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SBI Blog 2011 All of our blogs from 2011
December 29th 11.48
I hope you all had a good Christmas - just a quick message - whilst everything on this site is free we do run a subscription football betting site at Football Betting Index. After a slow start to the season things are getting back on track following a profitable December and we are offering a special offer to subscribe for the rest of the season for just £200 saving £160 on monthly fees - to join click here
December 21st 23.04
I haven't been idle over the last few days - far from it - I have been casting my eyes over the antepost markets on the golf - initially the money lists and have come up with a few bets that may pay for Christmas - 2012!! I do think Rory, Luke and Lee will dominate things so I have been looking at markets where they are taken out of the equation plus one from the Champions Tour.
Firstly in Europe the one player I expect to see to the fore next year is Luiten now he has finally won and he has so many top finishes he should be right up there in the Race to Dubai and in the top Continental European market he is well worth a look at 25/33.
Over in the States I really am surprised how big a price Bill Haas is as the Fedex Cup winner in 2011 and someone who finished 7th on the money list. He has improved every year over the last four years and can see him winning more next season - the top American market is interesting as it is based around a very short priced Tiger who could be anything next year - 35/1 is more than fair.
Sticking to the PGA tour the top ROW market is pretty interesting and I do think Louis Oosthuizen will make a bigger splash on that tour with a years experience under his belt.
Finally on the Champions Tour Peter Senior has been a revelation this year for a man who had never had much success in the States in his younger days but in his rookie year he was 7th on the money list and 3rd on the Charles Schwab points list - this year he will have a much better knowledge of all the courses he has to play.
It is up to you how you might want to play these but I have done a 1/10 pt ew yankee with Bet365 as follows
Joost Luiten top Continental Euro Race to Dubai 25/1
Bill Haas top American PGA money list 35/1
Louis Ossthuizen top ROW PGA money list 16/1
Peter Senior Champions Tour money list 40/1
December 17th 14.54
Well Andy Sullivan did really well at Q School with a late run of birdies securing 3rd place and the 100/1 e/w money. Over in Australia and Thailand we still have outright place chances with Lyle and Hiratsuka providing they go low tonight.
Over the next few weeks whilst there is no golf on I will be working on some major new projects for the site - all will be revealed in 2012! In the meantime I will be casting my eyes over the antepost golf markets.
If you want to sign up for our newsletter simply send us an email to - info@sportsbettingindex.com with the word Newsletter in the subject line and another reminder - you can always follow us on Twitter for any site updates at SBIdotcom.
December 14th 18.05
Late bet for first round leader in JBWare Masters - Adam Bland - has a habit of starting well on same courses year in year out and led here last year 1/10 pt e/w 150/1 Tote/Betfred

December 13th 16.21
This is the last full preview of an event for 2011 and we head to Asia for a new event the Thailand Golf Championship from the Amata Spring Country Club. Whilst the venue has not hosted a full 72 hole championship event before it has played host to the Royal Trophy from 2006-10 - the equivalent of the Ryder Cup between European and Asian team, and it was also the venue for the International Final Qualifying for the Open this year. I am going to ignore the European Tour invaders who I think will be tired after a long season and concentrate on a couple of Far East players who excel playing in Thailand.
Firstly is veteran Thai player Prayad Marksaeng who was part of the only Asian team to beat Europe in the Royal Trophy here in 2009 when he won all his three matches. In the last six years he has played in his home country in sixteen Asian tour events and has nine top five finishes (including a win) and a further three top ten finishes. This year he has largely been out of form but both times he has played at home he has been 2nd. Over the last few weeks he seems to be getting his game back and played really well over the weekend in Hong Kong. He has been quite critical about the lack of invites given to young Thai players and will be out to prove a point that Thai golfers can compete with the best in the world.
Second up is a Japanese player who also seems at home playing in Thailand - Tetsuji Hiratsuka. In the last few years he has played eight times and can boast two wins a 2nd and a 3rd. He hasn’t played great since finishing 1st and 3rd a couple of months ago but was 6th last time out in Japan and has a habit of playing well in consecutive tournaments - indeed his two wins in Thailand were preceded by top six finishes in Japan. He has also played in the Royal Trophy but doesn’t have such a good record as Marksaeng but he has fond memories of the course from earlier this year when he was 2nd shooting ten under par over the two rounds to qualify for the Open
Prayad Marksaeng ¾ pt ew 50/1 generally
Tetsuji Hiratsuka ½ pt ew 60/1 Sportingbet

December 13th 13.53
This week we have the third of the Australian “Majors” - this time the Masters from the Victoria Golf Course. Greg Chalmers is attempting to do what Robert Allenby achieved in 2005 - win all three of his home Majors in the same season. To do so he will have to overcome Luke Donald - the big question is - how tired is the world number one? I do wonder if he had known what would have happened over the last few months - would he have committed to play in Australia - somewhere he has never actually played before.
The Victoria course hosted this event last season and has also been host to the Australian Open in 2002 and the PGA Championship in 1999 as well as hosting various Victorian Opens before that so there is a fair bit of course from to look at. Despite his current level of form I think Chalmers may struggle as he hasn’t got the best form on this course. Robert Allenby probably has the best course form on offer - never out of the top eight in his last six visits but with only one win in six years since he won the triple crown you have to pass at odds below 12/1.
Main pick for me is Jarrod Lyle who is in a happy stage of his life at the moment. He has had quite a journey in his life having been diagnosed with leukaemia as a teenager so just making it to being a professional golfer has been a major achievement. He hasn’t had a great season on the PGA tour - failing to keep his card but returned to Q school and finished 5th. He then flew home and on Saturday got married to his pregnant fiancee and will actually be on his honeymoon whilst playing this week! He was 5th here last season and to win the Masters in his home state would finish off an incredible couple of weeks for the young Australian.
Second pick is a more risky proposition but I think that Gavin Coles is overpriced at 80/1 this week after an excellent end to his season on the Nationwide Tour which saw him win in Florida and get his full card for next year. He hasn’t played in six weeks and it does seem strange that he tees it up this week but he has often played well when fresh. I think the main reason for playing is his good course form - 5th in the 2002 Australian Open and 7th in the 1999 PGA Championship. He is a second grade Australian player much like Greg Chalmers so I don’t really think he should be priced up with some no hopers.
Jarrod Lyle ½ pt ew 40/1
Gavin Coles ¼ pt ew 80/1

December 11th 21.46
The final event of the European Tour proved successful for desert specialist Alvaro Quiros who made it two wins this season in Dubai. It hasn’t been the best season for the Spaniard with very little to show since he left the desert swing in February and I would suggest following him again next year in those events played in the warm dry heat and on open courses where his sometimes wayward driving isn’t punished.
To be honest his win was eclipsed by the achievement of Luke Donald as he won the money list on both the European and PGA tours - something never achieved before and possibly something that will be difficult to replicate
It was a disappointing end to the season for myself with Havret and Noren failing to get into contention but we could still end the year on a high as Andy Sullivan my 100/1 pick lies 2nd in the European Qualifying School finals.
Whilst the main tours have finished for the season there are still two events next week to have a look at with the Australian Masters and a new event on the Asian Tour - the Thailand Golf Championship.

December 9th 09.30
Tomorrow sees the start of the European Qualifying School Finals in Catalunya Spain and after six gruelling rounds thirty players will gain full playing priveleges for next season. As I said before the start of the PGA qualifying school you have to remember that players are initially looking at getting their card and secondly getting as high up the list as possible to get the chance to play more tournaments. I have picked three players to follow who should give us a good run for our money.
Wade Ormsby knows the ropes - this will be his seventh visit to the finals and crucially he has handled the pressure well in the past having gained his card via this route four times in the past. He was 2nd in his first attempt in 2003 and in 2008 was also 2nd and that finish came here at Catalunya. He has had yet another poor year on tour but made the cut last time out in South Africa hitting more greens than anyone else in the field and that will certainly help him this week.
Andy Sullivan reminds me a lot of other young English Walker Cup players who have gained their cards quickly after turning pro in recent years like Chris Wood, Danny Willett or Sam Hutsby. When he played in the Walker Cup he was the 5th ranked amateur in the world - actually higher than Tom Lewis at the time and we know what he has gone on to do. He has been out in Spain for a while losing in a playoff in a satellite tour event before making his way through the second stage despite a very poor first round - I wouldn’t be surprised to see the youngster gain his card at the first attempt.
Chris Paisley has been a professional a little longer than Sullivan and this season has found some success mainly on the Alps Tour where in eight starts he has won three and been 2nd and 3rd. The second of those two wins came in the Catalunyan Open in the Spring so he should have some fond memories of the area. He has acquitted himself quite well on the Challenge Tour when he has started and was 4th last week in his second stage so in theory should be competitive at this level.
Wade Ormsby 1/5 pt ew 100/1
Andy Sullivan 1/5 pt ew 100/20 Unibet
Chris Paisley 1/5 pt ew 100/1

December 8th 11.30
After a very long season I must admit I am looking forward to a break, the last few months have been poor but overall I am still showing a profit for the year mainly due to the fantastic start to the season with Wilson winning twice and Points doing the business at Pebble Beach. It does seem weird that year in year out I seem to do better in certain events - maybe something to look at in the off season! There are still a few events to look at - next week we have a new event in Thailand plus the Australian Masters whilst I will preview the European Q School tomorrow.
In the meantime - if you want to receive the newsletter which will start in January drop me an email with the word Newsletter in the subject line to info@sportsbettingindex.com. Also if you really are struggling to get bets on with the main bookmakers try out our Independent Bookmakers Guide

December 5th 15.48
It’s been a very long season on the European tour and what is now a truly global golf tour comes to its climax in Dubai with the top 60 on the money list (minus Rose and Jacobson) playing for a massive prize fund. The whole week will revolve around the battle for the money list with McIlroy trying to overtake Luke Donald but the Englishman showed on the PGA tour that when he needed to perform to win that money list he was up to the task. A top quality field like this usually brings out a top quality winner and whilst it is difficult to ignore the market leaders I still think there is some fair value to be had further down the field.
Gregory Havret is a man to back when he hits form and apart from two poor results in Singapore and Malaysia where he didn’t adapt to the weather he is on a long run of career best finishes. Starting at the Dunhill Links (39th) he was then 3rd in Portugal when we were on, 11th and 6th in Spain and then last week he chased Rory all the way in Hong Kong to finish 2nd. All these performances far outstripped anything he had achieved at those venues in the past. The second question I asked myself was can he cope with high quality opposition and the answer has to be yes - he proved that in last years US Open when 2nd and when he beat Phil Mickelson in his prime at Loch Lomond. As for course form - well he was an average 35th here last season on his debut but was not in the best of form. In his current form and good mood I can see a big week for the Frenchman and he is a decent punt for me at the price.
It is interesting to see the prices about the multiple winners on tour this season -Clarke is 200/1, Hoey 200/1, Bjorn 100/1, Noren 66/1 whilst Garcia and Donald are 18/1 and 12/1 respectively. That is quite a range of prices but the one I like the look of is Alexander Noren. His wins in Sweden and Wales this year came on the back of missed cuts so he is quite difficult to predict. He said on his blog this week he has been tired after a long season but his training schedule makes Vijay Singh look lazy! He has spent the last week in Thailand recuperating and practising and I just wouldn’t be surprised to see one more good performance to round off his season - after all he was 6th here on his only appearance in 2009. He really is hard to judge but I would have him a shorter price even in this field - don’t bet with Hills 66/1 they are shockingly only 4 places.
Of the other players Luiten is interesting - having finally secured his maiden tour win he could easily follow up but he could also have been partying too hard! Quiros has a good win ratio and loves golf in the desert but was really poor in contention in Hong Kong. I do think Poulter will go well as he invariably does at this time of the year but his price is about right.
Gregory Havret 1 point e/w 80/1
Alexander Noren ¼ pt ew 66/1

December 4th 23.45
In Hong Kong Rory McIlroy finally began to pay back punters who have been backing him at short odds for some time now as he won his second European Title. At a price of 9/2 it will take some time for straight outright backers to get their money back although traders have been getting their money back most weeks. I admit to totally misjudging this event with none of my picks performing and if I had known McEvoy had flown from South Africa back to England and then onto Hong Kong I would never have backed him as he was totally jetlagged.
In the Nedbank Challenge Lee Westwood spreadeagled the field in round three with a brilliant 62 and Karlsson only really got to within two when Westwood seemed to struggle over the back nine on Sunday. The Chevron Challenge also made it a superb week for favourite backers as Tiger Woods won his first event for two years.
Next week we have the final event on the European Tour with the Race to Dubai coming to a conclusion at the fabulous Greg Norman Jumeirah course. It is mathematically possible for Luke Donald to be caught by Rory for the money list title which makes it nice that final event is not in a way a damp squib.
At the other end of the European tour the 10th of December sees the beginning of the gruelling six round qualifying school final from Spain. There are plenty of other events around the globe but Skybet continue to be virtually the only book to price them up.
December 2nd 12.53
Not often I add bets in running and especially after I have had a bad start to an event - as in Hong Kong this week but Soren Kjeldsen is simply too big in his current position at 40/1 with Ladbrokes - especially as they go 1/5 4 - 1/2 pt e/w
November 29th 20.41
A couple of quick admin points which tend to get lost amongst the previews! - in the New Year we will be starting a weekly newsletter via email with news, views and offers - if you are interested simply send an email to info@sportsbettingindex.com stating Newsletter in the subject line
Also we have launched our new guide to smaller Independent Bookmakers with offers of over £250 worth of Free Bets and over 20 bookmakers offering best odds guaranteed on horse racing - to find out more click here

November 29th 17.05
I knew Rory McIlroy would be a short price this week but as low as 4/1 in my opinion is farcical - he is not Tiger Woods in his prime as he simply cannot get over the winning line. The good news about this is that prices lower down the field give us some cracking each way prices to have a go at.
In recent years Spanish golfers have a great record with Jimenez winning twice and Lara and Olazabal one apiece - this maybe because the tree lined course is similar to the older Spanish courses these players grew up playing. Other winners Bourdy and Jacobson had won at Pula and Valderrama respectively so I think there is definitely a link. All of this leads me to my main pick for the week Pablo Larrazabal. He was not in the best of form last year when he missed the cut here but prior to that had been 22nd and 4th so can certainly play the course. He has had a great season with his second tour win coming in the prestigious BMW International (an event he had been 3rd in the year before). He has also had four other top five finishes and was 10th last time out in Japan where he seemed to have found his putting stroke again. I know it’s a top quality field at the top end of the market but there is a lack of strength in depth and do not understand why he is 66/1 - try and get the six places on offer with Ladbrokes.
Michael Hoey is difficult to catch right and doesn’t have the best of current form but he would have finished higher in Singapore last time out if he hadn’t stuck his ball in a tree on his final hole. He doesn’t have great course form but made the cut for the first time last season when 25th. The question is as a two time winner this season why should he be 80/1 - twenty times the price of the player he out battled on the final day at the Dunhill Links.
Mark Foster is another player who has had a great season - by picking and choosing events where he knew he stood a greater chance he has managed four top four finishes. He has struggled to get his second tour win but it might just come on a course where he has been 4th and 11th before.
After a great season in 2010 Rhys Davies has struggled this year but showed signs of a return to form in the last few weeks. He was 3rd in the Johor Open and then last week combined well with Jamie Donaldson in the World Cup when they finished 8th - only shooting one bogey between them all week. His results don’t look spectacular here the last two seasons but he can definitely go low as he has opened up with a 65 on both occasions.
Finally a player who I was pleased to see keep his European tour card last week when he finished 3rd in the South African Open. Richard McEvoy needed a top five finish and he delivered and it was good to read how elated and relieved he was on his blog. To be honest he probably doesn’t have to play this week but it is interesting he has flown out. He has played the event twice before firstly back in 2003 when he had just got his card by winning the European Q School. His first two rounds were stunning and he led by four and then three shots before stumbling over the weekend. In his other visit he was 5th after the opening round so I am sure you know where I am heading! He must like this time of the year as his one professional win in 2004 in Panama came this week. He will be in relaxed mood and playing a course which suits his game perfectly - back him outright and first round leader.
Pablo Larrazabal ½ pt ew 66/1 Ladbrokes 6 places
Michael Hoey ¼ pt ew 80/1
Mark Foster ¼ pt ew 100/1 Sportingbet
Rhys Davies ¼ pt ew 66/1
Richard McEvoy 1/5 pt ew 125/1 + 1/5 pt ew 1st rd leader 100/1

November 29th 12.59
This week sees the six round marathon that is the PGA Tour Qualifying School finals from La Quinta California where a couple of Jack Nicklaus courses are used at PGA West. It is a huge pressure cooker of an event with so much at stake for a lot of players so any bets have to be kept small as the ultimate objective is for them to get their card not necessarily win. Having said that the higher they finish the more chances they will get at starts next season.
With that in mind I usually approach this event looking at players who already have a card of some sorts for next season. What we often find is that players lower down the ranking from the Nationwide Tour who finished in the top 25 of that money list pitch up here to improve their ranking but are under far less pressure to perform - one such player that caught my eye was Martin Flores. He finished 24th on the Nationwide Tour last season regaining the tour card he had won by finishing 4th at the Q school in 2009 - so he also has a history of doing well in this event. He has played these courses before when attempting to qualify the year before but played poorly although his long hitting game should be well suited. In 2010 on the main tour one of his best finished was in the Bob Hope Classic where he was second after three rounds before fading over the weekend - that event is also played at PGA West so he should have positive memories - Stan James are a standout 125/1 and this is well worth a bet.
Foreign players also have a good record when they have playing rights already established on other tours around the world and therefore under less pressure whereas most US players have an adversity to leaving their home shores. Sang Moon Bae has had a brilliant season on the Japanese tour with three wins, three 2nd placed finishes and a couple of 3rd places. He has attempted to qualify a few times before finishing 87th here in 2008 and then 50th in Florida last year but he is now a much better player. At 26th in the world golf rankings he is the highest player on show - favourite Noh is 101st so I don’t really see why Bae is double his price!
Sang Moon Bae ½ pt ew 50/1 Stan James, bet365
Martin Flores ¼ pt ew 125/1 Stan James Read more
November 27th 20.41
A frustrating week in more ways than one with the highlight being the e/w bet landed on Austrlalia in the World Cup as they finished 2nd. In Australia Nick O'Hern finished in the worst possible place for a big e/w and place bet - 6th! Whilst in South Africa a certain degree of annoyance mounted over the weekend as last weeks main pick Wiesberger threatened to win but eventually finished 2nd.
There is a whole host of golf on this week with the Nedbank and Chevron Challenge events but I will be concentrating on the Hong Kong and New Zealand Opens and maybe the PGA Qualifying School finals.
On another note in the New Year I will be starting a weekly newsletter via email with news, views and offers - if you are interested simply send an email to info@sportsbettingindex.com stating Newsletter in the subject line
November 24th 15.51
Here at SBI we try to be different and innovative and today we have launched our new guide to smaller Independent Bookmakers with offers of over £250 worth of Free Bets and over 20 bookmakers offering best odds guaranteed on horse racing - to find out more click here

November 22nd 09.42
This week we see the second of the three Australian Majors with the PGA Championship coming from the Hyatt Coolum course. There are plenty of Presidents Cup players on show and lots of young bombers but the course is a tricky one which takes some knowing and last year veteran Peter Senior was the victor proving the point that knowledge is key here.
There is one Australian who knows the course inside out - indeed his two professional victories both came here so once more I put forward Nick O’Hern. His recent Australian record after the open now reads eleven top five finishes from sixteen starts. His form around Coolum since the PGA Championship started here (his other victory was in the 1999 Coolum Classic) read 8/16/4/3/1/20/5/3 so it really is impossible to leave him out this week. Yet again though the win odds are a bit on the skinny side but the top five price is huge so I have split the bet a little to have more on the place.
Having mentioned that course knowledge is important my other pick has shown that - Aaron Townsends form around Coolum was mc/mc/mc/55/70 until last year when he made a vast improvement on his way to a 6th placed finish. In the last two years Townsend has had an indifferent season playing around Japan/Asia and has taken a few events at home to get into the groove. In 2009 he took a couple of starts before winning the New South Wales PGA and last year took two starts before he was 4th in the New South Wales Open and then 6th here. Last week he was 8th on his home course in Newcastle so maybe the trend is continuing. It is a tall order but the 50/1 odds on a place is simply too big.
Nick O’Hern 1 pt ew 16/1 generally + 1 pt top 5 4/1 Centrebet or 16/5 Unibet
Aaron Townsend 1/5 pt ew 200/1 Betfred, Tote

November 21st 16.54
The Omega Mission Hills World Cup of golf returns for this week for what is now a biannual staging and moves to a new course at Mission Hills in China - the Blackstone Course. The par 73 course measures 7.808 at it’s longest so anyone short off the tee will be at a disadvantage but with lots of risk/reward holes on show wayward hitters could find themselves in trouble on the foursome days - but we can expect to see some very low scoring on the better ball days.
In the last six renewals European teams have dominated and have filled the top two berths in all bar one year when in 2007 the USA were second. Of the European teams Poulter and Rose together have a great record being 3rd, 2nd and 4th in their three outings as a pair but without a win and neither being in what I would call top form at 7/1 I am quite happy to pass. There have been plenty of surprises in this event in the past but picking out who it could be this time round is rather tricky so instead I am going for what I think is an each way bet to nothing.
In 2008 the Australian pairing of Green and Jones finished 3rd as they complimented each other well. They managed to shoot a pair of 63’s on the better ball days and were only let down on the final day by a very poor 76 some thirteen shots worse than a rampant Swedish pairing of Karlsson and Stenson. Jones has returned to a bit of form in Japan of late whilst Green is well rested and whilst they might again struggle to beat the best of the European I think in the top Rest of the World category they have a great chance at 10/1 e/w with three places of offer they are worth a decent bet with a small win bet on the outright just in case they are this years surprise package.
Australia 1 pt ew top ROW 10/1 Stan James ¼ 3 + ¼ pt win 49/1 Unibet

November 21st 15.32
This years South African Open moves to a new course in the Gauteng province - the Jack Nicklaus designed Serengeti. On inspection it looks like a fairly typical Nicklaus design with room off the tee but you still have to hit it in the right part of the fairway for a decent approach to what look like being slopey greens. I am going for one from the home contingent and sticking with Graeme Storm from last week.
All the talk this week is about the young South Africans Coetzee, Van Zyl, Kruger etc but in my mind they are all pretty short in price as time and time again they come up short in their quest for a European Tour victory - I would rather side with a player who has proven he can actually win a main tour event and who wins regularly in the smaller events on his home Sunshine Tour - Darren Fichardt He won the Brazil Open in 2001 and the Qatar Masters in 2003 but now plays mostly at home where he has twelve victories including two this year. He has been incredibly consistent at home and before last week he hadn’t finished outside the top fifteen in eleven events. He put in a solid performance last week when 13th and in the past when entering his home Open in good form he has fared really well. In his last twelve attempts he has no fewer than five top six finishes - take the 40/1 Boyles each way.
I think Graeme Storm may have been a little bit rusty last week after his three week break at home with his recently extended family but he still managed to finish 15th confirming his game is in better shape now than it has been for most of the year. The Englishman nearly won this event back in 2005 when 4th so he does seem at home in South Africa. He is more than capable of playing Jack Nicklaus courses having been 2nd and 5th at Gleneagles and whilst there are no elephants roaming around Scotland Jacks courses often play similar and Storm showed last week when topping the ball striking stats an important part of his game is just where it should be.
Darren Fichardt ½ pt ew 40/1
Grame Storm ½ pt ew 45/1

November 20th 21.38
In Australia the US team comfortably won their fourth Presidents Cup in a row having built an early lead on day one and gained revenge for being hammered by the International team at the Royal Melbourne course back in 1998.
At least the Presidents Cup wasn’t affected by the weather as yet again the Asian/European co-sanctioned event was reduced to 54 holes as storms hit the Iskandar Johor Open. In the end Joost Luiten finally fulfilled his promise and won an event on the main tour having won twice in quick succession back in 2007 on the Challenge Tour. I do think now he has captured a title he will go on to win many more but strangely he will probably still be going off the same short price he has been for ages! Thankfully both my choices were small bets as both failed to trouble the judge.
In South Africa Garth Mulroy was strong over the final eighteen holes - something he has struggled to do in the past. At one point I thought I was going to be kicking myself as Hennie Otto tied the lead having mentioned he was my number one pick but couldn’t take the price. He stumbled badly on the back nine and didn’t even manage a top five place.
Next week we have three events the Omega Mission Hills World Cup team event from China, the Australian PGA Championship and the South African Open from the new Jack Nicklaus course in Serengeti.

November 15th 18.24
This is the fifth rendition of the Iskandar Johor Open, originally an Asian Tour event this is the first year it has been co-sanctioned by the European Tour and the second time it has been held at the Horizon Hills course. The Ross Watson designed course is brand new but is set to be one of the best in Asia, and is similar to the course he designed at Kota Permai just next door in Malaysia. That link leads me to my first pick - Thaworn Wiratchant who won one of his many Asian titles around that course and was 8th around Horizon Hills last season. He has been in solid form all season - winning the Indonesian Open back in July and he finished runner up two weeks ago in Taiwan. Last week he shot an impressive second round 63 on the way to his best ever finish at Sentosa - 19th . Whilst this is a very strong field at least he has won a co-sanctioned event before and at 66/1 represents a bit of value.
The quality of the field at the top of the betting is pretty high and the prices seem about spot on to me but as we saw last week it is possible for one of the lower ranked Asian players to be competitive so my other pick is another Thai player - Chawalit Plaphol. He plies his trade mainly on the Japanese tour these days but did return to his homeland in June and win the Queens Cup on the Asian tour, He has been in good form over the last month with a 2nd in Japan and is coming here with a solid finish in Singapore and his best ever finish in Taiwan. Whilst he has never won a co-sanctioned event he does have a 9% top five strike rate in such events. If we combine that with the fact he was 7th here last season we have an outsider at 200/1 who could give us a good run for our money.
Thaworn Wiratchant 1/4 pt ew 66/1
Chawalit Plaphol 1/5 pt ew 200/1

November 15th 09.41
In the past the Alfred Dunhill Championship has been one of the first tournaments of the new European Tour season - this year it is one of the last as we count down to the finale of the Race to Dubai. My three selections for the week actually resemble a round from Countdown as I have one from the top, one from the middle and one from the bottom!
Hennie Otto was going to be my number one pick and early prices of 50/55 on Betfair indicated he would be around the price I wanted so when the books opened at 25/1 I simply had to pass and move on. Next on my list was Graeme Storm and at 40/1 he is at the bottom end of what I would bet at but in a very weak field I am happy to have him on side. The Englishman has had rather an indifferent season in which he was struggling to keep his card but an 11th place finish at Valderrama has sealed it. Two days before that last event he had some good news that might have spurred him on - the birth of his first son. His stats for that week certainly improved and he now comes to an event he hasn’t played since 2005 when he missed the cut but in his previous visit he was 8th at the Leopard Creek course. It really is a poor field with most of the top European players staying in the Far East and he is one of the few players on view with a full tour win under his belt.
As this was the first event on tour for many years for a lot of players this was their first experience of European Tour golf and hence holds a lot of good memories and that is the case for both of my next two picks. Bernd Wiesberger first played here three years ago after graduating from the Challenge Tour and opened up with a fine 68 before fading away. It has taken him a few years to get to grips with life on tour and last year he won twice on the Challenge Tour and towards the second half of this year he has come into his own on the main tour. He is a bit hit and miss but in his last nine events he has had three top five finishes in much better fields than this so I really don’t see why he is 100/1. This weeks course should really suit his long hitting game much better than some of the recent courses he has played and he needs a good finish to make it to the Race to Dubai final.
Last choice is a huge price mainly based on his early season form when he missed his first sixteen cuts after graduating from the Challenge Tour but Matt Haines has started turning his season around in recent weeks and he needs a top two finish in South Africa in the next two weeks to keep his card. He admits that he really wasn’t ready for the main tour and simply didn’t put in the hard work required and by the time he realised it is possibly a bit late. He finished 18th at the Dunhill Links in a good field and in his last event was 20th in the Castello Masters and 4th in the all round stats. He certainly has the talent to gain a top two finish and I don’t see why he should be ranked amongst the lower players on the Sunshine Tour.
Graeme Storm ¼ pt ew 40/1
Bernd Wiesberger ½ pt ew 100/1
Matt Haines ¼ pt ew 250/1 Betfred, Tote

November 13th 23.59
It's been thirteen years since Greg Chalmers won the Australian Open at Royal Adelaide and this weekend he repeated the feat at The Lakes course near Sydney. He out battled Senden who throughout the week seemed to lose concentration for a few holes at a time which ultimately cost him the title. Tiger Woods naturally stole all the headlines with one of his best performances for a long time apart from a woeful eighteen holes on Saturday. Thankfully he took the limelight away from fellow American John Daly who once again disgraced himself on the golf course. Of our picks O’Hern fared pretty well reaching a tie for 4th - it was one of those weeks where the win odds were too low and the place odds too high as yet again he reached the frame in his homeland.
In Singapore the tournament was reduced to 54 holes after huge delays with storms and lightening and it even disrupted the eventual playoff with Fernandez-Castano and Pagnusan having to return on the Monday morning to finish off. The Spaniard won the biggest event of his career in the end having played solid golf for a moth now having finally recovered from injury. You do have to feel a little sorry for Pagunsan who must be fed up with Spaniards as it was virtually five years to the day that lost by one in a co-sanctioned event in Hong Kong to Jose Manuel Lara.Our main pick Anders Hansen came out all guns blazing on Sunday knowing he had to go low with the event being reduced - he was pushing hard and got into contention on the front nine shooting four under but three dropped shots early on the back nine halted his run and he limped home in a tie for 11th.
This week all eyes are on the Presidents Cup in Australia but whilst it will be a great spectacle I find team competitions next to impossible to be in. Instead I will be concentrating on the two co-sanctioned European events - one from South Africa the Alfred Dunhill Championship and from Malaysia the Iskandar Johor Open.
November 9th 17.38
Interestingly Boyles and Ladbrokes both have markets for first round leader in Singapore - whilst half the field can be ruled out of those starting on the easier course I couldn't put you off Jeev Singh 50/1, Karlberg 100/1, Hend 125/1 or Shigeki Maruyama 150/1

November 8th 17.04
This week we see a more stellar than average field line up for the Australian Open due the arrival of the Americans for the Presidents Cup next week There are however question marks surrounding the market leaders who will also be distracted by events to take place the following week. Who knows what sort of form Tiger Woods will be in and his price is purely guess work from the compilers and Adam Scott will no doubt be distracted by Williams’ comments about Tiger last week - they certainly seemed to influence his play in Shanghai. Last weeks pick Ogilvy played very poorly on a course he had played well before and Jason Day has never really played well in Australia. The Americans are a solid bunch but it is nigh on impossible predicting who will play the best golf this week and all this leads me to having a decent wager on Australian veteran Nick O’Hern. I know he never really wins (apart from the 06 Australian PGA) but there is huge value in the place part of the bet. In the last five years he has played in fifteen events at home and racked up a stunning ten top five finishes including two 2nds and a 3rd in his home Open. He played in this event last year at The Lakes and after a poor opening round of 75 came through the field to finish 24th - it is worth looking closer at that as it was his first tournament in seven months having gone under the surgeons knife. His current form isn’t too shabby either - he finished 6th in both his last events on the PGA tour last month and sandwiched inbetween those finishes celebrated his 40th birthday. There are many examples of players finding a new lease of life once they reach the big 4 0 and O’Hern could well start to produce the goods this week. I would recommend a bet of 1 point each way at 33/1 but if you can bet with Paddy Power split the bet 0.5 ew 33/1 and then 0.5 ew 22/1 top Australian - this takes out the risk of a few Americans hitting the places.
One outsider I like the look of is Kurt Barnes who was a promising young talent after winning the Australian and New Zealand amateur and the Riversdale Cup in 2002/3 but rather lost his way after that only winning a few small Australian events. After turning thirty this year he has started to show some more promise and has won on the Japanese and OneAsia tours over the past six months. He warmed up for a tilt at his home Open with a 2nd place finish at home in New South Wales last week shooting rounds of 63 and 64. Of the longer odds players I think he stands the best chance of making the frame.
Nick O’Hern 1 point ew 33/1 or 0/5 ew 33/1 + 0/5 ew top Aussie 22/1 Paddy Power
Kurt Barnes 0.25 ew 150/1 Tote, Betfred

November 8th 09.25
A huge field of 204 players lines up on Sentosa for the Singapore Open which is a co-sanctioned event between the European and Asian tours. The reason for the large field is that the players play two courses on the first two days the Tanjong and Serapong with the latter being used over the weekend. Whilst top world class players tend to win this event (Adam Scott has three titles to his name) we also do find a lot of bigger priced players placed so I have split the tips between one top flight golfer and two from left field.
I strongly considered Gregory Havret considering the form he is in at the moment but at 50/1 I would want to see some strong course form. He missed the cut on his first visit here and then last year opened with a decent round but then on day two knocked his first tee shot of the day into a tree and then lost the plot. I went back to course form and to be honest I really can’t fault Anders Hansen who has been 5th and 2nd in his two visits. Whilst he is without a win this season he has some top class finishes in huge events which is what we find this week including - 2nd in Dubai, 3rd in the WGC Cadillac and 3rd in the PGA Championship. He doesn’t win many events but these days seems to save himself for the quality events so at 40/1 is still worth an investment.
Next up is big hitting Aussie who can also boast some decent form at Sentosa as he was tied 3rd here in 2009 with Adam Scott, behind Poulter and Liang but ahead of the Hansen, McDowell and Schwartzel. He is not a very consistent golfer but when on song he has his fair share of “podium” finishes and that’s where the value is with this bet as we are getting 50/1 about a top six finish as several bookmakers are offering those terms with the larger field. He struggled a bit in Europe this season apart from finishing 4th in the Nordea Masters but a few weeks ago was 5th in the CJ Invitational in Korea. That last bit of form is quite interesting as Ron Fream designed Nine Bridges on the Korean island of Jeju and he also co-designed the Serapong course here on Sentosa.
Last up is a 45 year old Welshman who is in danger of losing his card and has no course form to shout about but Stephen Dodd has a few things which recommend him as a bet this week at 250/1. His five year exemption for winning the European Open comes to and end this season and he currently sits at 120th on the money list so needs one more good finish to get his card. When he missed the cut at the Madrid Masters a month ago he flew home and won the Welsh PGA championship - whilst it was a very small event it gave him the boost he needed and has gone on to finish 38th, 20th and then 9th at Valderrama. His first tour win came in Asia in China back in November 2004 and he often maintains his form once he finds it and I think he could really be a surprise package this week.
Anders Hansen 1/2 pt ew 40/1
Scott Hend 1/4 pt ew 200/1 Boyles, Paddy Power, William Hill 6 places
Stephen Dodd 1/4 pt ew 250/1 Betfred, Tote (or 300/60 Unibet)

November 6th 13.16
After a little over four months of posting tips I have slipped into the red - just. Basically for the amount staked I am missing one winner and the odd place so nothing too drastic and betting at the odds I do it's a long term game. This week we have the Australian Open and Singapore Open to look at and both have top quality fields.
November 2nd 11.28
A few books are up with the NSW PGA Championship which starts tonight from the Wollongong Course and if you can get on with Skybet have 1/5 pt ew at 66/1 on Brad McIntosh and 1/10 pt ew on Lincoln Tighe on his pro debut at 200/1.
November 1st 15.58
It is the final event on the European Challenge Tour this week - the Apulia San Domenico Grand Final from Italy where the top 45 from the money list compete to see who can get into the top twenty on the money list and gain their card for the main tour next season. One thing to note straight away is that it starts tomorrow so make sure you place your bets in time.
For some they know they are safe in the knowledge that they have their cards, for those on the bubble they face a nervous week whilst those further down know nothing less than a top class performance will be needed. It is in that last group I have found a player worth supporting.
Andrew Tampion is currently 35th in the rankings - slightly higher than when he played the event in 2009 when he was 39th on the money list. Two years ago he produced the finish he needed to gain his card as he lost in a play off to Peter Whiteford. This year he needs something similar and it is certainly interesting when you compare his best finishes of 2009 to those in this season. Admittedly his best finish in 2009 was here but after that he was 6th at Royal Waterloo and 7th at St Omer. This season he has won and been 5th at those two venues - he is clearly a horses for courses man - take the hint and back him to follow up his 2nd placed finish at the windy San Domenica course.
Andrew Tampion ¼ pt ew 80/1 - try and use Bet365 as they go 5 places.

