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december 30th 20.31
It doesn't take a genius to figure out why I have tipped Martin Laird this week - this is his third visit to Kapalua and the first two rewarded him with finishes of 4th and then 2nd in 2012. It is not just these finishes but the manner in which they were achieved - with a scoring average of 68.25 over those eight rounds - that's a whole shot per round lower than the likes of Dustin Johnson or indeed Tiger Woods around here. He didn't have the best of seasons like year apart from his win but his confidence was knocked by one disasterous hole at the Open Championship in July but he finished off the year by shooting some good early low rounds.
Just reading a quote from his last visit to Maui reveals why he has performed well here on his two visits
"But yeah, I felt comfortable here two years ago. I like the golf course. I think it's a fun place to start the year, not just the fact that it's in Maui, but the golf course, it's - there's wide fairways and big greens. You can just kind of hit driver every hole, and you know you've got to make a lot of birdies and play kind of aggressive. A couple of driveable par 4s, things like that. It's a course for me - I don't know why, I just like hitting a lot of drivers, and it sets up well for me."
I am expecting a big year from the Scot as he fights to make the Ryder Cup squad and he can get off to a quick start to the season - 0.8 ew 28/1. I also recommend a small 0.2 ew 25/1 on round one leader as in his two attempts he has finished 2nd after the opening round both times
december 29th 22.12
Hope you all had a good Christmas and before New Year comes and goes we will be having the prices for the first event of the PGA Tour the Hyundai Tournament of Champions where by the look of things I will be having at least one bet so keep an eye out on Twitter for that over the next few days
december 16th 09.23
The only joy we had before Christmas last week was Lahiri getting a tie for 4th in Thailand but he played poorly in the final round - maybe the pressure of playing in the final three ball got to him. It was also frustrating on a personal note as I had him @ 35/1 without the four faves so he ended up tied 2nd when Levy birdied the last but that does show one vital thing - do look at side markets when there are short priced favourites.
So that concludes the golf for 2013 and as the old cliche goes it was definitely a game of two halves with the second half being totally forgettable. We have had a lot of close shaves this year where one shot would have made all the difference notably Stallings in the Humana Challenge trading at 1.3 going up 18, Jutanugurn in Thailand was probably the most painful and then Scott pipping Cabrera in the Masters. Therein lies the difference from my personal betting - I can trade a decent profit which doesn't show on the bare results - maybe there is a way of incorporating this in the future.
Anyway - I hope you all have a good Christmas - I for one am looking forward to a few weeks off from the golf but will be busy updating the Independent Bookmaker Guide and if you are missing your betting fix give this guy a try Each Way Betting who at present is on a 91% ROI.
All the best
Ian
december 11th 20.59
Time to just tie up a few loose ends on this weeks bets - it is the last event of the European Senior and I am hoping Michael McLean can rekindle past glories as he has twice won the Mauritius Open on this weeks course (and been 2nd) and my mole tells me he was 3rd in todays pro-am - if that means anything! 0.1 ew 250/1
The Thailand Golf Championship looks tough with some short priced favourites and I have gone for players who have shown a liking for the Amata Sprins course not just in the last two renewals but also in the international Open qualifier held here. The three recent winners of that have been Aphibarnrat (who looks a bit short to me) Meesawat who lost in a playoff last week who I have had a saver on @ 85 and Lahiri who I have tipped. The young Indian strikes me as being a player who improves on a course with experience and apart from winning last years Open qualifier he was also 15th here last year. He has enjoyed a great season and is in good form - his 12th last week in Hong Kong was impressive considering he had gone mc/mc/55 before and has a win and three runer up slots in Asia. For me it was tricky finding the right market and have backed him @ 35/1 without the four faves and have had a decent wager @ 120-140 on Betfair to hopefully trade but the official tip is 0.4 ew 80/1
My only other tip is the realtively unknown Javi Colomo (he's Spanish if Paddy Power are reading!) who saved his Asian card by finishing tied 5th in Hong Kong last week. He was 3rd here after round one last year and has played well in the Open Qualifier at Amata Springs. Again it was a question of finding the right market and I have backed him 0.5 ew 50/1 to be top European and 0.25 ew 125/1 for round one. For trading purposes I have been matched up to 750 on Betfair for the win and 50 and 21 for the top 5 and 10
I have also had savers on Jazz @ 500 and Plaphol @1000
december 10th 20.08
Only got time for a brief preview of Nelson Mandela Championship as it starts in 8 hours and I am off out soon!
Richard Finch - in brilliant form compared to most of those around him in the betting and it was this sort of form that brought him two wins a few years ago 0.5 ew 33/1
Michael Hoey - well why not at this price in this field even if he is shit or bust 0.25 ew 100/1
Desvonde Botes - apparaently has a back injury but has fantastic form around here in 07/08 especially in round one when 3rd and 5th 0.1 ew 150/1
One of my better bets of the year and have got a decent whack down on Betfair at big odds but will put up Jared Harvey @ 0.5 ew 100/1. He co-led the qualifier today and did the same for the South African Open and Alfred Dunhill - no mean feat. He has plenty of expeience of Mount Edgecombe - walking round it with his Dad from the age of three and fulfilled a great ambition when winning the South African Amateur on this very course in 2011. His father was a top player and Jared looks like going the same way with some solid results to date - I will put him up at 0.5 ew 100/1 with quite a few books at that price - just wish more were up and especially round one leader!
december 9th 10.55
Last week of the year coming up and the last six months has been long and hard with last week being another example - tips were poor but managed to make a profit with mention Manley - anytime a 180/1 shot makes it into a playoff it is easy to make money trading and personally I did OK on the small tours that only Skybet price up. Onto this week and we have the Nelson Mandela Championship which starts Wednesday (surprised they haven't moved the qualifier which is still tomorrow) a big line up turns up in Thailand plus we have the climax of the European Senior tout and the Web.com Q School finals - could be a busy week before a well earned rest
december 4th 14.19
As the years golf draws to a close we return to Hong Kong and have a huge raft of course form to go through and we look for a player who can cope with the tight tree lined Fanling course. Jimenez is the worthy favourite as he seeks his fourth victory here and to be honest at the top end of the market he has little to fear. I have to say I fancy Fraser and Derksen but the prices are woeful considering their winning ratios so I have looked further down the field.
Main bet is on Jyoti Randhawa who has a great long term record here with a best of 3rd and 8th. In the last two years he has taken long breaks in the summer and this year has come back in fine fettle having implemented some swing changes. He finished 2nd in the CJ Invitational and then was 5th last week in Indonesia and his GIR figures really need a closer look - he has been hitting an amazing 82% which should stand him in good stead. In his personal life Randhawa has endured a lot of problems but it was finally announced last week he has been granted a divorce in his big celebrity marriage - with that settled he may be more relaxed on the golf course 0.6 ew 50/1
James Morrison has a good scoring average in Hong Kong (although his finishes are not really high) especially if you take out the round one 78 in 2011 which came just after he missed out to Luiten in the Johor Open. I don't think Morrison has ever fulfilled his full potential and perhaps is most famous for letting a four shot lead disappear at Wentworth a few years ago and that course is a really good pointer to Hong Kong 0.25 ew 110/1
Often we see a young Asian player on top form in Hong Kong and I have gone for Pariya
Junhasavasdikul to repeat what he did in 2011 when 4th. The young Thai player won his second Asian tour event earlier this year in Malaysia - his first was in Taiwan and both courses bear a similarity to this weeks venue. His ball striking in recent starts has been excellent - 10th for DA and 2nd for GIR in India and 2nd and 5th in those categories in Manila last time out. He has also been getting off to quick starts lately - he has a 1/1/2/5/6 in his last 10 starts including at Crans on the main tour - so I have gone for 0.3 ew 125/1 and 0.1 ew for round one leader 125/1
I have had savers on Kang 75 (won 3 of his last 4 starts) Lawrie 100, Manley 180, Higgins 310 and Forsyth 210 who could all outperform their Betfair odds.
december 3rd 09.37
Another blank week last week though Willett came close to a place and has given me renewed confidence in my new approach. I do have three players to back for the Hong Kong event but judging from the odds available on last weeks Asian event I am going to wait for the big layer to appear on Betfair. In the Nedbank I have had one bet on Betfair and that was 0.5 win on Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano - don't see why he should be 60 on there having won from a top notch field in China a few weeks ago and as for the debutant theory @ the Nedbank well they have only ever been limited fields and Gonzo seems quite at home playing parkland courses.
NOVEMBer 26th 12.33
Quite a busy week with the Alfred Dunhill Championship this week although it looks quite quiet where other events are concerned. I have four outright picks in South Africa and have doubled up with two of them in the first round leader market.
Danny Willett is a difficult player to catch right and usually goes off quite short at around the 33-40 market in this quality of field but at 55/1 I have delved in with a decent bet. His record at Leopard Creek looks fairly average with finishes of 37th and 18th but his actual scoring average is really good. His record overall in South Africa is really solid with a pair of 5th's earlier in the year adding to a pair of 4th's in the Joburg Open and 7th in the Africa Open. He has had a fairly quiet season having got married earlier in the year but showed a few weeks ago in Perth when 3rd he is close to adding to his win in Germany last year.He needs to improve his putting and especially his round four scoring so be prepared to trade a bit come the weekend! 0.8 ew 55/1
From one young Englishman to another and in Andy Sullivan we have another player who seems to enjoy playing in South Africa having been 3rd here last year and 5th in the Africa Open. He bounced back to form last week at Glendower with four solid rounds to finish tied 12th. He is a player with a great all round game who could easily repeat or improve last years 3rd place finish 0.25 ew 100/1
I am adding a third young English player in the shape of Seve Benson who I rate quite highly and should be seen at his best on the sort of parkland course he encounters this week. His best form has been seen on parkland courses such as Torino and he showed he could cope with the conditions he will face this week by winning the Kenyan Open last year. Leopard Creek was the scene of his first pro start on the main tour back in 2008 and he was top ten after round one before fading. In 2010 it was the scene of his comeback having been out of the game with a back injury for six months - he played well for three rounds. Last year when out of form he shot an opening 64 to lead before finally finishing 20th. Take the hint and back him in two markets - outright 0.25 ew 100/1 and round one leader 0.1 ew 66/1
I missed one player initially on going through the field but added Max Kieffer last night. He is in a great run of form (relative to the field quality) having been top thirty in his last five starts including a 12th in the World Cup last week. He has been starting very well but failing to see the job through but as we saw earlier this year he has a lot of nerve as he took part in the nine hole playoff against Jacquelin in Spain.He started solidly here last year and showed he can travel well as his Challenge Tour win came in India. I have backed him 0.3 ew 60/1 but also 0.2 ew 50/1 for round one leader as in his last seven starts he has been tied for the lead twice and 2nd and 5th.
NOVEMBer 25th 09.28
At the beginning of the year would I have taken an 11% return on my tips - yes probably, do I like the way it has happened - a great run followed by a horrendous one - certainly not - but the overall result is still the same. What has become frustrating is that these are the actual tips - for those of you who can get on the Twitter mentions then things look better with Rutledge 2nd last week @ 66/1 which was preceeded by the one two at the Euro Q School @ 66/1 and 40/1. I have been working hard of late on new ideas - just trying to stay one step ahead and these thoughts have come up with all the Q School bets plus players like Jason Bohn (150/1) - so hopefully more of these in the coming weeks. This week I will be concentrating on the Alfred Dunhill Championship but we also have the Australian Open, Indonesia Open and Casio World Open to keep us busy.
NOVEMBer 20th 14.34
In the South African Open this week it was a case of getting on early with the home players as judging by the early prices the layers had underestimated them. I thought long and hard about Hennie Otto and Darren Fichardt but in the end went for Jaco van Zyl and Garth Mulroy.
Mulroy was my first bet and I got on early at 66/1 as although he played poorly in Dubai last week before that he was in great nick with a 6th in the Dunhill Links and top twenty finishes in China and Turkey. He has played in 23 co-sanctioned European events in his homeland and has a 26% top five strike rate and a win in the 2011 Alfred Dunhill Championship. That win at Leopard Creek could be a good pointer as it seems to be a similar parkland course here at Glendower.He came close to landing the spoils for us in the Italian Open in 2012 (another parkland track) and whilst the early 66/1 disappeared 50/1 is still value 0.5 ew
Jaco van Zyl has been well backed from the early 50/1 (though he has drifted out on Betfair now). I am expecting a return to his homeland to rekindle some form - hopefully to the level that he showed earlier this year when he went on a spree finishing 2/1/w/1/1. In his last twelve co-sanctioned events at home he has managed no fewer than five top five finishes. I am expecting a bold showing and am glad to be holding the 50/1 ticket 0.5 ew
I have also gone for a couple of European players above the lower rated home players - firstly Robert Rock. He has endured a poor season mainly for personal reasons but he did finish 2nd in Ireland. He is a two time winner in recent years - his first one came in Italy on a parkland course and he has a fairly good long term record in South Africa - especially at Leopard Creek 0.25 ew 110/1
Lastly I cannot leave out Michael Hoey at the price - we all know he knows how to win (unlike many) and at 80/1 in this field he has to go in the book. To be honest he could be putting his feet up for the year but obviously thinks he has a chance of further victories and as he wins on average once in thirty five starts the price is big 0.25 ew.
NOVEMBer 13th 14.40
The OHL or Mayakoba Classic moves to a different time of the year but it will probably still produce the same type of winner and because of that there are some pretty short prices about which I wouldn't touch. Like last week I got in early and had a few savers on Baird 80, Na 110, Every 55 and Huh 60 but I don't want to touch the bookie prices - instead I have gone for three "winners".
JJ Henry has a fantastic scoring average around El Cameleon with a best finish of 2nd. His current level of play is really good with some career best finishes at courses he hasn't necessarily excelled at with some solid GIR stats which will be needed this week. He does strike me as a horses for courses man with his two wins coming at Montreux and River Highlands where he had bags of experience and some solid form. I would rather be on a player like this who is a confirmed winner, in form on a course he plays well than players who are shorter 0.5 ew 50/1.
Heath Slocum has four tour wins to his name and has a really good record in the Fall. He hasn't had a great three years since he won at last weeks venue - Sea Island but a return there saw a good finish with much improved putting stats - the thing that usually holds him back. Like Henry he has a great scoring average here including a 3rd on his debut and is just the sort of course he plays well on - 0.4 ew 80/1
Sometimes a price just jumps off the page at me and it certainly did when I saw 250/1 chalked up against Cameron Beckman. To use a horse racing term he is a standing dish around El Cameleon including a win in 2010. The reason he is such a big price is that he is a nightmare to catch right - his win came on the back of a string of missed cuts as did his 2008 win at the Frys.com. His other tour win was back in 2001 @ Annandale which like the Frys.com event was a Fall Finish event so he can certainly play well at this time of the year. His best finish this year came from out of the blue in July when second at a course he had won on before- the aforementioned Annandale. I have staked 0.4 ew 250/1 but have also had a go at the first round leader market - 0.1 ew 175/1 as over the years he has been 2/9/4/2/5/51
NOVEMBer 13th 11.56
Plenty of events around the world this week and I will start off with explaining that series of bets.
I am quite surprised they are playing in the Philippines this week after the typhoon but Manila was nowhere near the main devastation but if you do happen to win from either tips then a donation to the DEC would definitely be in order. My main tip is Mardan Mamat who over the years has a fine record when playing on the islands with finishes of 5/18/5/4/1/49 the win coming just last February. He is in pretty good form - 13th last week in India and 4th in a small Asian event the week before 0.3 ew 66/1. I will also throw in a small bet on one local to rise above things in the shape of Artemio Murakami. Manila Southwoods is his home course and he won on it in 2010 on the Asean tour. That year he also won his home open and he won back in 2007 on the main Asian tour but since then his form has nosedived. Maybe the current situation could spur him on 0.05 ew 300/1
In Japan we have one of the bigger events with the Taiheiyo Masters and we have a couple of unerstandably short priced players with Matsuyama and Ishikawa but I will take a small chance on big priced outsider Akinori Tani. He has been 3rd and 9th in the last two renewals of this and was 2nd the other week in the Japanese Challenge Tour Grand Final 0.1 ew 400/1
I wasn't going to bother with the Talisker Masters as I expect Kuchar and Scott will fill the top two spots but one player caught my eye late on. Most of the winners of the three Australian grand slam events are top players with shocks few and far between but in the past three years Peter Senior has won both the Open and PGA Championship. In his last four attempts at the Masters he has finished 11/16/4/6 and has won before at Royal Melbourne (Holden Classic). I am willing to forgive his 45th last week as he admitted he was very tired having finished 2nd on the Champions tour on the Sunday night in California he had very little recovery time - I would bet him without the favourites but the tip is 0.2 ew 70/1
There is very little value to be had in the DP World Tour Championship but the climax to the Race to Dubai should be full of thrills and spills. My one little bet is Marc Warren to be round one leader - he finished strongly in Turkey last week and last year here he was 2nd after round one and led at the cut before fading - something he often does! 0.1 ew 100/1
NOVEMBer 11th 10.56
When SSP missed a five foot birdie putt on the last yesterday to get into a playoff I had a feeling that the day wasn't going to go well an sure enough that tie for 2nd for our 50/1 tip was about as good as it got. In running I backed Jacquelin 400/1 each way but only four places - he finished tied 5th having holed nothing on the back nine. In the US Matt Every made a pigs ear of things at the end of his round, my only saving grace was that Twitter mention Brian Gay traded at short odds (well for a 270/1 shot) and I also sneaked a bit of 50/1 for the top five. What was a little galling was that winner Chris Kirk was a big 1 point each way tip on here for this two years ago at 66/1 - I was two years too early!
This week sees the European tour draw to a close with the DP World Tour Championship where I doubt I will be getting involved and it could well be likewise with the Australian Masters. My main focus will be on the OHL Classic from Mayakoba - back later with tips.
NOVEMBer 6th 10.48
The biggest problem I had this week for the McGladrey Classic was not finding bets but deciding who to leave out - adding in the complication of it no longer being a Fall Finish event made it even trickier. In the end I have tipped up six players but also had savers on Betfair on Toms, Pettersson, Cauley, Hadley, Hamrick, Gay and Beljan which sounds like a bizarre solicitors firm!
John Peterson was all the rage the last few events coming off an amazing run of five consecutive top five finishes on the Web.com tour and he has drifted nicely in price for an event I had pencilled in for him. This is because he gets to play a venue he is familiar with having being tied 1st in the SEC Championship here in 2011 - he was also 3rd on the Federica Course in the same event in 2009 and won the Jones Cup Invitational in 2011 on the Ocean course all on Sea Island on similar courses. Take the hint that he will feel comfortable in familiar surroundings 0.5 ew 66/1
Trevor Immelman finally got back to winning ways in September winning on the Web.com tour to secure his playing rights for this season. He seems to like Georgia as who can forget his Masters victory and he seems to play well there every year despite being injured. He has previous here when 5th on his last start in 2011 and his best other start this year was when 9th at the very similar Harbour Town event 0.25 ew 125/1
Having mentioned Harbour Town then that is the reason for picking Aaron Baddeley who has been 1st and 2nd there. His other good finishes in recent years have been at Pebble Beach so he does seem to thrive on coastal courses. Back to form in Asia with a 5th in Malaysia last time out he should go well again this week 0.25 ew 110/1
There are a few courses which are similar to Sea Island - I have already mentioned Harbour Town and we also have Waialae in Hawaii and the El Cameleon course so why not back a player who has won at both venues? Johnson Wagner is a huge price when you consider that correlation and has been 2nd and 10th in recent events. He does a lot of training at Sea Island as his coach is based here and whilst his finishes are not spectacular he has shot some consistently good rounds 0.2 ew 200/1
I backed Matt Every here last season and am prepared to give him another go as he has a really good record on similar courses and especially at the tail end of the year. He won the Web.com Tour Championship at Daniel Island Golf Club, has been 6th in Hawaii, 3rd Mayakoba and 8th Harbour Town. He shook off a bit of rust in the Far East a few weeks ago but could have one more good finish in him this year 0.2 ew 80/1
Last man in and one from left field returns back to my original thoughts about Peterson - last year Justin Thomas won the SEC Championship on this course and also the Jones Cup Invitational on the Ocean course. He has just turned pro but has shot some good early low rounds so on a course he is comfortable on he is worth a round one leader bet 0.1 ew 100/1. I have also backed him outright on Betfair 300/50/25 and to be honest would want a bigger price with the bookmakers but I will chalk him up as 0.15 ew 150/1
NOVEMBer 6th 10.01
Having a short priced favourite in a field such as Adam Scott at the Australian PGA Championship opens up the prices lower down for some each way value - the problem this week is that we have a new course to the schedule with Royal Pines. If you look close enough though Royal Pines has been used for many events which actually attract decent fields (well for Australian events!) and one man who has excelled is Nick Cullen. Last time he played in the State he won the Queensland Open to add to his victory in last years Indonesian Open and I think he is one of the brightest young prospects in Australian golf 0.4 ew 55/1
If course form in Australia is thin on the ground then in India we have a huge raft of form at the Delhi golf club and I suggest getting aboard the good ship SSP Chowrasia who has the second best long term scoring average here. Over the years he has placed 1/2/4/5/7/9 from fourteen starts and has won other titles at home. He has had a largely unsuccessful summer in Europe (nothing new there) but on his return to Asia played well in Macau the other week 0.3 ew 50/1
I have kept my interest to the minimum in Turkey with a new course and a stellar field I just felt there was a bit of each way value with Scott Jamieson. At the moment he seems to be finiding some form and has a good top five strike rate including in some decent events 0.2 ew 90/1
october 30th 20.51
Just time for a few quick words on this weeks HSBC Champions event where I have gone for three players.
Peter Hanson has been out for two months with a back injury and only came back last week to defend his BMW Masters title. He showed how rusty he was with an opening 79 but closed with a 63 to finish 8th. He has often played well in China before and indeed has been 3rd and 6th here at Sheshan. If he is back on song then the 50/1 is a generous price 0.5 ew
The other two prices I simply don't understand - Thomas Bjorn who has been 8th and 5th in China this year and back in 2005 he was 5th here on his debut. It was only the beginning of last month that he won in Switzerland and earlier this year was 4th,2nd and 2nd in consecutive events so how can he be 70/1? 0.3 ew
Jimmy Walker finally won on the PGA tour earlier this month and followed that up with a 12th the next week despite the obvious celebrations that would have taken place. He then flew onto Malaysia where he struggled in the opening round shooting a 74 some thirteen shots behind eventual winner Ryan Moore. He closed well after that finishing 6th only three shots out of the playoff. He is in superb form and I was surprised to see him pushed out to 66/1 0.4 ew
october 23rd 10.20
Time for a few words about all the other events around the world starting in Malaysia and the PGA/Asian tour event the CIMB Classic. The event moves to the Kuala Lumpur course where we had success earlier this year when Aphibarnrat won the Malaysian Open. The big questions are - how much of an advantage does he have? how good a player is he? what price should he be? To be honest I expected somewhere between the 33-40 range so 66/1 early doors was a bonus. I think he is a great prospect - the field he beat in March was a good quality one and he did manage 25th in the PGA Championship beating many of the yanks on show this week. I had a decent bet 0.5 ew 66/1 but added 0.2 ew 50/1 for the round one leader market as he led from the start here in March and was joint round one leader last time out in Korea - I think his advantage will be shown to good effect early with many others acclimatising.
The Challenge tour travels to Oman for its penultimate event and to be honest we don't have a lot to go on with it being a new event and the course is a Greg Norman designed linksy coastal one. I have gone for a small stab in the dark on Ross McGowan who will be more suited to the climate than most as he resides in Dubai, won on the Mena tour this time last year on his comeback from injury and his best result ever was arguably 2nd in the Dubai World Championship on the Jumeirah course which was also designed by Greg Norman 0.15 ew 66/1
I have put up Han Lee in Japan for the Bridgestone Open as a bit like Bohn last week he has a good long term scoring average on the course without a really top finish. He closed with a 64 last year en route to a 21st and went on the following week to win his first Japanese tour title. With those positive memories and the fact he reserves his best for this time of the year he is worth a small play 0.1 ew 150/1.
october 22nd 10.10
This is one of those weeks where I save a lot of time as I don't sit here mesmerised by leaderboards changing - unless I change my sleep patterns! I simply wake up and check the scores and carry on with other things. In the BMW Masters in China I have had a strong bet as I think most of the players at the top of the market are underpriced - maybe because the bookmakers know the top playeers will be backed as they will be tipped a la Jeremy Chapman who has apparently gone with Stenson, Rory, Kaymer, Poulter and Fisher. I am not one to criticise people but honestly - is there any point? Anyway - I have gone for one of those five - Ian Poulter as this is his time of the year. His win and top five strike rate is superb towards the end of the year as he endeavours to add another winning season and it has been going on for years. He has been 6th and 4th the last two years so now knows the course well and of course won on his last visit to China. After five weeks off he may need to shake off the rust but even so I make him a lot shorter than 25/1 - 1 pt ew.
I will put up a couple of "rags" at decent prices - firstly David Howell who finally made it back to the winners enclosure the other week in the Dunhill Links beating a top class field. Probably one of his greatest golfing successes was holding off Tiger Woods down the stretch in the HSBC event in China so a return to familiar surroundings could inspire a good week - if so 100/1 is very generous 0.2 ew.
Last man in is Wen Chong-Liang who takes a big step up in class in his homeland but he is having a great season as he travels around the world. In his last seven events he has put together four top five finishes including a runner-up slot behind Schwartzel in the China Masters a few weeks ago. He has won three times at home in China in the past four years and he could be the suprise package this week 0.15 ew 150/1
october 16th 20.45
Five players may seem quite a lot to back for this weeks Shriners Hospital Open but to be honest it could have been a lot more! I crossed out locals Piercy and Na on the grounds of price and others on the list I have had small savers on are Levin, Romero and McNeill whilst the ones I have totally left behind are Noh, Gonzales and Lee. In recent times the event has been a happy hunting ground for locals who know how to handle the course and the atlitude but my five have been backed for a variety of reasons.
Scott Brown is my main bet and I arrived at him via Mcneill who has been 1st and 2nd here - he has also been 1st and 5th at another resort course - the Trump International in Puerto Rico. Brown also has exactly those first two results in Puerto Rico - 5th then 1st. That win earlier this year came on the back of a couple of top seven finishes on the Web.com tour and he really does have a habit of stringing a few good finishes together - hence my interest after his 3rd last week. That was a surprisingly good finish last week considering he was +3 through two holes. He has played the course once before when opening with a 69/67 he went on to finish 46th but that did come on the back of five missed cuts. He really is a positive pick for me 0.5 ew 90/1
I am not entirely sure why everyone has fallen out of love with Ben Martin so quickly - last week he was all the rage and backed down to 40/1 and to be honest he did OK to finish 16th - he was right up there until the back nine on Sunday. He did play here in 2011 missing the cut on the mark but backed up a poor 73 with a second round 66. Interestingly the best result of that rookie season was when 6th in the Reno Open at altitude in the desert and winners of this have often shown good form in that event 0.25 ew 80/1
Jason Bohn has a fine scoring average here of 67.88 making the cut in all four attempts with a best finish of 8th last year - his performances would be so much better if had been competitive in the final round. It wasn't that long ago that he was second in Canada and his last win was only 2010 so with a 150/1 price tag he was worth a small investment 0.2 ew.
I have said it before and maintain the thought that Brendan Steele is a horses for courses man if ever there was one and he has a great desert record. He was 4th in Reno this year and 8th last year, and 5th and 6th in Scottsdale the last two years Finishes of 16th and 13th here give me confidence he can continue that trend and he is definitely a better player the closer he is to his Californian home 0.25 ew 100/1
Last man in my team is Mark Wilson who starts seasons well so it will be interesting to see how he fares with the season start moving. He has superb scoring average of 68.13 despite the lack of a top finish at Summerlin. In 2011 he won his first event of the season in Hawaii and backed that up a few weeks later by winning in the desert @ Scottsdale. His last win came last year early on in the Bob Hope in an event which is played on resort courses in a "desert-like" environment. He lost a lot of momentum earlier this year with a bad ankle ligament injury in May but I think he could be a force to reckon with this week 0.4 ew 125/1
october 16th 12.18
The Perth International is a very difficult event to handicap with two top US players, a couple of top European players and a bunch of not so top ones and then the Australian players not out of the top drawer apart from Rumford. With that in mind I have kept bets to the minimum actually only advising a couple of 0.1 ew round one leader bets on Ashley Hall 80/1 and Matt Jager 125/1. The latter would have been a bigger bet but an afternoon tee time on a notoriously breezy course puts me off. I have also bet Jager on Betfair @ 450/135/48 for the win, place and top ten markets solely on the basis that Lake Karrinyup was where he won the 2010 Australian amateur both matchplay and strokeplay. One round of the strokeplay was played @ Mt Lawley which hosted last weeks Western Australian Open where Jager was 2nd after the opening salvo so he is in decent enough nick but it is a tall order for a player who has yet to fulfill his potential.
I thought long and hard about Brady Watt who is one of the best amateurs in the world and playing at home he was worth a small dabble each way @ 150/1 but I fancy Ashley Hall could go well. He nearly gave up last autumn when funds were running low but a £35k win in the Alfred Dunhill links gave him enough money to carry on. He followed that up with a 17th here (6th after round one) and a 4th in the WA Open just down the road. After that he got a Web.com tour card and twice lost in playoffs to retain those playing rights. He led the Tour Championship the other week @ Sawgrass after round one so that's probably the best way to go with him with a saver on the outright @ 150 on betfair.
october 14th 10.08
One of those weeks where nothing quite went right - Paul Waring rolling in a 65 foot birdie putt on 18 yesterday to relegate Hennie Otto to 6th was painful and last night Ben Martin and Spencer Levin never got going. The only real plus point was the winner sent out on Friday in the Newsletter with Russ Cochran tying for first - if you want to get those newsletters in your inbox simply send an email to info@sportsbettingindex.com with Newsletter in the subject line.
Onto this week and the European Tour travels off to Australia for the Perth International whilst the PGA tour stays on the West Coast for the JT Shriners Hosp...... - stay tuned on Twitter for this weeks bets
october 9th 21.46
This is the fourth staging of the Frys.com event from the Cordevalle course in California and looking at the three winners there does appear a connection in that they all had some good Californian form although they all came up just shy. Mediate of course had his battle with Tiger in the US Open at Torrey Pines, Molder twice had a chance to win the AT&T at Pebble Beach whilst Blixt lost a good lead in the Soboba Classic on the Web.com tour. This is were I concentrated my efforts but added a few other thoughts as this year instead of being an event where people were making a last chance dash for their cards it is the first event of the new PGA season.
Spencer Levin missed nine months of golf through injury and only came back in July getting eight starts on the Web.com tour before starting this year on a medical extension. He showed in those starts that he still retains his ability with a 2nd, 7th and 10th. Whilst he hasn't won on the main tour he did win three times on the Canadian tour including in California where he was born and raised and still lives. He has nearly won at Pebble Beach before and was 7th here at Cordevalle in 2011 so is very happy on Californian greens 0.3 ew 125/1
Jhonattan Vegas is another player coming back from injury - this time having undergone shoulder surgery in February and he has tweeted that his shoulder has got better every week of his last four events on the Web.com tour. The layers seem to have forgotten that a fit Vegas was 4th at Congressional and 7th at Sawgrass last year. He has a really strong record in California stemming from being a losing semi-finalist in the US Amateur at Olympic to winning the Bob Hope and finishing 3rd at Torrey Pines in 2011. He was 22nd last year having started brilliantly before his shoulder flared up and I have backed him outright 0.25 ew 200/1 and for round one leader 0.1 ew 150/1
Ted Potter is probably an even more surprising pick but he does have something in common with last years winner Jonas Blixt - they have both won the Greenbrier Classic at the Old White course (plus Potter was 6th this year) and lots of other players have done well at both venues. His other best finishes of 2013 were 16th at Pebble Beach and 10th at Torrey Pines and he also won the Soboba Classic in California on the Web.com tour. As a player who can find his form and win from nowhere he is worth supporting at 200/1 - 0.15 ew
Last player in Ben Martin is different from the other picks in that he has no form in California but he is the wrong price in my opinion. In his last eleven starts he has had five top six finishes and two wins and has finally fulfilled the potential he showed as an amateur. John Peterson is all the rage this week after five consecutive top five finishes but Martin can top that with the two wins so why is he double the price. He did play here back in 2011 in his first failed attempt on tour and improved with every round which should bode well for this week 0.3 ew 66/1
october 9th 14.49
I had an awful lot of names written down for this weeks Portuguese Masters and have had to leave a few out although I have had small savers on Quiros, Webster and Pepperell (who won the Portuguese amateur and should have psoitive vibes this week) I have gone for five outright bets
Tom Lewis - avid readers will have noted I have seen his game coming around for a while and got on at stupid prices on Betfair in the Alfred Dunhill Links when he was 3rd. Obviously as a past winner here his price has been slashed accordingly but even at the early 66/1 he was worth a decent wager 0.5 ew
I tipped Gregory Havret for this two years ago at 175/1 when 3rd having spotted his affinity for Arnold Palmer courses. This time round his odds are a lot lower as he has had some really good finishes of late 0.3 ew 66/1
Talking of Arnold Palmer courses Hennie Otto also has a fine record on them including winning at Tolcinasco and he has been very consistent here in the past. He has been in fine form most of the summer and when he hasn't missed the cut he has been hanging around the top of the leaderboard without really seeing things through. At a three figure price he is worth having onside this week 0.25 ew 100/1
I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with Felipe Aguilar as whenever I pick him he plays pretty poorly but one day I will catch him right! He has a great top five strike rate including two starts ago when 4th in Italy and considering he was 3rd here two years ago he has to go in the staking plan 0.2 ew 90/1
Ricardo Santos knows this course like the back of his hand but it wasn't until last year he showed he could play it in competition when 16th. He had a similar level of performance in Madeira which he won last year. Looking at his results he seems to learn from experience and needs certain courses to bring out the best in him hence he was a pick in China earlier this year when 5th @ 100/1. I really was rather surprised to see a 150/1 price tag this week despite his poor recent form 0.25 ew
october 9th 10.29
A bit behind this week with so many events to look at and quite a lot of bets in the main tour events. Last week Phatlum came up just shy in a tie for 7th - hopefully some of you followed my Twitter advice and managed a few quid on Liam Bond @ Frilford Heath with Skybet who tied 1st. It is always worth looking at the smaller events for little gems and I will start there briefly this week.
In Australia the tour stays out west with the Western Australian Open where I hope Matt Jager can feed off positive memories. When he won the 2010 Australian Amateur strokeplay and matchplay Mt Lawley was used for part of the strokeplay and he shot a 65 one shot off the course record. He should really have won this event in 2011 taking a two shot lead into the final round but ended up 2nd. I don't really think he has fulfilled his true potential but is starting to show a bit more consistency and is hence worth a small investment 0.1 ew 100/1
On the Champions Tour in the SAS Championship there is one price I really don't understand - Mark Wiebe. I admit he is a bit hit or miss but he won two starts ago in Hawaii and that was his second win of the year having secured the Senior Open crown in July. Most of his Champions tour form is poor but he does seem to come to life in North Carolina. He won here at Prestonwood on his tour debut in 2007 and he was also 3rd last year. The other event held in the state at Rock Barn he has also won and been 4th and then 3rd last year. He is being priced up on the basis of his normal form but as a winner who loves it here he is a strong bet 0.4 ew 66/1 (I have also added a further 0.5 pts on Betfair @ 70 to hopefully trade with)
october 1st 12.20
Last week saw another small profit with Tommy Fleetwood getting us a decent place payout yet again on the European Tour - I have done a quick analysis of bets on that tour which you can see here Euro Tour Results - it makes for interesting reading.
This week I have found a couple of bets on the smaller tours as I have no interest in betting on either the Seve Trophy or Presidents Cup.
In the Taiwan Masters we have an event dominated by local players who have won 20 of the 26 renditions. I will go for Wei-Chih Lu who would normally be a very warm order having won this event in 2005 and 2011. The reason he is bigger than normal is that he only recently returned from a year out having had surgery to remove a brain tumour. He finished 32nd in his return at home a few weeks ago and then last week having got the all clear to fly went to Japan where he was 12th. That was his second best ever finish in Japan and was in a stronger field than this week. With the withdrawal of Aphibarnrat the price is going fast 0.5 ew 33/1.
The LPGA tour travels to China for the first time for the Reignwood Classic and I think the books have seriously underestimated the chances of young Thai star Pornanong Phatlum. She has plenty of experience in the Far East having won events in Shanghai,Taiwan (twice) and Hong Kong when a 17 year old amateur. She has also been 6/3/3/8/2 in the five Chinese events she has played co-sanctioned with the LET. Admittedly this is a stronger field but she has shown how good she can be this year on the main LPGA tour with finishes of 2nd and 3rd in big events. She did win the poor LPGA Brasil Cup last year when the tour traveled and won in India ten months ago - 0.25 ew 100/1 (80/1 OK)
September 25th 12.05
I managed to "nick" some early value on Sunday night backing Fisher 42, Dyson 42 and Gallacher 60 on Betfair but at the bookmaker prices I wouldn't want to know. Now tee times are out things could get very interesting as Steve Rawlings has pointed out players who have to contend with Carnoustie first are at a huge disadvantage and that's where more or less all the favourites start. Don't forget this week all picks are 6 places with a bigger field.
Victor Dubuisson is my best bet of the week despite not having won on tour yet I see him as a very progressive player. He seems to play the same courses well year in year out and also appears to improve once he has gained some experience - as witnessed here where he has to master three courses - his form figures read mc/27/5 and he has the plumb draw of playing St Andrews first and early. He was third last time out in Crans - his third top five finish of the year and I think his w/d in Wales can be ignored as he had food poisoning - 0.6 ew 55/1
Tommy Fleetwood broke his tour duck last time he teed it up in Scotland and I don't think it will be the last time we see this confident young player in the winners enclosure. He has a good links pedigree having grown up in Southport and winning the 2009 Scottish amateur on the Murcar links and was 5th here in 2011 - there doesn't seem to be a lot of downside 0.5 ew 55/1
John Parry has missed his last two cuts although in Crans he struggled on day one having not played a practice round. Before that though he was 5th on the links at Castle Stuart and then 4th in Wales - so at least this year he won't have to go back to the Q school again. He seems to save his best golf for this time of the year and clearly likes links golf in Scotland as he was 3rd here in 2010 - 0.2 ew 125/1
Fredrik Andersson Hed strikes me as a streaky confidence player who once he finds his form tends to keep it at least for a few weeks. He was right in the mix at Gleneagles a few weeks ago until a poor final round and he can certainly play the Scottish links courses - 5th here last year and 2nd at Castle Stuart in the Scottish Open the year before. He had his best finish of the year last week in Italy when 4th and should be able to keep that momentum going 0.3 ew 110/1
Finally I will take a chance with Oliver Wilson who has found a bit of form on the Challenge Tour this month with a 2nd and a 5th. This was the scene of one of his many runner-up finishes back in 2009 - hopefully that will inspire him to keep his good run going 0.15 ew 200/1
September 25th 09.55
I am going to do things back to front this week and firstly look at the Web.com Tour Championship. I have been fairly reticent at putting bets up for the last four events as the format is new to punters and players alike. However one "trend" has appeared in the first three events and that is they have been dominated by PGA tour players dropping down in grade and the cream of the Web.com tour who already have their cards locked up.
I will put up Robert Streb who had a great season last year which included a win and numerous top ten finishes including here where a final round 75 dropped him down to 8th. It has been a tough learning curve on the main tour but his two best finishes came in Florida and the Florida like Puerto Rico Open. I guess that shouldn't come as a huge shock as he lives on the coast in Florida just 50 miles down the road from this weeks venue - take the hint and have 0.3 ew 66/1
My only other suggestion is a man who struggles to cross the winning line but has plenty of places to his name Tag Ridings. He has some really good course form with a 5th and 13th place finish and has a habit in the past of posting a great finish at the end of the season to secure his playing priveleges. 0.15 ew 125/1
September 17th 15.06
Hopefully some of you took the advice of taking the 55 for Zach Johnson for the BMW or even the 100/1 ew for Nick Watney before the last round, combined with the McGrane place it might well signal the end of the slump.
This week sees the 70th rendition of the Italian Open and returns to the Circolo Golf Torino La Mandria blue course (call it what you will!!) for the first time since 1999. The course was used for one round for the 2008 Piemonte Open on the Challenge tour and all four rounds the following year when home course player Eduardo Molinari won. This year Dodo is absent but Francesco starts favourite however I have cast my eyes further down the field looking for the winner.
Gary Boyd seems to come to life in Italy and the Czech Republic and often those top finishes come on the back of a poor run of form. In the last two years he has been 2nd and 5th in this event and was 2nd to Molinari on the Challenge tour on the course in 2009. His best finish this year in an indifferent season split between the two tours has been a 7th in the Montechia Open in Italy in May. He has a pretty solid record at Gleneagles and a few weeks ago showed his game isn't too bad when 17th there. I have found a small link between the courses used for the Italian Open and those used for the Kenyan Open (Muthaiga and Karen) - they look and probably play very similar. Gary Boyd won at Muthaiga and so did Seve Benson who won the Piemonte Open over this course and Royal Park, and Ed Molinari won the Kenyan Open at the Karen course. It may all be a bit tenuous but with his record in this neck of the woods I have had a decent bet 0.4 ew 200/1
Ricardo Gonzalez is one of the few who played here back in 1999 and finished 6th - this has not been his only good start in the event as he has also been runner up at the Gardagolf course. He has had a horrible time of things on the personal front losing his mother, father and father-in-law over the past couple of years which seems to have affected his game. He did however show he still has the ability a few starts ago when finishing runner-up at Gleneagles. Going back through his history I was intrigued to find he also won the Kenyan Open at Muthaiga earlier in his career 0.4 ew 125/1
Dane JB Hansen has no course form but last year finished twice in Italy in his debut year on the Challenge Tour. Those two runner up places came in a remarkable run of form that saw him finish in the top four no less than six times in just twelve events from July to the end of the season. His European tour season seems to be heading in the same direction - nothing early then in July he finished 3rd and 4th in Scotland and Russia to keep his playing priveleges. Perhaps the return to Italy will spur him on to further success 0.2 ew 150/1
Last man in the team is Thomas Aiken who could well emulate fellow South African Hennie Otto and win the Italian Open. He finally broke his European tour duck earlier this year when winning the Avantha Masters but since then has gone off the boil. Last week in the Netherlands however he was 16th shooting the second lowest round of the day on both Friday and Sunday. Maybe the poor weather got the better of him on the Saturday but with good weather forecast this week maybe he can improve on his 5th place in this event in 2009 0.25 ew 100/1
September 16th 09.59
Finally some of the pain was eased yesterday with McGrane holding on to a share of 3rd despite a few wobbles and a cold putter - I had visions of him all afternoon coming up just shy. Today sees the conclusion of the BMW Championship where mention Zach Johnson still holds a solid chance - if you want a bit of interest then Mahan and Watney are more than capable of going low and nicking it. With a delayed finish this makes the Tour Championship impossible to price up til tomorrow but to be honest I doubt I will be getting invloved. My attention this week will rest mainly on the Italian Open - back later with tips on Twitter as usual
September 12th 22.55

