Monday, 14 September 2015

Open d'Italia 2015 - Milano GC

The Europeantour heads to Milan this week and a revisit to Milano GC for the first time since 1990, where Sky Sports golf commentator, Richard Boxall saw off a class field to win his one and only tour title with a -22 score, helped by opening rounds of 65 & 64. Its a fairly decent field too this week where players are fighting for cards, R2D rankings and Ryder Cup points. Martin Kaymer, who disappointed hugely in Holland last week will no doubt head the betting but based on last week's effort it may pay to look elsewhere. Francesco Molinari will also be towards the head of the market here and carries the hopes for a home win. Kaymer, despite a poor showing last week should NOT be behind Danny Willett in the market though, but all three are far too short here.The tourney may not come quick enough for some though, especially the likes of Eddie Pepperell, Soren Kjeldsen, Tyrell Hatton and Kristoffer Broberg to mention a handful in fine form. With this and five other events left before the Final Series kicks off in Turkey at the end of October, those in form will be all out to grab as much R2D points and cash as possible and see where it leaves them in the Ryder Cup standings. Matt Fitzpatrick, Eddie Pepperell, Tyrell Hatton are just three players that I fancy to make a challenge for a place and who's to say that Thomas Pieters won't win more between now and Hazeltine next year. With Lee Westwood, martin Kaymer and indeed Padraig Harrington looking like they will be playing more on the European Tour next season, the race for those elusive points could be quite interesting and whatever the outcome, skipper, Darren Clarke should at least have an in-form team to defend the trophy. So, that's my reference to the Ryder Cup qualification out of the way on here but be prepared to hear it every week on the TV commentaries !

Thomas Pieters grabbed his second win on tour to make it back to back wins last week, emphasizing how current form and confidence are key to succeeding more so than over previous course form. Lee Slattery backed that up last week when he chased home the Belgian having won the previous week in Moscow! 

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Deutsche Bank Championship 2015

The second of the FedEx Cup play-offs tees off at TPC Boston on Friday this week, where Jason Day hopes the extra day's rest will help him keep his amazing run going as he seeks his fourth win in five starts. The field is now reduced to 100 players and Rory McIlroy returns to the action having returned from injury at the PGA Championship to finish in the TOP20. He also returns with the World Number One tag back on his shoulders following Jordan Spieth's missed cut at Plainfield Country Club last week. He's a tempting 9/1 shot in fairness, he'll be fresh (some will say not competitively fit), and he's a former TPC Boston winner back in 2012. The problem though this week is that TPC Boston will be a birdie-fest as it is every year and those that are in form right now should be contending again this week. Jason Day rightly leads the betting market but he's far too short to win again here when the field are so much capable of winning. Golf is in a good shape at the moment and I've often thought to myself if I leave the betting alone for awhile would I enjoy the coverage more? Well, the coverage needs to improve first, far too many brilliant golfers out there on the tour now that we seldom get to see, the powers that be seem more interested in showing the stars on the practice range or indeed signing autographs rather than showing some golf action. The FedEx Cup playoffs were set up to be exciting and they are I suppose but with so many players that can realistically win any of these events, I'd like to see some more action ! So, who can win it this week ? Just about any of them can ! Bubba Watson is probably the most in-form player at present without a win of late, and will be on many staking plans for this week at 22/1. The price seems very fair considering his last win was only seven starts back at The Travelers! His returns since read 13-mc-2-2-21-3. His third place finish last week may have been a distance from Jason Day but his game is in very good shape and when it comes to birdie-fests, Bubba usually makes the shortlist. Course form at TPC Boston though is not great and for this reason, I've decided to leave him be.

A hot putter will be required this week to complement a good tee to green game ! I should therefore be on board with Jason Day, Jimmy Walker, Russell Henley and perhaps Henrik Stenson. The latter two have good chances here this week, The Swede is best price 16/1, which is short for a player that doesn't win often enough, but is a player that seems to excel at this time of the year and has very good form in the FedEx Cup playoffs, having won it two years ago by winning here and at East Lake. But one player who is also playing extremely well but is falling short due in part to some poor putting of late is Justin Rose (20/1). Since his win in New Orleans, the Englishman has recorded five TOP10s in eight events. His GIR performance is worth noting, along with Stenson's, they are encouraging for this week's event. If Rose has worked on his putting this week and he can rev it up for the four days he will be in the mix come Monday. He's playing too well not to be contending.

I backed Robert Streb last week and after an encouraging start, he fell down the leaderboard the weekend. I won't abandon him just yet though; the 28 year old from Oklahoma has been in fine form this season, sits ninth in the rankings with  no missed cuts in his last eleven starts. Four of those resulted in TOP10s and of those, three were TOP5! He appeared a little agitated during coverage last week, I like to see a bit of that as it can often emphasize how a player is approaching the tournament; this man wants to compete! Winner of the McGladrey Classic almost twelve months ago, Streb is looking to close out a successful campaign with a big win. He was T-9th here last year and @ 60/1, I'm happy to keep him on side.

Webb Simpson is simmering of late as he tries to come to grips with the new putting technique. But it's improving as his results have shown. His first win on tour came at the Wyndham Championship, named his daughter Wyndham as a result, and has often expressed his fondness for the course and backed that up with a 6th placing two weeks ago. He seems to be very relaxed of late, and is focused on making it to East Lake (currently sits outside the TOP30).  He won this event back in 2011 and has posted a TOP20 and TOP10 (last year) since. Like Rose, a marked improvement in putting performance should see the former US Open Champion in contention.

2 pts e/w J.Rose @ 20/1
1 pt e/w R.Streb @ 60/1
1 pt e/w W.Simpson @ 66/1

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Glory's Last Shot for Rory ....or the Anchormen?

The final Major of the year returns to Whistling Straits in Wisconsin for the third time having hosted in 2004 and 2010 when Vijay Singh and Martin Kaymer emerged victorious in play-offs. The Pete Dye course is now infamous for the amount of bunkers on the course, rumoured to be in the number of circa 1000, depending on who's review you read and of course for the 2-shot penalty that was inflicted on Dustin Johnson for grounding his club in the wasteland deemed to be a bunker. Given the amount of bunkers and sand on the course and the controversial ruling from five years ago, the PGA have gone to great lengths this week to remind all the players and caddies of the ruling so as to avoid any confusion. We shall probably see a lot of referees being called upon this week !

Rory McIlroy has declared himself fit, 100% fit and has been seen running up banks proving his ankle is strong and despite the layoff represents some value @ current odds of 12/1 to win here on a course he finished just one shot outside the playoff last time to finish third. Its a long course and with reports that its playing soft at present, it should be an ideal opportunity for him. Jordan Spieth starts as favourite and why not? Winner of the Masters and US Open and agonizingly one shot away from the playoff at St Andrews, Spieth is in fantastic form and we can expect to see him contend again this week but he's not worth backing for this one given that this Major has a tendency over the years to produce first time Major winners along with some "shock" winners. Spieth will play alongside the defending champion, McIlroy, as well as Open Champion, Zach Johnson so expect plenty of TV coverage from this group. Interesting to note also that Zach also finished alongside Rory at -10, five years ago here so he arrives this week with fond memories and recent Major success to instill a lot of confidence. If he plays his wedges anything like he has the past couple of tournaments he may make the 50/1 on offer a bargain price.

I so want to back Dustin Johnson here....but having failed so badly the weekend at St Andrews when he was looking like a winner at the half way point and having had his chance at Chambers Bay, I can't back him @ 16/1. I'd love to see him break through here though, revenge and all that but he bloody deserves a Major and the sooner he wins one, the better chance he has of adding another. I'll be rooting for him as well as the Irish contingent of course, once some money can be banked first !

As per my shortlist on Monday, I really do fancy the chances of Paul Casey this week. He's lost two play-offs already this season at the Northern Trust and Travelers Championship and despite a disappointing effort at The Open, Casey responded with a nice TOP20 last week at Firestone. The Englishman finished T12th here back in 2010 so has good course form (he missed the cut in 2004 though) and if he brings his solid tee to green game here he can make a bold effort and join the First-time-Major-winners-at-the-PGA Club. From his eighteen starts on the PGA Tour this year he has recorded six TOP10s! He could so easily have two wins also. He ranks 10th on tour for Strokes-Gained-Tee-To-Green and he's no slouch off the tee either sitting nicely within the TOP40. He's 5th in GIR and if he can put together a week of solid putting, then Casey can win here or at least present a perfect back-to-lay investment on the exchanges. I'm feeling quietly confident for the former Irish Open Champion. 

Justin Rose normally competes well on Pete Dye tracks but has had poor form at Whistling Straits in the past. However, Rose has been playing extremely well of late and but for a shed load of missed putts, particularly at Tigers event, The Quicken Loans, he would have won. Can't argue though his form of late though. Winner at the Zurich Classic in April having finished runner up to Spieth at Augusta with a score that would normally be good enough to win, Rose has returned figures of 2-27-6-4-3 in his last five starts. He's in form and knows how to win and at 20/1 with Paddypower (paying 6 places) he cannot be ignored.

This is of course the last Major that we'll see the "Anchor Men" and it could be just the case that we have the last winner here as we had Keegan Bradley winning the PGA Championship as the first to do so. Adam Scott has been quiet in 2015 but since Steve Williams has returned to the bag he's produced TOP10s at Chambers Bay & St Andrews. He was 39th here in 2010 and 9th in 2004. Whistling Straits should be right up the Aussies creek this week, and Ladbrokes have him available at 33/1 for 6 places, just too big a price for a man who can turn it on here. 

