in 2007. So...he's in form obviously like this place so why not win again? He can be backed at 50/1 with Ladbrokes who are also paying 6 places this week.
My final selection has to be Padraig Harrington. Again says you!. He is getting there, just neds to keep the concentration, eliminate these double bogeys but as stated earlier he loves the tough tracks and this will be just that. Th Dubliner is playing a good bit of golf lately which is good to see, as I firmly believe he didn't play enough the past 3/4 years once he had won his third Major. If he keeps the ball in play the short game skills will kick into action and he can get amongst thm on Sunday for sure. He is 66/1 with Betpack or Stan James or you can back him with Bodog Sportsbook at 50/1 with the 6 places on offer. I'll take the 66s please

TIP 1: 1 pt e/w K.Stanley @ 33/1 Bodog Sportsbook

TIP 2: 1 pt e/w M.Wilson @ 50/1 Ladbrokes

TIP 3: 1 pt e/w P.Harrington @ 66/1 Stan James

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

WGC Matchplay 2012

The play-off curse of this blog struck again last week when 50/1 tip, Keegan Bradley was beaten in a three man play-off by Bill Haas at the 2nd extra hole. (Phil Mickelson also defeated). The win would have been nice at those odds but a welcome 13.50 pts return nonetheless. This week action centres on Dove Mountain, Arizona for the WGC Matchplay where World Number 1, Luke Donald defends his title. His first round match sees him against a matchplay specialist, Ernie Els who has shown some signs of improvement lately and could provide a tough test to the Englishman. But if Donald prevails in this one I expect him to progress out of the Bobby Jones bracket.That said last weeks selection, Adam Scott, could also do well with a first round match against Robert Rock, a possible match then with either Bo Van Pelt or Mark Wilson. These are opponents he can beat over 18 holes and after warming up the weekend in LA I expect him to progress past these 2 rounds at which point confidence gains and with Steve Williams on the bag, the experience should be an extra boost to Adam's quest and I'll take a chance on him to go far in this event. He is available at 33/1 with William Hill.
In the Gary Player bracket I really fancy Rory McIlroy. Over 18 holes he will be tempted to "go for it" and if he gets a fast start he could be difficult to reign in. 13/1 with Betpack is not bad a price but I also like the look of Charl Schwartzel in this bracket. He looks good to make it to the quarters and the 40/1 with Paddypower is a must for me. Tiger Woods finds himself in the Sam Snead bracket where he plays Castano in his first round match. There is no doubting that Darren Clarke will be motivated to beat Nick Watney in his first round to setup a match with Tiger in the 2nd round. However, I think this is the weakest bracket this week and gives Tiger a real good chance to do well. That said I also like the chances of both Justin Rose and Webb Simpson. Rose meets in form again Paul Lawrie but US desert experience should count for Rose who played well last week at the Northern Trust. Simpson has been very consistent and is certainly a top 10 FedEx player for 2012. I'll be backing both at 66/1 (Rose) and 30/1 (Simpson).
In the Ben Hogan bracket, last years beaten finalist Martin Kaymer heads the seedings. This for me is by far the toughest bracket and anyone could come out of it. I'll keep on the good side of the German again this week especially at 25/1 with Betpack and I'll take a chance on Jonathan Byrd who can produce the goods at any given time and last Sunday did look like a challenger for the title early in his round.he is amazingly available at 100/1 with Betpack also due largely to the fact he starts with a match against Matt Kuchar, possibly Bubba thereafter and a reward for that possibly v Stricker, but if progressing, confidence grows and anything can happen in matchplay. He is a value outsider at those odds!

the full draw for the matchplay can be seen by clicking here

Please note I am doing win only this week to win outright in order to select more players than usual.

