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december 19th 12.59
Those of you who have followed SBI for the past decade or more know I like a little festive punt on a White Christmas and whilst I have only done it twice I was right both times. There is no point getting involved too early but the six day forecasts issued today by the Met Office offer a little bit of encouragement at least for northern areas

UK Outlook for Tuesday 23 Dec 2014 to Thursday 1 Jan 2015:

Rain over central and southern parts Tuesday should move slowing southeastwards, clearing the southeast early on Christmas Eve. Colder showery conditions to the north, with snow on high ground here, following over the entire UK. The colder conditions then persist for most through Christmas Day and the following weekend with snow even to low levels at times in the north. There is a low probability of some more persistent rain crossing southern parts during the holiday weekend with a risk of snow on the leading edge. Otherwise in the following week there looks to be a gradual return to spells of wet and milder weather interspersed with colder, showery conditions. Generally windy for many throughout the period with risk of gales, these mainly in the northwest.

I haven't got too carried away but have placed the following bets - therse are average prices! using the following bookmakers Betfair, William Hill, Skybet, Victor Chandler - prices are also available with Betfred and a few others
Aberdeen £50 11/5
Newcastle £30 5/1
Dundee £30 11/5
Edinburgh £40 3/1
Glasgow £30 3/1

december 16th 10.52
It's time for the final golf preview for 2014 and I hope it's indicative of things to come in 2015 as all bookmakers have priced up the Asian tour Dubai Open. Maybe it's because they have nothing else to do but I think it makes sense to offer betting on Asian tour events with there being a huge gambling market in Asia.
I have gone for two Indian players to hopefully tame the Els course in Dubai - firstly Gaganjeet Bhullar. He returned from injury (torn ligament) a couple of weeks ago and missed the cut in Indonesia before improving with every round last week in Thailand to finish 45th. Last week he just seemed to struggle on holes 15-18 and was 10 over for those but overall his stats weren't too bad especially his putting which is normally a weak spot. The five time Asian tour winner has much more experience playing desert golf than most of the rest of this weeks field and I just thought the price was a bit big £30 ew 66/1
I was keen on Shiv Kapur but not the price so went with SSP Chowrasia who has actually won two European co-sanctioned events and also the Panasonic Indian Open on the Asian tour just last month although he is yet to win outside India. His form in European tour events has been solid all year only missing two cuts and includes a 5th in Hong Kong and a 9th in Denmark. He has never had such a consistent season in his career and I am happy to be on at an inflated price this week £40 ew 50/1
That's it for the golf until 2015 - I hope you have a happy Christmas and if you still want to bet keep an eye out for our horse racing tips which will continue over the festive period

december 10th 12.42
It's the last event of the year on the European tour and I have got a little carried away with no less than six picks - so a brief summary of each one
Kristoffer Broberg burst onto the scene in 2012 with four Challenge tour wins and was then 2nd here to record his first main tour start top five. He then went off the boil a bit but this year he has been 2nd and 3rd in the Scottish and Irish Opens in far better fields. Hoping a return to a venue where he had early success will inspire him this week £30 ew 80/1
Richard Finch - a nightmare to catch right and notoriously dodgy in contention but more than made up for in the price. He has a habit of wrapping up his tour card either very late in the season or very early - like last year when 2nd here at Leopard Creek and has a good history on courses which usually prove a good guide £12.50 ew 200/1 + £15 240 Betfair
Andrea Pavan - Leopard Creek plays quite similar to numerous Italian parkland courses and Pavan has a good record here. I much prefer Broberg to Pavan as he has higher finishes in better fields but I just couldn't leave him out £30 75 Betfair
Scott Jamieson is turning into a more consistent golfer with numerous high finishes and was 3rd here in 2012 in a run that saw him also "win" and finish 2nd in South Africa £30 90 Betfair
Michael Hoey is always worth a bet at a three figure price as you never really know when he is going to win again! He has withdrawn the last two times he has played here with illness and injury but was 2nd the last time he teed it up in South Africa. It is a bit of a surprise that he flies down here just for this one start especially as he has just become a father for the second time and this time he has a boy. When his daughter was born back in 2013 he was fast out the traps in his first start before fading and then won in Russia the following month £25 150/1 + £15 ew 125/1
Johan Edfors is just a bit of a hunch back on a course he has good memories of having been 2nd in his last visit back in 2008. He finally made it back into the winners enclosure in China on the Challenge Tour a couple of months back £20 250/1

december 10th 11.36
Apologies for the delay in this weeks previews - will kick off with a quick look at the Thailand Golf Championship where we have a few big guns in attendance but I fancy a veteran home player to go well. Prayad Marksaeng has a great record in his homeland and in 46 starts since 1996 he has 5 wins - including 3 of his last 5 starts! He also has a 37% top 5 strike rate in all those starts. He has never got to grips totally with Amata Springs before but last year his closing 66 was the best round on Sunday so he should come here with some positive memories. I have noticed that in the Far East over the last couple of weeks the veterans have prevailed with the last 5 winners in Japan and Asia being 42,41,43,47 and 47 so the 48 year old might find some inspiration - indeed he was 2nd last week in the Japanese Tour Championship so comes here in fine fettle.£40 ew 60/1 + £70 65 on Betfair.
I have also added a small first round leader play on Daniel Chopra - £10 ew 125/1 because in his two visits here he has been 3rd and 5th after the opening days play and in his last two starts he has opened up lying 6th and 7th
december 9th 11.42
Before getting to grips with this weeks golf previews a quick recap of all the horse bets since we started and how we generated over £3k profits to small stakes in just five weeks

8/12 2.50 Musselburgh Just Awake £25 6/1 BOG LOST 7/2
7/12 3.35 Huntingdon Wolf Hall £15 33/1 BOG LOST 33/1
7/12 1.50 Kelso Virtuel D’Oudon £50 5/1 BOG LOST 7/2
6/12 2.50 Wetherby Jimmy Shan £40 2/1 BOG + £25 3/1 LOST 11/4
6/12 12.55 Chepstow Kudu Shine £60 12/1 BOG LOST 7/1
6/12 1.30 Aintree Oscar Time £20 ew 33/1 BOG + £25 36/1 WON 25/1
6/12 1.30 Aintree Chance Du Roy £25 ew 10/1 + £25 13/1 LOST 12/1
6/12 3.35 Sandown Kasbabali £40 9/2 BOG LOST 11/4
5/12 3.20 Exeter Reblis £30 BOG 20/1 LOST 18/1
4/12 3.10 Leicester Big Jer £50 20/1 BOG WON 14/1
3/12 1.10 Ludlow Ronnie Lawson £40 3/1 LOST 11/4
3/12 Ludlow 2.10 Gorsky Island £40 4/1 BOG WON 9/1
30/11 3.10 Fairyhouse Embracing Change £40 4/1 BOG WON 7/2
29/11 12.35 Newcastle Present Lodger £20 9/1 LOST 7/1
29/11 1.30 Bangor Castle Conflict £40 11/4 BOG LOST 3/1
29/11 12.35 Newcastle Present Lodger £40 4/1 BOG LOST 7/1
29/11 2.40 Newcastle Saturday Hey Big Spender £40 7/1 BOG WON 12/1
29/11 Antepost Hennessy Gold Cup Unioniste £20 ew 25/1 + £15 33/1 LOST 20/1
27/11 2.45 Newbury Ned Stark £40 5/2 BOG WON 5/2
24/11 2.55 Ludlow Fishing Bridge £35 30 LOST 20/1
23/11 2.15 Towcester Musical Wedge £20 9/1 BOG LOST 3/1
22/1 12.15 Huntingdon Soudain £30 100/30 BOG LOST 11/4
22/11 1.00 Ascot Big Hands Harry £40 11/4 BOG WON 15/8
21/11 3.15 Ascot Josies Orders £40 5/1 BOG LOST 7/2
20/11 12.40 Chepstow Hughesie £20 14/1 LOST 14/1
20/11 Wincanton 3.00 Pressies Girl £25 4/1 BOG WON 5/2
23/11 Antepost Troytown Chase Sunday Groody Hill £20 ew 16/1 3RD 8/1
19/11 3.10 Warwick High Aspirations £30 win 100/30 BOG LOST 6/1
16/11 1.50 Fontwell Incentivise £100 win 4/1 BOG + £40 47/10 LOST 11/2
15/11 Uttoxeter 2.50 Lily Little Legs £20 win 9/1 BOG LOST 12/1
15/11 1.50 Cheltenham Master Neo £25 12/1 BOG LOST 15/2
14/11 1.15 Cheltenham Handy Andy £40 win 6/1 BOG LOST 4/1
12/11 Ayr 2.50 Always Right £50 win 7/1 BOG LOST 9/2
12/11 2.10 Exeter Harrys Farewell £25 4/1 BOG LOST 11/4
12/11 Bangor 2.00 Herdsman £25 win 9/1 BOG LOST 9/1
11/11 2.40 Huntingdon Ned Stark £30 3/1 WON 2/1
10/11 1.35 Southwell Typical Oscar £20 7/2 WON 9/4
9/11 3.10 Ffos Las Lydstep Point £15 33/1 BOG WON 25/1

8/11 1.05 Kelso Aye Well £20 11/1 BOG LOST 7/1
8/11 3.40 Sandown Lookslikerainted £25 9/2 LOST 11/2
8/11 2.40 Wincanton Bennys Mist £15 ew 16/1 BOG LOST 16/1
7/11 1.50 Hexham Present Lodger £60 win 5/2 BOG LOST 11/4
5/11 2.10 Chepstow Tribulation £15 ew 18/1 BOG + £5 ew 25/1 BOG LOST 12/1
5/11 3.40 Warwick Handsome Buddy £25 6/1 BOG LOST 6/1
4/11 1.45 Exeter Hughesie £25 win 33/1 average £10 place 5/1 Betfair LOST 33/1
4/11 3.15 Exeter Ziga Boy £40 win 6/1 BOG LOST 7/2
2/11 2.35 Carlisle £15 win Tutchec 7/1 BOG LOST 9/1

december 6th 10.16
Quite a busy day on the horse racing front so time for a quick recap of the bets
12.55 Chepstow Kudu Shine £60 12/1 BOG
1.30 Aintree Chance du Roy £25 ew 10/1 + £25 13/1
1.30 Aintree Oscar Time £20 ew 33/1 BOG + £25 36/1
2.50 Wetherby Jimmy Shan £40 2/1 BOG
3.35 Sandown Kasbadali £40 9/2 BOG (there will be a R4)

december 3rd 10.58
LPGA Q School starts later today and runs for five days so before that kicks off a few words about this weeks other picks. In Australia we have a very weak looking New South Wales PGA Championship and I have had a small bet on Aaron Townsend who feels right at home in this state. He was 2nd on this course in 2008 and then won the event in 2009 and he has also been 2nd, 4th and 8th in the New South Wales Open. A 10th place last week in the Australian Open should have him spot on - £20 ew 33/1
The Asian tour travels to Indonesia and first bet for me was Chawalit Plaphol who as a veteran of this tour could well be inspired by recent winners by others of his age group. He has some really solid course form with finishes of 11th, 5th and 29th with an average score of 70 he has twice shot 65 around here. It wasn't that long ago that he graced the winners enclosure - February 2013 and was 2nd earlier this year. Skybet opened 200/1 and I was hopeful of a big bet at a big price but other books weren't so generous so I had to settle for £25 ew 125/1 and £20 top ten 10/1.
My other bet is very much at the other end of the age spectrum in the shape of Nicholas Fung. The youngster was 2nd here last year which wasn't the only time he has filled the runner up slot - nine times he has also been the bridesmaid on the Asian Development tour and the Asean Tour. However he has also won three times on those tours and various small events in Malaysia. His form is progressive over the last few weeks much as it was at this time last year and I think it's only a matter of time before he breaks his duck on the main stage £45 ew 70/1