Adlestrop

Edward Thomas

Yes, I remember Adlestrop –
The name because one afternoon
Of heat the express-train drew up there
Unwontedly. It was late June.

The steam hissed. Someone cleared his throat.
No one left and no one came
On the bare platform. What I saw
Was Adlestrop – only the name

And willows, willow-herb, and grass,
And meadowsweet, and haycocks dry,
No whit less still and lonely fair
Than the high cloudlets in the sky.

And for that minute a blackbird sang
Close by, and round him, mistier,
Farther and farther, all the birds
Of Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire.

RIP the_mgt aka urwochuwyz
September 10th 13.05
I haven't found much inspiration for the Web.com tour this season hence bets have been few and results not great - this week I think I have unearthed a few interesting facts for the Nationwide Childrens Hospital Championship. The event now forms part of the end of season run on the Web.com tour with many PGA players joining their ranks to get a full card for next year. In the past younger players have often performed with merit around the tough Nicklaus designed Scarlet course at Ohio University.
First pick was Ben Kohles who won this on his first pro start last year - interestingly two amateurs have also won the event. Kohles also won his next event to prove it was no fluke and gained his full card but to be honest he has struggled on the main tour and hence finds himself "defending" his title. His best finish was 7th on the main tour and dropping back to this level he played well last week eventually finishing 19th having led early on. A change to surroundings with positive vibes could well do the trick 0.4 ew 80/1
Positive vibes is the theme for my other two picks as well the first of whom is Kevin Tway. The son of Bob Tway won a NCAA regional event on this course back in 2008 and two weeks later at the same venue qualified for the US Open as a 19 year old. His first full season at this level has been very solid with a couple of top five finishes and a win all of which means he has a tour card for next season already. This week he could improve his category on a course he clearly has great memories of 0.4 ew 66/1
Kevin Foley also won a college event here back in 2010 - his three round total of -8 was four clear of his nearest rival and he proved he can play the tricky course as he was 5th in this event in 2011. He has been a bit hit and miss this year but his early season win in Panama came on a difficult course so maybe that is what's required to show his best. He may even be worth a look at in the round one leader and top ten category but the official bet is 0.25 ew 200/1

September 9th 23.32
There are quite a few obvious picks this week who have course form and current form to boot but players like Dyson and Fisher are simply too short and Luiten, whilst he has found the ability to win has normally played badly under home pressure. Instead I have gone for four players who have shown some good form of late and have played the linksy Harry Colt designed Kennemer course with a degree of success in the past.
I tipped Alejandro Canizares for this event back in 2006 when he tried to emulate the great Seve and win the KLM Dutch Open at Kenemeer to earn his first ever professional success. He was 7th that week at a massive price but managed to win the very next week in Russia and surprisingly that has still been his only success to date. He has come close on numerous times including last week in Crans when he took an early lead on Sunday, traded really low but came up just shy in 4th.The price is not the best in the world but he is in form and has some positive course memories 0.25 ew 80/1
Damien McGrane has been around for quite a few years now and still only has one win to his name but in four appearances at Kennemer he has been 3rd and 4th so if win number two was to come it could well be here. He has been his usual consistent self this season without really troubling the judge but had a best of 6th in Wales a few weeks ago which represents his best ever finish at that venue. 0.25 ew 110/1
Richard Green struggles to cross the line but has given himself enough chances over the years and does have three European tour wins to his name. These days he plays the same courses well year in year out and he has been 2nd and 15th here before (plus 2nd at Hilversumsche). Interestingly he has also been 2nd and 5th at Killarney where both Dyson and Fisher have won. His best finish this season has been a 6th at Le Golf National - a course where he has had four top seven finishes before including a 2nd. I am prepared to take a chance at a big price but will be prepared to lay back should he be right there come Sunday 0.25 ew 125/1
Last but not least is Ryder Cup captian Paul McGinley and I know he may be a surprising pick to some people but he has twice been second in this event including on this course in 2008. He is determined to continue to play well and says he wont use his Ryder Cup captaincy as an excuse for poor form. He showed in his last start when 6th in Wales (despite a very poor third round) that he is playing well and he has shown in the past that he can maintain a run of form. At the price I don't think he is that daft a pick! 0.2 ew 200/1

September 9th 11.12
Back to normal this week - kids back to school, most of the unpacking has been done - the big question is - where do we go from here? The poor run over the last three months has been one of the worst I have ever had - something like a hundred bets with just the one placed effort. Maybe I have been distracted by things outside of the general day to day betting and it hasn't had my full attention, or maybe the great start to the season gave a false level of confidence. Whatever the reasons - it has happened and is now the past and I have to get out of the rut so it's back to basics this week - course and current form and the wrong price - sounds easy doesn't it!! There will be no tips for the BMW Championship - although Zach Johnson seems big on Betfair @ 55 win only considering his form over the last few months and his Illinois form. I will be concentrating on the KLM Open on the European tour and the Nationwide Children's Hospital Championship on the Web.com tour
August 27th 12.17
If past renditions of the Wales Open are anything to go by then expect the unexpected as we have had some very big priced winners and course and current form do not always point the way to winners. I have gone for three big priced outsiders who will hopefully give us a run for our money.
Paul Waring was very nearly a pick last week at Gleneagles because he had a good scoring average there - luckily I didn't put him up as he came agonisingly close to a decent payout when he finished 6th. He holds the second lowest scoring average at Celtic Manor of those on show this week (behind Gonzo) at 69.88 who have played the venue at least twice. Those starts came in 2008/9 but I think he is a better player now and is certainly in good form this year. Apart from last weeks 6th he has also been 4th in the Spanish Open, 5th in Austria and 10th in the BMW International. As a man in form on a course he can play I give him a good chance this week - 0.5 ew 66/1 Betfair Fixed Odds.
Joel Sjoholm seems to like the venue having finished 8th in each of the past two years. That in itself wouldn't necessarily be enough to get me involved but when you look at his Challenge tour form he was 2nd and 3rd at the nearby Vale Hotel course - he sure loves the Welsh Valleys! He hasn't been in the best of form this year but after a horrible opening round in Russia he turned things around and each of his last seven rounds have been under par. If the putter warms up he could find himself in contention again 0.4 ew 125/1
Last man up for me is Tom Lewis who seems to have disappeared from the face of the planet as quickly as he appeared. After winning on his third pro start he has really struggled and lost all confidence. Earlier this year he sought the advice of Luke Donald who helped him out and Lukes' brother became his caddie. Last month he went to Butch Harmon for some advice and Butch has taken him "under his wing" and the results are already beginning to show with a steady if unspectacular improvement in results. He was already in a slump when he played here last year but managed 35th - he was 3rd for ball striking that week but practically last for putting. It is just a hunch but I think he will return to winning ways fairly soon 0.25 ew 125/1
August 25th 22.20
Well - what the hell has happened over the last few months!?! Profits are still looking good but the poor run has been awful and I do feel like I have thrown away a great start to the year. I am going to pass on next weeks Deutsche Bank - most of my really bad results have been on the PGA tour so I may as well leave it alone until the end of the Fedex playoffs unless something jumps out. Instead I will just concentrate on the European tour next week with the Wales Open - although that looks tough, and may have one for the Challenge tour which is in Northern Ireland. The Web.com results have also been poor and with a new event on a new course I will pass on that as well.
August 21st 14.36
This week sees the first in the series of Fedex Cup playoff tournaments and we return to the Liberty National course which was used in 2009 for the Barclays. It certainly had some mixed reviews last time out but I am quite happy to side with a player who finished tied 2nd then - Ernie Els. Whilst it is definitely not a total links course it certainly exhibits a lot of features synominous with proper links courses not least it's coastal nature and these days Els seems to be at his best on these courses. His results this year have been a bit patchy but a 4th at the US Open and a win in Germany look good on paper and he returned to a bit of form closing with a 65 at Sedgefield last week - I don't see why he is 100 on Betfair and the 70/1 e/w is well worth taking or he is 80/1 at Sportingbet.com.au 0.5 ew
I will also side with a couple of "rags" at big prices - firstly Kevin Streelman who finally lost his maiden tag earlier this year in Florida. He followed that win with a string of excellent finishes but then went off the boil but returned to form with a 12th at the PGA Championship last time out. He was only 58th here in 2009 largely due to a second round 78 but has been 4th and 3rd in this event on the Ridgewood course in New Jersey. I was on him back then with probably one of most bizarrest links I ever found as he has strong family ties with New Jersey and his grandparents are buried next door to the course at Ridgewood! Anyway - he seems a big price to me this week - 0.2 ew 150/1
Last but not least is Martin Laird who although having never played the venue should be quite at home. The Scots first win on the Web.com tour came on another Cupp designed course - Jennings Mill which resembles Scottish links courses by way of its mounding. Like Streelman he also has a good record in this event at Ridgewood with finishes of 2nd and 7th to his name. He secured his third PGA win this year and was right in contention at the Open Championship before one bad shot cost him a nine. That one hole badly affected him but he is a resolute character and again looks an attractive price - 0.3 ew 150/1
August 21st 13.01
It will hopefully be a case of third time lucky in the Johnnie Walker Championship from Gleneagles as yet again I have gone for Raphael Jacquelin. I have backed him the last two years at 45/1 and 66/1 and I am quite happy to go in again at the 66/1. The Frenchman just seems to play well in Scotland and Spain and earlier this year we were on when he won the Spanish Open. He had won in Spain before, had numerous top five finishes and had a top ten on the El Saler course when it was used twelve years previously. He boasts a similar strike rate in Scotland and whilst he hasn't won there yet he has been 3rd,8th,10th,10th and 11th at Gleneagles. His last two starts in Scotland have yielded finishes of 5th at last years Alfred Dunhill Links and in his last tournamnet start he was 8th in the Scottish Open. It has been a few weeks now since he last played but he often goes well fresh - his 2011 win in Sicily came after a 5 week break so he is worth having on side 0.4 ew 66/1
Whilst going down the starters and their prices I stopped quickly at Spaniard Eduardo De La Riva as with his level of form I was surprised to see him at a three figure price. The only real reason for it is his total lack of course form - he has never played Gleneagles but he seemed quite happy playing in Scotland the other week when recording a 15th place finish at the Open Championship. Add that to a third at the French Open and a seventh in Austria where players who do well here also perform well then we have the makings of a decent bet 0.5 ew 100/1
John Parry was another player who did well at the Scottish Open and his 5th place secured his playing rights for next season. He has played solidly here in the past finishing 22nd and 26th and back in 2010 his finish kick started a run of good form which led to his first tour win. He has also been 3rd in the Dunhill Links and last season was 4th on the Challenge tour in Scotland - he is clearly comfortable playing fairly close to his Yorkshire home 0.25 ew 80/1
August 19th 13.58
Another poor week - marathon bets were hopeless and golfers even worse - only glimmer of hope was an in running play on Brian Harman who was the one player I crossed off my short list and didn't back at the start. On the Web.com tour we had another player winning at home much the same as Chesson Hadley earlier this year and I put a line through him as like Hadley he was only 28/1 and for a player who hadn't won a pro-event I deemed that a short enough price. In days gone by compilers would have been much bigger but it seems even they do a bit more research these days!
This week we have the first of the Fedex playoffs - the Barclays from the stunning Liberty National course whilst I am hoping for an upturn in form as the European tour returns with the Johnnie Walker Championship from Gleneagles.
August 15th 09.43
I have had a quick look at Betfair prices this morning and David Mathis stands out as a player who may trade a lot lower - he was 2nd after rd one here last year on what his local course and was 5th last time out in Reno - I have taken some of the 600+ the win and 80/90 top 5.
On the smaller tours this week I have just gone for two past event winners. On the Web.com tour Heath Slocum plays the Fox Den course for the first time since 2001 when it was one of his three wins that gained him battlefield promotion, Hunter Haas has won here twice and last year Darron Stiles added his second victory ten years after his first 0.25 ew 80/1.
Last year we backed Brad Faxon @ 100/1 for the Dicks Sporting Goods Open and we agonised as he messed up the back nine to finish 3rd. He was in poor form last year and is in pretty much the same vein this year. We backed him last year because he in his two previous visits to En-Joie on the PGA tour he had won both times. There is obviously something he likes about the venue!! 0.25 ew 100/1
August 14th 11.30
This weeks main event is the Wyndham Championship from another Donald Ross design - Sedgefield in Greensboro North Carolina and I have gone for four big priced players for various reasons.
First up is Jonathan Byrd who has been having a poor season so far - until last time out when he was 2nd in Reno which followed on from him finally hitting a hatful of greens in his previous event - the John Deere Classic. Whilst he hasn't played here since 2010 he does have a solid record in the Carolinas where he hails from (a strong trend in recent winners). As a five time winner on tour a price tag in three figures is fairly generous 0.3 ew 100/1
Big hitting Jason Kokrak should be able to overpower the golf course and has a stellar record in this area when playing on the Egolf tour where he won four times in a short period of time including a win on the Donald Ross designed Pine Needles course where he shot a 61. He then won twice on the Web.com tour in his first season so certainly knows how to get the job done. He played well for two rounds here last year and is defintely a player who has improved on courses he has already played. His 3rd place at Congressional a few weeks ago sealed his card for next season and the 150/1 price tag seems pretty generous to me - 0.3 ew
I picked William McGirt last year for this but despite letting me down with a missed cut I will side with him again. This is a home game for McGirt and like last year he has hit form midsummer with a 2nd in the Canadian Open which like Kokrak has secured his playing priveleges. I have seen players often win in events which gave them their first taste of tournament golf so want him onside this week 0.25 ew 125/1
Last man up is another local lad Chesson Hadley who lives 20 miles down the road in Raleigh. A few weeks ago I kicked myself for not picking him in his home Web.com event which he went on to win. This kid knows how to go low which is what is required at Sedgefield and has shot 63 three times in recent weeks on the Web.com tour. He did play here last year on a sponsors invite and missed the cut on the mark but is a far more accomplished player now and also already has his card for next season via a brilliant season on the Web.com tour. Some generous soul offered me 500 and 1000 on Betfair early doors but the 150/1 is worth taking - 0.25 ew
August 12th 11.04
I can safely say my last month or so of golf betting has been poor (bit of an understatement!) and if I was to ever move again (not that that is going to happen) I would simply take a month off. Not being able to follow properly and not putting in the hours I should have done has maybe affected results. Hopefully this week being back to full concentration levels we will see a change in fortune and I will concentrate to start with on the Wyndham Championship from Sedgefield.
August 10th 09.08
Hi - I am back in the land of the living - almost! Apologies for no proper preview for this weeks PGA Championship - I will try and make up for it with a decent bet at the World Athletics Championships in the Womens Marathon which starts in around two hours time. I have had to wait til now as there weren't many prices out and few firms going e/w for three places. The lady in question is Aberu Kebede and I have managed to get on around £150 ew at around 12/1 spread around various firms - I suggest you check out the bookmaker that goes by the name of the event! I do like the look of the two favourites Gelana and Kiplagat but Kebede is a top class marathon runner who has won four of her ten marathons including her last two in Berlin and Tokyo which were World Marathon Majors.