Matt Kuchar may wobble if in contention on Sunday but if he enters the final round just off the pace he may have the tools to go close this week. Four TOP10s and another six TOP20s from his twenty events already this season yet again show his consistency and his TOP10 on this course five years ago can aide his attempt to break his maiden tag for the Majors. He was TOP25 last week at Firestone which is worth noting as the winner here has usually finished within that TOP25 at Firestone since the events have been staged back to back. "Smiler" will be there or thereabouts and at a generous 66/1, with Ladbrokes again, he has to be included.

Of the "outsiders" I am tempted by Robert Streb @ 80/1. Streb meets a lot of the "criteria" for this week in that he finished 5th last week in Akron, has won on tour already this year and is a maiden in the Majors. Seven TOP10s since his win last October proves this is a player to watch out for as his TOP20 at The Open backs up. Hes ranked 25th on Tour for Strokes-Gained-Putting and 29th for Stokes-Gained-Tee-To-Green. The 28 year old lies 5th in the FedEx Cup rankings, so he's playing solidly all year round.

If you fancy Spieth to win and don't have a Betfair account, why not take advantage of their offer and take the 15/1 to win - if he doesn't win you will get your money back (up to €100). Get the offer here

or if you prefer the 3/1 offer that Spieth will make the cut - if he doesn't win you will get your money back (up to €100)- That offer is here

And if you do have a Betfair Account already and you think Spieth will win why not take the offer of a free bet (up to €25) if your selection comes 2nd or 3rd to Jordan here

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

The Open British open ...or the best Major - 2015

It's The Open this week, or as some people call it , The British Open. Somewhere along the line though it has become more known as The Open but whatever its title, it sure is one of the top golfing tournaments, steeped in history and tradition. One of those traditions is to call the winner this week, "Champion Golfer of 2015", a flattering title indeed. Should Jordan Spieth succeed, we'll have no doubts as to who the real champion golfer is but should he come up short I'm sure we'll still be referring to the young Texan as the champion golfer at present. We are at St. Andrews for the first time since 2010, where Louis Oosthuizen took advantage of the draw the first two days and skipped away from Rory McIlroy and co to win by seven ! Following his great effort at Chambers Bay last month, "Shrek" is being tipped by many to go well again here this week and "defend". We won't of course have the defending Open Champion, Rory McIlroy, due to his ankle injury, which is a great pity. Spieth will attempt to become the first to win the Open having won on US soil the week previously and is a worthy favourite to do so. At double the price though, I'm inclined to stick with my US Open tip, Dustin Johnson @ 14.00. He makes his first appearance since three putting the 72nd hole in Seattle but he has shown in the past that he can win very quickly after Major setbacks. He's a different person these days, he's spent a lot of family time recently and St. Andrews gives him a great opportunity to break his Major duck. The home of golf has always suited the bigger hitters and DJ has the power to reach par 4s this week even taking the wind into account; he also has a superb short-game and his putting stats will surprise many. Of course, can he putt when the pressure is on ? He loves links, has won at Pebble Beach and has gone close at Chambers Bay and Whistling Straits. Speaking of the Straits, next months PGA Championship returns there and we could be more excited for that than this should DJ prevail this week ! We had the "Big 3" of years before when Jack, Arnie & Gary Player took golf onto the world stage and we could quite possibly be entering a another "Big3" era with Rory, Jordan & DJ. Imagine if DJ won this and the PGA next month !

Can DJ win though ? Yes I think he is the man to beat this week. His driving will make scoring a lot easier where fairways are wide and greens are big, DJ has the short game to take advantage and he seldoms three putts (er....his last bit action was exactly that which cost him the US Open I hear you say). He was down the field in 2010 here following his efforts at Pebble Beach the month before when GMac prevailed but we have a more polished player these days and he's older and wiser. He's proven before he can bounce back from disappointment quickly and he looks better prepared for St Andrew's than Jordan Spieth. He's a win bet @ 14.00

St Andrews, links courses, and Majors are just the sort of challenges that Martin Kaymer thrives on. He may not be having the best of seasons so far but there have been significant signs of late that a return to the winners enclosure is not far away. He played well in his second round at Royal County Down in May despite having no chance of making the cut and showed up on the leaderboard at Le Golf National a couple of weeks ago. Kaymer can produce the goods any given week and on links he is a player to contend with. 44.00 cannot be ignored. (40/1 for 7 places )

My old favourite Ross Fisher has played well in The Open before, has solid links form and showed last week at Gullane that his game is in fine nick for this one. Progressive form over recent weeks augurs well and he is also lucky to have an early tee time Thursday which according to ever changing weather forecasts suggests he may have the luck of the draw. Let's hope it pans out that way for him should he get a good start. One thing to note over previous St Andrews Open's, is that just 1 player, Jack Nicklaus, has managed to overcome a deficit of more than 2 shots after round one and win- all other winners were within those two shots. Ross is my outside bet this week @ 230.00 for the win and 7.00 for a TOP20.

I've also added Marc Warren & Joost Luiten into my staking plan. Both have shown many times that they excel on links courses and both are in form with Warren almost snatching the Scottish Open with a final round 66 last Sunday and Luiten also placing. Neither will be affected by the wind and bad weather and represent decent value @ 170.00 and 150.00 respectively. The TOP20 offers of 6.00 & 6.50 are also decent value.

Staking Plan

3.5 pts WIN D.Johnson @ 14.00
1 pt e/w M.Kaymer @ 40/1 (7 places)
.25 pts e/w R.Fisher @ 150/1 (8 places)
.25 pts e/w M.Warren @ 150/1 (6 places)
.25 pts e/w J.Luiten @ 125/1 (8 Places)

2 pts TOP20 M.Warren @ 6.00
2 pts TOP20 J.Luiten @ 6.50
4 pts TOP20 R.Fisher @ 7.00

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Scottish Open 2015 - Gullane Golf Club

We've been treated to some wonderful golf tournaments the past month featuring Europe's finest and following a very competitive Irish Open at Royal County Down, this week's Europeantour event heads to Gullane Golf Club for the first time for the Scottish Open for another instalment of links golf. Rickie Fowler is back following a decent effort in Ireland and he is joined by fellow Americans in, ever-present Phil Mickelson, Ryan Palmer, Jimmy Walker, Matt Kuchar, Peter Uihlein, Brooks Koepka, Brendan Steele, Ben Martin, Dan Berger, Cameron Tringale as well as former Open Champion, David Duval. They have competition though as defending champion Justin Rose heads the betting.

It looks as if we will have a stern test this week with the weather expected to throw in some wind and it should mean that our focus should concentrate on those that have links experience. There are many in the field that do and perhaps Ireland's Shane Lowry is the pick of the bunch along with South African, Branden Grace. The Irishman does offer me some value @ 33/1 this week and was one of the first down on the shortlist for this to follow on from his strong showing at Chambers Bay where he produced a TOP10. He finished down the field at RCD but hung in there despite putting for most of the second round with his wedge, (although Robert Streb seemed to fare much better last week than Shano). Lowry, of course, won the Irish Open at Baltray and is a well experienced links player and will always relish these events in pretty much the same vein as compatriots, Padraig Harrington and Darren Clarke, both former Open Champions. Shano will be rested following his TOP30 in Munich last time out and he can take confidence from his results the past three years at Royal Aberdeen and Castle Staurt where he finished 4-31-11. He'll be out for a bold showing the next two weeks before he takes up his temporary PGA Tour membership and he is bound to figure this week to keep recent form tipping along.

Pablo Larrazabal won in Munich, took last week off and returns to Scotland where he finished 11th last year and 16th in 2012.  He's 9/13 this season with 5 TOP20s which also included a TOP3 in Morocco.Pablo has a further two T10s in Morocco as well as  a handful of T10s in Holland at the Kennemer, not to mention solid efforts when winning at the Open de France and Abu Dhabi against quality fields. Those courses and Pablo's form indicate the Spaniard's fondness for links golf. We know what we get with Pablo, mercurial to say the least but he's a winner and if he gets into contention he'll fight it out to the end. He's also streaky, and he will be buoyed by his latest win following early season frustration. Perhaps he handed out too many shirts last season (promised to donate his playing shirts every time he missed the cut) or else it served as motivation, but Pablo cannot be ignored this week @ 76.00 or indeed 4.00 for TOP20.

Marc Warren @ 67.00 for the Scottish Open is another decent price for me.  He's been third in his home open twice the past three years! He was a decent TOP30 at Chambers Bay too yet he missed the cut at RCD. He's a three time winner on tour with those wins coming at the Scandanavian Masters at Barseback GC, the Johnnie Walker at Gleneagles and the Made in Denmark at Himmerland. Warren thrives on links and seems to play well on home soil. From his ten starts this season he's posted five TOP20's and the 3.75 for another here is worth taking. He commented on twitter this week that Gullane was "flawless", so let's hope he puts in performance to match the description.

Lastly, I tried to talk myself out of having an interest in Padraig Harrington here. Yes he missed the BMW PGA at Wentworth due to shoulder injury but he did show up on day one at RCD to lead. He again showed up on day one at the recent Travelers Championship with a 66 before missing the cut, but the signs are there that he can still go low and can add to his European Tour win tally of 14 soon. Double Open Champion, Harrington used to play the Irish PGA prior to the Open to fine tune his game so he'll be approaching this week in very much the same way as Phil Mickelson will.  125/1 e/w is tempting as is the 6.00 for TOP20. I'm also interested in the 100/1 e/w First Round Leader (FRL).

