Wednesday, 26 August 2020

BMW Championship & UK Championship 2020

 Very late this week to get my selections up on the blog, but I'm quite keen on a couple in Illinois and have had a dabble at The Belfry also. Blog is brief, apologies.

BMW Championship

Olympia Fields is bound to play tough this week. The course was used back in 2003 for the US Open and for the 2015 US Amateur which Bryson De Chambeau won. Jon Rahm also contended that year before being eliminated in the knockout rounds. (Ireland's Paul Dunne was beaten by De Chambeau in the quarter finals). A par-70 with just two Par-5s, the scoring should be much harder than what DJ produced last week. Its the 2nd of the 3 FedEX Cup play-off events with the TOP-30 moving on to East Lake next week.

I'm backing Justin Thomas here - yes he's gone off the boil in his last two starts but the course should suit his game. At 14/1 I think he gives a little bit of value; I had him @ 11/12's. I did also think Rory could bounce back here but the simple fact of not having one single TOP-10 in his 7 starts since the season restart does not read well and he's dismissed on form.

Joaquin Niemann is on the staking plan. He's had a great season and I think he'll like Olympia Fields where is ball striking should see him in contention. He's 13/21 starts this season - won the opening Greenbrier and has posted a further 3 TOP20s since. Form has dropped of late but the price allows for this. He can bounce back this week at a nice price @125/1 - 7 places.

Kevin Na I'm not sure I have ever backed but I like his outside chances here. He too won last Autumn and has posted a further 7 TOP-20s from his 18 other starts, but its his results at tournaments like The Amex (17th) , AT&T (14th) , WGC Mexico (9th) , Travelers (5th) , Memorial (9th) that offers hope that he can excel at a tough event @ 100/1 - 7 places.

Mark Hubbard has been chances a few times of late - he wants to get to East Lake and a TOP-20 here might do it for him. He's 9/2 to do so in this 70 man field

Wednesday, 19 August 2020

Wales Open - Celtic Manor, Newport,Wales

 We stay at the Celtic Manor for the rejuvenated Wales Open, not held since 2014 on the European Tour.

I kept the faith the past few tournaments with the same stable although I was too quick to drop Wil Besseling from the staking plan despite alluding to Celtic Manor requiring strong GIR stats which the Dutchman excels in. He duly opened up last week with a 67,  which would have given an opportunity to balance the book somewhat by laying something off during the end of that round.With golf betting in general, I find with the downswings involved, it can become frustrating to see someone you tip up and back one week, drop the next and he then goes'll see this often, but it pays to keep the faith, as I call it, for a time whilst he's showing form as there was a reason to zoning in on that player in the first place.. Of course, we all have that golfer we fall over the cliff with, not to mention racehorse etc...its the thing about sports betting, we are drawn to it initially through our passion of the sport, yet once we get into long term betting, we have to try and extinguish the emotional aspect of it. With golf betting, the winners don't come too often, unless you are Ben Coley in 2020, so it should be easier to control the emotional aspect of it as opposed to daily horse racing. There may be an upcoming tournament where the course does not suit and if that's the case, he can than be dropped. I have consoled myself in that Min Woo Lee did pick up form and had a decent enough opening round too last week. However he faded the weekend. Moreover, Wil Besseling put in a TOP-20 performance, whilst Alexander Bjork all but for a slow start on the Thursday did play decent enough to finish T-27th. The "stable" are close, haven't been close enough for more returns but as we stick to the same course this week, I feel it's worth sticking to Bjork based on the same logic as last week's. Bjork is available Wednesday morning @ 40/1 with 6 places. Lucas Bjeregaard is playing awful at present; he was taken at a price last week, is bigger this week but its a no for me until he can show some form again.

The UK Swing did though have quite a number of similar fields, and it continues to do so with certain players showing some sort of consistent returns. As with all tournaments, there is an abundance of value in the field, the problem though is you cant get them all in the staking plan and the level of competitiveness in world golf has certainly increased the past  5 years or so, that its becoming much harder to pick the price big winner as they are becoming less of occurrence. I tried to adapt 3 years ago and put more effort in to T-10/20 markets but I concluded having had a run of bad results that the staking plan would need review if pursuing any further. At the end of the day, sports punters do need some emotion and that means some winners and no better feeling than landing a few nice double digit or even triple figure winners such is the case sometimes in golf betting. The win outright bet is here to stay.....its whether to change the pre-tournament approach to putting more emphasis on in-play betting that I need to look at and just take win only before the off and then bet accordingly in play. This game is getting harder for sure. All that said, I'll conclude my staking plan with Nicolas Colsaerts @ 70/1 - 6 places. He finished a lowly T-63rd last week but having had the run out I expect him to improve and perhaps challenge on Sunday.

Over at the FedEx Cup Playoffs for the Northern Trust, I do like the look of DJ's price as well as Rory's but have opted for the former. I do think Tony Finau has some unfinished business this season and was keen to have some interest but the 33s are too short for me. As with the PGA Championship, I am going to chance Mark Hubbard @ 200/1 - 1/5 10 places as well as Adam Hadwin @ 130/1 - 10 places

Selections (Wales Open & Northern Trust)

1.50 pts e/w A. Bjork @ 40/1 - 1/5 6 places

1.00 pts e/w N. Colsaerts @ 70/1 1/5 6 places

2.00 pts e/w D. Johnson @ 20/1 - 1/5 8 places

0.25 pts e/w M. Hubbard @ 199/1 - 1/5 10 places

0.25 pts e/w A.Hadwin @ 129/1 - 1/5 10 places

Wednesday, 12 August 2020

Celtic Classic - Celtic Manor, Newport, Wales

 The "UK Swing" moves to Wales this week, where a new tourney will be held at Celtic Manor, host venue of the 2010 Ryder Cup. We'll stay here for the following week too for the Welsh Open.