december 1st 12.58
No joy on the golf last week but the horse bets performed really well and with Hey Big Spender winning at 12/1 it just shows how important betting with a Best Odds Guaranteed bookmaker is ahving tipped it at 7/1!
This week sees plenty of reduced field golf events where I doubt I will be betting but plenty of smaller events around the globe and I will kick off this week with a few thoughts on the three picks I have put up for the final of the LPGA Q School which starts in Florida on Wednesday.
The first bet I put up was Rebecca Lee Bentham who turned pro in 2011, entered Q School and promptly finished 9th. After a poor year on tour she had to return to Q School and this time won it but she did avoid having to go back in 2013 with an 11th in the Evian Masters helping her cause. Having been there and done it before I am slightly surpised at the quote and had £25 ew 85/1 138.com
Next I put up Megan McChrystal who is also no stranger to winning around the LPGA International courses having won the Symetra Tour Championship before finishing 19th at Q School. She plays her best golf in Florida having won in 2012 on the supporting tour and in two events this year has finished 2nd and 3rd int he state. I had to split the stake on this one with £5 ew 175/1 and £5 ew 135/1
Last but not least I have also gone for Maria Hernandez who has been 5th,27th and 9th in the last three years so she is not phased by the pressure of the situation. She is obviously back here after a poor year on the main tour but is match fit having played in a few LET events lately including a 2nd in France £5ew 80/1 + £20 ew 66/1
november 26th 10.46
Three tournaments from around the globe for me this week but only four bets - no point in getting carried away after last weeks success!
In Japan it's the Casio World Open and all the big boys have departed the Japanese shores so we have what is a more regular tour event. In Yusaku Miyazato I have gone for a player with a stellar record in this event with finishes of 21/4/6/15/16/2/9/7 at the Kochi Kuroshio course. It took him a long time to win on tour - finally coming good at last years tour ending event which he defends next week and that win came on the back of an improving run of form. He came out all guns blazing in April and quickly won his second title in the tour opening event. He has been coming to hand in recent weeks with finishes of 10th and 6th in stronger events and I can see him contending this week again £50 ew 40/1
Staying in the Far East the Asian tour moves to Thailand for the Kings Cup and I have gone for the Thai version of John Daly Udorn Duangdecha. The Thai veteran doesn't seem to travel much or play much these days but his form around
Singha Park Khon Kaen is second to none. Most people know he was 1st in 2010 and 4th in 2012 but he was also 1st and 4th in 2011 and 2012 in the Singha Esan Open beating one of this weeks favourites Meesawat both times. Most form guides will only show a 48th two weeks ago in the Chiangmai Classic but in recent months he has won twice on the Thai tour. I have had a little difficulty getting on but have had to settle for £50 win 80 Betfair £6 ew 80/1 £12.50 top 5 16/1
Last but not least we have the Cape Town Open in South Africa where I think two players are well overpriced where the three favourites are all single digit prices.
Jake Roos admits to playing defensive in his last few starts on the Challenge tour aiming to maintain his place in the top fifteen and hence get his full European tour card which he succeeded in doing. He is ready this week to play his more attacking style which saw him win this event in 2012. He has won twice this year already in Kenya and Germany and also won the Zimbabwe Open last year so we know he can get the job done when in position. I therefore think he is a cracking price this week and have had £50 ew 50/1
Last man up is Trevor Fisher who has won plenty of three round events in South Africa but finally landed a bigger event when winning the Investec Cup earlier this year. Royal Cape was the scene of his first ever cut made having turned pro in 2002 when 10th in the Players Championship and good memories obviously persisted when he was 5th last year. Again at 50/1 I think he is good value this week £40 ew 50/1
november 18th 14.52
As well as the final event on the LPGA tour we have the final European tour event with the DP World Tour Championship - you can tell the season is winding down although there are still plenty of betting opportunities in the coming weeks - it only really stops Christmas to New Year. In Dubai I have found two players who, at the prices, I think are worthy of an investment.
I like the look of Jonas Blixt this week based mainly on what he has done the last few weeks compared to last season.
CIMB Classic 25th - 13th
HSBC Champions 63rd - 14th
Turkish Airlines 29th - 25th
When you bear in mind he was 12th here last year including a second round 65 then a similar improvement will see him go close this week. Whilst he hasn't added to his two PGA wins since July 2103 he has added a 4th in the US PGA and a 2nd in the US Masters so he can definitely compete on the big stage. He doesn't have a lot of experience in the desert but showed enough last year to make me think he can play it well enough £30 ew 80/1 + I have had £7.50 ew 33/1 Top Continental Euro
My other selection has proved to be a bit controversial in the shpe of 50 year old Miguel Angel Jimenez with people saying he is too short off the tee to be competitive. However it didn't seem to bother him last week when 4th or in a couple of top tens here before plus even shorter hitting Luke Donald has a good record @ Jumeirah. At his age he does have a few quiet weeks these days but he can string some good finishes together and I would rather be on Miguel to close the deal compared to those much lower in price. He finally won the Dubai Deset Classic in 2010 having gone so close many times and overall in the UAE has a 20% top 5 and 40% top 10 strike rate. With temperatures set fair around 29 degrees all well and not a cloud in the sky he will love the weather too £25 ew 100/1 + £25 130.
november 18th 12.56
I will kick off this weeks previews with a quick look at the two smaller events I have put bets up for. Firstly Sandra Gal in the CME Tour Championship on the LPGA tour - basically it's a simple play on the fact that the German plays her best golf in Florida where she has a home and where she went to University - she simply feels comfortable sleeping in her own bed. This event has been played over a few different courses over the past four years since moving to Florida but Gal has a great record. In 2010 she had her best finish of the year when 11th, in 2011 she was 2nd - her second best finish of the season - only eclipsed by her maiden win. In 2012 she could only manage 14th but last year was 4th on this weeks course having held a three shot lead at halfway. She has been in a solid run of form apart from last week in Japan and I think will be glad to be back at "home" after months globetrotting - £40 ew 80/1+ £4.50 ew 66/1 w/o Park + £4 ew 66/1 FRL
Over in Japan I will make a rare foray into the betting and have put up past winner of the Dunlop Phoenix Toshinori Muto. Whilst his win in 2011 was only played over 54 holes he did come out on the Sunday and shoot a 63 and from four back won by four and he has played solidly the last two years with finishes of 6th and 14th. He seems to like playing at this time of the year and has also won events in October 2008 and November 2009. Since a mid season slump he has improved with every start going mc/65/50/49/33/25/2 so is clearly getting better and better. As a player who clearly isn't afraid to win in better company I have gone £30 ew 66/1 + £15 70
november 16th 10.35
The 1.50 Fontwell - the Southern National is just the sort of race I like to back in - a 3 1/2 mile slog through heavy ground and Incentivise is a confident pick. This horse seems to have a definite pattern of winning back to back chases when on the right mark. In March 2010 he won back to back staying chases at Chepstow off 83 and then 100. On his seasonal reappearance in 2011 he won again at Chepstow off 110 and followed up in a 3 3/4 mile chase at Bangor off 113. In 2012 he did it again - a 3 mile chase off 108 at Bangor and then this race off 113. He then struggled off marks around 120 but won around Carlisle off 109 on this years first start and is still only off 112 today. Nolan has won on him the last three times and takes a further 3lb off and the trainer is in top form with plenty of winners lately. I think he's a cracking bet - £100 4/1 BOG - keep an eye on Twitter as I may even have a bit more on him
november 12th 14.48
Whilst I struggled to find bets for this weeks European tour event the exact opposite is the case with the PGA tour and the OHL Classic and I actually struggled to actually stop betting! In the end I have put up six players and a first round leader and most of them fit the mould of players who do well here in Mayakoba - ie short but accurate, steady players with experience behind them. There also does seem to be a certain correlation with numerous similar courses namely Waialae, Southwind, Harbour Town are those often quoted but I think we can add the Old White (same designer as Waialae) and Lacantera which used to host the Texas Open
Justin Hicks should be well suited to the course as he is one of the most accurate players on tour and he proved that when finishing 6th last year and 2nd and 3rd place finishes in the summer secured his card. His only other top ten finish on the main tour was at Southwind in a limited career on the main stage. Strangely enough I didn't think he was that old but he has been a journeyman pro for years now and actually celebrated his 40th birthday just 2 weeks ago £20 ew 200/1
If Southwind and Lacantera are used as good indicators for this weeks course then you cannot leave out Justin Leonard who has won around those two courses no fewer than five times. He only made his debut here last year when in a similar run of poor form and managed to finish 6th - £30 win 195 on Betfair £16 top 5 including ties 50/1 Sportingbet
Ken Duke finally won on tour last year after many years of trying and has never teed it up here before but then again neither had any of the recent winners. He has quite a few top tens on the courses mentioned above and his win in the Web.com Tour Championship in 2011 came at the Daniel Island course which bears some resemblance as well £35 win 140 Betfair £25 top 5 inc ties 25/1 £10 top 10 inc ties 10/1 Sportingbet £10 top 10 12/1
I think I have backed JJ Henry most years here and he usually goes off around 50/1 having been 2nd on his debut in 2009. He hasn't been in the best of form but then again thats nothing new as he is very hit and miss but with his long term scoring average I cannot leave him out at the price £15 win 190 £4 ew 150/1 £16 top 5 32/1 £14 top 10 14/1 £16 top 10 13/1
Pat Perez has struggled all year with injuries and swing changes but says on his blog he is getting there and closed with a pair of 69's in Malaysia. He has been 16th and 13th here in two starts and has some impressive form at all the courses I looked at
Waialae 4/8/9/10
Harbour Town 6/13/18/18
The Old White 9/6
Lacantera 5/8
Interestingly his one win came at the PGA West Arnold Palmer where past winners of this Brian Gay and Mark Wilson have also won. The fact he doesn't win or get a top five finish very often does temper enthusiasm but he can boast a 15% top ten strike rate so at a suitable venue he is worth a decent bet in that market £35 140 win Betfair £60 top 10 21/2
Carlos Ortiz doesn't really fit the mould at all but I couldn't leave him out as a three time winner on the Web.com tour last year - two of which came at home in Mexico and also Panama. He is a big hitter but he does have some solid course form around Mayakoba in his youth in top class amateur events £20 ew 200/1
Andres Gonzales is often a fast starter - he joint led the Frys.com a few weeks ago and did the same here on his only start here back in 2011 - worth a small bet in that market £10 ew First Round Leader 150/1
november 11th 14.31
I admit as fields reduce in size I find it harder to find a bet especially when the cream on tour usually turns up as you tend to find the smaller the field the higher the prize!. This weeks Turkish Airlines Open definitely fits in that mould and we also only have one years course form to go on. I have spotted something about the Montomerie Maxx course when I was looking for similar courses and that was that it passes a resemblance to Barseback the old venue for the Scandinavian Masters. They are both parkland courses with pine forests involved that also have a few holes that run along the coast. Looking at last years top ten we have the following with their best finishes at Barseback.
2nd Donaldson 2nd 2009
5th Jacquelin 5th 2006
5th Poulter 2nd 2001 4th 2004
7th Stenson 2nd 2004
7th Warren 1st 2006
Course designer Monty was 8th,1st,1st and 4th there!
I may be wrong but I do think Warren is worth further investigation especially as he finally won again this year. In recent months he has also been 3rd in the Scottish Open and 4th in Wales so a price tag of 66/1 is more than fair. His form in China the last few weeks hasn't been great but I have to say thanks to his wife for tweeting me that he has had food poisoning so I admit to tempering the bet slightly - £30 ew 66/1
I will have a small play on Betfair on last years 5th Jacquelin who shot a course record 62 in the third round as he has been in pretty good nick over the last couple of months £25 150
november 10th 11.05
Around 3pm yesterday I was tearing my hair out a little thinking had I done the right thing putting all my bets up in monetary terms on what looked like one of the worst weeks I have had all year. Then the horse tip - a 33/1 outsider of six obliged followed a few hours later by Becker winning the Brazilian Open making eagle on three of his last eight holes. I had backed Becker last year at 66/1 even though he was out of form as he had won a big amateur event on the Gavea course. This year he was in much better form having won in his homeland in August and he won at 150/1. The point this proves is don't discount someone you backed before just because they performed poorly last year - if you have found a little nugget squirrel it away for future years!
This week I can see myself having a lot of smaller bets at big prices in Mexico for the OHL Classic whilst I am not that enthusiastic about the European tour event in Turkey
november 7th 09.28
Well the orignal picks in the HSBC didn't play according to plan and in the case of Kevin Stadler barely played at all - you can really go off some people! Yesterday as Tweeted I added Poulter £25 40/1 and Oliver Wilson £10 top 5 100/1 and £15 top 10 33/1 and at least they had good days overnight! I will probably try and lay Poulter to at least level up the book and give me a free bet on him. Over in Mississippi Randolph got off to a slow start but is hardly out of it and this morning I have added Heath Slocum £40 @ 90. By the looks of it keeping it in the fairway and hitting greens is vital and that is his forte. He has won this before and won the McGladrey in the Fall and has been 4th twice in recent outings. Sitting on -3 and out early I can see him trading a lot lower.
The horses haven't quite been going to plan - most have them have been well backed and traded low in running without winning. Today I have put up Present Lodger in the 1.50 Hexham £60 5/2. He reminds me a lot of the trainers recent Hexham winner Cobajayisland who I was on.
november 5th 12.40
Some of you may have noticed already the change in giving out bets and tactics this week - basically this blog was always supposed to be about my ups and downs in the betting world but it had somehow got away from that. Just giving out the tips and reasoning was fine but the bottom line has been showing losses which don't necessarily show in my bank balance. I have other bets and trade which has been a good thing of late with players getting in contention but coming up shy. So from now on my bets will be posted using a monetary value on Twitter - search for SBIdotcom and the trades will be up there are the week goes on - you can find them all under my favourites.
Onto this week - the PGA tour is in Mississippi this week but we have a change of course and I don't think I would be lying to say that everyone wanted to be on Jonathan Randolph this week as most people read that the Jackson Country Club is his home course. He grew up in Jackson and was runner up on this course in the State amateur - he is also a past State amateur champion and should feel right at home. He has actaully played this event for the past four years with progressive finishes of mc/64/21/14 and with the change of venue I can see that sequence progressing. Fortunately I was switched on on Monday and managed to get £10 ew 250/1 and a further £25 ew 200/1
My only other bet in the event is in the first round leader market with youngster Blayne Barber and is a small £10 ew 100/1. With a level playing field maybe Barber can get off to a fast start as he often does - in just 33 starts as a pro he has amassed these first round finishing positions 1/1/3/3/3/4/5/5 which I think you'll agree is pretty impressive.
The main event of the week is the WGC HSBC event from China which has been pretty good to me in the past and I remember backing Kevin Stadler here when he was 4th in 2007. I will have another crack at him this year but after his "capitulation" in France it will be wise to spread the bets so I have £7.50 ew 80/1 FRL, £15 ew 40/1 top American and £30 160 to trade.
The other player who interests me is Mikko Ilonen who has turned into a decent golfer this year and can mix it with the best. His record in China is solid with finishes of 4th, 2nd and 8th in recent China Opens and he has respectable finishes of 15th and 21st here. Last week he was 10th being one of the few to shoot all four rounds under par and led the all round stats. I couldnt get on with the only firm that went 80/1 but have £50 win 85 and a further £10 @ 95
november 3rd 22.07
A quick reminder of what bets I have placed today - you can find them all on Twitter under SBI favourite Tweets
Horse Racing
3.15 Exeter tomorrow £40 win 6/1 BOG (probably irrelevant!) Ziga Boy
Golf
WGC HSBC Champions
Kevin Stadler £7.50 ew 80/1 FRL, £15 ew 40/1 top American and £30 160 to trade
Mikko Ilonen £50 85 to trade
Sanderson Farms Championship
Jonathan Randolph £10 ew 250/1 + £25 ew 200/1
november 2nd 12.33
Another blank week on the golf and with a new month maybe it's time to make some changes to the site and this blog to better reflect what I actually do betting wise! Last week I managed to trade both Wilson and Noh to make a profit but they don't show up on the P&L because ultimately they failed to finish top five. I also have a small chance with 150/1 Bide in Peru tonight - again it doesn't show up. I also bet on other things such as athletics and horse racing but these aren't there - in fact Pineau de Re winning the Grand National this year netted me more than any golf winner I have had in recent memory. What I am getting at is that this blog has turned into a poor refelction of what I actually do so it's time for a change starting today. All bets will be tweeted and I will endeavour to write something on here every day.
Some of you may have spotted me moaning on Twitter about the lack of books pricing up the New York Marathon and the reason is I am keen on Meb Keflezighi. I backed him in 2009 at 100/1 when he won and with the weather due to be cold and windy conditions should be in his favour. He won the Boston marathon in the spring against a weaker field but would want him onside today - sadly only Skybet are offering a decent price and I only managed £6 ew 50/1 1/3 2 - but this new blog look has to start somewhere!
october 28th 16.21
It's half term week and things need to be juggled so research was done in the evening and bets were found when prices appeared but to be honest it's a quiet week and I have only found three bets worth having so I'll be fairly brief.
The PGA tour ventures far from its shores to Malaysia for the CIMB Classic and with four renewals behind us it is clear that the PGA players have the upper hand. Aphibarnrat came close for us last year but he is the only local player to come close so far. The Thai had winning form around Kuala Lumpur and I have gone for Seung-Yul Noh who also has winning form round the track but is now an established PGA pro. He won the Malaysian Open here when a teenager and finally won in hot and sticky Louisiana this year on the PGA tour. I was worried he would be a bit rusty but he warmed up in Korea last week improving with every round to finish 2nd. So we have the current and the course form and it all boiled down to price - back in 2012 in this event he was 20/1 on a different course and that was with Tiger in the field - hence a decent bet this week 0.75 ew 50/1
The European tour also pitches up in Asia this week with the BMW Masters from Lake Malaren in China. This is the third running of the event and I found that the two past winners had won in very different conditions but both Hanson and Gonzalez-Castano had also both won the KLM Open at Hilversumsche. There are plenty other correlations between the two but to be honest I am not sure why and sometimes we just have to say it is what it is! It did lead me to look at Simon Dyson who like the two winners has won at Hilversumsche and posted some great finishes in China over the years. However it is at this venue when things all kicked off last year when lying in tied second at the cut Dyson was disqualified for a rules infringement. Things could go one of two ways - he could find things too much or he could improve on his half way position last year and he has certainly been in contention a few times this year. At the price available I am happy to take the risk 0.4 ew 80/1
My only other pick is a big price but Oliver Wilson having finally won on tour at the Alfred Dunhill Links could be out to demonstrate he is a huge talent after all. This is the man who was second eleven times in tour events and China seemed to be home of some his seconditis having filled that position three times here. He had been 2nd in the Dunhill Links so it doesn't take a huge leap of faith to think he could also win in China and at the price it doesn't take much to find out 0.2 ew 200/1
october 22nd 12.41
The PGA tour moves to the East Coast this week for the fifth renewal of the McGladrey Classic from Sea Island. The key to finding the winner here does not lie with the bombers - you want a player who can plot their way around the shortish par 70 course with small Bermuda greens. I have gone for three plys outright plus a round one leader play.
Russel Henley is my headline tip and I for one was rather surprised to see him chalked up at 66/1 early - I expected him to be more like half that price. He could easily follow in the footsteps of fellow Georgia Bulldog Chris Kirk and take the title and the course should really suit. There are a number of similar courses and Henley has form at most including wins at the Sony Open, PGA National and a 6th at Harbour Town. He was in good form in the Fedex playoffs including a 2nd in the Deutsche Bank. He won in his "college state" of Georgia on the University course when an amateur on the Web.com tour and has been 1st and 6th in the SEC Championship around this weeks course before now. We know he can go well fresh after a break as he did when he won in Hawaii so he warrants a decent bet 0.5 ew 66/1
I do have a soft spot for Michael Thompson but feel that you have to pick the right time to bet him and this week is one of those. He has been 10th and 3rd here in two attempts and also won the SEC Championship - albeit on the neighbouring Federica course. Like Henley he has also won at PGA National and has a 6th in Hawaii which just goes to confirm when he is likely to play his best golf. Admittedly he has not had the best of seasons but at the price tag he is worth having onside as in 2012 he was backed in to 28/1 before the off 0.3 ew 125/1
I thought John Huh was worth taking a chance on considering he is a short accurate player who should be at home at Sea Island although this is his debut. With a win at El Cameleon, a 3rd at Harbour Town and 5th at Colonial it is clear short par 70 traditional tracks are where he will play best 0.2 ew 125/1
I like the look of Kevin Kisner this week but not his price and have had a saver on him @ 150 and I also think Blayne Barber could surprise. I got in early at 400+ on Betfair but will put him up for First Round Leader 0.1 ew 150/1. He was 3rd in the SEC Championship and also 3rd in the Jones Cup played on the Ocean Forest course behind Reed and Dubuisson which is pretty good amateur form. He got his card via the Web.com tour this year where in 19 starts he led twice and also has a 3rd,4th and 5th after round one.
october 22nd 11.10
Well the saver on Streelman nearly came off last week - it is always worth noting how far players drift on Betfair nefore the off and Streelman went out to 160 and in running was matched at 1/3 - always a good way to make a profit! Onto this week and two previews - firstly those that start later today.
In Australia its the last ditch chance for some players to maintain their playing priveleges at the Perth International and it can't be easy having to travel so far to do so. In these events in Australia we always seem to find the cream rising to the top and I only looked at players at the top end of the market and Steven Bowditch stuck out like a sore thumb. I just don't get the price - how can someone who has won this year on the PGA tour and was 2nd two weeks ago be the same price as some journeymen who have never won? Well the 66/1 didn't last long and the 50/1 has followed suit, maybe the compilers were looking at last weeks missed cut but he was +4 through four holes on day one but eventually fired back with a 66 on Friday to miss the cut on the mark. This will be his first start back at home since becoming a PGA winner so I have a feeling he will be "happy" 0.4 ew 66/1
I have also had a dabble on this weeks Asian tour event - the Venetian Macau Open where Els and Jaidee headline. I like the look of Wen-Chong Liang playing at "home" as he seems to come alive at this time of year. His last win was in November last year in the Phillipines and prior to that won in 2009, 2011 and 2012 in October - twice in China. He has a great long term record in Macau with his last four finishes being 9/9/4/11. To my mind there seems to be a lot going for a player who has been in good form in the last few months with a 2nd and 3rd in Japan 0.35 ew 50/1
october 15th 16.05
The main event for me this week is the Shriners Hospital for Children Open on the PGA tour and although the title keeps changing it has been a four round tournament held solely at the Summerlin course for the past eight years. I admit to finding it difficult whittling the field down and in the end have backed four players with small savers on Betfair on a host of others. The ones I left out were Brendan Steele because I think he needs a stiffer test, Jason Bohn who I tipped last year @ 150/1 when 2nd and would want that price again, Scott Brown as he shot a 77 around here last year and Kevin Streelman who likes it here but is out of sorts. Anyway - onto the ones I have backed!
Main bet of the week for me is Chesson Hadley who seems to be at his best on resort courses as witnessed by his win in Puerto Rico this year. There are lots of players who have excellent form at both venues and this was the site of Hadleys first top five PGA tour finish. He ended up 5th last year having been in the final group on the Sunday with friend Webb Simpson who went on to win. Hadley has only played in 53 events as a professional on the main tour and Web.com tour and already has three wins - I don't see why he warrants a price tag of 66/1! He played brilliantly in the playoffs to become rookie of the year and needed the outing last week as he had been a bit poorly during his break. Hopefully he can reward our investment a second time 0.5 ew 66/1
Ryo Ishikawa has been a popular pick this week and its easy to see why as he was 2nd here last year and also has been 2nd in Puerto Rico. Whilst his maiden win still eludes him I think it is likely to come on a resort course like this where he feels at home - indeed he has a home in Nevada so will be used playing at altitude around Summerlin. He won in Japan in the summer and putted really well last week on his way to a top twenty finish in the Frys.com Open 0.3 ew 80/1
Bryce Molder does at least have a win on the PGA tour and it came in the Frys event when played at Cordevalle in 2011 and I find it interesting that his Web.com win also came in October. He seems more than capable of stringing a few results together on the bounce and especially on the West Coast where he seems to thrive - including his 3rd last week. We therefore have a lot of things in his favour going into this week where he has shot some low rounds before 0.25 ew 90/1
Last pick goes to a Web.com graduate Justin Thomas who was an absolute birdie machine on that tour last year averaging over 4.5 a round. He played really well when confronted with altitude including a 5th in Bogata, 2nd in Mexico and 3rd in Idaho so this should hold no fears. He played well in round one last week but had a horror stretch of holes in round two to miss the cut but this should suit him better. He has been pushed from 80/1 to 125/1 and that is worth taking - 0.2 ew.
october 15th 12.09
This week I will split the previews in two with the first covering the three bets from the events scattered around the globe that kick off "today". We seem to be blessed these days with more and more books prepared to offer prices on the minor tours and one bookmaker that is bang up there with the best at these offers is 138.com
The European tour travels out to Hong Kong for its annual foray and I really thought I would find some value when you have an out of sorts 50 year old as favourite and an up and coming retiree in Derksen a short price you would think there must be something! I do like the look of Lipsky to kick on from his success at Crans but the price seems about right and I am tempted by Jacquelin again but worry what sort of mood he might still be in after his capitulation in the Dunhill Links. In the end I have gone for recent Queensland Open winner Andrew Dodt who does at least have a European tour victory to his name. That win came in the Avantha Masters in 2010 when he won at the DLF course which reminds me quite a lot of Fanling. In the past two years here he has kicked off with a 65 and 66 to lie in the first three but has faded thereafter. This year he has played very consistently - something he hasn't done since 2010 so is worth a small investment 0.2 ew 100/1
The LPGA tour is also out in the Far East at the moment and they travel to South Korea for the regular stop - the Hana Bank Championship. I expect Hyo-Joo Kim to kick on from her win in the Evian Masters but at the prices I prefer Ha Na Jang who was just behind her in 3rd. Each of the two now has six tour wins on their home Korean tour but Jang has marginally better course form and won her maiden title on the other course at the Sky72 complex in 2012 0.4 ew 40/1
Lastly a dabble on the Western Australian Open where we have a few bookmakers to choose from. Everyone remembers Baddeley taking out his home Open when still an amateur and recently several young amateurs have played well in smaller home events. Brady Watt was 9th in this the last time it came to Cottesloe as a youngster in 2009 and he and Oliver Goss were the two amateur protagonists in the playoff in 2012. Nathan Holman was 2nd and 5th as an amateur and Higginbottom went one better with a 2nd and a win in the New Zealand Open. I will put forward young Curtis Luck who is amassing a lot of amateur titles and plays this week on his home course where he has performed well against the pros in the Cottesloe Open before now 0.2 ew 80/1
october 8th 11.55
I will just do the one write up this week as I only have the one official bet in the Portugal Masters and a couple of small first round leader bets. It is an interesting betting week - I think it is hard to find value in the European tour event with all the course form and current form laid out in front of you whereas on the PGA tour lots of players are coming off a break, we have a new course and we have all the Web.com graduates coming up. In my mind the bookmakers are on the back foot on the PGA tour and I have four selections all made for a variety of reasons.
It was a big week last week for Chris Doak and I thought about backing him playing at home as a new Dad but sadly I left him out as he finished 5th, securing his tour card with the biggest cheque of his career. I see no reason not to bet him this week as he will be in relaxed mode on a course where he was 8th last year which secured his playing priveleges for the current season. He seems to have a habit of playing the same courses well each year - Spey Valley he has gone 5/8/4 Tseleevo 9/4/c and Golf du Governeur 4/1. Interestingly those last two results in the Lyon Open came in this very week so bio-rhythm backers should definitely have him onside!! 0.25 ew 125/1 - 100/1 still acceptable
I have also added a couple of small FRL bets - Stuart Manley hasn't played in Portugal for a while but in nine starts in the country has finished 1st,1st,3rd and 4th after the opening days play and if he can recapture the form he showed at the tail end of last year he could shoot low 0.05 ew 250/1. Secondly a young Portuguese player I put up a couple years ago as an amateur Ricardo Gouveia who is coming off a maiden Challenge tour win last week 0.05 ew 200/1 FRL
Over in California the Frys.com Open moves to a new venue - the Silverado course and my headline pick is Ben Crane whose price I just don't get. He loves playing in October - in 2011 he won the McGladrey and in 2010 the Asia Pacific after a five week layoff and you can add in a Web.com win in this month as well. He is coming here after a break but that 2010 win proved he can go well fresh and his win this year in the St Jude came after a three week break. He has won in California before - the Northern Trust Open in 2010 and hails from Oregon - not a million miles from Napa Valley and can boast a 2nd in this event in the past. His last two starts showed some solid stats so I make him a lot lower than all the books!! 0.5 ew 80/1
I am going to stick with Richard Sterne this week as he managed to get us a tie for 6th last week after a sluggish start. In the past he has shown he can maintain a high level of form over an extended period and having got his PGA tour card he will be pretty keen to lock it up very quickly 0.4 ew 80/1
The leading money leader from the Web.com tour Adam Hadwin looks to continue a rich vein of form and why not here on a course where no-one has any real advantage. Although he has been around a few years he is still only 26 and finally showed his talent on the lower tour with a brace of wins. He has plenty of experience playing in California on the Canadian Tour which includes a win so will feel comfortable as he is based on the West Coast. He has had a few runouts on the PGA tour before and has already been 4th in his home open in 2011 and had a good chance of winning this very event later that year when 7th at Cordevalle. With plenty of experience under his belt expect him tho challenge for titles this season 0.3 ew 125/1
Lastly and from very left field I looked at Johnny Miller who hosts this event on a course he has close ties with and won twice on the PGA tour at Silverado. He was a multiple winner on tour mainly on the West Coast but I noted Aaron Baddeley had a similar profile of wins - his three PGA tour wins have come in the RBC Heritage, the FBR Open and Northern Trust - Miller won those three events a combined five times. I admit it is tenuous to say the least but Baddeley plays at his best on the West Coast so have a small dabble 0.2 ew 150/1
september 30th 16.22
This week all the Ryder Cup hype has now gone and we are back down to earth with the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship being the main event on show. We would all be really guessing by saying how any playing Ryder Cuppers will react although at least it's a relaxing week being a pro-am played over three links courses. Home grown players won the first seven renewals and three of the last six although recently Karlsson and Kaymer have won and the first international winner was South African Grace in 2012. It makes sense to look for decent links players but not necessarily those who thrive in tough links conditions as being a pro-am the courses are set up on the easy side. My three off the tee are as follows -
This week we have a home grown player who has plenty of links experience as an amateur, which wasn't that long ago, who has been in the top five in four of his last tour starts yet is 50/1 - it does beg the question why is Eddie Pepperell such a big price? I guess the answer is fairly straightforward - he hasn't won on tour yet and his links form isn't that obvious - oh and it's a cracking field! However I am prepared to give him a chance based on the obvious current form plus a few other bits and pieces. As stated he isn't long out of the amateur ranks with a best of runner up to Tom Lewis in the boys amateur around Royal St Georges. He has one pro win in France on a course that can only be described as links like as it sits on the North Brittany coast. He has played in this event once before with a fairly decent finish of 26th - he was actually on schedule for a possible top ten until a double bogey, bogey finish dropped him back. When you consider he came into the event last year on the back of a 68th at Celtic Manor and m/c at Kennemer and he has just finished 4th at both of those courses then you can see he is in much better form!! Lots of pundits will say it's all built into the price this week - I think maybe there is a little bit more juice left in the tank 0.5 ew 50/1 6 places
Raphael Jacquelin doesn't normally jump out as a good links player but he has an 8th in an Open and a 3rd and 5th in this very event and he also seems at home in Scotland with a 2nd and 3rd in the Scottish Open in recent years. His two recent wins at El Saler and Donnafugata were on linksy type coastal courses so all that leaves is current form. I put him up the other week in Wales but an opening 76 put paid to his chances but his last three rounds were as good as anyone as he climbed to 29th with some excellent ball striking. I am more than happy to back him again at the price 0.3 ew 150/1 6 places
Lastly I will take a chance on Richard Sterne now that he has fulfilled a lifetime ambition to qualify for the PGA tour. It has been a difficult year for the South African who was suffering from a hip problem and finally decided on surgery in March after finishing 4th in the WGC at Doral. It has taken him a while to find some form again but losing a playoff in the penultimate Web.com event secured his rights and he went straight home to celebrate and have a break. He has played some good links golf in the past and can win in this company and has even triumphed twice in the Joburg Open played over multiple courses. I just think he is worth a bet at what maybe an inflated price 0.25 ew 100/1 6 places

