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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