JuLy 21st 21.42
Apologies for the lack of information on this weeks other events but as I said last week - I am in the final stages of moving house plus have the kids home from school so time is tight!
In the Reno Tahoe Open I have gone for just the one player in the shape of Bill Lunde. There appears to be a correaltion between winners of the BC Open at Atunyote and those who have won this title - possibly because it was also played opposite the WGC Firestone event or the Open Championship in July - in fact with these sorts of events it is a good idea to look at players who do well at what I call "opposite" events where the cream of the crop are playing elsewhere. His win at Atunyote came when it was played opposite this weeks WGC event in August 2010 and obviously his two year exemption is now at an end. Most of his best form over the years has been on the West coast as he prefers putting in Poa Anna and his last top five finish was when 5th in this state of Nevada in October - which basically secured his playing rights for this year. Interestingly his Web.com victory came in this week in 2008 so he clearly peaks in high summer.His best finish of the year so far was 7th last time out at Annandale (opposite the Open) so he is clearly in good form. His course form is actually better than it at first appears - in 2010 he was 4th at the cut before going on to finish 10th and last year he 6th heading into the final round before a poor finish. In a weak field with lots of pointers towards a good week I have had a decent bet - 0.6 ew 60/1 (66/1 available in places)
On the Web.com tour in the Mylan Classic Kevin Kisner is a no brainer bet in my mind with course form of 1st,5th and 7th. His current form is not brilliant at the moment though he was 2nd after round one @ Annandale a few weeks ago, but he did win in Chile earlier this year so in 52 starts he has two wins at this level - 0.4 ew 80/1

JuLy 29th 21.50
The WGC Bridgestone Invitational has been kind to me over the years - a couple of years ago I had a decent win with Adam Scott and I have also backed Mahan and Cink when they won but this week I have put all my outright eggs in one basket in the shape of Angel Cabrera. Basically the event suits those with Major credentials and the Argentinian fits that bill to a tee with a Masters and US Open title to his name and he very nearly grabbed a second green jacket earlier this season. He has actually been in good form all year long making cut after cut and he was even in contention for a long time in the Open last time out. His all round stats are great and far more consistent than usual this year so anyone would think looking at his price that his course form is poor. The answer is - anything but as in eight starts he has been 4th three times round Firestone - mostly in the years where he has generally been in good form. So at the 66/1 the place part of the price is simply huge in my eyes so I have gone 1 pt ew
I did say he was my only bet but I think Bubba Watson is well worth a stab in the round one market. He has played in seven strokeplay WGC events and after the opening rounds has been 1st and 3rd here, 3rd in the HSBC Champions and was 1st in the last one - the Cadillac Championship earlier this year so is well worth a small punt - 0.2 ew first round leader 50/1
JuLy 24th 22.12
In the Canadain Open we have our main bet of the week in YE Yang but first a few words about the two other bets now that Jerry Kelly is a non runner. Nicholas Thompson is a bet purely based on current and course form as he has been 12th and 4th in his last two starts and was 5th here on his debut in 2008 0.2 ew 100/1.
I have gone for Billy Andrade this week but just in the round one leader market as he may continue the form of his final three rounds of 66/67/65 when 5th last week especially on a course where he won in 1998 and having been 2nd twice after round one around Glen Abbey he has certainly shown before he can go low 0.1 ew 250/1.
All of the above will hopefully pale into insignificance when we look at the main bet of the week which comes in the shape of an old "friend" YE Yang and I must give a quick vote of thanks to a Danish friend who also pointed him out before I got the Y's in the alphabet! Yang has been been in the doldrums for a while but says on Twitter he has been working hard with a new coach and that things are coming to fruition. He has started making a few cuts and was quite confident ahead of the Open but a poor first round was his undoing - however look closer and the final three rounds were as good as anyones. His course form is also better than it appears at first glance - in 2008 he came here on the back of seven missed cuts but opened 68/68 on the way to finishing 37th. A year later he had already won his maiden PGA event and was 8th here a few weeks before winning his first Major at the US PGA. That first PGA win came at the Honda Classic - another Jack Nicklaus designed course - so he is clearly comfortable on Jacks' courses. So we have a player flying inder the radar with good course form and winning form on this weeks designers courses - sounds like a recipe to get stuck in to me 0.75 ew 150/1

JuLy 24th 21.29
As I alluded to on Twitter this week I am moving house in two weeks time and priorities lie elsewhere. I have eleven years of "stuff" to get rid of which with two kids is rather a huge pile when nothing has been thrown out - it's not me who is the hoarder lol! Hence whilst the research is being done there is precious little time to put aside for writing previews which really do take time. So this week I have put down a short preview of each player I have backed.
The Russian Open really is a poor event - no more than a glorified Challenge Tour event but someone has to win it! I oiked the look of Madsen and Doak with their current and course form (it was used on the Challenge Tour for the last three years) but the prices were just too low. Instead I have had a small wager on Mikael Lundberg who has won the event twice on a different course and a return to Russia may inspire him - 0.2 ew 100/1. I don't lke the prices from the bookmakers about Alexander Kaleka who won here last year but anything around 90 is worth taking on Betfair.
This week we have another Major the Senior British Open from Birkdale where I have gone over and over the home players but at the end of the day when you look at the last ten years the Americans hold sway. Apart from Langer an American has won every renewal for the last ten years and there have even been some surprise winners in that list. From a price point of view I have gone for Bart Bryant 0.5 ew 40/1 who didn't make any appearances in the Open until late in his career but then made three cuts including here in 2008 when he was tied 4th after the opening round.
On the Web.com tour the tour returns to Boise in Idaho a few months earlier than normal and I have gone again for Troy Merritt who went to University in Boise and moved back to the city back in October last year. He seems to play well at altitude and showed a bit of form last time out so is worth a speculative wager 0.2 ew 80/1

JuLy 20th 10.47
Well the players have found it tough so far at Muirfield and to be honest so have I - in an event where the cream rises to the top I generally come unstuck and that has been the case so far. The only one of my pre-event picks who has fared anywhere near OK is Jamie Donaldson and anything around par today won't leave him that far back. Hopefully some of you got on in play pick Darren Clarke yesterday @ 150/1 - apart from one hole he was superb yesterday and we know he has at least been there and done it before. Over on the PGA tour in the weather affected Sanderson Farms event Bettencourt has missed the cut but Jim Herman is in a pretty solid position.
JuLy 17th 21.06
There is of course another golf tournament this week on the PGA tour - the tournament with an ever changing name - the Sanderson Farms Championship from the Annandale course. For the last two years the event has been played opposite the Open but even before that it was a poorish Fall Finish event. I had an original shortlist of Matteson,Sutherland and Bowditch but as soons as the prices came out I had to start again! I came up with two players whose odds maybe a bit bigger than they should be.
Matt Bettencourt has been playing this season split between the main tour and the Web.com tour and has at least made his last seven straight cuts including the US Open with plenty of low rounds thrown in. He has opened well here on his two visits including last year when he went 65/65 to lie 3rd at the cut before fading. The reason I really like him is that in 2010 he won the Reno-Tahoe Open which was played opposite the Open Championship on another Jack Nicklaus course 0.25 ew 150/1
Jim Herman is really a bit of a shot in the dark but he has some of the best current form on show in what is basically a very weak field. To be honest I thought he was a bit of a young rookie but he is late to the main tour at the age of 35 and this could be his best opportunity to gain his first main tour win 0.25 ew 80/1
JuLy 16th 20.47
I must admit to getting overwhelmed by the plethora of side markets for the Open Championship as with most Majors and I have resisted the temptation to simply back the players I already fancy but in other markets. Instead I have put up a couple of players in the round one leader market who I think offer a touch of value.
Carl Pettersson is first up - he has not been in the best of form this season although he has been consistently making cuts but he is often a fast starter. Last year he led after round one three times including in the PGA Championship, he also managed the feat twice in 2011. What grabbed my attention was his fast starts at the Open - in six attempts he has been 7th, 4th and most importantly tied 1st last time they played here at Muirfield in 2002 - considering that was his first Open it could well inspire some positive thinking 0.2 ew 125/1 6 places
Steven Tiley is my left field pick in this market who got into his third Open by being medailst in Local Final Qualifying - having opened with a 64 - four shots clear of the field he never looked back. He had signalled he was in good form by finishing 2nd the week before in Scotland on the Challenge Tour. In his first Open in 2010 he was 3rd after round one. Having been born and growing up on the coast in Kent he is well used to coastal links golf and could provide a surprise on day one 0.1 ew 300/1 6 places

JuLy 15th 13.17
Summer is here and it's time for one of my favourite events of the year – the Open Championship and this year we can definitely say that we are having a summer and I think that will have a bearing on the result. This year is the first time we are likely to have an Open played on a hard fast course since 2006 at Royal Liverpool – yes it's been that long since we had a long spell of decent weather! Having said that there will still be plenty of rough so players will be needing to find fairways which can be even tougher when there is plenty of run. As the ball will be travelling a long way and the greens will be hard then scrambling could well be a key pointer. I have been assembling my team over the past few weeks and am pretty happy with the level of their games and although they are all outsiders – don't panic as long shots have a particularly good record at this Major. For now I will kick off with a full preview of my five main picks and will tackle the side markets like first round leader tomorrow.
Jamie Donaldson was the first man to go in the portfolio and I am really not sure why he is such a big price. He has been a bit of a late developer on tour but has now managed two wins in the last year and I am sure there are more to come. What first attracted me to him was that his first win in July last year came in the Irish Open on the links at Royal Portrush and from reading interviews he grew up playing links golf and loves the challenge and has the ability to play in breezy conditions. He backed that up with a fine 7th at the US PGA Championship at breezy, coastal Kiawah Island and then won again in Abu Dhabi in January. His form went off the boil a bit then but was a fine 10th defending his Irish title and then 6th at the tough Le Golf National making very few mistakes. He didn't play last week in the Scottish Open – maybe it will prove to be a good decision as this weeks links course will be a different challenge. He has plenty of links experience under his belt and has three times finished in the top ten at the Alfred Dunhill event and whilst he lacks Open Championship experience I won't hold that against him 0.5 ew 150/1
Whilst there have been many surprise Major winners over the years most of those are not totally shock winners as they had already won a main tour event recently on tour and that's where Mikko Ilonen comes in. He won for the first time in six years at the Nordea Masters in June – the culmination of a strong year where he has also been second in the China Open and Hassan Trophy. The Finn is also a top class links player having won the Amateur at Royal Liverpool. He has only played in three Open Championships as a pro – finishing 9th in 2001 and 16th when it was hard and fast at Royal Liverpool in 2006 when he led the scrambling stats and was 3rd for putts per round. Those are the two key attributes to his game and if he brings them to Muirfield this week he could be the surprise package of the European players 0.75 ew 125/1 6 places
Bill Haas is the American player I think is being underestimated this week as people seem to overlook the fact that he has now won five times on the PGA tour in the last three years including the Tour Championship and the oodles of money that came with the Fedex Cup. I admit he does not have a great record in Majors but he has improved in every attempt at the Open going mc/57/19 and I can see that trend continuing. Once he hits form he tends to hold it well and he has just won the AT&T National at the tough Congressional course and was also 4th at Memorial and 9th at the Greenbrier. Whilst he does appear shaky in contention I am not sure anyone can match his number of wins recently – especially at the price available 0.5 ew 100/1 6 places
Another player who seems to have found the knack to winning is Swede Jonas Blixt who has now won twice on the PGA tour in the space of nine months. He also has a pair of thirds and managed a 2nd to Ilonen in the Nordea Masters on a rare foray to home shores. The one thing that really counts against him is his lack of links form but did that stop players like Hamilton or Curtis? He is one of the best putters on the PGA tour and is also a really good scrambler and I think I would be foolish to leave him out at such a big price 0.2 ew 200/1 7 places.
I am going to take a flyer on a player who did us a favour earlier this year when winning the Malaysian Open Kiradech Aphibarnrat. That win came in a run of form which failed to see him finish outside the top six in six consecutive events on the Asian tour. We have to remember he is only 23 but had always shown potential having won the World Junior Championships two years running in 2003/4. He certainly lacks links experience but had two excellent rounds last week at Castle Stuart but also two poor ones. If he has learnt from that experience then the talented youngster may surprise a few this week but I recommend only a small wager 0.1 ew 400/1
Don't forget as always all the best prices are available here

JuLy 14th 23.03
Well my old friend Rocco Mediate stopped the current rot with a place in the US Senior Open on a night where Matt Jones just came up shy.
Next week we have one of the biggest weeks of the year when the Open Championship comes from Muirfield for the first time since 2002 when Ernie Els triumphed. As usual I have posted my antepost bets over the last few weeks which you can see on the Tipping Results page. I am not sure whether there will be any further outright bets for the week but there will be a full preview posted by tomorrow evening. I will cover side markets on the following days plus a look at the other golf events on including the Sanderson Farms event from Annandale.
JuLy 10th 10.53
This weeks PGA tour event is the John Deere Classic which is a birdie fest and of late could be re-named the Steve Stricker benevolent tournament. However the short priced favourite can always be vulnerable on a course where anyone can get hot so I have gone for four from lower down the batting order.
Matt Jones blows hot and cold at Deere Run with three missed cuts and two 5th placed finishes to his name. He is in excellent form and tied up next years playing priveleges with his 2nd place last week which came soon after his solid 6th at the Memorial. With great course and current form we are also getting a great each way price 0.3 ew 80/1
I am hoping Luke Guthrie can emulate the main local player Stricker and pull off another good finish in what is his home event. Last year Guthrie had just turned pro and playing on a sponsors invite managed a 5th place finish. He then went on to dominate the Web.com tour including back to back victories and has already managed a 3rd and 8th in his rookie PGA season.0.3 ew 90/1
Chez Reavie seems to come to life in the mid summer playing in the Northern States or Canada and has a best finish here of 5th in 2011. He has built up a solid bank of form making his last six cuts and I think at the price he is worth a small bet as he has at least proven he can win on tour 0.2 ew 150/1
George McNeill completes the team mainly because this is the sort of event he thrives in - if the scoring is easy and birdies are required then George is your man. His best finish here is only 15th but he has shot three rounds of 65 in the past. His stats last week really caught my eye where he was 1st for driving accuracy and 9th for GIR - if he can bring that ball striking to Deere Run and hole some putts then he stands a good chance 0.25 ew 150/1
Don't forget as always all the best prices are available here
JuLy 9th 20.12
Time for a quick in depth look at the Scottish Open and this weeks three selections two of which are pretty obvious and one people maybe scratching their heads over!
Danny Willett was first in my book this week and I was lucky enogh to get at 66/1 but even at lower odds I think he is worth a bet. He hasn't played a lot since taking a longish break when he got married but he seems to be running into form again going 18th and 10th in his last two starts. He is a fine links player having been 2nd and 5th in the Alfred Dunhill Links and won the English Amateur at Royal St Georges. He made the cut here on his only start here in 2011 but he is in better form now and has a European tour win under his belt 0.4 ew 55/1 (6 places)
Soren Kjeldsen has been in the doldrums for a while but last weeks 8th in France is repeating what he did last summer when he followed a 9th at Le Golf National with a 5th here at Castle Stuart. Last year he shot a pair of 72's but also had a 64 and a 65 and in this years expected calm weather he will have to go low to stand a chance. The first of his three European tour wins came exactly ten years ago in Scotland and although the Gleneagles course was a different kettle of fish he is certainly at home in the area. 0.4 ew 66/1 (6 places)
SSP Chowrasia is a bit of a long shot and has shown little outside of his two wins in his home country but he did manage an 11th place here last season and also managed a 15th at Wentworth so he can certainly play! That 11th place last year came on the back of a pair of opening 67's and he shot a second round 67 in France last week - the joint lowest round of day two. He is worth siding with in the side markets - 0.1 ew 300/1 Rd 1 leader and 0.2 top ten finish 40/1
JuLy 8th 10.52
Sadly another disappointing week with only Bernd really troubling the judge but he got off to a very poor start yesterday - maybe he is better on an easier track. Losing runs are inevitable backing at big odds but we are still running at an ROI of 156% for the year so it's not all bad news.
This week we have the Steve Stricker benevolent tournament (otherwise known as the John Deere Classic) whilst the European tour has it's final warm up before the Open with the Scottish Open from the Castle Stuart links. Back later today on Twitter with any early bets. Don't forget we have also put up our first antepost bet for the Open - Jamie Donaldson 0.4 ew 150/1
JuLy 2nd 19.39
There appear to be no hard and fast rules when picking the winner of the Open de France with a huge cross section of players winning with or without course from and with or without good current form so I have picked a cross section of players in an attempt to find the winner.
Austrian Bernd Wiesberger has to be headline pick due to the fact that he has now won three of his last thirty two events and has been in the top five in four of his last seven which amounts to some of the best from on show this week. Whilst he has never set the world alight at Le Golf National he has made the cut on both starts and he is a better player now. I think there is a lot to like about the young Austrian who has all the makings of a top future European player 0.5 ew 40/1
People seem to have a short memory about Simon Khan - it wasn't long ago he lost a playoff for the European Tour flagship event the PGA Championship. That was on a course he excels on and he also has some decent form around this weeks track with a 3rd and 5th amongst three missed cuts in the last five years. He seems to be a horses for courses player who can turn it on from out of the blue so is worth having onside this week 0.2 ew 200/1
Soren Hansen is another who has been superb around Le Golf national in the past with 2nd,3rd,3rd,6th,7th and 10th place finishes from eleven starts. In the last two seasons he has missed both cuts but he was injured/in poor form. Recently there have been some positive signs in his form with some really good GIR stats and if anywhere were to bring out a revival in his game it would be here 0.2 ew 200/1
Darren Fichardt has played some good rounds here in the past and will be glad to see French soil again having won the St Omer event last season. He played really well in the early season co-sanctioned events in his homeland of South Africa winning the Africa Open and finishing 2nd in the Tshwane Open. He hasn't shown a lot since but was 7th in the BMW International a couple of weeks ago - worth the risk - 0.1 ew 200/1 + 0.3 top 10 finish 20/1
I will try a small bet on Seve Benson after he won us a few quid in France last month. His stats are still very good and on his first visit here in 2009 he was 4th with a round to go before blowing up - at the price of 250/1 he is worth a small risk of 0.1 ew
JuLy 2nd 12.02
At first glance there appears to be little to link the first three winners of the Greenbrier Classic but on closer inspection and taking a bit of poetic license there is definitely a theme. The first winner was Appleby who won by scything through the field on the final day with a scintilating 59 beating Jeff Overton by one who in turn was clear of third. Now if we take Overton, Stallings and Potter we notice they are of the same age - 26/27/28 are all American and were all looking for their first PGA tour win - sadly Overton still is! This leaves us with a pretty short shortlist from which I have picked two - I have left out Kevin Chappell who plays better on tough courses and Robert Streb and Brian harman who seem out of form.
Number one pick has to be 28 year old Roberto Castro who did nothing wrong last week when finishing runner up to Bill Haas and in the process securing his playing priveleges for next season. I was really impressed with his battling qualities as he could easily have buckled under the pressure and seems to be a player learning every time he gets into contention. He reminds me a bit of last years winner Ted Potter who took his time getting to the main tour but had won plenty of smaller tour events - Potters were on the NGA Hooters tour - Castro won five times on the E-Golf tour. He also has the benefit of playing The Old White course last year where his 7th place was his best finish of the year and showed he can go low - either side of a pair of 71's he shot a 63 and 64. So here we have a player who fits the profile, is in great form and has good course form - that adds up to a decent bet 0.8 ew 66/1
Second pick is Jason Kokrak who is also 28 and seeking his first tour win. Like Potter and Castro he too won multiple events lower down (four on the E-Golf tour) but he then copied Potter in winning twice on the Web.com tour in one year. He showed some bottle last year when needing a high finish in the Fall series he finished tied for 2nd in the Frys.com event to keep his playing rights. He has more or less tied up his card for next year by virtue of his tied 3rd last week behind Haas and Castro but the bet is a bit smaller as he missed the cut here last season when out of form 0.25 ew 100/1
JuLy 1st 11.25
Another poor week for the tips with no-one really getting into contention - this week we have two interesting events lined up in the Greenbrier Classic where I have an interesting little theory about what type of player to back and then the Open de France where I have had some success in the past.
On another note with the new football season looming Football Betting Index relauches today with the first antepost bets of the season. This year we will try and build on last seasons results which netted a profit of 192.99 points with an ROI of 13.2%. Full details can be found here
June 26th 20.40
When I first did my research into the Irish Open the one thing that struck me was how well the Welsh have played Montys course at Carton House. Craig Smith won the Irish amateur in 2004, Stephen Dodd won the Irish Open in 2005 and Rhys Pugh won the European Amateur last year from fellow Welshman James Frazer. Sadly most of the Welsh players are in poor form and Jamie Donaldson who won the title last year on a very different course was awful when he played here before. I have ended up with rather a hotch potch assortment of players picked for varying reasons.
Mikko Ilonen on the face of it seems quite a generous price considering his recent form. Having finished runner up in Morocco and China he finally won in Sweden and one could hardly say he is golfed out with a quiet schedule 0.4 ew 40/1
Paul Waring has also been in good form following up his earlier 4th in Spain with a 5th and 10th in his last two starts. He seems to play the same events well from one year to the next which aren't necessarily played on the same courses 0.3 ew 80/1
Gregory Havret continues the theme of players in good form mainly due to some excellent scrambling stats which I believe is one aspect of the game which could prove handy around Carton House. Before his missed cut in Germany (never played that course well) last week he had reeled off four consecutive top 25 finishes which he attributes to a new coach and re-dedicating himself to the game. He played here back in 2006 finishing 15th and at a three figure price is worth backing 0.2 ew 100/1
Next we come to a couple of amateurs who are seeking to emulate Shane Lowry from a couple of years ago and why not! Rhys Pugh is my one from the Welsh theme who as mentioned earlier won the European amateur last year around this course. Finishing in 4th place that week was Irish amateur Kevin Phelan who this year managed to qualify for the US Open and actually played really well. With recent course knowledge an advantage I have backed them both in the same way - 0.1 ew 150/1 Round one leader + 0.1 ew 300/1 outright.
June 26th 15.15
I have a few minutes to explain a bit about the picks on the smaller tours this week.
I added Annie Park in the US Womens Open as I nearly forgot about her, she has strong local ties as she grew up on Long Island and will be using a Sebonack caddy this week. She is currently the 8th ranked amateur in the world and number one ranked college player in the States. In recent weeks she has won the Pac12 Championships, the NCAA Championships by six strokes and was the lowest scorer in the strokeplay portion of the US Amateur Public Links. She is clearly in great form and with home advantage could be a surprise package 0.1 ew 500/1
On the Champions tour it's the Senior Players Championship and Joe Daley attempts to defend the title he shocked people by winning last year. It was a huge win for the player in his home state of Pennsylvania and he has struggled since as his whole routine has been turned upside down - he no longer has to play Monday qualifiers! There have been a few hints of a return to form and he says that a return to the venue is just what his game needs 0.15 ew 150/1
I was kicking myself last week for not backing Chesson Hadley who won in his hometown of Raleigh on the Web.com tour so this week I will go for a player who doesn't live a million miles form the Victoria National course in Indiana. Chad Collins didn't play the United Leasing Championship in its inaugural year so this will be the first time the former Indiana State amateur champion gets to play the only event in his home state. He has two wins on tour and has a 10% top five strike rate including when 3rd a few weeks ago. Two missed cuts since then has led to a big price this week 0.25 ew 150/1
June 25th 20.12
I am running a bit short of time today so will just do a quick preview of my two picks in the AT&T National from Congressional. To be honest there is no real profile of the event which leads to straighforward picks so I have just gone with two players who may gave us a run for our money at big prices.
David Lingmerth already has two runner-up finishes this season and whilst he went right off the boil after the first in January he has maintained a good level of form since finishing second in the Players Championship. His 17th at the US Open was an excellent attempt in his first Major and shows he has a great all round game. The tipping point for the bet is the location this week - his maiden win on the Web.com tour came in Maryalnd as well 0.25 ew 150/1
I can't remember the last time I tipped Stuart Appleby (if I ever have) or indeed anyone else tipping him for that matter.He has been creeping into form of late - joint leader after round one at Southwind before fading and then 9th last week with every round under par. He has a really good record at Congressional in the past going 7/3/60/16 in his last four appearances and in the last three he has started 1/6/6 after round one. That therefore makes it worth taking the first round leader bet 0.2 ew 100/1 as well as the outright 0.25 ew 150/1
June 25th 17.30
For my first preview I will tackle the Womens US Open which comes from the stunning Sebonack course on Long Island New York and it won't be a typical US Open. With wide open fairways rather than narrow tree lined ones the course's defence relies on the wind and very tricky greens with the course superintendent reckoning the best chipper of the ball will win.
I really like the look of young amateur Lydia Ko this week who has already won her home Open and last years Canadian Open. She warmed up nicely last week with a 4th place in Arkansas and would have gone much closer than 17th in the LPGA Championship were it not for an opening round of 77. The strong points of her game are her putting and scrambling where she is 2nd in both categories on tour. The tipping point for me having a bet is the fact that the teaching pro at Sebonack will be her caddy for the week 0.5 ew 28/1
June 20th 22.32
Just a few short words on this weeks bets on the Champions Tour - Encompass Championship that comes from the esteemed North Shore Country Club in Illinois and I have gone for two players with strong local ties. The main bet is John Riegger who turned 50 last week and is fortunate he can play in a home game straight away and has been waiting for this week since he was tied 4th at the Q School. He has a good record of playing at home including winning the La Salle Bank Open on the Web.com tour and his best ever performance on the main tour was 5th in the John Deere Open - at the early prices he was well worth a bet 0.5 re 66/1. The other player I have backed is Lance ten Broeck who is more famous for being a caddie - firstly for Parnevik and latterly for Tim Herron but he has played many events on the PGA tour in his own right. He is a past winner of the Illinois Open and grew up locally and his best finish on the Champions tour was last year when he led the US Senior Open at the cut in neighbouring Michigan 0.1 ew 300/1