september 23rd 13.06
Whilst there are no outright bets before the off from us if you read below we will give some hints and pointers at who to follow in matches once they are announced and also all the best bookmaker offers to entice you to place a bet!
To start with if you are going to bet on the matches there is one website you simply have to look at http://adamsarson.com/match-play-records/
This site is a labour of love from Adam but is a godsend for punters looking for angles on who to bet on. I have trawled through all this years competitors and dragged out some interesting statistics.
Everyone raves about Ian Poulter and his magic in match play but the fact remains he is in poor form this year and has actually lost his last five matches in either the WGC or Volvo Matchplay. Personally I would be against him although if he is partnered with Justin Rose then they will probably be worth backing as together they are 6-1.
It is always a tall order for rookies on Ryder Cup sides and I would definitely be out to oppose two of the Europeans who have a dreadful record in singles match play. Jamie Donaldson maybe having a great season but in seven singles matches in various competitions he has lost five and halved two. If you thought that record wasn’t great then check out Stephen Gallacher - played seven - lost seven!
On the American team Matt Kuchar is a player who always seems to be top quality - especially in WGC events but in the Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup he has lost all four singles matches.
Wild card pick Keegan Bradley was probably chosen because of his great record when partnering Phil Mickelson and it would be a surprise if they were not paired together again as they are 5-1-1. However Bradley is probably worth opposing in the singles where in six matches he has lost five. Maybe a good angle for backing Bradley would be for top scorer either USA or combined before the start but lay back before the singles on Sunday.
Listed below are all the bookmaker offers I can find so far - to place a bet simply click on the bookmaker names but please be aware there are terms and conditions attached to most of these - some of which I have pointed out
Betway
Place a Ryder Cup Winner or To Lift The Trophy bet on the 2014 Ryder Cup and if Europe lose, Betway will refund losing bets with a Free Bet up to £25.
Back a player or a pair to win a point in their respective Fourball, Foursome or Single at the Ryder Cup 2014 and if your choice is leading after 12 holes before losing (not halving), Betway will refund losing bets with a Free Bet up to £25
Place a Fourfold or higher bet on any Ryder Cup Point Winner Market (Singles, Foursomes & Fourballs), and if just one selection lets you down, Betway will refund losing bets with a Free Bet up to £25.
Price boost on Rory McIlroy to be Top Combined points scorer at 8/1.
Betbright
Place an In-Play Golf bet on day 1 & 2 and get a FREE BET of up to £25 on day 3
Titanbet
Open a new account - get a free £50 bet and get Europe @ 5/2 or the USA @ 9/2 - max stake £10
Unibet
Are offering money back on select markets if USA win the Ryder Cup.The following markets are included: Top Debutant Player, Top English Points Scorer, Top European Points Scorer, Top USA Points Scorer or Top Points Scorer. Min. stake is £20
Their second offer is simple, place a £20 bet on the winner of the Ryder Cup, and get a £20 risk-free live bet on the Ryder Cup
Skybet
Place a minimum of £5 on any of the selected Ryder Cup outright markets. These are Correct Score, Top Overall Points Scorer, Top European Points Scorer and Top USA Points Scorer. If the USA win Skybet will refund total losing stakes on those markets up to £150 as a Free Bet on Monday 29th September!
Totesport
Free £25 bet and you can have £10 on Europe @ 3/1 for new accounts
september 16th 14.46
We came up just shy in Holland last week with Simon Dyson finishing strong for 2nd but as a general rule anything 33/1 and below is usually win only for me. This week we have the Wales Open from Celtic Manor where I am happy to leave alone any Ryder Cuppers who I am sure will have their thoughts elsewhere. I really do like the look of Simon Dyson again but not at the price and I am sure Ed Molinari will get another victory soon. The man I was keen to back was Paul Waring but his price is just too short in my opinion - instead I have come up with three picks at varying prices and a first round leader bet as well.
Thongchai Jaidee has been having a great year and having finally got a win on European soil here two years ago he added another in the Nordea Masters. He also came close with a 5th in Germany and may well have added a third victory in France where he came unstuck early on the Sunday in poor weather before rallying to finish tied 2nd. Talking of the weather then he will feel more at home in Wales this weekend where conditions will be unseasonably warm and humid with the chance of a thunderstorm - much more like Thailand! I don't usually like backing players who have won an event before but he has proven that he can win at the same venue in the Far East having done it three times which is most unusual. The key to playing well at Celtic Manor appears to be solid GIR stats and whilst he only managed 26th in his title defence he was 3rd in that category. There is a little bit of doubt over his fitness as I expected him back from his break in Thailand last week but I still think he is worth a decent bet 0.5 ew 45/1
Last year Gregory Bourdy finally converted at Celtic Manor having held some great GIR stats on previous visits - indeed he had ranked 1st and 2nd twice before converting so that may well inspire fellow Frenchman Raphael Jacquelin to follow suit. He was 2nd in that category here in 2008 on his debut when 3rd outright and 4th in 2010. Jacquelin can sometimes hit terrible spells of form where his mind wonders away from golf and that has certainly been the case this summer but his last two events have shown him in a much better light - especially last week when a solid 11th. We were on him in Spain when he won last season so maybe he can strike again for us 0.3 ew 125/1
I have reverted back to a left field pick for this week in the shape of Johan Carlsson who sprinted through the field last week with a final round 63 to finish tied 5th. We haven't seen much of this talented guy in the last nine months when he was being sent off at 50 or 66/1 but that maybe because he seems to like this time of the year! If you are into your bio-rhythms then you will be pleased to know this week last year he won on the Challenge tour by an impressive seven shots and the year before that won his maiden Nordea title at the same time. Maybe its coincidence but with his liking for this time of the year and an impressive top ten strike rate he is worthy of inclusion 0.15 ew 200/1 + 0.2 top 10 14/1
Lastly I will give Ricardo Ganzalez another crack to be first round leader - he crops up regularly in this market and has posted some low numbers around here. He finished with a 64 in Crans and in his last two starts has been 2nd and 4th for GIR 0.1 ew 125/1 FRL
september 13th 10.35