Staking Plan (11.25 pts)
1.0 pts e/w S. Lowry @ 33/1
.50 pts win P. Larrazabal @ 76.00
.50 pts win M.Warren @ 67.00
.25 pts win P.Harrington @ 126.00
.50 pts e/w FRL P.Harrington @ 100/1

3 pts TOP20 P. Larrazabal @ 4.00
2 pts TOP20 M.Warren @ 3.75
2 pts TOP20 P.Harrington @ 6.00

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Open de France 2015

Another short preview this week for the Open de France to be staged once again at Le Golf National outside Paris. Graeme  McDowell goes for three in a row but arrives lacking in confidence and his chances look slim despite obvious liking for the 2018 Ryder Cup venue. Martin Kaymer made my shortlist especially @28/1 but he is just not making cuts at the moment to warrant a bet so I've had to side with in form Tongchai Jaidee and American,Brendan Steele as well as Korean, Bjeung Hun An also @ 33/1. 

In the top 20 markets I've gone with the following as per my tweets yesterday ;

2 pts D. Fichardt @ 7.50
2.5 pts A. Canizares @ 5.50
2.5 pts A. Lahiri @ 6.5

E/w selections: (1 Pt e/w)

B. An @33/1
T. Jaidee @ 33/1
B. Steele @ 33/1 

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

BMW International Open 2015 - Munich

Its a very short post this week as I'm feeling under the weather, not sure if it's due to DJ's "loss" last Sunday or not, but having thought about giving this week a miss I couldn't pass on some players chances this week.

First up for me is Darren Fichardt of South Africa @ 100/1. He's been in good form of late having posted 13-21-9 at the Nordea Masters, Irish Open and Open de Espana. Its taken awhile for him to settle on the Tour but a multiple winner on the Sunshine Tour, Darren is simmering for a win soon and it could be at Golfclube Munchen Eichenried where has posted three TOP10s in his six visits.

Second pick this week is Julien Quesne @ 66/1 despite poor course form. He's playing much better this year though and of late has posted 22-8-8-4 at the Lyoness, BMW PGA, China Open and Shenzhen International. (he did miss the cut at the Irish Open and Open de Espana). Ranks quite high for GIR, the Frenchman could be a dark horse this week.

I toyed about adding Matt Nixon or Tommy Fleetwood and either Matthew Fitzpatrick or Camillo Villegas but have opted to get onside with Bernd Wiesberger @ 25/1. Villegas can go low and could be worth a punt certainly at the price but the Austrian's declaration for his liking for the course has swung the vote. On top of that, he's in form and we can ignore the MC in his homeland last time out as he sent caddy ahead to Chambers Bay (where he also missed the cut) and paid the price with a high score in the opening round at The Lyoness. He was fourth here last time the event was staged on this course.

1.5 pts e/w B.Wiesberger @ 25/1
0.75 pts e/w J.Quesne @ 66/1
1 ps e/w D.Fichardt @ 100/1

Thursday, 11 June 2015

US Open 2015 - Chambers Bay, Washington

Arguably the toughest of the four Majors, The US Open, tees it up Thursday 18th June and runs into Fathers Day on Sunday as per tradition. Traditional US Opens are played on tough courses where the rough is penal and scoring is high and the cream of world golf normally prevail. We have to go back a long way to see a serious outsider win and its something to consider when trying to pick the 2015 Champion. But this year , we have a real unknown to contend with; Chambers Bay GC. It will be the first time the course is being used for a Major or indeed a PGA event although it did host the US Amateur in 2010, three years after opening. Mike Davis, the PGA director who is responsible for the course setup for the Open, warned players that they need to prepare well if they want to take on this course and many players have heeded the advice and taken some practice sessions out there. The one story emerging from the various players is that the course is "different" and "very challenging" ! We had wicker baskets at Merion two years ago and this year we have two holes whose pars will alternate each day; the first and eighteenth will play as par 4/5s, an overall par 72 course.

The setup suggests that we will indeed have a challenging course , a course that will suit the thinking man, a player that can conjure up the shots required for all eventualities. From the copious amounts of course previews and flyovers that I've seen it sure looks as if its a course that will require accuracy as with all US Opens, but given the shape and contours of the greens it may come down to those that have the best imaginations around the greens and can putt well over the four days. Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth share favouritism here, of course, and despite the notion that Rory doesn't do well in the wind, I'm inclined to favour the Irishman over the younger Texan. Rory almost won at Whistling Straits when the PGA Championship was won there by Martin Kaymer in 2010, and I think this course has a lot of similarities. I wouldn't be too hasty in ignoring the 7/1 on offer (8/1 Spieth).

On my trip up to watch the Irish Open at Royal County Down during round two, I was genuinely amazed at the amount of players who had given up due to the "challenge", their body language indicating that they didn't like this type of golf and its those players that we can safely say will never win Majors. Those that grind and stay patient and rise to the challenge will always make a shortlist for a Major and I was impressed with the attitude and commitment of Rickie Fowler at RCD. Given he was socializing a bit with Rory & co on top of competing, Fowler showed his love for links golf and his ability to challenge in demanding circumstances and I cannot ignore his chances here. He would of course emulate the defending champions exploits of twelve months ago should he win here as Martin Kaymer also won the Players and the US open in 2014, Fowler having won at Sawgrass last month. Fowler has proven time and time again his fondness for links and will be a much confident player this time than the one who finished in the top5 in all four majors in 2014. He's 20/1 to prevail and its a fair price in my opinion and he can make his recent visit to Ireland count !

I got to watch Kaymer for a few holes at RCD and although, like Rory, he had blown any chance of making the weekend after his opening round, he played solidly that day and looked very relaxed. Another proven player on links courses, Kaymer is not having the level of success as he did last year but class is permanent as they say and if he gets anything of a decent start he's one to reckon with and I expect a bold showing from the defending champ! The former World Number One will be looking for his third major should he defend. He likes the biggies and can be backed at 50/1.

I've backed Graeme McDowell already @ 100/1. Like Kaymer, 2015 hasn't been great so far but he's determined to hit form soon and this is his cup of tea this week. He's Irish, so ignore recent comments about having lost the skillsets to play this type of golf ( we Irish folk do tend to tell stories from time to time), he's a confidence player and Chambers Bay may suit his eye and the Irish Open may prove to have been a blessing in disguise in preparation for the second major of the year.

Hideki Matsuyama, Paul Casey, Sergio Garcia and Louis Oosthuizen were all on my initial shortlist and its the Japanese man that I'd favour of this quartet. Dustin Johnson I do fancy to go well, but at 20/1 I'm not pulling the trigger but perhaps will get involved on the exchanges once we're in-play. He withdrew during the first round round in Memphis as I started to write this post, just as he did the week before the Masters, he's in fine form and can excel at Chambers Bay if he keeps focused and patient.

Justin Rose however, blew the recent Memorial at Muirfield but won at New Orleans at the end of April and he is a former winner of this Major having won at Merion. Rose shone as an amateur at the British Open but hasn't really made a mark in his home Opens since but he's different in these ones, and will be quietly confident on adding a second title here. Rose was runner up to Spieth at Augusta in April, having posted a score that would normally win the Green Jacket (274, -14). He followed that up with a win in New Orleans and can repeat the trend to follow up his play-off defeat to David Lingmerth at "Jack's Place" @ 22/1.

I've also backed Thomas Aiken @ 500/1. One of the most accurate players tee to green. The South African has shown up on leaderboards plenty of times at The Open and put in a decent effort at Muirfield before slipping back down the leaderboard on the Sunday. Yet to win a big event, he's worth a dabble in the TOP 10 & TOP20 markets and could be an ideal back-to-lay interest. Marc Warren and Alex Noren have the game to play this course and could be added to my final staking plan in the TOP10 & TOP20 markets. I'd love to include former champion, Geoff Ogilvy, but again I don't see him jetting back to Adelaide with the trophy under his arm for the second time since winning at Winged Foot but he could be worth a dabble in the TOP20 market. This is his type of tournament.

I've backed the winner in the last two US Opens (Rose & Kaymer)and I'm hoping to make it a hat-trick to make a Father's Day to remember, but like the Irish Open of 2015 I'm looking forward to seeing "proper" golf here and again in Scotland next month. Good luck to all - Seán

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Dubai Duty Free Irish Open 2015 - Royal County Down GC

The Irish Open heads to Northern Ireland again this year and to Royal County Down GC where the tournament is being hosted by the World Number One, Rory McIlroy and his charity Foundation. Its been a massive coup for the Irish Open having suffered heavily during the recession and by Rory taking it on, he has assembled one of the strongest fields on the European Tour outside of The Open for many a year. He's even managed to get a sponsor in the shape of Dubai Duty Free who have had a lot of success in Irish Sports, particularly in horse racing, but the one thing the Holywood native couldn't organize was the weather! Or then again, maybe he has.....after all we are being introduced to one of the best links courses in the world this week and there's nothing better than seeing the world's best compete on tough links in windy wet conditions. I personally will be heading up the M1 on Friday to attend, and typical of my luck lately, it looks as if I've picked the worst of the four days according to the weather forecast.