June 19th 21.13
I will start off the preview of this years Travelers Championship with the quote of how I started last years preview
"The event gives out invites to top amateur players and it is quite interesting to se what happens to them. Cink made his pro debut here in 1995 and has won the event twice. Hunter Mahan first played here as an amateur missing the cut in 2000 and won seven years later and been second twice as well. JJ Henry also played as an amateur in 1998 and won eight years later as a professional. Michael Putnam was 4th in his first pro start back in 2005, Michael Thompson played well as an amateur and then last year was 4th whilst Patrick Cantlay played superby last year shooting a 60 and turns pro this week."
This remains the principle behind three of my picks this week and I have also added John Rollins who is a bit of a no brainer pick to me this week. The three time tour winner is in great form finishing 4th and 6th in his last two events and and comes to an event where he has been 2nd and 4th the last two years - what's not to like! 0.5 ew 40/1
Casey Wittenberg was one of the top amateurs I alluded to who played here back in 2002 and on his last visit here in 2009 (his last full year on tour) he finished 7th. He actually got in the field last year having been 10th at the US Open but declined the invitation to play on the Web.com tour event in Kansas. It proved to be an inspired move as he won and sealed his card on the main tour for this year. He hasn't set the world alight this season bar a very good 8th at the Players Championship but back here at a familiar venue he is worth a bet at the price 0.2 ew 250/1 + 0.6 top ten 18/1
I wanted to back Matt Every last year but he withdrew but I will certainly give him a chance this year. The top US amateur back in 2006 he has still to record his first main tour win but he has plenty of top finishes - sadly it is very difficult pinpointing when those are going to happen! However he fulfills my criteria this week and at the price is worth a bet 0.25 ew 110/1
A bit of a late addition but a tweet earlier caught my eye from Kyle Stanley - thanking the tournament organisers for giving him his pro start here four years ago. With two third placed finishes and a sixth in his last six tour starts he is certainly in great form and at 66/1 is worth adding to the portfolio 0.25 ew

June 18th 11.08
It feels like the calm after the storm - the week after a Major always seems a bit muted but there are tournaments to bet on and I will kick off with the BMW International on the European tour which boasts quite a strong field. i must admit to playing it a bit cautious with two big priced outsiders and a first round leader bet. At the top of the market I was keen on Ross Fisher but having backed him at Wentworth at 80/1 I am loathe to take 28/1 here and I like the look of Thomas Bjorn who has won twice round here before but his price seems about right to me.
John Parry seems full of beans having just completed his first Major and he acquitted himself well finishing in a tie for 28th and that could well be the catalyst to spur him on to bigger and better things. Looking back at his career so far one thing jumps out and that is that he plays all his best golf comes playing parkland courses. His win on the Challenge tour at Toulouse Seih, his European win at Joyenval and his Q School triumph at Catalunya have all been on parkland courses and maybe it shouldn't be a big surprise as he honed his game playing the parkland course in Harrogate. Munchen Nord-Eichenried definitely falls into that category and in his two visits have yielded 36th and 18th placed finishes. Maybe his exploits in the US last week will give him encouragement to improve on thos starts 0.2 ew 200/1
Soren Hansen has been in the doldrums for a while and lost the best part of a year to first a rib injury and then a bad wrist which required surgery. He is playing the tour on a medical extension but there have been signs that his game is returning to normal as his recent GIR stats are very good. It is not necessarily his form here that gives him a squeak but rather his form overall on German parkland courses - 2nd at Gut Kaden and 1st, 8th and 3rd on visits to Gut Larchenhof. The one thing that normally lets him down is a cold putter but if he can warm that up he should play well 0.2 ew 200/1.
Last bet of the week goes to our hero in Spain the other month Raphael Jacquelin but I have only backed him in the round one leader category. In thirteen visits here he has held the lead twice after the opening round and oddly enough the other three times he has held a round one lead in recent history have all been in China - so bear that in mind for future reference! 0.2 ew 66/1
June 17th 09.18
The only thing I got right about the US Open was that it was going to play tough as the bets drew a complete blank! The good result of the week was the large bet on Seve Benson who finished 3rd just one shot out of the playoff and who maintains our ROI for the year at 79%.
The week after a Major can often be an anticlimax but we have two gi events in the Travelers Championship and BMW International Open from Germany plus a sfull supporting cast of smaller events.
June 15th 10.23
Well I have been suffering all week from a chest infection and a lack of sleep and the US Open golf hasn't really cheered me up much! I got it right knowing it was going to play really tough and not a birdie paradise as some people said but sadly my tough golf course players haven't really performed. However there is a long way to go and it is only going to get harder as the greens get even firmer - considering Horschell hit all eighteen greens yesterday and managed to only shoot 67 speaks volumes. Following other tours sometimes gives me an insight into other players and I am going to add an official play on Matthew Goggin this morning. In the last few years his best performances on the Web.com tour have been 1st and 2nd in the Panama Open - the toughest course that tour plays and in 2009 he was 5th in the Open @ difficult Turnberry. He is safely in the clubhouse on +2 and is worth 0.25 ew 125/1 1/4 4 and the 280 on Betfair could well be a good trading price.
On the plus side Seve Benson is going well in France shooting a best of the week 65 yesterday to propel him into a tie for 6th.

June 10th 15.14
I look forward to the US Open every year as I enjoy a true test of golf more than anything and that is what the USGA try and serve up each year - a tournament where par means something. I have also enjoyed considerable success with my two biggest gambling wins coming with Rocco Mediate and then last year with Michael Thompson - despite neither of them winning! These big wins were down to trading or backing players in different markets but this year for this preview I have stuck to just the outright bets. I have stuck up three players ante post over the past few weeks and to be honest you can still get the same prices or better with enhanced place terms but I will kick off my preview with my main bet of the week - the man who made me a decent sum of money last year - Michael Thompson.
The former number one amateur in the world is a self confessed lover of tough golf courses as was borne out by his 2nd place finish at Olympic last year where he had also lost in the final of the US Amateur. His only other appearance in the US Open was in 2008 at Torrey Pines where he was low amateur finishing 28th. This year the three hardest scoring events on tour relative to par for the field have been the Masters, Honda Classic and Memorial and Thompson has been 25th (one poor round) 1st and then in his last event 8th at the Memorial. He has been hitting form again after an understandable spell in the doldrums after his win and I think he is a worth a big punt this week - 1.0 pt ew 150/1 6 places

I have been waiting for Padraig Harrington to hit form for a while after spotting an interesting link between him and the last winner of the US Open at Merion - David Graham. The Australian also won the US PGA Championship at Oakland Hills another tough par 70 course and one of his other tour wins was at Westchester which used to often be used as a warm up for the US Open in June as it is a similar course in a similar location. What got me interested in the Irishman is that he has won at Westchester and his PGA Championship win was at Oakland Hills as well. One odd little fact is that since the beginning of 2007 he has actually won more Majors than Tiger Woods - 3-2. He has been making lots of changes to his game of late and last week we started to see some positive signs they are working. As a lover of tough courses and a man who knows how to win a Major (or three) get him onside 0.4 ew 100/1

I tipped Rickie Fowler up a while ago when he started to show some form - mainly due to his superb record at Merion in the Walker Cup in 2009 where he went unbeaten 4/0. I thought he would be all the rage this week due to that stat but his form has tailed off and I am not sure he is such a strong bet now. However if any player in the field will be invigorated by the venue it could well be the All-American kid 0.4 ew 66/1

People seem to have forgotten what happened in the first Major of the year just a few months ago when Scott defeated Cabrera in a playoff. There really was very little to separate them and Cabrera has continued to play good golf often in events he has no past history in. The US Open he certainly has history in having won this Major in the State of Pennsylvania - write Angel Cabrera off at your peril 0.4 ew 80/1 6 places

That’s the ante post selections out the way - now to add the other players I have tipped this week.
Kevin Chappell seems to like the US Open - he was 3rd at Congressional in 2011 and then tied 10th last year which is quite impressive for a player who has yet to win on tour. He is definitely in good form as well having finished 2nd last time out at the tough Memorial event. He is one of the few players to have played Merion before in a USGA event having taken part in the US amateur here in 2005 where he shot an excellent 73 in the stroke play section before eventually exiting in the 3rd round of the match play. That experience will stand him in good stead and don’t be surprised to see him up there once again 0.3 ew 100/1 6 places.

Lastly I have put up a couple of rags who could easily belie their odds. Morgan Hoffman also played in the 2005 US Amateur although he didn’t fare as well as Chappell but he was only 16 at the time. He also played alongside Fowler in the 2009 Walker Cup where he acquitted himself well including winning his singles match. There is a lot to like about him and he did well last year when he qualified and finished 29th at Olympic. Whilst he can still be a bit hit and miss he can still boast a 30% top 10 strike rate on the main tour and Web.com tour since turning pro. With some positive course memories and returning to his native North East he could be a surprise package 0.1 ew 300/1 6 places

My previews wouldn’t be the same without one truly from left field and that comes in the shape of South African Jaco Van Zyl. On his home tour this year he has been in truly amazing form finishing 2/1/w/1/1 - I don’t care what level that maybe at - it is very consistent play largely down to some great swinging with his irons. He then had a break before re-appearing at Wentworth where he was a bit rusty but then easily qualified for this week at Walton Heath. He is sure to be inspired by the recent great run of South Africans in Majors and the odds compilers are giving him no respect 0.15 ew 400/1 6 places

Don't forget Victor Chandler are paying SEVEN places this week

June 11th 21.56
You may have failed to notice but there is another golf tournament on this week which is a co-sanctioned European and Euro Challenge event - it is the old St Omer Open now called the Najeti Hotels Open but it is still played at the same course. There is no obvious pattern to winners although two players have won on the Challenge tour the event before they came and won here - namely Wiegele in 2010 and Lima in 2004 so I had a good look at Francois Calmels who won last week in the Czech Republic. The trouble is he has always struggled going up in grade and despite being 2nd here on his debut back in 2007 this tough scoring track will not necessarily suit but I have had a saver at Betfair @ 55 just in case!
My main bet this week is on Seve Benson and I really do think he is being underestimated for a number of reasons. In the last co-sanctioned event in Madeira he was 5th and he ranks 4th overall on the Tour-Tips current form stats. His statistics are pretty good for a player at his level - over the last six months on the main tour he ranks 25th overall including 1st for Total Driving, 10th for Total Accuracy, 2nd for Ball Striking, 2nd Driving Distance and 8th Driving Accuracy. This is a tough course and those figures will hold him in good stead - add in the fact he was 4th here in 2008 (m/c only other start when out of form last year) then we have the makings of a strong bet 0.6 ew 80/1
My only other bet is Chris Paisley who will have an interesting eye on the US Open this week as he played on the GB & Ireland Walker Cup team that got hammered in 2009 at Merrion although to be fair he halved both his singles matches. He has gradually worked his way through the ranks - playing on the Alps Tour in 2011 he won twice and then graduated from the Challenge Tour last year when he got his first victory. He struggled initially but has put up some good performances lately which have included 11th Morocco, 15th Madeira and 30th last week in Austria. He played well to finish 11th on his debut here last season and is worth a slightly smaller punt 0.4 ew 66/1

June 9th 12.19
Back from a weeks break refreshed and raring to go next week for the US Open - oh and we also have the Najeti Open - the old Aa St Omer Open and a Web.com event. I have already put up three antepost bets for the second Major of the year in the form of Fowler, Cabrera and Harrington and am looking at at least four other players to expand the portfolio. I will wait until the books go to six places before putting up anymore and will hopefully have a full preview up tomorrow afternoon
June 1st 09.24
Right then - time for a week off although I will certainly be keeping a close eye on the scores over the next day with Ilonen bang up there and Stallings in a good position (what idiot backed him without Woods lol!)
Next weeks events do not look strong and the St Jude is always hit with multiple withdrawals after the US Open qualifiers take place on Monday. Talking of the US Open which this year comes from the fabulous Merion course I will be back in plenty of time to get some bets in! The second Major of the year has been my most profitable event ever despite having never got the outright winner. Good luck over the next week
May 29th 21.05
Just got time for a quick few thoughts on the smaller bets for the week - on the LPGA tour I couldn't resist a small bet on Katherine Hull-Kirk - playing on a course where she has gone 4/20/2 the place part of the bet really could be quite generous.
On the Web.com tour I have had two bets in Maryland - firstly on Mark Anderson who won in his adopted state of South Carolina two weeks ago and this week plays in the State where he was born - at 66/1 he is worth a crack. Jason Gore has been in really solid form on this tour this season playing some really consistent golf and the fact that he led here last year after round one by two clear shots makes me want to get involved @ 66/1 - the early 100/125 were way out of line.
A heads up for next week - I am away on holiday for a week from Saturday - just a short family break so any bets next week will purely be on Twitter - there will be no previews (even I need a break!) To be honest events look pretty weak with the Lyoness Open and the St Jude Classic is always hit by multiple withdrawals after the US Open qualifiers happen on the Monday.
May 28th 17.59
Like several events this year already and in past years I expect the Memorial to be a Tiger Woods benefit and have therefore looked at side markets including taking him out of the equation altogether. In the end the only player I have backed is Scott Stallings who seems rather at home on Jack Nicklaus designed courses. His second PGA tour win last year came at Annandale another Jack design and he has a good record here at Muirfield Village. In his first visit in 2011 he was 5th after the first round before fading to 20th and last year followed a similar pattern as he led by one after Thursday going on to finish 25th. He bounced back to form last week after a spell in the doldrums since becoming a father with 4th in Colonial. He again had a good chance to win like earlier in the season but had a messy finish so be prepared to lay back in running! I have backed him in the round one market due to his last two starts here - 0.25 ew 125/1 and in the outright market without Woods - 0.25 ew 125/1
May 28th 16.34
The Nordea Masters enters it's fourth year from the Bro Hof Slott course and it is quite simple to sum up who does well - first of all the home Swedes seem to always have a good tournament, experienced players who have already won on tour come to the fore and thirdly players who have a good scrambling/putting game seem to dominate. I have gone for four this week - the one I left out who tempted me was Norlander who has this as a home course but disappointed in both starts.
Mikko Ilonen is a bit of a no-brainer this week in my opinion. He is in excellent form having filled second place twice in recent outings and was a solid 12th at Wentworth last week - largely due to some superb putting. He was 3rd last year and in 2007 won the Scandinavian Masters which this event "replaced" - 0.5 ew 40/1 (6 places)
Gregory Havret is an experienced pro with three wins on tour to his name. His form seems to be coming to hand at the moment with some excellent scrambling stats and his 19th at Wentworth is his best finish there by a country mile. He was 10th here last season so is happy on the course and at the price is well worth a bet - 0.4 ew 80/1 (6 places)
As I said Swedes do well here I had better include one and that comes in the shape of Niclas Fasth who seems to have been in the doldrums for a long time. Looking at his recent form he seems to be on an upward curve - 59/36/12 and looking at his all round stat performance for those three events you can see why - 57/33/7. Whilst he has no real course form to speak of, playing at home with a bit of confidence could see him produce one of his best finishes for some time - 0.2 ew 125/1 (6 places)
The final player I have picked purely on price and that is Ricardo Santos. With finishes of 7th in Dubai, 4th Abu Dhabi, 3rd Joburg and 5th in China he is turning into the real deal this year. The course should suit and he won in Sweden on the Challenge Tour so shouldn't be three figures - 0.4 ew 100/1
May 27th 20.12
Another blank week apart from those who follow on Twitter and maybe got a few quid e/w on John Peterson for round one leader at 150/1 who nabbed 3rd on Thursday. We came close with Huh and Kemmer but these weeks happen when backing at big odds. This week we have the Memorial which looks like a Tiger Woods benefit and I can easily see me not having a single outright bet but maybe concentrating on side markets. In Europe the Nordea Masters looks a really good betting heat and we also have a whole host of smaller events to choose from. Back later but being a bank holiday and with US Open qualifying from Walton Heath taking place things maybe a bit slow.
May 22nd 20.12
Time for a quick summary of all the other bets for this week starting with the late addition for the Crowne Plaza Invitational - John Peterson. I have been thinking about him all week and finally decided to take the plunge at 0.1 ew 200/1 because I would really kick myself if he did well and I wasn't on. When I said experience was key around Colonial Peterson has it in spades but not in tournament golf as quite simply he grew up playing here and reckons he has 300-400 rounds under his belt. Whilst that will help he needs a little bit more and his 8th in Louisiana was solid whilst his 4th at the similar tight classical Olympic Club in the US Open should hold him in good stead.
In Europe the Challenge Tour heads to Belgium and I have gone for Dodge Kemmer to continue the American trend on this tour. He could easily follow in the footsteps of the last two winners - Uihlein and Koepka on a course where another American Casimi won yonks ago. He also has some family ties with the low countries although I can't exactly establish what they are! 0.2 ew 80/1
Next we have the Mexico Championship and I have struggled to come up with much but Peter Tomasulo is worth an investment - 0.4 ew 40/1. He didn't manage to keep his main tour card via a medical extension despite finishing 15th in the Zurich Classic so he will have to get it back via the Web.com tour again. He has three wins at this level and on his only visit here he led through the first three rounds before blowing up. I think these days he is a far more accomplished player and is worth backing.
Lastly we have the Senior PGA Championship and a couple of small bets. First up is St Louis resident Jay Delsing who will feel right at home but the bet has to be small as when he retired he held the dubious honour at the time as the player who had played more PGA tour events than anyone else without a victory - 0.1 ew 250/1. Secondly comes a man who is no stranger to the winners circle but who is now possibly past it at 67 but I still think Hale Irwin can have a strong week. In the last two years his three top five finishes have all come in Majors including in the last two Senior PGA Championships. Throw in the fact he was 2nd here in the US Senior Open in 2004 and the fact he hails from Missouri then he is worth a few quid - 0.1 ew 200/1.
May 21st 22.02
This weeks main event is the BMW PGA Championship from Wentowrth and as the flagship event in Europe it attracts a top quality field but sadly these days it's the only event to be played in England. Those facts actually has led me to all my picks this week - English players have dominated this event for a while now and I would hazard a guess that to them it is the English Major as the Open moves back and forth across the Scottish border. In recent years English players have had the following top finishes
2012 - 1st Donald 2nd Rose 10th Morrison, Poulter
2011 - 1st Donald 2nd Westwood 3rd Dyson 7th Donaldson, Horsey
2010 - 1st Khan 2nd Donald 5th Willett 6th Wood
2009 - 1st Casey 2nd Fisher 6th Wall
2008 - 2nd Wilson (lost play off) 3rd Donald
2007 - 2nd Rose (lost play off)
2006 - 1st Howell 2nd Khan
I think that is conclusive that it favours the home players but it also helps that a player has had a top finish in recent years - every winner since 2005 has had a top finish here in the four previous years. That helped me narrow things down to five players - I left out Donald as he is not in the best of form and his price is short, Westwood as he still struggles to win and Casey as I am not convinced he is back.
Ross Fisher learnt his trade round Wentworth and has nearly won here a few times in the past. In 2007 he entered the final round in the lead but collapsed with an 84, in 2009 he was 2nd losing by a stroke and was 10th the following year. He has been plying his trade on the PGA tour this year and finally had a good result at the Wells Fargo when 10th. He is in the top ten for GIR over the pond so is striking the ball well but has struggled with his putting - a return to Wentworth could bring another top finish 0.6 ew 80/1
David Horsey has been in great form finishing 6th,2nd and 4th in his last three starts. Having taken a month off he played a EuroPro tour event last week to fine tune his game for this week and lost in a playoff. In 2011 he was in a similar vein of form and was 7th here whilst in 2009 in his first appearance he led after the opening round. I can easily see him getting into contention this week 0.25 ew 80/1
Chris Wood was forced to take time off recently with injury and only returned last week in the matchplay event in Bulgaria and played well cosidering he would have been a bit rusty. He has certainly been a top performer in big events on home soil in his short career with a pair of top fives in Opens and in his first attempt at Wentworth in 2010 he led by two going into the final round before fading to 6th. He now has two wins to his name achieved in the last nine months and if he has shaken off any woes then he shoud be competitive this week 0.2 ew 100/1
Danny Willett has taken time off recently for different reasons as he got married and has been on his honeymoon so hasn't played since March when 5th in the Tshwane Open. He is a risky proposition this week due to the length of his break from the game but I will take a risk as he was 5th on his debut here in 2010 0.2 ew 125/1
I really do think Simon Dyson is being under-estimated this week due to a poor level of form over the past eighteen months. Last year that was due to two bad injuries and by his own admission becoming a dad and he has taken a while to start to show his form again. In a recent interview he said he was hitting the ball well but simply wasn't scoring and that is borne out in his stats which are really strong in the GIR department. I am hoping a return to Wentworth where he has always putted well will pay dividends - he had great stats here on his last visit two years ago when 3rd. It is also worth noting that he has also won at another Harry Colt golf course - Hilversumche - get him onside at a big price 0.4 ew 150/1
Don't forget all picks are six places and all the best odds are available here
May 21st 20.04
When looking at the long history of the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial the one thing that hits you is the number of repeat winners - recently Zach Johnson, Phil Mickelson and Kenny Perry had all won it twice and a bit further back Nick Price and Corey Pavin repeated the feat. Apart from Zach the other four had also all managed to finish runner-up at least once whilst David Toms and Tim Herron had both won and finished second. In my eyes that's pretty conclusive evidence that course form is needed and at a very high level. As to what sort of player it suits then it's pretty easy to say the shorter more accurate player is best suited (Phil excepted) and they tend to be older but I wouldn't discount a player due to age as it does just so happen that most shorter accurate hitters are veterans these days!
At the prices just two players appeal to me - firstly John Huh who certainly couldn't be called old but is one of the most accurate players on tour. He hasn't had the best season so far but was 11th on his first visit to Augusta and then was 8th last week in the Byron Nelson where he was the most accurate player all week. If he can carry on that form this week on a course where he led the accuracy and all round stats last year on his way to finishing 5th then he has a great chance of adding another victory to his CV 0.5 ew 50/1
David Toms has a great record in this event - earlier this century he managed to finish 4th, 8th, 2nd and 3rd but it took him until 2011 to finally win one when he opened up with a pair of 62's. His top five finishes since then have come at Sea Island, and the Majors at Olympic and Atlanta - all courses that suit his game. He can no longer compete at the wide open resort courses but on weeks like this he comes into his own and with his top five strike rate here has to be a play - 0.25 ew 90/1
May 20th 09.18
In the end it was a poor week last week after what was a promising start, Lexi Thompson led after round one but two late bogeys yesterday cost us the chance of a place payout, Ben Martin was favourite after two rounds but failed to improve on his score after that whilst Marc Leishman shot the best score of the afternoon wave on day one and was treading water after that. This weeks main events are the BMW PGA Championship from Wentworth and the Crowne Plaza Invitational from Colonial. The PGA event certainly favours a distiinctive type of player whilst the event in Europe I have struggled a bit with in the past but this year I think I have found an angle to play. We also have a good supporting line up from the smaller tours including the first Senior Major of the year. Bets maybe up quite early for Europe with Victor Chandler already releasing their prices last night and six places should be the norm.
May 15th 14.17
Finally for this week a look at the smaller tours and the four selections in these. The LPGA tour rolls up in Alabama this week for one of the two events staged there - the Mobile Bay LPGA Classic with the other one being the Navistar Classic. Both events are played on the Robert Trent Jones Trail courses which suit the big hitters and there is a great correlation in form. In the Navistar event Lexi Thompson led at the cut on her debut and won on her third start and when defending last year was second. In this weeks events she was tied for the lead in her first attempt in 2011 before fading to 19th whilst last year she was 2nd. So her last three starts in Alabama have yielded finishes of 1/2/2 and she hasn't missed a cut all year - 0.8 ew 33/1
The Web.com tour moves on to Carolina for the BMW Charity pro-am and after the last event on this tour showed a clear home advantage two of this weeks picks are in the same boat. Clemson Tiger Ben Martin lives in the area and has finally hit some form finishing 11/11/8 - sleeping in his own bed and knowing the courses could help push him over the line 0.4 ew 40/1. Brent Delahoussaye also lives in Greenville and holds the course record at the host Thornblade course. He hasn't shown much this year even in the small events he has played but with finishes of 4th and 12th the last two years he is impossible to leave out 0.15 ew 150/1. One point to note is that there is a new course on the rotation this year so it should favour the local guys even more. Last pick isn't local but DJ Brigman has a good record in this and the other pro-am event they played on this tour. He is in good nick with a 2nd place a few weeks ago and could well add to his two wins at this level 0.4 ew 40/1
May 15th 12.16
Over the course of the last fifteen years I have tended to do well in certain events - often where certain unique venues are used and the Madeira Islands Open is certainly one of them as I have twice tipped the winner here with Hanell 200/1 and Hoey 45/1. This week I had a very long list of players to consider but have narrowed it down to four.
Alvaro Velasco is a young Spanish player who I think is capable of more than he tends to show. If he was to win his first European tour event it could well come on a course where he has excelled before. He was 5th on his debut at Santo da Serra in 2008 and on his only other appearance last year led by two after round one before fading to 28th. In 2010 one of his Challenge Tour wins came on Il Gomera at the similar Tecina golf course - so perhaps he has a penchant for island golf. He is in solid form having not missed a cut all year and his 5th in Morocco was in a much stronger field 0.3 ew 66/1
Sticking with the Spanish contingent Eduardo de la Riva seems to have been around for a long time but is actually only thirty. All of his best from is saved for events close to home with a pair of 3rd placed finishes in main tour events in Spain and his last win came on the Tecina course as well. He has won many small tour events in the past and this could be the kind of low key event where he eventually records a decent win 0.3 ew 70/1
When looking for similar spectacular coastal courses the other one that is on my list was Pleneuf Val Andre on the Brittany coast where Eddie Pepperell was successful exactly a year ago. He has had a solid if unspectacular start to his first full season on tour capped by an 8th place in the Spanish Open last month. Maybe he has an affinity for this part of the world because he won the Portuguese Amateur in 2011 0.4 ew 60/1
Last man in is Joakim Lagergren who played really solid to finish 4th here last year. He followed that up with a 6th at the Nordea Masters but then went off the boil and has struggled in his travels around the world so far this year. He showed a return to form back in Spain last time out so maybe a return to familiar surroundings will see him kick on 0.2 ew 100/1
May 14th 15.10
People often ask me why I don't back favouites in golf tournaments and the answer I always give is that they offer poor value when you look at their percentage of wins/places with Tiger maybe being the only exception. When I do finally go for a shorter priced golfer then I usually get people saying the value is terrible - I am therefore in a no win situation! Over the past weeks we have had players who have been in my eyes bad value and won. Billy Horschell was in excellent form but had poor course form. I believe over the course of time I am right to leave those players who haven't proved it on the big stage well alone at short prices. This week has been rather a conundrum with my only two fancies being what some people may conisder short prices.
There is no denying Marc Leishman is the form horse this week backing up his 4th in the Masters with a 9th at Harbour Town and 8th at Sawgrass - all on courses he had never played well before. This week he plays the Las Colinas course where he has a great record - 8/12/c/3 and there is clearly something in the Texas air he likes as he has also won in the lone star state on the Web.com tour as well. I am happy to pass on players at less than 33/1 who haven't won before but Leishman has a victory in the Travelers Championship last year. When taking a short price I do pay close attention to the opposition and with the exception of Jason Day I think there are question marks over the majority of those at the top of the market so I duly took a big plunge - 1 pt ew 28/1 (still 25/1 in a few places)
Having said all that I am sure people will now shout - but Jordan Spieth hasn't won! but at 40/50 he is worth taking a risk for a few reasons. I pencilled him in for this a few months back when he hit a great run of form as he played here aged 16 & 17 making the cut and indeed even contending. When the tour turned up in Texas in April he went off @ 50/1 for the Houston Open and 35/1 for the Texas Open - but this event in his home town of Dallas was always going to give him the best opportunity as he has such great course form. Any sort of form appraoching his three top tens on the PGA tour this year will see him go close - 0.5 ew 50/1 (40/1 still OK)
May 8th 22.13
Things have rather overtaken me on the home front this week so I am rather glad there is only the one event for me to bet on! One thing I am rather stunned at having had a car accident yesterday and having the car written off I haven't been inundated with bloody injury lawyers! Anyway I digress - a brief few words on the side market bets for the Players Championship is in order
Ben Crane round 1 leader 0.2 ew 80/1 is a bit of a no brainer when you look at his positions after Thursday for the past six attempts have seen him finish 6/9/1/3/10/4.
Bo Van Pelt was very nearly an outright pick but last weeks 6th was his first decent start this year however his top ten strike rate is so good he has to be a 1 pt bet @ 5/1. He finishes in the top ten around 28% of the time and three from eight here - although all the other five attempts have been missed cuts.
We are already on Brian Davis outright but I think he is also worth supporting in the top GB & Ire market where over the past four years he has been t3rd, t2nd, m/c and 2nd - 33/1 seems fairly generous when those at the top of this market have such a poor record - 0.25 ew 1/4 3
May 6th 22.12
I have been looking forward to the Players Championship as although the winners seem rather random there is a definite "winners profile". I have stuck to the last six years since the event moved from March to May as a lot of players say the course plays differently now although it may play quite similarly to 2005 when Funk won as the course is absolutely saturated. One might think that in such circumstances driving distance would be key but the shorter more accurate players prevailed. The key factor is course experience - Kuchar won on his 8th visit, Choi 10th, Clark 8th, Stenson 4th, Garcia 9th and Mickelson 11th. Whilst a top finish is not essential they had all had a top twenty finish at Sawgrass and all made the cut the year before. If you are looking for a repeat winner or defending champion then forget it as there hasn't been one and although it is called the 5th Major the record of Major winners isn't that great. I came up with quite a long short list but have ended up backing four and then added one other player who didn't fit the profile but was too big a price to leave out.
Nick Watney is my main pick and comes to Sawgrass for the seventh time and has a best finish of 4th two years ago when he led after round one. He has a good record in Florida overall including a win in the WGC at Doral in 2011. He is an incredibly consistent golfer - since missing the cut at the PGA Championship in August he has won twice and only missed one cut and his last three finishes read 13th @ the Masters and 15th and 10th - only struggling in the poor weather on Sunday last week. In the Wells Fargo he was 28/1 I just cannot see how he can be 50/1 this week when the favourites have such a poor event record - 0.8 ew 50/1 6 places
In his first two attempts at Sawgrass Carl Pettersson missed the cut but in six subsequent starts he has managed a pair of top ten finishes. He hasn't been in the best of form this season but at the Heritage last time he was 7th for drving accuracy and 3rd for putting which bodes well for this week. He is now a five time winner on tour and is often underestimated 0.3 ew 125/1 6 places
People may think it odd putting up a player like Brian Davis but Tim Clark finally broke his duck here and David Lynn proved that an English journeyman pro can go well on the PGA tour. Davis has been out here a lot longer than Lynn and has numerous top five finishes He was 5th here in 2009 and has been in really solid form of late 0.25 ew 150/1 6 places
Stewart Cink hasn't won since the Open four years ago and it is no great surprise as he has been playing poorly but this year he is showing much improved form. He has had umpteen starts here with a best of 3rd in 2007 and despite his lowly finish last year he was 3rd for GIR. Whilst I said Major winners have a poor record I do think Cink can go well this week 0.25 ew 150/1
My final pick only has one start at Sawgrass and that was a missed cut but given his current form I cnanot leave out Kyle Stanley this week at the price available. He was 3rd at Louisiana - missed cut only previous start and then 6th at Quail Hollow where he had gone 45th/mc before so I think current form over-rides his course form. His win in Phoenix last year came the week after he had lost a playoff so he can hold a good run of form and I was surprised to see three figures - 0.2 ew 150/1 6 places.
May 6th 11.16
Good morning - last week was one of those oh so close weeks with Santos getting tied 5th (shows the importance of getting six places when possible). Mention Brendan Todd won the Stadion Classic after the third round was cancelled - that's three Bulldogs in a row there now. Quintarelli just came up shy of a place in Italy @ 200/1 whilst on the Champions Tour Cook could only manage 8th and Toledo who I have tipped a few times managed to finally win one!
This week sees a very quiet week on the golf front with only the Players Championship from Sawgrass worth a serious look. I have got my list down to six probables and bets will appear on Twitter as and when prices do.
May 1st 20.35
I only have time for a brief rundown of the bets from the minor tours this week.
In the Montecchia Open on the European Challenge tour I have gone for Ross Kellett who won on the course last year on the Alps tour (0.1 ew 125/1). The man who was 2nd to him that week was Quintarelli and this is his home course (0.1 ew 200/1). My other Italian pick is Geminiani who also calls this course home although he spends most of his time in the States (0.1 ew 275/1)
On the Champions tour I think there is definitely a touch of value about John Cook in the Insperity Championship. He plays the same courses well year in year out - especially in Hawaii where he has already won this year and Texas and he has won and been 5th here before - 0.4 ew 28/1
On the Web.com tour they stay in Georgia for the Stadion Classic where Georgia Bulldogs have fared quite well in recent years as it is played on the University of Georgia course. This is the fourth renewal and in 2010 Kisner was 10th whilst in the last two years Henley and Swafford have both won - the former as an amateur. There would definitely seem to be an advantage being a Bulldog and we have a few to choose from - namely Swafford, Todd, Kisner, Imada and the two amateurs TJ and Keith Mitchell. I don't like backing defending champions so I will drop Swafford even though I was on last year, Imada seems to have lost his way and Todd hasn't done that great here before. The two amateurs certainly don't seem to be in the Russell Henley league which leaves us with Kevin Kisner. On the plus side he has already won this season and was 10th here on his only start in 2010. He very kindly answered my direct messages on Twitter regarding his chances this week and whilst the course is wet after a deluge on Sunday he says "I am not sure but I get roll and there is no roll at the moment. Should be ok by Thursday and I will contend" That's positve enough for me and I have gone 0.5 ew 40/1. There is now bits and pieces of money on Betfair for the three main Bulldogs with Swafford 55, Todd 55 and Kisner 48 - I will admit to having a small saver on the first two!
APRIL 30th 16.21
The Wells Fargo Championship is now in its tenth year so we have plenty of evicence to draw from and one thing is clear - with the exception of Joey Sindelar winners have been top quality golfer who have had success or go onto success in Major Championships - in particular the US Open. This makes a lot of sense because it is a tough test of golf despite the winning score averaging around -13. The last few years has also seen the domination of the younger pro's - Fowler was 23, Rory 21, O'Hair 26 and Kim 22. I have therefore gone for a Major player and a young pro who will probably go onto great things.
It is time to play up some of the Angel Cabrera Masters winnings on the likeable Argentinian. It is a well documented fact he still hasn't won a normal PGA tour event but just has the US Open and Masters victories to his name. This is just the sort of course where he could break that duck and indeed he was 3rd here in 2010. The week after the Masters he flew home and played in a big event in his home country scorching through the field on the final day with a 64 and eagling the last to win. Since then he has had a week off to recharge the batteries but as I said at the Masters he has been playing well all season. To my mind he is being totally under rated this week so will press things up - 1 pt ew 55/1
My only other bet is 24 year old Russell Henley who plays the course for the first time in tournament conditions but has a close link to Quail Hollow. After turning pro for the 2012 Web.com season where he had won as an amateur this week in 2011 his game deserted him. He then paired up with a new coach who is head pro at Quail Hollow and together with Webb Simpson they played the course time and time again ironing out his problems. Once the problems were solved he went on a run that saw him finish 1st, 3rd, 1st and 6th in the last four starts of 2012, gain his tour card and then win the opening event of the season in Hawaii. That first win on the lower tour came in North Carolina on a not disimilar course and he bounced back to form last time when 6th in South Carolina. He even made the cuts on both his starts in US Opens when a top amateur. He ticks an awful lot of boxes this week and is worth a decent bet 0.5 ew 100/1
APRIL 30th 15.25
The European Tour stays in the Far East for the Volvo China Open which at least is using the same course Binhai Lake that was used last year. It is an open somewhat soul less course that should in theory favour the bigger hitter.
My main pick is Australian Scott Strange who is undergoing something of a revival in his career. Since he won the China Open and Wales Open around four years ago he has been on the slide. He states it all revolves around losing his sister to cancer and becoming a father for the first time and he lost focus. Last year he lost his European playing rights so he relocated back to Perth and became a father again in January and he is now much more comfortable. This has resulted in finishes of 2nd, 2nd and 7th in New Zealand, Thailand and Indonesia. He was 29th here last year when in poor form but even then he was 2nd after round one so he can clearly handle the course. With his record in this event and in his current mood and buoyed on by Scotts' Masters win (as Rumford and Fraser were last week) he could well be the Aussie to support this week 0.5 ew 66/1.
Second man up is Ricardo Santos despite him missing his last three cuts this venue should suit him much better. Last year he was 23rd with all four rounds under par despite being in awful form at the time. His early season form of four top tens including a 4th in Abu Dhabi and 7th in Dubai would give him a leading chance in this field. He strikes me as being a player who improves once he has played a course before which is in evidence in most of his starts this year in his second full season - 0.25 ew 100/1.
I am going to take a risk on last pick Richard Finch as I cannot find out why he withdrew last week after a poor opening round 78 in South Korea. Weirdly the last two years has seem him withdraw the event before the China Open - once with a rib injury and once with food poisoning. Admittedly in those two years he then had a three week break and then came here last year to finish 3rd and was 10th the year before! He has a great affinity for China as he was also 3rd in 2009 and 12th in 2008 and is worth a small bet 0.2 ew 125/1.
APRIL 27th 12.04
Looking at how things lie at the moment and I guess my best chances lie in the South Georgia Classic with Loupe bang up there. My two picks in the Zurich Classic even though they had the worse side of the draw were frankly awful and despite looking this morning I can't see anyone I want to back at the cut. In South Korea things didn't really go according to plan and to be honest it is still wide open. In running I have bet Dyson, Pepperell and Park but I don't think I will be setting the alarm clock early to get up and watch!
I have already had a good look at next week where we have the Volvo China Open from Binhai Lake (minimal interest probably) and the Wells Fargo from Quail Hollow is a top quality event.