November 1st 09.15
This week we see one of the final big events of the season with the WGC HSBC Champions event from the Sheshan course in China. Over the years this tournament has grown in stature but I still do think it needs adjusting. It is an event for tournament winners from throughout the world but bizarrely they picked five events on the Japanese tour which means the leading money winner on that tour who has won three times in recent months has slipped through the net which is a great shame as it would have been nice to see how Sang-Moon Bae faired in such a field. Despite that misgiving it is a pretty top quality field we have lined up even with Garcia, Donald and Mickelson not turning up.
My main bet is reserved for a player who seems to find his “A” game in top quality events and finds himself the holder of three WGC titles and a Major. When Geoff Ogilvy was asked why he seemed to play better in big events he had no idea yet this year, in a season dogged by injury, one of his best finishes was 4th in the US Masters. Also when the pressure was on he placed 3rd in the BMW Championship which got him into the Tour Championship so he finished the season in good style. His big wins have come in the World Matchplay twice and the CA Championship in 2008 plus of course the 2006 US Open but his back to back wins in the SBS Championship are also worth noting. That first event on the PGA tour played in January is reserved purely for winners of tour events from the previous season so Ogilvy is more than happy to compete in events which purely contain event winners.
When looking at Ogilvys’ stroke play wins it becomes evident he wins on courses once he has a degree of experience. His first PGA win on the Omni Tucson course came at his 5th attempt. Doral 4th, Hyatt Coolum 3rd, Plantation 3rd and The Lakes 4th. He has played Sheshan twice with finishes of 3rd and 10th so is clearly more than happy on the course. He shook off any rust last week playing in Shanghai where he played well for a couple of rounds so is well acclimatised and to be honest with his season being curtailed by injury he is fresher than some others. He ticks a lot of boxes this week and is well worth a decent wager.
One other player who really caught my eye for this week was Alex Noren who has two good wins in Europe this week but he simply throws in too many bad rounds to be trusted in such a big event at around the 50/1 mark. There have been surprises in this event in the past so for my other pick I will go for Pablo Larrazabal to continue the Spanish theme of recent weeks. He has had a great season on tour which included a win at the BMW International (an event Howell won before winning this in 2005) plus numerous top five finishes in decent events. He has finished in the top ten in each of his last two starts in China (plus a 4th in Hong Kong) so is very comfortable playing in the region. He took part in this event back in 2008 following his debut tour win and opened up with an atrocious round of 78 but played the last three rounds in three under par, and at 125/1 I think he is worth a small risk.
Geoff Ogilvy 1 point e/w 33/1
Pablo Larrazabal ¼ pt ew 125/1 generally available

October 31st 19.25
A quick post on the WGC HSBC Champions event as the price is going fast - Geoff Ogilvy 1 pt ew 33/1 - back tomorrow with full thoughts
October 30th 21.33
In Spain Sergio Garcia made it two from two in Spain in the last two weeks as favourite backers collected again. He actually became the first Spaniard to win a stroke play event at Valderrama finally laying the ghost of three runner-up finishes at the venue, and if he hadn’t won veteran Jimenez was waiting in the wings to collect for the home team. It was a tough test with only six players finishing under par and I was worried that having dropped Havret after backing him for the last two weeks he was going to prevail but a poor third round cost him and in the end he finished in the worst position for each way backers - 6th. My picks performed poorly with Kjeldsen reverting to how he has performed for much of the season and Thomas Aiken must have had something really wrong with him!
There were two big money events in Asia and Rory McIlroy won the massive first prize on offer in Shanghai but only just in a playoff from Anthony Kim so he certainly gave favourite backers a scare. He admitted that he should have won more events than he actually has and in my mind he remains one to avoid punting wise unless you intend trading him on the exchanges. In the Asian and PGA tour co-sanctioned event in Malaysia Bo Van Pelt won comfortably by six strokes which came as a bit of a surprise as has always been appalling when in contention on Sundays in the past. Now he has finally won he could well be worth keeping an eye on as he has always been a consistent performer.
Next week all eyes will be on China with the HSBC Champions event from Sheshan which is growing in stature year by year, There will also be a lot of books pricing up the season ending events from the Champions Tour and European Challenge Tour so I will look at those events as well.
October 30th 11.51
We finally had a really good day over at FBI yesterday even bagging a 7/1 winner though sadly I gave the kiss of death to Oliver Wilson in Spain! I don't have many bets in running as I rarely spot anything I would call value but there is a small bit of value in the Nationwide Tour Championship which concludes today. Yesterdays windy conditions are due to continue today although minus the rain and one man who handles the wind better than most is Alastair Presnell. Basically he needs to win to get his PGA card so he will come out all guns blazing - he has nothing to lose and at 66/1 with Paddy Power is worth a modest 1/4 pt ew.
October 28th 16.36
It looks like I picked the wrong week to drop Havret from the squad! fairly typical after being on for two weeks but you have to stop somewhere otherwise you just end up following players off a cliff! I have just had a play in running whilst books are still going 4 places - young Oliver Wilson has played well the last two days after a couple of poor weeks - 1/4 pt e/w 80/1 1/5 4. Will endeavour to update the results page over the weekend as research will fairly low key over the next few days as the HSBC Champions will be the only event to get my teeth stuck into - hopefully fond memories will lead to success this week.
October 25th 17.00
I have added a small round one leader play on an outsider for Andalucia - Shiv Kapur - 1/10 pt e/w 250/1. His best starts to events in Europe last year were as follows
Hassan Trophy 7th
Czech Open 1st
KLM Open 2nd
This event 4th
So far this year his best three starts have been
Hassan Trophy 2nd
Czech Open 15th
KLM Open 3rd
Enough evidence for me to have a small wager - he is last out tomorrow but may get a break with the weather.
October 25th 10.20
I am aware there are two big money events in Asia this week but nothing really grabs me as worth betting on. The Shanghai Masters has attracted a top class field but I wouldn't wnat to bet in anything where the incentive of prize money might even be outweighed by simple appearance money and it is anyones guess how the course will play. The CIMB event from Malaysia at least has a years form to go on but the field looks very "bunched" to me - maybe Senden will go well and Steele likes to travel and I don't think an Aian player can beat even this bunch of PGA players.
We also see the Nationwide Tour come to a close with the Tour Championship and it is always difficult to find selections with so much at stake. Over the last few years we have seen a lot of players come from outside the top 25 come to the fore as to be honest they have very little to lose. I will have a small bet on Matt Davidson who needs a top five finish to get his tour card. He won the Egolf Tarheel Tour Championship two years in a row in 2008/2009 and stated after his second win "I don't know what it is about this tournament or golf in the Fall, I guess knowing that Q-school is on the horizon just makes me more relaxed...it's a good trend - I like it!" With an attitude like that have 1/4 pt ew at 80/1 but make sure you get five places - those offering four should be ashamed in a very competitive sixty runner field.
October 24th 09.20
Sergio Garcia is a worthy and obvious favourite for this weeks Andalucia Masters from the Valderrama course. He was imperious last week in winning by eleven clear shots but that was on his home course - this weeks venue will be a sterner test and whilst he has good course form he hasn’t won here and I am quite happy to take him on.
There is one Danish player who stands head and shoulders above all other players in the last three events staged here and it isn’t three time winner this season Thomas Bjorn - step forward Soren Kjeldsen. He has been 2nd 1st and 2nd here in his last three starts so why on earth is he 66/1 and why is he worth backing? Firstly he hasn’t really had a great season - since his 2nd in the China Open in April he has gone really off the boil, but to be honest he wasn’t much better before last years event so I wouldn’t let that put me off. The key to Kjeldsen can be found in what he says on his blog - he admits his driving has been poor but that finally something clicked last week.On Friday he wrote "I played really good but the putts wouldnt drop. I am so proud to say my patience was remarkable and in the end it all went my way birdieing 3 of the last 4 holes for a brilliant 67......I am soooo happy to be working this weekend..." on Saturday he added "Great feeling to be playing on a weekend again. I played really good today and shot 68, 3 under. I drove the ball nicely and hit a lot of crisp iron shots. My putting was a little hot and cold as it has been all week but I made 6 birdies so obviously I made a few." He has clearly found the solution to his errant driving - now he needs the putts to drop and at Valderrama he always putts well - in the top ten for putts per round in his last four visits. It is also worth noting it isn’t just Valderrama he is fond of as in 2009 and 2010 he was 1st and 6th at the Andalucian Open at nearby Seville and Malaga. There is obviously something in the air in this neck of the woods that brings out the best in Kjeldsen and if he had shown any more obvious sign of form he would be 25/1 this week so at 66/1 is well worth a decent bet.
I
hinted yesterday that the young South Africans are continuing to play well in Spain and I will follow Thomas Aiken this week who has been 1st, 9th, 5th and 5th in his four starts there this year. Valderrama is a course that takes some getting used to and Aiken played well here last year when not in quite such good form to finish 18th. He closed with an excellent 63 on Sunday and can carry that momentum forward this week. His price is reflective of all this but I really cannot leave him out of the staking plan this week.
There is one bigger priced player who I want onside this week but he really struggles to close the deal - so much so that he has never won a four round European tour event. Anthony Wall will probably claim his best ever finish came here in the Volvo Masters in 2008 when 2nd and he has also been 10th and 12th in Sotogrande so he can clearly play the course. He relies on his good ball striking to carry him to success and that has been really solid over the last few weeks but I just cannot see him being worth backing at less than three figures outright but there is a market in which is worth backing and that is top English player. In the last three starts here he has been tied 1st, 1st and 4th so with no Westwood, Dyson or Poulter playing look to back him at 12/1 with four places on offer.
Soren Kjeldsen 3/4 point e/w 66/1 generally
Thomas Aiken ¼ pt ew 33/1 generally
Anthony Wall top English player ½ pt ew 12/1 Victor Chandler
October 23rd 22.44
In Spain Garcia absolutely romped to victory winning by no less than eleven strokes on his home course - his first win in three years and seventy starts but at the end of the day the question remains was he value at under 10/1 with that record in recent years? It was interesting to see two South Africans continue their run of form on Spanish soil with Aiken 5th and Coetzee 6th - something to look out for next week or next year once the tour hits Spain again. Of our picks Havret faired the best finishing a never closer 11th and maintaining his current good run of form but not good enough to bring us a return.
If we thought Garcia found his winning form from nowhere then maybe he inspired Luke Donald on the PGA tour. No matter what Webb Simpson did Luke needed to finish 1st or 2nd to win the PGA tour money list and with an amazing run of birdies on the back nine on Sunday that’s exactly what he did - notch his first win on the PGA tour since March 2006! and bag the money list to boot. The least said about my picks the better - I cannot deny the end to the season has been nowhere near as good as the start.
Next week we have three limited field events - firstly in Europe the Andalucia Masters from the fantastic Valderrama course. Whilst the PGA tour has finished for the season but there is a 48 runner field in a co-sanctioned event with the Asian tour from Malaysia the CIMB Asia Pacific Classic. There is also the final event on the Nationwide Tour- the Tour Championship which traditionally a few more bookmakers price up.
October 22nd 20.06
Garcia is walking away with it in Spain but there are plenty of books up betting without him and I think the ones offering 4 places are being a bit generous with a few players. I couldn't put anyone off Havret at 100/1 sitting on -6 but we are already on him but Lorenzo Gagli on the same score really shouldn't be 80/1 with 4 places being played. He is without the pressure of winning as he simply can't but he has to be worth a 1/4 pt e/w.
October 20th 09.32
A couple of quick bets for the Nationwide Tour - Jacksonville Open. There is only one year of course form and last year it proved to be a tough test - knocking it in the fairway is paramount. First pick is Florida based Scot Russel Knox who is one of the straightest there is and has already won this season and already has his card secured 1/2 pt ew 66/1. Next up is amother man who has won this season but isn't quite so sure of his card. Daniel Chopra is running into form again and should feel at home playing near to his adopted home. He won on the main PGA tour in Florida in October 2008 and says he loves playing in the state 1/2 pt ew 80/1

October 18th 17.15
The European Tour moves back to Spain for leg three of the Iberian swing and we visit the Club de Campo del Mediterraneo for the Castello Masters. This is the fourth time the event has been staged here on the home course of Sergio Garcia. Unsurprisingly he starts favourite as he won the first of these and was 4th in 2009. However last year he missed the cut and is now without a win in seventy starts in three years - would you take less than 10/1 that he prevails this week?
I will stick with Gregory Havret this week after his tied 3rd last week as he seems to thrive when he hits form and both his wins in Scotland came on the back of a gradual resurgence in form. He had worked hard on his game and with his mental coach before last week and also played with the aid of a new driver. I think his poor round on Saturday was due to the duff shot he hit to the 18th on Friday which led to a bogey although having said that it allowed him to play without pressure on Sunday. The odds are nowhere near as good as last week but this is a weaker field and I can see another top finish on the cards.
My line-up for this week simply has to include an Englishman with their impressive run of form at the moment and this week I have selected Mark Foster. A bit like Gainey in the States Foster is having a great season on tour with four top four finishes from just nineteen events. He decided to make a change this season and play far fewer events and concentrate on those where he felt he had the chance of performing best on courses that suited his game - it has certainly paid dividends. Normally he is a very good ball striker who struggles to putt but this year some weeks he has found an improved putting stroke. His course form is mediocre but he did lead the ball striking category here last year (was last for putting!) but overall he does feel at home in Spain with three top four finishes in recent years and it really is time he added to his lone victory on tour.
Of the home contingent I will give Jose Manuel Lara a squeak although he is notoriously difficult to get right. His win last season in Austria came the week after he found some form from nowhere and promptly disappeared off the radar again. This year he has a best of 3rd in Sicily and 6th in the KLM Open. He caught my eye last week despite being only 38th in Portugal as in four previous attempts at Oceanico he had failed to progress to the weekend. Garcia is not the only player sleeping in his own bed this week as Lara hails from Valencia and has improved with every start here.
Swedes have a good record in this and I was tempted by Christian Nilsson who has been 2nd and 3rd here and showed good form last week but he really should have done better on the back nine on Sunday and at 40/1 he is plenty short enough. Instead I will go for 2009 champion Michael Jonzon at a big price. Like Lara he made the cut in Portugal for the first time as all his previous form there had been woeful. Before that his 10th in the KLM was his best ever in eight attempts and his 35th at Crans his best in eleven. Coming to the scene of one of his two tour victories could well spur him on to greater things this week.
Gregory Havret ½ pt ew 55/1 Paddy Power
Mark Foster ¼ pt ew 66/1 Skybet, Sportingbet, Stan James
Jose Manuel Lara ¼ pt ew 100/1 Sportingbet, Stan James
Michael Jonzon ¼ pt ew 150/1 Bet365, Stan James

October 18th 14.06
It is the final event of the PGA tour proper and the rather long winded Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Classic brings things to a close. Usually this event is all about players fighting for their playing rights for next year but this year there is the added twist of the fight for the money list which has come down to a duel between Webb Simpson and Luke Donald. They are justifiably one and two in the betting but with the added pressure I couldn’t recommend anyone to bet them. To start us off Stephen Ames simply has to be a pick as two time champion in 2007 and 2009. He was unable to defend last year due to an injury but it would come as no surprise to me to see him pick up win number three in his favoured state of Florida. It hasn’t been the greatest of seasons for the veteran although he did manage a 3rd in Puerto Rico in March. His poor results have largely been due to a cold putter and a poor scrambling game but that has improved in recent weeks. Three weeks ago at the Justin Timberlake he led the putting stats for the week and he was 8th in the putts per round category last week and was 2nd for scrambling. I was rather astonished to see Stan James open at 100/1 which was quickly snapped up but at 66/1 he is still worth an investment.
Next up is a player who is having a stellar season on the PGA tour Tommy Gainey who has no fewer than five top five finishes in 33 starts. This is largely a continuation of his Nationwide form last season when he had two wins and three other top fives. He has the ability to play well from seemingly out of the blue so the last two missed cuts don’t put me off. Tommy “Two gloves” shot to fame here in 2008 when from nowhere he nearly won going down by a single shot to Davis Love III and was four shots clear of those in third. This is the first time he has returned and it would be a fitting venue for his debut victory. The place part of the bet is very good value at 20/1 when you consider his top five strike rate and he has the added incentive that a top five finish this week would probably get him in the top thirty on the money list and into all four of next seasons Majors.
Last up is a man who seems to like Florida in October - David Mathis. Last year he won the Jacksonville Open on the Nationwide tour which secured his card for the main tour and in 2007 he was 2nd in the Miccusukee Open which maintained his playing rights for the 2008 season on that tour. This year he has sewn up his card largely due to back to back 15th placed finishes the last two weeks. Playing in relaxed mode in the State that has brought him most success he could be a surprise package.
Stephen Ames ½ pt ew 66/1 Betfred, Tote
Tommy Gainey ½ pt ew 80/1 Betfred, Tote, Victor Chandler
David Mathis 1/5 pt win 150/1, 1/5 pt place 30/1 Unibet

October 17th 09.20
Well I got it right in one respect in Portugal last week - look out for English golfers but I must admit I didn’t expect twenty year old Tom Lewis to win at his third attempt since turning professional. He came from behind on Sunday and whilst he was making birdies on the back nine the more experienced leaders were making pars and bogeys allowing him to win by two strokes with very little pressure applied. With all the leaders faltering it also gave an outside chance to pick Gregory Havret who sat in the clubhouse on eighteen under having posted a joint best of the day 64 and in the end this was good enough for tied third for the 175/1 shot.
In the US Webb Simpson could have put the money list title out of reach of Luke Donald but instead lost in a playoff to Ben Crane. In a tight finish three players traded at long odds on before Crane prevailed as he shot a seven under par score like Lewis to come from behind. Even half way through the final round Crane was trading at 200/1 but seven birdies in nine holes changed all that.
This week the European tour stays on the Iberian peninsula with the Castello Masters from Spain whilst the PGA tour comes to a close for 2011 with the Childrens Miracle Network Hospitals Classic from the Magnolia and Palm courses Lake Buena Vista Florida.
October 13th 10.00
Lost time the last two days with internet off so a quick post - a couple of 1/5 pt e/w bets on the Miccosukee Championship - talented amateur Emiliano Grillo 150/1 and John Kimbell on one his favourite courses 125/1 - 1/5 pt e/w on each

October 11th 14.33
When arriving at selections in golf betting there are a large number of criteria to be taken into consideration and this week one player at the McGladrey Classic ticks more or less every box for me. In the inaugural event last year Georgia resident Heath Slocum beat Bill Haas by a single stroke and this year my headline pick is another Georgia resident - indeed a Sea Island resident - Chris Kirk. The tour rookie is having a fantastic first season - he won at Annandale in July after showing initial promise when 7th in the Bob Hope, 2nd in the Houston Open and 8th at Aronimink. Interestingly his win at Annandale came on a course he played first on a sponsors invite in 2007 when he first turned pro - he was given an invite to this event last year as a local resident and played well to finish 15th with all rounds in the 60’s. I try to link players, this weeks course form and other course form together and both last years first and second Slocum and Haas have fantastic records at Annandale, also Slocum has won at Fox Den where Kirk won last season ( he was also 2nd in 2008). As you can see he has so many positives but the icing on the cake for me is that he is well rested having spent the last month at home at Sea Island and has had some great family news - he announced this weekend he is to become a father for the first time to a boy in the Spring.
This sort of course - a short par 70 on the coast with Bermuda greens is right up the street for Jerry Kelly. He is striking the ball really well - in his last six starts he has been in the top eight for driving accuracy every time. His 33rd here last season doesn’t look exceptional but he seemed to take a round to get to grips with the course but a superb 63 in round two propelled him inside the cut line. He is in better form this time round and there is certainly good value in the place part - especially if you take the 66/1 with 6 places at Ladbrokes..
Last up is Hunter Haas who has yet to win on the main tour in over ninety attempts but is enjoying his best season in the big league with a 3rd at the Trump International on the coast in Puerto Rico and 4th at Annandale his best results. He is a four time winner on the Nationwide Tour and two of those came at Fox Den. His stats over the past three months look really solid - he has topped the ball striking stats in that period thanks to being 18th for accuracy and 4th in GIR - but he can also get it out there over 300 yards on average. His tour card for next year is secured so he can play in relaxed mode and could well be the next surprise winner.
Chris Kirk 1 point e/w 66/1 Ladbrokes (6 places)
Jerry Kelly ¼ pt ew 66/1 Ladbrokes (6 places)
Hunter Haas ¼ pt ew 110/1 Skybet

October 11th 10.04
The Portugal Masters is stage two of the Iberian swing and takes place for the fifth year running from the Arnold Palmer Oceanico Victoria course. With the plethora of recent English winners and rookie winners on both tours that’s where I first looked this week as themes can often be a good way of sourcing winners. The obvious one that jumped out from the field list was Oliver Wilson - a serial runner-up as he has filled that position nine times on the main tour and for good measure once on the Challenge Tour. Even by his standards he has had a poor year but states his game is just coming around and in his last two starts he has really found his putting stroke. He has been in contention here for the last two seasons lying 5th and 2nd with a round to go but closing rounds of 73 dropped him down the field both times. He has not taken the most direct route to Portugal from Spain as he played in the a Corporate event in Switzerland on Monday which tempers my enthusiasm a little but if he is ever going to break his duck then this week could be it - his form is coming round, he is on a course he can play well and will be really inspired by recent winners.
Gregory Havret is a seasoned winner but I like him this week due to his ability to play Arnold Palmer courses well - he was 3rd at DLF earlier this year, 3rd and 7th at Tolcinasco (where Webster - past winner of Oceanico has also won) and has also been 3rd at the K Club. He played well at the beginning of the year as well as the 3rd in India he was 7th in China and 5th in Spain. Since then he has struggled a bit especially after his summer break but he comes here off the back of his best ever performance in the Alfred Dunhill Links. He was 22nd here last year when 4th for ball striking on the week and at 175/1 I just think he is a big price.
Whilst I am not a great believer in backing short priced selections in outright golf tournaments I feel I cannot leave Fernando Gonzalez-Castano out of the staking plan this week. He has gradually got his form back having returned from injury and was 6th last week despite having the pressure of hosting the event. He was 2nd here on his only start last season and has won at Tolcinasco. He has also been 2nd and 5th in the Estoril Open in 2008/09 so clearly likes Portugal - a small win only bet is recommended.
Last selection is home player Ricardo Santos who plays out of Oceanico Victoria and held the course record here before the European tour arrived. He is enjoying his best ever season since turning pro and currently stands 3rd on the Challenge Tour rankings after securing his first win in July. Strangely his best finishes before this season on the lower tour were at the Oceanico sponsored event at Worsley Park where he was 4th twice! He missed the first three cuts at the Portugal Masters but last year was 6th heading into Sunday and this year was 10th on “home soil” in Madeira - he really could be a surprise package.
Oliver Wilson ¼ pt ew 80/1 gernerally
Gregory Havret ¼ pt ew 175/1 Stan James
Fernando Gonzalez-Castano ¼ pt win 35/1 Tote, Betfred
Ricardo Santos 1/10 pt win 300/1 1/5 pt top 5 60/1 Unibet

October 9th 14.15
It's been a poor week on the golf with no-one close - teachers report - "F" must do better! Knowin my luck Jim Renner will place tonight having backed him a few times of late. Next week we have the Portugal Masters in Europe and the McGladrey Classic from Sea Island Georgia.
On another note it was good to see Chrissie Wellington become world champion again in Hawaii last night - she really is one of Britains greatest female athletes and deserves far more recognition than she gets.
October 6th 11.48
With Cavendish becoming world champion another dimension has been added to the SPOTY market and apart from something happening in the rugby world cup the field seems set - or is it? The one thing that is bugging me is the lack of a female contender - at the moment it doesn’t even look like one will be nominated but that still could change.
Looking at the past 6 years shows that there is always at least one woman nominated and most years at least one podium
2010
Ennis was Euro Champ and got SPOTY 3rd
Amy Williams won Winter Olympic gold
2009
Ennis was World Champ and got SPOTY 3rd
Beth Tweddle World Champ
2008
Adlington double Olympic gold and got SPOTY 3rd
Also nominated Ohurugu, Cooke and Romero
2007
Radcliffe and Ohurugu nominated
2006
Zara Philips World champion WON SPOTY
Beth Tweddle World and Euro champ got SPOTY 3rd
2005
Not sure who else was nominated but McArthur was 2nd SPOTY
In the five years previous to these women won twice and had at least one podium every year. From very few nominations women often outperform their male counterparts - this could be simply down to the demographic of women voting more than men in these sorts of contests.
Anyway - in the next few weeks we could possibly get two new world champions. Firstly there is triathlete Chrissie Wellington but try as I might I find it difficult to see her getting nominated let alone attracting many votes. Secondly we have Beth Tweddle who competes in the World Champs which start this week in Japan. This year she is going for gold in both the Floor and Uneven Bars - a single gold will at least get her nominated and attract the female vote as the only female candidate - double gold will make her a serious contender.
October 5th 20.18
A quick explanation on the picks for the small tours - firstly the Korean Opne - Han was 6th at Woo Jeon Hills last year when still an amateur. He turned pro this year and won the OneAsia Q school., he has since managed a 5th and 6th on this tour and with home advantage there is plenty of mileage in the place part.
The Nationwide tour comes from the Black Creek course in Tennessee - the ninth time this venue has been used on the tour and interestingly every single winner has made this their first win on tour. Scott Brown has been having a great 2011 and already has his card sewn up for next year thanks to a 2nd place finish and three 3rds. Black Creek was the scene of his first ever start on tour back in 2006 when he Monday qualified as an amateur so he has fond memories of the event. Luke List is the local guy this week and will have plenty of support and has been getting close to his debut win all season.
Mark Brooks returns to the Woodlands course with fond memories - he has won and been 5th here on the PGA tour. In just fifteen starts on the Champions tour this season he has a 2nd and a 5th - the latter being at Pebble Beach where he has twice won the Callaway Invitational so his course experience could well boost him to a top finish.
October 5th 18.46
A quick posting with bets for the small tours - will put more flesh on the bones and update the results page later - been very busy researching!
Nationwide Tour - Childrens Hospital Classic
Scott Brown 1/2 pt ew 90/1 (80/1 fine)
Luke List 1/5 pt ew 66/1
OneAsia Tour - Korean Open
Chang-Won Han 1/5 pt ew 80/1
Champions Tour - Insperity Championship
Mark Brooks 1/5 pt ew 125/1

October 4th 18.18
The PGA Tour stays on the west coast for the second of the Fall Finish events from the CordeValle course in California. Last year veteran Rocco Mediate kept holing out from the fairway to win the inaugural event at this course and it is veterans who catch my attention first. David Duval is a shadow of the golfer who hit the heights a decade or more ago but once in a while he shows he still can compete and it usually happens in the state of California. His best result this year came at the Riviera Club when 9th and last year he was 6th here and 2nd at Pebble Beach. Apart from those top finishes good results are hard to find but he was 2nd in the US Open two years ago - the same result Mediate had before winning here last season. Last week he scrambled and putted well en route to his 23rd but he would have finished much higher but for a double bogey at his final hole and he was clearly at home at CordeValle last year as he led the all round stats for the week.
Second veteran is Paul Goydos who finished 3rd last week and over the years has a habit of playing well in short bursts - he has on multiple occasions had back to back top ten finishes. Last year he shot an opening round 65 here to lie 2nd before fading to 27th but he was in poorer form twelve months ago. Like Duval, Goydos doesn’t have a large number of wins in recent years so I will stick with the minimum stake each way - the place parts of this weeks bets are all attractive due to the large chunk taken out of the market by Tiger Woods.
My main selection of the week is Kevin Chappell who I went for last year at 250/1 - then he was a Nationwide tour player and acquitted himself well to finish 24th when seemingly out of form. He is now a fully fledged PGA tour player and has had an impressive rookie year on tour finishing 3rd at the US Open and runner-up at the Texas Open. His win on the Nationwide Tour came in his home state of California and he has played CordeValle numerous times whilst at college with a best finish of 4th - I really can’t understand why he is a three figure price.
Having mentioned the collegiate event played here every year since 2005 I really can’t finish without putting a case forward for Patrick Cantlay who won that event here last year. He really has impressed in his four starts including a 21st at the US Open and a course record 60 at River Highlands but I am struggling to see him as a bet at 33/1. However at 50/1 I think he is worth a small win only bet - call it a bit of insurance!
David Duval ¼ pt ew 100/1
Paul Goydos ¼ pt ew 70/1
Kevin Chappell ½ pt ew 125/1
Patrick Cantlay ¼ pt win 50/1
Best prices here

October 4th 12.53
The European tour pitches up in Spain this week for the Bankia Madrid Masters in what will be the first of four events on the Iberian Peninsula - hopefully it will bring some stability to a tour that chops and changes throughout the year. Sadly this week sees yet another new venue being used with the Robert von Hagge El Encin course but there is an interesting theme developing over recent years which leads me to my first pick and indirectly my second. Spain and in particular Madrid has been very kind to young South African players of late especially seeking their first win on the European mainland. In 2004 Richard Sterne won the Madrid Open, 2007 Charl Schwartzel won the Spanish Open - he also won the Madrid Masters a year later, last year Louis Oosthuizen won the Andalucian Open and this year we have already seen Thomas Aiken land the Spanish Open. I had two to choose from - George Coetzee or Jaco van Zyl - and I have stuck with the latter who played better last week in Scotland when 9th and who just seems the more consistent player. The price of 28/1 does seem a bit on the skinny side but this really is a very poor field when you take out the favourite Donald
The young South African stars of today weren’t the first to taste success in Spain - going back to 1999 Hennie Otto won his first event outside his homeland on the Challenge Tour. He nearly added to that victory when 3rd in the Spanish Open in 2005 and earlier this year was 8th in the Andalucian Open - he clearly likes the Spanish air. His form has been steady this year with another top ten at Le Golf National (another von Hagge design) and he was 29th at Firestone where he was paired with Woods in the final round and beat him. Last week he won at home in South Africa so his game is in fine shape so at 150/1 he is good value but I will add a bit on the top ten price as well.
Final pick goes to Steve Webster who reserves his best golf for the Iberian peninsula, indeed he has been 2nd and 8th in the Madrid Open before - the latter of those performances on the von Hagge La Moraleja course. He has also won and been 3rd in the Portugal Masters in the month of October. In the KLM and Austrian Opens recently he struck the ball better than anyone else in the field and last week his putting improved. If he can put the two together this week he should be challenging for the title.
Jaco van Zyl ½ pt ew 28/1
Hennie Otto ¼ pt ew 150/ + ¼ pt top ten 14/1
Steve Webster ¼ pt ew 70/1
Best prices available here
October 2nd 21.13
All I can say about this week is - wasn't the weather lovely - summer finally arrived in Devon and I made the most of it with the family - it seems to have been crap ever since coming back from Corfu in June! As for the golf - the less said the better - from so many promising positions absolutely nothing has materialised. Next week we have the Bankia Madrid Masters from yet another new course in Spain and the Frys.com
September 28th 20.52
Bit short on time today - so a short post on two bets for the Nationwide WNB Classic - firstly Darron Stiles - bit of a no brainer really - has played here three times and been 4/3/5 and has just shown a bit of form of late - 1/2 pt ew 40/1.
Australians have a wonderful record in this event and there is an interesting parallel which leads to my second bet. In 2008 Leishman won the Victorian PGA at Sandhurst and went on to win the WNB. Last year Presnell won that event and finished 2nd here. This year James Nitties won at Sandhurst and has already won on tour this season. This is a home game for him as he now resides in Texas and at 80/1 is also well worth 1/2 pt ew.

