Wednesday, 30 September 2020

Scottish Open , Renaissance Club & Sandersons Farm, Jackson CC

 A very frustrating week last week on all sides, counts and whatever else was thrown at a golf punter. Firstly The Corales Puntacana Championship staged in the Dominican Republic was a disaster to trust the scoreboard, a trait that occurs all too often when the tour and other tours head to "lesser golfing nations" where they rely on volunteers as always to help the day to day course management of the spectators and the hole by hole scoring. Unfortunately for this blog, we were the victims of day-1 scoring being recorded inaccurately. In Ballymena, the blogs punt on Calum Hill had a bit of a run only for some further frustration to show. The Scotsman had only one bad hole on Thursday and one bad hole on Friday but both proved costly with an 8 on the 10th hole in the opening round and a 7 on his closing hole Friday which was obviously played in the dark to avoid early tee time on Saturday. It proved costly to the player and added to my frustration for the week when a par would have left him within 3 of the lead. He is forgiven though and I'm willing to chance him this week at The Renaissance Course where he finished 26th last year. Galgorm Castle played surprisingly tougher than expected last week, due mainly to long wet rough but I don't expect the course itself to play as tough this week although the links-type course will be exposed to some autumnal weather including wind! Hill can be backed @ 90/1 - 8 places

I'll complete my lineup in Scotland with Renato Paratore @ 70/1 - 8 places and Erik Van Rooyen @ 25/1 - 8 places

Over on the PGA Tour, I have sided with Doc Redman @28/1 - 8places, Denny McCarthy @ 66/1 - 8 places , as well as Mark Hubbard @ 100/1 - 8 places and a minimal amount on Patton Kizzire@ 150/1 - 8 places


Scottish Open 

0.75 pts e/w Calum Hill @ 90/1 - 8 places
0.75 pts e/w Renato Paratore @ 70/1 - 8 places
1.5 pts e/w Erik Van Rooyen @ 25/1 - 8 places

Sandersons Farm

1.5 pts e/w Doc Redman @28/1 - 8places, 
0.75 pts e/w Denny McCarthy @ 66/1 - 8 places 
0.50 pts e/w Mark Hubbard @ 100/1 - 8 places 
0.25 pts e/w Patton Kizzire @ 150/1 - 8 places

Wednesday, 23 September 2020

Irish Open 2020 - Galgorm Castle GC, Ballymena, Northern Ireland & Corales Puntacana (PGA)

 Webb Simpson nearly produce place money last week in an enjoyable US Open at Winged Foot. Bryson de Chambeau played superb golf over the week but in particular the front-9 on Sunday to the dismay of many. His style is not my cup of tea, I don't think the power game that he has produced his sustainable for him but it'll be fascinating to see how he goes at Augusta in a few weeks time.

Onto the Irish Open this week which is now being played at Galgorm Castle Gold & Spa Resort in Ballymenna, Northern Ireland who have stepped in at last minute to host the event as Irish Republic restrictions are in place to tackle the spread of COVID-19, meaning Mt Juliet cannot fulfil their hosting duties. With Galgorm deputising, it's good to know an agreement has been reached for the Co. Kilkenny club to host next year, please God if all goes well in curtailing the disease that has impacted all our lives. Its probably good news for MT Juliet touring pro representative, Gavin Moynihan as he is woefully out of form and indeed so much so, that even a return to Irish soil this week probably won't be enough to re-ignite his poor season. Still, of the Irish contingent to tee it up this week, hope sides with the Open Champion, Shane Lowry who leads the market. Of the others, Cormac Sharvin and Jonathan Caldwell should arrive in confidence following recent good form and would be good TOP10/20 bets this week. As the majority of this field are made up of Challenge Tour players in essence, it could be a week that Padraig Harrington pulls a surprise....he's been chomping at the bit to get going again and with the Ryder Cup captain putting his plans on hold for another 12 months at least, we can be assured he's up for the challenge ahead this week. I think he's worth chancing here this week @ 80/1 with 8nplaces on offer. He's been out with the Irish lads playing the K Club of late and working to get ready - he needs no further build up other than he's motivated to win his "5th Major" ...again !