The event follows last weeks affair at Wentworth and comes just two weeks before the second Major of the year, the US Open. Rory will have a lot off course duties to attend to this week but having had last weekend off, I expect to be gunning for the title here on his home patch, although if the winds continue throughout I feel he can be taken on. Not many in the field will have much course knowledge and this will be a big advantage for Rory, if he didn't need it!. But his good friend and recent Players Champion, Rickie Fowler has good memories of RCD having played here in the Walker Cup back in 2007. Fowler has shown his liking for links so will be interesting to see how he fares here this week again. He will play alongside Rory for the first two days and they will be joined by Martin Kaymer who I mentioned in last week's preview as one I'll be interested in for this. At 28/1 and playing in this threeball I fancy the two-time Major winner and winner of the Dunhill Links as well as the Scottish Open (albeit at Loch Lomond) and the KLM Open to mention a few, as being good markers for doing well on a course that this week will be of Major difficulty. If the winning score is lower than -10 I'll be surprised and its these type of scoring conditions that sees the best of the 30 year old. He won his two Majors at Whistling Straits and Pinehurst, two tracks that are exactly "parkland" either. Throw in his success at wind affected events from the Middle East and Martin Kaymer is not without a serious chance of winning this week. He defends his US Open title in Seattle in a couple of weeks time and he'll be relishing that and I like the fact a top player is set to defend in an upcoming event and feel that they can raise their game in anticipation of that defence. 28/1 with Betfair is a nice price this week for me.

From my shortlist on twitter yesterday, I mentioned two Scots took my fancy and they were Marc Warren & Richie Ramsay, available @ 50/1 and 90/1. Both are used to links golf, have performed well on links and both have won in the recent twelve months; Warren prevailing on a links course in Denmark last August and Ramsay winning on a links course in Morocco, the Trophee Hassan. Warren is a three time European Tour winner having won the 2006 Scandanavian Masters in 2006 and at Gleneagles in 2007. From his eight starts on tour this year he's made seven cuts with 5 of those resulting in TOP20s. He was TOP20 last week at Wentworth and could be a real threat this week in conditions he'll be used to. Ramsay returned from injury with 5 missed cuts earlier in the year before going in at Morocco and since 11-7-15 before missing the cut last week. He did complain of sore feet in Surrey but I'm literally betting those feet will be well rested and rarin' to go at RCD this week. He too is a three time winner on tour and the former US Amateur Champion (2006) also won the Irish Amateur in 2005 and the Scottish Amateur in 2004. Ramsay is an accurate sort of player who will feel at home in the conditions and is well worth chancing in  an event that has had its fair share of top class winners and outsiders over the years.

I also had earmarked two Frenchmen who could surprise many this week, the two Grégory's; Bourdy and Havret!  Bourdy is very consistent, very accurate player and arrives on the back of some decent form. Aside from a lowly finish at Wentworth, Bourdy has reeled off results of 15-31-15-27-7 previously. Indeed from his twelve starts this season he has made ten cuts finishing TOP20 on six occasions. He's overpriced at 125/1. Same with former US Open runner-up Havret, also available @ 125/1. Similar sort of season progress as well with 9/11 cuts made with four TOP20s. Yet to record a TOP10 finish this season though his last four events have yielded 11-22-31-15. His stats look good for this; he ranks 3rd for Driving Accuracy, 23rd for GIR, and 20th for scrambling. Perfect ingredients to have in the bag for the week !

I'm also adding Matthew Fitzpatrick into the staking plan here. Another former US Amateur Champion and one tipped for great things in the professional ranks, the Englishman may have an appropriate name for the week that's in it, (it worked for Paul Casey!) and he has the game for the links challenge that awaits.He made his professional debut at this event last year at Fota, and could be in the mood to celebrate his first anniversary. There could be a bit of talk of Rickie Fowler and the Walker Cup of 2007 this week and if the Sheffield native wants to reflect on his own Walker Cup experience, he can cast his mind back just two years to his fine performance at the National Golf Links of America when securing 3 pts from his 4 matches. If Fitzpatrick is going to throw in a good result soon, it could very well be on a course of this type and I'm having a nibble at 175/1.

I'll also be watching Malahide native Gavin Moynihan in action. Looking to cement a place on the Walker Cup Team for a second time, The Island's best recently took out the Irish Amateur at Royal Dublin for the second time in very nasty conditions and it was his second round back nine that stood out; when facing the cut in terrible conditions he fought back with a bunch of birdies to stay in it then shot a superb 65 in the third round. He too is a former Scottish Amateur Champion, attended Alabama last year before returning home and he'll be making his third Irish Open appearance. One for the future but not without a chance of a bold showing this week either and if Darren Clarke says he has an impeccable short game, then he could feature !

Staking Plan

2pts  e/w M.Kaymer @ 28/1
1 pt e/w M.Warren @ 50/1
0.75 pts e/w R.Ramsay @ 90/1
0.5 pts e/w G.Bourdy @ 125/1
0.5 pts e/w G.Havret @ 125/1
0.25 pts e/w M.Fitzpatrick @ 175/1

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

BMW PGA Championship, 2015 - Wentworth

We're starting to gain momentum now on the European Tour as we hit the UK this week for the European Tour's flagship event, the BMW PGA Championship to be held once again at Wentworth. Rory McIlroy defends this week, and will be playing for the fourth consecutive week having won the WGC matchplay, finishing TOP10 at Sawgrass and winning again last Sunday at the Wells Fargo Championship. Its been an amazing twelve months since he dumped his then fiancee, Caroline Wozniaki the week leading up to BMW PGA Championship last year and given the form he's in right now, it's very hard to see past him again here this week. But, it will be his fourth consecutive week and he'll have one eye on next week, the Irish Open which he is hosting for the first time. At 3/1 this week, he's easy to oppose. Over the years we've seen those who have course experience do well here so expect to see Luke Donald, Lee Westwood, Francesco Molinari, Shane Lowry, and Ernie Els to feature. The course underwent some design changes back in 2010, under the guile of the aforementioned Ernie Els and it seems to have made an impact on both scoring and to those who did feature previously.

Twelve months ago, Thomas Bjorn let his lead slip to allow Rory in but it was probably one that Ireland's Shane Lowry should have won. The Clara native was 12th in 2013 and also posted a 4th in 2011 but he's too short for me here @ 33/1. I could back two time Major winner, Martin Kaymer at the same price ! Four TOP20s in his seven visits suggest that Wentworth is a course that the German can excel on but as he's on the shortlist for next week instead, I'm going to swerve here and take a stab at a few at decent prices.

Joost Luiten returns to Europe following a stint in the US where he has performed reasonably well with a best return of a TOP15 at the Honda Classic. Luiten is in decent form and can boast a 12th & 17th at either end of three missed cuts here the last five years. If he can find fairways off the tee he'll have a chance but its the poor driving stats that probably have him out at best price 66/1, but its worth taking for a player of his calibre. A late/early start may be an advantage too and with 6 places on offer this week with majority of the books, he makes my staking plan.

I wanted to back Ross Fisher again this week but have opted to leave him out this time round. Instead I want to get Alex Noren onside @ 100/1 with the 6 places on offer. Noren returned to action earlier this season following a lengthy layoff through injury and hit the ground running before falling away again. He was well down the field last week but arrives here with a tournament under his belt following two decent efforts in China last month. The Swede was 6th here back in 2008, before the course changes were made but has posted 32-21 finishes in 2013 & 2012. He withdrew last year due to that wrist injury. He can return to form this week and surprise and just like Luiten, if he can find the fairways he'll score.

We could carried away with statistics and get over focused on who is bound to go well here and over the years we have seen some illustrious names on the trophy (Jacklin, Oosterhuis, Faldo, Langer, Seve, Olazabal, Monty, Cabrera, Jiminez, Casey, Donald, and Rory) but we've also had "shock" winners in Simon Khan (who simply loves playing here) Drummond and Oldcorn ! Some players along with Rory will arrive looking for a rest rather than another week of competitive golf and I'm hoping the home based players feel the fatigue with the added media attention thrown in. So I'm going to complete my staking plan with a number of TOP20 bets as per my tweets from Tuesday. Max Kieffer, Bjeung An and Robert Rock are three players in fine form and could put in a good showing here. Kieffer hasn't missed a cut this season in 11 events and he's well a nibble in the TOP20 market @ 7.50. Likewise, An is 10/11 with six TOP20s under his belt already and although he makes his debut at Wentworth, I feel the course may suit. Robert Rock completes my interest this week on the back of some solid performances of late; two TOP30's in his last two starts. Rock is available @ 7.00 with An @ 4.50

Staking Plan

0.75 pts e/w J.Luiten @ 66/1 * 6 places
0.75 pts e/w A.Noren @ 100/1 * 6 places


2.5 pts M.Kieffer @ 7.50
3 pts B. An @ 4.5
1.5 pts R.Rock @ 7.00

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

The Players 2015 - Sawgrass

No rest for the world's elite golfers this week as they head across to Florida for one of the richest golf tournaments; The Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass! Often dubbed the "5th Major" this tournament is one of the most watched and loved by golf fans all over! Germany's, Martin Kaymer defends this week, a feat not done before in the thirty three installments! Tiger plays though this week but he comes into this with a lot of emotional baggage - his recent split with Lindsey Vonn comes the week of the anniversary of his father,Earl's passing. This week, it's the Rory & Jordan show and amazingly they've been drawn together for the opening rounds!! Maybe golf does need the fanfare and the hype around the best two golfers in the world right now so we'll forgive the organizers for putting them out together, but for us punters it creates a nice betting event. Experience is meant to be a big help here but young Mr Spieth finished 4th twelve months ago and like his Masters debut last year, he could be the exception to the rule that Sawgrass knowledge and experience is a must.