September 27th 15.24
The Summerlin course in Las Vegas has played a part in the PGA tour schedule for many years in different guises. Originally this event was a five round pro-am, this was cut to four rounds in 2004 and played at two courses until 2008 when Summerlin became the only course used. For the past three years it has been a straight four round event on the one course and now goes by the rather long winded title of Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospital for Children Open! One thing to note - the first five winners once it became a four round event had never even played Summerlin before whilst Laird and Byrd (the last two winners) had poor records - so course form does not seem to be a prerequisite for success. I have tackled the event from many different angles and ended up with four picks plus a small round one leader bet.
Cameron Tringale is having a great second season on tour with a pair of top five finishes and a couple of top tens mainly on courses where he had learnt a few lessons having played them last year. One of his best finishes in his rookie season came at Summerlin where he led after round one and went on to finish 11th - expect him to build on that this year.
Cameron Beckman is a three time winner on tour in smaller events and twice at this time of the year but he is very difficult to catch right. He was 6th here last season adding to his 3rd in 2007 and at 150/1 is well worth a small investment.
Billy Horschel must look at what his fellow 2007 Walker Cup winners have achieved (Webb Simpson and Dustin Johnson among them) of late and wonder why his career hasn’t taken off in the same manner. He has been sidelined for long periods with a wrist injury He has started making cuts of late - 10th in Reno being his best finish and will be boosted by his 6th on the Nationwide tour two weeks ago. He has been in Las Vegas for the past week playing Summerlin and other courses in the area so should be well acclimatised.
Final outright pick is a bit of a hunch - there seems to be a link between players doing well at Summerlin, Montreux and Annandale although I am not entirely sure why! Hence I will go for Jim Renner who has been 4th and 5th at those two venues in recent months. He says he has been inspired by Keegan Bradley who comes from the same area as him and he will need a Bradley like performance to keep his card for next year.
Last bet is for round one only on local guy Andres Gonzales who gets invited to play Summerlin every year. He found some form last week when shooting a final round 64 on the Nationwide Tour but then lost in the playoff. If he can pick up where he left off he could repeat the round one leadership position he achieved in Mayakoba earlier this season.
Cameron Tringale ½ pt ew 66/1 Tote, Betfred, Vistor Chandler
Cameron Beckman 1/5 pt ew 150/1 most books
Billy Horschel 1/5 pt ew 150/1 Ladbrokes or better still 200/50 Unibet
Jim Renner 1/5 pt ew 250/1 Tote, Betfred, William Hill, Ladbrokes
Andres Gonzales First rd Leader 1/10 pt ew 175/1 Boyles

September 27th 09.12
For my first tip for the Dunhill Links I am going to travel back in time four years. A young player from Northern Ireland had played in a few events as an amateur and in 2006/07 he made the cut at the second attempt at the Australian Open and the Dubai Desert Classic. He then surprised the world by tying for 3rd after the first round of the Open before fading to 42nd. After playing in the Walker Cup he turned pro finishing 42nd on his debut at the British Masters before turning up for the Dunhill Links (having plenty of links experience as an amateur) and finishing 3rd. Move forward four years and a young British golfer finished 12th in the Australian Open (just after losing in a playoff in the NSW Open). He then made the cut in Dubai and stunned the world by leading after round one of the Open before finishing 30th. He played for the successful Walker Cup team before turning pro and on his debut despite struggling in round one went on to finish a very creditable 10th in Austria. Spot the similarity?! Tom Lewis has the advantage that he maybe is a better links player than Rory having won the Boys Amateur at Royal St Georges, and this year won the St Andrews Links Trophy at the Old Course. It really is a big ask in a top field but he seems to have a sensible head on his shoulders and is definitely up for it.
Home grown talent has performed the best in this event over ten years it has been going providing eight of the ten winners and I will return to the home players for the third and fourth picks but before those I will go for South African Jaco Van Zyl. He is a standing dish on the Sunshine Tour especially in pro-am events - indeed two weeks ago he won the Telkom PGA pro-am for the third year in a row by six shots. This year he has brought that form to the European tour with a 2nd at the Hassan Trophy (another multi course event) and three weeks ago he was 3rd in a top field at the European Masters. This is the first event on this tour he has ever played before - in 2005 he missed the cut but at least he has some course experience. I was a bit worried about the weather as he admits he hates playing in cold conditions but this week it looks like the Caribbean will be coming to Scotland so there will be no fears there.
I try to avoid obvious picks when I can as they are rarely decent prices but I will take a risk with Paul Lawrie this week even though the weather is set fair. Apart from his win here in 2001 he was 4th in 2007 plus of course he has fond memories of Carnoustie. He has actually been having one of his best seasons for a long time finishing 1/5/5 in Spain earlier in the season. He hinted at a return to form last time out in Holland when 16th but might well be trying the long putter this week - it doesn’t seem to have done a lot of other golfers much harm of late.
Last man up is John Parry who I have backed a few times of late only to see him play poorly. He has complained that the greens he has been playing have been poor even though other players have gone well - I guess it all depends on what you are used to. Last year he turned his career around at this time of the year when winning in the multi course Vivendi Cup before finishing 3rd here. He says he feels quite happy on links courses having played them many times in his amateur days which weren’t that long ago. At the price I am happy to take the chance the young Englishman will show a return to form.
Tom Lewis ½ pt ew 110/1 Bet365 6 places (100/1 Ladbrokes)
Jaco Van Zyl ½ pt ew 110/1 Bet365 6 places
Paul Lawrie ¼ pt ew 100/1 Ladbrokes 6 places
John Parry ¼ pt ew 140/1 Bet365 6 places

September 25th 21.36
It's been an interesting weekend - firstly with Football Betting Index where Steve had a great day in the Scottish FA Cup which you can read on the FBI Blog
Sadly Dan couldn't pull out the cycling winner but it was good to read a detailed betting analysis of another sport and if you ever write something like that yourself just get in touch.
In the golf Coles was matched yesterday at 3.35 and was comfortably in the top five with three holes to play today - as I hinted the other day he wobbled badly and finished tied 10th! Wiesberger holed a fifteen footer for par at the last and it seemed to no avail but then they corrected the scorecard of Dubuisson and our man got a tie for 5th!
September 23rd 12.12
Something new for today - we have a guest writer called Dan who specialises in betting on Cycling. Below you will find an in depth analysis of this Sundays World Championship road race from Copenhagen with some betting recommendations
The riders will do 17 laps of a 14 km course plus the 28 km start from the Copenhagen City Hall, and the route will have it's fair share of hills, with the riders climbing 105 metres in altitude on each lap, the highest climb being 59 meters above sea level, and the lowest at 17 metres above sea level. It is a course which upon study hasn't been designed with sprinters in mind as a tricky right-hander sets up a long run-in to a punchy finish, which may prove to be too much for the sprinters after a battle of attrition over 266 kilometres. This is supported by Holland's coach, Leon van Vliet, who didn't select top sprinter Theo Bos, but instead chose mostly all-rounders and climbers. The Worlds courses are about repetition and attrition, and the likely outcome is that the peloton will be gradually thinned-down to some 30 riders by the final few laps - as the Australian team will look to control the pace of the race early on. It is a hillier course than Zolder, which in 2002 was seen as the last true course suited for sprinters (which a proven sprinter did win with Mario Cipollini), and the incline to the finish on Geels Bakke, or simply Geels Hill on Kongevejen, looks slightly too long of a climb for a sprinter such as the Manx Missile, and the course just may be too demanding and too aggressive overall.
Phillipe Gilbert of Belgium is the favourite and there's many reasons for this, having had an amazing year. Firstly, he is a specialist of this type of circuit-type course, and this year has won the first stage of the Tour de France and fought hard in some of the latter stages whilst also being the winner of three classics prior: the Amstel Gold, Fleche Wallonne and Liege-Bastogne-Liege. But that's not all, over the 16 lap 201 km Quebec Grand Prix (World Tour race) he negotiated a tricky uphill finish to win, and also secure his place as the leader of the World Tour standings, even though he only needed to finish fourth or fifth to gain the six points necessary. He is also consistent, but would prefer a climb to come earlier in the finish to set-up his win. He had this in Geelong - Australia at last years Champs, but unfavourable wind for a solo breakaway scuppered his chances and he faded to finish in 18th place.
Gilbert's team-mate in Geelong was a rider by the name of Greg Van Avermaet, who finished 5th after riding a more conservative race, and he will line-up for Belgium this year, also. Whilst he hasn't had the impressive results of Gilbert so far in his career, he is a slightly younger version of him, and this year he regained Belgium's dominance in the Tour de Wallonie, a multi-day outside of category event in Belgium. He was also second overall in the Tour of Belgium and acquitted himself well at the more recent Tour of Spain. @ 100/1 he will give himself every chance to win, should other riders be concentrating on heavily marking Gilbert, and is deserving of an e/w bet only as he may be working for Gilbert.
Whilst rain is not forecast, this is Copenhagen and it would serve us well to factor in the chance of rain arriving, along with some wind. If there's wind on the finish a breakaway rider will be disadvantaged, however wind and rain will hold no fear for expert cyclo-cross rider and tough-as-nails Dutchman, Lars Boom, who is the most impressive in-form rider in the field, winning two stages of the recent Tour of Britain, before winning the race overall. He is impressively advantaged in this field by his capability of winning in either a breakaway or with the bunch, and will have his team-mate Poels to deflect some attention or offer assistance by closing down attacks. He will welcome difficult, inclement road conditions, and @ 150/1 he presents as a real tough contender or "bar-room brawler"-type, who should not be overlooked on a win basis. Top pick.
Since such events often throw-up surprises, it wouldn’t be a shock if either of these two were to be thereabouts on Sunday at big prices. Wouter Poels has a good dynamic kick for such a punchy finish although he may have more of a supportive role for his team-mate Boom, nevetheless if Boom is not feeling good then Poels has what it takes to win. Lastly British cyclist Daniel Martin, is another rider who would quietly welcome wind and rain, and who also is giving indication he is the "bar-room brawler" style rider. He won the Tour of Poland in 2010, and this year came runner-up before going to the Vuelta and winning a tough mountain-summit finish. He is a rider to be taken seriously, but would perhaps prefer a breakaway situation to develop for himself for him to have the best chance.

Greg Van Avermaet: 100/1 e/w Victor Chandler, Paddy Power
Lars Boom: 150/1 win only Sportingbet
Wouter Poels: 400/1 Victor Chandler
Daniel Martin: 500/1 Victor Chandler, Paddy Power, Bet365


September 21st 15.16
Plenty of interest for me in the Nationwide Tour Soboba Classic from California.
Tyrone van Aswegen - the South Africans best form seems to come in his adopted home state of California. Last year he won his stage 2 PGA tour qualifier in the state and the year before the Long Beach Open. Most importantly was his 3rd here on only visit in 2009. Appears to be running into a bit of form 1/4 pt e/w 80/1
Aaron Goldberg - Californian who won the Canadian Tour Order of Merit last year grabbing three victories. No obvious course form to speak of but has played Sobaba plenty of times in the Californian State Open - best finish 2nd 2008. Been in consistent form for several months 1/4 pt ew 80/1
Nate Smith - another Californian - having a poor year on the PGA tour - best result was at home at Pebble Beach. Drops down in grade returning to the course where was 5th last year the week after his victory, may inspire a change in form 1/5 pt ew 150/1.
Chris Baker - struck the ball beautifully last week on his way to 11th place - best since 4th in Mexico earlier in the season. Winner last year on the Tarheel tour and the Euro Challenge tour.He will need that sort of game this week and just seems a bit overpriced at 250/1 - 1/10 pt ew.
September 20th 16.43
The European Tour returns this week with a full field event for the Austrian Open and by even this tours standards it is a weak looking renewal. Padraig Harrington is favourite - odd when you consider the fact that apart from winning in Malaysia in October last year he hasn’t won since his PGA Championship victory in 2008 and even his coach said last month he is nowhere close to winning an event. Of the favourites veteran Miguel Angel Jimenez probably represents the best value but I have cast my eyes further down the list.
There are a whole host of future stars on parade with Lewis and Cutler making their pro debuts and Tommy Fleetwood switching ranks from the Challenge Tour but I am going for three players with much more experience of the main tour.
In the past the Austrian golf events have been kind to the home contingent with Markus Brier having three victories and Wiegele winning last year on the Challenge Tour and of the home entrants I like the look of Bernd Wiesberger. He lives not far from the course and the three time Austrian amateur champion has plenty of course experience. He has been a bit hit and miss of late - in his last three starts he has three missed cuts but has also been 4th in the Irish Open and 2nd in the Johnnie Walker. He had a great year on the Challenge Tour last year winning twice and one of those victories came on the Wantzenau course which was designed by Jeremy Penn who designed the Diamond Course used this week. Listening to his interviews he is really positive and at 66/1 is well worth ½ pt e/w.
Second of my three is veteran Robert Coles who also won twice on the lower tour - albeit a year before Wiesberger. He already has his tour card sewn up mainly due to his 2nd place finish in India in February which he really should have won. He has also had top ten finishes in the Scottish Open and BMW International in far better fields than this. Last year he was 41st at the Diamond course largely due to a poor putting week as he was 1st for ball striking. Like past Austrian Open winners Brier and Cabrera-Bello he has triumphed in the country before on the Challenge Tour as he won in 2003 so has fond memories of the country. If he gets into contention on Sunday don’t expect a clinical finish but at 80/1 try ¼ pt e/w.
Last up is one who is a bit from left field - Richard McEvoy who over the years has three top ten finishes in Austria from just seven starts. All season he has been close to having a strong finish which will secure his card and it could well come on a Jeremy Penn course where he has had success in the past twice being runner-up at Toya and Toulouse-Seih. It is a tall ask for the win so a small investment of 1/5 pt win at 125/1 and ½ pt on a top ten at 11/1.
Best prices here
September 19th 16.55
Finding bets, let alone the winner of the PGA Tour Championship is notoriously difficult as we are down to the best thirty players and the course form and current form is all mapped out and easy to see. This doesn’t mean there isn’t some value to be had and when you consider that with a 156 runner field you get five places with books and we got those same place terms with just seventy players last week then I think four places with thirty players allows us the opportunity to find an each way bet lower down the field.
It does make sense to look down the list when you consider Luke Donald is 7/1 favourite - he hasn’t actually won a stroke play event in the US since March 2006 - indeed he has only won two in 182 attempts and the other was a rain shortened event back in 2002. No doubt he will finish in the top five yet again but he is incredibly poor value for the win. Webb Simpson is probably feeling pretty jaded - it showed at the weekend at Cog Hill whilst Watney appears to be struggling with the death of his grandmother. Steve Stricker is struggling with a neck injury and who knows what sort of game Phil Mickelson will turn up with. I kept going down and down the list until I finally stopped at YE Yang. Here we have a player who has won a Major and a WGC title so can cope with the big nature of the event. He has struggled a bit with injuries this season but he has still managed a 3rd at the US Open and 2nd at the Honda Classic.
His recent form in the Playoffs is worth looking at more closely - he improved with every round when playing Plainfield for the first time 70/66/63 to finish 6th. He was 2nd after round one at the Deutsche Bank but faded to 42nd (still his best performance there) whilst last week his 12th place finish looks really good considering in two previous attempts he had been 65th and 63rd out of seventy. He has only played here once in 2009 when he was 18th but I can see him building on that especially as he has now played himself onto the Presidents Cup team. With so many question marks over the top players it makes sense to invest ½ pt e/w at 50/1.
Best prices here
September 19th 09.34
Justin Rose won his third PGA tour event at the BMW Championship at Cog Hill on Sunday adding to his two wins which came in quick succession last summer. Whilst he had a few wobbles coming home he held off the challenge of two Australians Senden and Ogilvy - the latter had to finish third to continue in the Fedex playoffs and that was exactly what he did.
Of our picks whilst Kelly finished the highest it was Mark Wilson who provided most of the interest. Exactly as he did two years ago he held the joint lead at the cut mark before fading over the weekend. On Friday night he stood over a three foot birdie putt to take a two stroke lead and traded at 11/4 on Betfair - he missed and that seemed to end his challenge. On Saturday he played pretty poorly and described his game as "I fought hard and played hard. It was one of those days where I was definitely the bug, and the first two days I was the windshield". Sadly when he came out on Sunday he was the bug again!
This week we have the thirty runner Tour Championship from East Lake whilst on the European Tour we return to the Diamond Golf Course for the second year for the Austrian Open. Come back later to read the previews.
September 15th 11.14
Hopefully some of you did get on Sam Walker with Sky as he has opened up with a solid four under and lies 2nd of the early tee times. I did have a quick look at the round one leader market for the BMW and thought Jonathon Byrd worthy of a 1/10 pt ew bet at 100/1 - in the first two play offs he has been 4th and 6th early doors and been 3rd. 3rd and 1st at Cog Hill before the revamp
September 14th 14.27
Two weeks ago I was kicking myself when Triplett won on the Nationwide Tour - he was in pretty good nick, was dropping down in grade and had course form to boot - at 50/1 I really should have bet him and I won't let him go without a few quid on this week. Killeen showed a few weeks ago it is possible to win on the Nationwide Tour back to back and Triplett could replicate that especially as he was 3rd at Hillcrest last year. The course in Boise Idaho is at altitude and Triplett has shown he can win in such circumstances as he won the Reno-Taho Open on the main tour. Another winner of that PGA event is Will Mackenzie and perhaps he likes this time of the year as both his wins have come in August/September. He hasn't been playing exceptionally well this season but he hasn't missed a cut since the first week of May - making four on the Nationwide Tour and six on the PGA tour. I really don't see why he should be so much bigger than other players taking the drop in grade so at 100/1 is well worth a nibble. Last up is Richard H Lee - a rookie on tour who is having a fairly good season. His form in recent weeks has been steadily progressive and he could improve on his 2nd place finish from earlier this year which was also at altitude on the El Bosque course.
September 14th 11.21
I was kinda hoping that one of the Aussie books might price up the event from Australia this week - but no such luck - the again I looked again this morning and realised they had already teed off!! Hats off to Skybet for pricing up so many events but it does seem rather pointless when the few people who probably want a bet can't - if you can Sam Walker is overpriced at 50/1 for this weeks Challenge Tour event from Russia. One of the tours I can bet in is the Nationwide and I have three picks - back with reasons later but for now
Kirk Triplett 0.5 pts ew 33/1
Will Mackenzie 0.25 pts ew 100/1
Richard H Lee 0.2 pts ew 200/1
September 12th 15.50
The PGA tour returns this week with the BMW Championship - the third of the Fedex playoffs from the Cog Hill course in Illinois. There is plenty of course form to look at as the Western Open was held at the course for many years and a reduced field event in the shape of the BMW since 2007 although it took a break the following year when the course was revamped. It is now a much tougher test of golf and whilst earlier course form cannot be ignored I don’t think it is of paramount importance.
If I was going to back one of the shorter priced players it would have to be Matt Kuchar who has been 3rd and 10th here the last two years and has fond memories of the course as he won the US Amateur here in 1997 but his inability to cross the finishing line makes him difficult to back at the 25/1 mark. Instead I will be going for four outsiders with three having a distinctively local feel - in the past “local players” Steve Stricker and Jerry Kelly both won the Western Open.
First up is Mark Wilson who lives thirty minutes from Cog Hill and regularly practices at the Dubsdread course when he is at home. He hasn’t fared particularly well here in the past but in 2009 (his last appearance) he was 10th having led at halfway. He won twice early this year - the Sony and Phoenix Opens and interestingly at the Phoenix he had also led the year before at half way before fading to 14th. Since those early performances this year he has largely resorted to type as a cut maker and money earner but with his good driving accuracy we could see him go well this week.
DA Points also won earlier this season and like Wilson has gone rather off the boil ever since but will be full of motivation playing at home “It’s my goal to get back to Cog Hill, I’ve always liked that golf course, and it’s always nice to play in front of family and friends.” The last time I read that he was that upbeat about playing in a certain event was the AT&T when he won. He did play really well a few weeks ago at the PGA Championship when 10th and as a multiple winner on the Nationwide Tour I think in time he will also become a multiple winner on the main tour - maybe starting this week.
Third man up is someone I mentioned earlier who has won here in the past - Jerry Kelly. Whilst he doesn’t hail from Illinois he is from Wisconsin which is not a million miles away. Back at the turn of the century Kelly was a standing dish around Cog Hill - from 2001 - 2003 he was 5th, 1st and 3rd - and although the course has been toughened that should stand him in good stead. He has played really well over the last month - mainly due to his accuracy - weirdly he has been 5th, 1st and 3rd for total accuracy in his last three starts which is a combination of driving accuracy and greens in regulation. The one thing holding him back is his putting but with minor improvement in that area he should be competing for the title on Sunday.
Last up is a player who has no local ties - Australian Marc Leishman - but he does seem to like Cog Hill. To some degree he was at an advantage when he played here first in 2009 - he had no prior knowledge of how the course used to play and the revamped course seemed to suit him as he was 2nd. He showed that was no fluke when 11th last year having shot a 65 in the second round. Most of his best performances have been on tough courses such as Torrey Pines, Bay Hill or Arnonimink which could well explain the reason he goes well here. Like he did back in 2009 - he needs a top finish to progress to the Tour Championships - that might be all the motivation he needs.
Mark Wilson 0.5 pts ew 125/1
DA Points 0.5 pts ew 250/1
Jerry Kelly 0.25 pts ew 100/1
Marc Leishman 0.2 pts ew 150/1
Best Prices here
September 12th 09.16
Close but no cigar with Horsey the 100/1 pick finishing in a tie for 6th last week - yet again the bigger priced picks fared much better than the shorter ones - becoming a worrying theme at the moment! This week we have no less than twelve events around the globe but as Skybet will be the only ones to have a crack at them I shan't even bother looking at the vast majority! The main event of the week is the BMW Championship from Cog Hill and I will be back later today with a full preview
September 10th 11.37
I have had a small play in running on the KLM Open - in any other sport Benjamin Hebert would be drugs tested as from nowhere in July he won on the Challenge tour - he then added a further two wins to gain "shotgun" promotion to the big league. On Thursday he was +3 through 3 but is now sitting on -3 with no bogeys in round 2 at 100/1 ew 1/4 4 he is worth a 1/5 pt ew bet to continue his phenomenal run
September 9th 14.02
I have had a few temporary blips with the site today but all should be fine now. They were caused by the launch of a new tool on SBI - a very useful Bet Settler. If you want to know how much your bets should return whether they be singles, doubles, trebles or yankees and more then look no furhter than here
Also I did lose the post about our full tipping results which are now fully up to date and show a profit of 60% ROI.
September 8th 12.26
I have been looking around for other blogs again but sadly most of the good ones tend to disappear as quickly as they start as people realise they are really difficult to keep going. I have found one though which I have been followin for some time now and if betting on the horses is your game this one is well worth a look www.wizardbet.blogspot.com
Nick has been going a long time and his bets are very profitable
September 7th 11.25
I have a couple of small bets for the LPGA this week in the NW Arkansas Championship which is an event I have unpleasant memories of. Some of you might remember four years ago I tipped up Stacy Lewis at around 200/1 - the event lasted only eighteen holes with Lewis atop the leaderboard - some bookies paid out - others didn't - sadly the ones I used didn't! Anyway this year I have looked at another sponsors invite - Emily Tubert who like Lewis is an Arkansas Razorback. She won the US Amateur Public links last year - just a small bet of 1/10 pt ew 500/1. The other bet is on Danielle Kang who turns pro this week after winning back to back US Amateur titles. She is jumping in at the deep end in a top event but stranger things have happened - 1/10 pt ew 300/1
September 6th 12.36
As I thought last night there seems to have been a wholesale gamble on the Spaniard Gonzo - mainly due to his obvious course form - winning here in 2005 and then 4th last year when they returned to Hilversumsche. His injuries are well documented and he has progressed nicely on his three starts back so far - glad I jumped on the 100/80 put up early on Betfair but was happy to recommend him last night at 50/1 e/w.
I will say he is not my main bet this week - that goes to another 50/1 shot who I think is really being overlooked this week - Open Champion Louis Oosthuizen. He has struggled for most of the year but I think a return to a course which will suit his game will pay dividends. Apart from his top ten in the US Open we have to go back to the early part of the year when he won at the East London course for any really good form - and a breezy coastal course will be exactly what he finds this week again. The young South African says he plays better in the wind (though not necessarily when combined with rain) and that will be exactly what awaits him in the Netherlands. His course form is really soild - in 2005 he finished 32nd and was 5th in the all round stats - that result came in the middle of a slump which saw him miss seven cuts. Then last year after a sluggish start he was t4th and 2nd in the all round stats - the course clearly suits his game. Arriving here on the back of his best ever round at Crans on Sunday I really do think the books have overlooked him - 3/4 pt e/w 50/1.
I have considered Luiten, Lynn and Larrazabal but my third pick goes to David Horsey who was tied 4th with Oosthuizen last year. He hasn't been in the best of form but he seems to pop up and win from nowhere as he has done twice in the last fifteen months. He was a top British amateur who honed his game on links courses around the UK so I guess it was no shock to see him do well here last season so is worth a small investment - 1/4 pt e/w 100/1
September 5th 21.15
Just a quick early bet for the KLM Open as the price is going fast - 1/2 pt ew 50/1 Gonzalo Fernandez Castano - back tomorrow with full preview.
August 31st 13.23
Last bet of the week for me comes in the Mylan Classic on the Nationwide Tour in the shape of Steve Wheatcroft. This is his local course - he grew up ten minutes down the road and worked here in his youth - no-one in the field knows Southpointe better than Wheatcroft. He came here last year determined to win and came very close as a poor back nine cost him and he finished 3rd. This year he comes into the event having finally won his first title breaking all scoring records in the process. He went off the boil a bit after that win but has come back to form the last month and this will be his best chance to nail his spot on the main tour for next season - 1/2 pt e/w 30/1 - best prices here

August 30th 18.16
On the European Tour I will be deploying a different betting tactic – I could back the top five players in the hope that I bag the winner – I would rather back five outsiders where if one places I return a profit – or much better with two in the top five or even the winner.
Argentinians have a pretty good record in this event – whether it is the presence of an Argentinian Steak House in Crans or whether it is the altitude and course conditions is open to debate but Romero has won the title twice and Gonzalez once so I will look towards Tano Goya to maintain the tradition. He is in solid form at the moment and seems to like tricky courses – his one win came in Madeira and he has a couple of decent finishes here. His price is probably about right but I believe he will win again soon and would hate to leave him off the staking plan!
Joel Sjoholm is a flashy player who seems to finally be finding the sort of form that took him right to the top of the world amateur game. He proved last season on the Challenge Tour that once he hit form he was a man worth following and finishes of 12th and 6th in his last two events means he can now be a bit more relaxed with his card secured.
John Parry is another player I can firmly put in the winner about to happen category as he is improving every time he is plays a course for the second time. He was 30th on his debut here last season and does seem to thrive playing on the near continent. Reading his blog he feels he is really close to putting all four rounds together and challenging for another win so at 100/1 I have to be involved this week.
Alex Noren won this event in 2009 and had previously won the Rolex Trophy on the Challenge Tour in Switzerland – I will go for another former Rolex winner in the shape of Marc Warren. The Scot can be a frustrating character but on his day is a top golfer. This was one of the first courses he ever played on the European Tour when still an amateur – a couple of weeks before he had played at Gleneagles. On his 7th attempt in 2007 he actually won the Johnnie Walker at Gleneagles – this will be his 7th attempt at Crans and he has twice been close before with a 4th and 9th. He has shown a small upturn in form of late which often happens with him in August and September and he certainly needs a good finish to get his card for 2012.
Last but not least is veteran Robert Coles who is enjoying his best ever season on the European Tour and has no card worries at all. This is due to winning big prizes with top ten finishes at the Scottish Open and the BMW International although the 2nd place in India in February sealed the deal. On that occasion he really did blow it on the 72nd hole and if he were to make amends it would probably be here where he has two of his best ever finishes - 5th last year and 3rd in 2004.
Tano Goya 1/4 pt e/w 80/1
Joel Sjoholm 1/4  pt e/w 100/1
John Parry 1/4  pt e/w 100/1
Marc Warren 1/5 pt e/w 200/1 (Unibet 1/5 5)
Robert Coles 1/5 pt e/w 150/1
Best prices here

August 30th 13.27
Some people were surprised last week when I picked out Vijay Singh as one to follow at 90/1 for the first of the Fedex Playoffs the Barclays but I felt fully justified when he finished tied 3rd. I think he is worth backing again despite his odds having been slashed to 35/1 as he is clearly now on a roll. Bookmakers have priced him up at that price because they struggle to have him shorter than the likes of Scott and Watney and in any other event that maybe the case but not this week. For a change we actually have some decent course form to look at and Vijay has it in spades at Boston where his finishes read 4/1/2/60/1/54/11. When you take into consideration he has not been playing at his peak for two years and seemingly struggles to defend titles then his course form is simply superb. He says he is playing without pain as witnessed by his 4th and 3rd placed finishes over the last few weeks and even with that awful stroke on the greens he managed to be 2nd for putting last week. It is time to give the bookmakers some pain by going in hard
Vijay Singh 1 ½ pts ew 35/1
My only other bet for this event is someone who is at the other end of the spectrum where current form is concerned Geoff Ogilvy who has missed his last two cuts. He has been dogged by injury all season – first off with his finger in Hawaii in a stupid accident and then with his shoulder in the Spring. However he has sprung to life twice this season - 4th at the Masters in April and then 4th again last month in Canada so he is hardly a spent force. Whilst his course form isn't quite as impressive as Vijays it is nonetheless top quality with four top seven finishes in just six starts. His 2nd place last season came on the back of two missed cuts so he clearly has an affinity for the place
Geoff Ogilvy ½ pt e/w 60/1
Best prices available here

August 30th 09.40
I have kept my eye on the World Athletics Championships but have found few punting opportunities - however I have been slowly backing Janeth Jepkosgei over the past week in the Womens 800m e/w at 10/1 and 12/1 and on Betfair. I now have a pretty good position on her and reckon she is a cracking e/w bet as she won this in 2007 and took silver in 2009 and the 2008 Olympics, and was also 2006 Commonwealth champion. She hasn't been in top form but is peaking at the right time - just what is needed for Major Championships as she has proven time and time again.
Back to the golf!!
August 29th 20.37
This week we have a couple of top quality events with he European Masters from Crans Sur Sierre and the Deutsche Bank from Boston - make note the PGA tour event doesn't start til Friday and finishes on Monday. I will be back tomorrow with a full betting preview of each - in the meantime a quick review of where we stand re profit - staked 56.1 points, profit 34.38 which is 61% ROI
August 28th 09.34
Very poor picks in the marathon for me but Vijay secured a nice win on the week by finishing tied 3rd in the rain shortened Barclays. I dislike having a Sunday with little interest in any golf so as the wind at Gleneagles is set to blow I have chucked a few pennies on Hansen, Sjoholm, Dubuisson, Tunnicliff and Canizares at silly odds
August 26th 17.37
Well better late than never for the Ladies Marathon as odds have been gradually appearing over course of the afternoon and I have had two bets. One thing I will say - only back at books offering the 3 places - those offering just 2 are a joke with such an open event.
Yoshimi Ozaki is number one on my list - she made her marathon debut in 2008 finishing 2nd in the Spring and then won the Tokyo marathon in the autumn. In 2009 her training was interrupted so she only ran the one marathon and was 2nd in the World Championships in Berlin. Last year was a poor year but this year she has won the Yokahama marathon in a course record time. Kiplagat is a solid favourite but Ozaki is well woth an e/e bet. I managed to get £50 e/w at 20/1 1/5 3 so shop around.
Second up for me is Irene Kosgei despite her being one of the slower runners in the field. The main thing is that she can win marathons in warm conditions and it will be warm and humid tomorrow. She won in Singapore and crucially the Commonwealth Games marathon in New Delhi last year. She ran the course in the Daeju marathon earlier this year and was 5th but complained it was a bit cold. £25 e/w 33/1 1/5 3
August 25th 16.09
Less than 36 hours to the start of the World Athletics Championships and not a single price on the opening event the Ladies Marathon Grrrr - anyone sees any give me a shout. If anyone remembers the Ndereba gamble four years ago they will see why I am interested!
August 24th 18.14
Time for a decent bet on what is my favourite tour - the Nationwide where they play the Fox Den course for the News Sentinel Open. It's time for another biblical man from Wake Forest - last week we had Webb Simpson - this week step forward Kyle Reifers. He already has his 2012 PGA card sewn up as he sits 7th on the money list so can play in a releaxed mood. His form over the last few weeks has been really good especially as he has been playing courses on which he has had little success before. He hasn't won since his impressive win in the Chattanooga Classic back in 2006 where in his first pro event he won after Monday qualifying. He says now he is far more prepared for life on the big stage and maybe that win came too early in his career. He does seem to like golf in Tennessee as apart from that win he has also been 3rd here at Fox Den. So we have a man in form with a good course finish who could well emulate his friend Webb Simpson albeit on the smaller stage - at 66/1 I am having 3/4 pt e/w.
August 23rd 15.33
I thought it would be nice to get to the European tour this week as we have absolutely loads of course form to go on compared to the PGA tour but I am not sure it has helped a great deal when arriving at my selections. One thing that struck me was the general level of form in Scotland of winners at Gleneagles. Last year Ed Molinari won at Loch Lomond before coming here, Peter Hedblom had been 4th and 8th there and Havret had also been a past winner at that venue. Scot Marc Warren had a huge amount of course experience under his belt and Paul Casey had previously triumphed at Gleneagles – this led me to my first pick – Raphael Jacquelin. The Frenchman can boast a 9th, 2nd and 3rd around Loch Lomond as well as a 3rd at the Alfred Dunhill Links. Like fellow countryman Gregory Havret he is clearly at home north of the border. He also can boast some top class form here at Gleneagles – in nine starts he has been 3rd, 8th, 10th, 10th and 11th. That takes care of his potential at the venue but his form this year also catches the eye. He gained his third tour win in Sicily but has also been 4th at Wentworth and Andalucia and a fantastic 8th in the Open. A reproduction of any of those finishes will see him go close this week.
Next is a young Scot who has shown an immense amount of talent so far this season – Scott Jamieson. He already has four top five finishes and mainly in decent events – including the Scottish Open last month. He has played the course before though not in a professional capacity and only time will tell how he fares this week but the place part of the bet looks exceptional value to me.
John Parry has had a great start to his professional career winning at each stage to date – 2008 Europro 2009 Challenge and then last year on the main tour. His form this year has been a bit patchy but his last three starts have shown an upturn in form – much as he he did in 2010 before winning. His last three finishes have been 10/17/51 but you have to bear in mind that last year he missed all three cuts at those venues – that is certainly an improvement. Last week he was suffering from a bit of a cough and was actually going well in round four until a triple bogey at the 7th derailed him. Last year at Gleneagles he was 26th and that was the beginning of his run leading to his win in France – if he can show the same level of improvement this week as he has in his last three starts he could well be in a position to get win number two on the main tour.
Raphael Jacquelin 1/2 pt e/w 45/1
Scott Jamieson 1/2 pt e/w 60/1
John Parry 1/2 pt e/w 100/1
August 23rd 14.37
You will have to bear with me for my explanation for backing Vijay Singh as I hark back to last weeks Major on the Champions tour. This was won by Freddie Couples who seems to have finally found a solution to his ailing back by undergoing a revolutionary new treatment in Germany. This allowed him to play more or less pain free and Vijay Singh underwent the same treatment at the beginning of the month – it too seems to have worked wonders as he was 4th last week at Sedgefield. I don't think you can get much more positive than this from Vijay “Yeah. I'm finally pain-free for a change so I can work on my game a little bit more freely and last week was disappointing but it was a trial thing, came back from Germany. I didn't know how I was going to be. My back is fine and game is coming around. I'm excited. “ In this frame of mind the Fijian is a player to keep on side and we mustn't forget he won this event back in 2008 and that came on the back of a missed cut at Sedgefield. This week sees the tour play again on a Donald Ross designed course so last week would have been a good warm up but Vijay has good form on lots of Ross courses - 6th and 3rd at Pinehurst and 7th at Oakland Hills (all in Majors) and also a 9th at Aronimink. I think the books have priced him up as if last week may have been a flash in the pan but personally I wouldn't take any chances – the big man knows how to get the job done!
Second pick goes to winless Kevin Streelman – but as we saw last week from Webb Simpson and Oliver Fisher – everyone has their chance to win some time. I was keen to back him last week but he was not entered and has saved himself for the play offs. He has got there this year on the back of some wonderfully consistent golf – the only two cuts he has missed since March were in the Masters and Open. He has family ties to New Jersey and has been 4th and 3rd when this event was held at Ridgewood - his grandparents reside in the cemetery adjacent to the 7th hole there! He also has some solid form around Ross tracks – which was why I would have backed him last week. As he has a 12.5% top ten strike rate compared to his 3.6% top five rate he is well worth backing in the top ten market as well this week – especially with a field of just 123 golfers.Vijay Singh 1/2 pt e/w 90/1
Kevin Streelman 1/4 pt e/w 150/1 + 1/2 pt top 10 14/1
August 23rd 12.05
Full list of bets for the main events this week are below - full write-ups to follow this afternoon
Barclays Championship
Vijay Singh 1/2 pt e/w 90/1
Kevin Streelman 1/4 pt e/w 150/1 + 1/2 pt top 10 14/1
Full prices here
Johnnie Walker Championship
Raphael Jacquelin 1/2 pt e/w 45/1
Scott Jamieson 1/2 pt e/w 60/1
John Parry 1/2 pt e/w 100/1
Full prices here
August 22nd 09.01
A very frustrating weekend with both Goya and Reavie finishing one shot out of at least a tie for a place so onto another week - first week of the Fedex playoffs with the Barclays from a new course called Plainfield and plenty of info from the Johnnie Walker Championship from Gleneagles.
August 19th 09.46
Well Reavie and Goldberg have made good starts to their weeks and I will add another bet on someone I toyed with from the beginning in the Wyndham. Jim Renner looks an interesting prospect having secured two top five finishes in his last four starts - the other two were missed cuts so he is a bit hit and miss. Yesterday was a hit with four birdies and no bogeys and he can shoot low - already had a 62 and 63 this season. The 125/1 that Victor Chandler go is a bit big as is anything into three figures - 1/5 pt e/w 1/4 4.
August 17th 20.18
There are plenty of events on other tours this week but after looking at most of them I have only come up with one extra bet for the week on the Nationwide Tour at the Midwest Classic. Aaron Goldberg was a top amateur a few years ago playing alongside the likes of Rickie Fowler on the Palmer Cup and has taken a while to find his feet amongst the professional ranks. Last season he won three times on the Canadian Tour and has thrown in some good performances on this tour over the last few weeks. With lots of first time winners on this tour Goldverg fits the bill and at 80/1 is worth 1/4 pt e/w.
August 16th 21.48
I looked and looked and looked for a link or a theme/trend with the Wyndham Championship which has been played at Sedgefield for three years and I couldn't find a thing. Nothing seemed to link players that have played well - course form or current form seemed pretty much irrelevant - the only thing I could say with any great deal of confidence is that a player has to be able to shoot a really low score. Last year Atwal led from start to finish after an opening round 61 - he had shot a 60 previously on the Nationwide tour. Carl Pettersson shot his 61 in round two when he went on to win and he has also shot a 60 and 61 on other courses - this led me to a player who already has two 62's on tour this season. Chez Reavie has finished 5th twice this year due to those rounds and was 10th here on his only appearance two years ago. As a player who has actually won on tour he is well overpriced at 80/1.
Michael Letzig has had an indifferent season as he hasn't got a full card but his last two starts have shown an upturn in form. He has two solid finishes of 9th and 18th here in the past and is capable of shooting really low - he has also shot a 60 on the Nationwide tour before.
Last up and only woth a bet for the first round is Garrett Willis - in four visits to Sedgefield (two when it was used for the Nationwide Tour) he has been 4/8/3/15 after round one and he regulalry gets off to a very fast start in the same events year in year out.
August 16th 20.46
It really is back down to earth with a bump for the European Tour this week as it pitches up at the Prosper course for the Czech Open. The one saving grace is that the course has been used for the past two years and we can definitely glean something from the results. Most tipsters have linked the fact that Hanson and Henningson as the two winners so far are both Swedish - I would take a slightly different viewpoint. There is no denying where they come from but they have also both won in Spain and the course designer is also Spanish. As a fairly new designer I think Prosper bears the hallmarks of where Jimenez grew up, the hilly course with a mountainous backdrop is reminiscent of many Spanish courses and that led me to my first tip Garrido. The Spaniard admittedly doesn't win very often but he was 4th here two years ago when out of form and last time out he was 5th in a much stronger Irish Open field. Given the Spanish "feel" to the course and with his current and course form I think he is well worth a bet in what is a very weak field.
Tano Goya reminds me of Michael Hoey at Madeira earlier this year when I tipped him - basically he has two excellent course finishes and his form this year is better than what first meets the eye. The young Argentinian is learning all the time and every time he plays a course again he seems to improve his performance so coming to a place where he has back to back top tens he should be full of confidence. He says he is well rested after spending two weeks at home in Spain and interestingly enough his win on Madeira came on a course designed by another great Spanish golfer Seve.
August 16th 14.59
Same theme for the Wyndham Championship - a very short short list!!
Chez Reavie 1/2 pt e/w 80/1
Michael Letzig 1/4 pt e/w 150/1
Garret Willis 1/5 pt e/w rd 1 leader 100/1
Best prices here
August 16th 10.38
Most weeks I have rather a long list of players to look at and struggle to cut it down - this week I have struggled to find players to even make the short list! I have bet two players for the Czech Open - I got slightly higher prices yesterday but am happy to still go with the price today - I will give reasonings later
Tano Goya 1/2 pt e/w 35/1
Ignacio Garrido 1/2 pt e/w 45/1
Best prices here
August 15th 08.36
Well apart from the place payout on David Toms it was a bit of a disappointing week, especially with the big tip Bolli storming through the field on the Nationwide Tour to finish one shot out of a place. I guess we can't have winners every week - but hats off to Bradley - capped an amazing year for Nationwide tour grads on the main tour. This week we are back down to earth with a bump for the Wyndham Championship and the Czech Open - back later.
August 13th 11.19
A quick update on how we stand at the US PGA Championship and to be honest I can safely say - not too bad! Only one of the six picks miised the cut and that was Steve Elkington and the pick of the bunch is Jim Furyk who lies in a tie for third after a brilliant second round - it certainly looks as if he has found something as I pointed out earlier in the week. Of the rest despite a very ordinary second day Simon Dyson still is tied third in the top Euro market but Romero needs to make a move today to get in the mix.
August 10th 11.53
There are a few minor golf tournaments taking place this week as well and I have had a good look at the Price Cutter Charity Championship on the Nationwide Tour and unusually for me I have had a big bet on a short priced player who has been a standing dish in the event in recent years - Justin Bolli. He has played four times and has finishes of c/3/3/1 and he definitely has a habit of playing the same courses well year in year out. He is just beginning to hit some form (he seems to go missing for months on end) and has been top 6 for GIR the last two weeks. I would have him nearer favourite - Killeen has won the last two weeks and must be shattered whilst Danny Lee has yet to win on this tour. I have backed him at 28/30/33 for 3/4 pt e/w but am happy to put him up at 25/1 for the same size bet.
Second pick goes to local Missouri golfer Brice Garnett who won his last two starts on the Tarheel Tour in June/July. Interspersed with those wins he has had some decent finishes on the Nationwide Tour and with the benefit of playing at home on a course he knows I can see him having his best result on this tour to date - 1/4 pt e/w 50/1

August 9th 13.16
One thing I have learnt over many years of golf betting is don’t stick to the same theme or you will find winners few and far between hence you will find many different reasons for backing the golfers I have backed although the common theme always is - the price is higher than what it should be.
Andres Romero - my headline pick at the price based on the fact that the young guns seem to be holding sway in the Majors at present and he is in superb form at the moment. To be honest he should have got into the playoff in the Canadian Open but he took driver off the tee going for the outright win with a birdie but ended up making bogey. That is the way he plays but he showed that form was no flash in the pan when finishing 4th the week after. He hasn’t actually played in a Major since 2009 and has been desperate to get back in them as he actually has a very good record. He was 7th in the PGA Championship in 2008 and 8th in the Masters that year and can also boast an 8th and 3rd in the Open. These good Major results came when he was in form so I think he will carry on this week. One thing to remember is that Georgia in August will be hot and steamy and he is more than capable of playing in those conditions.
Zach Johnson - a Major winner in Georgia albeit in the Masters earlier in the season but he also has a great record in other Georgia events and lives there now. He has been in solid form over the last three months and seems to be peaking at the right time. In the last two seasons he has finished 10th and 3rd in this Major and we know he is well capable of winning when in with a chance - something that cannot be said of players much shorter such as Day or Fowler.
David Toms - he maybe a short hitter and people are saying that you need to hit it long around Atlanta but he is the only course winner on show having won the PGA Championship here in 2001. He plays at his best in this neck of the woods and has bounced back with a couple of good finishes after suffering a minor injury following his win in Texas in May. His GIR and DA stats are some of the best on show and he won’t be trying to hit the greens from the rough very often - something that will be key.
Simon Dyson - I don’t want to sound like a stuck record but Dyson is a winning player who needs to be kept on the right side of when in form. He flew over to the States after his win in Ireland and was clearly fatigued on day one of the Bridgestone - lying last after his opening foray but he then played as well as anyone over the next three days shooting seven under par. He was 6th in 2007 at hot and steamy Southern Hills and was 12th last year at Whistling Straits leading to him being 1st and 3rd in the top European market - hence that is the main focus of my bet.
Jim Furyk - he was not on my radar initially this week but his form at East Lake next door is second to none and he was 6th here back in 2001. He has been out of form for most of the season but what caught my eye was that last week he was 3rd for DA and 7th for GIR. These are the two crucial assets of his game and have been missing for much of 2011 - if he has found something then last seasons Fedex Cup winner is a massive price.
Steve Elkington - his record in this Major is well documented with a win and numerous top five finishes. In the top Australian market he has won four times and been 2nd the a further four times. He has been out of form this season but bounced back with a 6th at Reno at the weekend. The Australian contingent is top heavy with Scott and Day dominating the market but there is little strength in depth so at 40/1 the Elk is well worth an each way play.