As per the last couple of months, I'm sticking with players that have made my staking plans and will go again with Wil Besseling, who finished 9th on this course at the Northern Ireland Open on the Challenge Tour in 2018. He's in form and if we are to see a birdie fest here this week, his long game will suit; just needs to bring a hot putter!. Calum Hill is a previous winner here (2018) and finished TOP-10 last year also....he has strong course form and recent form suggest this is a week to play him......His price is fair @ 40/1 - 8 places

Over on the PGA Tour, Chris Kirk I think is good value @ 60/1 8 places (Boylesports) or 66/1 7 places (general). A former OWGR TOP-20 ranked player, Kirk is making a comeback following some serious personal issues and he's already achieved a win this year seeing off this week's market leader, Will Zalatoris when winning on the Korn Ferry Tour in June. He finished 21st at the recent Rocket Mortgage Classic so form is holding. 

Charles Howell III, Mr Consistency, might go well at 28/1- 8 places so hes chanced also based on that consistency as shown when finishing 30th at Winged Foot last week after a 3rd place finish at the 3M Open back in July


0.75 pts e/w P. Harrington @ 80/1 - 8 places
1.50 pts e/w W. Besseling @ 35/1 - 8 places
1.00 pts e/w C. Hill @ 40/1 - 8 places
0.75 pts e/w C. Kirk @ 60/1 - 8 places
1.00 pts e/w C. Howell III @ 28/1 - 8 places

Tuesday, 15 September 2020

US Open 2020 - Winged Foot, NY

 The second of the Major of the year is upon us this week as we head back to Winged Foot GC for the first time since 2006, where Australian Geoff Ogilvy prevailed by becoming the first player ever and still to this day, win a Major without breaking par in any round. His winning score of 285 (+5) was the highest winning score in a Major and we can expect high scoring this time too! Since 1970, Winged Foot has yielded the highest scoring average of 74.45 and we play it this time round in the 3rd week in September when climate conditions shouldn't be as severe as when normally played for in June. That said the weather forecast is very good for the week ahead and we should see slick greens in play.It's the greens that will add to a players score this week even if he avoiding the penal rough.

I enjoy these type of Majors, and having really enjoyed Olympia Fields in Illinois last month where Jon Rahm saw off Dustin Johnson to win the BMW Championship, I fully expect to see the players who have been in form the past 6 weeks or so to be on the leaderboard again this week. Whilst US Open winners of late have been top drawer though, we have seen many triple figure priced players hitting the podium. I backed Shane Lowry during the Northern Trust, before he duly missed the cut and he did little to restore my confidence last week when missing the cut at The Safeway Open, but he's backed and he still remains one to consider as an outsider for the week. The Open Champion has some US Open form, notably pushing Dustin Johnson in 2016 at Oakmont having posted a TOP-10 the previous year at Chambers Bay.  He was 28th last year at Pebble Beach. Lowry likes the big events, the big story. He won his National Open as an amateur in 2009, has won a Major and a WGC (Bridgestone 2015) and he's clearly pushing to make Padraig Harrington's Ryder Cup Team for next year. Aside from the Irish Open win in 2009, the Portugal Masters is only other win on his résumé, but his short game has got him to these titles and he'll need it here this week too...if he gets the big stick to behave this week, he has a fair shout. 100/1 - 7 places available

Martin Kaymer is still searching for his first win anywhere since his romp to the US Open at Pinehurst in 2014 and he really should have won on both his last two starts.Whether its the scar tissue from Abu Dhabi 2015 when losing a 10-shot lead that still haunts him or not, the affable German is knocking on the door a long time now for one more win....and he is not without a chance this week if the head is good. It always is though as his demeanour on course is exactly what top players need and have. He has been superb tee to green this season as are his returns on the Europeantour this season (8-16-13-10-mc-mc -3-2) He won't be fazed by the occasion, arrives in very good form and is a big-time player. Whilst his chipping is a concern, a solid start on Thursday can focus the job at hand and it is imperative he does start well. I wanted to hold off with the write-up until the tee times were announced but will hope he has a morning start and take the 110/1 - 8 places on offer.

I do however think Webb Simpson can win his second US Open this week. From his 9 US Opens to date, he has only missed one cut, winning in 2012 and posting a further 3 TOP-20s. Twice winner on tour this year ;Phoenix Open and RBC Heritage, Simpson since the last win has posted 3 TOP10s and 2 TOP-20s from his 7 outings; he's in form! If its a steady player, a patient player that we want on our staking plan this week with a little bit of value @ 25/1 - 28/1, he's one for the shortlist. At 22/1 with 10 & 11 places on offer , punters will bring a lot of action.