APRIL 24th 20.43
I have struggled all week to find bets and then I came to the Web.com event and I've got bets coming out of my ears! There doesn't seem to be any hard and fast rules as to who can win at Kinderlou Forest although being the longest course on tour getting it out there will obviously be important - I have backed six players for various reasons although course form is pretty much key.
Andrew Loupe - a much touted young player who won the Stage 1 Q School here at Kinderlou in 2011. His 26th at the WNB Classic was pretty solid and he led the Driving Distance stat - something Kimbell did before winning the inaugural South Georgia Classic 0.25 ew 80/1
Kevn Foley returns to the venue where it all started for him last year. He Monday qualified to get in the field and finished 7th which qualified him for the next week when he was 7th again and got temporary tour membership. In the end he easily kept his card for this year and won the first event this season in Panama. He has gone off the boil since but a return to Kinderlou where he was also 2nd in the 2010 Q School event could reap dividends 0.25 ew 125/1
Corey Nagy was the player who beat Foley in 2010 here and was a promising talent when he won the Tarheel Tour money list in 2011 winning three events. Bouts of vertigo have curbed his career a little but he may well spring to life at a venue with good memories 0.1 ew 300/1
Adam Hadwin - the Canadian has had some strong finishes in his short career and was on the way to another in January at the Farmers Insurance on the main tour when 9th heading into the final round he had to pull out with a wrist injury. He showed his first signs of a return to form last time out and I will take a punt he will go well this week 0.2 ew 100/1
The last two are small bets - 0.1 ew 80/1 apiece because I don't really want to totally leave them out although their cases are not as strong as the top four.Will Mackenzie was 4th in his last start and 7th here last year whilst Nick Flanagan tied with Mackenzie in Texas.

APRIL 23rd 11.15
I had two players in mind for the Ballantines Championship but have only ended up tipping one as the withdrawal of the Johnsons tightened the market. To be honest I wish they were playing as it would have pushed prices out and they would both have been beatable in unfamiliar surroundings. The one that got away for Victor Dubuisson who at 40/1 would have been a bet, he has a stunning record in Asia but as yet hasn't actually won as a pro. He may well be inspired by fellow countryman Jacquelins' win but I just can't pull the trigger before the off - keep an eye out for a decent price in running though.
I will stick with the young Thai player who secured us a 50/1 win in Malaysia a few weeks ago Aphibarnrat as at least he has won on tour. That win was a culmination of a stunning run of consistent play 6/6/3/4 and since his win he has been 5th again. The one negative is that he missed the cut in Japan last week but I will give him the benefit of the doubt that that was just a small hiccup. He was a solid 15th here last year when recovering from injury and didn't stand much of a chance after an opening 76. I think the bookmakers going up early underestimated his chances 0.5 ew 40/1.
APRIL 23rd 09.55
The first thing I do when faced with an event with plenty of course form is to write down the names of the winners and see if any link jumps out at me. This week with the Zurich Classic I did just that and something was niggling me but I couldn't put my finger on it - then I read a course review - open, windswept with lots of bunkers including pot bunkers and the penny dropped - as a Pete Dye course it sounded very similar to his Whistling Straits design. Sure enough 2010 PGA Championship and there we have three past winners - Watson 2nd, Dufner 5th and we all remember Watney who took a three shot lead into the final round. It was at least a starting point to the week and made me have a very close look at the man who was tied 8th Camilo Villegas. The South American actually lost his tour card for this year as he fell out of love with the game a bit with some poor form in the last eighteen months. He is usually a good ball striker and a poor putter but even his ball striking went south but he is determined to get everything back together with a new work ethos. Over his last two starts this has started to pay dividends and largely down to a hot putter - his 16th at Bay Hill and tied 9th last week can be ascribed to being top ten in the putting stats for each week and that has been unheard of since he was in his prime at the end of 2008. He has made both cuts here and last years 18th was pretty good as he was in dire form at the time. He has had a few false dawns over the past few years but this week we could well see the old Villegas. Buoyed by International players getting the upper hand on the PGA tour and in a weak field he is a strong bet 0.75 ew 80/1 (66/1 fine)
I am sticking with the International player theme - KJ Choi came close to being a pick and a saver at 50/1 wouldn't go amiss but I rather fancy the chances of fiery South African Rory Sabbatini. He has slowly been finding his form as he often does at this time of year with recent figures of mc/30/27/9 and was 2nd for GIR last week at Harbour Town. He certainly knows how to play the TPC Louisiana course as he was 2nd on his debut here in 2009. As a six time winner on tour he often goes off a big price and growing up in Durban and living in Texas means he can certainly handle the wind 0.25 ew 80/1
As always best prices available here
APRIL 22nd 09.32
A great result in the London marathon with big tip Kebede seemingly coming from nowhere to beat Mutai close home. This was "slowly" followed by Jacquelin finally winning in a painfully long play-off in Spain to give us our second win on the European tour in recent weeks. Sadly the evening finished on a damp note as Toledo found water twice and had back to back double bogeys eventually finishing 7th and looking at Wilsons result well one round cost him a place. I have got my thoughts together for the Zurich and have a strong bet possibly lined up and it's now time to look at other tours - bets will be posted on Twitter as and when
APRIL 21st 09.04
It's Sunday already - the last seven days seem to have flown by and what a busy day we have. This morning I will be following the London Marathon closely, then we have Jacquelin in the Spanish Open. Whilst he is now a few shots back Marc Warren is not one to trust - remember the Scottish Open when we were on last year!! At Hilton Head Pat Perez could still grab a place whilst in Georgia Esteban Toledo takes a slender one shot lead into the final round. Lets hope after all that action our bank accounts are healthier!
Next week we have a full golf schedule again with the Zurich Classic headlining from New Orleans and the Ballantines Championship from South Korea.
APRIL 18th 11.27
To my mind we have two very different races this Sunday with a highly competitive mens race and a womens race that lacks a little strength in depth. Like last year I have done a tissue price for the top men and bet accordingly but I haven’t bothered with the women as I make Tiki Gelana such a short priced favourite. To be honest she should be 2/1 or shorter but I think it is madness backing an athlete at that sort of price in a marathon when so much can happen. There is one dark horse in the field in the shape of Messelech Melkamu and I have had a small bet each way @ 16/1. She has only run one marathon before last year in Frankfurt running 2.21.01 to win comfortably. That time was more than a minute faster than anyone has ever run Frankfurt and it is interesting to note that Kipsang holds the mens record over the course and he won London last year. The one thing that niggles me is that she DNF in the World Cross Country Champs four weeks ago and I can’t find out why, I know it was a late addition to her schedule as she wasn’t due to compete and was drafted in late - maybe she was saving herself for London?
I will go through the top men one by one in order of my tissue price

Wilson Kipsang 3/1 - last years tip and winner at around the 7/1 mark but I can’t pull the trigger at this years price. Since that win he started as favourite for the Olympics but could only manage 3rd and then won the Honolulu marathon in December. He really is a prolific winner and won the New York Half Marathon last month in a pretty average time, but it is not easy to defend and I will pass at the price.
Geoffrey Mutai 4/1 - the Kenyan actually holds the fastest ever marathon time but the Boston course is not actually ratified due to its overall downhill nature. That was in 2011 when he also won the New York marathon in a course record time. He pulled out of the 2012 Boston event as he struggled in the hot weather but later in the year won the Berlin marathon in the 4th fastest time ever. This year he broke 59 minutes in a half marathon for the first time ever in the RAK event but was only third. I can only bet if I think his price is too big and to be honest it seems about right.
Tsegaye Kebede 4/1 - is probably one of the most consistent marathon runners of the modern era and you know you will always get a good run from the diminutive Ethiopian. In the last five years he has run in twelve, finished them all, had five wins and eleven podium finishes. His record in London is 2nd 1st 5th and 3rd and I knew I wouldn’t get anywhere near the 20/1 I got last year as then he was coming off a 5th London and 3rd New York season. In his Fall marathon he showed he was as good as ever when breaking the course record in Chicago and running a personal best. With his record he will be a strong candidate for a podium finish and at 8/1 I make him a very strong each way bet.
Emmanuel Mutai 9/1 - the 2011 Champion but that remains the only big marathon he has won although it is rare to find him outside the top four or five. Last year he struggled in 7th in his defence but he had suffered a bout of typhoid in the run up - hardly the greatest build up. Although he has a quick race in him I think he will again find a few too good for him.
Patrick Makau 9/1 - the current world record holder when he won Berlin in 2011 but earlier that year he was only 3rd in London. He ran here last year but pulled out with injury and despite winning in Frankfurt in October he didn’t look comfortable and he chose an odd race in Hawaii last month for his warm up - I am just not convinced.
Stanley Biwott 10/1 - if there was to be a surprise package this year it could well come in the shape of this young Kenyan who celebrates his 27th birthday on raceday. He has improved in leaps and bounds the last two years culminating in winning Paris in the spring last year in a course record time. He raced mainly in the US after that and was undefeated and was very disappointed when New York was cancelled. He kicked off this year running his fastest ever half marathon in the RAK and 10th fastest of all time and finishing in 2nd one place ahead of Geoffrey Mutai. He is definitely capable of troubling those at the top and I have backed him each way at 20/1 and 16/1.
Ayele Abshero 16/1 - shot to prominence by making the fastest ever debut in a marathon in Dubai last year and was chosen for the Ethiopian Olympic team but failed to finish. To my mind the youngster lacks the experience to beat the best in the world.
Stephen Kiprotich 20/1 - the 100/1 surprise winner of the Olympic Gold but the young Ugandan will find conditions very different on Sunday. He will need to run at least three minutes faster than he has ever done before and I don’t think a second shock is on the cards.

To sum up then and give my bets a “scale”

Tsegaye Kebede 1 pt ew 8/1 1/5 3 (7/1 OK)
Stanley Biwott 0.3 ew 16/1 1/5 3 (14/1 OK)
Messelech Melkamu 0.25 ew 14/1 1/5 3 (12/1 OK)

APRIL 18th 11.45
Just a quick blog post - I have had just the one bet on the smaller tours this week and that is in the Champions Tour Greater Gwinnett Championship in the shape of Esteban Toledo. The Mexican vet has had to learn the courses he has been playing so far this year and has done quite well but this week he comes to BellSouth with a damn good idea how it plays having played it numerous times on the main tour and having a best finish of 3rd - 0.3 ew 801 but proofed at 66/1
My attention is now firmly concentrated on the London Marathon where I had great success last year with Kipsang 1st @ 7/1 and Kebede placed each way @ 20/1. Last year I did a newsletter on the Friday and I aim to do one this week but it may not be out til Saturday as I find it harder to get my bets on - if you want a copy send Newsletter to info@sportsbettingindex.com
APRIL 16th 16.49
In recent years it has been fairly easy to profile the winner of the RBC Heritage from the Harbour Town links - we are looking for a shorter, more accurate hitter who can handle the wind and who has been in good form lately. Every one of the last six winners had had at least two top tens that season apart from Furyk and he had already won a title. Whilst good course form helps it is not a prerequisite but form on similar coastal layouts and events such as the Sony in Hawaii, Mayakoba Classic or even Puerto Rico is certainly a help.
I have made a big play on Mark Wilson as I simply don't get how he can be a bigger price than many players who simply haven't ever won on tour especially when he has five titles to his name. He is a short accurate player who hasn't been putting that well this season but it all came together at Bay Hill last time. That week he finished 3rd and was 4th for DA, 2nd for GIR and didn't play badly on the greens. He is normally an early season player but has taken his time to come to hand but there is certainly no sense of panic on his website and he feels really confident going into this week. His course form is average but he has made the last five cuts and has usually been going off the boil in April rather than improving as he is this year. He says he loves coming to Harbour Town as it is one of his favourite courses on the rota and two of his wins have come at the similar Mayakoba and Sony Open. In my opinion he has an awful lot going for him this week and is huge value @ 80/1 - 0.8 ew.
I have been impressed with Brian Stuard in his second attempt on the main tour and he has been a model of consistency with a pair of top five finishes in Hawaii and Puerto Rico. He is not a big hitter but is pretty accurate so the course should in theory suit. He did play here back in 2010 and missed the cut but when you compare his results this year on courses he played badly back in 2010 then he is a massively improved player. His best result in 2010 was when 2nd at the Mayakoba Classic which confirms the theory of where his game is best suited and whilst he hasn't won a pro event yet there is plenty of value in the place part of the bet 0.3 ew 125/1.
I very nearly went for David Lynn and I admit to backing him win only on Betfair at a big price but the bookmaker prices really don't interest me so instead I have gone for Pat Perez. He has a pair of top tens this year in Hawaii and Tampa Bay and has been striking the ball particularly well the last couple of months. The last time he turned up at Hilton Head he was 6th in 2011 so can certainly play the course - 0.2 ew 100/1.
APRIL 16th 11.44
There must be hundreds of competition standard courses in Spain because every year we seem to be faced with one or two new ones to come to terms with. El Saler has been used for events before - the last one being the 2001 Spanish Open and also the Seve Trophy in 2003. I have used these as a guide and also looking at pictures of the course it reminds me a lot of Portuguese courses such as Oitavos Dunes or even the last two used for the Sicilian Open as it is near the coast and is linksy but also has an element of inland woodland involved.
Main pick is Raphael Jacquelin who was 8th in the Spanish Open and then went 4-1 in the Seve Trophy - he can clearly handle the track. He has a great long term record in Spain - his first European tour victory in 2005 was the Madrid Open and in the last three years when the tour has hit mainland Europe he has been 3rd, 4th and 5th in either the Andalucian Open or Spanish Open. He is a good wind player and his last win came in the Sicilian Open in March 2011 on a similar course. His form has been solid all year so at a venue that suits he is a solid pick - 0.5 ew 66/1
My only other selection is Alejandro Canizares and is purely a pick based on his form in his home country. Since turning pro he has played in 24 events on the main tour in his homeland and has four top three finishes - indeed twice he has been runner-up in his home Open. Those top finishes have often been from out of the blue and with the place part paying 25/1 he has to be worth a small investment 0.2 ew 100/1.
Other players I considered were Steve Webster, Julien Quesne and Mark Foster and a few quid each way on them wouldn't go amiss.
APRIL 15th 09.17
And pick yourself up, Dust yourself off, Start all over again.
No-one can say that last nights finish to the Masters wasn't excitng and even though I had big money riding on Cabrera it was fun to watch two players trying to win the title and definitely no-one lost it. We ended up with a nice big profit on the week due to one of the biggest bets of the year - just a shame that Snedeker dropped to 6th whilst in Texas Pampling was 7th one shot off a place.
Moving onto this week and it's a busy one - the RBC Heritage from Hilton Head and the Open de Espana from the El Saler course headline and we have a whole host of smaller events as well.
APRIL 13th 16.01
Now all the Tiger furore has "died down" lets see where we stand - basically pretty positive - we only lost Merrick at the cut and Hanson is too far back. We have Snedeker and Cabrera tied 4th, Lynn t7th and tied 1st for GB/Ire and Gonzo t13th and t4th for top Euro. As you have to be up with the pace at Augusta it is all pretty positive and we will see where moving day leaves us. The Betfair trades position is Gonzo +29,670, Lynn +13,200, Cabrera +5050, Field level and one of my biggest headaches will be keeping an eye on all bets as I have backed all my players without Woods as well - possibly a mute point!
Over in the WNB Classic Pampling is tied 3rd at the cut, Goggin tied 12th and mentions on Twitter Garnett and Nitties t3rd and t10th. All in all it's going to be an interesting day!
APRIL 12th 09.24
Well I can't really complain about how round one went with Lynn and Gonzo both tied 4th and obviously high up in their respective GB/Ire and European categories. Even Brandt Snedeker the early antepost bet scored better than the last few weeks although by all accounts didn't play that well. Mickelson and Woods were complaining that the course was playing too easy and I think over the next few days we could well see a very different looking leaderboard as conditions change. On the Betfair trading bets I did lay Gonzo £250 @ 65 as I had a really big position on him and to be frank his putting was poor - the position now is Gonzo +23,000, Lynn +13,200, Hanson +3430, Cabrera +6450, Merrick +38,400 Field level
APRIL 10th 20.43
I apologise for the lateness of the preview and the fact that I have posted it here below the Masters preview but to be honest most people will want to read the my Masters thoughts rather than the WNB Classic! The more astute of you will have realised that the four picks for this weeks Web.com event are all Australian and the reason is pretty straightforward as Australians have a great record in the event probably because many decide to base themselves in Texas as the breezy warm conditions remind them of home.
Matt Goggin has four wins at this level from 98 starts and boasts an 18% top five strike rate so anytime he is a decent price he is worth a look. He already has a runner up slot this year in Panama and will be fresher than some as he didn't travel to Brasil last week. He last played here in 2004 and 2005 finishing a solid 21st and 20th. Considering he was 16/1 or 20/1 at the beginning of the season then 50/1 means he is a must bet 0.4 ew.
Rod Pampling drops down to the Web.com tour for the fist time since 2001 as his game seems in a bit of a decline but he still did manage a 2nd in the Australian PGA in December. The veteran Australian is based just outside of Dallas and much of his best form has been shown in his adopted state over the years 0.2 ew 80/1
Aron Price seems to play the same events well - his 2008 win at this level at Wente Vineyards came the year after he lost in a playoff at that venue and he has been 2nd and 3rd here before so a return could kickstart his year 0.2 ew 75/1
Adam Crawford makes up my four Australians off the tee and to be honest is a bit of a left field pick but he can play as his 4th and 5th in the last two Autralian Masters testify 0.1 ew 250/1
As always a selection of prices is available here

APRIL 8th 17,52
I will start my preview by talking about a player I backed back in January - Brandt Snedeker and despite drifting out in price now I couldn’t back him at 40/1 but I wouldn’t want to get rid of my 66/1 bet just in case he can shake off the post injury poor form and return to how he was playing just a few months ago. I have backed five players over the course of the last week or so and they are all outsiders and if anyone tells you favourites always win at Augusta don’t you believe them. In recent years only Mickelson in 2010 has been a relatively short price, Bubba was around 50/1 last year and the other four winners in the last six years have been triple figure odds - not forgetting that plenty of big priced golfers have filled the frame.