August 9th 09.49
The bottle of wine and TV won last night - but up bright and early to have one last look at the markets and have added PGA specialist Steve Elkington to the fold - 1/10 pt e/w 400/1 6 places + 1/4 pt e/w 40/1 top Australian. I will be back this afternoon with a full preview.
August 8th 17.49
I have been going through all the markets today wondering how to bet my final selection and have gone for the following - Simon Dyson 1/5 pt e/w 150/1 + 1/2 pt e/w top European 40/1 1/4 4. Will have a go at writing up my thoughts tonight but I have a feeling that after watching the golf last night and being busy all day a bottle of wine and some TV might be in order!
August 8th 12.30
Quite happy with the antepost bet on Zach Johnson of 1/2 pt ew 70/1 and have added most of the other plays this morning - there maybe a few more once the specialist markets come out but I will be back later with full thoughts on the picks below - as you will see I have "gone large" on the young Argentinian
Andres Romero 1 pt e/w 125/1 Paddy Power 110/1 Bet365 - go for 6 place books
David Toms 1/4 pt e/w 66/1 Paddy Power
Jim Furyk 1/4 pt e/w 125/1 Sportingbet, Skybet (both 5 places)
Best prices as always here
August 8th 10.15
A quick update on how things stand since allocating points to bets last month - total staked 35.2 total profit 39.55 an impressive ROI of 112%! Working hard to finalise picks for this weeks PGA Championship - if you want to know when this blog is updated follow me on Twitter @SBIdotcom
August 6th 23.01
Another cracking week for SBI followers with headline pick Adam Scott winning at 50/1 in the WGC Bridgestone event. Be sure to tune in tomorrow when I have a really confident pick for the US PGA Championship - and all for free!
August 6th 13.41
Things are looking interesting for the weekend with Scott joint leader and Tomasulo and Kokrak not far out the places but quickly onto next week and an antepost bet. One price I don't expect to last for the US PGA is Zach Johnson so will take 1/2 pt ew 70/1 Bet365 6 places or Paddy Power/Victor Chandler who are offering the same deal at 66/1.
Best prices for US PGA Championship here
August 4th 09.02
The Cox Classic on the Nationwide Tour has hardly set my juices running but I have had a couple of bets. I will stick with Jason Kokrak who could go onto better things having got into contention last wee to finish 9th. He has shown on the Tarheel tour he has the ability to et the job done and it wouldn't surprise me to see him up there again this week - 1/4 pt e/w 75/1. The other one I am going for is newly turned pro Drew Kittleson who was a standout amateur. He Monday qualified last week and finished 18th to get in this week - something players have often done to start their careers on this tour - 1/5 pt e/w 80/1. Best prices here
August 2nd 21.15
There is always a problem when there is a PGA tour event up against a Major or WGC event - what price are you happy to take as the books are far more sensitive. My main pick for the week was to be Bill Lunde and I took the 50/1 yesterday just in case - by the look of it everyone and his dog has wanted to back the Nevada resident and at 40/1 I have had to cut the bet right back as at the end of the day price is everything in this game. As for the other picks they are as follows -
Cameron Beckman is a three time winner on tour with a fine Nevada/desert resume. He has shot plenty of low rounds at Reno and for him he has been unusually consistent in making cuts of late. I can see far worse 100/1 shots in this field.
J.P. Hayes has just started to find a bit of form and has a solid record at Reno with three top eight finishes over the years. He may be past it but as Bob Estes proved last week the old timers can still pop up every now and again especially in a weak field - I don't think he should be a three figure price.
The last one on my list is one I like the most - bizarrely as he is 250/1. Tomasulo has been out with an unspecified injury and returned last week - and he will have one over on the field as he finished 12th in Utah on the Nationwide tour so will be acclimatised to the altitude. All winners here have had at least an outing at Montreux and Tamasulo has and it looks like he took a round to get to know the course going 78/69 in 2009 to miss the cut - much the same as other past winners had. Two of the last three winners went to University in California and Tomasulo fits that mould having been a top graduate from UCLA.
Off for the day tomorrow with the family - back with thoughts on Nationwide Cox Classic tomorrow night or Thursday morning.
August 2nd 16.27
OK OK I give in - Sportingbet and Beinternet are 40/1 Bill Lunde - worth a small bet 1/4 pt e/w as I know what will happen otherwise!!
August 2nd 15.10
I really wnated to put up Bill Lunde for the Reno-Tahoe Open but at the price I can't - I had a bit on at 50/1 yesterday but am loathe to recommend a bet at much shorter - instead I have gone for three big outsiders - will put more meat on the bones later
Cameron Beckman 1/4 pt e/w 100/1
JP Hayes 1/4 pt e/w 125/1
Peter Tomasulo 1/4 pt e/w 250/1
Best prices available here
August 1st 20.47
All talk revolves around Tiger this week as he returns to action at the Bridgestone Invitational where he has owned the Firestone course over the years with no fewer than seven victories. Bizarrely if I was asked who has performed anything like Tiger and the answer I would come up with would be Steve Williams his caddie who has been with him for all his victories. They have now officially split and the Kiwi is looping for Adam Scott and he could be the making of a player who I think has under achieved. Scott has always struggled with his putting but since switching to a broom handled putter it has certainly improved. He originally failed to master the Firestone course although he has now twice led the total driving stats for the week. With a new found putting stroke plus a great caddie on the bag who has some great “form” round here we could see an improvement again from Scott. He has played a pretty light schedule this season but was 6th at the WGC at Doral, 2nd at the Masters and 3rd recently at the AT&T - I think at 50/1 he is a decent price - ½ pt e/w.
Second pick goes to a man who has won a WGC event and a Major before and indeed was 3rd at last months US Open so how on earth can Y.E Yang be 70/1. He admitted to really struggling with the cold and the demanding undulating course at Royal St Georges saying it played havoc with his back yet he led the Driving Accuracy stats and finished 16th. His form at Firestone is not exceptional but he is definitely a man to follow when on song - ½ pt e/w
My final selection I have deliberated over and have only gone small - it really does depend if Darren Clarke has returned to earth yet - if he has he could well be inspired by visiting Firestone again. Ten years ago in consecutive years he was 1st and 3rd and was even 6th in 2008 so he definitely has the game for the course. He is worth a small play - 1/5 pt e/w 100/1.
Best prices here
August 1st 09.00
A quick recap on last week - Sophie Gustafsson got the full place payout by finishing 3rd whilst Jimmy Walker just couldn't get any putts to drop and the 200/1 pick finished tied 4th just one shot out of the playoff which was impressively won by rookie Scott Stallings. As it's the beginning of the month it's time to count up the points staked for July which was 29.9 and I returned a profit of 12.6 - pretty happy with that after a poor Open Championship. This week we have the WGC Bridgestone Invitational and the Reno Tahoe Open headlining - it's such a shame that at the height of the summer there is no European tour event for the next few weeks.
July 30th 21.51
Things are certainly looking interesting for Sunday with Gustafson in with place chances and also Hoey in Ireland could do if he shoots a good final round tomorrow. In West Virginia things have certainly livened up today with Walker shooting a 62 to get right into contention and even Points isn't that far back whilst in Utah big hitting Kokrak is making a move.
July 27th 15.02
I will keep thoughts brief about this weeks events - firstly Greenbrier Classic. It will not be quite the birdiefest it was last year where we saw a 59/60/61/62 as the course has been toughened up a bit. Last year saw an interesting connection by the top performers to the State of West Virginia. Both Points and Walker had won the Pete Dye Classic in the state and Dejonge when to college in neighbouring Virginia. I have stuck with Walker and Austin after last years performance esp as Austin has hit form and have added Gillis who won in the state in 09. Points had gone off the boil since his win but last time out was a solid 38th in his home state of Illinois in the John Deere - he had missed the cut in all five previous attempts - reminds me a bit of the week before he won at Pebble.
Irish Open - sticking with Hoey - terrible last Thursday where he dropped 10 shots on 3 holes but bounced back well on the Friday. Wiegele is a long shot but was 5th here on the Challenge Tour in 05 ahead of Fisher who won last year. The European players look particularly weak this week.
Womens British Open - Hee Kyung Seo was 5th last year in her first attempt and lost in a playoff in the US Womens Open a few weeks ago - 66/1 is a very big price. Munoz could be the surprise package as she has won both the Girls and Ladies British amateurs on links courses and was 8th at the LPGA Championship last month. Couldn’t leave out links and British Open specialist Sophie Gustafson especially at 100/1.
US Senior Open - actually doesn’t have a really strong feel to the field - will chance Bob Tway who won the PGA Championship at Inverness in 1986.
July 27th 12.19
Nothing really jumps out at me for the Nationwide Utah Classic but I have had a couple of small bets 1/5 pt e/w on Brendan Todd and Jason Kokrak. The former should be inspired by the recent results of other Georgia Bulldogs and as a past winner here is worth chancing at 150/1. Kokrak is the leading money winner on the Tarheel Tour from just three starts he has gone 1/1/2. He is yet to make much impression on the Nationwide Tour but at altitude in Utah he will be hitting it 350 yards plus I expect - this might be the time he shines at 125/1.
July 27th 10.36
Sorry for being so slow this week but still in a lot of pain and no sleep - few more bets for Womens British Openand US Senior Open. Will endeavour to put a bit more flesh on the bones and also gotta look at the Nationwide tour yet!
Hee Kyung Seo 1/2 pt e/w 66/1
Sophie Gustafson 1/4 pt e/w 100/1
Azahara Munoz 1/4 pt e/w 150/1
Best prices here
Bob Tway 1/4 pt e/w 66/1 - best prices here
July 26th 14.47
Last three bets for the Greenbrier and I am off for a lie down - one hours sleep last night was not enough!
Woody Austin 1/4 pt e/w 90/1 Tote
Tom Gillis 1/4 pt e/w 150/1 Bet365, Skybet
Jimmy Walker 1/4 pt e/w 200/1 Coral
July 26th 12.26
Well the neck and back are rather worse than anticipated and having spent the morning at the chiropractors I am now dosed up with codeine and ibuprofen so things will be slow this week as I can barely type so for now just the bets as I place them.
Irish Open - Martin Wiegele 1/5 pt e/w Unibet 1/5 5 + 1/4 pt e/w top Continental Euro Bet365 & Stan James 1/4 4
First bet for the Greenbrier Classic is a decent wager on DA Points 3/4 pt e/w 66/1 - best prices here
July 25th 17.03
I think jumping up and down when English won last night has caused me a few problems - I have a trapped nerve in my neck and can barely use the computer! However I have had one bet in the Irish Open - sticking with Michael Hoey I got 150/1 but 1/4 pt e/w at 125/1 is more than fair - reasons when I can type better!!
Best prices available here
July 24th 21.40
Having been left feeling frustrated with Hedwall today who played very poorly on the back nine to drop out of a place it was great to see amateur Harris English win tonight especially as Levin looks like coming up just short of a place. Next week looks really busy with the Irish Open, Greenbrier Classic plus two Majors - the US Senior Open and Ricoh Womens British Open and of course another Nationwide event!
July 23rd 09.54
A quick update as to where we stand - on the European tour the answer is poor - Hoey obviously still had a hangover on Thursday and Fraser hasn't taken to the course. Elsewhere things are postive - Hedwall and Levin both had great second rounds and are in contention whilst on the Nationwide Tour I called it right with the amateurs as they sit first and second at the cut - English is second a shot back.
July 21st 08.58
It has been a very busy week and last up is the Nationwide Childres's Hospital Invitational and the one thing I would say is don't be afraid of backing an amateur. Summerhays won the inaugural event as one, in 09 Rickie Fowler was beaten in a play off and last year Morgan Hoffman was 8th. The problem is which one to back as the event invites the top amateurs in the game. I have passed on the best one - Peter Uihlein believing he will be tired after the Open and have gone for next best Harris English. He is 6th in the world rankings and won the Southern Amateur last week and also has the experience of playing and comfortably making the cut in tow Nationwide events already - 1/4 pt e/w 80/1 (100/1 Stan James if you can get on)
July 20th 20.51
I have had chance to look at the Evian which starts tomorrow morning and I have had a small bet on Caroline Hedwall - who will possibly be the next great female player to emerge from Europe.She has been at the top of the amateur game for several years and turned pro at the beginning of the year and won her first pro start in Australia. In her last few starts on the LET she has gone 1/2/7/1 and her GIR stats are mind bogglingly good! She is up against the best in the world and has no course form but she really shouldn't be bigger than 50/1 - 1/4 pt e/w 80/1
Best prices here
I am still undecided about the Nationwide Tour so will sleep on it and be back in the morning.
July 20th 15.42
Time for a quick preview of the Canadian Open which returns to Shaughnessy for the first time since 2005 and again conditions are set to be tough and the weather on the cool side. The dilemna this week is whether to pick players who stayed in the States last week and played in the high heat and humdity of Mississippi, those who have to cope with the return from Royal St Georges or simply those who took the week off - as it happens I have gone for one from each camp.
Spencer Levin is having a great year but the win still eludes him. He was brought up in Sacramento and played a lot in Canada in his early career and has won in Britiah Columbia. The poa anna greens will hold no fears for him and if he is recovered from what was actually a fine Open showing he could go well. He actually shot two rounds under par and an early quadruple bogey in round three knocked him off track.
John Rollins is a bit of a saver bet as he has won the event before (albeit on a different course) and can boast a 2nd and 6th in recent outings. I picked him in the John Deere but he disappointed hence the small bet this week but tee to green he played really well here in 2005 - he simply needs to get the putter going.
I will stick with Lunde again this week having given him out last week. He was solid in 13th at Annandale and topped the all round rankings for the week but he did miss a lot of short putts. Being from the west coast he says he prefers the poa anna greens and as that is the one part of his game that lets him down he should be in contention this week.
July 19th 23.06
My two picks for the British Senior Open are based purely on postive course form and memories at the venue which this year is Walton Heath. First up is the perennial amateur Gary Wolstenholme who finally turned pro at the age of 47!! He has a huge bank of form at the course which is just down the road from his home in Egham. He played really well here in the 06 and 08 US Open qualifier - finishing 3rd the first time and then second time out he was the first alternate and actually got to play at Torrey Pines. In 2006 he also won the South of England Amateur Strokeplay at Walton Heath beating Ross McGowan in a play off, behind him that week were Luiten, Horsay and Chris Wood - not bad for a man in his late forties. He turned pro to play on the Senior circuit and he won on his second start. He hasn't had the best of seasons so far but was 3rd on his last start and is ready for what will be without doubt the biggest moment in his career.
It would be fair to say that Tom Kite has had rather a different career and his memories of Walton Heath stem from rather a longer time ago. He came to Surrey in 1980 to play in the European Open ahead of the 1981 Ryder Cup. He won on that rare trip to Europe and the following year was part of the US team that hammered the home side. Kite himself played Lyle in the singles and won 3 & 2 despite Lyle being 6 under on the front 9! Tom Watson has already proved you can win a Senior Major in your 60's and I guess he has travelled over because of his strong association with Walton Heath.
Best odds available here
July 19th 21.21
The Nordea Sandinavian Masters returns to the spectacular Trent Jones Jnr Bro Hof Slot course for the second year running. After picking Michael Hoey two months ago when he won in Madeira the same scenario presents itself again - of his five professional wins two have already followed the week after Darren Clarke won so after his fellow countrymans win last week I will go for him again. He played solidy here last year when 14th and it wouldn't surprise me to see him improve on that.
Marcus Fraser really interests me for a number of reasons even though he didn't play here last year. Firstly he has won on a Trent Jones course before at Le Meridien in Moscow. Secondly the key stat when looking at the top performers last year was scambling and they don't get better than Marcus Fraser in that department. The Australian has an excellent record in Scandinavia - the last time he played in this event he was 4th and in 2003 on the Challenge Tour he won the Danish Open and Finnish Challenge so he obviously feels at home in this neck of the woods. His form this year isn't that bad - his 4th at Wentworth was in a far better field than this. Finally he has been at home in Australia for the past five weeks as he has become a father for the first time - so hopefully he can celebrate with a win.
Last up for this event is a small bet on Henrik Norlander who plays out of Bro Hof Slot. The young Swede has had a great college career in the States and has played in a few Challenge Tour events recently with some early round success. He was 8th after round one last week only one shot back of the seven early leaders and the week before that was 2nd after the opening day. With his course knowledge it would seem prudent to back him for round one leader at decent odds.
July 19th 19.28
Loads of events to get stuck into this week - so write ups will have to wait - next up Senior British Open at Walton Heath - time for a bite to eat then some typing!
Gary Wolstenholme 1/2 pt e/w 150/1 (if you can - 25/1 top GB with Skybet)
Tom Kite 1/4 pt e/w 110/1
July 19th 11.05
A bit pushed for time today with so many events to research so I have just listed the bets so far - write ups to follow this evening
Nordea Masters
Marcus Fraser 1/2 pt e/w 66/1
Michael Hoey 1/2 pt e/w 90/1
Henrik Norlander 1st round leader 1/4 pt e/w 150/1
Best prices available here
RBC Canadian Open
Spencer Levin 1/2 pt e/w 50/1
John Rollins 1/4 pt e/w 66/1
Bill Lunde 1/4 pt e/w 150/1
Best prices available here
July 17th 19.38
Couldn't be happier for Darren Clarke - except if I had backed him! Although I have been backing and laying in the SPOTY market all weekend where he has now kicked Rory off favourite spot. Maybe I should have continued my Northern Ireland theme for a bit longer. My bets were extremely frustrating with only Dyson left in contention (I had a few quid on him for top English) but the bet with Boyles e/w 8 places was a killer as he finished 9th! Looking at the Viking tonight I can see Lunde finishing just shy of the places and if McNeill wins having backed him last week only to see him pull out after one round I will be even more frustrated!! Anyway - back tomorrow with the Nordea Masters, the RBC Canadian Open and the British Senior Open.
Don't forget the football starts this week in Scotland and if you haven't subscribed to FBI yet the first match bets go out on Friday
July 16th 10.43
A quick update - on the Open my position doesn't look pretty but neither does the weather and anythin can happen today - definitely a day for trading on Betfair - a couple of players who may cope with the tough conditions are Rock and Love III but to be honest it will be a bit of a lottery and I can easily see level par leading tonight. Main pick Goosen was annoying as he withdrew after a poor first round with a bad back - wish he had before he teed off!! Dyson was going well until the back nine yesterday, and Howell isn't too far behind. Over in the States at the rain interrupted Viking Classic Lunde isn't too badly placed.
July 13th 15.30
Just in case people have forgotten there is also a PGA tour event this week from Mississippi in the shape of the Viking Classic. The event has been hosted at the Jack Nicklaus Annandale course since 1994 but has always been a Fall tournament so this year the weather will be more hot and humid than usual.
One player who will be used to the conditions will be Brazilian Alexandre Rocha who attended Mississippi State University. Since turning pro in 2000 he has played all over the world winning ten tournaments but it has always been his aim to play on the PGA tour - and he achieved that this year but getting through all three stages of the Q School. On his current form you wouldn’t give him a second glance but what he has said this week has aroused my interest "I didn't even try to qualify for the British because I wanted to be here….I haven't really gotten to a a site (this year) where I could say, 'Yeah, I can win here,' until now." This is down to the fact that he has played the course countless times whilst visiting his in-laws who live just down the road. He will have to raise his game but in a weak field with his course knowledge he could just surprise.
Most recent winners of this event can call on some excellent course form and Marc Turnesa fits the bill as he was 2nd on his only visit here in 2008 when he lost in a play off. He was gutted about losing that event as he double bogeyed his 71st hole but a month later he came out and won the Justin Timberlake Open. Since then Turnesa has struggled with injuries and is now on a major medical exemption but he showed back in March he can still spring to life when he was 5th at the Transitions in a more competitive field. It is a bit of a leap of faith but if inspired by the his return to Annandale he could go well at a big price.
Last up is Bill Lunde who seems to find his best form in the summer. Last year he won the Turning Stone event in early August when most of the top players were away playing the WGC event in Akron. That win came from out of the blue when not in great form and the same would have to come true this week as well. He has only played Annandale once and was joint leader early on before fading to 23rd but he said the golf course was one of the best they play all year. With the cream of the PGA tour away once more Lunde could again emerge victorious.
Alexandre Rocha ¼ pt e/w 150/1 Generally
Marc Turnesa ¼ pt e/w 125/1 Boylesports, Bet365
Bill Lunde ¼ pt e/w 100/1 Skybet
Best prices available here
July 12th 17.19
When it comes to Open week the question is - where to start? As we as punters are bombarded by the bookmakers with special place terms and a plethora of side markets - if only it was like this every week! The original starting point was ante post and last week we went for Retief Goosen and he remains my number one pick. The easiest way I find of working through a Major is to break the players down into nationality or groups of nationalities.
First of all the Rest of the World - as I stated Goosen has already been tipped and no-one else really jumps out at me as being a value price who has a good Open pedigree so it’s straight onto the Americans. Most of the visitors from across the pond tend to struggle when faced with links golf - Mickelson has a very poor record for a player of his calibre yet we have had so many recent American winners of the claret jug with Cink, Hamilton, Curtis and Duval all being surprise winners (plus of course Woods!) so I am going for a player with a poor Open record but who is in the form of his life - Charles Howell III. He is currently in exceptional form with three consecutive top 5 placings on the PGA tour. These are mainly due to scrambling and putting well - he swapped to a belly putter a month ago and it seems to have done the trick, and I think these two attributes of his game will be key this week. I am surprised he hasn’t contended at an Open before as his best form in the US is on coastal courses such as Torrey Pines and Waialae but he has never really been in form when arriving in the UK. His first Open was here at Royal St Georges and he was 6th after round one and he says he has special fond memories of the place. I have backed him outright e/w but I also like him in the Top American market which I feel is a weak market.
1/4 pt e/w 150/1 Boyles 8 places + 1/2 pt e/w Top American 50/1 Boyles
Next we have the home contingent and whilst I had considered backing my three outsiders in their own nationality markets it made little sense when the market leaders are also in that group - in the shape of McIlroy, Donald and Westwood. I would rather back a player outright at say 300/1 with 7 or 8 places on offer than 66/1 with only 3 or 4 places when the same players head each market. For those thinking of backing Rory - he played in the British amateur here in 2006 but didn’t get very far - in the opening stroke play round he shot seven over in fairly calm conditions and promptly withdrew.
I don’t wish to sound like a broken record but I haven’t been put off Simon Khan yet. He had a poor first round at Castle Stuart with three shocking holes but bounced back in the second round with a bogey free 66 and fortunately got out of Inverness early. Whilst he doesn’t have an exceptional Open pedigree he has made four of five cuts and showed last year at Wentworth he can play against the best and beat them. I just think the price is a bit of an insult and he shouldn’t be ranked alongside the no-hopers.
1/4 pt e/w 500/1 Betfred 6 places
There is the old saying of “Beware the injured golfer” and that certainly applies to Simon Dyson this week. He only played in Scotland last week to try and qualify and in the end got an alternate spot when Toms withdrew. The relief was palpable and he played quite well in the end but he still has a niggling injury and will have a cortisone injection tomorrow. His record on links is very good - an Alfred Dunhill Links winner and twice at Kennemer in Holland. Whilst his Open record is poor he should be able to contend as he has a great method of plotting his way round a golf course - just what is needed at Royal St Georges.
1/4 pt e/w 175/1 Boyles 8 places
In the last few years we have seen young Englishman Chris Wood go really well and I look towards another young player in the shape of Gary Boyd to continue the tradition. Boyd has a great links pedigree and lots of experience playing the courses as an amateur not that long ago - he even holds the course record just down the road at Royal Cinq Ports. He says that he took the sensible preparation route of playing practice rounds at Royal St Georges all last week alongside his friend Ian Poulter and is very excited about his first Open appearance. He showed his links pedigree when 4th at the Alfred Dunhill last October and has also been 2nd twice, and 3rd on the European Tour in his limited time on tour. He is often a fast starter in events and with a late tee time he might pop up as an early leader in what possibly may be better conditions - it is surprising how often a player gets the clubhouse lead about 9pm on the Thursday!
1/2 pt e/w 300/1 Paddy Power 7 places + 1/10 pt e/w First Round Leader 250/1 Betfred
The last group of players are those from Continental Europe and to me Kaymer is still struggling with his swing changes and after backing Garcia at 80/1 for the US Open and crying as he missed a three foot putt on the last to drop out of the places I see no point in backing a player at 30/1 this week who hasn’t won since November 2008. I will have a small bet on unheralded journeyman Markus Brier whose three top eight finishes this season have all been on windy open tracks. He was 12th at Carnoustie in 2007 which netted him a tie for second in this market.
1/4 pt e/w Top Continental European 66/1 Bet365 1/4 4 or 66/1 1/5 4 Betfred Paddy Power
July 11th 15.54
Just a quick post - my full Open betting preview from Royal St Georges will be out tomorrow afternoon - in the meantime if you have your own picks you can find all the best industry prices here
If you want to know when updates are made to this page you can follow us on Twitter at SBIdotcom
July 11th 13.02
Much was said last week of Castle Stuart - the new venue for the Scottish Open, and something that came up frequently was that it needed some good old fashioned bad weather to defend it from the professionals, nothing prepared them for what was to hit the course. The freak weather that caused landslides and flooding was just that - freak weather - totally unpredictable and to be honest they did incredibly well to get 54 holes in. In the end Luke Donald justified favouritism and cruised to victory on what was to be a good day for favourite backers. As for our selections - Khan bombed out in round one with three shocking holes and whilst he missed the cut his second round 66 with no bogeys shows he is still in good form. All our other picks never really got going but I am glad we are on Goosen at big prices and great place options for the Open as once again he played well.
Over in the US favourite backers were given palpitations by Stricker who let a commanding lead slip having been matched as low as 1.02 on Betfair. Rookie Kyle Stanley had a great chance to win and was matched at 1.10 before Stricker produced two incredible birdies at 17 and 18 to win by a single shot. Sadly again our picks were poor with Rollins leaving his current form behind with only one decent round and McNeill suffering an injury and pulling out after his opening round.
The big question going into this week is who has had the best preparation for Royal St Georges? We have those that suffered constant delays in Scotland and played a very soft links golf course, those that finished there early and got out on Friday, the players who had a birdie fest in Illinois or those that simply took the week off to complete their preparation. Maybe it will be best to take some from each camp!
July 8th 21.13
Over the next few days I will be putting up all the best offers for the Open Championship that bookmakers will be offering on the best Major of the year at Royal St Georges.
Boylesports - paying on 8 places - an exceptional offer - click here
Paddy Power - next best thing - paying on 7 places - click here
Victor Chandler - an unusual offer - if your player has a hole in 1 and loses they will payout as a winner click here
For all the best prices click here
July 8th 15.17
A quick post with reference to the football betting service I manage and run - FBI - the new season kicks off for us two weeks today - we have launched a new competition whereby just by following FBIdotcom on Twitter you have the chance to win a free months subscription on the first of every month worth £80
July 6th 16.05
I stated earlier in the week that the Scottish Open could give some very good pointers to next weeks Open Championship at Royal St George. It would therefore make sense to look at next weeks Major now and spot any player that is likely to contract in price if he puts in a top performance. The one that jumped out to me now that bookmakers are offering enhanced place terms is Retief Goosen who has a superb record in Majors. Firstly he has won two US Opens in his career and has also finished tied second twice and tied third twice in the Masters at Augusta but it is consistent record in the Open Championship that really catches the eye. In his last ten Open starts Goosen has finishes of 5/5/6/7/8/10 - that is a remarkable level of consistency and the 10th place was at next weeks venue. He may not be quite the dominant player he once was due to niggling injuries and problems with the putter but he still holds his form well once he finds it and recently he certainly has found something. After a 3rd on the PGA tour at the St Jude he was 23rd at the US Open where he shot a closing round of 68 but he lost his chance at the start of the week by bogeying each of his first four holes. A couple of weeks ago he played well in Germany and came out with the following quote "I' e been playing quite nicely over the last few weeks and I'm generally happy with my form. I had a good 3rd place at the BMW International Open last week and if my putting had been slightly better who knows, there were a lot of positives and it's great to be up there competing again. I don't have any niggles at the moment but always like to focus on keeping my back strong so warming up and keeping flexible is very important.” He is clearly fit and confident and a strong performance in Scotland this week will see his price crash - try and take advantage of the special place terms available. When you consider he has been top eight in five of the last ten or top six in the last three Opens he has played - the place terms are huge.
1 pt ew 60/1 Victor Chandler ¼ 6 places or 50/1 Boyles ¼ 8 places.
Best prices here
July 5th 18.53
I t is the week before the best event of the year - the Open and I for one am glad to see the European Tour switch the Scottish Open to a traditional links course at the impressive looking Castle Stuart course in Inverness. The weather will play a huge part as well this week - it is going to be breezy with spells of rain so patience will be the key and I would rather go for European Tour players than the Americans trying to acclimatise.
After picking him last week at 200/1 I am more than happy to go again with Simon Khan at 150/1 as much of what I said last week still applies. Castle Stuart was co-designed by Mark Parsinen who also brought us the links course at Kingsbarns and Khan has a solid record there shooting rounds of 69/70/68/78/67/72 over the past six years in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. Buoyed by the upswing in his game at the moment Khan thrives on confidence and is a solid pick this week.
Ross Fisher is a player who plays his best golf in the summer months with all three of his European Tour stroke play wins coming in July/August. In 2008 he shot a fine 64 at Kingsbarns on his way to finishing 2nd in the Alfred Dunhill and in in 2007 he won the KLM Open on the links at Kennemer so he clearly has the game for links golf. His game seems to be just coming to hand with a top ten in Germany last time out and he certainly has the ability to compete with the best.
Anthony Wall is a typical journeyman on tour who racks up plenty of top ten finishes and hence lots of money but is yet to win a full 72 hole event. He is a player I rarely would pick but I will give him a chance this week on the basis that his links form is good - 2nd and 5th at the Alfred Dunhill and his current form is solid. He has never played Le Golf National well so his 10th last week is very encouraging and he has already been 2nd this season in Sicily. Coral are a standout price at 150/1 but 100/1 is more than fair at the books offering six places.
Those of you who have followed my advice over the last ten years know I often put players up from left field and this week I will suggest a small wager on Swede Michael Jonzon. Unlike Wall he actually has two full European Tour titles to his name - the last coming in 2009 where he held off the challenges of Garcia and Kaymer to win in Spain. He has been in a terrible slump since then but the last few months have seen a definite improvement. Last week he led the all round stats in France and a few weeks before that was 6th in Italy so his game is in good shape. When he hits form his iron play is excellent and that is what will be needed round Castle Stuart this week so the 400/1 is definitely tempting!
Simon Khan ½ pt e/w 150/1 Coral (125/1 Paddy Power 6 places)
Ross Fisher ½ pt e/w 35/1 Most books
Anthony Wall ¼ pt e/w 150/1 Coral
Michael Jonzon ¼ pt e/w 400/1 Tote
July 5th 16.03
On the PGA tour this week we have the John Deere Classic from Deere Run and whilst they have been playing a lot of tough courses recently this will turn into a low scoring birdie-fest as it does every year.
John Rollins is my headline pick and like Fisher in Europe Rollins thrives from July onwards with all four of his professional victories coming in July, August or September and crucially all his wins have come on low scoring courses. He is a player you need to back once he hits form as he holds it well for short periods and he has just gone 6th, 25th, 2nd in the last six weeks. At River Highlands on his last start he was 1st for total birdies with 25 - that should stand him in good stead here. In four starts at Deere Run he can boast an 8th and 10th so can clearly play the course and with the field lacking strength in depth he is a confident selection.
My other pick is George McNeill who also needs an easier course to show his best form. McNeill does not have full playing priveleges this season having lost his full card so hasn’t played that many events this year but on the less tricky courses he has played he has finished 5th in Puerto Rico and 6th in New Orleans. He has never set the world alight at Deere Run but he has shot three rounds of 65 here in the past which is just what is needed. Those low rounds were mainly due to the putter behaving which it has been for the last few weeks but also this time around he comes here striking the ball really well.
John Rollins ½ pt e/w 40/1 Coral
George McNeill ¼ pt e/w 100/1 most books
Best prices here
July 3rd 20.32
A profitable week in the end with 200/1 shot Simon Khan tying for 5th in France - came close to a much bigger payout as other pick Brendan Steele was a shot further back in 7th. Next week we have the Barclays Scottish Open from the fantastic looking Castle Stuart course, the birdie fest that is the John Deere Classic and the US Womens Open
June 28th 16.33
The French Open tees it up at Le Golf National again although there is something a little different this time as the course is played for the first time knowing it is the venue for the 2018 Ryder Cup. One strange invitation is to American Brendan Steele - perhaps he is already preparing for seven years time! He is hardly a household name but I think a three figure price is an insult to a player who won the Nationwide Tour Championship last year and has already won on the main PGA tour in Texas, there are not many around the same price as him in the betting who would be capable of winning on the PGA tour.
Often players have a feeling of closure when they have won a big event and finally get round to defending - Graeme McDowell said as much a few weeks ago at the US Open and Simon Khan has said now his year as PGA Champion has come to an end it is time to move on. He has certainly improved in his last two starts in Wales and Germany and has played well here before. He now knows how to win a big event and I would not be surprised to see him play as well as he did in 2007 when tied 3rd.
For my final selection I will take you back to April/May 2008 when we saw Irish domination on the European Tour. In the space of three weeks Damien McGrane, Darren Clarke, Michael Hoey and Peter Lawrie all won. Some may say it’s coincidence but I think players of the same nationality are inspired by each others success. In recent weeks we have had wins for Clarke, Hoey and McIlroy and I think the man who kick started the run a few years ago McGrane is worth following this week. I am not too worried about his current form as he has always been an inconsistent player but he has a good record here with a best of tied 3rd alongside Khan in 2007.
Brendan Steele ¼ pt e/w 110/1
Simon Khan ¼ pt e/w 200/1
Damien McGrane ¼ pt e/w 150/1
June 28th 13.08
There will be some changes over the next few week with previews/tips/timing etc - will announce exact details later. From now on bets will be attributed a points value rather than monetary and only bookmaker prices quoted although obviously you can better on the exchanges a lot of the time. Please find below the AT&T preview.
The AT&T National sees a fairly weak field assembled which is a surprise on such a fine golf course - Aronimink is supposed to one day be a US Open venue. That snippet of information gives us something to work on even though we only have one year of course form to go on - the course will be a fairly tough set up. The course was originally designed by Donald Ross and the only other course used by that designer on the PGA tour is Sedgefield and there are some interesting similarities between results at the two venues. Last years winner Justin Rose had been 5th at Sedgefield, Ryan Moore who was 2nd had his only tour win at the other venue whilst Carl Pettersson who was 6th has also won at Sedgefield. It is the Swede who is top of my list this week as he thrives on tough courses and like Rose has also won the Memorial. He has had a solid if unspectacular year so far but showed his game is in good shape when 8th at the St Jude on his penultimate start where he led the all round stats. At the top of the market we have a lot of players who either can’t seem to win or don’t win very often whereas Pettersson has four PGA tour wins and will no doubt be inspired by fellow Swede Jacobsens debut PGA tour win last week.
Second pick goes to Ryuji Imada who was having a poor year up until a month ago but has finished 3rd twice in his last three starts. The main problem with his play this year has been his putting which is normally the best part of his game. He says he also got a ball striking tip from Jason Dufner a few weeks ago which has helped his game. Those two things combined has seen the turnaround in his season and as his exemption for his win has now expired he needed some good finishes to get his card for next year. With his tour card now more or less secured he can press on to gain another win and Aronimink should be a good fit for his game as he thrives on tough US Open style courses and considering he was in a poor run of form last season his 46th placed finish is probably better than it first appears.
Carl Pettersson ½ pt ew 50/1
Ryuji Imada ½ pt ew 66/1
June 27th 11.54
I have spent the morning trying to get more books to quote Thomas Aiken for the Open Championship but none of them have exceeded Ladbrokes quote of 150/1 so have bit the bullet and taken that price for £50 e/w - have also been nibbling on Betfair for the last week or so and got £50 matched at an average of 210 - more on why later.
June 26th 13.43
Not a great deal of joy this week - though Lonnie Nielsen is still in with a shout on the Champions Tour. Next week we have the French Open and the AT & T on the PGA Tour.
On another note Football Betting Index releases its Antepost selections tomorrow for subscribers - if you want to join follow the link on the left.