From my seventeen man shortlist, I've decided on who best is placed to strike should Rory and Jordan not deliver. Louis Oosthuizen stays on my staking plan this week although I'm relying on reports that his back problems are indeed gone. He played 5 matches in San Francisco last week and it could cause problems if not exactly 100% but I'm prepared to take the risk @ 50/1. Oosty currently ranks top 10 in both "Strokes Gained Tee to Green" and "GIR" on the PGA Tour this season and its his current form I'm pinning my hopes on that he can improve on his best finish at Sawgrass of 29th two years ago. The South African has posted four top 10s in his last seven starts.

 Likewise Adam Scott is a decent price this week @ 50/1 and if he starts striking it as well as he has been and gets the putter going he could challenge. For Scott, it's all down to his putting performance this week. If it clicks he'll be there or thereabouts. The South Australian will be defending in a couple of weeks at The Colonial and I'm sure he'll be thinking of that along with his putting game ahead of next months US Open. Four top 20s in his last ten starts at Sawgrass augurs well and season ranking in the "Strokes Gained tee to Green" and "GIR" sees him sit inside the top 10.

Jimmy Walker hasn't been backed by myself before, but I just couldn't ignore his chances this time round.  At 35/1 he is worth a play where ball striking will serve him well. In his 5 starts here he has posted a debut 26th, mc and then produced progressive figures of 35-15-6th. He ranks highly for "SGTTG" and "GIR" and if getting a good start he'll grow in confidence following recent success. He might be entering this week in confident mood following reports he's been seeing Butch Harmon and if Butch has improved on something it can only augur well for a bold showing.

Kevin Streelman has been put up a couple of times already this season here and he's been given the nod again this week ahead of Brendon Todd @ 150/1. Streelman was runner up two years ago and posted a further Top 20 in 2011. He ranks nicely in the SGTTG & GIR as well and arrives well rested, unlike most. His T12th finish at Augusta suggests his game is in fine fettle for a course not too dissimilar in terms of positioning play and emphasis on ball striking. He's 12/15 this season with just the one top 10 in the bag, but he's streaky and can go well again here this time round.

Staking Plan (7pts)

1 pt e/w L. Oosthuizen @ 50/1 Bet365 * paying 6 places
1 pt e/w A. Scott @ 50/1 Betfair * paying 6 places
1 pt e/w J. Walker @ 35/1 Bet365 * paying 6 places
0.5 pts e/w K.Streelman @ 150/1Bet365 * paying 6 places

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Volvo China Open 2015 - Tomson Shanghai Pudong Golf Club

The Volvo China Open heads to the Tomson Shanghai Pudong Golf Club this week and for the first time since 2008 the course will host a top quality golf event. The course which opened in 1997, had hosted the Asian Open between 2004-2008. Ernie Els is the course record holder with a 62 (-10). Alexander Levy will defend his title having won on last week's course in Shezhen, twelve months ago. In form, Australian, Scott Hend has two TOP10s here back in 2008 and 2007 and he'll be quietly confident of his chances on Asian soil again having won the Hong Kong Open back in October. Indeed, the Aussie enjoys playing in these co-sanctioned events and has since finished runner-up in Thailand and has two TOP15s in Malaysia and again in China last week. He will be a popular pick this week for sure, but having had a quick look at the type of course on offer this week, I'm expecting one or two of the 30,000 trees that line the fairways to catch him out this time round.

With that in mind, I've concluded from the photographs that I could find, that accuracy from tee to green will be key in winning in 2015.  From my shortlist (left), I've been drawn to Grégory Bourdy, Emiliano Grillo, Anthony Wall, Andrew Dodt, Ross Fisher & Alejandro Canizares. The Argentine is playing very consistently without winning and if he can hole some putts and get the mental issues out of the way this week he could finally break the maiden tag here. But @ 25/1 ? No, not for me when considering he's priced alongside proven winner, Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Pablo Larrazabal and lower than Alexander Levy!

Bourdy on the other hand can be backed @ 33/1 and that's a fair price for this quality of field and he is my first selection. The Frenchman currently lies 27th on the Race to Dubai rankings from his nine starts where he has posted two TOP5s, a TOP10 and a further two TOP15s! Gets the flatstick going here he'll have a chance. I'm a fan of Tommy Fleetwood's but I felt once again his pitching was poor last weekend and therefore I'm happy to leave him out given his price and favourite status. Ross Fisher @ 35/1 would be a better selection and I'm a little surprised that Alex Noren is @ 33s but perhaps he's worth watching this week instead?

Wade Ormsby though at 55.00 is my second pick for this. He may be low in the GIR stats but his driving and short game stand up well and he's been quite consistent of late having notched four TOP11s in his last five starts. He played here in 2006 & 2005 for a return of mc-20, and I'm happy to get him onside this week on the back of recent form.

My third selection will be the Spaniard, Alejandro Canizares @ 120.00. Okay, so he's missed his last three cuts and we need to be mindful of that, but previously he was in fine form with results of 3-47-8-12. The first three events were during the Desert Swing, mixing it with the big boys. He has a fine short game which will be key this week and at the price is well worth an interest to see if he can bounce back into form on a course that may just take his eye.

Staking Plan (10 pts)

1 pt WIN G. Bourdy @ 34.00
1 pt WIN W. Ormsby @ 55.00
0.5 pts WIN A. Canizares @ 120.00

 2 pts G. Bourdy @ 4.33
1.5 pts W. Ormsby @ 5.50
1.5 pts R. Fisher @ 7.00
1 pt A. Canizares @ 12.00

1.5 pts A. Canizares @ 5.50

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

RBC Heritage - Harbour Town

New Masters champion, Jordan Spieth is sleeping in his green jacket this week following his emphatic victory at Augusta last Sunday and is aiming to add to his wardrobe by donning the plaid jacket that comes with victory at The Heritage, now in a regular slot proceeding The Masters. We all know by now that there's an old head on young Jordan's shoulders but the toil of all the press conferences this week should ensure we have a carefree, tired champ teeing it up here and can easily be opposed. 

Unlike Augusta, accuracy from tee to green, with a better than prolific short game is the order of the day at Hilton Head. Previous winners in the mould of Stewart Cink, Zach Johnson, Jim Furyk and Graeme McDowell back this trait up and I'm keen on 4 players to do well this week that stack up against these statistics. Gmac comes into the equation this week off the back of a decent enough effort last week on a course that doesn't really suit and he'll be keen to get sharp ahead of the U.S. Open in June by producing some encouraging results. The Irishman is on my radar for Chambers Bay so I'll be watching closely over the next 6-8 weeks and he can start the ball rolling by going in again here at a tournament that has often produced multiple winners. When on, he's of the Poulter mindset, confident to a point that he gets in the zone quickly and is tough to shake. At 45/1 he's a decent price  for me.

At 50/1 I have to back Kevin Streelman too. Par3 scoring is a strong trend for Harbour Town as is good GIR & scrambling. Streelman ranks highly on these and arrives on the back of a TOP 20 at Augusta where he also won the Par3 competition (the fool !). He's a streaky player who can hold a period of form and the price again is decent. 

Brendon Todd is a player I'm trying to get   onside as much as I can of late, and he really was the player I first pulled the trigger on for this one!  I still can't believe he's available @ 80/1 but perhaps that's because he missed the cut last week and is down the GIR rankings but the 29 year old does rank highly for driving accuracy and scrambling. He's produced two TOP10s from his eleven starts this season but he'll relish this course despite having played twice for a MC & T38th. He's in decent form with five TOP 30s in his last eight starts. 

I fully intended to back Webb Simpson @ a nice 33/1 but have decided at the last minute to side with Camillo Villegas @ 150.00 on betfair.Spider-Man aced twice at Augusta par 3 and has decent efforts under his belt on this course with returns of 21-9 the past two seasons. Before Houston and Augusta where he missed both cuts, the Colombian was 27 - 30 - 16 - 21 so his game is in good shape  and worth a nibble at the price. 

Staking Plan (8.5 pts)

1 pt e/w G. McDowell @ 45.00
1 pt WIN K. Streelman @ 50.00
0.50 WIN pts B. Todd @ 80.00
0.25 WIN pts C. Villegas @ 150.00


1.75 pts K. Streelman @ 6.00
1.5 pts B. Todd @ 8.00
1.5 pts C. Villegas @ 12.00

My only selection for the Shenshen International is as per my Twitter feed-

0.5 pts e/w P. Uihlein @ 67.00
2 pts TOP10 P. Uihlein @ 7.00 

Sunday, 29 March 2015

The Masters 2015 Betting Preview

There is a new era upon us as we head down Magnolia Lane this year for the first Major of 2015. A change of guard in the shape of Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Dustin Johnson, Bubba Watson, Jason Day, Rickie Fowler and others vying to dominate the sport. All young guns ready to take over from the Tiger Woods era. As I write this post it looks as if Tiger won't make Augusta but Rory is already a comfortable World Number One with 4 Majors in his locker with just the green jacket missing to complete the "Slam". The Irishman goes searching for a hat-trick of majors having won The Open & PGA Championship last summer and arrives in good form despite not having won since Dubai in the last week of January. Having missed the cut at the Honda Classic, Rory followed up with a 9th at the WGC Cadillac and 11th at Bay Hill. To complete the Slam, Rory has to deal with the added pressure of joining that elite group of players to have won all 4 golf majors, an added pressure that I believe Rory can use to motivate himself. He knows he can win here and it's highly likely that he will win a green jacket some day, the question is, will it be this year ? The bookies think so, and make him the favourite at 6/1. Rory's form at Augusta is ok, having produced results of 8-25-40-15-mc-20 the past 6 years. He infamously blew up in 2011 when it looked odds on he would win taking a 4 shot lead into that final round, a lead he still held entering the back 9. A triple at the 10th and a double on the 12th saw the lead evaporate and Rory would eventually sign for an 80 and tie for 15th. Those demons are long since gone as Rory won his first major just 2 months later at Congressional GC when winning the US open and has moved on to a much higher level since. What he can take form his Augusta experiences is that he can play the course well and contend. That experience is crucial as results down through the years shows that having that course experience is vital and its the one major where certain players tend to contend time and time again, and has often happened, age and recent form are no barriers once they step on to this hallowed turf. Tiger, if he makes it, will be relying on all that experience if he is to indeed contend.