Angel Cabrera knows what it takes to win round Augusta and I was somewhat reticent about putting him up due to his age - being the wrong side of 40 doesn’t fit statistics wise but his long term level of form here means he has had to go in the portfolio. The best market to back him in is the top ten one as in thirteen appearances he has five finishes inside the top ten and would have had another one last year but for a poor second round. I have followed him closely this season and he keeps cropping up near the top of the leaderboard during play and his stats are looking more solid than they have for some time. Given how he can comes alive at Augusta he is a strong bet for me and I have gone 0.4 ew 125/1 and 2 pts win top ten 10/1
Peter Hanson is now turning from a journeyman pro to a top level contender in all the top events. Last year he was 3rd here and 7th in the PGA Championship - a position he also filled in the US Open in 2011. He has also been 4th and 8th in the last two WGC events at Doral and rounded off last season with two wins in Holland and China - in the latter holding at bay McIlroy, Donald and Poulter. I think those wins show he has got over some of the nerves when leading here last year and he is being underestimated. He has shown some progressive form so far this season and would have finished in the top few last week had he not been blown away by the wind in round three 0.3 ew 80/1
Talking of journeymen pro then John Merrick crops up and having now got his maiden PGA tour win under his belt he could step up a gear and it could easily be this week at Augusta. He actually has a fine record in the small number of Majors he has competed in - in eight attempts he has a pair of 6th placed finishes and a 10th. His first attempt here resulted in a 6th which is very impressive for a debut so he clearly has an affinity with the place. His win at Riviera came on a course where Masters stalwarts Mickelson, Weir, Couples and Faldo all have a great record. He really could be a surprise package this year 0.2 ew 250/1 (6 places) + 0.6 top 10 20/1
Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano is not a name that will trip off the tongue of many tipsters but I just have a sneaky feeling that he will go well this week. He is still a young player in the mould of Johnson, Immelman or Shwartzel and can boast six European tour wins and a top five strike rate of 12% which shows a great level of consistency. He did make the cut on his debut here last year although he got progressively worse as the week went on but he was in poor form at the time. This season he is in much better form with a 3rd placed effort at Bay Hill being particularly noteworthy. One thing for certain is - it won’t just be his backers who will be sweating if he is contention on Sunday night - the trophy engraver will be too! 0.15 ew 225/1 6 places + 0.15 ew 50/1 top European
Last man on the team in a small way only is an Englishman who has been making a name for himself in the States of late - admittedly for his sense of humour at times just follow David Lynn on Twitter and all will become clear! He made his way onto the tour due to his come from behind second place finish at Kiawah Island in the PGA Championship and in all honesty he has acquitted himself well this season. His best finish is a 4th at the tough PGA National course and if he does take to the course he could easily grab a place in the limited field market I have concentrated on 0.05 ew 400/1 + 0.2 ew top GB & Ire 50/1

APRIL 7th 23.17
Sadly a blank on a quiet week after Richard S Johnson had a poor week and ended up in that horrible place - tied 6th. Next week we concentrate on the US Masters from Augusta National - our antepost tips are available here but no doubt we will be adding a few more during the week plus we have the WNB Classic on the Web.com tour to have a close look at.

APRIL 3Rd 20.49
After one event in the US the Web.com tour returns to South America for the Brasil Classic and it's a pretty poor field that travels south. The course was used ages ago on the European Tour for the Sao Paulo Open last played in 2001 and Carlos Franco won the Brazil Open later that year on the course. I was tempted by the ageing Paraguayan but at 40/1 I have to pass and have gone for someone who played the course with some success when it was on the European tour and also two locals who know the course inside out.
Richard S Johnson played here in 2000 and 2001 and finished a very respectable 11th and 2nd. The affable Swede has dropped down to the Web.com tour this season but has got progressively better going mc/mc/40/13 and in Louisiana he had back to back 64's so is clearly in good nick. On his day he is a class above a lot of these and with positive memories he should go well 0.4 ew 50/1
The course has played host to many different local events and in 2010 Ronaldo Francisco won the PGA Championship here beating Carlos Franco into 3rd. That wasn't the only time he has played well at Sao Paulo and warmed up with a 2nd last month and despite the huge jump in class he may surprise 0.05 ew 300/1.
The man that beat Francisco last month was Rafael Barcellos who is based out of Sao Paulo and he is one of the better local players so again a small play is in order 0.05 ew 300/1. If you can get on take a look at the first round leader market for the two Brazilians.

APRIL 2nd 14.29
After another profitable week last week with Mikko Ilonen finishing tied second at 80/1 it is easy to press things up a little but this weeks golf looks difficult and at the moment I have settled for just the two bets in the Valero Texas Open. Instead of being the week after the Masters this year it is the week before - quite what impact this will have is impossible to say until we finish on Sunday.
I had one players name written down in bold capitals for this and unusually his price is much higher than I expected. I thought Brendan Steele would be around 33-40 this week so was pleasantly surprised to get 66/1 on the opening show but even at 50/1 he is well worth a bet. Steele definitely seems like a "horses for courses" type of golfer to me. He has played here the last two years, securing his maiden title in 2011 and then putting in a solid defence when 4th last year. This isn't the only course he has excelled on as the last two visits to Scottsdale have yielded a 5th and 6th whilst two forays to play in the French Open have resulted in 7th place on each occasion. In the run-up to this event in the past two years he has been in poor form whereas this year he has been playing to a far more consistent level and at the price represents a solid investment for the Americans to continue their dominance on their home tour 0.6 ew.
The second pick isn't nearly as strong and is more based on price than anything. Charlie Beljan has now played in just thirty two PGA tour events since turning pro yet already has a 1st, 2nd and 3rd to his name which is a very impressive achievement when compared to all the young players quoted as being the next best thing since sliced bread! San Antonio is a tough long course but the length won't bother Beljan who is one of the longest hitters on tour. He did play last year but was blown away with an 83 on day one but the 69 on day two caught my eye being the joint seventh best score of the day - he is clearly able to play the course. With his strike rate on tour so far he is well worth an investment @ 175/1 0.2 ew or try and get 6 places @ 150/1
MARCH 31st 10.24
A quick update as to how things look for us this week - I guess the best chance of a return is 80/1 pick Mikko Ilonen - providing he doesn't have a repeat of the shocker he had yesterday. This course can rear up and bite you - witness Coles' quintuple bogey yesterday - he could have been an outsider for a place without that.
In the Shell Houston Open Stefani and Kohles proved to be poor picks but I may have hit on the right Easter Sunday angle. Baddeley can pray for a miracle but it won't help him but the two biggest stalwarts of religion on the PGA tour Cink and Crane are bang up there. Hopefully some of you follow my Tweets or my in running advice given on Tour Tips as I gave out Crane at 50/1 yesterday.
I also hope some of you managed to get on Angel Cabrera for the US Masters at 125/1 - he was or rather is my dark horse for the event despite him not fitting one of the ten rules for betting at the Masters which I gave out on Friday in the Do's and Don'ts Newsletter
MARCH 26th 16.25
For the past five seasons the Shell Houston Open has been the precursor to the Masters but this year drops back a week - whether it makes a difference to either this weeks likely champion or how players fare at Augusta only time will tell but Mickelson isn't happy as he likes to play the week before the Masters. Past history indicates that players with strong Texas connections have done well, Mahan and Kim both live in the state, Wagner was born there and from memory Scott lived thera at the time of his victory. Australians also have a good record in the event and the course (or at least the greens) have a definite Australian feel plus of course it will be breezy. One last factor to remmeber, and it's not as stupid as it sounds, and doesn't rule out most of the field but don't forget the final day is Easter Sunday. With all these things to consider I have three big priced outsiders and one play in the first round leader market.
Main bet of the week is Shawn Stefani and for the Houstonian this is basically his Major. Last year he Monday qualified and finished a respectable 37th whereas this year he got in via his 7th at the Tampa Bay Championship, he then pulled out of last weeks Web.com event to concentrate his efforts on this. He is a far better player twelve months on having won twice on the Web.com tour and I don't think he will be too phased playing at home - he did at least win the Texas State Open in 2011! One other point - judging from his Tweets he is a religious man so be prepared for the speaches! 0.4 ew 150/1 6 places
Talking of religion - Aaron Baddeley is probably one of the best known devout golfers and I still remember him winning at Harbour Town on.....Easter Sunday. He is a very difficult player to get right but has some great from on similar Australian courses and has a best of 4th here in 2011 and has numerous other low rounds. He hasn't had the best of starts to the season but was 6th at the Farmers Insurance and this three time winner can often resurrect a poor season 0.2 ew 125/1 6 places
My third outright pick is another young Texan Ben Kohles who won his first two starts on the Web.com tour - something no-one had achieved before. He therefore got his main tour card very easily but has taken a while to find his feet on the PGA tour this year. However a 7th at Tampa Bay and 14th last week show he is getting there mainly down to some excellent ballstriking. He should feel comfortable playing at home and could be a suprise package 0.2 ew 150/1
Last up is a small round one leader play on Australian Cameron Percy who also said the course reminds him of home when he finish tied for the lead on his only start here in 2010. Last weeks Tampa Bay dq doesn't put me off as the week before he was tied for the lead Thursday in Puerto Rico 0.1 ew 200/1

MARCH 26th 15.17
Well we finally got one to fall over the line in the shape of Aphibarnrat @ 50/1 in Malaysia so starting with the Hassan II Trophy lets see if we can add another. This is the fourth rendition of the event and the third at the immaculate Royal Palais course - there will be no gripes about the state of the course this week! Looking at the results basically we are looking for players who like links golf, breezy coastal courses (Hilversumche, East london etc) which are quite short but where trees are definitely in play and quite probably a liking for golf in Morocco as Hoey had won here on the Challenge tour previously at the El Jadida course.
Mikko Ilonen looks like a strong contender to me this week as the course plays to his strengths as he seems at home on linksy type courses. He is a former British amateur champion and twice has finished in the top ten at the Open. His form here reads 7th and 17th and he was 3rd at the course used in 2010. With a top ten already under his belt in Qatar and a nice warmup in Malaysia last week when 17th I really think he will be challenging come Sunday 0.4 ew 80/1
Robert Coles seems to love his golf in Morocco having won on the European Challenge tour at El Jadida back in 2008 and he had his best result of the year here last year when 3rd. Don't get me wrong but at the sharp end on Sunday he will be more nervous than most if he is up there so be prepared to lay back and lock in a profit! Since returning to the main tour in 2010 he has tried his best to lock up his card early - in 2010 he was 4th in March in Andalucia, 2011 saw him collapse on the 72nd in the Avantha Masters but he still finished 2nd and last year his 3rd here basically protected his playing rights. Despite his big price because of his poor form he is still worth a play 0.15 ew 200/1
Julien Quesne caught my eye this week because of his Challenge tour form in Morocco where he was 2nd and 3rd at El Jadida in 2008/9. His 37th here last year wasn't a bad effort especially when you consider it came the week after his maiden win on the European tour. His form wasn't great the rest of the year but he had a couple of nice finishes in 2013 with 5th in the Volvo Golf Champions in January and then was 9th in India a couple of weeks ago 0.25 ew 80/1
A comprehensive list of the best prices can be found on our Odds Comparison site here

MARCH 20th 14.59
The Web.com tour hits mainland US for the Louisiana Open and one thing I noticed form recent history is that players dropping down in grade from the main tour have a good record - especially if they have put in a decent finish on the main tour recently. The following players who made the top five were all dropping in grade.
2012 Riley t2nd
2011 Wetterich 1st, Paulson t4th
2010 No-one
2009 Vranesh 2nd, Borchert t3rd
2008 Coles 1st, Thompson 2nd, Letzig t3rd, Owen t3rd
2007 Kendall 1st, Lyle 3rd, Brigman t4th, Byrum t4th
Wetterich had posted a 13th at Mayakoba, Kendall a 9th at the same place and Coles 15th at Puerto Rico.
I instantly narrowed things down to around twenty players, Stefani would have been a big bet but he has withdrawn, and then settled for two who have a great recent finish and two bigger priced players who have a good histroy in the event.
DJ Trahan drops down to this level for the first time since his rookie season in 2004 and interestingly Le Triomphe was the scene of his first ever top ten. He was 8th recently in the Puerto Rico Open and I give him a great chance 0.5 ew 40/1.
Darron Stiles has been one of the most consistent players at this level for years and has always struggled a bit on the main tour. He was 13th in the Honda Classic the other week and with fifteen starts here he returned his best finish last season when 5th 0.25 ew 66/1
There must be something in the air in Louisiana for Tim Petrovic who won on the main tour in the state and was also 2nd here back in 2001. He has been in pretty poor form this year but did manage a 2nd in the Frys.com in October so his game hasn't totally deserted him. A return to a positive environment could just be what is required 0.2 ew 100/1.
Lastly from way out left field is Wes Short Jnr who is getting fit for a crack at the Champions Tour. His results on the main tour are poor this season on a medical extension but he has played really well here in the past - 4th in 2002 and 6th in 2003 including a course record 61 0.1 ew 200/1

MARCH 19th 22.20
On Sunday night we will probably be saying one of two things - either Tiger will never be as dominant as he once was and 3/1 was an awful price or - he's back and 3/1 was a steal. I am rather stuck on the fence and may well look to get him onside in running. With Woods being so dominant at Bay Hill it is rather difficult to see any other sort of pattern but I have gone for three players at big odds with hoepfully getting one placed but I have also backed all three to small stakes without Woods - just in case!
I will stick to Lucas Glover again this week as he started well last week but was undone by a poor second round. He hasn't played much at Bay Hill over the years but his three starts do look quite interesting under closer inspection. In 2006 he led at the cut before eventually finishing 17th, in 2008 he was 3rd after the opening round and in 2009 after a slow start he eventually finished 11th. With a record like that I am actually surprised he hasn't played it more often as I am sure he would have been invited.0.4 ew 125/1 + 0.1 ew without Woods 110/1 + 0.1 ew 100/1 Round one leader.
Kyle Stanley may seem like an unusual pick as he has played some very poor golf since his win in Phoenix a year ago but that anniversiary has now passed and in his only start since he defended he played much better in the Honda Classic leading the total driving stats. He played here twice as an amateur after winning the Southern Amateur in 2007 and 2009. He also played the US Open at Torrey Pines as an amateur and lost in a playoff there last year and also played as an amateur at Deere Run in 2009 and was 2nd to Stricker there in 2011. I guess you can see where I am heading with this - it seems he is worth backing on courses where he gained some experience as an amateur. He was 12th here in 2011 leading the all round stats on his only start as a pro and says he can't wait to tee it up this week 0.3 ew 200/1 + 0.1 ew without Woods 125/1
Brian Harman is last man in mainly due to his one start here last season when he was 15th and 3rd in the all round stats. What was really impressive about that start last year was that he opened with a 77 but then only Woods played the next three days better. He has started playing some good golf the last few weeks and he could be the surpirse package 0.25 ew 175/1 + 0.1 ew without Woods 125/1