I will admit that the new government regulations in the UK re Bookmakers had rather passed me by but on closer inspection over the past few days it rather fills me with dread as to the future of gambling in the UK and how wrong the UK government and the Gambling Commission have got it.
The way I see it is that the whole ethos behind anything government does with gambling is to stamp out gambling addiction but they really have shot themselves in the foot here. The implementation of a 15% tax on gross profits on bets placed by UK residents has seen the swift withdrawal from the marketplace by SBObet, Pinnacle, Mansion etc and I am sure they won’t be the last. What worries me is that these are the only bookmakers who will actually lay a decent bet to customers and we are left with the other end of the spectrum with bookmakers who want you to play bingo, poker and casino games plus those dreaded FOBT’s - these addictive types of games are exactly the ones that the government is trying to curb.
Some punters will say we still have Belfair - very true - but with the gradual reduction in their real competition surely this is a bad thing in the long term for the punter as they will find more ways of taking more from you.
I admit to speaking from my pocket but this government was supposed to stand for freedom of choice and getting away from the “Nanny State” - this policy is totally at odds with this.
The Gambling Commission has been shocking in its supposed protection of UK punters - all you have to do is look at the recent debacle with BetButler where I saw the writing on the wall many months in advance but they took no heed of a constant barrage of complaints from players not being paid. By the time they eventually revoked their licence the horse had well and truly bolted.
There is a solution for UK punters who still want to bet with the likes of Pinnacle and SBO among others although what I am about to say may seem odd in the light of what I have just written about BetButler. There is a company called SportMarket based in Malta who act as a “broker” for players who want to bet with these books all from one handy account. The crucial difference is that they are not really acting as a broker - they are placing bets on a clients behalf and they earn their money by getting a very small percentage of volume turnover from the bookmaker in question. In a way there is also a massive benefit to punters who sign up for SportMarket as they also have access to a whole host of other books such as IBC, ISN, Samvo, Matchbook all from one simple account!
They are constantly improving and adding to their offerings - indeed today they will be adding NFL to their portfolio so now is the time to act - to sign up simply follow this link SportMarket and put two fingers up to the Gambling Commission!!