Referring to the 2011 Masters, the leaderboard throughout that final round saw quite a number of players exchange the lead and its worth noting that these players are the usual crew that vie for the title or have indeed since, won eventually. Adam Scott, Angel Cabrera, Jason Day all held the lead at one point and even Tiger, who started the day 7 shots back, got to the lead before the 12th put paid to his chances as it did Rory's. Looking at my preview last year, I alluded to 16 players that had won at Augusta in recent times and what Augusta experience they had before winning, and the trend speaks volumes. Taking these trends on board, then you may ask why is Bubba Watson not favourite this week ? In my opinion, he should be.

Bubba loves Augusta, twice winner in 3 years and has since become a lot more consistent.His form in 2015 is superb having won the HSBC Championship in dramatic fashion, Bubba went on to record TOP10s at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions, the Phoenix Open, and the recent WGC Cadillac at Doral. His only non TOP10 finish this year was his T14th at Riviera. Those last two outings augurs well and act as a good guideline for Augusta as form on those courses usually point to a good showing here.Bubba is available at double the price of Rory on Betfair at 13.00, and I know betting wise who I'd rather have my money on between the two! The only question mark around him is can he defend the title this time around? He certainly couldn't cope with the pressure of defending two years ago and made public his discomfort in arranging the menu etc. for the Champions Dinner. Having gone through it before though should make it much easier this year and I fully expect Bubba to be in the mix this year again,if not win.

Last year I backed Dustin Johnson.....and I did the same again this year before he teed it up at Torrey Pines in February @ 60.00 believing he would come in with the betting with some solid performances. I've backed him @ 50.00 and @40.00 since and his best price now sits @ 19.00. He's in great form having won at Doral, and losing a playoff at Riviera when he looked certain to beat James Hahn in the playoff. Like McIlroy, DJ has moments of form at Augusta and he opened with a superb 67 in 2013 before coming a cropper on the back 9 in his second round. A learning experience I hope. DJ finished T13th that year, his best finish here to date. He was 30th on his debut in 2009. If he brings his A game here this week and shows the patience and control that has served him well thus far in 2015 then he can win. He has the long game and his short game is superb at the moment and he knows how to compete in the pressure come back 9 Sunday. He may tempt some @ 19.00 still but I'm glad to be on board early.

I've yet again got Lee Westwood in the book for this year's instalment!. Holding firm @ 65.00, the Englishman has maybe had his chances to win a Major and perhaps the price is holding in the widely held belief that we have a choker on our hands and can't close the deal. His stats may back up the Sunday wobbles, but I also believe he has been a bit unlucky. Has he got the bottle to compete here one more time? Absolutely! Since 2007, Lee has not only made the cut, but he has produced 4 TOP10s, 2 T11ths and a 38th finish and a 30th.Breaking that down over the last 5 years reads as 7-8-3-11-2. He made no impact on the par5s twelve months ago, his short game is somewhat improved and maybe that's in part to playing his second full season on the PGA Tour having relocated there last year. In his 6 starts on the PGA Tour this season, Lee has returned 5 TOP20s and a 25th. Looking at results at Doral & Copperhead, we find Lee's game in good shape and with his wealth of Augusta experience I see no reason why he can't go close again this time round. I've been on board with Lee a few times here and I'm happy at the price to stick with him given his recent form,but it's his Augusta form that cannot be ignored.

Whilst Henrik Stenson, Jason Day, Adam Scott and Jordan Spieth will be many peoples picks this year, and with a lot of decent Augusta form between them, this years Masters will truly be the most open for quite some time. I wouldn't discount any of them. Some English players will have their backers apart from Westwood, most notably the in-form Ian Poulter and Paul Casey(if he qualifies). Poults likes it here, and should probably have won at PGA National instead of Padraig. Poulter can boast results of 20-mc-7-27-10-20-25-13 the past 8 years and he arrives this time in better shape than ever before. Casey is having an excellent season and was beaten in the playoff alongside Dustin Johnson to James Hahn at Riviera recently. He was 3rd the week after at the Honda Classic, a shot shy of the playoff alongside Poulter. Augusta is a course that suits but he hasn't played here the past two years but boasts three TOP20s from 2009-2007.

I have also backed a couple of Georgia boys in Chris Kirk and Russell Henley @ 200.00 and 250.00. The former has gone off the boil in recent weeks so I'm really hoping he can have a good week in Texas to bring some momentum into The Masters. If he brings last Autumn's form here he'll definitely have a great week to back up his debut TOP20 twelve months ago.

Henley could be the real surprise packet this year, he missed the cut on his debut but finished in the top 30 last year and is showing a real liking for the difficult tournaments. He knows Augusta well, is very comfortable amongst his peers on Tour now and can utilize his solid putting game to score well. We've seen the local boys go so well in the Texas Open with Jimmy Walker & Jordan Spieth leading the way, so I'm hoping the same happens here.

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

WGC - Cadillac Championship 2015 - Doral, Florida

The first of the WGC's tees off this Thursday at the Donald Trump Doral Resort in Florida where Patrick Reed will defend his title. The newly revamped course seemed to have reduced the scoring twelve months ago but in fairness the weather too may have had an effect. One thing to note I suppose is, that some players returning to the event this year will have had the experience of the new layout and some won't. General consensus though is that the course suits those with good driving-distance stats and those with good Major pedigree, as the course has always thrown up a winner from the cream of world of world golf. Understandable of course given that the TOP50 in the world normally play this, but it is those who normally win Majors or at least win the big events that do best here. Course experience should be key, but Reed won here on his debut last year ! Jamie Donaldson was runner up to Reed in only his 2nd visit so perhaps we don't need to read too much into the course experience but I never discount experience when it comes to a tournament of this stature, where patience is key. Last years winning score was 284 (-4), a whole 15 shots more than Tiger's in 2013.Over the preceeding 5 years the winning score ranged from 269-272 so despite the weather conditions, it seems the course has indeed toughened up. Apart from Reed, only Nick Watney is the only other non-Major winner of this event at Doral with Tiger, Phil, Ernie, Justin Rose & Geoff Ogilvy also taking the honours.Time will tell if Pat Reed adds a Major (I believe he will, and soon)

When the scoring is high, I expect those with fine US Open pedigree to come to the fore and one player in particular always comes to my attention here and that's Graeme McDowell. The 2010 US Open Champion has excellent form at Doral having finished T9th last year to complement his previous form of 3-13-42-6. Both he and Luke Donald will take a lot of inspiration from Harrington's win at the Honda Classic. Donald tweeted his praise of Harrington's hard work to get back to the winner's enclosure and he too could find something this week on a course that he has had decent success on. But for his 2nd round, 82 last year (average 76 for the day) he could have grabbed another T10 but he's shown signs of a return to form of late and could go well. That said, its the Irishman that I really fancy the chances of this week. The new Dad, (aren't they all at the minute on Tour?) seems well settled of late and having missed the cut last week , he will be nice and fresh and raring to go. Missing the cut one week hasn't prevent Gmac from the winning the week after in the past anyway. He's one for the big events and he'll be all out to add to his Major tally this year on courses that will suit at Chambers Bay & Whistling Straits. His first test comes this week and if he shows the level of sharpness as he did in Dubai at the end of January just gone, he could be challenging at a nice price of 75.00

Whilst the Africa Open takes place this week also, South African Charl Schwartzel looks to continue his good affinity with Doral having tied alongside Graeme McDowell last year here on the back of previous results of 16-4-24-2. Its been awhile since the former Masters Champion went in on the PGA Tour but so too was the wait for last week's winner, Harrington. He did have a strong Open & PGA Championship last year when finishing 7th & 15th respectively. He topped the par 4 scoring average on tour last season and if he can keep up his approach play of this season and start making one or two more putts he could find that long overdue win, just like Padraig did, Henrik Stenson, Paul Casey and Oliver Wilson did in recent times. He's worth a play @ 120.00 on the exchange.

Staking Plan (7.5 pts)

1 pt WIN. G.McDowell @ 75.00
0.5 pts WIN C.Schwartzel @ 120.00

3 pts TOP10 G.McDowell @ 5.00
2.5 Pts TOP10 C.Schwartzel @ 8.00

Monday, 2 March 2015

Africa Open 2015

This blog had the winner at East London last year as Thomas Aiken ensured the title stayed on South African soil once again but the defending champion won't be here this week as he heads off to Florida to partake in the WGC Cadillac at Doral. Indeed, this week's event in South Africa sees a "weakish" local team square up against their European Tour counterparts in the co-sanctioned event. Andy Sullivan will try to win his third event in seven outings here and to be honest he could very well do so and at prices available between 12/1 to 18/1 he could tempt a few punters.

The course is short, 6,600 yds approximately, and calls for good wind players, moreso this week as wind is forecasted. Returning to action this week is Bristol's finest, Chris Wood who was runner up in 2011 and is well known for his wind prowess. I'd rather stand back this week and see how he fares following his long layoff due to wrist injury and take my chances on a couple of players that just might excel in the conditions.