MARCH 19th 21.06
We have two pretty short priced players in the Malaysian Open but I am happy to take both on as Donald has never won in this part of the world and Schwartzel hasn't managed to make the top five here in his two attempts. One thing we are bound to see is some players, even local ones, sometimes struggling in the high humidity so I have gone for a couple of young players to follow in the footsteps of Manasero and Noh.
Kiradech Aphibarnrat is still only 23 and the young Thai golfer is a huge talent who has one Asian tour win under his belt - two years ago this week in the SAIL Open. He is in fantastic form at the moment after finishing off 2012 with a pair of 6th placed finishes in Thailand he has kicked off this year with a 3rd in Myanmar and 4th last week in the Avantha Masters. Bookmakers also seem to have missed the fact that sandwiched in between those finishes he won the Open Qualifying event by four clear shots. I did find it odd that he didn't play in his homeland last week (in the Japanese/OneAsia event) but I have a feeling he is concentrating on these European co-sanctioned events to gain his card - hence the reason for playing in India last week. He came very close to winning here in 2010 when 3rd, his missed cut in 2011 came the event after his maiden win and he had to withdraw last year with a wrist injury so his course form definitely stacks up. His form overall in Malaysia is also top quality as he has also been 2nd in the Selangor Masters, twice 5th in the Johor Open and 21st and 20th in the PGA co-sanctioned Asia Pacific Classic - altogether I make him a strong pick 0.4 ew 50/1.
My other youngster is Asian based American Jonathan Moore who seems really at home in Malaysia. In 2011 he played the Asian Development Tour winning the order of merit because he was never outside the top five in five starts winning once in Malaysia and was 4th in the event held on this course. Now I have to admit that tour is very week but it was a good start for the young pro. He was 2nd twice last year firstly in Macau and then impressively in the Johor Open he matched the 61 shot by Garcia in the final round. He didn't play that badly in South Africa and India but I think he will be more in his comfort zone back in Malaysia 0.2 ew 200/1.
MARCH 18th 10.20
The luck from Cheltenham failed to rub off on the golfers with English finishing tied 7th (at least the top ten bet copped!) and Toledo 6th - both one shot shy - it is beginning to get almost "fictitious"! On the Boo front well we had a severe case of "premature tipulation" after going big last week - hopefully some of you got on at Betfair at big prices after I tweeted he was 600 last Sunday as he hit nearly as low as Evens in running.
Onto this week and we have the Arnold Palmer Invitational from Bay Hill or the Tiger Woods Benefit as it should be called whilst the European tour travels further East for the Malaysian Open. I will also be taking a close look at the Louisiana Open as the Web.com tour hits the mainland for the first time.
MARCH 16th 10.20
Let's see how we got on at Cheltenham - well we made a nice profit but left it rather late!!
Supreme Novices Cheltenian 1 pt ew 33/1 Lost -2
JLT Handicap Chase White Star Line 1 pt ew 16/1 1/4 5 3RD +3
Byrne Group Plate Divers 2 pts ew 20/1 Lost -4
Fulke Walwyn Alfie Sherrin 2 pts ew 10/1 4TH +3
Grand Annual Alderwood 2 pts win WON +14
So we staked 14 points and made 14 points profit - not a bad ROI although all my winning bets were with Bet365 so thats that account scuppered (although the strange goings on at Wolverhampton yesterday may not have helped!)
Looking at this weeks golf - Lahiri is now too far back in India but it was only a small bet and Stallings played awfully. Glover got off to a good start but faded yesterday but 150/1 pick Harris English is up there fighting away. Toledo has also made a pleasing start and sits tied 7th whilst those who got on in the Mexico Open have 200/1 pick Gonzalez tied 4th and Vazquez 15th - so all to play for over the weekend
MARCH 13th 12.15
Nothing really ties together the past winners here at the Copperhead course Innisbrook for the Tampa Bay Championship although past good course form would appear to be important. Four past winners Singh, Huston, Furyk and Choi have also won the Sony Open, whilst O'Hair and Pettersson have both been runners up there - the only reason I can find for sure is that both courses have small bermuda greens. The course is a tough one and US Open winners tend to thrive and it is not a typical Floridian course with lots of elevation changes - in fact it is said to be more akin to Carolina courses.
Staying with the theme of hidden course form from the Avantha Masters I have selected Harris English. In 2011 he won the Southern Amateur here and last year won the pro-am on the Monday. Sadly in the event itself he got off to a very poor start and missed the cut - maybe expectations were too high or maybe he suffered a reaction to having played in the final round with Rory at the Honda Classic a couple of weeks before when his 77 saw him tumble down the leaderboard. I am willing to give him a second chance this year as he had two top tens in Carolina last year and his only decent result this year is a 9th at the Sony - it seems he needs Bermuda greens to play well 0.2 ew 150/1 + 0.2 top 10 14/1
Lucas Glover lost most of last season due to injury but is now beginning to show his true form and it is on the East coast where the Carolina native usually shows his best form. he has a great record in Florida and the Carolinas including a 4th here and was 4th last time out in the Honda Classic. He can certainly cope with elevation changes as the course with perhaps the most obvious ones is Bethpage Black where he won his US Open title 0.4 ew 110/1
Finally I will give Scott Stallings another chance to redeem himself! In 2011 he got a sponsors invite to play here and made the most of it even scoring his first competition hole in one on the way to finishing 3rd. He says that set him up for the year and he duly won his first title later that year. Ignore last years missed cut as he was injured but he came back later in 2012 and won for the second time. He definitely has a problem over the final few holes closing the deal so be prepared to lay some back at short prices. He came back at the Honda Classic after a month off spending time with his newborn first son and after a shaky first round had three really solid ones. Last week two of his best friends Brown and Kisner both won and maybe that will push him towards his third PGA tour title 0.4 ew 110/1
MARCH 13th 09.46
Most of the overseas players will not be familiar with the Jaypee Greens course unless they played it in 2008 in the SAIL Open but it will be very familiar to lots of home players as it has been host to the BILT Open on and off for many years and I have just gone with that for my three picks.
Anirban Lahiri has a great record in that event finishing 2nd behind Randhawa in 2008, winning in 2009 and then shooting a course record 60 on round two but letting a five shot lead slip in the final round to finish 2nd in 2011. He defended his SAIL Open title last week in Delhi so is clealry in good form but at the price available I will keep the bet on the small side 0.25 ew 30/1.
The man that beat Lahiri in 2011 was Chiragh Kumar and he is my second pick. All his best form is shown at home in India - 2nd in the Indian Open in 2011 and 8th in that event four months ago and he also has two other wins on his home tour. He has played twice this year and got off to quick starts being in the top five (admittedly one was a small home event) and I wouldn't be surprised to see him show up early 0.1 ew 400/1 + 0.1 ew Rd 1 leader 150/1
Last bet and for round one leader only is Vikrant Chopra and this really is from left field as his form generally is very poor BUT in the last two BILT Opens he has held the outright lead after day one so with familiar surroundings - stranger things have happened! 0.1 ew 300/1
Just a quick word on the tip I put up this morning for the Champions Tour Esteban Toledo Toshiba Classic 0.15 ew 125/1. I have been keeping an eye on Toledo thinking he may win an event since he turned 50 and this week may be his chance. It is basically a home game for him in Newport Beach where he met his wife and has spent a lot of time. Things might be a bit difficult this week as I think he lost one of his brothers last week (can't confirm it) and things like that can often spark off an amazing week. Back later with Tampa Bay.
MARCH 10th 11.28
Today has the potential of being very good or frustratingly bad! In Puerto Rico big bet Boo Weekley has at least given himself a chance of a place but needs quite a bad day from both leaders to get the win. In Chile Aguilar really does need to play the front nine better than he has the done the last two days but is certainly not out of it, annoyingly compatriot Alvarado is joint leader but as I said couldn';t really back him at the odds available. For those following on Twitter I bet Michael Thompson in the WGC Cadillac in running and he still has a good chance of a place.
I have done a lot of work already on the main two events next week - the Tampa Bay Championship from Innisbrook and the Avantha Masters from the Jaypee Greens course in India. By getting a lot of work out of the way now it will leave me to enjoy the Cheltenham Festival (hopefully!) - my tips can be found here
MARCH 6th 21.56
Almost forgot to do a quick preview of the Chile Classic been tied up doing a Cheltenham Festival Newsletter which will go out Friday - if you aren't on the list then email Newsletter to info@sportsbettingindex.com
People have sometimes accused me of not backing favourites and the basic reason is I rarely find value in their prices but the last time I backed one was Poulter and he won so lets see if I can keep the strike rate going with Felipe Aguilar this week. The Chile Classic really is quite a poor event with a number of Web.com players managing to get into the Puerto Rico Open this week. Aguilar played here last year and missed the cut which basically explains his inflated price this week but on closer inspection (if my Spanish translation is right!) he was injured last year. He has been in exceptional form this year going 9/3/3 in the Desert swing and Joburg Open in far better fields and events he has never played well before. He warmed up at home in Chile last week in a small event finishing 3rd but his goal is winning here, getting full Web.com status and long term making it onto the PGA tour which is his only route to the big tour. Being the best player in the world from South America he rarely goes home to play these days but he has twice won his home open and even at the short price this week he is worth a bet 0.4 ew 22/1
MARCH 5th 16.46
This will be the sixth rendition of the Puerto Rico Open and was one of the events that has made me concentrate this year on profiling events and their winners especially on the PGA tour. Last year I picked out George McNeill @ 55/1 having noticed that all four winners before him had very strong ties to Florida and all winners have stated that the course is very typical of Florida resort courses. All four winners (Bradley has won it twice) have met at least two of the criteria of having been born in Florida, attended college there or presently live there. I found out after the event last year that George McNeill had actually bought past winner Derek Lamelys' house - sadly I haven't been able to ascertain if he has sold it on! Taking this on board I came up with a short list of ten and have whittled that down to three including the biggest bet I have had so far this year.
Boo Weekley is Floridian through and through and also has a good course record a bit like George McNeill last year he was top five in his previous visit. That third place finish last year came on the back of some very poor form yet this year he has actually been playing quite well. He rounded off last year with a 5th in Florida which secured his card and has made his last four cuts and was third at the half way stage last week before struggling in the cold windy conditions over the weekend. All of his best finishes have come on coastal courses including his two wins at Harbour Town so I am expecting a big week 1 point ew 50/1
Matt Every like McNeill was born, educated and lives in Florida and whilst he has yet to win on the main tour he did have four top six finishes last season. One of these was in Florida (ahead of Weekley) and then he was 6th in Hawaii and 3rd in the Mayakoba, throw in an 8th at Harbour Town and it is obvious where he plays his best golf. He does have a top ten to his name this season in the much stronger Phoenix Open so is worth a punt in this weeks weaker field 0.3 ew 66/1
Last man in is Erik Compton who was born and lives in Florida and who had his best ever PGA tour finish when tied for fourth in his home state last week surrounded by some of the best players in the world. I expected his odds to be slashed this week but they have held up remarkably well. This could be down to some indifferent course form although he has more experience of this PGA tour stop than any other and has improved in each of his four starts going mc/61/55/42 and it is interesting that he was also progressive at last weeks venue 44/26/4. He seems to be at home in this neck of the woods having had a couple of wins in Mexico in his career and with a good start to the season he could add to that tally this week 0.4 ew 66/1
MARCH 5th 14.08
Just a quick post about an interesting little bet - well interesting if you can get on - on the Sail SBI Open on the Asian tour. Sadly it looks like Victor Chandler will not be pricing up and they would be the only ones offering the first round leader market but some of the Aussie books do. Sportingbet.com.au are win only but Ozbet.com.au do each way and there maybe others. Anyway the guy of interest is Anirban Lahiri and in the last five times he has played the Delhi golf course he has held the outright lead after round one no less than four times - and not just tied - he has actually led. At odds of 22/1 he has to be worth a bet but as I said you will need those Australian betting accounts - good luck!
MARCH 4th 16.04
From a betting perspective the WGC Cadillac holds little interest to me really as all the players have exposed form and prices are all pretty much of a muchness. At the top end of the market I do think Mickelson is slightly overpriced if he drifts out again to 30 on betfair. He is clearly at his best early season, already has a win under his belt and won here before. When looking at past results every year there seems to be an unheralded European player who doesn't win as often as he should who makes the frame at a big price. Players like Francesco Molinari, Anders Hansen and dare I say it Oliver Wilson. This week I could easily see David Lynn continuing the trend especially as in six strokeplay events in the States he has a 2nd in the PGA Championship and a tied 4th last week. Both of those events were on the East coast so maybe he will be happier there. No-one played better than him over the weekend at the PGA National - in fact he was two shots better than anyone else. At 140/1 (well 150/1 Stan James) then the place part especially makes a lot of appeal 0.2 ew. Best prices available here
I will no doubt be sitting around for a while now playing the waiting game for prices for puerto Rico.
MARCH 4th 09.16
David Lynn did as I thought he might do yesterday and managed a tie for 4th as those around him floundered coming home - a shame it was a tie with quite a few but still a nice profit. This week we have the WGC Cadillac Championship from Doral which looks tricky and the Puerto Rico Open which I have been looking forward to for a while.
I mentioned yesterday the special offer for FBI - well we had another winner yesterday and have a decent bet lined up for midweek. The offer is £100 til the end of the season - for details on payment and joining simply email info@footballbettingindex.com - todays bet goes out @ 1pm
MARCH 3rd 10.46
Well I have made a bit of a pigs ear of the tips this week although time will tell eventually - I stuck to my guns and didn't put Tullo up as a bet in South Africa. In the Web.com tour I moved away from my criteria of betting tour vets and put up two players returning from injury and both "bounced".
In the Honda Classic the results have been poor - only Woodland made the weekend and he struggled yesterday. I saved my self by backing Weekley @ 800 on Betfair on Wednesday night which I tweeted and traded out to save my week - but it doesn't make the stats look any better. I put up Klauk yesterday as one to follow and today have added some on David Lynn. The Englishman has played well the last two days posting a pair of 68's and currently leads the GIR stats for the week. The forecast is due to be cold and windy and as Lynn is best coming from off the pace (2nd last years PGA Championship) he could easily post around -4 and that could be good enough for a place - currently 200/1 Spreadex He is also a big price on Betfair for top 5/10.
I will be back later with a special FBI offer which is going great guns at the moment
FEBRuary 27th 10.38
We have two and a half renditions of the Colombia Championship to try and build a picture of likely winners as the second edition won by Brendan Pappas was reduced ro 36 holes. If these results are anything to go by then it screams out old timer - last years winner Skip Kendall was 48 and Triplett made the frame at 50, Pappas himself was 40 whilst the year before winner Steve Pate was 48 and 6th placed John Riegger was hardly a spring chicken at 48! There are quite a few players who fall into that category this week and I have gone for two - if you wanted to cover more then look at Dunlap, Mattiace, Day, Riegger and Dawson. I have also gone for two players who returned from long term injury problems last week and are overpriced on what they have achieved on this tour in the past when fully fit.
Joe Durant is now 49 and will probably earn himself a few quid when he joins the Cthampions Tour but I don't think he is done at this level yet, after all it was only nine months ago that he was 3rd in the Byron Nelson on the main tour. His game is based on accuracy which should be well suited here - the other week at Pebble Beach he missed just one fairway in 54 holes. The problem he has is actually getting the little white ball in the hole but he must have been doing something right for two rounds last week as in round two he shot the joint lowest score of the day and in round four the lowest. At 66/1 he is overpriced 0.4 ew
Todd Hamilton is also getting on in years now at 48 and after travelling the globe on the back of his Open win made his first Web.com start last week finishing a respectable 21st. His best finish of last year was when 8th in the Reno-Tahoe Open which is interesting as it is played at altitude - something he will need to get to grips with this week in Bogota. Ironically this week the PGA tour is playing the Honda Classic the scene of Hamiltons' only PGA tour win to date - maybe that will inspire him! 0.2 ew 125/1 Price still available Sportingbet.com.au
Before last week Chris Tidland had been sidelined after shoulder surgery since October 2011 so to finish tied 13th with three rounds under par was pretty impressive. He has two wins at this level and an overall strike rate of 7.5% top 5 and 15% top 10 so is a regular contender on this tour - worth a chance he will be trying to make up for lost time now he has just turned 40 - 0.25 ew 90/1 (80/1 OK)
The othe player returning from a hand/wrist problem is Joe Affrunti who returned a few weeks back on the NGA tour having not played since April 2011. In that first start he let a big lead slide in the final round before winning a playoff and then last week was 39th in Panama - that's no mean feat after two years out. In 2010 his only full season on tour he was second twice and third in the Tour Championship to gain his full PGA card which was sadly cut short. He is on a major Medical extension for the main tour but is using these events as warm ups - with his talent I wouldn't be surprised to see him win soon 0.2 ew 100/1
FEBRuary 26th 15.04
This week we have another co-sanctioned event between the European and Sunshine Tours and to be honest I have struggled to build up much enthusiasm for it as it's another new venue. Looking at players in good form then Tullo should go well this week at 66/1 but I am not sure a course where bombers should go well is that suited to his game. The Copperleaf course has hosted the Tour Championship for the Big Easy Tour for the past two years although one must remember this is like the Challenge Tour for the European Tour - only much worse! However it does give us a couple of pointers towards some small bets and first up is last years champion Mark Williams. He is in very poor form but he did spring to life in November in the Cape Town Open leading after all rounds before losing in a playoff. If the familiar surroundings spark off his game he could get off to a fast start 0.05 ew 200/1 Round 1 leader.
Dean Burmester finished second two years ago when an ugly triple bogey in round three cost him not only the title but the Big Easy money list as well. He is clearly well suited to the course as that week he also won the pro-am by three shots shooting a 62. He has also played other pro-ams at the event as recently as October and his big hitting style should be well suited. He is still a young player and had his best ever performance in last weeks Dimension Data when tied for third - 0.1 ew 125/1 + 0.05 ew Round 1 Leader 100/1
FEBRuary 25th 21.31
A top class field turns up at the PGA National this week for the Honda Classic in Florida and sandwiched between two WGC events it comes as no shock that the field is good. This weeks favourites are Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods but both are opposable on current form but trying to identify a trend between past winners has been quite tricky. There is no strong link between past winners although the last five have been international players and the field was a lot weaker when Wilson took the first title played at this course but I have gone for two Americans out of my three selections. I have noticed there is a strong link between players who do well on another Nicklaus signature course Muirfield Village although strictly speaking this is a Nicklaus redesign he has certainly put his stamp on it.
Sang Moon Bae is the international player I have put up this week and he seeks to become the second Korean winner after YE Yang. He is a huge talent and in his rookie season last year managed a 2nd place at the Transitions event just down the road. The year before that he won three times in Japan including on the tough Miyoshi course which interestingly past winners of this Yang and Villegas had also won. When you add in two wins at Woo Jeong Hills where Yang was also victorious and you can see he is a multiple winner waiting to win his first PGA tour event. He has made all five cuts so far this year and his last start at the tough Riviera course really caught the eye. He shot opening rounds of 68,65 to tie the lead at the cut but he played poorly in round three with a 76 before bouncing back with a 67 to finish 8th. If he can play all four rounds the same as the three he played in the Northern Trust Open he should go close this week 0.25 ew 125/1 
Looking back at past winners here at PGA National there is quite a distinctive correlation with players who have done well in the Memorial at Muirfield Village. Els has won at both venues, Rory has been 5th and 10th Muirfield, Sabbatini was 2nd the year after he won this event, and even Mark Wilson has been 3rd and 7th at Muirfield. All these statistics led me to look closely at Gary Woodland who was 6th at both venues on his only starts at them in 2011. The week after being 6th here he won his first and to date only PGA tour win in the State of Florida. He has struggled with injury and the inevitable swing changes golfers turn to when they first win on tour. There have been definite positive signs in his form this season that he is back to his best and at three figures he is well worth siding with this week 0.5 ew 100/1
Last but not least I really like the chances of local Floridian Ted Potter Jnr this week. He was a prolific winner on the NGA Hooters tour and then won twice on the Web.com tour in 2011 before winning last year on the main tour in his rookie season. It is well documented that he missed every cut on the Web.com tour back in 2004 but he has shown his steely determination and is now a proven winner at all levels. His form this year is particularly noteworthy on the West Coast when compared to last year when he went 54/mc/70/mc/mc - this year he has gone 24/16/10 - a massive improvement. After that awful start last year he came to this event and finished 30th but what most people will have missed was his second round score of 64 which at the time tied the course record until beaten later that day by Harman!. In solid form, returning home to a familiar course he can certainly play then at 150/1 he has to go in the book 0.3 ew
FEBRuary 25th 09.55
It certainly was an interesting weekend - probably for all the wrong reasons but we ended up in profit. You will probably know by now that our young Thai golfer had a two shot lead going up the 18th and managed to make an eight having hit the greenside bunker in two but finding an unplayable lie - and the rest shall we say is history. I could get upset about the money but to be honest i really hope it doesn't hinder her career too much because she is clearly one helluva player! Over in Panama Thatcher managed to tie for the lead but promptly fell apart on the difficult back nine dropping four shots but still managing a 4th place.
Onto this week and we have the Honda Classic from the PGA National featuring a world class field, a very difficult looking Tshwane Open from South Africa and an intriguing Web.com event from Colombia.
FEBRuary 23rd 10.40
An interesting weekend ahead - in Thailand Ariya Jutanugarn heads into the final round with a three shot lead. She has just completed her final ten holes with not a single par on her card as she had a double bogey, three bogeys (including sadly her last two holes) but six birdies! Still a long way to go but we have to remember she is only eighteen!
In the WGC our one selection Martin Kaymer has safley negotiated the first two rounds whilst most of the favourites are already packed and gone - however he does face a very tough opponent in Hunter Mahan in the third round. On the Web.com tour the Panama Championship looks wide open and although three of our selections have missed the cut the other two Coles and Thatcher are both tied for 4th. All in all things are lookin positive for a good week.
FEBRuary 20th 12.28
It's the first event of the Web.com tour this week and we travel to Panama for the 10th edition and the first thing I have to say is it is great to see so many bookmakers having prices and after a bit of badgering Betfair as well!
Over the past few seasons a definite pattern has emerged as to what type of player wins and basically it is an older experienced pro who has travelled the globe with wins often in far flung places. This sort of makes sense as it's a tough course where patience is needed, not overly long with small greens and a climate alien to a lot of the young Americans. Also there does appear to be a trend favouring players who have been playing on the main tour and are dropping down in grade.
Last year Edward Loar bucked the trend in age slightly at 33 but he had been a pro for twelve years and won in South Korea and Thailand and even been runner-up in the Alfred Dunhill Links at St Andrews. He had already played four events on the PGA tour prior to his victory. Matt Goggin was a well travelled 37 year old with wins in Australia, Italy and the Netherlands making his first start back down in this grade after an unsuccessful year on the main tour. Fran Quinn was a 45 year old veteran who had played three events already that season and could boast wins in China and Thailand earlier in his career. I can't find any overseas wins for Veazey but he won it for the second time aged 45 (first time 40). Scott Dunlap was 45 and he had won in Peru and South Africa. Going back further Carbello had a win in Guatemala and even Isenhouer had won the Trinidad Open! The problem has been narrowing down selections as past course form is not really a requirement - in the end I have spread the bets around five players but have left out Chopra, Slocum, Canete, Bertsch, Cejka, Micheel, Hamilton and Lonard!
Arjun Atwal is pick number one having picked up wins all over the world the 39 year old has also played here once before finishing 2nd in 2008. He blew the cobwebs away at Pebble Beach but will feel more comfortable in the heat in Panama - it's due to be in the high thirties so he might even take his sweater off! His last win at this level came at Black Creek in an event Carbello had also won 0.4 ew 80/1 (66/1 OK)
Gavin Coles is now 44 and returns to the tour where most of his success has been - he has always struggled a bit at the higher level. He can boast wins in Australia and New Zealand as well as the States in a long career. He also has a best of 6th here the last time he played so should have some pretty good memories 0.2 ew 80/1
Roland Thatcher (35) unbeknown to most actually won his first ever pro start on the TLA tour in Mexico back in 2002. He also has three wins from 108 starts on this tour so clearly feels more comfortable at this level. He drops back in grade this year having failed to keep his card despite a best finish of 4th at the Travelers Championship 0.2 ew 100/1
Jeff Klauk has already played four times on the PGA with a best finish of 16th at the Phoenix Open. He got those starts on a medical extension after his return from brain surgery last year. Whilst he cannot claim any international victories he has been 2nd and 9th here before and years ago was 4th and 12th in the Panama Open 0.3 ew 50/1
Swede Richard S Johnson definitely falls into the category of well travelled golfer and has won at home, Switzerland, Australia and the USA. He has played here once before when a very respectable 11th back in 2005. Well worth a bet at the price 0.2 ew 125/1
FEBRuary 19th 14.24
This weeks LPGA event from Thailand looks like a tough heat with a good quality field but I think the books have seriously underestimated the chances of the two Jutanugarn Thai sisters. Moriya is the eldest of the two at eighteen and turned pro last year and was joint winner of the LPGA Q School. Ariya at just seventeen turned pro in December and not to be outdone won the Ladies European Q School. Both have started off the season in good form - Ariya was 2nd in the Australian Ladies Masters, and Moriya was 4th at the weekend in the stronger Australian Open. With these results already in the bag they turn up this week playing at home on the Siam course where they already have a huge amount of competition experience - having both played since their early teens and never having missed a cut between them - Ariya has the best finish when 8th in 2011. Whilst a win is a tall order I really do think one or even both could reach the places.
Ariya Jutanugarn 0.3 ew 80/1
Moriya Jutanugarn 0.2 ew 125/1 (100/1 OK)

FEBRuary 18th 14.11
The first thing to say about this weeks WGC World Matchplay is - expect surprises - at this level any top golfer can beat any other top golfer on any given day, however the man lifting the trophy come Sunday will probably be anything but a surprise. When looking at the last four winners they all have a massive amount of experience in this event. Mahan had played it four times before, Donald six, Poulter six and Ogilvy three. Even looking at those that lost in the final we have a similar pattern, Rory three, Kaymer three, Casey seven and six. This does make a lot of sense as it takes a certain type of player to thrive at match play and get through six matches and the more experience the better. The age of winners tends to fall in the bracket of late twenties to early thirties - older players tend to struggle to get through a long week and younger players lack that vital experience. You are also looking for players who have played either on the Ryder Cup or Presidents Cup and who are or go on to be Major winners or winners of other WGC events. With all these facts in mind it will therefore come as no surprise that the winner is likely to be a household name.
The one player that ticks all the boxes for me is Martin Kaymer - still only 28 and already a Major winner and a WGC event champion. He already has five appearances in the World Matchplay with a best of 2nd in 2011 losing to Donald in the final. His unflappable nature is ideal in my opinion for this format and he appeared to love the last two Ryder Cups and will relish the return to the match play format. His missed cut in Phoenix last time out doesn’t worry me as he shot four shots better than his previous appearance there and he started off the year with a pair of top tens on the Desert Swing. The last statement there is also important - Kaymer thrives playing in the desert conditions he will get this week as three wins in Abu Dhabi testifies.
You could go through the draw a thousand times and find issues with every player but I don’t think Kaymer has a better or worse draw than any other player and at 40/1 is worth an investment - 0.4 points each way.

FEBRuary 17th 10.37
Nothing doing this week - got an outside chance with Josh Teater for those who follow me on Twitter on Tour Tips but overall a poor week. Next week we have the WGC Matchplay taking all the headlines and I actually have a strong opinion on one player despite my dislike of the format. I will aslo be taking a look at two other events - my favourite tour the Web.com restarts with t trip to Panama whilst a strong field lines up in South Africa for the Dimension Data pro-am.
FEBRuary 13th 16.54
Time for some brief words on the three picks in this weeks minor events.
Womens Australian Open - Caroline Hedwall 0.3 ew 40/1. Already turning into a prolific winner on the LET and a couple of bookmakers seem to have missed the fact that she has already won twice in Australia this year and played this course in 2011 finishing 4th, 25/1 seems to be nearer the correct price.
Queensland PGA - Viraat Badhwar 0.1 ew 66/1 I must admit I really wanted to get on Cameron Smith the amateur to go well in his home state as he has been 11th and 4th here the last two years but even at 25/1 I can't quite pull the trigger. Smith is 29th in the World Amateur rankings at the moment but Viraat Badhwar is well ahead of him in 12th. With amateurs playing so well in the smaller Australian tour events over the last few months it seems wise to take a small risk.
Kenya Open - Andrea Pavan 0.5 ew 45/1 The Kenya Open returns to the Karen course where it was last played in 2008 but to be honest both it and the Muthaiga course are quite similar. What I noticed is also similar is that a lot of the winners of this event were or indeed became multiple winners at this level so they all had a bit of class about them. The other thing that struck me was that a lot of them had excellent Italian form
2012 winner Seve Benson won in Torino
2010 winner Dinwiddie has an 8th in the Italian Open
2009 winner Gary Boyd has an 2nd and 5th in the Italian Open
2007 winner Ed Molinari is Italian and won twice in his homeland
2005 winner Daniel Vancsik won the Italian Open
This helped narrow things down to "prolific" winners at this level who have some good form in Italy - I guess I took it one stage further and plumped for an Italian! Pavan had a tough time on the main tour last year although funnily enough his best finish was 7th at Leopard Creek the course I think is similar to Royal Park Roveri. The year before last on this tour he played in eighteen events winning two and finishing 2nd in another - one of those wins was in Italy. When I read this quote from him my suspicions were confirmed

“It’s nice here at Karen - similar to Muthaiga, where I played two years ago. The greens are a bit firmer but there are some tricky holes and you have to hit it straight so it’s a good course. It reminds me of a few courses in Italy because it is tree-lined and the greens are quite small so it’s like an old-style course.
He played quite well in India a few weeks back apart from one poor round and really should be amongst the favourites this week

FEBRuary 13th 10.59
The one key fact that was staring me in the face this week when looking at past winners at Riviera was the importance of good recent form but it was possible to pin it down even more precisely. Seven of the last nine winners (when 72 holes played) had finished in the top six at either Pebble Beach or Torrey Pines. The only two who hadn't were Mickelson in 2009 (although he came here as defending champion) and Stricker who didn't play either of those events that year. Stricker had been 3rd at the Sony and actually Sabbatini and Howell had both been runners up at that event. Course form is quite important as there have been many multiple winners of the event and an awful lot of players 1st and 2nd but players with average form also can perform well. Driving distance and accuracy are not really relevant but the ability to putt and particularly scramble are important. These things have led me to the first three picks whilst the final one has a bit of the old hidden course form!
Aaron Baddeley is a pick for the second week in a row and qualifies under a few criteria - obviously he has won this event before in 2011 and he was also 6th at Torrey Pines a few weeks ago. Were it not for a poor final round he could have actually followed Mickelson and Weir and won back to back titles last year - instead he finished 11th. Interestingly a few years ago he did something similar at Harbour Town - finishing 1st then 10th then nearly winning the following year just coming up shy in 2nd 0.6 ew 40/1
Chris Kirk is in great form and has already been 5th at the Sony Open and 2nd last week at Pebble Beach. Previously he had a pair of missed cuts next to his name for the AT&T much the same as he has for this weeks event. I didn't let bad course form put me off Stallings earlier this year and won't let it put me off Kirk this week especailly as he leads the scrambling stats on the PGA tour this season 0.4 ew 60/1
Russell Henley is a bit like Stricker in that he didn't play either Pebble or Torrey but of course did win at the Sony. He is a massive talent and hasn't played that poorly on his last two starts, having backed him at 66/1 last time out then getting three figures is worth having a stab at 0.25 ew 110/1
Patrick Cantlay is the one from left field for the week although he nearly qualified on the top six rule just missing out when 9th last week and that was all down to a snowman at the notorious 14th on Saturday. He played here last year on a sponsors invite and was very disappointed in his opening round that led to him missing the cut as he has played the course many times before. The last time he played was in the NCAA finals last year when he was tied 4th shooting a best of the week 66 in the final round 0.2 ew 150/1

FEBRuary 12th 15.10
Even by European Tour standards this weeks Africa Open is a poor event but still someone has to win it. With Richard Sterne withdrawing you would have thought it would make things easier but to be honest it hasn't. Early doors I had a few quid on Lee Slattery at 80/1 each way as the price looked big but as for finding that magic secret ingredient - I struggled. Last year I backed Alan Versfeld on the back of the 2010 South African amateur played here at East London. He lost in a play-off to Canter in the strokeplay section and then later in the week lost in the matchplay final to the same player. However his odds this week look poor - well maybe the 140 on Betfair is OK for the win but that's it. I re-read a report from that amateur event and something caught my eye - not the name of the winner but his caddy

The practice paid off and handsomely, too. So did caddy Lyle Rowe. “He was just brilliant at reading the greens,” said Canter. “These greens were so true and just the best I’ve played so far in South Africa but I had a hard time reading them. I could trust Lyle a 100% all the time to get the lines right.”

That name rang a bell and sure enough who was 8th in this event last year - Lyle Rowe! He got off to a slow start last year but can clearly play the course and read the greens so is worth backing small in a number of markets.
0.05 ew Outright 300/1
0.1 ew 200/1 1st Round Leader
0.2 Top 10 25/1

FEBRuary 12th 12.11
In the end last week we made a profit again due to Walker being placed on the PGA tour - maybe I should just stick to that tour! I do have one player I want to back for the Africa Open but am waiting for a few more side markets to come out. In the meantime below are my four for the Northern Trust Open - I did have a saver on Walker @ 40/1 but he maybe one of those bets placed in running.
Aaron Baddley 0.6 ew 40/1
Chris Kirk 0.4 ew 60/1 (now 66/1 Betfair Fixed Odds)
Russell Henley 0.25 ew 110/1 (100/1 OK)
Patrick Cantlay 0.2 ew 150/1
FEBRuary 10th 12.03
A quick update - in Joburg Walters came up a little shy in the end although Sterne continued the Pretoria/Joburg theme in the event. Over in California Walker has at least given himself a chance whilst Hahn is the one who got away if you read my preview below. I am really not sure how he will fare today but in November he played poorly at Pebble Beach in the CPBI which ultimately made me leave him off the staking plan.
Next week we stay in Africa for the Africa Open and the PGA tour remains in California for the Northern Trust Open from Riviera. There are also a few other events like the Kenya Open and Womens Australian Open that may be of interest.
FEBRuary 6th 11.24
When looking at the AT&T from Pebble Beach the thing that jumps out is course form, course form and then a little bit more course form! In a way this makes a lot of sense as this week players have to master three courses not just the one. There have been numerous repeat winners in recent history with Mickelson taking three titles, Dustin Johnson two, Love III two, Matt Gogel should have won two and Mark O'Meara an impressive five. Add in the fact that Brett Ogle back in 1993 is the only player since 1950 to win on his debut here and I think you can see where I am coming from! The problem has actually been narrowing down the field and although I can easily see Mickelson or Johnson winning again I don't think there is much mileage in their price although they could easily contract further as they are out on the easy course first. In the end I narrowed it down to six but left out James Hahn. Bets showing 6 places were all struck with Betfair Fixed Odds.
Aaron Baddeley struggled to get to grips in early performances here but has been 6th and 4th in his last two visits. He was 6th a couple of weeks ago at Torrey Pines another coastal Californian course with small poa-anna greens. His last win was at this time of year in 2011 in California and he can boast a 1st and 2nd on the similar Harbour Town links - all in all he has a lot going for him 0.3 ew 55/1 (6 places)
Jimmy Walker is turning into a bit of a Californian specialist - if you leave out the Humana Challenge he has been top ten in his last seven starts including 9th here on his last two visits. Add in a 6th on his debut in the Callaway Pebble Beach Invitational (CPBI) in November and the case is further proven. If he were to get his first tour win it could easily come this week following in the footsteps of recent winners Points, Oberholser and Gogel 0.5 ew 50/1 (6 places)
Bryce Molder has had two great chances to win here in 2010 and 2011 when poor final rounds let him down and he ended up 10th and 6th. Since then he has secured his first tour win in California and has a great long term record at the CPBI so is a solid each way pick at the price 0.3 ew 90/1 (6 places)
Nicholas Thompson reminds me an awful lot of DA Points and the reason I tipped him a few years ago when he won. Points had a pretty poor record in the event with three missed cuts and 14th but had a solid bank of form at the CPBI and entered the week in top form. Thompson is almost identical with three missed cuts and a 7th in 2008 and can boast a best finish of 5th at the CPBI. He comes here after three solid performances - his 41st at the Sony is better than it seems as he had missed the cut in all previous starts, he was then a career best 6th at the Humana Challenge and a solid 21st at Torrey Pines 0.2 ew 125/1.
Tom Gillis has shown up well in recent renewals here finishing 8th and 3rd in 2010/11 but struggled until the weekend last season when only 40th. Looking back that performance can be forgiven as he came here in a really bad mood having got into some arguments with people over the "rowdiness" at Scottsdale - suffice to say he didn't go back this year! 0.1 ew 125/1 (6 places)
Scott Langley was joint low amateur here at Pebble Beach in the 2010 US Open. strangely enough the man he shared the honour with was Russell Henley who he went head to head with in the Sony Open last month ending up third. Maybe he likes playing coastal courses with small greens - whatever the case he deserves a small play 0.1 ew 175/1 (6 places)

FEBRuary 5th 11.08
This weeks co-sanctioned Joburg Open is a tricky one to call with two courses being used over the first two days and over two hundred players teeing it up I have decided to keep stakes small ont he one angle I have spotted.Basically in the last few years home advantage seems to have great bearing and not necessarily in being South African but in particular being from Joburg/Pretoria. Last year this included Grace 1st, Fisher, Bothma and Van Zyl all tied 3rd and the year before Schartzel 1st and Aiken 3rd. Now I admit some of these were towards the front of the betting but I still think there is a case to be made so I have gone for two local residents who represent a touch of value.
Justin Walters got his card for this season via the Challenge Tour and reminds me a bit of a slighlty older version of last years winner Branden Grace. He has promised much over the years but hasn't quite lived up to expectations. Walters has made a good start to the season in an attempt to keep his card with a 14th and 20th in home events before Christmas whilst a poor finish on Sunday prevented him from finishing higher than 26th in Dubai but that is far better form than a lot of these bring to the table.He has played solidy if rather unremarkable golf here before but I get the feeling he may put himself in contention this week 0.2 ew 150/1
My second Joburg resident is Matthew Carvell who is also just beginning to live up to a solid amateur reputation. Over the last five months he led his first pro event heading into the final round before finishing 3rd at home in Johannesburg in the BMG Classic. He was 2nd after the opening round of the South African Open eventually finishing 20th. This year he has played once finishing 4th in the Telkom Pro-Am played at the Centurion GC between Johannesburg and Pretoria - he is clearly at his best playing at home. Three missed cuts in this event doesn't look great on paper but he is a better player now and has a bit of hidden form here - he won the Central Gauteng Open round the East course here in 2009 by a massive eight shots and qualified for this event in 2010 by shooting the lowest score of the day round the West. I am expecting a much improved performance this year 0.1 ew 300/1.