TIP 1: Rory McIlroy @ 13/1 Betpack

TIP 2: Webb Simpson @ 30/1 Betpack

TIP 3: Justin Rose @ 66/1 Bodog Sportsbook

TIP 4: Adam Scott @ 33/1 William Hill

TIP 5: Luke Donald @ 16/1 Betpack

TIP 6: Martin Kaymer @ 25/1 Bodog Sportsbook

TIP 7: Johnathan Byrd @ 100/1 Betpack

TIP 8 : Charl Schwartzel @ 40/1 Titanbet

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Northern Trust Open 2012

Following a couple of frustrating weeks on the European Tour where the blogs picks have threatened for 3 days before slipping away on Sunday,I have decided to take a look at the USPGA tour this week instead of th Avantha Masters in India. The field assembled in New Delhi is a very open one where th winner could com from anywhere!There is however some value in the Northern Trust Open at the Riviera Country Club in California. Its a tight track, one of the toughest courses on tour and will not suit those playing for the first time.
One player who has played here before and performed well is Adam Scott. The Aussie is making his first appearance of the season and I am expecting him to kick on this year following quite a successful season last year. With Steve Williams on the bag too, he will be challenging in 2012 and I'm hoping he is well practiced for this week. He has the potential to start of with a bang and at 30/1 with Boylesports its tempting to be on him.
My second selection is PGA Champion Keegan Bradley. He missed th cut here last year following a disappointing opning round but he went on to win Rookie of the year with 3 wins including the PGA. Another I expect to improve on this year, is a great driver of the ball and has a great short game, two ingredients required here this week. He has expressed excitement about playing here this week too so once a player is revved up its a sign the confidence is ok. Hopefully a steady start will se him rise the leaderboard and give us a run for the 50/1 on offer with Bodog Sportsbook who are offering 6 places in the each way betting market for both European & PGA events throughout the month of February.
My third selection is Padraig Harrington. He should have a win under his belt already this season and looked like a possible winner last week only to somehow throw away shots over closing holes on Friday and dropping shots on par 5's. The tougher the course the better Padraig plays and there is definite signs that he is getting back to his best. He will be looking for a good performance this week as he fine tunes his game to get back into the top50 in the world and prepare for the Masters in April. If he can cut out the stupid mistakes he can win and at 45/1 with Betpack I'll side with him this week as his putting has been excellent lately and its a big requirement for Riviera.
I'm also gonna have a 1pt bet on Ryo Ishikawa @12 for a top 10 finish with Paddypower. The young Japanese star has played here before, in fact he made his PGA debut here. He could be anything this fella, shot a 58 in Japan not so long ago and has the skillsets to post a decent score and challenge the top 10 market this week.

TIP 1: 1 pt e/w A.Scott @ 30/1 Boylesports

TIP 2: 1 pt e/w K.Bradley @ 50/1 Bodog Sportsbook

TIP 3: 1 pt e/w P.Harrington @ 45/1 Betpack

TIP 4: 1 pt win Ryo Ishikawa @ 12/1 TOP 10 FINISH Paddypower

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Omega Dubai Desert Classic 2012

After the high winds at Qatar last week, the desert swing switches to Dubai at The Emirates GC where Rory McIlroy heads the betting at 4/1 ! I wouldn't take Rory at any single figure price let alone 4s, he doesn't win often enough to have the confidence to back him when favoured to do so. Yes, of course, he will be up there and may just win it, but there is no value taking those odds. I could say the same about Martin Kaymer at 9/1 with Ladbrokes, but he will be smarting after the missed cut in Abu Dhabi and he did finish well last week despite never being in contention to win. At slightly better value is Lee Westwood at 11/1 with Boylesports but he has never won on this course before so there is doubt there.Hard to ignore both of these though this week, but the likes of Quiros, Hansen, Bjorn & Hanson will no doubt have a thing to say also. Further down the betting there is Nicholas Colsaerts who has been playing terribly well the past few weeks except for Sunday, the counting day. The Belgian is good enough to win and at 35/1 he may be just worth chancing each way. If he can focus on ball striking the weekend and let things happen he could do it and its hard to let him go.

I will however be having a punt on my favourite Alex Noren @ 66/1 with Bet365. The big hitting Swede is well suited to this course and is still overpriced for this and I feel more confident in backing him for a top 5 finish or better a win than the likes of Bjorn or Anders Hansen. He is taken over Tom Lewis @ 150/1 who I really think could be a real force on the tour. Perhaps a good e/w on the Englishman over the Belgian might have been a better call but Colsaerts is in form and is given an extra week to produce.

TIP 1: 2 pts WIN M.Kaymer @ 9/1 Ladbrokes

TIP 2: 1 pt e/w N.Colsaerts @ 35/1 Boylesports

TIP 3: 1 pt e/w A.Noren @ 66/1 Bet365

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Quiros to prevail on Day 1

Alvaro Quiros has 3 tournament victories to his name in the desert, obviously likes this part of the world and that likeness should see him outscore Jason Day on day 1. Darren Clarke makes up the threeball and although he his making great strides lately, the Spaniard should get a better start and is being backed at 2.30 with Paddypower

Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

What a lineup gathered in the Middle East this week. The Worlds top 4 players PLUS a certain Tiger Woods. On top of that Masters champ, Charl Schwartzel also lines up. Prizemoney & Appearance fees have guaranteed the top class field, providing early value for us golf fans. Over the past 4 years this event has been dominated by Martin Kaymer who is chasing his 4th win in 5 years, and a hat-trick this week. He won by a mile last year over Rory McIlroy but this year's lineup suggests he will find it tougher to do so again. Regular readers of this blog will know how much I rate Kaymer and will not be surprised that I will be backing him this week to win yet again. He simply loves this course, has made it his own and this is just a case of "horses for courses". Tiger is a danger but questions over whether he can produce what we know he can over 4 rounds remains to be seen this week. With Lee Westwood & Rory McIlroy obvious challengers, I am taking some value down the field to perhaps get amongst the leaders the weekend. Having backed him last week, I see no reason not to abandon Padraig Harrington this week especially as the 18th hole at Fancourt proved to be his downfall last week dropping 4 shots on it the first 2 days.(he would have ben leader going into the weekend if he had parred it) Padraig can be backed at 45/1 with Bet365 but at 35/1 with Paddypower where 6 places are on offer this week, this is the bet for me.
MY third pick this week is Shane Lowry who tied 4th here 2 years ago. I am expecting big things from the Irishman this year and he wont be fazed by the field assemebled here and he could spring a surprise amongst the more illustrious superstars on show and if the putter gets going early, so too will his confidence. I'm taking the 6 place offer with Paddypower @ 66/1 on the Offaly native.

