Wednesday, 24 February 2021

Puerto Rico Open 2021, GRAND RESERVE COUNTRY CLUB , Puerto Rico

 As with the WGC Workday Championship this week, no time available for me to do a proper betting preview but I've backed the following three based on price and relative form, hoping they seize an opportunity that presents itself here this week

1 pt e/w Jhonattan Vegas @ 33/1 - 7 places
1 pt e/w Scott Brown @ 45/1 - 7 places
0.5 pts e/w Paul Barjon @ 125/1 - 7 places

WGC - Workday Championship 2021, The Concession GC, Bradenton, Florida

I have no time for a preview this week but have backed the following 3 players. Hoping they aren't adversely affected by the Tiger Woods accident.

1.5 pts e/w Bryson Dechambeau @ 20/1 - 7 places
1.5 pts e/w Justin Thomas @ 20/1 - 7 places
1.5 pts e/w Patrick Reed @ 30/1 - 7 places

Monday, 15 February 2021

Genesis Invitational 2021 - Riviera GC, LA

 As per my preview twelve months ago, this is one if not my favourite tournaments on the PGA Tour. Made ever sweeter by backing Adam Scott last year, viewing of this from a spectators point of view is a must as the course is a good old fashioned traditional, tree-lined track that rewards accurate and long players, especially those of high calibre and experience. Riviera and Torrey Pines are the only courses on Tour to feature Kikuyu grass fairways and rough and the course typically ranks as one of the toughest on tour. The 10th hole is a "marmite" hole; you either love it or hate it, a fantastic risk /reward hole and will be of interest to a certain Bryson DeChambeau. For BDC and the 10th holes, it would be good to see some books price his over/under scoring for the week

Whilst Adam Scott was a confident pick last year, I'm not sure this year and we do seem to have a lot of lively contenders. With Jordan Spieth looking to come back into solid form, we could be treated to a Major-esq tourney this week. DJ quite rightly goes off a strong favourite and it does look difficult to back against him here. That said, JT, Rhambo, Cantlay and DeChambeau will have plenty of support as too will Xander Schauffele and Rory McIlroy. Aside from John Merrick's (who??)  shock win back in 2013 and perhaps also in 2015 when James Hahn defeated Paul Casey & Dustin Johnson in a playoff, the roll of honour shows that the quality does tend to prevail at Riviera and also indicates that the formline tends to align itself to that of Augusta National. 

Just a couple of picks for me this week. Marc Leishman was on the staking plan last year (43rd) and I'm willing to go in again this year based on his course form where he finished 4th in 2019 and 5th in 2016. The missed cuts in between I will excuse or should say ignore in that he had other things to tend to in his life at the time. The Aussie has posted 3no. TOP-20s from his 8 starts this season, having finished T-20 at Torrey Pines last time out and 4th in Hawaii at the Sony Open. With great similarities in grass type (kikuyu) between Torrey & Riviera, this is encouraging and @ 66/1 - 8 places I'm happy to chance big Marc again this week.

Adam Hadwin tends to play his better golf on harder courses, but I'm not convinced its due to his liking for such conditions or whether its because he doesn't score enough birdies at the birdie-fests but he has shown he can play Riviera well in the past. 26th last year followed a poor weekend in 2019 having started well. In 2018, he finished the weekend well with a pair of 66s to climb to 6th so he can produce the score required. He started well in 2017 before slipping on Friday but all in all, Riviera is a course for the Canadian to perform well at and I'll get onside this week @ 150/1 - 8 places following a decent TOP-20 at Torrey Pines.


1.5 pt e/w M. Leishman @ 66/1 - 8 places
1.0 pt e/w A. Hadwin @ 150/1 - 8 places

Wednesday, 3 February 2021

Saudi International 2021 - Royal Greens, King Abdullah Economic City, Saudi Arabia

 The 2021 Europeantour has treated us to two top quality events so far in the United Arab Emirates, with Tyrell Hatton prevailing in Abu Dhabi with a Rolex Series title and Paul Casey cruising to victory at last week's Dubai Desert Classic in Dubai. The Middle East swing switches controversially to Saudi Arabia this week where the power of money is at hand with the appearance of World Number 1, Dustin Johnson being joined by a number of his compatriots from the PGA Tour as they descend on King Abdullah Economic City just 1.5 hours north of Jeddah where the course will overlook the Red Sea. Last weeks winner at Torrey Pines, Patrick Reed returns and the American contingent is completed with Phil Mickelson, Bryson Dechambeau, Tony Finau, Kevin Na, Jason Kokrak and Jhonatton Vegas, not to mention regular Europeantour players such as John Catlin, Lipsky, Katayama and co. The PGA charter flight also includes Abraham Ancer. DJ makes it 3/3 for the event this week hoping to add to his title in 2019, and runner up finish to Graeme McDowell twelve months ago. 

DJ opened his 2021 account with a 11th place finish at The Tournament of Champions in Hawaii following his win at Augusta in November and should he bring his A-game may be a runaway winner and the question for punters is; is there any value in his price @ 5/1 ? Behind him in the betting is US Open champion, Bryson Dechambeau @ 8/1who finished 6th here at the inaugural event in 2019, Tyrell Hatton @ 14s alongside Reed, the Finau & Hovland both @ 16s. On paper we are deciding if the go-to bet is amongst those 6 players or indeed if there is bigger value in hitting a place elsewhere. With just two years of course form to hand, and with that a GMac win putting the cat amongst the pigeons on the bombers theory, Royal Greens does look like a course that will suit a big hitter AND a player with good scrambling skills. With that in mind, I'm siding with just two players pre-event this week, both can get it down there and have shown signs of a decent result is not too far away; Abu Dhabi tip, Thomas Pieters and Laurie Canter.

Pieters is a player that is hard to trust when things don't go his way and perhaps he showed that again two weeks ago when throwing in a 75 in round 4 once out of contention for a decent result following a double at the 9th and then proceeded to play the final 9 in +3, slipping down to a finishing place of 41st. I'll go in again here though where he finished 3rd last year and 22nd the previous year. As alluded to in the Abu Dhabi preview, Pieters has the ability to make the Ryder Cup team following some personal changes in his life and to achieve that he needs to produce the results early and as soon as possible. Royal Greens where he has form gives him an opportunity to target a strong result. At 50/1 - 8 places he is abet for me this week.

Canter has showed huge progress over the past twelve months and his length off the tee and recent confidence could see him go well also and he's taken on those as well as his price @ 70/1 - 8 places


1.5 pts e/w T. Pieters @ 50/1 - 8 places
1.0 pts e/w L. Canter @ 70/1 - 8 places