I considered Patrick Reed, Tyrell Hatton, Adam Scott and Joaquin Niemann as well as Finau & Rahm. I so wanted to get on board with JT this week but his game is not where he'd like it to be, but I wouldn't completely write him off. His results have been decent with a win thrown in for good measure but he'll need his A-game this week. Rory has the long game and skills to contend and he was tempting @ 18/1, but as alluded last time out- he hasn't posted a TOP-10 since the golf restart....perhaps his mind was quite rightly elsewhere. He has one eye on Augusta, so we'll see him sharpen up over the next month and it could easily happen here. 

There's no doubting that Jon Rahm and Dustin Johnson are the two form players coming into the week but I'm not quite convinced that "Rahmbo" is only one point bigger than DJ in the betting. Yes Rahm is starting to show a winning consistency and a penchant for the difficult tracks, but he looks for his first Major this week where his patience will be tested again and again.  DJ for me @ 10.00 looks value in respect to his competitors prices....I had priced him at 15/2, with Rahm @ 10/1. DJ has only the one Major in his locker, (so too has many other great players over the's not easy winning these, despite what Brooks thinks) but of all the Major's, it's the US Open that seems to be DJ's best Major to compete in. He's won one from his 12 attempts to date and posted further 3 TOP-5s! His all round game is on fire at present and for me the man to beat this week. I don't expect an upset this week....the market leaders are all in decent form and one of them should see victory come Sunday evening.


2.5 pts WIN D. Johnson @ 10.00

1.5 pts e/w W. Simpson @ 25/1 - 8 places

0.75 pts e/w M.Kaymer @ 110/1 - 8 places

0.75 pts e/w S.Lowry @ 100/1 - 8 places

Wednesday, 9 September 2020

Portugal Masters- Ana Inspiration - Safeway Open 2020

 It was another very close thing last week, when Connor Syme took the first round lead at Valderrama and stayed in contention the weekend to eventually double bogey the 72nd hole and fall one shot short of a place payout. It meant a loss of course for the week, but taking the positives, its good to have contenders the past few weeks, meaning I must be looking in the right places. It was gut wrenching also to see Martin Kaymer come up short again as he seeks to stop the winless run. He will win soon.

As mentioned in previous posts, recent selections have been kept onside in the staking plans with one or two having received the chop in between. One of those was Wil Besseling but having notched a TOP-5 last week he has to return to the staking plan this week. The Dutchman is 8/11 events this season with 4 TOP-20s of which 3 are TOP-5s! He tops the SG:OTT rankings presently, and sits in the top-20 for accuracy too gaining almost 6 shots on the field. He leads the GIR stats too, gaining 9 shots, and if he has the putter anyway warm this week he could be in for a good one. 50/1 7-places

 Marcus Armitage duly performed the week after I dropped him from the staking plan last month but I'm keen to chance him here again. He's widely available @ 80/1 7-places. The Englishman had a TOP-20 on his last visit to Dom Pedro GC three years ago and arrives on the back of a mc in Andalucia but a TOP-10 at The Belfry and a brace of TOP-20s at The English Championships and Hero Open.

Lastly, I will add Ashun Wu & Chris Paisley (who I was on last month also) to the plan. I've opted for Wu over American, Johannes Veerman who should find Dom Pedro up his alley this week and can improve on his eye-catching TOP-10 at Valderrama. However at 55/1 I will pass and instead get with the Chinese player @ 80/1 7 places. Wu was 7th here three years ago, 44th the following year. He played "OK" last week and is sure to find a visit here more to his liking than last week. The price is too big to ignore for someone. He posted two TOP-15s before lockdown in Mauritius & Riyadh as well as a TOP-10 in Dubai so with a tourney under his belt,he could be ready to go!Chris Paisley has Dom Pedro form-line of 5-12-5 for his last 3 visits...he has strong course form and his price is more than fair @ 45/1 6 places.

