Wednesday, 28 April 2021

Huntsville Championship 2021 - Korn Ferry Tour, Alabama

Having been close with my namesake at the Club Car Championship last month( playoff defeat), I've been keeping my eye on the Korn Ferry Tour and The 25 throughout this year and this week I have to pull the trigger on the 24 year old Chinese player,Carl Yuan following his solid form of late. 

Having turned professional only 3 years ago, the Florida based man is closing in on The25 with 3 good results of late in between a couple of missed cuts.(5-mc-mc-7-12) Ranking in the TOP-15 for both driving distance and GIR,  he's trending for another good week for this inaugural event and the price of 70/1 - 6 places is of value. 

1 pt e/w C. Yuan @ 70/1 - 6 places 

Valspar Championship 2021 - Innsbrook, Palm Harbour, Florida

 A tough examination awaits the players this week at the Valspar Championship where Copperhead has proved over the years to be one of the toughest courses on the PGA Tour. Accuracy off the tee and ball striking from the fairway are the order of the week and its nice to see the top two in world golf, Dustin Johnson & Justin Thomas tee it up, with both looking to improve on recent form. Thomas, despite winning at Sawgrass won't contend here this week if he drives the way he has been doing the past 6 weeks or so. The tightness should refocus him in this department but both he and DJ are no-bets this week at the prices.

I enjoy watching this event more from a golfing perspective than a betting one but I am having an interest in the shape of, yet again, Adam Hadwin along with Kevin Kisner. The latter has refocused his approach to tournaments on the tour in that he feels he can only compete at certain courses but does admit he will play at longer courses as ".....because they give a lot of money for 20th". He hasn't contended here much in his 3 visits (a best of 24th on last visit in 2019) and he has failed to make the cut in his last 3 events so he's not altogether a confident selection but his price accounts for this @ 70/1 - 8 places. Its just a tentative play here for me this week in the outright with a TOP-20 also a play @ 5.00

Hadwin though is of interest - having backed him a couple of time already this year, the conclusion is that he tends to fare better on these high-scoring events and the hope is that he does the same again this week. The winner here in 2017 and T12th when defending was followed up by a mc in 2019, so he is comfortable here and can improve on his T-25 in Texas last month and T-10 at The Honda previously @ 80/1 - 8 places.


0.5 pts e/w A. Hadwin @ 80/1 - 8 places
0.5 pts e/w K. Kisner @ 70/1 - 8 places
2 pts TOP-20 K. Kisner @ 5.00

Tuesday, 27 April 2021

Tenerife Open 2021 - Golf Costa Adeje, Tenerife

 The second of the 3-event Canaries Swing sees yet another short course in operation this week when the European returns to Golf Costa Adeje for the first time since 2003 when the Open de Espana was held here. Market leader, Antoine Rozner joins the swing this week but unfortunately, Wil Besseling has had to withdraw having positive for covid-19. A windy birdie-fest seems to be on the cards again this week so the approach is to stick with players in form that are hitting greens and sinking putts...i.e. players that are scoring well. The difference this week is that we have 6no. Par-3s and 5no. Par-5s so those who are striking irons well and playing par-3s well must be considered.

I put up Alejandro Canizares last week based on recent form and was surprised his price stood up. He was never winning after a tame opening round but he did play well thereafter eventually finishing 38th albeit a long way back from Higgo. That means his price is still value this week and I'm happy to go again based on same reasoning as last week @ 100/1 - 7 places. Whilst par-3 scoring rankings show little gains being achieved to the field, the Spaniard has been scoring well on par-5s and if he starts better this week we should see a decent run from him.

Having put up Thorbjorn Olesen twice already this year only to see him withdrawn on both occasions due to covid-19, it was a little frustrating to see him place last week on his seasonal debut. His compatriot though, Joachim B Hansen has shown a level of consistency this and last year on the Challenge Tour to suggest he can put in another good result this week having finished 7th last week following a 9th place finish in Qatar. 28/1 - 6 places is probably the lowest I'd take him at but the consistency suggests he is worth chancing this week.