The course should be a challenge, and those most likely to fare well will be those with strong GIR and scrambling stats. Winners and those on the leaderboards over recent years have shown a trend of performing well at Golf Nacional also which can often help narrow the field. This is promising as I want to stick with Alexander Bjork yet again this week and can feel extra confident knowing he has form in Paris to boot. 3rd there in 2017 and 8th in 2018. We have no tournament form from Celtic Manor since 2014 but we do know its toughened up over the years and there is this strong course correlation to Le Golf Nacional. Good Ball strikers with scrambling nuance will do well here. Alexander Bjork is finding form having finished 3rd at The Hero Open and I can't omit him from the staking plan this week @ 40/1

Marcus Armitage is added for the week. I've never really looked at Marcus before but can't help notice his form this season, especially finishing 14th and 15th the past 2 weeks. He's 7/9 this season, finished 3rd behind Louis Oosthuizen & Branden Grace at Randpark,Johannesburg and seems to be settling down after some challenging years on the personal front. He has set his goals differently too this year and one of them is to win a tourney. Lets hope he's up for it this week @ 80/1 .

Finally, Min Woo Lee is kept in the staking plan or should. I wasn't on last week in the English Championship where he finished 6th having missed the cut the previous two weeks. He is however 4/9 this season which includes a W at the Vic Open, and 3 TOP-20s. He's fair enough price @ 50/1


2 pts e/w A. Bjork @ 40/1 (1/5 - 6 places)
1 pt e/w M.Armitage @ 80/1 (1/5 - 7 places)
1 pt e/w Min Woo Lee @ 50/1 (1/5 - 6 places)

* adding Lucas Bjeregaard to staking plan @ 125/1 e/w (7 places) - 0.50 pt e/w

Lucas is overpriced - been plying his trade on the PGA Tour earlier this year - hes missed 8 cuts there from 8 starts, returns to European action this week and hopefully it gives him renewed enthusiasm.

Monday, 3 August 2020

PGA Championship 2020 - TPC Harding GC, San Francisco

On to my last week of family holidays and although things are a bit different in 2020 than normal, we just couldn't go without a Major whilst on my holiday. Normally away for The Open in recent years, the PGA Championship tees up at Harding GC (hole by hole preview here), San Francisco on Thursday as the first Major of 2020.Brooks Koepka attempts to become the first player since Peter Thompson to win the same Major three years in a row. Brooks has found some form at the right time too. Under the radar a little, is the attempt this week of Jordan Spieth to complete the Grand Slam having won the Masters, Open & US Open already.

Hoping to get proper previews going once I'm back, but this week's PGA Championship needs to be bet on with many bookmakers offering 10 & 11 places as the Championship takes centre stage. For me it's hard to look beyond Justin Thomas, who won his 13th PGA Tour title on Sunday. He came out of lockdown looking a little rusty but produced some decent results before grabbing a win. He should take the form into San Fran this week. I am putting more emphasis on recent form players for this week and based on that the defending champion is most likely to give Thomas a challenge. So too is Jon Rahm and of the two, its JT I want to be with @ 12.00

Recent form coming in to the PGA Championship over recent years is evident as per below where the winner had a decent outing in their lead-up tournament:

2019 Brooks Koepka - 4th
2018 Brooks Koepka - 5th
2017 Justin Thomas - 28th
2016 Jimmy Walker - 11th
2015 Jason Day - 12th
2014 Rory McIlroy -1st
2013 Jason Dufner - 4th
2012 Rory McIlroy - 5th
2011 Keegan Bradley - 15th
2010 Martin Kaymer - 22nd
2009 Y.E. Yang - 18th
2008 Padraig Harrington - 20th
2007 Tiger Woods - 1st
2006 Tiger Woods - 1st

Having already backed Shane Lowry @ 125/1 to win the November Masters, I'm quite excited to back him here @ 95.00 on the exchange and a little more @ 70/1 with 8 places. I've also backed Matty Fitzpatrick @ 65.00 before the final round yesterday, hoping he'd slow down and it's no surprise to see him come in further in the betting, but I wouldn't be jumping in @ 45/1 as he is now as I post. 50s maybe.  Bringing form into this week is essential and Matty is quite capable of winning this week. Both Shano & Matty were T6th last week.

Kevin Kisner @ 151 - 10 places is a must; thats value all day long. (T-25th last week)

With 10 places on offer, I think we could see an effort from Mark Hubbard,(72nd at Memorial but 12th @ Rocket Mortgage) Lanto Griffin(58th at Barracuda) & Wyndham Clark (35th at Barracuda) so they are added @ 400/1,300/1& 400/1


4.75 pts WIN J. Thomas @ 12.00
0.75 pts WIN S. Lowry @ 95.00
0.50 pts e/w S.Lowry @ 70/1
0.50 pts WIN M. Fitzpatrick @ 65.00
0.25 pts E/W K. Kisner @ 150/1
0.25 pts E/W L.Griffin @ 300/1
0.25 pts E/W M. Hubbard @ 400/1
0.25 pts E/W W.Clark @ 400/1