Ana Inspiration

Over at Mission Hills GC, the 2nd Ladies Major takes place this week without the defending champion Jin Young Ko due to COVID-19 travel implications. I have to chance Kydia Ko here this week though at a course the kiwi has won on before and who is showing she is almost back to her very best when , lets face it, she should have won the Marathon Classic last month , finishing 2nd. She posted back to back TOP-15s in her next two stats in Scotland, before closing with a nice 66 LTO in Arkansas. At 25/1 5-places she may give us a run for our money here

Safeway Open

The new PGA Tour season gets underway this week for 2021. The PGA have dubbed the new season as "Super Season" with 50 events in the schedule. It will be strange to see the 2020 US Open and Masters being staged before the year is out though.

Two selections here for me; Mark Hubbard (again sticking with a player we have been on in recent weeks) and Bud Cauley. Hubbard racked up 7 TOP-20s last season with a TOP-20 posted recently at the Wyndham Championship. Both 50/1 7 places


1 pt e/w W. Besseling @ 50/1 (1/5 - 7 places)
0.75 pts e/w M. Armitage @ 80/1 (1/5 - 7 places)
1 pt e/w C. Paisley @ 45/1 (1/5 - 7 places)
0.75 pts e/w A. Wu @ 80/1 (1/5 - 7 places)
1.25 pts e/w L. Ko @ 25/1 - (1/4 - 5 places)
0.75 pts e/w M. Hubbard @ 50/1 (1/5 - 7 places)
0.75 pts e/w B. Cauley @ 50/1 (1/5 - 7 places)

Wednesday, 2 September 2020

Andalucia Masters 2020 - Valderrama GC

 We went close last week....very close with both Benjamin Hébert & Joaquin Niemann holding the lead at one stage on "back-9 Sunday". Whilst the Frenchmen in all honesty never looked like taking the title, he did play quite consistently over the four days. Perhaps a bit more aggressive golf might have got him over the line. Niemann on the other hand gave me a real sweat Sunday night but I can't complain, the drama that unfolded between Rahm & DJ on a fantastic Olympia Fields was really enjoyable. Let's hope we don't have to wait another 17 years for PGA action again was a real Major feel last week! I did have an in-play bet on Bubba after RD-3 @ 50.00 and although it didn't happen quick enough for him on Sunday, there was a lot of positives to take from his form both here and the previous couple of tournaments so I've had added him to my Masters staking plan @ 55.00. With Augusta likely to play longer in early November than it does in April, the two time Masters Champion might just have an edge of his competitors in 2 months time.

I have no interest in the Tour Championship this week at East Lake. The FedEX Cup does not excite me one bit, never has and never will. The handicap system for the Tour Championship might seem like it could create such excitement but lets face it, they're all there for payday! DJ for me to take the FedEX Cup.

Valderrama hosts the Andalucia Masters this week unfortunately without Sergio Garcia, Jon Rahm and Rafael Cabrera-Bello due to COVID-19 travel restrictions etc. As the "UK Swing" and the "European Tour bubble" moves on to The Iberian Pensinsula for this and the next two weeks, it will be interesting to see if the form holds as it seemed to do in the "UK Swing". Valderrama though, is one of the courses that needs to be figured out, or in simple terms needs a player to have past experience on to excel here or win on. The market is headed by last week's champion, Rasmus Hogaard, Martin Kaymer and recent English Championship winner, Andy Sullivan with Belgian, Thomas Detry , who has had two runner-up finishes in his last 3 starts. Aside from the betting angle, I really do hope Martin Kaymer can notch up a win soon....form is temporary, class is permanent. Maybe this week!

I have two selections that I think could go very well this week. Both Scotsman! Calum Hill and Conor Syme are in great form.....the latter is 10/12 events this season posting 7no. TOP-20s! (5*TOP-10/ 2*TOP-5). He currently ranks 5th in GIR stats on tour, a great stat to bring to Valderrama not to mention 28th in the scrambling stats, a trait needed here. 40/1 is OK 

Calum Hill looks to continue his recent form here following back to back TOP-10s the past two weeks. Similar to Syme, hes 8/12 this season with 4 TOP-20s. Whilst Conor is strong off the tee in terms of accuracy, if Hill can bring his recent form into Thursday's opening round he may just improve further and make the 66/1 - 7 places silly come Sunday evening.

Jason Scrivener and Paul Waring came close to inclusion and I'll be keeping an eye on their scoring Thursday for a potential in-play bet 


1.5 pts e/w C. Syme @ 40/1 - 7 places
1.5 pts e/w C. Hill @ 66/1 - 7 places