June 21st 22.13
The European Tour stages one of its most prestigious events this week - the BMW International Open from Munich. Looking at recent winners, they had all had a top finish in Germany, either on the main tour or Challenge Tour in recent years. Ross Fisher was top of my list as he has excellent stats at the course and has improved year by year culminating in his 2nd last season. He is not in the best of form and my enthusiasm was slightly dampened by the prices, but as he can find form from nowhere he is worth a saver of £30 at 35/1. My main pick is Peter Whiteford who is in superb form with finishes of 7th,8th and 4th and it seems only a matter of time before he wins on the main tour. He won in Germany on the lower tour in 2007 and interestingly he had won two weeks before - both past winners of the BMW, Horsey and Kaymer achieved a similar feat. Whiteford also played really well last season here, leading after round one and going on to finish 11th which was his second best finish of the year yet he claimed he was playing poorly at the time! Simon Dyson is similar to Ross Fisher in that I am disappointed in his price, but owing to his ability to win when in a good run of form, he is worth a punt at 50/66 win only as he shares the course record here. My last choice is Ricardo Gonzalez who I am surprised to see at a three figure price as he is coming off the back of career best finishes at Wentworth and Celtic Manor. Admittedly he has missed his last three cuts here but he was 4th in 2007 and certainly knows how to win.
On the PGA Tour the field is somewhat less stellar than last week’s US Open. In recent years Henry, Mahan and Watson all made the Travelers Championship their first win on tour so don’t be afraid of backing non winners, but these three did all have quite a few appearances here at River Highlands. Charlie Wi has won plenty of events around the world but is yet to crack the big tour. He has improved with each one of his five starts at this venue and led after the first round last year and comes here having finished 2nd at Colonial last month. My other pick is Kris Blanks who also had his best finish of the season behind Wi when 10th in Texas. He led after the opening round at the St Jude in his last start and admitted his game was coming round after a poor start to the year. He seems to save some of his best golf for short par 70 courses and was 9th here last year which is why I like the back up of supporting him in the top ten market.
This week I have found a couple of interesting outsiders on the Champions and LPGA Tour where there is a double header in New York and I am going for two players who will be playing at home. On the LPGA tour is a Major in the Wegmans Championship and I am rather surprised at the price of native New Yorker Meaghan Francella who has been 7th here for the last two years and has also been 5th twice at the Kraft Nabisco Major - she certainly seems to up her game for the big events. She hasn’t been in the best of form but that is no difference to her current form coming into Majors in the past so I really can’t see why she should be 250/1.
Finally, on the Champions Tour is the Dicks Sporting Goods Open, where New York resident Lonnie Nielsen has a superb record in his adopted state - he has been 3rd and 1st here at En Joie and also 1st and 2nd at the other event played in the state from just ten starts. Again he is in poor form but his record playing locally means he is worth a small wager at 150/1.