september 9th 14.53
Apologies for the lack of a write-up last week - I was back late from holiday on Wednesday and only really had time to put all the bets up. In the end we came close with 50/1 pick Fleetwood who traded as favourite for much of the weekend but couldn't find a putt on the back nine on Sunday. Even big outsider Chesson Hadley gave us a run for our money through his front nine on Sunday but again he stalled so onto this week. I won't be playing in the Tour Championship as there is no value to be had in my opinion and thats where my interest lies - I could easily tip the favourites but there is little point. I do think we have a cracking betting heat in the form of the KLM Open and in the end struggled to keep it down to just the five picks!
Simon Dyson just has to go into this weeks portfolio even if it is just 0.3 win only @ 30/1. He has won this title three times including twice round Kennemer with the other win coming at a different Harry Colt design - Hilversumsche. You will often find players do well on both courses and with Dyson returning to form in Italy last time you leave him out at your peril.
As I have backed Dyson I feel it impossible to leave out Darren Clarke whose scoring average around here in eight rounds is an impressive 66.38 - Dyson is the next lowest at 67.85. Clarke also has a 2nd and 5th around Hilversumche so clearly loves these linksy Ductch courses - probably quite befitting for an Open Champion! The slimline Clarke hasn't fared that well on his attempt at the PGA tour this year but I don't think his career is over quite yet and he keeps firing in some low rounds. If he were ever to win again it would be here on a course where he has won before 0.3 ew 100/1
Biggest bet of the week for me is veteran Australian Richard Green who has finished runner up at each of the two KLM Open venues. He really caught my eye last week at Crans on a course where he has a terrible record - in three previous atempts he had missed the cut each time with a scoring average of 75 yet last week shot 71 64 67 66 to finish 12th. That shows to me he is clearly in good form and now comes to a venue he has a great record at. It has been a few years since his last win but he came close in Spain earlier this year and is definitely a horses for courses type of player 0.5 ew 90/1
Bearing in mind that improved performance at Crans another player caught my eye in the shape of James Morrison. He had played once more than Green but had four missed cuts to his name and an average of 74.25 but something clicked last week with a 66 69 67 69. It seems a long time ago that he burst onto the scene with a 4th at the Colt designed East London course and a win at the coastal exposed Madeira Open but he suffers from bouts of Crohn's disease which explains a lot. His all round game is really solid a the moment and he is worth risking this week 0.25 ew 100/1
Last pick is Gregory Havret who is only worth backing once his ball striking improves and that certainly has been the case since he got married last month. The same thing happened with him this time last year and after a 7th at Crans he was 3rd on his debut on this course - take the hint and have 0.3 ew 90/1
august 26th 15.43
This weeks picks are rather thin on the ground on the main tours with the Deutsche Bank Championship headlining the PGA tour and the Italian Open in Europe. I have made just one pick in each as there are nine other tour events to look at the chances are there are some better value bets to be found elsewhere and these will be put up on Twitter as and when I find them!!
As the Fedex Playoffs progress the chances of finding any value bets in my opinion diminishes - with smaller fields each week and with form very exposed I find it harder and harder. However one player stood out to me in the shape of Webb Simpson who as a Major winner and a winner of this event simply shouldn't be the price he is. I admit his recent form has been a bit hit and miss but he has three top five finishes in his last nine starts and appears to be a fine player of TPC courses so at 80/1 I put up 0.3 ew but 66/1 is still a fair price. If you wanted an outsider then I couldn't put you off Geoff Ogilvy @ 250/1 with Coral as the recent winner has been 2nd,5th, 6th and 7th around Boston in the past.
On the European tour much talk will be about the Italian Open being the final qualifying event for this years Ryder Cup but I will go for a player has no concern being a pick or not. Italian parkland courses are often very similar to those in South Africa and players from that country have a good record in Italy - we nearly got 200/1 shot Mulroy across the line a few years ago. George Coetzee is a player I don't think I have ever backed before as he was always going off at stupidly short prices until he finally won earlier this year. His form went off the boil in the spring but recent starts have been encouraging with an 18th in the Open and 17th in the Barracuda where he went off at just 33/1. He now returns to Europe to an event where he has been solid in the past with finishes of 13th and 11th so reperesents a decent bet - 0.4 ew 50/1
august 21st 10.21
Having made a profit with Juliet Granada in recent months on the LPGA tour I have been looking a bit more closely at that tour and whilst the winners are very predictable often those that place are as well but often at reasonable odds as the market leaders take a huge chunk out of the market. Angela Stanford is such a player - whilst her last win was February 2012 adding to her three in 2008/9 her top five strike rate is really impressive - roughly one in five over a long period of time. What led me initially to her this week was that last time they played the London course in 2006 she was 2nd and she can add in another 2nd a 3rd and 4th in this event as well. That makes four top four finishes in eleven attempts and she was also second in the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic in Canada last year. Reading back on past interviews it becomes very clear she loves playing in Canada saying the tree lined courses simply suit her game - have a decent bet as the place part is great value 0.5 ew 50/1
august 19th 15.55
I have been looking forward to the PGA tour returning to the Ridgewood course in New Jersey and I bet Kevin Streelman has been too! What I wrote four years ago still holds true today
"He loved playing here two years ago when he had a really good chance to win before going on to finish 4th. It was a bit of a homecoming for him as his family is from the area and he had a lot of support - oh and the morbid bit - his grandparents reside next door to the course - in the cemetery!!!!!"
Four years ago I managed to get 250/1 on Betfair about the win part whilst generally he was a 150/1 shot. This time round the odds are much shorter and justifiably so as he went on to finish 3rd that time and more importantly he is now a two time winner on tour whereas back in 2010 he was yet to grace the winners enclosure. Both his wins at River Highlands and Innisbrook have come on courses he had previously achieved a top ten finish on and he does seem to be a much better player on the Eastern seaboard. The reason we are getting 100/1 this week is his current run of form which is a bit mediocre - but don't be put off - prior to his Travelers win he had missed four straight cuts. For a player returning to his favourite venue with a pair of wins in the last eighteen months I make him a very solid bet 0.6 ew 100/1
My only other bet in the Barclays is on regular fast starter Ryan Palmer. His low Thursday rounds tend to come in clumps and at the same events so he caught my eye having co-led the PGA Championship last time out, was 3rd here back in 2010 and 2nd in this event last year so he is definitely worth including in this weeks staking plan 0.15 ew 80/1 FRL
I probably only have one more bet to come this week so keep an eye on Twitter as I am waiting for full prices - so it maybe tomorrow
august 18th 20.43
This week the European tour returns to Czechoslavakia after a few years hiatus but in all honesty as I alluded to on Twitter it's a bit like the blind man in the dark room looking for the black cat....that isn't there! To be honest with an event like this I often do things in reverse and that is look at prices first and see who stands out and surprisingly I came up with two players at decent prices.
The Keith Preston designed course - Albatross has been used for a couple of events on the Ladies European tour with the winners being Melissa Reid and Jade Schaeffer and one thing that caught my eye with those two is that they are both good links players though that could well be a red herring when you look at the course. Anyway it did get me looking at one of the best links exponents in the field - Simon Dyson and decided he was worthy of a bet. The six time European tour winner has had a couple of really good 5th placed finishes this season in top class events - much better than this week has to offer. After a six week mid summer break he turned up in Denmark last week and with a 77 in round one he shot himself out of it but the three rounds that followed 69 70 69 were as good as anyone. On his last visit to the Czech Republic he was 5th holding every chance going into the final round 0.4 ew 40/1
David Horsey is another player who now enters the realms of multiple European tour winner with last months Russian Open win making it three. Over the years he has made a habit of maintaining a strong level of form for several weeks and a bit like Dyson last week there were plenty of positives if you leave out the first round - especially with his putting. There are plenty of players around him in the betting who are yet to win or have only won once so he strikes me as being particularly good value 0.4 ew 66/1
august 13th 12.45
It is nice to see quite a few books up with prices for the Fiji International and I think I have unearthed a decent bet. Matthew Griffin seems at home on tough coastal tracks especially in the Pacific. He won the Fiji Open on this course in 2009 - his first professional win, the following year he won another small event in Fiji and then was 4th defending. In 2011 he won the South Pacific Classic on the exposed wind blown Tina track and was 2nd on his title defence a year later. He has won three times in Korea in the past three years including just three weeks ago when he took out the Korean PGA Championship. He also won earlier this season in Victoria at the 13th Beach course - the clues in the name!! I would make him around 14/1 in this field so is worth a decent bet @ the 28/1 - 0.5 ew or even at the 20/1 widely available.
I have also gone for Julieta Granada in the Wegmans LPGA Championship - sticking to the belief that whilst she is just below top notch she does have a good Major record. Her price seems to be based on poor recent form in this event at Locust Hill but this week we have a new venue. She has had numerous top ten finishes at Donald Ross tracks and has been top ten in her last three starts - 0.2 ew 100/1 + 0.6 top ten 8/1
august 12th 17.04
This weeks tour events come from North Carolina with the Wyndham Championship where we have a lot of pointers to work on and the Made in Denmark event on the European tour where frankly we have very little to go on. Sticking to my guns as mentioned in the blog on Sunday I have a solid pick for the former and an interesting suggestion for the latter.
Lets get the European pick out of the way first - the Danes seem to be popular choices this week in front of a home crowd and it should come as no surprise but I will stick up the Swede Jens Dantorp who seems to have quite a liking for the Himmerland course. In 2011 he won the Nordea Tour Final here in a four man play off before the course revamp. In 2012 he played a regular Nordea event at Himmerland losing in a three man playoff and then the following month defended his title winning by four strokes both after all the changes to the course had been finalised. What to make of the form is difficult but he did beat well backed local Lucas Bjerregaard comfortably in all three - he was 40th, 4th and 42nd. The big question is - can he take that course form to this level? The answer is sadly probably not - but he is worth a play in the first round leader market as it wasn't long ago he led the Nordea Masters after round one played on his home course in Sweden 0.2 ew 200/1.
At least Martin Laid is a name people will be far more familiar with and I really do expect him to be a strong contender this week. First of all we have his course form - 4th on his debut and a scoring average of 67.58 (4th amongst those with three starts) and all that with some poor rounds thrown in. His current form seems to be getting stronger and stronger every week culminating in his 6th in Reno last time out where he has played so well before. He could easily have won that event were it not for a sloppy second round as the other three were all 66's. He says he is striking the ball really well at the moment so will be happy to return to a course where he said this on his debut
"I really like it. I said to my caddy I really like it. Lot of 2-irons and 3-woods. We play courses all the time where it's driver every hole. Here you have to shape some shots and work the ball into some flags. I really liked it."
Looking at past winners here at Sedgefield - Ryan Moore and Webb Simpson have also both won @ Summerlin and Carl Pettersson has been 5th twice there. Whilst there seems little in the way of similarities between the two courses they are both low scoring and Laird has won and been second there.
All in all he ticks a lot of very stringent boxes for me so it's 0.6 ew 66/1
august 10th 13.15
After a very poor run it always makes sense to sit down and analyse results and where it has gone wrong and of course the weeks where it has gone right!. Something similar happened last year and whilst I expect poor runs to happen - the magnitude of the last two has got me concerned. SO over the past week I have analysed the last ten years of bets and tips and come up with several conclusions which will hopefully help me move forward profitably.
Firstly and I think most importantly the game has changed - bookmaker pricing has become far more sophisticated and with the advent of early prices on Betfair and the rise of the "Twitter tipster" it is becoming increasingly harder to take advantage of early pricing errors - because they rarely crop up. Gone are the days when I tipped Yang at 125/1 for the HSBC Champions only to top up a day later when the Australian books went 350/1! what is also apparent form looking at past winners is that it came as no suprise that my Bet365, Stan James and Paddy Power accounts were closed!
I also used to do well on the Web.com tour and in a couple of years backed winners @ 125/90/80/50/50 - that was in the day when only a few bookmakers priced these events up and mistakes were more widespread.
Maybe it is time I concentrated more on the smaller tours where few books price up - in Asia I have put up only 2 bets this year and one won @ 25/1, whilst on the Challenge tour with twelve picks I have had places @ 66/1 and 80/1. The problem with this inevitably is getting bets on with the select number of books that actually price up.
On the main tours I will concentrate on players in the sub 100/1 bracket from now on as my strike rate above that figure really is poor apart from in the Majors. Don't get me wrong there will still be tips at bigger prices but only if I think I have found information that I don't think has been adding into the pricing equation.
I have thought long and hard about putting up the higher priced golfers with a view to trading as I have still won plenty of money of late using this approach but I just don't think it's a viable proposition for a site like SBI.
I would just like to say thanks for the continued support and emails especially to those who are constructive in their criticism.
august 5th 16.05
When researching for this years US PGA Championship it becomes fairly obvious that of the last 15 winners 13 of them had already won that season - the two exceptions were oddly Micheel and Dufner who both won @ Oak Hill. For some reason Americans have a better record in this Major than the others - possibly down to the heat and humidity in August in the states where it is staged and don't be put off by backing outsiders - they have a good record. Lastly seven of the last ten winners had posted at least a top six finish in the Major before. I have come up with five golfers who fulfill at least some of these criteria.
My first selection was Jonas Blixt mainly due to his big price especially when you consider his recent form in Majors. He was a pretty consistent golfer over the last few years winning in both 2012 and 2013 and finishing 4th in this last year. 2014 has not been a great year for the Swede but he did pop up from nowhere on his Masters debut to finish 2nd @ Augusta. At 250/1 he has to be worth a small risk 0.2 ew - now available with 6 places on offer.
Hideki Matsuyama heads to Valhalla with that all important win earlier in the season and it could well be a good omen for him that it came on another Jack Nicklaus course @ Muirfield Village which some people think is a good fit for Valhalla. That win came after a consistent run of form on his return from injury and added to five wins the youngster had already achieved in Japan in his short career. In just 24 starts in the US he can also boast a 3rd a 4th and a 10th in the US Open last year and was an ever improving 12th last week @ Firestone. He is a huge talent and worthy of a decent bet 0.4 ew 66/1 6 places
Scott Stallings' performances on the golf course bear a remarkable similarity to Forrest Gumps' box of chocolates - you never know what you are going to get! However he has that all important win this season - coming in a top class event @ Torrey Pines. He also seems to have a penchant for Jack Nicklaus courses having won @ Annandale, finished 4th @ Muirfield and he should have won when we were on him in the Humana. Being from Tennessee he will be well used to the heat and humidity and if we can catch him on a going week he is a ridiculously big price 0.1 ew 400/1 6 places.
Talking of local players then we simply have to have Kentuckian JB Holmes in our line-up. He returned to form this year after taking time off for brain and elbow surgery and a broken ankle! He won @ Quail Hollow this year after a consistent run of form and that event is often taken by Major performers. He would clearly love to delight the home fans who probably still feel their other home grown player Kenny Perry should have won here back in 2000. Perry was a stalwart in the US Ryder Cup team that easily beat Europe here at Valhalla in 2008 and his efforts were actually surpassed by a young Holmes who was a Captains pick that year. He has been well tipped up because of his local connections which comes as no great surprise 0.25 ew 110/1 6 places.
My big outsider will come as a surprise to most but there is method in my madness so bear with me! Scott Piercy doesn't have a win under his belt this year but then again he did miss a big chunk having gone through elbow surgery - he does however fit the criteria of a top finish in the event before having been 5th @ Oak Hill last season. What first caught my attention was his his from at this time of year - his two Web.com wins came on the 10th and 28th of August and his two PGA wins on the 29th July and 7th August. Whilst looking for similar courses to Valhalla - namely tree lined parkland with elevation changes I identified Hamilton where Piercy won the Canadian Open and you could almost say that the Nicklaus designed Montreux course fits the bill as well - the scene of his other win. He played a couple of Web.com events as allowed on his return from surgery and his only start on the PGA tour was in Canada where he finished 25th. There was however plenty of encouragement in that as his second round 65 was the 3rd lowest of the day and the closing 66 was joint 8th lowest, he also finished 6th in scrambling and 5th for putts per round. Given that he has finished 5th and 6th after the opening rounds in the last two PGA Championships I have backed him in the first round leader market - 0.1 ew 200/1 and outright 0.4 ew 300/1 6 places.
There were numerous other players that nearly made the final list and I have had savers on Reed 100, Cabrera 150 and Ogilvy 250 all on Betfair.
july 29th 22.27
This week both the main betting heats are in the US with the WGC Bridgestone Invitational from its regular venue at the Firestone course in Akron Ohio and a supporting PGA event - the old Reno Tahoe Open now renamed the Barracuda Championship. Both these events have been good for me in the past so whilst the bets are few they are pretty strong.
Kicking off with the WGC event it has been a tournament where Major winners have been at the forefront and you really need to look at the bigger names this week and not really down the field. Strangely enough I could almost write the same preview as I did last year as the picks are exactly the same. I put up Angel Cabrera last year at 66/1 and at the same price this year he has to be the main pick. He is definitely a Major performer with wins at the Masters and US Open and has three top four finishes here as well. He finally won a regular PGA tour event just a few weeks ago and actually had a really solid Open Championship performance if you take out the the first few holes on day one. Basically he ticks an awful lot of boxes this week and is worthy of a decent wager 0.5 ew 66/1.
Last year I put up Bubba Watson as a round one leader bet only but I am happy to go with him in both that and the main outright market this time round - especially as he now has another Major under his belt. His round one finishes at Firestone are much better than his eventual finishing positions as he has been 1/32/3/7 after the opening salvo yet he has only finished with a high of 19th in those four appearances by the end. If you look at his first round finishes in WGC strokeplay events in ten starts he actually has finishes of 1/1/3/3/4 so he can certainly turn it on for the big events. He does seem to have gone off the boil a little at the moment but the mercurial Watson can turn it on at any time and the price is simply too big 0.4 ew 50/1 + 0.2 ew 45/1 FRL.
In Nevada I have gone for three outsiders although I can make a strong case for players like Watney, Romero and Laird their prices offer little in the way of value.
I will stick with Dicky Pride for another week as I alluded to last week it is 20 years since his one and only win and the anniversary actually falls on Thursday when he tees off. He is certainly in form after scything through the field on Sunday with a course record 63 in Montreal to finish 7th. He also has a good record here in Reno adding a 5th last year (2nd in the strokeplay scores) to a 10th back in 2003. His good form at the moment boils down to a hot putter and I see no reason to desert him at the moment 0.4 ew 125/1
Jim Renner is a very hit and miss player either missing cut after cut or having a really good finish. Back in 2011 on his only start here he finished 5th a few weeks after finishing 4th at another Jack Nicklaus course - Annandale. He then spent a few years back on the Web.com tour before regaining his playing priveleges and nearly secured them for another year when 2nd at Pebble Beach back in February. I have gone for him in the outright market 0.1 ew 300/1 but also in the round one market - 0.1 ew 225/1 as he already has three top five finishes in that market this year.
Last man in is way from left field like Dicky Pride last week and comes in the form of young rookie Wes Roach. When looking at these "opposite" events it often pays dividends to look at other events played alongside either WGC or other Major events and Roach was 4th in the last of those in Puerto Rico. He seems to have an affinity with playing at altitude as his best finishes on the Web.com tour came when 2nd at El Bosque and 5th Sao Paolo - both at altitude like Reno this week. As a player he makes a lot of birdies but also quite a few bogeys so the Stableford format may well suit him. I have invested 0.15 ew 500/1 but after last week have also added 0.2 on the top 10 @ 28/1
july 23rd 11.37
Knowing it would be a fairly quiet week on the betting front I have saved all the previews until today and just done the one with all bets and events covered in the same post.
The Russian Open on the European tour has to be just about the weakest event I have ever seen on the main tour and it is difficult to back some of the tours lesser lights at such short prices. However there maybe an angle in and it's all to do with a course in Italy - namely Gardagolf. I am not sure it can be a coincidence that Carlos del Moral has won at this weeks venue and Gardagolf, so too has Sam Little and last years winner Michael Hoey was 2nd at the Italian venue. It doesn't give us a whole host of names to look at - Gronberg has won the Italian Open there but has been poor for so long now but Jose Manuel Lara has been 2nd at Gardagolf. Admittedly he too isn't having the best of seasons but he has a habit of turning up when least expected at suitable venues such as when 5th in Hong Kong before Christmas and at least he knows how to get the job done. It really is a speculative play but he has been 4th and 2nd in Russia before 0.2 ew 200/1
The PGA tour moves north for the Canadian Open this week and to a venue that hasn't been used since 2001 the Royal Montreal course. One player jumped out at me at the early prices and that was Johnson Wagner who has just started to find some form. Although he is a three time winner on tour he does often endure long spells in the doldrums but in his last two starts he has been striking the ball superbly and if the putter starts behaving as well he is a player to have onside 0.3 ew 150/1
Whilst we may have left Liverpool behind last week there is a certain ring of a Beatles song to my other pick. It was 20 years ago today..... (well next week!) that this player won his one and only PGA tour event the St Jude Classic. His career has been plagued by injuries ever since but every now and then he turns up on the leaderboard. In 2001 he led here at the cut before fading to 14th behind eventual winner Scott Verplank. What caught my eye was the fact that his last two top five finishes in the last two years came at the Reno Open and Byron Nelson - 5th and 2nd and Scott Verplank has won both of those events as well. There may not be anything in it but Verplank and the man who was 2nd in 2001 Bob Estes have good records at Southwind - the venue of our mans one win. So let me introduce to you the one and only Dicky Pride 0.1 ew 750/1 + 0.1 ew 300/1 First Round leader.
The last event I have looked at is the Senior British Open from Royal Porthcawl which ends the run of three consecutive "British Opens". It must be said that it is a stellar field and I expect the cream to rise to the top which is not much use to me who is averse to backing short priced golfers! It often takes a while for the top players to arrive at the top of the leaderboard so I have backed three players to get off to a fast start in the round one leader market.
Mark Mouland returns to his roots where he played a lot of golf - his father even won the Welsh Open around Royal Porthcawl. He has been plying his trade mainly on the Champions tour but has been 3rd and 9th in two starts back in Europe recently. If the 500/1 outright had hung around I may have been tempted to tip him in that but @ 125/1 FRL he is worth 0.1 ew
Ross Drummond is knocking on a bit now but still has some low rounds in him as witnessed by an opening 65 last time out. In three European senior events here he has been 4th twice after the opening round and shot a best of the day 66 in the second round on his other start. 0.05 ew 250/1
Costantino Rocca plays sparingly these days but in 2009 and 2010 he lay 2nd here after the opening days play at Royal Porthcawl. He is a good links player - who can forget the Valley of Sin putt in 1995! 0.05 ew 250/1
july 15th 15.13
A lot of people will say that you cannot back Americans making their debuts at Open Championships as you don't know how they will take to links golf. I think maybe it is better to take the opposite view and back them because their prices are artificially high because of this fact and there are plenty of examples who have taken to it like a duck to water. We have already backed Reed but I have added two more players in the shape of Walker and Todd who could easily make a mockery of their prices. Rather than randomly back any old American I have chosen these two as I think they will take to links golf which is a good starting point!
Jimmy Walker was a journeyman pro who finally found the knack of winning and winning and winning again! His three wins in just eight events came at courses he had done well on before and the more astute will notice that the wins in Hawaii and Pebble Beach came right next to the ocean on courses he had played well before on. He also has a great record at Torrey Pines so maybe he likes the sea air. Those three wins have spurred him on to be competitive in big events and since then he has been 8th at Augusta on his Masters debut, 6th at Sawgrass and 9th in the US Open. Maybe he can go rapidly from journeyman to Major contender - he certainly now seems to have the demeanour 0.35 ew 100/1 6 places
Brendon Todd is another player who took a while to find the winning thread despite being a very bright prospect but since his win at the Byron Nelson his game has gone from strength to strength. He has followed that win with finishes of 5th, 8th, 17th, 5th and 4th - making him one of the most consistent players on the planet at present. I tipped him up for the US Open and for three rounds he played superbly - he failed notably on Saturday when paired with Kaymer in the final two ball but he seems to have bounced back from that and will have learnt a lot. To my mind his game will be well suited to Hoylake as he is a short, accurate hitter who scrambles and putts well - the attributes which got him into contention at Pinehurst which had a strange linksy feel to it. Although I got 200/1 for him for the US Open he was well backed around the 100/1 mark so I really don't understand his price this week - it can only be the American Open Championship rookie which can be keeping it high - don't be put off 0.5 ew 125/1 6 places
With Majors it is always difficult to find bets in the plethora of side markets as it is easy just to carry on backing the same players you already have so I have added just one further bet on wily old veteran Miguel Angel Jimenez in the first round leader market. He sat 2nd here back in 2006 and since then has more often than not put in a low one on Thursday in this Major with finishes of 8th, 15th. 1st, 74th, 3rd, 54th and 4th. Despite reaching fifty he is still very much a player to keep onside and 100/1 6 places seems worth a 0.2 ew bet (even 80/1 is fine)
july 14th 11.20
It's finally here - one fo my favourite weeks of the year as the 143rd Open Championship comes to us from Royal Liverpool - probably better known as Hoylake. It is a little tricky for me writing a preview about my betting tips when the first bet was struck months ago so I will do a split preview - firstly looking at the bets placed so far, the reasons behind them and what price they are now. I will then look at further bets added this week once side markets etc are all formulated.
Mikko Ilonen was the first player to go in my book as long ago as late January when he got into a playoff in Qatar. He would go onto lose that but has had a great year resulting in a second win in twelve months in Ireland just a few weeks ago. He was always going to be a pick for me having won the Amateur Championship around Hoylake back in 2000. He played here back in 2006 and was in a strong position going into the weekend but faded. He is a much better player now and as a great wind player is totally suited to links golf.
Original bet 0.3 ew 150/1 - Best price now 100/1 Stan James 6 places
Patrick Reed was second man to be backed when he was winning his third event in seven months at Doral in March. He has since taken time off and become a father but the signs are there in recent weeks he could be up for another win. People will tell you that debutants don't win and he has no experience of travelling the world however one little known fact about Reed is that he won the Junior British Open at Heswall just down the road so he will have positive memories of the area
Original bet 0.3 ew 125/1 - Best price now 150/1 Boyles 6 places
Angel Cabrera has been well known as a Major specialist - indeed until just last week his only wins in the States were the US Open and US Masters but he put that behind him with a confident win in the Greenbrier Classic. Not many players win two Majors so could he add a third and indeed a different one? Well I wouldn't put it past him as his record in this event is not that bad with 4th at Carnoustie and 7th here in 2006 his best finishes
Original bet 0.2 ew 125/1 - Best price now 70/1 Bet365 7 places
Michael Hoey was added just last week when he opened up with a fine 66 around Royal Aberdeen but he then went into reverse gear. He really is a very difficult player to catch right but with five wins on tour he is well worth a saver especially on links golf which he can on a good week play really well. The only Opens he has played he missed the cut at Lytham but maybe Hoylake will bring better fortune
Original bet 0.2 ew 250/1 - Best price now 200/1 Stan James 6 places
Tommy Fleetwood is a player I backed last week as I thought he may have found some form after a spell in the doldrums - sadly it was not to be as he didn't fire in Scotland. One positive we still have going for us is that he grew up in Southport playing links courses and knows Hoylake well. If he can use that knowledge and take inspiration from playing at home then maybe this wager isn't quite dead in the water yet!
Original bet 0.25 ew 200/1 8 places - Best price now 250/1 various 6 places
july 9th 21.03
As I have a few minutes spare I thought I would put a little meat on the bones of this weeks picks in the two Majors - the US Senior Open and Ricoh British Womens Open.
Corey Pavin only has one win in 78 attempts in Senior events so why do I think 66/1 is worthy of a decent bet this week? Well he might only have one win but his top five strike rate is around the 20% mark so there is value in the place part of the bet. I think I am safe in saying that his best chance of another victory would have to be either in a British Senior Open where his record reads 2/3/15/3 or a US Senior Open where he has finished 20/7/2/3. Basically these events suit his game - short he maybe but he is very accurate. He had a quiet start to the year but came to life in a Senior Major last time out finishing 6th so I think he is worthy of a 0.4 ew 66/1 bet. I have also backed him in the round one market as in those 78 starts he has led outright 3 times and co-led once plus finished in the frame a further 12 times - 50/1 seems failry generous as he has an early tee time - 0.2 ew.
The Womens British Open pitches up in Birkdale this year and I have made a couple of selections. Firstly Amy Yang has a great Major pedigree - despite not winning one in her last 18 she has 7 top 5 finishes including a 5th here in 2010. Her latest top finish came in the US Open just a few weeks ago when 4th. Whilst the odds aren't exactly exciting - 55/1 (0.3 ew) you may want to look at other markets such as top ROW, Asian or Korean which gets rid of a few at the head of the field.
If asked to name a Paraguayan golfer most people would name Zanotti but maybe the unheralded Julieta Granada could take some inspiration from her fellow countryman. At the moment she is a model of consistency missing only one cut in her last 21 events and has 4 top 10 finishes on the LPGA tour this year. She has top ten finishes in this event at both Lytham and Hoylake so I can see her giving us a good run for our money this week 0.1 ew 100/1 + 0.2 top 10 8/1
july 9th 11.07
This week the PGA tour moves north for its regular event at Deere Run which as it runs the week before the Open Championship usually attracts a weaker field and it is no different this year. Outside of the front three in the market it is a fairly weak affair so it's time to look down the field for a bit of each way value. As it is a bit of a birdie fest with a score of at least 20 under required to win it should come as no surprise that I have gone for two players who can go low - one who has hit the magic 59 and one who once even went one better than that!
I was quite surprised to see two time tour winner and regular top five finisher Jason Bohn at a three figure price this week given the quality of the field. Wins in the BC Open and Zurich Classic are testament to the fact that he is not top notch but certainly he has proven he has the winning knack. The time to back him is on a course where he has a decent scoring average over the years as we did at the Shriners event last year where he placed for us at 150/1. Looking at his average at Deere Run it really is quite good - 68.54 (Zach Johnson only 68.52) without any real high finishes. It wasn't that long ago he was 4th in the Wells Fargo and his 11th last week was a good finish bearing in mind he had missed both cuts there before. He can go really low sometimes - he shot a 58 on the Canadian Tour so get him onside 0.25 ew 125/1
Will Wilcox is having a good first season on tour finishing 8th in the Sony and then having his best result when tied 4th last week. It was this week last year that he made history on the Web.com tour shooting a 59 in the Utah Championship. He also shot a 62 and a 63 on that tour so can rattle home the birdies when required and I think he is a decent price this week 0.2 ew 150/1
july 8th 13.59
I must admit I am really looking forward to this weeks Scottish Open as the Royal Aberdeen looks like an absolutely cracking true links course and the only question I have is why hasn't it been used before!? Richie Ramsay has more knowledge than anyone else playing as he plays out of here but I am put off him because of a niggling injury which caused him to withdraw last week. So who do we look for? well basically we need to concentrate on players with proper decent links course form and hope they adapt to the tough course. Whatever happens you would be wise to keep an eye on betting for the following weeks Open Championship and I may well add to the antepost bets which are already on site.
Number one pick and my best bet of the week lands squarely on the shoulders of young Tommy Fleetwood. He has the required links form having lost the final of the Amateur Championship @ Turnberry in 2008 and won the 2009 Scottish Amateur strokeplay on nearby Murcar Links. As a professional he has twice been 5th in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship and is on record as saying that he loves playing in Scotland so really it should have been no surprise that he won his maiden title at Gleneagles last summer. On his travels earlier this year he was 3rd on the linksy Durban course in South Africa and then was an impressive 2nd in the China Open. On his return from Asia he lost his form and whilst I have been unable to ascertain why his last start in Germany showed some positive signs improving with every round. If he is back to his best then he could make a mockery of his price tag this week 0.4 ew 125/1 6 places
When we talk of links form Michael Hoey always goes down on the list and he is worth a bet this week as unusually for Hoey he has been playing well week in week out whereas normally he is a bit hit and miss. That good form has stemmed from a great tee to green game hitting 75% over the last four months. He has been a bit poor in contention of late but we know he can get the job done and playing alongside McDowell on Sunday may just be the filip he needs 0.25 ew 80/1 6 places
july 7th 08.47
Well what I said below still stands! it really is hard to win a golf tournament. I guess most of you would have followed Stadler yesterday who was matched at a low of around 1/8 in running. Maybe he did have a bad back but he sure as hell didn't like the bad weather as his game improved with the weather on the back nine but the missed putt on 18 was a shocker. On the PGA tour I didn't follow as I was out but was surprised to find a lay of McNeill matched at 2/1 so when I saw his scorecard it all became clear. On the plus side it seems Cabrera was in control and we did add him to our Open Championship portfolio before they teed off yesterday.
This week sees a full schedule with top events with the Scottish Open, John Deere Classic plus a couple of majors thrown in with the Womens British Open and US Senior Open.
Just to put things into perspective (and maybe the idiots or idiot that sends me hate mail should have a long hard think) have a read of this . Having nearly lost my Mum to cancer a few years back it is a timely reminder that most people who follow these tips of mine do it for a bit of fun and maybe earn a few quid along the way - and there are far more important things in life.
july 2nd 10.44
The last four weeks has clearly shown how difficult it actually is to win a golf tournament - last week Larrazabal took a three shot lead into the final round and couldn't even make the places. The problem was that he needed to score low and most of his birdies had come on the back nine so by the time he got there he had already been overtaken and the pressure was on. As our 66/1 pick he actually traded as low as 6/4 - this follows on from in consecutive weeks Malnati 500/1 traded at 12/1, Todd 200/1 at 10/1 and then Putnam 300/1 at 12/1. Considering none of these have shown a profit for the site as they all finished unplaced I think you can understand a bit of frustration building up! However I still remain positive that the winners will come again as they have done over the years and have to remember that we are simply betting on it - imagine the guys who are playing! - oh and if you can - don't forget to trade out a bit!!
Onto this week - I am glad Larrazabal has pulled out as I would have been sorely tempted to put him up for the French Open but as it is we are left with a very difficult field to pick from. There are plenty of horses for courses players but none of them really appeal as actual winners - Richard Green being a prime example. I am going to put up a speculative play on someone who I think should be well suited to the stadium course at Le Golf National and that is Kevin Stadler. This is the first time he has played back on the European tour for years having won co-sanctioned events in Brazil and Australia much like his father had done before him. He travelled the world long before the present crop of young American players and achieved great success but that success took a longer time to happen on the PGA tour. He finally made his breakthrough at the stadium course at Scottsdale and that was what got me thinking as Brendan Steele has a stellar record there and he has been 7th twice here. As I say it is a speculative play but his 8th in the Masters shows he is a really good player and better than most on show this week 0.4 ew 80/1
Finding bets for the PGA tours Greenbrier Classic was far easier and this looks more my kettle of fish with outsiders having a superb record in the event. In 2012 three of the top four actually traded at 1000/1 before the off so don't be put off if your player is well into three figures. I have picked out five to have a look at all for varying reasons and below is a quick summary.
Scott Stallings won his first PGA tour event here in 2011 and has since gone on to add another two titles. He has played better than his finishing position has suggested the last two weeks and as a proven winner with course form I cannot leave him out at the price 0.2 ew 125/1
Scott Langley certainly comes under the category of young player coming close to their first win which fits the bill for past winners here. There does seem to be a link with another Seth Raynor par 70 course - Waialae where Wagner and Walker have a great record - as indeed they do here, and that remains one of Langleys best tour finishes to date - 3rd in 2012. He was 3rd at Innisbrook earlier this year and held the lead at the cut last time out - it maybe time for him to step up a gear 0.2 ew 150/1
George McNeill is having a far more consistent season than normal and I think is ready to win for the third time on tour. In his last few events the putter has really been working and he has had rounds where he has hit a lot of greens. On a course where has opened with a 64 and 66 in recent years this week could be the week where it all clicks together 0.2 ew 100/1
Tommy Gainey looks to be finally finding some form after a spell in the doldrums and the 62 he shot in the first round here last year was his best round of 2013. He does play his best golf on this side of the States so is worth a small wager 0.1 ew 200/1
Last but not least we have Johnson Wagner who seems to pop up at a big price when you least expect him to as he did last year here when 2nd after seven missed cuts. I think the reason for his success here is two fold - first of all we have the Seth Raynor link with Wagner winning in Hawaii and secondly he went to Virginia Tech so feels very much at home here 0.1 ew 300/1
june 25th 11.24
The PGA tour has a new sponsor for the event at Congressional this week and is called the Quicken Loans National. I bet the sponsors are glad Tiger will be showing up this week but even at his inflated price I wouldn't part with any hard earned as he says he isn't ready and is only really playing because his charitable foundation is involved. To be honest I have found it difficult to muster much enthusiasm for the event but there is one strong bet and couple of interesting angles to pursue.
There seems to be a trend developing in Carl Petterssons career with his last four PGA wins coming in 06,08,10 and 12 so maybe he is due a win this season? He is certainly in good enough form to continue that trend at the moment with finishes of 3rd and 7th in his last two starts leading the GIR stats each week which should hold him in good stead this week. Whilst he cannot boast any real course form he has won at Memorial before which seems to be a good pointer to this week. The price is more than fair for a confirmed winner amongst players who cannot boast that credential 0.4 ew 66/1
A few people have picked out the fact that Koreans or Korean born Americans have a good record in this and I am not sure why either!! Most have gone with Noh to go well but I will have a small play on Sang-Moon Bae who seems to need a tough test. What caught my eye was that he led the putting stats last week so with the flat stick working he may go well this week 0.1 ew 150/1
I will give Patrick Cantlay another go this week - he wasn't exactly awful last week but maybe needed another outing. In January last year after a long winter break he followed two missed cuts with a 9th at Pebble Beach and in August/September when he returned to try and get his card after a break he missed two cuts and was than 2nd. After a further nine months out with that stress fracture maybe he will be inspired around Congressional where he played brilliantly in 2011 finishing as low amateur 0.1 ew 300/1
june 25th 09.41
The European tour moves onto Germany this week and returns to the Nicklaus designed Gut Larchenhof course - last used for the BMW International in 2012 but it has also been used over the years for various other events. Martin Kaymer is rightly a short priced favourite and to be honest if he turns up with his US Open game he will probably win - but he may not! One thing that caught my eye was that outsider James Kingston won here and he also won the South African Open @ the Pearl Valley course - another Nicklaus design so I have had a good look at other Nicklaus course form plus stuck with players who come into their own at this time of year.
I will stick with Pablo Larrazabal this week as he came close to getting in the places and believes he is striking the ball better than he has ever done - it's just that the putter isn't clicking. Maybe I put him up a week early because his record for events played in the last week of June is quite astonishing really - 1/c/3/1/29/4 - the 3rd and 1st being in this event albeit on a different course 0.5 ew 66/1
If the 2nd place finish of Edoardo Molinari last week means he is back in business then we should keep on the right side of him in the run up to Ryder Cup selection. Back in 2010 he hit form in the Summer winning twice in Scotland including at the Nicklaus designed Gleneagles course (he was also 2nd @ Crans another Nicklaus design). His first ever main tour top five came @ Pearl Valley so he certainly has a penchant for Nicklaus designs - get him onside this week 0.4 ew 66/1
The man that won that South African Open in 2009 was Richie Ramsay and he added a second European tour win in 2012 @ Crans. He missed the early part of the season with injury but has managed a 2nd and 5th in weak events in Spain so is in relatively good nick. Whilst he has no course or country form on the main tour in three attempts in Germany in his challenge tour days he managed a 1st and 2nd so is obviously at home in the environment 0.2 ew 125/1
Simon Khan usually finds his form in May/June but has been a bit delayed this year having had an achiles problem. He has some good finishes around here in the past, we know he can mix it with the big guns on a going week and he showed enough to me last week to warrant a small bet 0.1 ew 250/1
Finally I have put up two players for the first round leader market - Fabrizio Zanotti was joint leader after round one in 2012 and also led the South African Open in 2008 at Pearl Valley. He is in good form at the moment but this is the market I would rather play him 0.1 ew 80/1. Richard Finch also has led here before and led @ Gleneagles, he has also finished 3rd and 9th after round one in his last two starts 0.1 ew 150/1
june 22nd 11.50
Michael Putnam still in with a shout and will add one more from off the pace as that's where winners often come from at River Highlands. I am going to go for Marc Leishman to repeat what he did two years ago (0.2 ew 125/1 1/4 3) and there is a weird similarity to things back in 2012.
2 years ago Leishman had gone
45th Players
3rd Byron
57th Colonial
58th Memorial
then was t20th here 6 shots back and shot 62 to win by 1
this year
23rd Players
3rd Byron
21st Colonial
37th Memorial
he is t20th here 6 shots back !!!!!!!!
Even the leaderboard looks very similar (albeit stronger) as Leishman was on -6 and leaders -12 - this year -7 and -13
If ever there was a pattern.....
june 21st 10.10
Well here we go again - it's the weekend on the PGA tour and again we have a big priced player in the mix. First we had Malnati 500/1 then Todd 200/1 - this time the honour falls to Putnam @ 300/1. He is there courtesy of a fine 63 in round two - low round of the day (shame he didn't shoot it on Friday when we were on the FRL @ 200/1!) After the last few weekends I am not going to feel confident until late Sunday but at least his two wins on the Web.com tour last year came from similar positions and he says he is feeding off positive memories of his pro debut 4th here in 2005. In Ireland my antepost Open Championship pick Ilonen leads the way and if he stays there the 125/1 with Paddy Power (6 places) will not be there for long
june 18th 21.12
As there are so many side bets this week on the other tours as promised a quick preview of all the other bets.
The US Womens Open follows the mens with it taking part at Pinehurst and at least we now have a few clues so I had a good look at St Andrews and Royal Melbourne form. Jessica Korda rather stood out having won at the Australian venue in a large play-off and having won twice already on the LPGA tour this year 0.4 ew 60/1. I have a feeling Morgan Pressel maybe the surprise package of the week as she peaks for Majors. She secured the Kraft Nabiso early in her career and in her last 14 Majors has 4 top 5 finishes plus she was 2nd and 6th in the Evian Masters before it became a Major. She was 4th last year in the British Open @ St Andrews and has some history at Pinehurst having won the North and South Amateur at the venue in 2004 (different course).0.2 ew 150/1
The Web.com tour returns this week at the familiar Crestview venue in Wichita where Ryan Spears has more knowledge than most having lived here for years and been based at the course. I tipped him last year but he was not in good health so am happy to have a crack again 0.15 ew 200/1. I think Nathan Tyler will go well this week - his best finish this year came at the Mexico Championship when 3rd an event he played back in 2010 and made the cut. A few weeks later he played in this event shooting a 63 in round 2 and going on to finish 23rd. He played here again last year leading at the cut so has solid history on the this course compared to others in his limited career starts.0.3 ew 70/1
Last bet of the week goes to John Riegger on the Champions tour in the Encompass Championship played in his native Illinois. He has won in his home state on the Web.com tour so will be pumped for a crack on the seniors tour. This was the scene of his Champions tour debut last year and he couldn't quite cope with the pressure but he has since won on this tour 0.2 ew 100/1
june 18th 14.30
This weeks PGA tour event is the Travelers Championship from River Highlands and it always seems to have a bit of a subdued mood the week after the US Open. Looking at past winners we seem to have a smattering of repeat winners - three in recent history, six of the last eight winners had never won on tour and players who have been invited to take part in the past as amateurs or those making their pro debut often go well. With all these factors in my mind I have selected five big priced outsiders - so here is a brief resume of each one.
Connecticut born JJ Henry says this is his fifth Major and he has a good record in it - including a victory in 2006 and he was 5th last year. Looking at his stats he is just hitting form and I think he is ready to peak again this week 0.4 ew 150/1
Michael Thomspon is another player who simply loves this event - playing here as an amateur in 2008 he made the cut and was right up there after two rounds. He returned in 2011 and finished 4th and vowed to play in it every year he could. He has had some solid starts of late but just needs to put four rounds together to secure his second tour win 0.25 ew 125/1
Patrick Cantlay was due to be the next big thing shooting to prominence here in 2011 by firing a second round course record 60 as an amateur. He won his first Web.com tour title last year but then suffered a stress fracture in his back. He returned still injured to finish 2nd in the Fall on that tour to secure his card and has since taken time off to heal. He returned at the Byron Nelson and did well to make the cut after such a prolonged lay off 0.1 ew 300/1 + 0.1 top 10 20/1 + 0.1 ew 175/1 FRL
Michael Putnam made his pro debut here in 2005 and finished 4th and it remains his best ever PGA tour finish. Last year he played some of his best golf of his career winning back to back titles on the lower tour. He has played solidly this year without troubling the judge - a return to a happy hunting ground maybe just the ticket 0.1 ew 300/1 + 0.1 ew 200/1 FRL
Patrick Rodgers seeks to emulate Putnam in what is his professional debut this week. The number one amateur in the world is a great talent and it will be interesting to see how he performs amongst the paid ranks 0.1 ew 300/1 + 0.1 ew 150/1 FRL