First up is last week's TOP20 collect, Adrian Otaegui @ 50/1. The Spaniard is very accurate off the tee and arrives in excellent form having produced a TOP10 in Johannesburg on the back of a 12th in India and a 25th in Thailand. He missed the cut in his season's opener at the Alfred Dunhill Championships but has made the cut in the other 4 events showing progressive form. East London and the weather will suit as his TOP15 finish last year shows and there was much to like about his final round effort in India. The San Sebastien native has been well tipped by his fellow, more illustrious compatriots to excel on tour and he makes a lot of appeal this week where everything looks like its about to click for the young man. I'm certainly not deserting here having been on board the past two weeks.

Steve Webster is on my shortlist this week and despite now being the World Ranked 297, I've left him off the final staking plan. Surely that ranked player cannot win three weeks in a row to follow James Hahn and Padraig Harrington? It could be an incentive indeed, but he seemed very nervous in that final round in Joburg last week so it's a relunctant pass for me. Instead, I'm drawn to his compatriot, Tom Lewis, who has been a bit too quiet of late although in similar trends to Otaegui, Lewis has now made the cut in his last 4 events having missed out in Abu Dhabi. A TOP25 last week following on from T25 in Thailand suggests his game is not far away. The 2011 Portugal Masters Champion, in only his third start as a professional (was it really 4 years ago?)backs up his pedigree as a good wind, links type player having won the Boys Amateur at Royal St Georges and the St Andrews Links Trophy as an amateur.Incidently, Lewis won the the Boys Amateur the year before Otaegui took the title! Looking at Lewis' form on courses similar to this week (links/wind types) it makes sense to have an interest this week when considering he was 8th in Morocco last year, 15th at the Open de Espana, 15th in Denmark, 36th at the KLM, and 58th in Portugal, not to mention his T3rd at the Dunhill Championship in 2013. He's on the staking plan this week @ 80/1.

If the title is to remain on home soil then the best chance must surely rest with in form and course specialist, Jaco Van Zyl (16/1) and Darren Fichardt (25/1). The former has finished 5-2-4-4-28-5 the last 6 years whereas the latter has produced results of 5-W-18-mc-mc-2 in his last 6. Both arrive in great form but I will complete my team with siding with "veteran", David Howell who put in a great effort last week to finish T2nd. 14th at the Alfred Dunhill Links last year, and 15th at The Open, again suggests the Englishman excels on these course types and he should be motivated this week having secured qualification for this year's open at St Andrews with last week's finish. 50/1 outright seems to be a decent price in this field.

Staking Plan (15 pts)

1 pt WIN A.Otaegui @ 50/1
1 pt WIN T.Lewis @ 80/1
1 pt WIN D.Howell @ 50/1

5 pts A.Otaegui @ 5/1
3.5 pts D.Howell @ 7/2
3.5 pts T.Lewis @ 6/1

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Joburg Open 2015

We're off to South Africa again this week for the Joburg Open to be held over the two courses at the Royal Johannesburg & Kensington GC. It's a 200+ field yet again for the co-sanctioned event where defending champion, George Coetzee heads the betting alongside in-form Alex Noren. In the past I've been keen on local boy Thomas Aiken here as this is the one tournament he craves to win and whilst he does produce his better performances on African soil, I'm not convinced he's worth a bet at the same price as twice winner here, Richard Sterne. The Stellenbosch man returned from long injury last year and claimed a PGA Tour card for 2015 having come through the tour playoffs. It hasn't gone well Stateside of late having missed the cut in his last 3 starts but this is a different league this week. Having finished TOP 40 in Abu Dhabi after results of 20-11 at the South African Open & Alfred Dunhill, Sterne for me is the quality player in the field alongside Noren. Sterne is motivated for this and the Africa Open next month and its the latter tournament that he has his target set as a win would see him win the fourth of the six South African co-sanctioned events, with the Tshwane Open & Nedbank Challenge the other two events to conquer. So, this week is definitely on the radar and I am a little surprised he's not shorter than 25/1 here. He was an incredible -27 when winning here two years ago and he if gets a good start here he could go away from the field. I'm on !

Frenchman, Gregory Bourdy is slightly lower in the betting than Sterne, but I couldn't ignore his chances either. Despite the field numbering in excess of 200, the players towards the head of the market normally prevail at RJ&K CC and the Frenchman arrives on the back of a 16th placing twelve months ago. His last three outings are more encouraging finishing 5-13-5 in Malaysia,Dubai and Qatar. Bourdy has had no more than three TOP10s the past three seasons yet he's 2/4 already in 2015. The 4 time European Tour winner will quietly fancy his chances on the back of recent form and on a track where distance off the tee could be vital I expect the form man to go close this week. I'll back Bourdy @ 22/1 this week.

Mentioning distance off the tee on a course at altitude should play into the hands of Thomas Pieters who is available @ 33/1. I also liked the chances of Seve Benson this week who was a TOP10 twelve months ago and perhaps the reason best price of only 50/1 available. I don't like either price now but I will chance two more from the shortlist at triple figures in Adrian Otaegui & Lee Slattery @ 100/1 and 110/1 respectively. The Spaniard is one I've been keeping an eye on of late and he performed well in India last week on a course that was suited to his game; he finished T22nd. The Englishman has decent form in South African so perhaps he's motivated or feels comfortable in this part of the world as he did start his pro career by playing the Sunshine Tour back in 2000 for a couple of seasons, and although he missed the cut last year he did produce three straight TOP20s the three years previously.His last visit to SA was for the national Open played in January where he finished 3rd. His only win on Tour was back in 2011 and the Southport man has really struggled to improve since but a trip back to this part of the world just might be a catalyst to kick start his career and is a good TOP20 bet this week @5.50

Staking Plan (15 pts)

1.5 pts WIN R.Sterne @ 25/1
1.5 pts WIN G.Bourdy @ 22/1
0.25 pts WIN A.Otaegui @ 100/1
0.25 pts WIN L.Slattery @ 110/1

3 pts TOP10 R.Sterne @ 3/1
3 pts TOP10 G.Bourdy @ 9/4

3 pts TOP20 A.Otaegui @ 7/2
2.5 pts TOP20 L.Slattery @ 9/2

Monday, 16 February 2015

Hero Indian Open 2015

This weeks fare on the European Tour brings us to Delhi for the co-sanctioned Hero India Open to be played at Delhi GC. Its a course used many times on the Asian Tour and indeed last year saw the India open celebrate its 50th anniversary. This will be the first time the European Tour is co-sanctioning. The locals (i.e. the Asian Tour based players, especially the Indian players) will have plenty of course form as the course is often used more than once in a year. The betting reflects some of that where Malaysian Open winner, Anirban Lahiri goes off the 10/1 favourite here; he's a three time course winner ! He's a class player and will no doubt be in contention this week but he does face some decent competition despite the field being relatively weak. Miguel Angel Jiminez also participates this week, somewhat surprising if he was affected by 'flu last week in Thailand and he'll be smarting a bit after a disappointing final round at Black Mountain last Sunday.

I am approaching this week with some apprehension following a poor run of late. The TOP10 picks are finishing TOP20 (Wang last week!) and some are coming up just one or two shots short. I'm trying to stay positive as the 10 man shortlists seem to be there or thereabouts, so hopefully I can get some collects soon. Its a fairly open event this week so I'm happy to chance a couple of players well capable of going in here.

The course apparently requires accuracy off the tee and those with good GIR stats should do well if finding the fairways. That leads me to a player I marked out last year to win soon on tour, lost his card then regained it at Q school and its in events like this that he should make hay. Spaniard, Adrian Otaegui is a very accurate player, and will tee it up this week on the back of a TOP 25 last week. At 90/1 with Bet365  he can't be ignored for this. He hasn't played the course before but I'm keen on the price on a course that should indeed suit.

Australian, Peter Thompson, winner of 5 Opens, was instrumental in getting this tournament up & running and won it 3 times in his career. With Aussie players feeding off each other the past few years, I wouldn't be surprised to see another win very soon, and another returning to the winners enclosure after a spell away from in much the same manner as Andrew Dodt did last week. Twice winner on the European Tour, his last back in 2010 in Korea, he can gather motivation from Dodt's win last week and continue his recent good form following injury last year. Playing on a medical exemption this season, Fraser could be well suited to Delhi where he played back in 2008 (T38th). His compatriot, Terry Pilkardaris is another to keep an eye on here. He is in form , has played here 4 times in the past with returns of 23-15-5-33 and the pair of them may also encourage Jason Scrivener who arrives on the back of three TOP20s in his last 3 starts.

Staking Plan

1 pt WIN A.Otaegui @ 90/1
3 pts WIN M.Fraser @ 25/1

2 pts TOP10 A.Otaegui @ 6/1

remaining TOP10/TOP20 selections to appear on my twitter timeline when more prices become available

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

True Thailand Classic

The second leg of the South Asian swing continues in Thailand this week for the European Tour, a co-sanctioned event with the Asian Tour. The inaugural True Thailand Classic will be played at Black Mountain GC in Hua Hin. Whilst it is a new event, the course, although young, has hosted some events in the past with a number of players having played here previously, including a number of Swedish players who base themselves here during the winter. Johan Edfors & Rikard Karlberg have very strong ties and considering their compatriot, Alex Noren skipped Malaysia last week to play here instead, suggests that this is a course and location that he wants to be partaking at. The bookies have reacted though by installing him favourite at 10/1! In the past, these co-sanctioned events normally went the way of the European Tour based players but the last two such events have gone the way of Anirban Lahiri in Malaysia and David Lipsky in Switzerland and its last week's victory by the former that could motivate his fellow Asian Tour players to perform again this week and again next week at another inaugural event in the Hero India Open.