June 21st 15.32
Full list of bets for the week so far as follows - back with a full write up tonight
BMW
Added Ross Fisher £30 win 35/1
Travelers Championship
Charlie Wi £30 e/w 90/1 + £20 120
Kris Blanks £15 e/w 150/1 £25 top 10 14/1 + £20 win 230
Wegmans LPGA
Meaghan Francella £25 e/w 250/275
Dicks Sporting Goods
Lonnie Nielsen £15 e/w 150/1
June 21st 11.10
A quick post with bets struck so far for the BMW International - mostly done yesterday
Peter Whiteford £60 e/w 50/1 + £25 win 60
Simon Dyson £25 win 66/1 + £35 win 70
Ricardo Gonzalez £25 e/w 100/1 + £20 win 160
June 20th 11.46
I have just about picked my jaw up from the floor after a certain Spaniards woeful putting display at Congressional and have ordered my copy of this book
I have been betting on golf for a living for twelve years now but I am still guilty of mistakes and the most important thing is to learn from them. Last week I overstaked especially on Betfair and that can turn round and quickly bite you when someone wins as easily as Rory did. So its back to reality and normal golf this week and time to start digging for those little nuggets that are overlooked. I only have to look at two of the winners I have backed this year to see what I am good at - Hoey had won before straight after Clarke had won and inspired him, DA Points had some good course form but that at the event and couldn't wait to play with his idol Bill Murray. Time to start digging!!
June 18th 10.23
Ordinarily I would be chuffed at my position in the US Open - two players backed at 80/1 and 100/1 sitting tied 3rd but it is going to take a dramatic weekend of golf to see one of them win it so I think I will curb my expectations and hope for a couple of top five finishes! My Nationwide picks were bad to say the least and Sain Omer hasn't been much better - main bet Lima came out thr traps running and birdied the first three holes and was matched at 7/1 on Betfair - he then went into freefall and missed the cut! It looks like a busy week next week with the BMW International in Germany, the Travellers Championship in the States and the Womens Major - the Wegmans.
STOP PRESS - Suneson charging through the field in France!
June 16th 12.52
They are off and running at Congressional - I will be doing any updates on Twitter for the next four days - you can find me at SBIdotcom
June 16th 09.44
Final event on my list for the week is the Nationwide Tour Wichita Open - a very quick write up on three selections
Daniel Summerhays - drops down in grade from the main tour and may well find inspiration on a course where he has been 2nd and 4th before £25 e/w 80/1
Brad Elder - 1st and 5th at Crestview before and also won the event on a different course. Pulled out with a back injury in his last event but before that was 10th and 5th. If he has recovered 110/1 is a massive price £25 e/w 110/125
Dustin Garza - having a nightmare first season and not made a cut, however he was one of the best amateurs in the country and graduated from Wichita and has played the course a lot. Has played well in practice rounds and we could see a different player this week - 50p e/w 1500/1 (lol!) and £5 e/w 750/1
June 15th 14.10
The St Omer course in France is a very challenging one with huge elevation changes and with the weather forecast due to be pretty wet and windy patience and course experience will be vital this week. Most past winners of this event have had a good finish on the course so I have concentrated my efforts on this sort of player. I will give a quick summary about each pick.
Lima - has a 1st and 2nd on the course from four starts and at this level (basically Challenge Tour) has a 7% win rate and 20% top 5. Take out his m/c in Wales and his form reads 6/4/3 - I have him in as 16/1 favourite.
Erlandsson - yet to win on tour but that wouldn't put me off as most winners here have'nt had a full tour win before. He too is just hitting form going 39/20/8/3 and although he hasn't played here for some time he was top 15 in his last two starts. Judging by his final round 70 in awful conditions in Northern France on Sunday he won't be troubled by the difficult conditions.
Elson - picked him last week and he struggled on the par 5's but he was 2nd here last season and is worth another crack to break his duck - mind you I am not that keen on his price now - 33/1 - 40/1 was well worth a bet.
Dixon - winner here in 2008 and hitting form again. On Sunday he was 6 over through 5 holes when in with an outside chance in Italy so recovered really well to shoot 69!
Monasterio - the Argentinian veteran will qualify for the senior ranks next year and loves this course - winning five years ago. He may well be past it but he has made his last three cuts on the main tour so is certainly no mug.
Suneson - a just in case small bet a player who has been 1st,4th and 6th here and who showed a glimpse of form last weekend.
June 15th 10.39
Below is my list of bets for the St Omer Open - back with a full write up later
Jose-Filipe Lima £50 ew 25/1 + £50 26/1 average 
Martin Erlandsson £30 e/w 66/1
Jamie Elson £30 e/w 40/1
David Dixon £20 e/w 55/1 
Cesar Monasterio £15 e/w 100/1
Carl Suneson £10 win 160
June 14th 10.39
Bets for St Omer Open will appear on Twitter as I place them - SBIdotcom
June 13th 22.01
Kevin Streelman has yet to win on the big stage - does that put me off even in a Major? - not really. In big events the cream often rises to the top but shocks are very commonplace.Over the winter he changed clubs to Wilson and they have taken a while to bed in, he also changed his driver but after some poor performances reverted to his Cleveland driver. He has also changed his caddie and now has his best friend carrying the bag and in April he switched back to his old coach who he hadn't worked with for three years. The chnages have clearly worked and his last three finishes of 19th at the Players, 10th at the Colonial and 7th at the Memorial were all personal bests on those three courses. He played the AT&T at Congressional in 08 and 09 finishing 27th and 11th with every round at par or better and he was 3rd in the allround stats on his last visit. I do think he has the game to mix it with the best as he has shown at the Barclays in 08 and 10. He has no Major pedigree at all but in his first US Open at Torrey in 08 he led after round one and that kickstarted what led to being a solid rookie season. For these reasons I think he will reward punters at big odds and he even has a nice early tee time to boot.
June 13th 17.35
Bets on now - back later with reasons why - but this week I really fancy a huge surprise in the shape of Kevin Streelman
£100 win 300 Betfair
£50 e/w 200/1 6 places
£20 top 5 59/1
£40 e/w top American - lots of books 66/1 4 places.
June 13th 15.01
First thing to do this week for me is to look through all my antepost bets to see if I am in a good position and as all the prices have contracted then I have done OK - although the old saying goes - you can't eat value!!
Sergio Garcia - qualified in the end through a sectional qualifier by way of a play off after collapsing over the weekend in the Byron Nelson Last weeks missed cut doesn't look great on the face of it but take out his one disasterous hole (11 on a par 5) then his performance wasn't that bad. His game might well click this week - bits of it seem to be performing each week and it might all fall into place at Congressional where he won on his only visit in 2005 - even if the course will set up very different this week.
David Toms - has been in good form for a while now and finally won after a long hiatus a few weeks ago. Everyone expected him to play well last week at Southwind where he has a great record but he missed the cut - I can happily put that down to celebrating after his win. Some people will say only a big hitter will win this week or that accurate players win US Opens - I tend to think that a player with a sound all round game on the week will prevail. Over the last three months Toms has been 1st for driving accuracy and 2nd for greens in regulation. He can also boast a couple of 5th placed finishes in past US Opens and as he is already a Major winner I am glad I am on at a big price.
Brandt Snedeker - is another player who has already won this season - his second on tour and can boast plenty of other top five and top ten finishes as well. He has some good performances at Congressional with a 5th and an 8th and has also been top ten in two of the last three US Opens. He has been very well backed over the last few weeks and the 100/1 is long gone - I am probably undecided as to whether 70/1 still represents much value.
Retief Goosen - was a bit of a no brainer to me once he saw some form last week. If he is playing well his game is so well suited to the US Open and as a two time winner of the event I still think he is a big price at around 60/66.
Mark Wilson - just a no brainer at the 200/1 price tag - already won twice this season and a confidence boosting 7th at the Memorial. Whilst he doesn't have a great Major record he hasn't played in many but his fine putting and scrambling game should be suited this week and he has improved on every start at Congressional.
Placing the last of my bets on my big outsider - back in a while
June 13th 09.29
Just a quick post - added Mark Wilson to my portfolio last night when I saw Ladbrokes had him up at 200/1 (£25 e/w) - bit of an insult to a two time winner this season who was 7th at Memorial last time out. I will be back later today with thoughts on my antepost selections ( am I pleased with them or not!) and will wait for the specialist markets to finalise my bets on my big fancy. Don't forget it is the St Omer Open this week as well - I doubt there will be many prices before tomorrow though
June 12th 16.49
Peter Whiteford finishing 4th in Italy ensures a decent enough profit on the week but I am rather kicking myself for not backing Rock considering his course form. In the Champions Tour event Hal Sutton needs to go really low today and has started well enough. In the St Jude none of my long shots are up there and I certainly saved a bit by not backing Zach Johnson. The other one I wanted to back before the off was Snedeker and I have just had a small dabble on him at 100/1 Ladbrokes - when he won at Harbour Town he was 6 back and in 17th - he is currently 7 back and in 12th - with local support he could go low again - worth £20 to find out!
June 11th 14.07
Golf betting can be a frustrating "pastime" and can be perfectly illustrated over the last few days. Adam Bland stood on the 18th tee on Thusday with a two shot lead - he made double bogey and came out yesterday - played poorly and missed the cut - on the other hand Tryon shot seven under and made the cut! In the ST Jude Michael Bradley made the turn at four under in 4th place and was trading at 25/1 - nine holes later he had missed the cut! On a positive note Whiteford is going well in Italy but it is a really congested leaderboard.
I have been tinkering with my US Open bets and will update them below - I topped up on Snedeker and he is going well in the St Jude and added a bit more on Goosen. That will be it until next week - I do have a strong fancy but will wait to play the specialist markets.
David Toms £30 e/w 100/1
Sergio Garcia £30 e/w 80/1 + £20 95
Retief Goosen £15 e/w 80/1 (6 places) + £40 140
Brandt Snedeker £75 e/w 100/1
June 9th 15.26
Jumped on Goosen for the US Open - £40 140 on Betfair - two time winner going well today
June 9th 12.19
Last minute bet before the off - local man Garrett Willis round one leader Fedex St Jude £15 e/w 125/1. Has an early tee time before it gets too hot, often starts quickly and has done before here twice.
June 8th 12.15
Time for a look at the smaller tours and with both Bet365 and Stan James dropping the Challenge Tour I will no longer be even looking at those events as only Skybet will price them up from now on.
In the Greater Hickory Classic I will go for Hal Sutton. I think it is safe to say Sutton is a shadow of his former self but seems to turn it on a bit on certain courses on the Senior tour. He has been 4th and 9th around Rock Barn and hinted at a return to form last time out - I have backed him mainly on the place - £40 21/1 with a smaller £20 bet on the win at 100/1 with Extrabet but Stan James 100/1 is a very fair price.
I have spent hours going over the Rex Hospital Open on the Nationwide tour and to be honest have come up with little but have had three small plays.
The fairytale story would be a Ty Tryon win as he is playing in his home town and was actually born in Rex Hospital!! On Monday he qualified for the US Open so can't be in too bad shape - £10 e/w 200/225.
Adam Bland - was unlucky not to win the Australian Masters in November when Appleby scythed through the field and since then he hasn't done a lot. However he does like the Wakefield Plantation course having been 3rd last year and 4th heading into the final round the year before - £20 e/w 110/100
Last up is Justin Bolli who has been in a big slump for a long time but found a bit of form lto - his career often follows such patterns. I will give him a small chance and have just the £10 e/w 150/1.
That's it before the off - will post any in running bets on Twitter - time now to concentrate on the US Open - as usual with a Major I will probably add bets as this weeks play unfolds.
June 7th 20.51
When I finished my inittial research into the Fedex St Jude on Sunday it was all going to be about Zach Johnson - a similar sized bet to last time at 25/1 and Brandt Snedeker - a decent wager at 40-50. On Sunday night it looked promising I had a huge £4 matched on Zach at 38 - the rest is history and at the available prices I have looked elsewhere.
John Rollins - a couple years ago I watched Rollins finish 8th one week and wanted to back him for the Reno Open the following week as he had been 2nd on the course the year before - when his price opened at 33/1 I declined - he went on to win. He finished 6th last week in the Memorial and I have taken the hint to back him this week at 80/1. He was also on course for a tilt at the title in Louisiana a month ago until a final round 78 derailed him but I will take the chance that the three time winner is still capable of notching another win. His first two attempts at Southwind in 2000 - m/c and 2005 - 62nd were not good but last year he got to grips with the course and finished 15th and that came on the back of three straight missed cuts. The 80/1 is a really decent price in a field which lacks strength in depth - £50 e/w.
Chez Reavie - his major medical exemption ended last week and whilst he hasn't regained full status he has conditional status - just! Buoyed by that and his 5th at Colonial a few weeks ago he actually won his sectional qualifier for the US Open yesterday. Although he hasn't played Southwind before his accurate game should be well suited and his one Nationwide win came in the State of Tennessee - £20 e/w 200/1 + £15 285 average.
Michael Bradley - just a sort of a hunch really that he fits the bill as an older accurate player the type that do well at Southwind. He won again in Puerto Rico this year and has made five of his last six cuts and if you go back far enough he has a 5th and 7th here - £10 e/w 250/1 + £20 350.
If you thought he last two were from left field then Marc Turnesa is off the map! Unlike Reavie he is still on a Major Medical and he also qualified yesterday for the US Open. Apart from his 5th at Transitions he has been poor this year but I am prepared to take the chance at the price. On his debut here in 2008 he led at the cut and was 2nd heading into the final round before collapsing - but he has won on the main tour since. Have had to split the bets somehwat but have had £25 500 win £10 top 5 75 and bits on at 400/1 e/w.
June 7th 10.09
My second pick for the Italian Open comes in the shape of in form Peter Whiteford. He has made nine of his last ten cuts including top tens in his last two events in far better fields than this. He was a solid 13th here last season when not in such good form and was actually third heading into the final round. In 2009 on the Challenge Tour he won the Grand Final in Italy and in March was 5th in Sicily - he is clearly at home in this neck of the woods. He will have gotten another confidence boost yesterday when comfortably qualifying for the Open at Sunningdale so everything points to another big week - £60 e/w 50/1.
The only other bets I have had are £15 e/w Forsyth 100/1 - 80/1 still fair but only worth a small wager and I got a sneaky £12 at 300 on in form Magnus Carlsson on Sunday night.
I will post my bets for the Fedex St Jude tonight as there could well be some field changes after US Open qualifying yesterday where happily Sergio Garcia scraped through. Before I went away I did back David Toms £30 e/w 100/1 as he was in such good form - at 50/1 I would guess the value is nearly gone but he could shorten again with a good performance this week on a course he plays so well. I have backed one other player for next week in the shape of Snedeker - more of why later but his odds again could tumble this week - £50 e/w 100/1.
June 6th 16.05
Surprised to see lots of prices up for the Italian Open and one player stands out at the prices initially to me - Jamie Elson £25 ew 150/1 and £50 win 145 average on Betfair. The Englishman was once one of the best amateur players in the world but suffered from a degree of burnout in his early career and is back for a second crack at the big stage. So far this year he has three top five finishes so I really don't understand the price - Paddy Power are closer to the mark in my opinion at 60/1. Last season on his return to the tour he played certain courses that he has played again this year and he has improved in each one
East London - mc - 51st
Kensington - 30th - 4th
Parador Malaga - 58th - 23rd
Porto Santo - 19th - 2nd
With improvements like that he could go close if he can improve on his 22nd at Royal Park Roveri 12 months ago. He turned 30 the day after his 2nd in Madeira and his new found maturity could well be rewarded this week.
June 6th 10.57
Just a quick post - prices will probably be slow to materilaise today due to Open qualifying at Sunningdale and US Open qualifying in the States so there might not be any bets today.
June 4th 19.54
Before I went away I was doing a bit of in-running betting and from now on all these plays will be posted on Twitter where you can find me at SBIdotcom - it is easier and quicker than updating the blog in a fast moving environment.
June 4th 14.18
Hello All - back on track now after a nice two week break. Everything went a bit tits up with the house move at the last minute so will happen later in the year so we decided to have two weeks off in the sun as we had "booked" the time off work
It was very nice lying on a beach in Corfu and finding out Michael Hoey had won in Madeira and Zach Johnson had placed!
Obviously I need to catch up with a few thing over the next few days but I have had a quick glance at the Memorial at the cut and have invested a bit in Matt Bettencourt at 100/1 - will see if anything alse catches my eye over the next 24 hours - cheers for now
May 18th 10.00
Last event for me to back in this week is the BMW Pro-Am on the Nationwide Tour and first pick is Troy Kelly. Last summer he had a hip replacement at the age of 31 and returned this season with five starts on the Nationwide Toir and the chance of Monday Qualifying for the PGA tour. In just his second round of golf he Monday qualified for Phoenix and went on to make the cut - no mean feat! On the lower tour he has had three starts and improved with every one 30/24/2. He now comes to a course where he was 1tth last year off the back of three straight missed cuts and I think this is the week where he could well sew up his card for next year and a return to the bigger stage - £50 e/w at 40/45.
Second up is a small bet on DJ Brigman - he is having a bit of a torrid time on the main tour and drops down in grade for an event where he has been 3rd before and one where he made his first start as a pro back in 2002. He has won twice at this level including last year but at 66/1 it's only a small bet for me - £15 e/w 66/1.
Well I am off to pack up the rest of the house and will be back in a little over two weeks time but I will leave you with one further thought on the US Open which this year comes from Congressional. Sergio Garcia is showing signs of life but needs a good week to get inside the top 50 in the world to qualify automatically. It would come as no surprise to see him get that good week in the very near future - I backed him last week - £40 e/w 80/1 and £20 95 to start off my US Open portfolio.
May 17th 21.39
Since backing Hoey earlier today I have added another £30 e/w at 40/1 and he is my main pick for Madiera. He arguably has the best course form on show having finished 6th both times and he must like this part of the world as his one European tour win came in Portugal in 09. This is his time of the year as in 38 pro starts in April/May he has won three times. Whilst he isn't in sparkling form this season his 15th in Dubai reads well in this field and back in Europe we can expect a bold showing.
I was looking through the Challenge Tour grads where the last two winners have come from and I liked the look of Kaleka and Gagli. The latter can boast a 5th in Sicily and was going well in the Spanish Open til the final round. He was 29th here last year and has been 3rd in the co-sanntioned St Omer Open before. I like the young French player Kaleka and think he will go far - 11th here last season after an opening 74 so clearly can play the tricky course. Last up is another young French player Russo who like Kaleka shot an opening round 74 here last year but went on to finish 4th. He has started the season in fine form on the Challenge tour and in a poor event could well replicate last years finish.
Back tomorrow with the Nationwide BMW Pro-Am.
May 17th 20.43
First up I will go into reasons for the Crowne Plaza and to be honest most of the reasons for picking Zach Johnson are pretty obvious. Everyone knows he is defending champion and that he has defended a title in Texas before but the other times he has defended a title on the same course are worth looking at. He won at Sugarloaf in 04 but didn't play it again til 06 when 2nd and then won again in 07. Lacantera was where he won in 08 and 09 and the Sony Open looks interesting as well as in 2010 he led after rd rd1, 2nd rd 2 and 3rd in rd 3 before fading to 12th. He seems to like playing the week after Sawgrass - in 2006 he was 2nd, 2007 won and again in 2009 whilst his win here last season came in his second event after Sawgrass. I had him down as 16/1 favourite and the only favourite I can see beating him is Day but I would take Johnsons seven wins to Days one any day.
Paul Goydos has shown time and time again in his career that he can play well back to back so don't be surprised to see him continue last weeks form. Last week he was first for Driving Accuracy and 2nd for GIR on his way to finishing 3rd in a top quality field. Colonial suits the grizzled short hitting vets and Goydos is no exception and can boast a 2nd, 4th and 10th round here - all he needs is to hole a few more putts.
May 17th 12.04
I have pieced together my team for Madeira over the last 18 hours - being quick off the mark has helped as prices were all over the shop - reminds me of the old days!!
Below are the players I have backed - shop around and you might still get close
Michael Hoey - £30 e/w 45/1 - miseed the 60/50!!!
Charles-Edouard Russo - £25 e/w 80/1
Alexandre Kaleka - £15 e/w 90/1 + £10 e/w 80/1
Lorenzo Gagli - £20 e/w 100/1
May 17th 09.53
Bit behind this week with prices slow to materialise on the events I want to back in - completed bets for Crowne Plaza which are below - write up later
Zach Johnson £100 e/w 25/1 + £100 28/1 average on Betfair
Paul Goydos £40 e/w 100/1 + £20 110/1 average on Betfair
May 16th 14.17
I had a play at in running betting over the course of the weekend and came out with a profit so in the future I may look more at that angle - thouh not this week. On Friday I move house and it may take a while to get settled and then we have half term so taking some time out to play with the kids. All this adds up to two weeks away - if I can't dedicate complete time to betting then there is no point in dipping in and out. I have my lists drawn up for Colonial, Madeira and the BMW Pro-Am so will do the usual this week but there will be no more posts from Firday onwards for two weeks.
May 14th 21.59
Have had a bet in the Players Championship - with the weather delay - just reminds me of when Andres Romero won on the PGA tour before. In good form at the moment and was top 10 here last year - £20 e/w 80/1 - 100/1 at Stan James.
Next week we see more or less every type of tournament – with two match play events, a standard 72 hole event, a co-sanctioned tournament and a Pro-Am!!!
I will say straight away that I am not a lover of match play and I like betting on it even less so that knocks two tournaments out for next week.
After many years of being played at the Santo de Serra golf course the Madeira Open moved in 2009 to Porto Santo so we now have two year’s worth of course form. Whether course form will be useful for this year’s event is open to debate, but it will be interesting to see if the obvious trend continues. The two winners so far – Tano Goya and James Morrison – were both Challenge tour graduates the year before. They then both played the South African swing before having an enforced break as they didn’t get in to the Middle East events and perhaps not being able afford to travel to the Far East. They were therefore pumped up and raring to go once the tour started, playing more in mainland Europe.
Over in the USA the Crowne Plaza at Colonial is the longest running non-Major PGA tour event held at the same site, starting back in 1946 so there is plenty of history. These days the course is there for the taking as a short par 70 and the winner will need to shoot between 15 and 20 under par. Having said that, don’t expect the bombers to be to the fore – they have no advantage round Colonial so look out for the shorter, more accurate players
May 14th 10.50
Sometimes I think there should be a stewards enquiry into golf events - yet again a heavily backed player shoots a woeful score as Ben Crane just scrapes into the weekend having traded as low as 14/1 in running on Thursday. Yesterday he shot eight shots worse in his second round - weirdly enough he did the same in 2009 but now he is too far back. I will be keeping my powder dry for another salvo next week but do keep an eye out for Sergio Garcia - desperate to get in the US Open he could well move through the field today. What I said the other day about books not pricing up small events has rung true again - Phillipine Open - Bet365 went 66/1 Jay Bayron and Skybet 200/1 - max bet £2 ew and he sits 2nd with a round to go all I can say is colemanballs!
May 11th 12.53
No more proper bets from me before the off this week - such a shame that whilst books price up the LPGA and Champions they can't be bothered with the smaller tours. If you can get a bet on for Tuscany then Meitinger is worth considering - he won last time out and has twice won back-to-back on the EPD tour and also he was joint leader going into the final round here last year. Maybe Lloyd Kennedy likes Italy - 3rd last year - he was also 3rd in another Italian event before that. I managed to get small amaounts on at 40/1 and 150/1 so good luck if you try!
May 10th 21.24
It wasn't rocket science tipping Ben Crane yesterday but I am very glad I got in early as his price has totally crashed as I expected - although I often don't like obvious picks this week I just had to go big on him. His course form is blatantly obvious with a wonderful improvement curve c/66/36/6/5/4 and he says he loves playing Sawgrass as it is such a good test of golf. He has never been a prolific winner with a win in 2003 and 2005 but then last year he won twice. His form this season is rock solid without setting the world alight but when you look in depth at his last couple of finishes they are better than they originally seem. His 6th placed finish at Harbour Town was his best in eight attempts and 20th at Louisiana was a vast improvement on his three previous missed cuts. All I can say is now I hope he lives up to the top billing!
With so much staked on Crane I didn't want to invest heavilky on many others and to be honest no-one else really caught my eye at the prices except Francesco Molinari who I got 100/1 with 6 places though 80/90 is more than fair. He seems to have dropped quickly off the radar but it was only two months ago he was 3rd in the Cadillac in Florida and he was 9th on his Sawgrass debut last year - maybe the return to Florida will do him good.
May 10th 14.09
The Iberdrola Open returns to the tricky Pula course on Mallorca and Cevaer is my main pick despite the fact he is a nightmare to call right. A past world junior champion he does have two European titles to his name - the prestigious European Open in 2009 and the Spanish Open when it was held in the Canaries on Fuerteventura. He is ia at his best on shorter trciky tracks and has a penchant for island courses - 11th and 4th here on his last two visits plus that win in the Canaries and a 4th in Madeira - maybe because he grew up on the island of New Caledonia himself. He is also well known as one of the best putters in Europe and in those last two starts here he has led the putting stats each time so is clearly at home on the course. His current form doesn't look fantastic - he withdrew from China and Korea with food poisoning but his 15th last week shows him to be in good shape - especially with the flat stick.
My other two picks are in the round one leader market and are pretty simple - how often can you back golfers with this relevant form at these prices - Fasth has played here twice and led or joint led both times - 66/1 , and Gary Murphy who I backed last year who in his last four visits has first round form of 2/1/2/3 - odds of 150/1 seems like a no-brainer to me!
May 9th 15.51
Sometimes when you think a price is wrong you just have to go for it as it doesn't happen that often - main bet in The Players Championship = Ben Crane - have had £250 e/w at odds between 45/1 and 50/1. In Mallorca I like the look of Christian Cevaer and have had £30 e/w at 100/1. I also had a cheeky little e/w double on the pair - back later with thoughts and reasonings behind the bets.
May 8th 22.26
There hasn't been a lot to get excited about over the last few days so I have had my head buried in the computer researching. Yet again my favourite tour comes to the rescue with Wil Wilcox getting tied third on the Nationwide but it is a little bitter sweet as Henley who I mentioned below won on his college course at 100/1 as an amateur DOH!!
Next week looks like being a fairly quiet week on the golf front with just the two main events, but with the Players Championship at Sawgrass there will be plenty of entertainment and drama. International players have dominated the event over the last five years with only Mickelson winning in 2007, whilst Tim Clark, Henrik Stenson, Sergio Garcia and Stephen Ames have all been successful. I do think the key to finding the winner is not necessarily where they originate but rather that they have good previous form on the course. I have a very strong bet lined up so check out the blog on Monday/Tuesday.
At last in Europe they play a course with plenty of history as Pula in Mallorca was used from 2003-2007 and then again last year. In the early days the event was a benefit for the top class Spanish golfers with the winners being Jimenez, Garcia, and Olazabal. You could say that Olazabal had a distinct advantage and his win wasn’t a huge surprise as he redesigned the course. It is with great irony and tinged with a huge amount of sadness following the death of Seve that golf in Europe is being played on Spanish soil for these two weeks. He probably contributed more to golf in Europe than anyone else and will be sorely missed.
May 4th 16.03
I have had a look through the other events that take place this week and have had a couple of bets. The Champions tour has its first Major of the year in Alabama at the Shoal Creek course and I am going to give hometown player Steve Lowery another chance. I tipped him a few weeks ago the week after his father passed away but I had this earmarked for him. It is not often you get to play a Major at home and this will be one of Lowerys biggest occasions in his career. He is a past member here and has played the course plenty of times and providing the rough hasn't grown as high as it was when last used for the PGA Championship then his long hitting and home advantage could carry him to a top finish. I think that 80/1 is a very big price and have had £50 e/w.
The Nationwide Tour play at the University of Georgia course and there are plenty of players who have ties with the couse who are Georgia Bulldogs but it is difficult to pick one above another. I guess Eric Compton could reward backers but at 28/1 he is plenty short enough whilst English and Henley who are still college players will probably lack the experience to contend over all four days. If you can bet at Stan James then Mark Anderson is big at 125/1 - he was 5th here last year and 5th last week, sadly I cannot avail myself of those odds and 66/1 is about right. I have had a small bet on history repeating itself very rapidly after Ted Potter won last week as a Monday qualifier. Like Potter Will Wilcox has also won twice this year on the Hooters Tour and last week lost in a play-off after calling a penalty on himself. He then travelled to Georgia and Monday qualified for this weeks event. Frustratingly not all books have him listed and I have only been able to get £20 e/w on at 66/1 - good luck in getting more on yourselves!
This weeks mortgage payer is an e/w yankee on Compton, Lowery, Velasco and Mayfair.
May 3rd 21.15
One of the keys to successful golf betting is finding a player who is about to hit form and still getting a decent price about said selection. In this weeks Wells Fargo event I like the way Billy Mayfair is shaping up as he finally seems to be able to putt! His form over the last month has improved every week culminating in his 8th place last week as his accurate game was finally rewarded with a good putting performance. His form at Quail Hollow is pretty good with 10th placed finishes in both 2005 and 2007 but last year is the most interesting. In 2010 he came to North Carolina on the Monday to qualify after playing a huge number of holes at Louisiana over the weekend. He arrived just in time and with his wife caddying he qualified for the main event and entered Sunday in the lead. By that time he was probably quite knackered and shot a 76 to drop to 14th. Since that time he showed he still retains something when he won the Q school back in November and I have backed him £40 win 340, £20 top 5 40/1 and £30 top 10 18/1. Coral 200/1 e/w is more than fair.
Next up is Jason Bohn who was defending in Louisiana last week and he continued his fairly average season - making the cut but never really challenging. The reason he is a bet for me is his form in the state of North Carolina. He was 3rd here in 2008 but he has also been 3rd and 2nd at Forest Oaks and 2nd at Sedgefield in 2009. He often pops up out of the blue and at 200/1 I have had £20 e/w and £20 at 290.
Last up I will continue with the Nationwide theme - even though Fabian Gomez came up short last week I have come up with someone a la Tommy Gainey and this week it is David Mathis' turn for a home game. This is his second chance on the big tour having disappointed in 2009 but instead of getting down in the dumps he had a great year on the Nationwide tour winning at the tough Jacksonville Open and this weeks course is just as tough. He seems keen to play his home event and comes here in great form with a top 20 in Houston and then 8th last week - his best ever PGA finish. Whilst a win is a huge step at 575/1 average I might get the chance to trade with £25 but I ilke the 30/1 top 10 odds and have had £40 on.
May 3rd 14.36
Back after a day off and ready to go again - first up the Spanish Open. As I said on Sunday there is limited course from for El Prat but it led me to may main selection this week Alvaro Velasco. The local from Barcelona finished 4th here on the Challenge Tour back in 2006 in his first season as a professional. He had a great debut season and much was expected and he played on the main tour in 2008 and 2009 but I don't think he was ready. He returned to the lower tour last year and won twice and topped the money list from just sixteen starts. He has had a solid start to the season on the main tour including a 4th in the Dubai Desert Classic. He will be fresher than most having not travelled to the Far East, instead he warmed up in a small event in Spain last week finishing 2nd. I expect a strong performance in front of his home crowd and have invested £50 ew at an average of 75/1.
My other two bets are small in nature - firstly for round one leader - Stuart Manley has a habit of playing well for a few rounds at the same courses year in year out before fading - was 4th here in 2006 after the first round and 3rd at the cut - worth £10 ew at 200/1.
Last up is reigning Spanish amateur champion Laurie Canter who easily won here at El Prat in March (won 11 & 10). This wasn't a one off - he won the South African amateur last year and qualified for the Open in July. I have just had small bets for win, top 5, top 10 and round one leader at silly odds.
Back later with the Wels Fargo.
May 1st 22.37
Well the excitement didn't last long on the Gomez front as he managed to triple bogey the 4th for the second time this week and then lost the plot a little. As for Lexi - well she was doing fine in 2nd until back to back double bogeys at 14 and 15 derailed her. Perhaps I can let her off - after all she is only 16 but it really is a kick in the nuts after the last few weeks with Gainey and Chappell. Below is a quick preview of next weeks events but I might well take tomorrow off - it's my birthday and I would rather not look back at this weeks golf results!!
Next week sees the European Tour back on the mainland - the headline event is the Spanish Open whilst the Challenge tour pitches up in Disneyland for some Mickey Mouse tournament (sorry couldn’t resist!). Be wary of what some might say about the Spanish Open returning to El Prat for the first time since 1999 as the course had to relocate to it’s present venue at the turn of the century as Barcelona Airport expanded. The present design was the first Greg Norman golf course to have opened in mainland Europe and has hosted mainly minor events but not the Spanish Open itself.
The Wells Fargo Championship is the new name of the Wachovia Championship which has been played at Quail Hollow in North Carolina since 2003. The event is normally won by a top class performer but you can forget the 2007 champion Tiger Woods as he is out with injury. Rory McIlroy will be defending next week - not as common a statement as you would think given his starting price every week. He won last year by firing a fantastic 66 and 62 over the weekend but given his recent attempts at winning he is probably opposable, but it may be worth waiting until the final day if he is in contention before laying.
The European Challenge tour is worthy of a quick mention - in 1993 a 23 year old American turned up at Disneyland to play a European Challenge Tour event and won. I would guess most players next week would love to emulate none other than Phil Mickelson
May 1st 13.35
My apologies for the disruption to the website over the last couple of days - I am having server problems with the site host and to permanently solve the issue I will have to take the site offline for 24 hours which I don't want to do until all next weeks bets are up. Until I have a permanent fix I will put all bets up on Twitter as well - you can follow me here http://twitter.com/#!/SBIdotcom
It's going to be quite an exciting day for me with Alexis Thompson being joint leader on the LPGA tour and massive outsider Fabian Gomez in a good position for a top 5/10 finish. I might need a few stiff drinks tonight as I also have them in a small e/w double at 66/1 and 400/1
April 27th 19.48
Chris Nallen was a fairly straightforward pick for me in the South Georgia Classic as he comes into the week on the back of his best ever finishes at Stobebrae (19th) and Le Triomphe (9th). He burst onto the scene in 2004 winning on his first Nationwide start shooting a 60 in his first round - it probably proved a hinderance to his career and it wasn't until last season that he began to fulfill his potential. Last season he had three top five finishes on this tour and certainly has the distance to master the very long Kinderlou Forest course. He has always stsrted well here before when out of form but has faded over the weekend, in his current form I can see him go all the way and at 80/1 is well worth a bet.
I am also going to have a dabble in the LPGA Avnet Classic which should be set up to suit the bombers on the ladies circuit and they don't come any longer than the highly talented youngster Alexis Thompson. She has performed well in Alabama before and I reckon this could be the week she shines through. I have had £30 e/w at 80/1 but 66/1 is more than fair.
I have also had a crazy mortgage buster Maybin 55/1, Nallen 66/1, Thompson 66/1 & Gomez 400/1 - well for a few pennies e/w on tha yankee it would be rude not to lol!!
April 27th 14.44
I have had one bet in the South Georgia Classic so far and that is on Chris Nallen - availed myself to the huge sum of £2.25 e/w 100/1 at Skybet and had to settle for a further £50 e/w at 80/1 - back later if any more fancies.
April 26th 21.25
The Zurich New Orleans Classic has a history of producing first time winners and big priced ones to boot so that was where I focused my attention this week. Given the "theme" so far this year has been for Nationwide graduates to perform well then that is where I have started.
Fabian Gomez reminds me a bit of fellow Argentinian Andres Romero (whose lone PGA tour victory was here in 2008) although somewhat older he has won many of the same events back in South America. Most of his best form in the USA has been in the southermost states and he won last year in Louisiana and his best result this year was in Puerto Rico when 7th. If he ever performs well in a main tour event this will be his best chance.
Scott Gutschewski also had a great Nationwide season in 2010 although he didn't quite manage a win he did finish 2nd to Gomez in Louisiana. He has made a pretty solid start to his PGA season - probably much better than previous attempts. His form at the TPC is not disimilar to Gaineys form at Harbour Town and look how he performed last week. His best finish of 24th here masks the fact that at one point he led and was 3rd with a round to go before the nerves got the best of him. Without a top five PGA tour finish to his name I would rather go for a trade and the top ten price.
Moving away from the Nationwide grads I will give James Driscoll another crack in an event where he was 2nd in 2005. He has never really fulfilled his potential but once or twice a year - usually in April or May he comes good - 2010 9th Texas Open, 2009 2nd Texas Open, 2008 5th AT&T Classic and of course that 2nd here in 2005. Perhaps he just likes this time of the year or this neck of the woods but at the odds he is worth a shot.
Tim Petrovic is a nightmare to get right but as a past winner here is worth a small bet at 150/1 and Woody Austin is the only one of thirty one players to have a top five finish here to have done it twice so I couldn't resist the 800/1 win price early doors on Betfair. Read more >
April 26th 14.16
Last couple of bets for the PGA tour - sticking with the outsiders this week
Tim Petrovic - £20 win 150
Scott Gutschewski - £20 win 510 + £25 top 10 25/1
April 26th 13.13
Second lot of bets for Zurich are as follows (no more bets for Ballantines)
James Driscoll - £35 win 440 £10 top 5 55 + £35 top 10 25/1
Woody Austin - placed yesterday but was hoping for more at silly price £30 win 800
April 26th 10.17
I hate Bank Holidays - puts everything out of sync! - will drip feed bets today and do explanations later
Ballantines - just the one bet for me £30 e/w Gareth Maybin 66/1 Ladbrokes
Zurich Classic New Orleans - main bet - Fabian Gomez £30 win 780 £10 e/w 400/1 & £30 top 10 33/1
April 24th 22.51
I take it all back lol - Tommy Two Gloves nearly comes up trumps - a great fight back misses the play-off by one but gets the place money e/w at 150/1
April 24th 19.21
Tommy Two Gloves has already spoilt my Sunday night entertainment so will quickly post a preview of next weeks events and go and watch the TV!
The European tour continues its Far Eastern journey and the Ballantines event takes place in Korea again but they try out another new venue this time – the Blackstone course in Seoul, a private course which opened in 2009 and has just 300 members. If you can find one of the mega rich Korean members ask him how the course will play!!
In America the PGA tour arrives in Louisiana which is where the players love to play – not necessarily because of the course but they reckon the food is the best all year! The TPC course has been used for five years and it is impossible to find any great trend. In those five years, thirty one players have filled a top five spot and only one player has done it twice – Woody Austin. I would say don’t be afraid of picking a tour virgin as Petrovic, Watney and Romero all made this their first win on tour.
I might be spending a bit more time on the Nationwide Tour, South Georgia Classic which has fond memories for me. In the 2007 inaugural edition, Stan James failed to do their homework and made John Kimbell 150/1, unaware that he had won on the course the year before. Apparently it took them a long time to recoup the losses on this tour. The main point with this event is look for the big hitters as the course is the longest they use all year at around 7800 yards.
April 23rd 10.23
With the weather being stunning and having the kids at home for the school holidays have had a few days off. Looking at how things stand - in China Stolz still has every chance of grabbing a place with a solid final round. On the PGA tour - Gainey has improved after not holing a putt in round one and looking at the leaderboard it seems I am suffering from a case of premature tipulation! You might have noticed over the last few weeks that I tipped Verplank the week before he was 2nd and Day the week before his exploits in the Masters so I was rather disturbed to see O'Hern moving through the field last night so had a token £10 on at 100 on Betfair. Also those who have followed me over the years will remember I have followed DJ Trahan over the proverbial cliff here at Harbour Town due to his family connection with the course so again I had £20 95 and also a small e/w bet at 80/1 with four places - 66/1 this morning still seems fair.
April 19th 22.11
The Heritage from Hilton Head is struggling as a tournament to stay alive due to lack of sponsorship which is a great shame as it is a great event at a lovely venue. There is plenty of course form and it cetainly seems to suit certain players but that means that prices on most of those players are pretty poor. Cameron Beckman may be an odd pick but he can boast some pretty decent form here over the years, he was 2nd with a round to go in 2002, led after round one in 2004 and was 5th at the cut in 2005 so he has shot plenty of low rounds. He is now a three time winner on tour having won the Mayakoba last year and there are definite similarities between the two venues. He has actually been far more consistent this year in comparison to 2010 when at the start of the year in eleven starts he missed nine cuts and won in Mexico (the only other cut he made was here). I have a feeling he really could be a surprise contender and don't think he should be anywhere near 200/1.
Tommy Gainey has a home game this week in South Carolina and he could well continue the great form of Nationwide Tour graduates this year - Steele followed Vegas into the winners enclosure and there have been a lot of places as well. It wouldn't be a surprise to see Tommy maintain his great form - he nearly won in Phoenix and put that disappointment behind him when 5th at the Honda Classic so more or less has his card wrapped up for next year. He will have a huge amount of home support and whilst his two starts here show some patchy form he is a much better player now.
Kris Blanks has been quiet this year but reading his posts on Twitter he is now very bullish about his game saying it is just coming round - just in time for Harbour Town where he was 5th on his debut last season. His one win on the Nationwide Tour came at the Glen Club the year fater he had finished 3rd at that venue so there is defiinitely a precedent for him going well this week. He has spent a large part of his life around Hilton Head where his wife was assistant pro so his good finish last year was not a huge surprise.
I have a feeling Stephen Ames might leave some poor Florida form behind and whilst his finishes around here don't read great he is often in contention
2010 3rd after round 3
2009 4th after round 2
2007 5th after round 3
2005 5th after round 3
2004 3rd after round 3
He could well prove to be a great back to lay.
Lastly I cannot leave Love unbacked and round one is probably the best market to back him in - in the last fiftenn years he has led twice, been second and fourth three times after Thursday so is worth a few quid at 125/100.
April 19th 12.52
The European Tour continues its far flung travels and this week at least it is a regular tour stop for the Volvo China Open - sadly it's yet another new course. However there is some course form to look at as Luxehills has hosted the Chengdu Open for the last three years but only 2010 had a decent field. The winner in a play off last year was home favourite Wen-Chong Liang - he seemed a bit rusty in Malaysia last week but at 40/1 + he is worth a bet.
Main pick for me though has to be Andre Stolz who has been in great form over the last six months. Since October he has been 3rd in the China Classic, 5th Australian Masters, 3rd Australian PGA and this year has been 7th and 5th in small Australian events before finally winning the Indonesian PGA Championship last month. He played here last year and missed the cut but you need to look closer to see he was tied 9th after round one but didn't enjoy the cold weather in round two but he sounds really positive about coming back "I really liked the course though and it's a course I can see myself winning on. I'm just happy I will be there one month later than last year so hopefully the weather will be better. I've been checking on the temperature in Chengdu every day!" - the weather forecast calls for temperatures in the 70's all week so he should be fine. I had him in at around the 50/1 mark so he has to be a decent bet at double that price.
Final pick goes to Richie Ramsay who will be seeing the course for the first time but seems to really enjoy playing in China. In 2008 he was 2nd when the European Challenge tour visited and then last year was a very impressive 3rd in the HSBC Champions tour event. He has been in solid form this season with an 8th in Bahrain and 7th last time out in Morocco and I think it is only a matter of time before he adds to his maiden victory.
April 19th 10.05
Same as yesterday with picks for the Heritage - though I do have a couple of back to lays and first round leader bets to add once matched - back later with full previews of both events later
Cameron Beckman - £30 e/w 200/1 + £40 win 260
Kris Blamks - £20 e/w 200/1 + £25 win 260
Tommy Gainey - £20 e/w 150/1
April 18th 17.26
Bit short of time today - have had bets on the Volvo China Open so will quickly post
Wen-Chong Liang £40 e/w 50/1 - (40/1 OK)
Rich Ramsay £20 e/w 70/1 + £20 100/1 win
Andre Stolz £40 ew 125/1
April 18th 14.09
Another frustrating week - becoming rather commonplace atm! The London Marathon would have produced a nice profit had Ladbrokes allowed me a decent bet on Keitany at 9/1 - hopefully some of you got on. The final day in Texas was ineteresting with three big outsiders in the final three ball and they all played well really - probably helped each one of them that no star name was in the final group. In running bet Chappell did well until a poor second at the 17th led to a bogey and he eventually tied for second but not after I had laid a big chunk back at 2/1 to guarantee a profit. With outsiders winning nearly every week its time to try and find this weeks surprise winner in the Volvo China Open and the Heritage!
April 17th 09.34
A quick final post on the London Marathon - the only other man I was interested in was Gharib - great in warm weather and finishes here of 3/2/8/4/3/3 - sadly he wins rarely and even sadder his podium price on Betfair is poor - so just had £20 on at 30 average to maybe trade in running.
April 16th 11.39
The wind blwoing in Texas sorted the field out a bit yesterday - it is not due to blow too much today but tomorrow could be stronger than Friday and from a different direction. The Australian theory seems to be working OK and 125/1 pick O'Hern isn't too far back. One interesting player is Kevin Chappell who is tied for the lead - last year he won on the Nationwide Tour on the corresponding weekend - anyone believe in bio-rhythms?! I did have £20 at 85 last night and over in Malaysia I have invested £20 on Hiratsuka at 300 - if he can get a bit closer to the lead he sure knows how to finish the job off.
April 15th 13.39
Ladbrokes - womens London marathon - Mary Keitany shouldn't be 9/1 - sadly no e/w and max bet £7.50!
April 15th 11.13
I priced up the London Marathon last week and waited eagerly for the first prices and Bwin obliged on Monday - not a lot of point posting my bets at the time as I wanted to see what prices other books went but I made the defending champions Kebede 2/1 and Shobukhova 9/4 so was happy to get £45 at 9/1 and £100 at 7/2!!!! Maybe the best way now would be to back the two in e/w doubles at around 5/2 and 3/1 as I find it hard to see either finishing off the podium. Still looking for other bets but beware Bazu Worku is out with food poisoning.
April 15th 10.04