june 17th 10.08
The Irish Open returns to Fota Island for the first time since 2002 and I am quite happy to take on the two short priced "home" favourites. Rory is still to break into the top five in this event and McDowell in twelve attempts doesn't have a single top ten finish to his name - to be honest Shane Lowry is probably a solid each way bet to be top Irish @ 8/1 with three places on offer! With course form being old and probably of little value I have looked down the field looking for players who seem to be overpriced considering their current form.
Darren Fichardt was the first to catch my eye as he has maintained a decent level of form all year. He had three top sixteen finishes in the Desert swing in good quality fields and then had a run of 5th,6th,9th and 4th at home and recently he has had solid finishes in Spain and Sweden. Whilst his four wins have been in lower grade events (bar Qatar) I do think he has the game to be competitve this week and although I said course form was of little value we do have the bonus in that he lost in a four man play-off here in 2002 - 0.3 ew 100/1
My only other selection is a player who now has three wins on the main tour and seems to like the month of June - maybe he just likes the sun on his back but Pablo Larrazabal is a cracking bet this week. The early 66/1 has dried up but 60/1 is still a very fair price for the man who actually ranks 5th in this field in terms of world ranking. That high ranking comes largely due to his win in Abu Dhabi in January but it's his June form that really caught my eye. His first tour win came in France at the end of June in 2008 and he added a second title in that week three years later in Germany. He can also boast another 3rd in Germany and a 4th in Wales and last year was 4th in this event - not bad from just nineteen starts. I would read more into his 7th at Wentworth than last weeks missed cut at Pinehurst so he has to go into the book 0.5 ew 60/1