FEBRuary 4th 09.44
Well yesterday was certainly a tough day in the office! Steve Webster came painfully close to making it a good morning but an awful triple bogey at his 7th hole put paid to that and he ended up t7th one shot out of the tied places. To be honest I didn't give Palmer a lot of hope but a stunning nine under secured him 5th place all on his own. Taking his second round 73 out of things he was 21 under par for his other three rounds and whilst I don't think he could have won he could have made getting the place part certainly less sweaty!
Onto this week and it's multi course week with the Joburg Open in South Africa where ideas are thin on the ground. Over in California we have the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am which I find excruciating to watch but has been a happy hunting ground with recent winners Points 100/1 and Oberholser 50/1 both tipped.
January 30th 11.35
Trying to find an angle for this weeks Phoenix Open has not been an easy task and after hours of studying past results the only real thing that comes to light is look out for players with great Greens In Regulation stats. In the last four years the event winners had finished 3rd,1st,1st and 3rd in that stat for the week. All four winners had also shown in their starts to the season that they were hitting plenty of GIR already and didn't suddenly find their iron game at Scottsdale. Sitting 2nd and 3rd on the PGA tour stats so far this year we have Snedeker and Garrigus but there is little value to be found in their prices so I have gone for the two players sitting tied 5th hitting 78.5% in their starts to date.
Ryan Palmer has played six really solid rounds of golf so far this year and was 6th last time out in the Humana. He is a three time winner on tour so knows how to get the job done - the last win was in 2010 at the Sony - an event won by Mark Wilson and Vijay Singh in recent times who have also won here. He also has some solid form at the venue to back him up - a 2nd in 2006 and last year he led after round one 0.5 ew 66/1
A few weeks ago everyone was all over Russell Henley like a rash - having won imperiously at the Sony he was heavily backed from 50/1 downwards for the Humana Challenge but after a great start he faltered. However this venue should be more up his street as he hits so many greens and his run of form has a pleasing pattern to it - 1st,3rd,1st,6th,1st,56th - could he get his 4th win in seven starts? Well mark Wilson set a precedent in 2011 winning the Sony, making the cut at the Humana and then winning the Phoenix Open and I see no reason why Henley can't follow suit 0.3 ew 66/1

January 29th 14.54
This weeks Dubai Desert Classic proved quite a challenge for pinning down trends for past winners - the most obvious is that the last three winners have been Spanish which seems a bit vague to say the least! Most recent winners have been top 20 on the course the year before although I have concentrated for my main pick on the fact that winners seem to have a general affinity for playing desert golf with plenty of top ten finishes in that neck of the woods. One thing that does seem important is course experience with every winner playing at least twice and players in their 20's have a good record of late. There does seem to be a very big tie in with course form from the Oceanico Victoria course in Portugal. There have been six winners so far of the Portuguese Masters - Quiros and Green have also both won this event, Lee Westwood has somehow managed not to win in Dubai but has been second twice, Cabrera-Bello was 2nd in Portugal and won here so I think that is too much of a coincidence to avoid. Interestingly Greens other European win was at Fontana - a course that Cabrera-Bello also won on. I have gone this week for the three other winners at Oceanico Victoria.
Shane Lowry was the latest winner of that event in October and has had the pre-requisite two starts here at the Emirates course - not a lot to show with a mc/66 but he was the best putter here last year. Like all the past winners he has some pretty good desert pedigree with a 4th in Abu Dhabi and an 8th at the World Golf Championships. I will have to overlook his last performance as a one off but it has given him time for plenty of practice in Dubai for the last ten days and he seems happy with his game plus he has what maybe a favourable draw - 0.5 ew 66/1
Tom Lewis beat Cabrera-Bello in 2011 in Portugal but has done the square root of diddly squat since. Maybe he won too soon in his pro career but he has come out in slightly better form in 2013 with two out of two cuts made and a new man on the bag as Colin Byrne has gone to work for Ernie Els. He has made both cuts here including as an amateur and could almost be said to have a similar profile to 2009 winner Rory - worth a small risk 0.1 ew 225/1
Steve Webster won the inaugural Portuguese Masters but has failed to win again since but he is in superb form at the moment. He is striking the ball beautifully and has been 1st,2nd.2nd and 1st for GIR in his last four starts - all he needs is a few more putts to drop.The last time he was playing that consistently well was before he won in Italy. He doesn't have a great desert pedigree apart from last weeks 4th in Qatar but he was 4th at the cut here two years ago before fading and spends much of his time training in Dubai. He could well find the inspiration to win from fellow British winners Donaldson and Wood - 0.4 ew 66/1
The one player I have left out is SY Noh as I think he will be badly prepared flying in from California but he may well be worth backing in running.

January 29th 12.33
A summary of bets placed on this weeks main events - previews to follow
Dubai Desert Classic
Shane Lowry 0.5 ew 66/1
Steve Webster 0.4 ew 66/1
Tom Lewis 0.1 ew 225/1
Phoenix Open
Russell Henley 0.3 ew 66/1
Ryan Palmer 0.5 ew 66/1
January 28th 11.35
A quick post - no joy last week but with a reduced number of bets and the prices I bet at weeks like that will happen. I did mention a player on Twitter this morning for the IFQ @ Kingston Heath tonight - Victor Chandler and Skybet went up with 150/1 Kalem Richardson. Some of you might remember I tipped him for the Talisker Masters here back in November and he was tied 5th @ 300/1 sadly bogeying the last hole. With only 36 holes to play he could go well today - not sure if anyone else has priced up.
This week we have the Dubai desert Classic from the Emirates course - lots of different trends but have probably narrowed down my picks. The Phoenix Open from Scottsdale to be honest looks very difficult to fathom!
January 25th 11.20
A few words on last nights antepost bet for the US Masters on Brandt Snedeker - 0.4 ew 66/1 - if you missed the price to be honest even 50/1 still represents value.To my mind he is a Major winner waiting in the wings but is rather forgotten about when it comes to pricing. This is one event he is desperate to win (then again who isn't!) having made the cut as an amateur in 2004 - his first ever main tour event and in 2008 he came very close to winning and was devastated by a final round 77. I think that seriously shook his game and he has only come into his own in the last two years with three PGA tour wins including the Tour Championship in September which netted him the Fedex Cup. Last year he also finished 3rd at the Open Championship so he has shown he can compete in Majors. One weird little stat - the man who won the 2008 Masters that Snedeker played alongside in the final round was Trevor Immelman who won the US Public Amateur Links in 1998, it is ten years since Snedeker won that same event - it's in the stars I tell ya!! Best prices here

January 22nd 16.11
I could only really study the last four winners of the Farmers Insurance event because before that a certain Mr Woods won from 2005-2008 then won the US Open at Torrey Pines in the “Battle of Wounded Knee” and only returned in 2011 when 44th. I think Woods is easily opposable at the price on the evidence on how he played last week in Abu Dhabi.
Decent course form is a must with the last four winners all having posted a top ten finish in the last two years. It seems to be a course you have to get to know well (or two really - North and South) as Snedeker, Watson and Crane had played the event five times before winning and Watney four times. They have all been what I would call quality winners and all aged from 27 to 33 and all of them had wins under their belts. With these facts in mind I came up with a shortlist of just four players but have ruled out Bill Haas and Hunter Mahan on the basis that they have already had eight and nine attempts respectively to win the title.
At the prices I really like the chances of Marc Leishman this week. The 29 year old Australian won his maiden title last year and has a solid bank of course form at Torrey - in his four attempts he has been 26/2/9/52. His one poor start last year came when this event was his season opener - he has played here better in the past having already got some tournament golf under his belt. He was 23rd at Kapalua but was then 9th at the Sony - his best ever finish there - this could be partly due to a better attitude
“Drank a little bit less beer and ate a little bit less food, I’m not carrying the extra pounds that I normally am this time of year. I’m still carrying a little bit extra. I was just a bit more careful with what I ate and what I drank and just preparing better. I normally like the West Coast but generally don’t get started up until about Texas playing good, so hopefully this year I can change that.”
As he fits all the criteria of the last four winners, has great course form and a good attitude he is worthy of a decent bet - 0.6 ew 75/1 (66/1 OK)
I rarely back favourites but Dustin Johnson has to go in the book this week as he fit’s the mould perfectly. He has had five event starts and was 3rd two years ago. He has a great Californian coastal record with two of his wins coming at Pebble Beach and he now has a total of seven tour wins including the season opener a few weeks ago. He withdrew from the Sony after one round with a “cold” and should be fit and ready to go. I will go win only at 16/1 as the 4/1 for a place isn’t overly generous as he has a 5.4% win rate and 15.4% top five.
The final small pick for the week is based on some “hidden course form” although in reality it probably isn’t that well hidden! Michael Thompson was 29th here in 2008 in the US Open and what we must remember is that he was an amateur at the time albeit the best in the world. He could well be relishing a return to a US Open venue in California having been runner up at last years Major held at the Olympic Club.0.1 ew 250/1 (200/1 OK)

January 21st 11.14
When looking at past winners of the Qatar Masters the first thing that looks very obvious is that it takes a classy golfer to win and shock winners just don’t happen. The last three winners alone had amassed twenty five European Tour wins between them before their respective wins so we are looking for a multiple winner towards the top of the market. Also course form seems vital to me with multiple winners and lots of top five/ten finishes amongst those taking the trophy. There does also seem to be some strange link between winners at Gleneagles and winners at Doha - quite why I am not entirely sure - maybe we can put it in the same category as the Annandale/PGA West link - it is what it is! With those things on board I thought it unlikely that I would find anyone at a decent price but I think the books have underestimated one player.
Paul Casey has eleven European tour wins to his name though none in the past two years - this was largely due to a foot injury in 2011 and a snowboarding accident twelve months ago. Since that accident he has taken the opportunity to rebuild his game and at the tail end of last season it started to pay dividends. This year in his two starts his ball striking has been exemplary but he has been let down by a cold putter - if a few more putts drop this week he could be in contention. As for his course form well it doesn’t look pretty - four missed cuts and a 5th in 2010 when he tied for the lead entering the final day. Before the start in 2010 he wrote in his blog

"This week I’m in Doha for the Commercialbank Qatar Masters presented by Dolphin Energy. I’ve played Doha three times and missed the cut three times. I like the course but for some reason I have not played well. My results in Doha don’t make sense, it’s the same course designer as Abu Dhabi and a lot of green layouts look the same and I have the length. I thought about not playing, but I want to play golf and make the cut”

It looks like even he was bemused by his lack of form at the track but I have some thoughts which might explain why. In 2011 when he missed the cut he wrote

“Last week was tiring and I think every time you win, it takes a bit of energy. During the week I’ve tried to save all my energy so I’ll be ready going into this event, there’s no reason why I can’t play well and give myself a chance to win another tournament.”

That might well be the key - he had won the week before in Bahrain, in 2007 he won the week before in Abu Dhabi, in 2008 he was in poor form, in 2009 again he had won the week before in Abu Dhabi. Maybe that is the reason for three of his missed cuts here - he had won the week before and was mentally tired.
With the Gleneagles link then we certainly have a qualifier in Casey - in six starts he won it twice. Last week he was around 28/1 with Rory and Tiger in the field - this week at 40/1 his price is very fair 0.5 ew.

I have had one other small bet in the first round leader market and that is on Richard Finch. In his six starts here he has been 6th, 2nd and 5th after the opening day and handles breezy conditions very well. If the Gleneagles link is to be believed he also has a 1st and 8th there in this market so is worth a small speculative play 0.1 ew 150/1 (125/1 OK)

January 21st 09.09
Well I must admit I didn't sleep that well - I kept hearing things splashing into water! After a great start and being matched as low as 1.14 Stallings started to falter the crucial disasters being a missed par putt from a shade under two feet and twice driving it in the water on the back nine sadly at the 18th when in a great position. I do feel last years bad luck has followed into this year but last year he would have finished with a seven and ended up 6th! Personally I did lay some back and the place part was nice enough and on a positive note thats two winning weeks from three.
This week we have the Farmers Insurance from Torrey Pines where I have three in mind and the Qatar Masters from Doha where I am still undecided - don't forget the latter starts a day early on Wednesday.
January 20th 09.46
I don't often post on a Sunday but feel I need to today! Well Stallings has a five shot lead over a whole host of players on seventeen under. Today he plays the host Palmer course where he shot six under on Thursday and he hasn't had a bogey all week. The last player to play 72 holes without a bogey was Lee Trevino in the 1974 Greater New Orleans Open so I wouldn't be surprised to see the odd one today. A few people have asked should they lay back? Well there is no harm in laying a bit back and making the day a bit more "comfortable" but at the end of the day these tips are designed to show a profit as tips and not from trading. This is only week three of the "new approach" and it would mean a fantastic start and to be honest I wouldn't have given Stallings a second look if I hadn't looked at the event the way I did. Roll on 18.50!!
January 19th 09.58
A quick update on where we stand - well it doesn't look too bad heading into the weekend with Scott Stallings sitting tied 3rd and into second favourite. Luke List would have been a lot closer as well were it not for taking a snowman on a par five on his back nine yesterday. Maybe I should have stuck closer to my winner profile by just going with those two who had no course form whatsoever as the other three have been poor - something to remember for next year!
Looking ahead to enxt week we have the Farmers Insurance Open from Torrey Pines where Tiger Woods will no doubt be a short price - and opposable! Whilst in Europe we stay in the desert for the Qatar Masters
January 16th 09.49
Details of the late golf bet posted on Twitter - don't forget all the best prices can be found here
Bobby Gates gets a late invite to the event and as he was on my original list I now have to include him on my list. The 27 year old hits the ball on average over 300 yards and missed the cut at last weeks Sony Open. He will be keen to make the most of his sponsors invite as his best finish last year was here when 8th. He clearly has an affinity with La Quinta as he was 3rd at the Q School in 2011 and regained his card when 22nd last month
Bobby  Gates 0.1 ew 200/1 (175/1 OK)

January 15th 18.23
Up until last year the Humana Challenge or Bob Hope Classic as it was known for years was a five round pro-am - last year it changed to a four rounder. Looking at the last six winners there were a lot of similarities but Mark Wilson was a change from the norm but that could easily be put down to the fact that he is a good early season player and also seems to do well when there are lots of delays and this event was hit badly by wind on the Saturday last year.

2012 Mark Wilson aged 38 4 wins current form 18th Hyundai m/c Sony, course form mc/61 DD 280 yards
2011 Jhonattan Vegas aged 26 Rookie current form m/c Sony, course from none DD 312 yards
2010 Bill Haas aged 27 Rookie current form m/c Sony course form 34/25 DD 298 yards
2009 Pat Perez aged 32 Rookie current form m/c Sony course from mc/6/mc/61 DD 294 yards
2008 DJ Trahan aged 27 1 tour win current form m/c Sony course form mc/mc 27 DD 295 yards
2007 Charley Hoffman aged 30 Rookie current form debut course from none DD 304 yards

Looking through things in common even Mark Wilson fitted the pattern that the last five missed the cut at the Sony - in a way it is understandable in that the courses are very different. Also Vegas came out with an interesting comment during the year when he won
Q. What did you do Sunday? Did you get another practice round in or just relax? Do you feel like you have a little bit of advantage to not have to do that 36 holes and fly over here?
JHONATTAN VEGAS: To be honest, I guess it was a little advantage from not playing on Sunday, I guess. Because I was able to get a flight Saturday night after I played, get here on Sunday, and play actually this course on Sunday. So I actually got to see all four courses, which I think is huge for a rookie.
Four golf courses, to try to play in three days is tough. And I was fortunate enough to take a look at every course and I think that's kind of what helped me play so well today.

This sort of makes sense - if a player makes the cut at the Sony the first time he would see any of the three courses in use would be the Tuesday and when it was a five round event play began on the Wednesday. I will take the risk that even though we are down to four rounds it is probably still better to arrive early.

Looking at the other stats then course form seems largely irrelevant with only Perez managing a top ten before, two players had never played before and there are a lot of missed cuts. But with four non winners winning and five of the last six aged between 26 and 32 that’s where we need to look. Although I am not a fan of using driving distance as a reason for backing a player all the winners bar Wilson hit the ball a long way and that makes sense on easier resort courses which are set up for amateurs. I have therefore concentrated my picks on young rookies, who can hit the ball a long way and who missed the cut in the Sony - I came up with three.
Graham DeLaet is a 30 year old big hitting Canadian who has numerous top five finishes on the main tour but is yet to win. He has won in Canada and South Africa since he turned pro and did manage a top twenty here on his one start back in 2010.
Martin Flores is aged 30 and whilst he isn’t the longest hitter his average is over 295 yards. He was tied 18th alongside DeLaet on his only start here back in 2010 but that belies the fact he opened 66/65/65 and was tied 2nd with two rounds to go but then faded - unsurprising as it was only his second tour start. Last year he managed to finish 8th in his second start of the season which came in California and in his missed cut last week he still managed to birdie all four par 5’s he played.
Luke List aged 28 was the longest driver on the Web.com tour last season. Although he has no course form he does have good Californian form from the lower tour - 12/mc/2/6/9/mc so he is obviously at home on the West Coast where he was born. He was 4th on the Web.com money list last season with a win and three 2nd placed finishes and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him inspired by Henleys exploits last week.

I will also go with one other player using a different angle although he fits the right age and drives the ball a long way - Scott Stallings. There seems to be a link between winners at Annandale and winners here at what was the Bob Hope. Bill Haas has won at both venues as has Chad Campbell whilst DJ Trahan has just the two PGA victories and they were at these two venues. Add in the fact that Trahan beat Durant in a playoff and he had also won the Bob Hope then I think it can't be a coincidence!
Stallings won his second tour event at Annandale last year - his second in just eighteen months so getting a three figure price seems quite generous.

Graham DeLaet 0.2 ew 150/1

Martin Flores 0.2 ew 200/1

Luke List 0.2 ew 300/1

Scott Stallings 0.3 ew 110/1

January 14th 21.13
Just the one bet in the Abu Dhabi Championship and it comes in a side market as I really expect one of the top players to win the event but picking which one is a bit on the tricky side. It is not often you get to back a player whose round one course form reads 1st, tied 1st, tied 20th at a three figure price but that is what in effect we are getting in backing Keith Horne in the round one leader market. There is obviously something about Abu Dhabi he likes and when he was 20th after the opening salvo last year he went onto his best finish of the year when 8th. Normally he has a start under his belt which he doesn't have the benefit of this year but in 2006 he was in the same position and led by two. In 2011 he also held the outright lead in the Wales and China Opens so he really can go out quick and early - 0.3 ew 150/1 - take anything around 100/1
January 14th 09.57
In the end at the Sony Open the players who came on from Kapalua did seem to suffer with only Kuchar playing that well but I have to admit Henley was very impressive. This week we have the Humana Challenge from California where I have four big priced selections and the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship which sees a stellar field and probably not a huge amount of interest for me!
On the site front the blog has now been archived 2010-2012 (yup I have been writing this for over three years!) and the tipping results page has been updated from last week.
January 12th 13.02
A quick update on how we stand in Hawaii - well better rounds from Huh and Sabbatini have kept us in the game still and yesterdays mention on Twitter Ames is still in contention. I struggle to see the rookies holding on going from past history but then again they are playing golf against the course and not against recent stats! From my original analysis I left out Kuchar due to his price being a bit low so expect him to win now! I have already completed my trends analysis for next week Humana Challenge and may even have a bet on the Abu Dhabi Championship.
On site news the Newsletters have now been fully archived and next week will see the first one of the new year
January 9th 11.59
The Sony Open in the past has been the trend finders betting benefit - simply look for older more experienced pro's who have won before and who are short and accurate off the tee. This approach has bagged me a couple of 100/1 winners before in Paul Azinger and Mark Wilson but in recent years we need to tweak things a little Also I have added another bet at the bottom based on recent times and course similarities.
When we look at the last five winners we find the following stats:

2012 Johnson Wagner Aged 31 2 wins last one 2011
course form 34/-/mc/mc/
2011 Mark Wilson Aged 36 2 wins last one 2009
course form 33/-/-/-/-/25/mc/20
2010 Ryan Palmer Aged 33 2 wins last one 2008
course form 64/28/mc/mc/-/-
2009 Zach Johnson Aged 32 4 wins last one 2008
course form mc/47/-/-/32
2008 K.J. Choi Aged 37 6 wins last one 2007
course form mc/29/7/56/-/-/13/4

The most obvious thing to pick out is that we are looking for a player in their 30's who has won at least twice on the tour with the latest win coming in the last two years and with plenty of course form though not necessarily good. I have narrowed the field down on those stats to just six players but will leave out Matt Kuchar and Carl Pettersson on the grounds that their prices are too short and the latter does actually have very good course form. Whether the form from Kapalua this week has a bearing on the event is difficult to guage after all the interruptions but nine of the last fourteen winners had played the week before and three of our four selections have shaken off the rust so to speak.

Ben Curtis Aged 35 4 wins last one 2012 course form mc/-/-/mc/-/-/mc/-/-
Curtis is a very good fit for all the stats and is definitely a fit for the course with his short and accurate game so it is surprising he has such poor form round here. However when you look he has often played poorly at the start of the season - in his two previous outings at Kapalua he has been dead last both times by three and six shots - so last weeks 18th place finish was a massive improvement - expect a similar upturn in his Sony Open form 0.6 ew 80/1

JJ Henry Aged 37 2 wins last one 2012 course form 66/mc/mc/-/-/-/68/-/-/-/-/-
Another player who fits the mould perfectly and his 1st for driving accuracy and 3rd for GIR last week shows he is in fine fettle. He also fits the bill with the course similarity which will be mentioned below at Mayakoba with a 9th and 2nd and is a cracking price this week 0.4 ew 125/1.

George McNeill Aged 37 2 wins last one 2012 course form 13/17/7/mc/-/19
I have backed McNeill a couple times here although in theory the course shouldn't suit his game something clicks here. Maybe he likes coastal tracks as he has been 5th and 1st at Puerto Rico the last two years. He played poorly in Kapalua so stakes have been kept low 0.2 ew 125/1.

Rory Sabbatini Aged 36 6 wins last one 2011 course form mc/mc/43/mc/27/w/42/2/34/2/12/39/13/29
I nearly left him out due to his course form actually being quite good with a couple of 2nd's over the years. With that in mind the fact he has six tour wins means he is overpriced at 80/1 - 0.2 ew
My final selection comes from a slightly different trend/angle and that is backing the winner of the Mayakoba Classic played on the very similar El Cameleon course. The five winners of this event have finished in the following years Sony Open as follows
2007 Funk 10th
2008 Gay 5th
2009 Wilson Won
2010 Beckman 20th
2011 Wagner Won

I feel obliged to add John Huh despite the fact he is young and inexperienced he does have the short and accurate game for the course. Last year this event was his first ever PGA tour start and whilst he finished in a tie for 53rd his second round 65 was the 3rd joint lowest for that day - he can clearly play the course - 0.5 ew 50/1
January 8th 09.27
Hi - welcome to the new look SBI - we hope you like it! and as always any feedback is more than welcome. There are still a few things to do today - namely back up all the old archives of the blog, tipping results and newsletters in the new format. It was good to wake up and see Steve Stricker in 2nd in Hawaii - hopefully he can stay there or even improve to get us off to a bumper start - back later with Sony Open tips - when we get a full range of prices.
January 7th 07.12
Early start for me today though I didn't intend being up quite this early! Well the Hyundai Tournament of Champions has turned into an utter farce and personally wouldn't be surprised to see three one hour delays later today before being abandoned. I would love to see them play but for me it probably interferes with betting on the Sony Open - if it goes into tomorrow then I can imagine not getting a full set of proper Sony prices until Wednesday. There will be no bets from me for the Volvo Champions as there is no way I can profile the event and there is no hidden course form - I may give a suggestion but that will be it. Back later!

January 2nd 09.28
Happy New Year readers and here's to a profitable 2013! You will notice over the course of the season a change in betting style which will gradually become apparent as I have lost my "edge" over the last few years week in week out and it's time to be more selective.
When looking at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions there was one trend that struck me and there was only ever going to be one likely selection for me - defending champion Steve Stricker The list below shows how all defending champions have fared at Kapalua

99 Duval 3rd
00 Woods 8th
01 Furyk 4th **
02 Garcia 25th
03 Els 21st
04 Appleby 1st **
05 Appleby 1st **
06 Appleby 13th
07 Singh 12th
08 Chopra 27th **
09 Ogilvy 1st **
10 Ogilvy DNP
11 Byrd 3rd **

You have to admit overall it's been quite an impressive performance from defending champions in the past compared to other tournaments although you do have to take on board the limited field. What becomes even more interesting is when you look at those marked ** - for those players the Champions event represented their only strokeplay win the year before and Stricker falls into that category. It won't have been the first time he has successfully defended a title as he won the John Deere three years on the bounce. He does have a few other positives as well - his other course form recently reads 2/10/4. In 2007 he began his season in the Sony Open and finished 4th and in 2001 he won the World Matchplay on his seasonal bow. He has more reason to continue this trend of fast starting as this year he is only going to play ten events so he can spend more time with his family and says he has to be really well prepared for events he does play. Finally we have to look at the price - in a slightly weaker field last year he was 8/1 so 14/1 this time round is more than fair - 0.75 e/w

 
 
 
 
 
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