It hasn't been the best start to the week for my golf tips but there is a long way to go - Texas looks very interesting if the wind blows! I have been looking at the Champions tour event for the last few days and have been pondering over whether to back Steve Lowery but just couldn't pull the trigger. He had his best Champions tour finish last time out when 7th where he led the driving distance and GIR stats - he simply couldn't putt very well. The last of his three wins was in a pro-am which is the format this week which made me feel confident but I still couldn't make the call. Then today I read that his father had died last week - that made me call and place £40 e/w at 66/1 - he is a very religious man and I just think you might see a very emotional and inspired Lowery this week.
April 13th 22.10
Before explaining the Nationwide picks I have added a further bet on Edfors as round one leader in Malaysia - £20 e/w 50/55 - he has led or co-led in 4 of his last 13 starts
In California the Fresh Express Classic enters its third year at the Stonebrae course and I have gone for a couple of oldies to master the tricky course. You have to feel sorry for Fran Quinn - playing the best golf of his career he won in Sept 09 and in Feb 10 and then suffered a stress fracture in his spine. He has improved with every event since his comeback and is really keen to take up where he left off when injured. Call it a childish sense of humour but I have always wanted to tip Dicky Pride and now I have the opportunity!! He drops down to the Nationwide Tour having played three events on the main tour where he improved with each start especially with a 30th at Bay Hill. He should have fond memories of Stonebrae - last year when in poor form he came here and led after round one before fading to 17th - at 80/1 he is worth the risk.
April 13th 12.32
I have made a couple of bets on this weeks Nationwide Fresh Express Classic - will post reasons later
Fran Quinn - pennies e/w at 80/1 + £50 e/w 66/1
Dicky Pride - £40 e/w 80/1
April 12th 19.29
The Texas Open was played at Lacantera from 1995 to 2005, but last year it moved to its new home at the TPC in San Antonio which was designed in the main by Greg Norman, the designer who is at the centre of my thoughts this week. Last season Adam Scott was triumphant and the following quote after his win is very interesting:
“When I played Tuesday I was amazed how much it looked like some of the courses back at home. A lot like the Mornington Peninsula. I even saw some of the Brisbane courses. It felt like the landscape looks very similar to back home, kind of harsh, scrub land off the fairways and I had a feeling I knew Aussies would do well here this week. Greg's greens are a lot like some of the sandbelt greens back at home, you know, that design and the bunkering. I felt comfortable on it and I think a lot of the other Aussies did, too, because there were a lot of Aussies up there through 36 holes this week and you know, when you feel comfortable like that, it certainly helps.”
It certainly was a good place for Australians last year with Scott winning and Baddeley third but also at the cut Jones and Nitties were tied first before fading. The question is, which Australians to side with this week? The two favourites are Scott and Ogilvy and whilst both enjoyed very good weeks at Augusta you do have to wonder if this week will be a bit of a let down. One thing to remember though is that Scott has a fantastic record in Texas and a very good record when defending titles, he is worth a saver win only at 12/1 £50
The player that I was really interested in was Marc Leishman who was an excellent 3rd at Bay Hill a couple of weeks ago, a solid 30th here last season and whose sole win on the Nationwide Tour came in the state of Texas however at odds of 33/1 I have to pass.
Nick O’Hern caught my eye on his last start in Houston shooting a 65 to tie for 2nd after round one, though he did struggle a bit on day two before eventually finishing tied 19th. It was interesting listening to his post round one interview as he has played poorly after his knee surgery last year:
“My game started coming around last week at Bay Hill. Last few weeks it's progressively better. I knew a good round wasn't far off. The big thing for me on this Tour is driving the ball. I'm one of the shortest hitters, but I'm usually one of the most accurate. I haven't been accurate at all of late. My game revolves round hitting fairways and therefore I can hit greens and hopefully make putts.”
If the Australian connection rings true, O’Hern has a great record at home and is worth investing in at 125/1 £25 e/w + £20 170
I will also give a small chance to Matt Jones who was tied 1st at the cut here last season. Although he arrives here in worse form than 2010 he has been putting well just as he did at San Antonio last year £16 190 + £24 top 5 28/1
Moving away from the Australians, one American has attracted my money in the shape of Tim Petrovic. He has been a poor starter to the season for a while now but usually gets his act together once we hit April. He had his best finish of the year at Houston last time out when 16th and was 2nd on the all round stats. I can see him possibly beating last season’s 6th place finish here at San Antonio. I took £25 e/w 80/1 + got £25 win 140.
April 12th 16.18
The Malaysian Open revolves around the four favourites who take a huge chunk out of the betting market - all can be opposed leaving some nice each way prices further down the field. Newly crowned Masters Champion Schwartzel is bound to be fairly exhausted. Rorys’ final round collapse could well be the making of him or it could destroy any confidence he had for some time to come and at 10/1 it would seem foolish to take the risk. It wasn’t a surprise to see Kaymer fail at Augusta as his game is simply not suited to the course but he has actually been fairly poor since he became world number one and is always at his best on courses he feels comfortable on. Open champion Oosthuizen couldn’t defend in Andalucia due to an eye infection and didn’t play very well at the Masters. So which players down the list look to be worth backing?
The erratic Swede Johan Edfors leaps off the page at 66/1 as he has been in good form this season. It has been five years since he won three times on tour in one season and the only time he has seen the winners enclosure since was two years ago in Thailand where he now spends a lot of his time. Already this year he has a 6th in Bahrain and a 2nd last time out in Spain and seemed very upbeat after that finish in Andalucia:
“I had been planning to take this week off because I did not play well in the event last year, but then I decided to come and it was a good decision. The course is in great shape and the weather during my round was absolutely lovely. I know I have not won for five years but I feel my confidence is starting to come back.”
In fact that missed cut in Andalucia last year was sandwiched by a 7th here in Kuala Lumpur and a 4th in the China Open - he clearly feels at home in Asia. £80 e/w 66/1 + £20 win 80/1.
Sticking with the Swedes, Rikard Karlberg who like Edfors is also now based out of the Black Mountain resort in Thailand. He won twice in Asia last season, both on the Delhi course and was also an impressive 3rd in the Singapore Open. He has improved with every start on tour this year 65/41/11 and back out in Asia I expect him to go well at 100/1 - £25 e/w
A lot of the local players are of interest but they may well be better plays in running as with so many bigger name players taking part their odds are not likely to contract hugely even if they get off to a good start.
My final pick before they tee off is Alastair Forsyth who hit a low point in his career last year when failing to get his card back at Q school. He only gets in here this week as a past winner and will be looking to make use of the start after a promising finish in Sicily last month. His best form seems to be at this time of the year - in 2009 he went 5/7/c/8/6, 2008 1/25/2 and 2007 16/7/8 between the months of March and May. He was really pleased with his final round of 65 in Sicily and says he is inspired by the recent wins of fellow Scots Lawrie and Lyle after long gaps and at a huge 200/1 is well worth an investment each way £25 e/w plus a bet on a top ten finish at 20/1 £25.
April 11th 09.49
With prices slow to come out this week I will just put bets up as I place them and follow with a full write up later today or tomorrow.
Main bet in Malaysia is Johan Edfors £80 ew 66/1 and £20 win 80/1
April 10th 20.43
I have been away for a few days and looking at the scores in the Masters I am glad I have been because after a great Thursday things have gone pearshaped ever since and the chance of even a place is incredibly remote. Next week it's back to the bread and butter events with the Valero Texas Open and Malaysian Open the highlights and it will be interesting to see who prices up the London Marathon and when.
April 8th 09.25
Too tired to post last night - I guess it was a game of two halves for me - first round leader bets - very poor - outright bets pretty good. with Yang, Kuchar, Moore and Immelman all playing well and even the top ten for Slocum not beyond the bounds of possibility - the only real disappointment was Bubba. I did add one more play in running when Ricky Barnes got to -3 I got £40 on at around 100 - he really does rise to the occasion for the Majors!
April 7th 10.41
A quick late bet for the Masters for round one leader - most people have tipped up Justin Rose and why not - he has led here in 3 of his 5 starts but 30/1 was a bit skinny - Sportingbet.com.au go 40/1 win only and its time to invest a little £25 - only two hours til tee off - can't wait!!
April 3rd 20.57
I know I said I would be back tomorrow but have placed the remaining bets for the Masters so might as well put them up. I have added another outright bet and I think Heath Slocum might be a bit overpriced. He has been poor this season but in his last start he had his best ever finish at Bay Hill when 12th so maybe he has found something. He won last season in Georgia and won the year before in one of the top play off events. Whilst I do think he is too short to compete round here his finishes say otherwise - 33rd and 18th. I have backed him win only to trade - £35 at 650 average and £40 top 10 25/1 - he has a 12% top ten strike rate on tour.
It is nice to see all the books go up early with the first round leader markets and I have tried to follow a little pattern I have noticed in recent Open Championships and Masters - basically it entails following the veterans who seem to turn it on for one day. In 2010 at Augusta Couples led and Watson was 2nd after play concluded on Thursday and the year before Mize was 4th. In the Open Championship we all know Watsons exploits in 2009 - he was 2nd after round one and the year before Norman was 4th. There aren't a huge number of vets to chose from but I have picked four - Watson and Mize again and added O'Meara and Lyle especially as the latter won for the first time since 1992 a few weeks ago. At 500/1 it doesn't take a huge amount of money at the odds available but I have had £10 e/w on each one at those odds.
April 2nd 21.19
Next week it’s the first Major of the year – the Masters from Augusta National. With Majors I tend to bet differently and build up a portfolio of bets leading up to the event, although betting antepost on golf can be fraught with danger with potential loss of form or injury, but sometimes the price makes it worthwhile. The Masters is quite a good event to bet ante post in, as it has a limited field, most of whom have already gained entry. It’s played at the same venue at the same time each year so it’s not such a lottery !
The bets I have listed below are those which I have struck over the last four months which have all been put up on the blog and I think the only one I have slight second thoughts on is Yang. I will also be looking at special bets - especially round one leader so will probably be back with those on Tuesday
20th December - Matt Kuchar £80 e/w 80/1
What I couldn’t understand was why the man who won the money list in 2010 was 80/1? Matt Kuchar really has been incredibly consistent for a long time – ever since he hit form in October last year when he won at Atunyote. His Major record isn't exceptional but isn't that bad – last year his finishes read 24/6/27/10 and 2010 was the first time he had played the Masters since 2002 when he missed the cut. He played Augusta twice as an amateur making the cut both times and in 1998 he was low amateur. Last year’s 24th place finish was achieved in difficult circumstances as he played the first two rounds with Tiger on his return to competition. He says he feels at home at Augusta as he went to Georgia Tech. He has maintained his strong form all year and is now generally a 33/1 shot. Expect a strong performance.
25th February Ryan Moore £50 e/w 125/1 + £50 180
Moore played Augusta twice as an amateur – in 2003 he made the cut and then in 2005 he finished 13th and was impressively first in the all round stats for the week! Last year he played for the first time in five years and was the best putter all week, closing with his best round at Augusta of 68 to finish 14th. I think with that experience under his belt and a clear affinity for the place, he will go well this year.
March 10th YE Yang £50 e/w 100/1 + £25 175
Yang is in much the same form he was in before he won the US PGA Championship in 2009 and is a player who is constantly underrated by the bookmakers – I have won more money on him than any other golfer. He has a solid Masters record and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he could build on last year’s 8th place finish.
March 30th Trevor Immelman £25 e/w 125/1 e/w
I have had an eye on Immelman for the last few months after his coach said he had never seen him swinging the club so well, but I did wait to see him showing that on the golf course before biting the bullet. Since his win in 2008 he has finished 20th and 14th to add to his 5th in 2005, so is clearly very much at home at Augusta.
April 1st Bubba Watson £100 e/w 40/1
I was watching the golf the other night when they were talking about Mickelson and his record at Augusta and the fact it suited the way he fades the ball and the fact that being left handed helps him play shots which suit Augusta. That got me thinking - what about other left handed players at the Masters - there are very few but Mike Weir has won the Green Jacket and even journeyman Steve Flesch has been 5th and 6th so perhaps there really is something in it! Some people doubt he has the nerve to win but he has won twice in the last nine months and been second in a PGA Championship so I beg to differ. He has had a couple of average starts round here but went to Georgia Tech so should feel at home in the conditions.
April 2nd 11.35
I might as well draw a line under the Shell Houston and start from scratch with one player who was on my short list to start with - Gary Woodland - in form, in his late twenties and lives in Dallas, Texas. He is currently on -3 but he actually leads the third round scoring average on tour for the last twelve months so I expect him to make a move today - £30 win 130/1 and £30 top 5 15/1
Back later today with a full preview of outright bets for the Masters.
April 1st 12.17
Not a great day at the office yesterday but still plenty of golf to be played. Looking ahead to next week Tote have pushed all players out (more or less) pre-empting a similar move by other books and they have tempted me into backing one of the other players high on my list - Bubba Watson - will explain more later today but have had £100 e/w 40/1
March 31st 21.58
Just a quick post with a small bet for this weeks Champions tour event the Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic. Jim Gallagher makes his senior debut and he is lucky to be playing just down the road from where he lives and says he loves the course and probably has a greater knowledge than most. He may be a bit rusty and it's been sixteen years since he won on the main tour but stranger things have happened - managed to get £10 win 200/1 and £20 top 5 40/1 with Extrabet but 150/1 e/w is fine.
March 30th 21.44
Just working on next weeks Masters and couldn't help but notice a past winner I tipped for an event a few weeks ago and is now finding some form - Trevor Immelman is still 125/1 at one book - Sportingbet.com.au had £25 e/w
March 30th 14.09
The Hassan Trophy looks like a nightmare - a limited weak field pro-am played on two more or less new courses to most players - sounds pretty much impossible. I have gone for four American invaders - I expect one to go well but couldn't decide which one - hence going for all four! All of them play on the Egolf tour in the States which has been developing ties with golf in Morocco over the last couple of years - the tour is about the equivalent of the Euro Challenge tour with the win purses around the $40k mark.
Phillip Mollica won the El Jadida Open earlier this month.
Chris McCartin won the Samanah Classic the week before.
Chris Baker played on the Egolf tour and qualified to play in last years Moroccan Classic on the European Challenge Tour and won it.
Drew Weaver won the British Amateur back in 2007 and over the last six months has started to play better since his mother has recovered from cancer
March 30th 10.52
The first Major of the year comes in the shape of the Kraft Nabisco from Mission Hills on the LPGA tour and there is absolutely loads of course form to go on. There are several reasons for liking Catriona Matthew - firstly her course form - in twelve attempts she can boast a 2nd, a couple of 5ths and a 7th and states that the course is a great fit for her game. She is in solid form this year finishing 8/8/29 and she is a proven Major winner having won the British Open in 2009. I have a feeling she will be inspired by the Scottish double win last week so at 100/1 or even 80/1 is a great bet.
Karen Stupples was a big bet for me last year in the round one market and with a late tee time she did well to finish tied 3rd The reason for the bet last year was her first round course form and the case remains the same - even before last years placed effort she had been 6/11/1/5/1 and if you follow her on Twitter you will know she absolutely raves about Mission Hills. Last year she was devastated by her final round collapse when leading (so was I!!) so I have only gone for a small e/w bet on the outright.
Back in a bit with full Hassan Trophy thoughts and then its a quick look at the Champions tour followed by full preparation for the US Masters.
March 29th 20.35
Having worked for 28 of the last 48 hours i need a break and hear the pub calling so I will just put up my bets for "Europe" and the LPGA - reasons tomorrow
Kraft Nabisco
Cat Matthew - £20 ew 100/1 + £25 ew 80/1
Karen Stupples - rd 1 leader £20 ew 125/1 + £8 win 200/1 & £15 top 5 40/1
Hassan Trophy - the Americans are coming!
Drew Weaver - £10 ew 300/1
Phillip Mollica - £10 win 570 + £8 top 5 65
Chris Ryan Baker - £8 win 485 + £10 top 5 60
Chris McCartin - £6 win 900 + £7 top 5 90
March 29th 10.20
Might as well get all the bets out of the way for the Houston Open as they are now placed. When looking at this event I concentrated on the last four years since it has occupied its position the week before the US Masters - it is also worth noting it has only been played on this course for the last five years.When looking at the ages of the winners the young pretenders have the upper hand - Kim 25, Casey 32, Wagner 28 and Scott 27. With the exception of Casey all winners have pretty good links with Texas - Kim lives there, Wagner was born there and Scott has a great record in the State.
Jason Day is number one pick for me - a young Aussie like Scott who has also won the Byron Nelson. He has also been 4th at the Crowne Plaza and on his debut here in 2008 he was 8th improving with every round. I have a feeling he is going to have a good week and was quite happy to snap up the 66/1 £50 e/w
Jhonattan Vegas - I had this event earmarked for the affable young Venezualan the moment he secured his tour card - sadly he beat me to it! His story is quite an amazing one and it was Texas where he first came to study and improve his game and it is here I believe he will feel most at home. In 2003 he made his first PGA tour start in this event playing on a sponsors invite aged just nineteen - expect to see a different player than the one we have seen the last few weeks in Florida. I can't say I like the bookie prices on him but have backed him on Betfair - £65 at 110 average.
DJ Trahan - doesn't quite fit the mould of young with Texan connections but he had his best finish of the year last week when 12th at Bay Hill and has some great course form - 8th in 2007 and last year was 11th despite opening with a 78!! Again I don't like the book price but have invested £30 at 110 average.
Last up is a player who owes me a favour after falling foul of the weather in Australia - Bobby Gates. He is the right age at 25 and went to University in Texas and lives in Houston, and reading his Tweets he seems to be incredibly excited about playing here. He struggled a bit on the two tough courses in Florida he has just played but interspersed those results with a 6th in Puerto Rico and 5th at Mayakoba so is clearly in good nick. I have invested £50 win 460 average, £20 top 5 65 average and £25 top 10 22/1.
March 28th 21.01
The Hassan Trophy looks a nightmare tbh but I do have a small plan as to who to follow but will wait til tomorrow. In the Shell Houston Open I am looking towards young players with strong connections in one way or another to Texas and have so far plumped for Jason Day who has a fine record in the state - £50 ew 66/1 - back tomorrow.
March 28th 12.47
Long time no post! - been away for a long weekend celebrating my wifes' 40th birthday - if you ever get the chance to go to Burgh Island - do - a wonderful place! Anyway - back to business - last week was poor all round sadly - back later today with thoughts on Houston Open, Hassan Trophy and the first Major of the year - LPGA Nabisco Championship.
March 23rd 20.37
Time to tie up a few loose ends - first of all someone was asking for an update on how much profit I had made this year as I hadn't updated for a few weeks - at the moment it stands at +£4516 - this is just a rough guide as to what you might achieve following the bets as I do trade some of them on Betfair.
Back to the Louisiana Open - Bateman would only be a small bet at the price being the local guy who has some good course form and it wasn't that long ago he won on the main tour. The main picks are - firstly Kyle Thompson - this is his level of golf on a tour where he won twice in 2007 which got him his 2008 main card, in that year he played Le Triomphe as he was struggling on the main tour and finished 2nd. He played well at the equally tough Panama event this year when finishing 10th and I think he will be up there this week. Fellow Gamecock Mark Anderson is my other pick - who I think made a very sensible decision at the end of last year - by finishing 60th on the Nationwide money list he got into the 2nd stage of Q school but decided that the best way he could get on the main tour was via this tour. He was 8th here last year having already been 4th at Panama and kicked off this year with a 13th in Panama. Now he has experience of the courses used I think he will kick on and at 100/1 he is well worth following.
March 23rd 10.57
The one horse that stands out to me at the prices still for the Grand National is Tidal Bay. He is a quirky character to say the least but has class having won an Arkle and has also won twice at the Aintree Festival. He has to be kidded round but maybe the National fences will bring something out in him and he does give the impression he always holds something in reserve by the way he finishes his races - again a maybe but the distance might bring out the best in him. Anyway at 50/1 I am quite happy to take a punt - £40 e/w with 5 places for me.
March 23rd 09.31
It looks like Haastrup has withdrawn from Andalucia as his wrist has flared up again - rather that than try and play injured! I have had a couple of bets for the Chitimacha Louisiana Open which are below - will explain later the reasons but want to have a look at Grand National now the latest declaration stage has gone
Mark Anderson - £30 e/w 100/1
Kyle Thompson - £30 e/w 80/1
Brian Bateman - allowed £2 e/w 400/1 and 0p e/w at 300/1 ho hum!!!
March 22nd 21.32
I must admit I have struggled a bit this week and had no great preconceived ideas who I wanted to back in either event - sometimes that isn't a bad thing. I really don't get the price of Zach this week compared to other players around the same price - he is a multiple tour winner who plays certain courses well and he has great course form. His play this year isn't that bad - his putter is behaving and he said on Twitter his game is coming together. Chad Campbell is a past winner here and has never missed a cut at Bay Hill - considering he always turns it on here he has to be worth a bet at three figures. Verplank has been really struggling with a wrist injury but with the price I got on someone who has a great recent history in the event I will take the risk but it's more of a back to lay bet as he so rarely wins these days. I probably don't need to tell you who Sam Saunders is and his connections to the event - probably a throw away bet but you never know considering he was top 15 at Pebble Beach.
Over in Spain I had to have a crack at Kjeldsen considering his form in Spain - it really is exceptional but to be honest I didn't want to take less than 50/1 as he isn't in tip top form. Peter Whiteford just seems a very big price to me - when you consider he was 2nd here last year and was 5th last week in Sicily. That finish last year secured his card for 2010 and I think he will improve now that the tour has hit the European mainland. Haastrup is a bit like Verplank in that he is recovering from a wrist injury but he has proved several times that he improves when playing a course for the second time and he was a solid 29th here last year. Gonnet is purely a bet at the price on Betfair for a man in form this season who was also top ten here last year though the bookmaker prices don't tempt me.
March 22nd 19.03
Final list of bets for Bay Hill listed below - back later with full thoughts
Zach Johnson - £50 ew 50/1 + £75 win 70
Chad Campbell - £25 ew 110/1 + £20 win 200
Scott Verplank - £35 win 350 average + £15 top 5 33/1
Sam Saunders - £15 win 1000 + £10 top 10 48 + £5 top 5 100
March 22nd 12.27
Still busy working on bets - I did add to my Zach bet with £50 ew at 50/1 when Coral went that price. I have listed below my Andalucian bets - back later with full thoughts
Soren Kjeldsen - allowed £15 ew 50/1 and got £35 50
Peter Whiteford - £35 ew 105 average + £10 win 125/1
Mark Haastrup - £20 ew 150/1, £30 top 10 15/1 + £15 win 190
Jean Gonnet - £20 win 135 average
March 21st 16.19
I have been a bit quiet on the betting fron the last few days - I got lucky by backing Gaunt and Sjoholm at 1000 and laying off at 34 and yy returns from Cheltenham were pretty good so I saw no point in pushing my luck. Today I have also spent most of my time snaffling bits of early value on the exchanges - the main one being Zach Johnson at the Arnold Palmer Bay Hill Invitational - £75 at 70 will do nicely! - back tomorrow.
March 19th 10.55
A very quick post - busy day at home - have looked at Transitions at the cut and one stands out like a sore thumb - how on earth can two time winner this season Mark Wilson be 45/1 on Betfair when bang in contention - £100 win!
March 18th 20.33
A quick update on the week so far - it's been a funny kinda week - I have been having a crack at Cheltenham with a few e/w accumulators thanks to some tips from friends and if Tanks for That had won the last I would have been £4000 the richer - sadly it wasn't to be but £750 up is not to be sneezed at!
In the golf two of my 1000 picks got up there at one time or another - I laid Gaunt at 33/1 and Sjoholm at the same price (fortunately!) and I have a guaranteed profit of £200 on the event with some big wins still maintained.
In Florida it looks like Pettersson is my only hope but he is right up there and is still overpriced atm - been topping up a bit at three figures since he finished his round.
March 16th 20.28
The LPGA Founders Cup is a bit of an odd event with no prize money but money is donated to the winners charity of their chosing. I have a feeling LPGA rookie of the year Azahara Munoz is going to have a big year and playing in Phoenix where she went to college could be to her advantage - a small bet of £20 e/w might reward at 100/1.
March 15th 19.46
My final bet for the Transitions is outsider Matt Bettencourt. He already has a 5th at the Sony and a 6th at the Honda Classic to his name this year and has really kicked on since winning his first PGA tour event last year. When you consider his form at the Sony was 59/mc and at the Honda he had missed both his cuts then his course form here of 52/mc shouldn't really put us off. At the end of the 2008 Nationwide season he held his form well over a two month period finishing 5/1/c/18/2/1 so I expect him to maintain his form this week. Have had £30 win 220 average, £20 top 5 34/1 and £40 top 10 14/1.
That's it for the main two tours for the week but tomorrow I will look at the LPGA tour which plays on US soil for the first time this year.
March 15th 11.39
I might as well conclude my business in Sicily early as I haven't really added much to the 1000 selections on Sunday night. Personally I think it should be about 25/1 the field with it being fairly weak and the only player that interested me was Havret who I thought should be favourite. As a three time winner on tour and with a 3rd place finish in India on his last appearance he offers much more than most of the field, add in the fact his first European tour win came on at Is Molas on the "nearby" island of Sardinia which boasts a certain resemblance to this weeks course and you can see where I am coming from. I got £50 on Betfair at 35 average but I think I will leave it at that and hope to trade some of my biggies in running.
I have one more I am considering for the Transitions - will post back later today
March 15th 10.55
I had better put up bet number three as the price is crashing although for me this is a back to lay and I got on yesterday. Charles Howell III is not a player I would normally consider as he rarely gets the job done but I got £80 on at 65 with a view to trade.He has been pretty consistent all season and simply let down by his putting but his scrambling figures have been really good and you need to be a good scrambler round the Copperhead course. He has been 2nd and 6th here since the event moved to March and has even putted well so will happy to see him go low at some point to trade for a profit.
March 15th 09.38
With prices coming out in a rather staggered fashion I have to follow suit with my bets so time for number two in Florida!
Stephen Ames is known as a Florida specialist and accepts that his early season starts are only a warm up and his season starts proper when the tour hits Florida. I think if he had had a better round three in Puerto Rico last week he would be a lot shorter in the market as he would probably have won instead of finishing 3rd. He started with a double bogey on Saturday and struggled to recover but fired a six under on Sunday and his GIR and putting stats were great. He has played here seven times, never missed a cut and was a best of 6th last year. With thee wins already in Florida I can easily see him adding a fourth and at 66/1 has to be a decent bet. I was still awake on Sunday when someone put up £25 at 100/1 so snapped that up and have added £60 ew at 66/1.
March 14th 23.01
Books have been very slow to price up this week with a new course being used in Sicily and the Tavistock Cup havin a bearing on prices in the Transitions (not sure how!) it's been a pretty quiet day.
I have had one bet in Florida on a price which won't last and won't be beat. Both Goosen and Choi have won this event twice so why can't Carl Pettersson? Not only has he won here but he has been 8th twice as well. He tends to pop up when least expected and has already been 4th at the season opening Champions event. I was surprised to see 110/1 and had £25 e/w.
March 13th 23.01
A completely blank week in the end and looking at next week things could be pretty quiet but did have to nick a few prices for Sicily on Betfair - not sure what the layer was thinking of to be honest. Oh and good luck to the guy trying to lay Lundberg for a million pounds at 1.01!
Thorbjorn Olesen 1000 £11.00 £10,989.00
Daniel Gaunt 1000 £11.00 £10,989.00
Mark Tullo 1000 £11.00 £10,989.00
Joel Sjoholm 1000 £11.00 £10,989.00
Andreas Harto 1000 £11.00 £10,989.00
Romain Wattel 1000 £11.00 £10,989.00
March 13th 09.56
It looks like one of those weeks where I put my hands up and say - I got it tiotally wrong and move on to next weeks events. Everytime Schulz made a move he made back to back bogeys, Arizabaleta got to within two of the lead and imploded and is now twelve back! In Puerto Rico Every is the best placed but will be extremely fortunate to scrape a place and at Doral Furyk has made his pre event price look positively miserly! The only bet I have had since Friday was on Adam Scott who I felt was overpriced at 70 on Friday night and had £40 on - tbh I still think he is overpriced at 25 but it is a tight leaderboard full of trophy dodgers if you get my drift!!
Time to finish off the research on the Sicily Open and Transitions Championship.
March 11th 09.52
Not a good day at the office yesterday with the exception of Arizabaleta in Columbia but there is a long way to go. I have added a player who I considered before the start for Puerto Rico - Alexandre Rocha - had £20 win 185 and £25 top 5 25/1 on Betfair - out early today so you don't have much time to get on.
March 10th 19.46
Whilst waititng for play to get restarted at Doral I have gone through the Masters again and decided to have another antepost bet on a player whose odds will continue to fall with another good week. My favourite player of all time (from a betting perspective) is YE Yang and he is in great form and has a solid Masters record. With a Major under his belt already I started trying to back him a few weeks ago and I got £25 matched at 175 average - that has all dried up and today had to bite the bullet and take £50ew at 100/1.
March 9th 22.08
Given up waiting for other prices so very limited as to what I can get on in the Euro Challenge tour Columbian event so have just had some small bets on Alvaro Arizabaleta £6 ew 125/1, £7.50 ew 100/1 and £2.50 ew 80/1. He is a talented young player who won US college events and was 2nd twice on the TLA last year in Columbia including on this course. 
One other quick point - if you want to know when updates are posted I notify them on Twitter at SBIdotcom
March 9th 14.20
Onto this weeks smaller tours - still waiting for more prices on the European Challenge Tour event from Columbia so I have gone through the Champions Tour Toshiba Classic and one player at a big price really grabs my attention. Ted Schulz made his Champions tour debut here at Newport Beach last year finishing 33rd. In the Summer he got better as his confidence and performances improved and he won in California at Pebble Beach - this is his first return back to California where he also won the second of his PGA tour wins. He has improved on each start this season and I really don't see why he is 150/1 - managed to get £30 ew on.
March 9th 11.13
When looking at the Puerto Rico Open this week I looked for a link between the first three winners and whilst on the face of it there doesn't seem to be one it is rather obvious when you read interviews with the players after they won - quite simply it's Florida - all players said it reminded them of playing there.
Greg Kraft - lives and studied there best other PGA finish 2nd Doral Open
Michael Bradley - born and lives there won Doral Open
Derek Lamely - born and studied there
This does give us rather a long longlist but I narrowed it down by looking for players who had at least two of the born/studied/lived there categories or a good finish at Doral with one of these factors. I mused on the Doral factor last year - the fact it is played the same week as the big event in Florida could be an inspiration - last year Elkington fell into that category and finished 7th.
Brett Wetterich - Florida resident who has a 2nd place finish at Doral along with numerous other top 10 finishes in that state. After returning from long term injury last year he has played pretty well and if he takes to the course as I think he will at least we know he has the ability to close the deal having won the Byron Nelson before.
Matt Every - has never left his home state of Florida. He was a pick last week on the Nationwide Tour for me where he finished 2nd in the rain shortened Columbia event. He reminds me quite a bit of last years winner Derek Lamely and has stated he is playing some of the best golf of his life at the moment.
Lee Janzen - resides and went to college in Florida and fits rather more into the gnarled veteran category like Kraft and Bradley. He has popped up three times in the top five in the last two years and improved in his two starts here 28th/13th.
Billy Horschel - like Every he hasn't left his home state. A top college player - he suffered a serious wrist injury after getting his card at Q school in Florida for 2010 and got it back at Q school at the end of last year. His results aren't great but he was 13th at Mayakoba a couple of weeks ago - just have a hunch he will go well this week.
Looking at the Challenge Tour event in Columbia - got the winner last year - Vanegas at 200/1 - this year he is 14/1 favourite!!
March 8th 19.35
Time has rather got the better of me today so I will quickly outline my two from leftfield for Puerto Rico and be back tomorrow with full preview
Lee Janzen - £25 ew 125/1 + £35 top 10 29/2
Billy Horschel - £20 ew 200/1 + £5 400/1, £35 top 10 22/1 average, £6 top 5 70/1
March 8th 12.58
Prices have been slowly appearing for the Puerto Rico Opne and I have bet my two at the "head" of the market - which is good as I have to go out for a couple hours!
Matt Every - £60 e/w at 66/1
Brett Wetterich - £30 ew 80/1 £20 ew 70/1
March 7th 15.04
I might as well put up the golfer I have already backed for the WGC Cadillac Championship as I know the books won't get anywhere near the price I got on Betfair. I just couldn't see why Jim Furyk was 70 this morning. I am taking a risk that his poor West Coast form is a blip but he hasn't been playing well on that side of the States for a while now whereas on the East Coast he is "different gravy". When this was a standard PGA event at Doral Jim Won and was 2nd and in its current format he has been 2nd and 3rd. Last year he won three times and won the Fedex Championship - anyone looking at his price would be forgiven for thinking he may have lost one of his "eight arms". I took £100 at 70 - not so worried about the place as he is the sort of player that shortens when in contention giving me the chance to cash in whatever the final result. All the best prices here
March 7th 10.58
Just a quick update - I will probably only be having one bet on the WGC Cadillac and concentrating on the Puerto Rico event and the smaller tours this week.
After last weeks better week profit for the year now stands at +£5160 so nicely sitting at the £500 a week mark.
March 6th 20.18
In Bogota they got 36 holes in but a new thunderstorm rolled in and whilst they started the third round they rolled back to the 36 hole score to declare the winner with my picks Every finishing 2nd and Etulain t3rd. In the end it's been a good week but you do kind of wonder what might have been - back tomorrow with WGC Cadillac Championship and Puerto Rican Open.
March 6th 11.11
Sadly Chitprasong had a poor final round - no great surprise but he finished 4th so not bad for a 150/1 shot! The situation in Columbia is very interesting - luckily the rain stayed away yesterday and Every moved up to 2nd and Etulain t3rd. The end result all depends on the weather - there are lots of players still to complete 36 holes - they probably need about four hours play to do that and then that would be an official result. I guess its Catch22 for me - if both players are still placed after 36 holes I guess the payout would be quite nice. They would need a further six hours play to get to 54 holes - both mine could fall out the places - quite a dilemna! - only time will tell.
March 5th 11.03
A quick Saturday morning update on how we stand - the best news comes from far flung Brunei where 150/1 late pick Chitprasong leads by three with a round to go. In Panama things look poor weatherwise and I can see them being lucky to complete 36 holes as the course is waterlooged and more rain is forecast. At Palm Beach Gardens the course has been winning and the best placed of my original picks is Jimmy Walker who fired a great 67 yesterday - the event is still very much wide open.
March 3rd 22.14
If you can bet with Skybet have a few quid e/w on the Brunei Senior Masters on Jamnian Chitprasong at 150/1 - probably find max bet is £5 ew and sadly they are the only book up!
March 3rd 14.44
Following the Honda Classic and boy is it playing tough!! Typically last weeks big bet JJ Henry is ticking along quite nicely so have added him to this weeks portfolio with £25 at 135 average
March 2nd 21.03
First of all this evening a quick extra bet for the Honda Classic in the first round leader market - Michael Connell was joint leader here twelve months ago and was second after round one of the Sony Open this year - with an early tee time I will risk a cheeky £10 ew at 125/1.
Back to the Bogota Open - the key will be hitting the small greens protected by deep bunkers on the short course which sits at over 8,000 feet so the ability to play at altitude will also be important.
Matt Every has made his last six cuts on the PGA tour and dropping down to the lower tour was 18th last week in Panama. Whilst he didn't play here last season two of his best performances have been in Mexico at altitude and the winner of the 2009 Tour Championship should feel at home in Bogota.
Scott Dunlap has plenty of success playing high up - he has won the Peru Open no less than three times. He was a solid 20th last season and is the same age as last years winner Steve Pate and as he always sits atop the Nationwide GIR stats don't be surprised to see him up there.
Julian Etulain is a promising 21 year old Argentinian who won twice in Bogota last year - one a local event and then the following week the Columbian Open. Later in the year he won again in Chile and secured the Tour de Las Americas money list. He was tied with Dunlap at 20th last season and is a far better and more confident player now so think he is overpriced this week.
March 2nd 11.26
I have just finished putting my bets on for the Nationwide Bogota event - will just list them for now and explain why later
Matt Every - £50 ew 40/1
Scott Dunlap - £5 ew 100/1 + £15 ew 90/1
Julian Etulain - £5 ew 200/1 + £20 ew 150/1
March 1st 16.20
Just a quick post - Ben Crane has surprisingly withdrawn from the Honda Classic - currently working on Bogota Open and even the European Seniors event!
March 1st 12.50
My bets for my last two picks are now in place so here we go - one is an informed hunch and the other is way from leftfield.
Trevor Immelman - according to David Leadbetter he is swinging the club as well as he ever has and has improved on each start this season. The last three winners have all been non Americans and two have those have been Florida based so he fits the bill there and I just get the feeling he is very bullish ahead of the 2011 season - £20 ew at 150/1 and £20 win 195 average.
Whilst looking for past similarities between the four winners I did find one link between Yang and Villegas - they had both won the Tokai Classic in Japan. Interestingly there is one other player in the field who has won that - not one of the Japanese but Brandt Jobe albeit back in 1997! He has made four of five cuts this season and seems to be at his best on tough courses these days and in 2009 was 22nd here with all four rounds at par or better. I took the 1000 on Betfair for £60 with a view to trade + top 10 £15 45/1 and £15 30/1.
February 28th 21.24
I guess Crane was an easy pick this week - in solid form this season, his accurate game has been really solid and adding in his 12th and 3rd placed fnishes here at PGA National on a course that clearly suits. He plays the same courses well year in year out and at 33/1 had to be a bet.
I have added a couple of other players today and have a few more once matched tomorrow. I nearly made the mistake of not backing Wilson when he won in Phoenix and I wonder if DA Points can do the same thing. Although he won't have the "pleasure" of Bill Murray for company he will be playing at home and was 9th here closing with a 65 in 2009. It is one of those just in case bets so just the £30 at 100.
Next up is someone who has been in brilliant form this year so far - Jimmy Walker. What really interests me about Walker is that he is playing courses really well that he hasn't before - when you look at his form this year - 2011 finish last one
Sony Open - mc/61/32/mc/4
Farmers Insurance - mc/mc/mc/29
Phoenix Open - mc/24/49
AT&T - mc/55/mc/9
Northern Trust - mc/39/70/37/4
That really is an impressive improvement and shows quite a turnaround in form - largely based around a good scrambling and putting game. He has played some really good rounds at PGA National - in his first vist he was 4th after round one and bearing in mind two of his Nationwide wins were on the really tough Panama and Le Triomphe courses the 125 average I got last night was quite a surprise. Sadly it was only for £25 but I have added £30 e/w at 80/1 today.
Back tomorrow
February 28th 16.06
A very frustrating finish to the week yesterday - JJ Henry got to 3rd place and then proceeded to drop four shots in his last four holes whilst in Panama Sam Saunders was 5th when he double bogeyed his 14th and ended up two shots out of a place!
All my homework has been done for the Honda Classic and I was lucky enough to get £75 on main pick Ben Crane at 45 average on the exchanges early doors and then have been happy to take the 33/1 - £75 e/w.
February 27th 11.02
First of all this morning let me let you know a bit more about why I like Ryan Moore for the Masters. He played twice as an amateur in 2003 he made the cut and then in 2005 he finished 13th and was impressively first in the all round stats for the week! Last year he played for the first time in five years and was the best putter all week clsoing with his best round at Augusta of 68 to finish 14th. I think with that experience under his belt and a clear affinity for the place he will go well this year.
Back to this week and there are still outside chances of places in Mayakoba and Panama - in any case at least it won't be a late finish. Looking at next week we only have the Honda Classic and the Bogota Open - maybe more books will be brave enough to price up the Nationwide tour as they will have little else to do!!
February 25th 21.08
It's not that long to go before the US Masters and with the top two protagonists Woods and Mickelson out of sorts its time to look down the list for a few bets. I already have Kuchar e/w at 80/1 which I am still happy with but tonight I have added Ryan Moore £50 e/w at 125/1 and £50 win 180 average - moore tomorrow as to why!
February 25th 13.16
Just a quick post as I am busy researching the Honda Classic next week - in Mayakoba I guess things could look a lot healthier but it's early days whilst in rain delayed Panama all three picks are going really well.
I have also been looking at various betting blogs this week to see if there are any of interest and I have added The Portfolio Investor on the links page - take a look - some interesting stuff written by Rowan.
February 23rd 15.21
This week sees the belated return of the Nationwide Tour having dropped the co-sanctioned events with Australia and New Zealand which have happened in past years, instead we kick off in Panama for the 8th staging of an event at the Panama course. One thing is apparent when looking at past winners is the ability to win a professional event and especially within the larger geographical "area", plus the ability to play tough courses well as every year this event is one of the hardest on tour. Firstly I have a couple of small picks - Sam Saunders showed with a 15th place finish at Pebble Beach he can play good quality golf and would love to emulate grandfather Arnold Palmer - one of his first pro wins was the Panama Open - £20 ew 66/1. Second up is Sebastian Fernandez - the Argentinian has shot some low rounds here in the past and in 2010 won in both Paraguay and the Peru Open at Los Incas (where past Panama winner Scott Dunlap had also won) - again £20 ew at 70/1.
My main bet though is on James Hahn who enters his second seaon on tour and looks to build on his three top five finishes in 2010. He started off on the Canadian Tour and in his second season on that tour in 2009 he secured two wins including one in Mexico. He has stated he will feel more comfortable this year having gained a good knowledge of the courses he will be playing and being a good ball striker this weeks tough course should suit. I have managed to get £40 ew on at an average of 75/1 and have agreed with James via email that if he wins or places I will donate 10% of any winnings to his charity and I hope if you win any money you will do the same - click here for details
February 23rd 11.51
This is the fifth renewal of the Mayakoba Classic and the ages of the winners shows us that we need to look towards the more experienced pro’s - Fred Funk (51), Brian Gay (37), Mark Wilson (35) and Cameron Beckman (40). Gay is the only first time winner in that list and all had past experience of the course – with the obvious exception of inaugural winner Funk! The course seems to suit the shorter more accurate players and don’t worry about exceptional recent form as all four winners had just missed their last cut.
JJ Henry - I think everyone and his dog is on JJ this week judging by the sea of blue on the odds comparison sites and the fact that 20% of the money matched on Betfair is on him - there must be some very lopsided books about. He has been in terrific form this year - possibly spurred on by the fact that on his first hole of the season at the Bob Hope he holed out for eagle from the fairway. I get the impression that he feels like he has "wasted" the last few years having got on the Ryder Cup team in 2006 and he seems determined to have a good season. His course form is solid having finished 2nd on his debut two years ago and I wouldn't be surprised to see him go one better.
Joe Durant - certainly ticks all the right boxes, the right age, a tour winner, 3rd for Driving Accuracy this season and great course form including finishing 2nd to Beckman last year. The reason for the small bet is the doubt over his putting especially ander pressure.
Instead of going for the likes of Toms,Kelly and Weekley I decided to go for three big priced outsiders where a place from one would be the same as trying to get the winner from the three shot priced ones.
Jeff Maggert - funnily enough if the World Matchplay allowed past winners to play Maggert wouldn't be in Mexico this week! At this late stage in his career he still pops up in the frame from time to time including last year in the John Deere when 3rd. His last win was only four years ago at Southwind a course where Gay and Toms have both won. A solid 20th on his debut last season and he still showed he could go low when shooting 62 at Monterrey a few weeks ago.
Billy Mayfair - the veteran put his putting woes to one side at the Q school in the Fall and won that quite comfortably. He has a great record at Harbour Town - the course I think is most similar to this and was 23rd on his debut here last year shooting a 65 in the second round. He popped up last year when 3rd at the equally weak Turning Stone event and has already shown this season he can still play when 13th at Torrey Pines.
Woody Austin - I admit this one is a bit of a hunch but he had a 4th place on tour last year and was 7th in the similar Puerto Rico Open. This is his debut at Mayakoba but I just get this feeling he is going to go well as he has won at Southwind and been 2nd at Harbour Town in the past. We will soon find out as he is first to tee off tomorrow.
February 23rd 10.17
Last couple of picks for Mayakoba are below - back later this morning with full preview
Billy Mayfair - £30 win 170 + £25 ew 125/1
Woody Austin - £30 win 140 + £25 ew 125/1
All the best prices are available here
February 22nd 17.32
There doesn't seem to be much money around on Betfair today and after a change of tact I am waiting for some outsider orders to be filled. I really liked the looks of Kelly and possibly Toms and Weekley but the prices are shocking so concentrated further down the list where most winners have come from before. I will give two small ones now and two more tomorrow - off out for the evening and hope there will be more money around tomorrow
Joe Durant £20 ew 90/1
Jeff Maggert £30 win 150, £12 top 5 33/1 £18 top 10 14/1
February 22nd 12.48
Prices are slow in coming out for the Mayakoba but I have had my main bet for the week - I will add bets as I do them and then do a full preview later
JJ Henry - price will be slashed - I got £75 win 40/1 average, £35 ew 35/1 and £40 ew 33/1.
February 21st 18.48
OK OK I wan't going to have a bet on the matchplay but whilst waiting - probably til tomorrow - for Mayakoba prices I had a glance through the prices of the 64 players and was rather surprised to see Martin Laird at 150/1 with Ladbrokes so snapped up £20 e/w for a bit of interest as the course should suit, is in good form and seems to play well in the desert - will probably be hammered by Molinari!
February 21st 10.13
A poor week in the end on the golf front and the profit for the year now stands at +£5030. This weeks golf sees the World Matchplay which I dilsike so chances are I won't be having a bet but the Mayakoba Classic looks great and we also see the return of one of my favourite tours - the Nationwide which kicks off in Panama.