june 16th 11.43
Our hopes were dashed in the US Open on Saturday when Todd couldn't cope with the pressure of the final round two ball with Kaymer. A real shame as he ended up being one of only three players to shoot three rounds in the sixties - sadly the 79 really meant he had no chance of the place. I mentioned the St Andrews link in the previews and I think that was correct when you look at the record of Kaymer there. We did get a small return from the Challenge tour event where Henry rallied to get a tie for 3rd at 66/1. I won't be looking at that tour this week with a new course but we have the Travelers Championship, Irish Open from Fota Island and it's the turn of the ladies to take on Pinehurst in the US Womens Open
june 14th 11.20
Time for a quick US Open update - well first things first - I have written off the £300 staked on the Betfair win market - it would take a minor miracle for any of the players backed to get into contention. On the plus side we do have 200/1 antepost pick Brendan Todd in 2nd place - sadly he is six strokes back from Kaymer. At present I would be happy with a top six finish from Todd as the way Kaymer played the first two days I simply cannot see him being overhauled. I forgot to mention that Todd grew up in the area playing Pinehurst plenty of times and he certainly will have plenty of support - lets just hope he can play as well as he has so far.
june 11th 10.06
Just a quick post - for those who follow me around Major time I always put up my Betfair book which has usually built up over time - so here it is and the most astute will notice that my old friend Reed is there - shock horror! With this position I simply try and trade my way into a nice big win - updates will be posted on Twitter
Louis Oosthuizen 100 £50.00 £4,950.00
Matt Every 313.49 £30.00 £9,374.80
J.B. Holmes 213.26 £20.00 £4,245.10
Stephen Gallacher 176 £25.00 £4,375.00
Patrick Reed 164.15 £65.00 £10,605.00
Kevin Stadler 476.6 £10.00 £4,756.00
Justin Thomas 1000 £100.00 £99,900.00