Guido Migliozzi was 15th last week to post his 3rd T-20 in his 7 starts this year on the European Tour. his 2nd place finish in Qatar the highlight losing out to Antoine Rozner despite a closing 65 at a windy Doha. At 33/1 he too is on the limit but feel this is a good week for him and he's included on the staking plan for me.

Two players who did present some value to me this week are players I've backed recently in the forms of Dean Burmester and Marcus Armitage. The latter is playing solid enough of late with a 4th in Austria and 10th in Kenya and @ 50/1 - 7 places for this field strength he does have a chance. The South African is hot n cold but the course this week should be to his liking where his aggressive play could be to an advantage. He's as good as anyone in this field and probably is a little overpriced @ 50/1 - 6 places too.

Not an awful lot of value I think this week, so reduced stakes for me with 5 players unusually for me on the staking plan taking 7 places where I can and 6 in others.


0.50 pts e/w A. Canizares @ 100/1 - 7 places
0.75 pts e/w J. B Hansen @ 28/1 - 6 places
0.75 pts e/w G. Migliozzi @ 33/1 - 7 places
0.75 pts D. Burmester @ 50/1 - 6 places
0.75 pts e/w M. Armitage @ 50/1 - 7 places

Tuesday, 20 April 2021

Gran Canaria Open 2021 - Las Palmas, Canary Islands

Rafael Cabrera Bello hosts the inaugural Gran Canaria Open this week in his hometown of Las Palmas in the Canary Islands. It's a massive week for him to bring the European Tour back here for the first time since 1995, when the island last hosted the Turespana Open de Canaria won by Jarmo Sandelin,the Swede keeping Seve at Bay in second place. 

Given that Rafa is hosting,we could expect the added pressure and attention that usually entails such a role, to impact on his chances of a victory this week,but with lack of spectators, journalists, corporates etc.,  the home boy could be relishing the challenge instead! He's certainly the man to beat here. Never a prolific winner, it is difficult to get onboard though, so I'm taking Andy Sullivan from the top of the market @ 22/1 - 6 places who knows how to win when the opportunity presents itself. The Englishman has been playing well this year having posted 5 decent results in the Desert Swing and the WGC-Workday . His last outing was at the WGC Matchplay, where he played well despite not advancing to the knockouts, and he'll be itching to improve on his OWGR ranking of 66 now that the schedule resumes to make the more lucrative fields later on this year. The course this week is short, it's bound to be subjected to wind, and should suit Andy Sullivan to attack it with plenty of motivation to do well. 

On courses like this one in the past, Alejandro Canizares would be licking his lips in anticipation,and maybe he is again this week given his 7th place finish last week in Vienna following a T-20 in Kenya prior to that. Not that far from Morocco, where he last won on tour at the Trophee Hassan in 2014, The Canaries should be to his liking. The Madrid native has posted a lot of great results in Spanish events on the European Tour over the years and the hope is a visit to this part of the world will inspire him to keep the recent form going and capitalize @ 100/1 - 7 places.

2 pts e/w A. Sullivan @ 22/1 - 6 places
1 pt e/w A. Canizares @  200/1 - 7 places

Wednesday, 14 April 2021

RBC Heritage 2021 - Hilton Head GC, South Carolina

 Back to its slot after the Masters, The RBC Heritage once again takes place at Hilton Head GC, South Carolina, a course that does not favour big hitters but as shown over the years, steady accurate type players. I like this course and the event, if only the scoring could be tightened up someway.

Just two players for me here - unlike the Austrian Open, I found  quite a number of players represented some value and it proved difficult to decide on a final shortlist. Ideal tournament to get involved in on the exchange if you have the free time to enjoy all 4 days. Carlos Ortiz is of interest to me @80/1 - 8 places here. 33rd on his debut last year isn't overly exciting but the warm up is complete and he'll be glad to get back to bread and butter stuff this week following missed cuts last time out at both Augusta & Sawgrass. Prior to those events, the Mexican was playing well, and from his 15 starts this season he's got a WIN and a further 2 T-10s and 2T-20s to lie 21st in the FedEx Cup rankings. He's gaining shots on the field this season in a few categories and referencing the excellent data-golf trend database, he is +1.36 on recent form. I made him ~66s for this track and am happy to have a punt over some of the others that were shortlisted.