On other news FBI finished off the weekend with another winner so that was 6/6 - quite incredible and whilst we don't advocate betting in accumulators some people did and we have reports of customers winning £4k, £12k and one stood to win £100k though he hedged some back - probably quite sensibly!!
I mentioned a Grand National horse I fancied - Vic Venturi - have had £60 ew 40/1 with 5 places - will explain why later but he runs on Wednesday and his price could well drop.
February 19th 17.25
Our resiedent tipster Stephen on Football Betting Index had a stunning day today - 5/5 winners at 19/10, 9/4, 13/5. 5/2 and 6/5 !!!! Some customers even have accumulators on but have to wait til tomorrow as there were six bets for the weekend - I guess there will be a few sleepless nights!!
February 19th 11.19
Woke up this morning to see Kruger had gone well and Karlberg wasn't too far back after the end of round two in India - however both are having a bad round three and are dropping back - have just added Prayad Marksaeng in running - £30 at 75 - will be in the clubhouse and finished whilst most will have to finish their third rounds tomorrow, and he is a class performer on his day
February 18th 21.16
I have just been watching the Northern Trust and I am glad I was - seeing J B Holmes have a lucky chip in at the 16th and then play poorly up the 17th and still make birdie I decided to bail out a little and laid him at 5/1 average for about £300 and boy was I glad I did as he has just made a right pigs ear of the 18th!
Over in India Karlberg is showing his love for the country and is bang in contention. It looks like it is going to be another "fun" weekend on the golf whilst those who know me - I have been working hard on the Grand National and should have a tip lined up for the weekend
February 18th 09.30
I guess the start to the week has been about average with headline pick JB Holmes being one of the nine joint leaders in the States but main pick Hiratsuka in India is struggling. I have been going over the Ace Group Classic Champions tour event and have had a small bet on Joey Sindelar. He is yet to win since turning 50 mainly due to niggling injuries but he seems to have been at his best in the early Florida events especially with a run under his belt and he improved every round last week. He has a 13% top 5 strike rate so I have had £30 on that at 14/1 and just £10 on the win at 80/1.
February 15th 20.32
That's me done for the day - been a busy last three days and time for a visit to the village hostelry!! Back tomorrow with thoughts on the minor tours.
February 15th 18.57
All bets in place for the Northern Trust Open so time for a full preview and I have to say winners at the Riviera Club have been very predictable in recent years.
2010 - Steve Stricker - 2nd year before and 3rd in his latest start
2008/09 - Phil Mickelson - won two years running and had been 2nd in 2007
2007 - Charles Howell - twice runner-up already that year and 2nd here in 2004
2006 - Rory Sabbatini - 2nd the week before and 2nd here in 2002
2003/04 - Mike Weir won back to back
So the key would seem to be - find someone with great course form and to seal the deal in top form already this season - hence my headline pick of JB Holmes yesterday. He has a great record on the West Coast swing and was 5th two weeks ago and in the last three appearances here has been 7th,6th and 3rd - hence he is a very confident pick.
Rory Sabbatini is next up - he has been in pretty good form this season and comes to a course where he can boast a 1st,2nd,6th and 9th in eleven appearnaces so clearly can play the course well. So with five wins on the PGA tour already under his belt I am prepared to take him at 80/1 - £30 e/w + £35 at 85.
YE Yang - I said the other week he improves on courses once he has played them and whilst he missed the cut on his debut at Riviera he was 15th last year. A solid 8th at the Phoenix where he was 2nd in the all round stats means I think he is ready to perform - £30 e/w 100/1 + £50 115 average.
Andres Romero - fits neatly into the category of great course form - 5th and 3rd in the last two renewals - he likes the course saying this in 2010 " This is a good week to start playing good golf. After the last year I had last year, I think it's a good course. It suits me and my golf, my game, and luckily I started well." and it doesn't seem to matter if he comes here in poor form as he does this year - £20 ew 125/1 + £45 150 average.
Last pick is a win only and on someone who owes me nothing this year - Mark Wilson - I really don't see why he should be the price he is on Betfair especially as he was 11th on his debut here when he putted really well - if he combines that with his great ball striking this year who knows! I have "reinvested" £50 at 115 average.
February 15th 14.18
I have just finalised my bets for the Avantha Masters by adding a few more - Rikard Karlberg could well shine on his return to India where he won twice last year and at 90/1 was worth £20 e/w. I have also added Anirban Lahiri who was 3rd here in the Indian Open in 2009 and won last week on his home tour beating Randhawa into second by eight shots - have had £35 135 average, £20 top 5 22/1 and £35 top 10 12/1 - check out Extrabet. On the first round leader market - have had a little dabble on Rahil Gangjee who has a good record in early rounds at DLFand is first to tee off - £10 ew 100/1.
I have just about finished getting my "team" together for the Northern Trust Open - back later with full preview.
February 14th 20.26
Time to put some meat on the bones of the Avantha Masters picks and also introduce the main bet in that event. The Avantha Masters enters its second year as a co-sanctioned event at the DLF course, which was also the venue of the Indian Open in 2009 and the co-sanctioned Johnnie Walker Classic in 2008, add in the fact that it also hosts the DLF Masters on the Indian tour every year and there is quite a bit of course form to go on. My main bet is Tetsuji Hiratsuka who did me a favour when winning before Christmas in the Black Mountain Masters - that meant the Japanese tour member played in nine events in 2010 in Asia and won three and was third in a further two - including here! Although it is his first start of the year I haven't let that put me off as last year he was third on his seasonal bow at Suwan in Thailand and the year before that was 2nd. I think he is great value and have had £60 ew at 40/1 and £100 win at 40 on Betfair.
Now for the three I nicked early prices on - firstly Bhullar - he won his first three events in India this year including one co-sanctioned by the Challenge Tour and whilst his course form isn't that great on the surface in the last three DLF Masters he has finished 2/1/4 - he will be well tipped up as some people have heard of him!
Siddikur is not so well known but was the first Bangladeshi to win on the Asian Tour last year, and last week (a little bird tells me) he won an Asian development tour event by a massive twelve shots. He was 5th in the co-sanctioned event Bhullar won last month and also 5th in the Indian Open before Christmas so was way overpriced. Lastly is Jbe Kruger - a great young South African talent with plenty of top 5 finishes on the Asian Tour already - at this sort of price I would pick him every week. All the best prices here
There will possibly be a few more bets plus round one leader but in til tomorrow I will leave you with my best bet for the Northern Trust Open - JB Holmes. I have had £50 ew 33/1 and £100 at 40 on Betfair - more on that tomorrow.
February 14th 15.57
Afternoon - snaffling a little early value on the Avantha Masters - if you have a Ladbrokes acct - not sure how long will last - Bhullar 50/1, Kruger 100/1, Siddikur 150/1 - had £25 e/w on each one.
February 13th 23.46
Good old DA Points makes it the third winner of the year for me - happy days! The new analysis is working well - off for a good nights rest and back tomorrow for the Northern Trust Open and Avantha Masters - hope some of you won a few quid!
February 13th 12.35
Managed to get a bit back in Dubai by laying Strange and Fred Hed at lower but looking forward to a "fun" AT&T from Pebble today. I haven't changed my position since yesterday and will play it by ear later - a quick recap on who wins me money
DA Points +£3700 on Betfair and £60 top 5 @ 16/1
Alex Cejka +£2200 on Betfair and +£410 top 5, +£225 top 10
Bill Lunde +£4500 on Betfair and £50 top 10 @ 13/1
I think I know what my preferred result would be lol - good luck tonight if you are on
February 12th 12.54
Watching the leaders struggle a bit in Dubai I backed a few who were sitting in the clubhouse so I have a bit of interest in the morning - Fred Hed £20 @ 50, Gallacher £20 @ 80 and Strange £10 270
February 12th 10.19
Well the punt on Karlberg went astray but he did send me a nice message on Twitter saying he would get my bet money back!! - what a nice guy.
I have adjusted a few things on Betfair so that I break even on all players and have Points at +£3700 and Lunde at +£4500 plus all the place bets at the books.
In Australia Tiffany Joh has improved every day but will need something impressive later today to reach a place whilst in the Champions tour Goodes had an OK first round and is now half the price he was.
February 10th 18.54
Just had a look through the Dubai betting and have had a bet on Rikard Karlberg to trade on Betfair. He shot -2 in his first competitive round of the year - a bit rusty on the front 9 with 2 bogeys but had 4 birdies on the back where he starts tomorrow. He won twice on the Asian tour last year and his 3rd in Singapore was really impressive as he beat Poulter, Jimenz and Kaymer - he certianly has a lot of potential and was happy to snap up all £60 at 690 with a view to laying a lot lower.
February 10th 11.15
My last few bets for the week have now been placed - firstly one more for the AT&T - Alex Cejka. He has a habit of playing the same events well each year and last year he was 10th in this and then 8th at the US Open. I palced all my bets on Betfair - £10 win 220, £10 top 5 42 and £15 top 10 15/1.
The last event for me to look at is the Allianz Championship which starts tomorrow and there definitely seems to be a trend where players continually do well in different Florida events. Mike Goodes won this in 2009 and was 7th the following week in Florida, then last year he was 4th in the first Florida event of the year before being 16th as defending champion. He had a solid start in Hawaii and at 100/1 is worth a small bet of £15 ew. My other pick is somewhat bigger in price and is Champions tour debutant Lee Rinker. He hasn't played much over the last eight years but turned up at Q school last year and was 2nd. He knew the course there in his home state of Florida and being a home player again this week I will give him a chance to suprise - £10 ew 250/1
February 9th 14.38
With six books pricing up the ANZ Ladies Masters I have dipped my toe in the wter with Tiffany Joh. A big young talent - she won the US Amateur public links two years running and won her first professional event on the Futures tour last year. She played here in 2005 as a young amateur scoring an albatross in round two enroute to a 13th placed finish - she came back the following year and went even better finishing one shot out of the playoff in 3rd. She finished a respectable 15th in the Aus Open last week and at 80/1 is worth a small punt - £20 e/w
February 9th 11.49
Now that's out of the way it's time to look at round one leader bets for Dubai, The Allianz Championship and the ANZ Ladies Masters. If you want to know when this page is updated you can follow me on Twitter SBIdotcom
February 9th 11.20
Apologies for the delay in the write up for this weeks PGA event from Pebble Beach - but here we go. There are plenty of multiple winners of the AT&T over the last decade, Dustin Johnson has won the last two renewals, Mickelson has three wins to his name and Love III has won it twice. When you add in the fact that before Oberholser won he had been 4th and 6th, that Vijay has three runners-up slots as well as a win and Gogel should have won two years before he did when Tiger hunted him down, then it really does become clear that solid course form is a pre-requisite. There is also an interesting link with form at Atunyote - again not clear as to why but there is a definite trend, Johnson won there, Gogel had a good finish and Love and you will see from some of my picks they have good form there as well.
DA Points - in good form this season with a 5th at Torrey Pines and then 18th last week at Scottsdale - a noteworthy performance as in three previous visits he had missed every cut and never shot under 70. His form at Pebble Beach is a little patchy with a best of 14th in 2008 but he has good form at the Callaway Pebble Beach Invitational (CPBI) where in the last two years he has been 5th and 2nd.
Bill Lunde - like Dustin Johnson Lunde can boast a win at Atunyote and was also 6th here two years ago.He has been in solid form this season making all his cuts and was 13th in the Bob Hope after a very poor opening round. I have seen him blow up at the end of events before so am going for the top ten angle.
John Mallinger - has lost his card and has to make the most of his limited starts but he loves it round Pebble Beach which is in his own backyard. He won the CPBI in November and was 3rd here in both 2007 and 2008 - intererestingly he can also boast a 3rd at Atunyote. He starts at a much bigger price than normal for this event and I think he has been written off too early.
Josh Teater - had two top five finishes in his rookie season in 2010 - 5th here and 3rd at Atunyote - worth a punt at 250/1 to repeat that level of form.
I have also thrown in a couple of Nationwide Tour graduates at big prices to follow the theme of Vegas and Gainey.
Peter Tomasulo - the Long Beach California native has a great pro-am record on the Nationwide Tour - winning one last season and was 2nd in the CPBI in 2005. £20 win 720 average plus £5 top 5 100 and £10 top 10 48
Justin Hicks - both his Nationwide Tour wins have been in pro-ams, has a solid Californian record on the lower tour and says his favourite course is Pebble Beach £20 win 1000 plus £5 top 5 120 and £10 top 10 50
February 8th 17.55
I haven't had time to do a write up for the AT&T at Pebble Beach yet but have listed my bets so far below
DA Points - £45 win 135 average + £60 top 5 16/1
Bill Lunde - £40 win 150 average + £50 top 10 13/1
John Mallinger - £20 ew 150/1 + £40 win 180 average
Josh Teater - £20 ew 250/1 + £15 win 360 average
February 8th 10.00
Well Wilson won in the end providing me with a profit on the week in the end - would have been much better had Yang played 18 better over the week, I will update P & L later.
Moving back to Dubai - I was interested in backing Ed Molinari but not that at the price so instead will go for the latest Italian star Matteo Manassero. Last year he managed a 3rd in the European Masters, 1st Castello Masters and 2nd in the Hong Kong Open. The kid is a huge talent and has a sensible head on his shoulders and his long game is matched with a decent putting game (unlike the two other young "great" players I could mention!) Interestingly he has improved when playing courses for a second time which makes sense, his 3rd in Crans followed a 23rd in 2009 and his 37th in Abu Dhabi was better than his 73rd place debut. In Dubai last season on his Emirates debut he was 31st with a weak final round - expect him to improve on that this week - I have staked £50 65 win and £50 top 5 9/1
Back later today once prices start appearing for Pebble.
February 7th 16.01
Whilst I know he doesn't win anywhere near as often as he should the time to back Soren Hansen is when he hits form and he certainly did that in Qatar last week. He has a fairly solid record in Dubai and 100/1 Ladbrokes is too big - £30 ew for me.
February 7th 12.08
Oh well it looks like I was a little premature in laying back Wilson, however the way I look at it is that I was lucky to be following on Friday night and getting a bet on at 60/1 in running - not backing him at all would have left me rather more annoyed!
A quick notice to anyone who has been following my ramblings for a few years - if you followed my advice and bet on it to snow in Lincoln in 2009 (not last year but the year before) with William Hill - then get in touch as I have some info that will be of interest to you - the bet was settled as a loser but there is a way of reversing that decision.
February 6th 13.41
I have adjusted my position a little this morning on my Phoenix bets as there is still so much golf to be played. I remember last year Wilson led here at the cut and faded badly so I have given a lot of my bet back at around 7/1 so my position now stands at Wilson +£1000, Crane +£3300, Yang +£3200 , Holmes +£2200, field £0 plus I have the £40 top 5 bets on Crane and Yang at 9/1 and 18/1. Ryan Palmer was a complete blowout as were the small bets in Qatar
February 4th 21.50
Working hard on next weeks events - Tiger Woods returns to Dubai and we have the AT&T from Pebble Beach on the PGA. I have also been following the action from Phoenix where a Monday finish might be on the cards and I have added my favourite golfer on the year so far Mark Wilson to my portfolio. He was on my start list but I was doubtful as to how well he can perform so soon after a victory - well he seems to be doing OK and I got £40 on at 60 - not too far off his SP.
February 4th 10.30
I should just have left it at Jimenez in Qatar as he is the only one who has played remotely well in tough conditions. In Phoenix after a huge delay with the frost Crane has played really well whilst Yang was until a shocking double bogey at the last. Palmer came out all guns blazing NOT! - and like so many well backed golers is up against it already. I have actually added to my Holmes bet another £30 at 42 this morning, admittedly he has a tough up and down but then a run of easy holes and as the favourites will not be playing today he could well be trading at single figures or lower at close of play today.
February 2nd 12.02
As usual on the day before tournaments begin I have been going through things to make sure I have missed no-one out and have come up with another couple for Qatar. Firstly David Horsey is a very good wind player and as a winner last year really shouldn't be as big as 300 on Betfair - at three times his bookie price I had to have £20 on. Secondly I was reading Steven Rawlings posts on Betfair about players who do well at Oceanico and Leopard Creek do well here and my mind turned to Joost Luiten who has been 2nd and 4th at those venures. He finished off last year in fine form going 2/3/5 and had a nice pipe opener when 23rd in Abu Dhabi two weeks ago. Interestingly in his three seasons on tour his second starts of the year (rule out 2009 because of injury) have resulted in finishes of 3rd,4th and 6th. Whilst he isn't top quality yet he could well be by the end of the year - £25 e/w 100/1.
I am going to look at the Womens Australian Open and will post anything later if I find anything.
February 1st 21.49
I have already put my bets up for the Phoenix Open now it's time to explain why these golfers were on my betting list. This weeks venue - Scottsdale really is a cauldron which players either love or hate, hence the plethora of players who have great records here. In recent times JB Homes has won twice, Mickelson twice, Singh twice and Calcavecchia can boast three wins. When you add in the fact that winners Perry, Dimarco and Mediate also have second placed finishes to their name (Mediate twice) then it is clear you want to pick a player that has shown he can play well here.
Ryan Palmer seems to be underestimated these days - he has made his last fourteen straight cuts and in those events managed a 2nd, 5th and last time out a 4th so is clearly capable of being competitive. He was really pleased with his Bob Hope finish when he got the putter going and with a new driver is hitting it twenty yards further than before. His best finish before in the Hope was 10th in 2006 - two weeks later he turned up at Scottsdale and finished 2nd. He was also a very solid 14th here last year and whilst he doesn't win that often he knows how to and is well worth a decent punt this week.
I remember backing YE Yang in running last year at huge odds as he surged through the field on Sunday until making a mess of the 17th and coming up just shy in 3rd place. He has made a habit of improving on a return visit to a course on the PGA tour and there aren't many places he can improve to from 3rd! He made his seasonal debut last week making a bit of a mess of his final round but that blew the cobwebs away and he seems to be free of the niggling injuries that plagued the end of his season
Ben Crane seems to be turning into a top player winning twice last year plus a string of other top finishes. He put up a stout defence of his title last week and turns up at Scottsdale in top form where he was 4th in 2008. I was hoping for a slightly bigger price but really don't want to leave him out this week.
JB Holmes just seems to love it here and after two wins in five visits I just feel I have to have a saver on him.
February 1st 20.51
First of all my final thoughts on Qatar - definitely not going to get carried away as it looks like being incredibly windy the first few days and could turn into a bit of a lottery. First up is Brett Rumford who has improved with every start at Doha culminating in a 3rd last year. He has a habit of starting quickly on courses he enjoys playing but with a late tee time I have kept bets small - £10 ew first round leader 110/1, £10 win 160 and £15 top 5 28/1.
Second up is one from left field - Martin Wiegele was joint leader here after round one on his only start in 2004 so should have fond memories. He finished on Sunday with a great 64 and led the DA stats for last week in Bahrain. Once he hits form he has shown he can hold it for a short period so with an early tee he could well do what he did before - have backed him £5 e/w 225/1 and £10 e/w 200/1 for round one plus a speculative £10 at 1000.
Want to go for Noren again as I know he will probably lead early as soon as I stop backing him in the desert but will stick to a minimal £10 at 42.
BAck later tonight with Phoenix Open final thoughts.
February 1st 13.44
Other bets for Phoenix are as follows - will post reasons later today
Ben Crane £60 win 50 and £40 top 5 9/1
YE Yang £30 win 105 and £40 top 5 18/1
JB Holmes - £20 win saver 50
February 1st 09.57
A quick post to give out my best bet week - in the Phoenix Open - Ryan Palmer - reasons why later but I was fortunate enough to get £60 e/w on at 66/1 yesterday - and to be honest I have a feeling any 50/1 will go today.
As for the profit and loss for the year - after a bad week last week profit for the year dropped to £1720.
January 31st 15.31
I stated at the beginning of the year that when the occasion arose I would look towards the top of the betting market in a quest for "value" winners which I had largely not done in the past and Qatar is one of those events. Since 2005 the list of winners is a Who's Who of the golfing world with Els, Stenson, Goosen, Scott, Quiros and Karlsson prevailing. I have therefore worked my way down the prices offered and come to the conclusion that Jimenez is the wrong price. Kaymer is worthy favourite but has never finished better than 31st in three attempts and we all know how often Casey and Westwood win! Going through the rest of them Jimenez stands out as the one player who manages to get the job done on a regular basis including three times last year. He has a great record in the desert overall including winning in Dubai in 2010 and his course form here isn't too bad, He is clearly in form - finishing second last week despite some frustration with the putter. I was surprised to see him at 28/1 and have had £50 e/w - how on earth can he be nearly the same price as Noh. I do have an outsider I am interested in and a couple of round one leader bets but they can wait for now.
January 31st 09.41
A bad day at the office last week and cursing myself for not at least having a saver on Bubba who fitted the profile for winners at Torrey that I had come up with! On to this week where we have two events with plenty of course form in the Phoenix Open and Qatar Masters. With the latter I think it will be tough to call as the winner usually comes from the top of the betting list. Might have to wait a while for prices today as Betfair is down til lunchtime - and I can't update the yearly profit/loss til that comes back online.
January 28th 20.05
Took much of the last two days off to recharge the batteries after a busy three weeks. Looking back at how things have gone - Noren filled that horrible 6th place for any golfer after round one and Quiros keeps getting up there only to fall away. In the US things were looking good for Imada but apparently he admitted he was not playing well and boy has it shown today - taxi for the Japanese lad! Glover and Villegas aren't too far away and playing the tough South course well - will kick myself if Watson does well as he was on the short list but Woods looks ominous.
Back to Bahrain for a mo - last year I cursed myself for not following Lara when he hit form - he is a player short on confidence but when he finds something he plays really well and after a slow start he has got it going - a speculative play but I got £15 275 and £25 28/1 top 5 at Extrabet
January 26th 09.52
One final bet for the week before we kick off to tomorrow and its the same bet as last week albeit at half the odds. In Bahrain I have to reinvest in Alex Noren for first round leader as he just loves it early in the desert. He has now been 2nd,4th and 8th at Abu Dhabi plus a couple of 3rds in Qatar and 4th and 1st in Dubai. Again he is first to tee off tomorrow and fresh from being inspired by a meeting with Gary Player I expect him to get off to a quick start once more - £20 e/w 40/1
January 25th 16.00
Tiger Woods is back and interestingly he will find a bit of a difference at Torrey Pines where the North course has been toughened up and will not play as easy compared to the South as it has in the past. The rough is also up and the courses will be playing more US Open like and course expeience will be vital. Looking at the last two winners and before that those who finished close to Tiger what becomes apparent is that a top finish at Torry Pines in recent years is a prerequisite along with the ability to close out an event at the top level. Last years winner Ben Crane had been 7th the year before whilst Watney had been 9th two years before. There also seems to be a very interesting link to form at Sugarloaf - not sure why but Woods won there on his only start, Mickelson three times, Cranes only other win was there and Olazabal was twice second there. I am not entirely sure why there should be a link but my number one pick had his only win at Sugarloaf - step forward Ryuji Imada. He has solid course form and admits he absolutely loves it here - shown in his 2nd to Woods, top ten last year and 18th in the US Open. He has started the season in steady form and was fairly close to the lead last week for a while where he hit a lot of greens which is what will be needed here.
Second pick is Camilo Villegas who may well be inspired by fellow South American Vegas' win last week. Having missed his first two cuts here he has rapidly improved in recent years going 13th, 9th US Open and then 3rd. He missed the cut on his first outing this season but he has often improved after blowing the cobwebs away. After a winless 2009 he won again last year and I think he is a big price when you consider his course form and interesting that he was 3rd on both appearances at Sugarloaf - £55 80/1 and £45 top 5 13/1.
Third in is Lucas Glover - I am taking a bit of a risk as it's his first start of the year but he has gone well fresh before - last year he led the SBS champions event through the first three rounds and in 2007 was leading heading in to the final round of the Bob Hope on his seasonal bow. He has some great form at Torrey Pines with a 3rd,4th and 9th and if it plays more US Open like then it can only be in his favour - £45 100/1 and £35 top 5 16/1.
Last pick goes to someone who qualifies in my mind now that he has won on tour - Arjun Atwal. Using the Sugarloaf connection he was 2nd there in 2005 and can boast a 4th here in 2006. Having had a solid start to the season he might well be woth £20 e/w at 125/1
January 25th 13.40
I am not going to get carried away with bets for the inaugural Volvo Golf Champions event in Bahrain but I have added to my small bet yesterday on Quiros. It sounds like the course isn't in the best condition which would explain quite a lot of the absentees so when in doubt concentrate on the bit of course form you can find. Andrew Marshall gets to play this week due to his win here last month in the King Hamad Trophy and he seems to like Bahrain having twice won the Bahrain Open. He hasn't played too badly in South Africa this year but I have my doubts he could challenge for the title so a round one bet seems prudent - £15 ew 200/1 plus just in case bets on £10 win 500/1 and £15 top 10 25/1. My only other two bets are both on Betfair on players who did well last week in Abu Dhabi - David Lynn was 5th - £25 97/1 and Scott Strange who can win at the level and was 11th last week £20 win 280/1.
Best odds for the Euro tour event here
Back later once I have all my Farmers Insurance bets on.
January 25th 09.19
Just a quick post - Imada is 66/1 Sportingbet.com.au I have adjusted my staking a little - having another £20 e/w at that price but laid £40 overnight at 60 - don't want to overstake! Back later
January 24th 19.26
I might as well give out the main bet of the week as I think his price will be cut by other people tipping him but I will not give out reasons yet as they will give away other selections not backed yet!
Farmers Insurance Open - Ryuji Imada £90 ew 60/1 + £45 65 Betfair (66/1 at Stan James where I can't get on)
Some people have emailed me asking me to put my profit and loss on the site which I am happy to do although it won't always exactly reflect what is written here due to backing and laying on Betfair - anway the total for the year so far is +£2540 after 3 weeks.
January 24th 13.47
Initial thoughts on the Bahrain Volvo Golf Champions event are - well mainly - where are the top players who played last week? I do find it odd that they are out there in the Middle East and aren't playing - especially as the course will be used as an event for tournament champions next year. Anyway - I have a few ideas but certainly won't be having much in the way of bets - I did just take advantage of a small Betfair rick on Alvaro Quiros and got £35 at 30 but thats it so far. This week I will mainly be concentrating on getting Tiger Woods beat at Torrey Pines!
January 23rd 11.36
It looks like it will be down to Tom Kite to snatch a place in Hawaii tonight to turn the week into a winning one - this week I won't be staying up to watch!! Busy working away for next weeks events - the European Tour stays in the Middle East but moves to a new venue in Bahrain whilst the PGA tour stays in California where we see the return of Tiger Woods in the Farmers Insurance at Torrey Pines.
January 22nd 12.03
I don't usually like betting in running too much as it does seem to be chasing losses - although this week doesn't look too bad with Noren placing at 80/1 each way for first round leader - anyway I have bet one more player in the Bob Hope. Jason Gore has improved with every round this week on his seasonal debut and currently sits on -13. He is capable of shooting the lights out - hence his Twitter name of JasonGore59 and certainly knows how to win when the opportunity arises. Quite surprised to see him 150 on Betfair so had £30 + £15 e/w 80/1.
January 20th 15.03
Onto the final event of the week and the first tournament on the Champions Tour the Mitsubishi Electric Championship. I guess the headline for me is - don't forget the old guys. Last year Watson won at 60, Irwin won in 2007 when 61 and in 2000 George Archer won aged 60 - so with only four players over 60 taking part its easy to narrow the field on that criteria. I will plump for veteran Tom Kite to go well again - he won here in 2002 and was 2nd in 2007 but I will only be having £20 e/w as I was hoping for bigger than 50/1. One final little bet is for round one leader - only allowed £8 ew 60/1 for Brad Bryant who in four appearances has led twice after the opening salvo.
January 20th 11.43
It looks like being a good start to the week for followers of my tips as Noren should hold on for a place in the round one market at Abu Dhabi at 80/1. In the Bob Hope Prugh had a shocker and Streelman was frustrating marring his seven birdie round with two double bogeys. The back to lay Ogilvie started well shooting -5 at Silver Rock and I have had a further bet on a player who shot -6 on that course. I toyed with the idea of backing Peter Tomasulo before the off but wanted to see if he had shaken off last years late season injury. He certainly has and the Californian playing in his own back yard has always played well in pro-ams on the Nationwide tour - I was on him last year when he won shooting a 61 in the final round of the Wayne Gretzky pro-am so he can certainly go low. I have added him as a back to lay - £40 at 200.
January 19th 10.09
I am still a little undecided about the Champions Tour but have til Friday evening to decide! I have had a small bet in Abu Dhabi for the first round leader in the shape of Alex Noren. He has been 4th and 8th here after the opening round before and seems to like the early rounds in the desert as he can also boasta couple of 3rds in Qatar and 4th and 1st in Dubai. He is first off the 10th tee tomorrow morning so is worth £20 ew 80/1. Best prices here
January 18th 21.22
Back to the Bob Hope Classic - where there seems to have been a chnage in recent years - in the past to find a winner you looked through the list of veteran golfers - these days look for the younger players to come to the fore. Whether this is a temporary phenomenon nobody knows but maybe the younger players do actually have the patience for longer rounds and enjoy mixing it with so called "personalities" whereas the older players are bored byt it and no longer have to do it for the money.
I have therefore gone for Streelman and Prugh who finished 10th and 5th respectively in the Bob Hope last year. Prugh had a stunning start to his rookie year last season going 5/5/10 on the west coast swing and when he returned to California in October he was 2nd in the Frys. He says he is really happy in this part of the States having grown up on the West coast and a solid 20th placed finish in the Sony makes him worth backing this week. Streelman has been on the main tour for three years now and I wouldn't be surprised to see him finally make the breakthrough and win on tour this season. He has shown in the past the ability to play a course well once he already has done - hopefully he can improve on last years 10th.
One back to lay - Joe Ogilvie will have to make the most of his sponsors invitation this week as he will have limited starts to get his tour card back in 2011 and in most of the Bob Hopes he has played he has been in contention at some point - I managed to get £25 on at 315 average.
Back tomorrow with thoughts on the Champions tour as it kicks off - don't forget the PGA starts tomorrow.
January 18th 11.03
Aaaah - might as well put my second pick up for the Bob Hope as well - Kevin Streelman as Dave Tindall has picked him and Prugh! £40 ew 66/1 + £30 75 average
January 18th 10.52
Bob Hope Classic - better put this up now as price will be going - main pick is Alex Prugh - managed to get £20 ew 66/1 and £50 win 70 and £40 top 5 12.75 average - back later with further thoughts.
January 17th 18.00
The Abu Dhabi Championship is one of those events where the cream rises to the top and favourites tend to win and place so why try and find an outsider who will probably crumble down the stretch - hence the pick of Louis Oosthuizen. His win two weeks ago at home was the first since his Open win and is probably the most important - lots of Major winners struggle to win again soon. Coming to an event bang in form where he has been 5th and 2nd the last two seasons makes him a must bet to me even at 22/1.
My second bet is on a player I think is overpriced - Ed Molinari. I really think he wore himself out qualifying for the Ryder Cup but who can forget the triple birdie finish in the Johnnie Walker to get his place. He played pretty well on his debut here last season - top ten with a round to go and I think he is one of those players that improves when he plays a course for a second time. For a player who knows how to win 70/1 is too big - £35 e/w and £45 average 85 on Betfair.
Last play is a back to lay on Henrik Stenson - if he starts well his odds will tumble being a quality player when on form and he is superb in the desert - £70 65 average.
Back tomorrow with Bob Hope picks.
January 17th 15.13
Four hours sleep was not enough!! - was going to say thank goodness Hawaii is over - but the Champions tour starts there this week - that will be the last event I look at this week.
In Abu Dhabi I am going for a player early - and one of the favourites (shock horror!) - more on why later but I think his price will collapse today and he will be heavily tipped - £80 e/w Louis Oosthuizen 22/1.
January 17th 03.16
Hi guys - absolutely shattered - probably laid more than I should have but what can I say - cheers Mark and Tim - wish books did the dual forecast lol - back tomorrow - err later today!!
January 16th 11.23
Had a bit of a lie in today in anticipation of a long day/night following the Sony - thankfully Mark Wilson had a good end to his round and remains in contention and Davis Love edged ever closer. I will be (hopefully!) laying back some of my Wilson bet as this was the original plan but not just yet as I think he is a big price on Betfair at the moment. Anyway - time to work on the Bob Hope (starts Wednesday) and the Abu Dhabi Championship.
January 15th 17.33
Nice to see the Scottish football back and a nice haul of 20 points profit on the weekend for Football Betting Index. If you are good at tipping on a specialist sport then why not get in touch - we maybe able to set up a business for you!
January 15th 16.03
Just been looking through the Joburg Open again before the final round and have had a few "back to lays" on Betfair. Donaldson - who I wanted to bet last week has made a good start to his season - 120 and Ahokas and Floren both winners on the Challenge Tour and only four back - 440 average on each.
January 15th 12.23
A quick update on the Sony Open - Mark Wilson had a great round yesterday and is tied 2nd, whilst Love, Clark and Knost all played well to get to -2. The biggest disappointment was Slocum who had chance after chance on the greens but couldn't putt to save his life even missing from two feet. They will play the second round today and go for thirty six holes tomorrow.
January 14th 14.32
Sadly there was no play yesterday at the Sony where most of my weeks bets are so I had to make do with the Joburg Open. Woke up this morning to see McGowan sitting on -10 as the horn went for bad weather - during the enforced break they changed his score to -8 and when they came back he dropped to -6 with two further bogeys - all this on the easy course so pretty frustrating - he now needs to go low twice on the East over the weekend. On the plus side Football Betting Index returns with a solid set of seven bets for tomorrow as a full schedule returns to Scotland.
January 13th 11.20
Time for the last two bets for the Sony Open - the first has been somewhat frustrating as being a Monday qualifier books hadn't priced him up - and lets say the response has been underwhelming to my requests to have the four qualifiers quoted.
Doug Labelle was second on Monday and gets into his favourite event again having played here in 2007 and 2008 and finishing 4th and 10th simply because he is a short accurate hitter - have backed him to trade £30 950 average and £20 top 10 25/1.
I have thought long and hard about the final guy and in the end will just have a token £10 win at 650 on Colt Knost - the most accurate player from the Nationwide Tour so in theory the course should suit - we shall see.
January 12th 17.48
I have an outsider for the Joburg Open (also two for Sony - but still waiting to be matched!) - I will go for Josh Cunliffe who seems to like it at home. The Joburg native seems to have the game for playing at altitude and could well repeat his 10th place finish last season. Although he missed the cut in his first two attempts he does have other form at the course - he managed to finish 1st in 2008 and 3rd in 2010 in the IFQ for the Open and looking through his Sunshine Tour form all his best stuff has been on the other course at Johannesburg or the Randpark in the Gauteng region. Whilst I think a win is out of the question he might go well to trade especially as he starts on the easier West course - so I have backed him (all on Betfair) 1st round leader £5 260, top 5 £5 90, top 10 £20 33 and outright £20 650 average.
January 11th 21.42
Sony Open preview
If you are looking for an event with plenty of course form then look no further - the Waialae Country club has staged this event since 1965. Looking at the winners since 2000 it becomes apparent that it suits certain golfers. First of all course experience is vital - all winners had played the course at least twice (although past greatness was not necessarily a precedent). Being a past winner on tour is important - only Kelly was a tour "virgin" and it could be argued he should have won before! The list of winners tends to indicate that the course favours the shorter but more accurate players. The event holds fond memories for me as Azinger was my first ever 100/1 winner when he triumphed in 2000 so here are my four main bets
Heath Slocum - tends to play his best golf on windy, short courses and has won in each of the last two seasons. He warmed up last week on a course which wouldn't have suited his game but this will definitely suit. His course form is similar to last years winner Palmer - in eight attempts his best finish is 10th but he was 6th and 8th at the cut in 07/08.
Mark Wilson - has two wins on tour - PGA National and Mayakoba which show a lot of similarities to Waialae. In four performances he has never really set the world on fire but the course really should suit his accurate game. He finished last season well with a 6th at Magnolia which got him into the top 125 of the money list
Davis Love - has a fine record here - 2nd twice and 3rd and 5th he is very keen to get a win round a course which suits his game. Last year he also managed a 6th at the US Open at Pebble and 4th at Sawgrass so is still more than capable of competin at the highest level so he really shouldn't be a three figure price.
Tim Clark - main bet for the week now he is a winner on tour, he has been 12th and 25th here the last two years when he was making his seasonal debut and he improved as the week went on. Interestingly in each of the last two years his second starts of the season he has been 2nd and 5th and has won the South African Open twice in January.Last week he was 7th for DA and 3rd for GIR which should serve him well this week.
I have tow more outsiders for the Sony and one for Joburg - but will wait til tomorrow for those
January 11th 15.11
Main bet of the week for the Sony goes to Tim Clark - was hoping to get 40/1 at the books but will make do with 35/1, full write up on this event later today
Tim Clark £80 ew 35/1
Also added £30 ew more on Slocum after Coral opened 100/1
January 11th 11.53
I am still waiting for a full set of prices for the Sony Open so won't do a full write-up yet but will say I have added the following bets
Heath Slocum £40 ew 80/1 + £35 110 to trade
Mark Wilson £10 top 5 25/1 (all I was allowed!) + £40 200 - some to trade
January 10th 19.56
Back to the Joburg Open - I don't really fancy many players for this - Danny Willett has obvious claims but 20/1 for a non winner - no thankyou! There is one big priced outsider I quietly fancy but will wait for the smaller markets to back him - so the reasons for Ross McGowan. He was plagued last year by injury which was a great shame having had such a good season in 2009 which included his first victory on tour. He played Joburg in 2008 when fresh off the Challenge Tour and finished 14th including a 66 on the easier West course and in the third round a superb 64 on the East. Maybe he likes playing at altitude - his win was in Madrid and some of his other best performances include a 7th and a 3rd at Crans plus he played well at altitude on the Challenge Tour. Last week was the first time he had played competitively since late November and although he faded after a good start the signs were there that the shoulder injury was gone and he had wintered well in Dubai.
Best prices for Joburg & Sony
Back tomorrow with the bets and reasons for the Sony Open.
January 10th 19.56
Just a quick bet for the Sony Open before I head off for a bite to eat - I really don't see why Davis Love III is 100/1 for this event - more to come tomorrow on this event as there are some strict guidelines to adhere to when chosing someone to back - I have had £30 ew at 125/1. Back later with my thoughts on Ross McGowan in the Joburg Open
January 10th 17.19
I believe everyone and his dog will want to be on Ross McGowan this week in the Joburg Open - reasosn later but for now take any 40/1 you can - I got £60 ew and was also lucky to get £20 win only at 50/1
January 9th 21.17
Been out all day so didn't get chance to watch the final round from South Africa but looks a bit like a Kruger nightmare with JBE double bogeying the 12th when one shot off the lead and never really recovering. Back tomorrow with the first look at the Sony Open and Joburg Open
January 8th 23.36
Seeing Kuchar moving through the field at Kapalua reminds me of the post I put on here on the 20th December as an antepost bet for the US Masters -
Betting antepost on golf can be fraught with danger with potential loss of form or injury but sometimes the price makes it worthwhile having a decent bet. The Masters is quite a good event to bet in as it has a limited field (many of whom are already known) and is played at the same venue at the same time of year so a lot of the lottery has gone. So what I don't understand is why the man who won the money list in 2010 is 80/1? Matt Kuchar really has been incredibly consistent this year - in fact ever since he hit form in October last year when he won at Atunyote. His Major record isn't exceptional but isn't that bad - this year his finishes read 24/6/27/10 and this year was the first time he has played the Masters since 2002 when he missed the cut. He played Augusta twice as an amateur making the cut both times and in 1998 he was low amateur. This years 24th place finish was achieved in difficult circumstances as he played the first two rounds with Tiger on his return to competition. He says he feels at home at Augusta as he went to Georgia Tech and having led the money list this year and had the lowest scoring average on tour I can see him gunning for Majors in 2011 and to me 80/1 is plainly wrong - I would have him at 40/1 tops and have duly had £80 ew - good luck in getting on - best prices here
January 8th 15.02
Well my last post seemed to kick Kruger into action - when I wrote that post he had just bogeyed and was on -8 in 15th and six shots behind - he finished tied 3rd and one shot off the lead so holds every chance tomorrow!
I have been looking over the Hyundai Champions event and with low scores clearly attainable I looked again at the overseas players who may continue to dominate the event and one man who could rip it up over the weekend is Adam Scott. On his first three visits here he was 7th, 5th, 2nd and yesterday he showed that sort of form having stumbled out of the blocks on day one after a double bogey at the second seemed to stop him. Have had £20 100 win and £30 17 top four finish on Betfair
January 8th 12.29
A quick update on things - the back to lays haven't fared very well on week one of the new year but I only need one in eight to cop to make a profit. In South Africa it looks like Kruger may well turn the week into a nightmare rather than a gold rush as he can't seem to buy a putt - he needs to get to double figures under par today to compete for a place tomorrow.
January 6th 10.26
Unlike other sites I don't want to clog up the blog with endless bookmaker promotions but when I see a good one I will mention it and this month Betdaq have an excellent one. If you sign up in January you pay only 2.5% commission until March 31st plus they will give you £20 to get you started - to take advantage of this offer click here
January 5th 17.57
Having looked through the Victorian Open there are lots of price discrepancies between Skybet and Centrebet - sadly I cannot get on with the latter and very little with the former, take a look yourselves - there are plenty of huge differences - I would have a few quid e/w on newly crowned Victorian Amateur Jack Wilson - 140/1 Centrebet 750/1 Skybet.
January 5th 09.32
Yesterday was the busiest ever day traffic-wise on SBI - punters keen to start betting on the new golf season! Football Betting Index has had a good start to the New Year with three out of four winning bets and we go again tonight.
Just going to have a look at the Victorian Open golf event which a few have priced up - back later with any thoughts.
January 4th 15.03
Moving onto the Hyundai Tournament of Champions - it doesn't take too much working out to see that Americans have fared rather poorly in this season opener for a number of years. Why this is so is interesting - you could argue that in past seasons that most Americans virtually give up playing by the October and are therefore rusty whereas other nationalities (especially Australians) carry on playing right up to Christmas - yet these days even most of the top Americans were playing in fairly decent events into December. I have a feeling it maybe the Plantation course which is quite alien to most Americans, this article gives a good indication as to why http://www.pgatour.com/2010/tournaments/r016/01/10/notebook.ap/index.html
I have looked at the event in two halves really - who can win from the non Americans and who will be the top American.
Arjun Atwal could be a surpise package as when on song he has great putts per GIR figures which seems to be a prerequisite for playing well here. He played in India at the beginning of December finishing 5th so shouldn't be too rusty and has gone well first time out before. Have backed him £20 ew 125/1 and back to lay £25 at 140.
As for who will be top American - well I have turned back to my old friend Rocco Mediate who rather stunned people in October winning the Frys.com. He last played here in 2003 when 2nd (top US) and before that in 2001 when 6th (3rd US) so definitely can play the course. He seems in buoyant mood having been on Maui since Christmas Eve - he even had a hole in one in practice last week. He has to be worth a bet ew - I was lucky to get £40 ew at 66/1 but 50/1 is still fairly decent - also had £10 ew at 150/1 and £25 back to lay at 165 average.
January 4th 11.59
Time for my thoughts on the African Open - with two of my main fancies Donaldson and Every not playing I decided I wanted to get a bit more on Kruger - fortunately Tote went 40/1 this morning so I added another £40 ew to take me to £100 ew. I was impressed by the young South African here last year when he was 3rd behind Schwatrzel and Aiken - maybe he likes playing fresh as he was 5th the year before in his seasonal bow. He showed that result was no fluke by winning his first main event on the Sunshine Tour in April when winning the Zimbabwe Open and was then runner-up no less than three times on the Asian Tour. He was in contention at some point in every one of his last five starts of 2010 and I think it is only a matter of time before he wins a decent event.
I have backed two other players as outsiders and have backed them in the methods I mentioned on January 2nd. First up is young Frenchman Viktor Riu who was an impressive 7th in the South African Open before Christmas, maybe he likes playing in Africa as he was also 5th in the Kenyan Open in 2009. He is the first of my back to lays of the season (keeping them small to start with) £25 at an average 240 with a view to laying £250 at around 24 - also had £10 ew 200/1. Second is a man I had a big bet on in this event last year who missed the cut, Ulrich van den Berg grew up playing East London and have again had £25 at 280 average to lay back and a small bet with the books - £5 ew 200/1 + £5 ew top South African 125/1.
January 3rd 16.58
Quick update - looks like both Donaldson and Every have withdrawn from the African Open
January 3rd 15.46
Last day of festivities with my family round as not met up over Christmas and New Year - but have had a quick look at early African Open prices and have had to have a few bets - will post reasons later when more time
Jamie Donaldson £60 ew 50/1
Jbe Kruger £60 ew 40/1
Matt Every £30 ew 100/1
January 2nd 11.01
I hope you all had some fun with your New Year festivities - I have now recovered from mine and looking forward to the challenge ahead - tomorrow being Monday starts the regular weekly grind of golf betting. I call it a grind but to be honest I can't think of anything I would rather be doing in life. Last year wasn't a great year with so many near misses but a couple of seconds turned into wins and some players finishing sixth finding a par or birdie somewhere it would have been a whole different scenario. I always spend the "off season" analysing things and this year there will be a few changes - I never back favourites outright for golf tournaments as there simply is little if any value but you will find me betting more in the 33/1 - 50/1 bracket this year. I will still be backing big priced outsiders but these will often be in specialist nationality markets or on Betfair with a view to laying off at preset prices.
We start tomorrow with the Hyundai Tournament of Champions and the African Open - back then!
 
 
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