TIP 1: 2 pts WIN M.Kaymer @ 7/1 Paddypower

TIP 2: 1 pt e/w P.Harrington @ 35/1 Paddypower

TIP 3: 1 pt e/w S.Lowry @ 66/1 Paddypower

If you want to take advantage of Paddy Powers offer this week of 1/4 odds for 6 places and you need an account with them, you can open one now by clicking here

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Opening Twoball at The Volvo

Lee Slattery should be too strong for playing partner SSP Chowrasia in their opening 2ball on Thursday especially as the latter has really struggld to make an impact outside his home tour. Slattery on the other hand is a recent winner on the European Tour and is expected to kick on this season. Small odds, but 1.62 with Betpack have to be taken.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Volvo Gold Champions & Humana Challenge 2012

Action on the European Tour this week sees just 35 players teeing it up on the Fancourt Links in George, South Africa,a Gary Player designed course that hosted the Presidents Cup a few years back. Again notbale local boys will go off as favourites but I think there is value in backing Padraig Harrington & Nicholas Colsaerts @ 25/1 & 33/1 respectively. The Dubliner will relish opening his campaign on what is considered a difficult course. He will partner Ernie Els in the penultimate group on Thursday. Its an ideal week to strike and the odds on offer are just too tempting for a player of his quality in such a small field and should he find fairways he will challenge for the title to setup a promosing 2012 season.
Belgian, Nicholas Colsaerts missed a chunk of the 2011 season through a skateboarding accident just before The Open but returned towards the end of the year showing that his game was still in check albeit a bit rusty. This good be a very good year for Colsaerts and I will be very surprised if he does not make Ryder Cup team. The 33/1 on offer is wrong and I feel the prices are reflective of the fact that out of the last 10 events staged in Sth Africa, 9 have been won by locals, thus favouritism is bestowed on Oosthuizen, Schwartzel, Grace, Aiken & co. I'm happy to oppose them all and take the value.

On the USPGA, The Humana Challenge takes place at La Quinta Courses in California. Matt Kuchar goes off as favourite and despite not winning in 2011 I am happy to back him this week. Ultra consistent, he should be there or thereabouts come Sunday. He is available at 16/1.

TIP 1: 1 pt e/w P.Harrington @ 25/1 Bet365

TIP 2: 1 pt e/w N.Colsaerts @ 33/1 Bet365

TIP 3: 1 pt e/w M.Kuchar @ 16/1 Paddypower

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Joburg Open 2012

After an exciting finish to the Africa Open last week, the South African swing switches to Johannesburg for the Joburg Open to be held at The Royal Johannesburg & Kensington Golf Club played over two courses. There is abig field assembled for this week but again alot of homebased players are involved and tournament favourite, Charl Schwartzel goes off @ 7/2 while he chases a hattrick of titles having won it the past 2 seasons. Was tempted to stick with Retief Goosen again this week but he just isn't closing out the deal for awhile now and I favour some better value in the field despite being very tempted to back Aiken (home based) and Richard Sterne who put in a fantastic performance last week on his comeback. Instead I fancy Danny Willett to improve on his 7th placing at East London. He has great form here in 2009 & 2010 and he can build on the big showing from last week and go better this week. I will be backing him with Boylesports @ 25/1
I backed James Kingston last week, he did well to make the weekend following a poor opening round. His price is too big to be ignored @ 70/1 with Boylesports also and he is very consistent on home soil and is great each way value for me.
Lastly, Oliver Wilson had a poor 2010 by his standards, was going quite well until he took a 9 on the 18th last Saturday and fell away after that.He partners Rich Beem and Richard Sterne for the first 2 rounds, has a 10:30 rd1 tee time and a 7:30 rd2 tee time which is a plus for me. If he can start well, this could be the tournament to kickstart his career again. Following his tweets(@oliver_wilson)the past couple of months suggests he is happier in what he is doing and that should be a settling factor in his approach to weekly competition. He can be backed at 125/1 with Paddypower which is a crazy price really for a talent as good as Wilson and I cannot ignore it.

TIP 1: 1pt e/w D.Willett @ 25/1 Boylesports

TIP 2: 1pt e/w J.Kingston @ 70/1 Boylesports

TIP 3: 1 pt e/w O.Wilson @ 125/1 Paddypower