Stewart Cink is enjoying a great 12 twelve months of golf having won last year and continued decent form into 202. The former Open Champion has posted 6 T-20s from his 14 starts this season including a 12th place finish at Augusta last week and 19th at the Honda last time out previously. 125/1 is a good price for this (I would have taken 90s) and if we see some wind then I like his chances even more.


1 pt e/w C. Ortiz @ 80/1 - 8 places
.75 pts e/w S. Cink @ 125/1 - 8 places

Austrian Open 2021 - Diamond GC, Austria

 Main Europeantour action returns to mainland Europe this week where we are once again back at the Diamond Country Club , just an hour northwest of Vienna.

I've tried to find some decent value here this week but have struggled really to focus on who is more likely to outplay their odds given 1/ the long layoffs in between events and 2/ decipher if the April slot for Diamond CC will show a different trend than in the past when played later in the season. Joost Luiten is the course "specialist" here having returned the following results below (most recent to the left/ I did not count Shot Clock Masters in 2019 as a guide for course form....should I have?)


Clearly, the Dutchman is at ease here but even @ 22/1 behind market leaders Schwab, Harding, Detry, Kaymer and Sam Horsfield I couldn't pull the trigger. Schwab & Kaymer I like here but I can't dive in @ 16s & 22s respectively. I'll watch for an inplay bet if the opportunity arises.

So, its just one for before the off in the shape of Jacques Kruyswijk @ 55/1 - 7 places. The South African had a decent spell in Kenya when last seen finishing 5th in BOTH events following a T-10 on the Sunshine Tour the week before and T-11th the week previous to that. He's playing well, albeit the field here this week may be slightly stronger than in recent events, but its not that a strong a field that he cant compete against, and I think he's 10-15 points bigger @ 55s than what I reckon his chances are.


1 pt e/w J. Kruyswijk @ 55/1 - 7 places

Monday, 5 April 2021

Masters 2021

It's a quick turnaround at Augusta National. Having hosted the 2020 Masters just 5 months ago,the 2021 version slots back into it's usual calendar this week as DJ defends but without a Champions Dinner to host, due to covid-19. And it's the defending champion that I usually have at the top of my shortlist for Augusta and despite little value in the betting market this week he's not instilling much confidence for me to pull the trigger when I can't get away from Justin Thomas to win his second major. At 13/1 he's my main bet for the week, whilst I mull over adding Rory McIlroy @ 18s as the Ulsterman does represent about the only value around between the title contenders. Whatever Rory does for the rest of his golf career or indeed his personal life, winning the green jacket this week or twelve months time or even later, will forever be marked in history as he would join a very elite but small group of players to complete golf's slam. If he's been working on his short game the past two weeks and he brings an upturn in that department over the 4 days ahead he will be challenging and he's worth punting at the price.

I was kind of interested in Patrick Cantlay,then Collin Morikawa and I then looked at Patrick Reed, but this year's Masters conundrum looks a tough one to crack so I went a bit lower down the pegging order trying to find a player or two who could place. Paul Casey if bigger than 40s would have been a bet so I took the plunge on Adam Scott @ 66/1 and Justin Rose @ 80/1 (Matt Kuchar pushing Rose close for the nod)

Whilst Scott has unusually played a bit more lately than the Englishman, a return to Augusta for Rose could see him produce a good week out of the blue as seen at last year's PGA Championship where he finished 9th before posting another solid result in Saudi this year when runner up to DJ. A back injury saw him withdraw at Bay Hill and again at Sawgrass, but he's prepared for this week and hopefully is pain free. The price probably accounts for the doubt but if he's fit to play and starts well Thursday I'm sure he'll hang about to late Sunday.

Adam Scott posted a top-10 at Torrey Pines at the end of January and posted T-13th at the PGA National last time out proving his tee to green game is in good nick,and as always with Scottie, we need to be aware of his putting woes but I'm happy to have a dabble at this price.

3 pts WIN J. Thomas @ 13/1
1.75 pts e/w R. McIlroy @ 18/1 - 8 places
1 pt e/w J. Rose @ 80/1 - 8 places
1 pt e/w A. Scott @ 66/1 - 8 places