From my shortlist this week I had to stick with Marc Warren. Even @ 14/1 I think he has a great shout here and if the wind gets up he'll thrive. He arrives in great form with recent results of 2nd (Qatar), 13th (Dubai) and 9th (Malaysia). Hopefully theres a bit left in the tank but he did succeed in Denmark last season on the back of a solid run in much the same fashion as this spell so I'm happy to keep the faith with here.

Local hope, Marksaeng Prayad is my second selection for this. He may be one of the eldest in the field but he's in cracking form of late although he missed the cut in Malaysia last week. He did win the previous week in his native country and now that hes home (a resident of Hua Hin) he can motivate himself to win for a second time on the course having won the Kings Cup here last year. He is overpriced @ 75/1 for me this week.

Rashid Khan could be motivated to do well this and next week following Lahiri's win and @ 6.50 for a TOP 20 I'm tempted.He was TOP 40 in Malaysia and is definitely an up and coming player. I must admit to not knowing much about 19 year old Korean, Wang Jeunghun but he also appears to be a player to watch over the next couple of years and where better to make his mark but on a co-sanctioned event such as this. In 2014 on the Asian Tour, he played in 16 events, making the cut in all 16! He opened with a 77 last week in Kuala Lumpur before climbing the leaderboard to finish T14th. He's comfortable on this tour and he will be brimming with confidence after that result last week.

Staking Plan (12 pts)

3 pts WIN M.Warren @ 14/1
.50 pts Win M.Prayad @ 75/1
.50 pts WIN Wang Jeunghun @ 80/1


2 pts M.Prayad @ 9/1
3 pts Wang Jeunhun @ 8/1


3 pts R.Khan @ 6.50

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Malaysia Open 2015

From the desert heat to the humidity of Kuala Lumpar in Malaysia, the European Tour moves into its first Asian swing of the season this week, where Lee Westwood will defend his title won in emphatic fashion last year. Whilst we have a new date for the event we may be susceptible to the varying rain showers although forecasts suggest we should be ok this time round but one trend based on weather factors that has emerged over the years is that having an early start in round one seems to work out. We'll see if that rings true this week and I certainly hope so for my main pick in the shape of old favourite, Thomas Aiken @ 60.00 for the win.

The Joburger finished nicely the weekend in Dubai and should be confident of a good effort here where he has had decent form in the past. The course will suit those with strong tee to green games as proven by the list of winners on this course - Westwood, Mannesero and Ryan Moore (twice) to name just a few. Aiken ranks high for accuracy on tour and his putting seems to be a bit better these days. If he gets hot and gets a great start on Thursday he should be in contention and he is simply better than a 50/1 shot for this! He recently took out the Sunshine Tour Order of Merit, played mediocre stuff in Abu Dhabi before finding his rhythm in Dubai so he must be confident in his own game.  He's certainly a TOP 10 bet for me @ 6.00

Andy Sullivan gets the nod also this week on the back of some solid returns the past couple of months. Not only a recent winner in South Africa but solid returns in the desert where he produced results of 4-19-57 augurs well for the Englishman here. This course will reward good ball strikers and Sullivan is certainly in the groove of late. He was T21 in the season finale in Dubai and was 4th in Turkey the week previously so that form is holding and given he was T13th here in 2014 he should be confident of a bold showing. At 26.00 he's a fair price and I'm happy to have an interest. He's 2.25 for TOP20 as opposed to 3.25 for TOP10 so he's backed in the former market with confidence. 

My final selection is Eddie Pepperell @ 75.00/7.00/4.00 . Eddie like his compatriot, Sullivan, is enjoying a solid spell on tour and he's been threatening to win very soon. Eddie missed the cut last week which may have helped our price this week but he was 4th in Qatar and T26 in Abu Dhabi. Very similar to Sullivan end of 2014, he produced results of 26-10-26 in the three events from the BMW Masters through to DP World Tour Championships! Eddie is ready!! 

Staking Plan

0.75 pts WIN T. Aiken @ 60.00
1.5 pts WIN A. Sullivan @ 26.00
0.75 pts WIN E. Pepperell @ 75.00

3 pts T. Aiken @ 6.00

5 pts A. Sullivan @ 2.25
4 pts E.Pepperell @ 4.00

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Dubai Desert Classic 2015

It's the last leg of the of the "Desert Swing" at the Emirates GC in Dubai for the latest European Tour instalment this week where this blog is aiming for a hat-trick of wins having backed Stevie Gallacher to win both in 2013 & 2014. Once again we have a top quality field where Rory McIlroy heads the betting market. Indeed it was here that Rory won his first professional title and having come up short yet again in Abu Dhabi two weeks ago, he'll be hoping he can claim victory before he heads for the coutroom in Dublin next month. Speaking of firsts, this week we will see Javier Ballesteros make his professional debut.

I tweeted my shortlist on Monday, yet it excluded the defending champion. It must be noted that despite quality fields assembling on the Majlis course over recent years, with all due respect to the deserving winners, the title hasn't gone to the more illustrious players! Tiger & Rory have both been pipped here so yet again I'm ready to take on the hot-favourite this week. Rory has an early start and if he gets a solid opening round under his belt he could be hard to catch but he can't be backed at 4/1. I was very keen on Henrik Stenson this week who despite results, has shown a gradual improvement in his game the past couple of tournaments. It's a sort of homecoming too for the Swede as he lived here in Dubai for almost ten years before moving across to the States but if I was inclined to favour any player at the head of the market it would be Martin Kaymer @ 16/1. He can put aside the meltdown he experienced in Abu Dhabi by winning here in his first visit since 2012. In his six previous visits, the German has finished 13-31-4-4-2. He's comfortable in this part of the world and recent form from the current US Open Champion reads just as good with figures of 3-2-21-39. I think we can avail of 16s this week on the back of that loss two weeks ago, had he won he would most likely be ahead of Henrik Stenson in the market but Kaymer has the mentality to put all that behind him and he can bounce big time this week. He makes the staking plan.

The course is long and the scoring will be low and its the par-5s that tend to be the difference or the reason why a player prevails come Sunday afternoon. Stevie G bagged a number of eagles on these the past three season when winning twice and finishing 2nd the year before and when I see a course where par 5 scoring becomes key, Tommy Fleetwood is a name I scribble on the initial shortlist. That initial shortlist this week contained 32 players, and the second filter reduced it down to 18. I was expecting the Southport man to be around the 50/1 - 60/1 mark for this so I was pleasantly surprised to see him available on the exchanges at 100.00 yesterday. Thats gone now but 80.00 - 90.00 is still available. Fleetwood actually led here after two rounds two years ago before finishing 10th, but we have a much more experienced player these days. Tommy finished T23rd in Qatar following a MC in Abu Dhabi so is coming into the week in decent nick and at the price I cannot leave him out.

I was keen on Oosthuizen this week, was very keen- but I was expecting a better price than the best on offer of 25/1 (I know he was 33s the past couple of days but I thought about it too much). Like last week, where I wanted to back Grace at 28/1 but decided not to @ 25s..... I'm hoping I'm not making the same mistake this week. Oosty is over the injuries to his back that he endured throughout last year and he has already been backed e/w for the R2D @ 100/1 pre-Christmas. I'll leave him out this week and do exactly what I did last week - back Tongchai Jaidee again @ 140.00 on Betfair instead. I said last week he was fresh, perhaps he was but a bit rusty, but having skipped Abu Dhabi, I feel he could be nicely warmed up for the Emirates where he has posted 5 TOP20s in his last 12 visits, the last of which came in 2010 when finishing 3rd. He has been playing very well of late and although I'm now inclined to look at the younger guns on the tours more, there is another win left in this 45 yr old, and he could surprise at a nice price here.

Last week's runner up, Marc Warren is a player that may feature a bit on this blog this year. He's improving all the time and the Made In Denmark Champion can go close again this week having chased Grace home last week. He's played here a few times often missing the cut, but has produced two TOP20s when he made the weekend. Given that he's a vastly improved player this time round, he'll arrive on the back of solid form and represents great value at 80.00 on Betfair for the win. He's 7.00 for a TOP10 with Bet365 !

Of course, I cannot ignore Ross Fisher this week. Ross is in fine form and I think at the price this week he's worth a play since finishing 9th in Abu Dhabi, 2nd at the Nedbank ,and 2nd at the BMW Masters. In between he was 30th in Qatar, and 25th at the Turkish Airlines Open. He's bang in form and his driving at the Emirates can reward him @ a lovely 60.00 for the win (5.50 TOP10).He missed the cut twelve months ago but between 2007 - 2010 he produced results of 5-10-13-11-10. He could repeat such efforts this week again.

I was tempted to back Grace this week given the form he's in, especially as hes @ 30.00 and I almost pulled the trigger on Alex Levy as well @ 70.00 (6.00 T10). Lets hope for better luck this week.

Staking Plan (15 pts)

2 pts WIN M.Kaymer @ 16/1
0.50 pts WIN M.Warren @ 80.00
0.25 pts WIN T.Jaidee @ 140.00
0.50 pts WIN T.Fleetwood @ 90.00
0.75 pts WIn R.Fisher @ 60.00


2.50 pts M.Warren @ 7.00
2 pts R.Fisher @ 5.50
2.50 pts T.Fleetwood @ 5.00

4 pts T.Jaidee @ 3.75 TOP20