june 10th 14.12
As promised yesterday here is part two of my US Open preview concentrating on bets issued today now that the side markets have been established.
Sticking with my St Andrews thoughts Stephen Gallacher enters my calculations and the bet was sealed after some players said that the new look Pinehurst was rather like a cross between St Andrews and Royal Melbourne where the Scot also has a great record. He is in really good form and defended his title well in Dubai earlier from a top quality field but I do have my doubts about him being a Major winner, I have therefore looked at the other markets and settled for the top European one where he was 2nd in the WGC event at Doral 0.25 ew 45/1.
I have rather gone to town with my final pick in the belief that he will be the surpise package of the week and think he is well overpriced. I have backed Justin Thomas personally in a whole host of markets including a £100 @ 1000/1 on Betfair with a view to trading in running. Thomas finished his studies early @ Alabama and turned pro having won a whole host of top amateur titles and reached number four in the world at a young age. Those victories included a win around the Donald Ross Sedgefield course beating Spieth by three which got him into the Wyndham at that course - he was 5th after the opening round and indeed made the cut aged just 16. He is already well on his way to securing his PGA card via the Web.com tour with a 2nd and a pair of 5ths and I really like his stats as he is a long hitter who scrambles well. He has also played in a couple of PGA tour events this year the best of which was a 10th at the US Open venue Torrey Pines and he was a solid 37th at the Memorial lto. Maybe I am hopeful he can follow in the shoes of fellow Alabama alumni Michael Thompson and it is worth noting in that year at Olympic John Peterson had a similar profile when 4th. He showed how good he was when taking joint medalist honours in the qualifier - the question remains which markets to back him in? I have backed him in various ones but maybe the most sensible are 0.15 ew 500/1 6 places, 0.15 ew 250/1 FRL (already led twice on Web.com tour this year) and finally 0.2 ew Top American 200/1

june 9th 15.35
This week it's time for the US Open from Pinehurst and with it being one of my favourite events of the year it really does look like a fascinating event. It is a bit odd but my two biggest winning weeks ever have been US Open weeks despite the fact that on both occasions (Rocco Mediate and Michael Thompson) I didn't manage to back the winner - the profit came from trading, the place markets and other special markets such as round one leader. With that in mind I will be doing two previews - the first today looking at the five picks I have already put up and then another looking at the full range of side markets once they are all up.
Whilst Pinehurst has been used for the US Open twice in recent history there is a distinct difference as the course has been revamped by Coore and Crenshaw taking it back to what Donald Ross originally designed. You will not see the traditional punishing rough and narrow fairways but wide fairways with waste areas peppered with wiregrass which could make things very interesting. The courses main defence will be the upturned saucer greens which will be difficult to hold so there is every chance bigger hitters who are solid scramblers and putters will prevail. Rather than stick to one method of picking players I have gone for a range of thoughts and the prices quoted are those that were available when they were put up.
Brendan Todd was my first pick a few days ago based on his current form and excellent scrambling skills. Todd has always been a highly talented player yet took a long time to make the breakthrough finally doing so last month in the Byron Nelson. Often you will find first time winners take some time to adjust to their new found success yet Todd backed up his win with a 5th in the Colonial and 8th in the top class Memorial. At the price tag he simply had to go in the portfolio 0.4 ew 200/1 6 places
Next in was Matt Every when I noticed him making a move at the weekend finally finishing in a tie for 3rd at the Fedex St Jude. That was a welcome return to form for a player who won his first PGA title at Bay Hill earlier in the year who will be looking forward to his first US Open as a professional. That last statement may give a clue as to why he caught my eye - in 2005 he did play here as an amateur finishing 28th and capturing the honour of low amateur. He has a great record in both North and South Carolina including winning the Web.com Tour Championship and was 5th on the Donald Ross Sedgefield course last year 0.25 ew 200/1 6 places
The player Every beat to low amateur honours in 2005 was Ryan Moore who has shown quite an affinity with Donald Ross courses over the years. He won at Sedgefield in 2009, was 2nd at Aronimink in 2010 and in 2012 3rd at East Lake and I don't think that's a coincidence. As a three time tour winner with a really solid top six strike rate he is well worth keeping on side this week 0.3 ew 125/1 6 places
Sticking with players who have won this season I had to add in JB Holmes who has fought back miraculously from career threatening injuries to win again. That win also came in North Carolina and at Quail Hollow - a course where US Open specialists thrive. Whilst he doesn't have a Donald Ross pedigree he does have a great record at Riviera another US Open venue which was also revamped by Coore and Crenshaw 0.2 ew 125/1 6 places
Whilst looking at the past two US Opens here I was trying to find similarities between Michael Campbell and Payne Stewart despite the fact that the course has changed - I then read what Ernie Els wrote and another player jumped to the top of my list.
"The course has had a bit of restoration work since then and from what I’ve heard, the set-up is going to be a little different to 2005. The fairways could be a bit more generous than we’re used to in the US Open, so we’re going to be able to hit driver and be more aggressive off the tee.
Make no mistake, though, this is an extremely tough golf course – I’d say one of the toughest on the US Open rotation. The big challenge is the shots into and around Pinehurst’s famous greens, which are shaped like upturned saucers. If you miss greens the ball often gets swept into deep greenside swales and it’s tough getting down in two from there. You have to use your imagination and play a real variety of shots, which is more of a British Open type quality rather than a typical US Open"
The link I found between Campbell and Stewart was their liking for St Andrews and their Open performances there - so step forward Louis Oosthuizen who dominated there in 2010. He has been struggling with injuries but was bang in contention at Las Colinas until a final round collapse but he does have a solid Major record - runner up at Augusta and top ten in the US Open @ Congressional. The injury worry is factored into his price but I think he is being underestimated and I went in at 80/1 and have gone in again at 100/1 making a total of 0.8 ew 90/1 6 places
june 5th 09.53
Hi folks - am now back from a much needed break refreshed and ready to do battle! As you are probably aware I put my picks up last night - most of them pretty left field but in the Lyoness Open I went with a couple of very accurate players. In the Fedex St Jude I make no excuse for putting up Patrick Reed once more as this was the event where it all started for him on the PGA tour and he came close to wiining last year plus we have the nappy factor! Peter Malnati is probably a name most haven't heard of but he seems to like his adopted state of Tennessee having won the State Amateur Championship and last year winning the Web.com event in Knoxville. A string of missed cuts may not inspire but in familiar surroundings he could go well at a very big price.
On the Web.com tour I have put up Ryan Spears @ 200/1 as he is on a progressive run of form and his very accurate game will certainly be suited to the tight course which is a new venue for all players this week.
Time now to take a look at the US Open antepost markets now the field is set!
MAY 19th 22.21
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!
Just the one bet for me and it's something I don't often suggest as the pressures are great on a defending champion but Boo Weekley has been there and done it! Before his win at Colonial last year his only other wins came at Harbour Town and they were back to back. I thought the price was a bit on the big side as he has certainly found some form with a 5th last week in Texas - much better than his previous efforts there and his stats were really good 0.5 ew 60/1 (55/1 OK)
MAY 19th 21.01
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. What is noteworthy is that 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
2013 - 2nd Khan (lost play off) 6th Pepperell 9th Westwood
2012 - 1st Donald 2nd Rose 10th Morrison, Poulter
2011 - 1st Donald 2nd Westwood 3rd Dyson 7th 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
What is very obvious is that an English player has either won or lost in a play-off in each of the last 8 years - so that is where two of my picks have come from plus what is also obvious is that players need to have had a recent top ten finish on the course
Chris Wood actually led on his debut at Wentworth in 2010 taking a two shot lead into the final round only to falter and wind up 6th. I can forgive him his other finishes since as he was either injured or coming in after another poor final round effort but at least now he has a European tour victory under his belt. Finishes of 5th and 7th in his last two starts show he is in good nick though he did finish poorly last week on a tough course. I really think he could be the next Englishman to challenge for the title 0.3 ew 80/1 6 places
David Horsey was a popular pick last year being backed from three figures into around 50/66 yet this year he is back out to 150/1. That is probably because he missed the cut last year but he is notoriously difficult to catch on a going week. In 2011 he was 7th here whilst in 2009 in his first appearance he led after the opening round so he can certainly play the course. If he can recapture the form he was showing a few weeks back then he should get into contention. 0.2 ew 150/1 6 places.
Moving away from the home contingent I can see Alejandro Canizares going well now he has finally added a second tour win to his CV. He showed his suitability to Wentworth last year when he led going into the final round finally finishing 4th beating his previous best of 10th in 2008. He went off the boil after his Moroccan win but something clicked at home in Spain at the weekend and no-one played better over the last two days 0.4 ew 80/1 6 places
One mention for the week and that goes to Jimenez who really is a breath of fresh air despite his age - having won his home open he comes to one of his favourite courses - have a win bet @ 40+ on Betfair
MAY 14th 14.50
The PGA tour moves to Texas for its two week stint at Las Colinas followed by the Colonial and it is difficult to find a common theme for past winners at this weeks venue. Course form doesn't always seem to be important - in fact most recent winners were making their event debut. The one thing I think that groups players that do well here together seems to be the ability to play well in Texas.
Harris English is now a two time winner on the main tour both coming in the last twelve months. I am prepared to forgive his missed cuts at Sawgrass and Augusta and concentrate more on the consistent from he has shown the rest of the time. He did make his debut here last year finishing a respectable 17th after a great opening 64. He seems to be able to cope with the Texas winds as he has been 5th at Colonial and 2nd in the WNB Classic on the Web.com tour. The guy knows how to win and at 40/1 he is a decent price in this weeks field 0.75 ew 40/1
Steve Rawlings pointed out a link to results at Atlanta and the 2011 PGA Championship and the man who led going into the final round that week was Brendan Steele. He can certainly play well in Texas with a win and 4th in the Texas Open. He missed the cut on his only start here in 2012 but that came on the back of a poor week at Sawgrass where he has always missed the cut - until last week when he was 28th. I do think he is worth a small bet @ 100/1 - 0.2 ew and try and find a book with six places - he seems to have a liking for that position!
The last two picks go to players who are making their debut at this weeks venue - firstly Paul Casey. He seems to be playing better at the moment and it's not like he has lost the winning vein totally as he did win in Ireland last year. He is certainly capable of winning in Texas - his only PGA tour win was in the Houston Open and he has also been 5th in the Colonial. I wouldn't be at all surprised should Kaymers win last week inspire him 0.35 ew 66/1
Last man in is a very leftfield pick but Brice Garnett seems to like playing in Texas - possibly because it's where he started his pro career in mini tour events. His best finish so far in his rookie season was 7th in Houston last month and he has also been 3rd and 9th in the WNB Classic. Worth a small bet at the price to cause a shock 0.1 ew 300/1 + 0.2 top 10 28/1
MAY 14th 10.37
This week we have the Spanish Open from the Catalunya course which has held the event before and is also regularly used for Q school events. Sergio Garcia is a short priced favourite and rightly so as he is in brilliant form and in recent years has farmed events in his homeland but he hasn't fared so well in his antional Open. I have tried to concentrate on players who can win on the tour and have paid attention to Q School results and whilst I have not tipped the likes of Sullivan and Zanotti I will admit to having small savers on them.
Julien Quesne has returned from a hip injury in fine form finishing 5th in Malaysia and 19th in China. The first of his two tour wins came in Spain on the Aloha course and I noticed that Levet had won both there and at this weeks venue a few years ago. John Rhodes has also pointed out that he won a stage of the Q School here a few years back. When Quesne gets the flatstick working he is a very good golfer and I noted in both events last month he was top five in the putting stats - take the hint and get him onside 0.5 ew 50/1
The 150/1 price tag that Stan James put on Thomas Aiken was a bit of a shock especially when I thougtht 80/1 was very good! The South African finally broke through with a European tour win in this event back in 2011 and over the last year has added titles in both India and i his homeland. He has been in solid form all year and apart from that win has also been 5th in the Joburg Open and Qatar Masters. For a player who knows how to win and who has a great record in Spain he should be a lot lower in price 0.4 ew 80/1
I had to have a play on Spaniard Carlos del Moral who has been a standing dish in the Q School finals around here - not only did he win last year but he has also been 2nd twice before. The fact that he keeps appearing at Q School does however tell a story in that he has struggled on the big stage over the years but he can boast a 4th this year in the Tshwane Open and 13th in Qatar which bodes well for this week on what must be his favourite track.0.2 ew 150/1
Sticking with the Q School theme I have also put up Matthew Nixon who was 11th in it when still an amateur and on other visits in 2011 and 2012 was 14th and 9th. There must be something in the Spanish air he likes as on his last start there a month ago he led going into the final round before fading to 4th. Last years best finish of 2nd which kept him his card came at the Tseleevo course where Carlos del Moral had also won. He quite often gets off to quick starts and led the South African Open in November - bearing that in mind and combined with his affinity for the course I have split the bet up 0.1 ew 350/1 + 0.2 top ten 25/1 + 0.1 ew 200/1 FRL - and I wouldn't put anyone off backing him in the top English market @ 40/1 ew
MAY 12th 09.20
Jimmy Walker came close to stopping the rot last week although the last hole bogey cost us a big payout and the big tie for 6th at least gave us a little back - shows how important that 6th place can be when betting! I really am kicking myself as there is a simple way of profiling the Players Championship and Kaymer was right up there but having missed the 125/1 last week I was too stubborn to get involved - lesson learned! Madeira tbh became a farce and I really think they should have abandoned it yesterday when Forysths' caddie died - but that is just my opinion.
Onto this week and we have the Byron Nelson Championship and Spanish Open headlining plus a full supporting cast! It's going to be a busy week and just as a heads up next week maybe a bit on the short side as far as previews go as I prepare for holidays.
MAY 7th 12.40
The European tour begins its permanent summer stint with a regular stop off in Madeira for the co-sanctioned event with the lower Challenge tour. I don't know if it's just me but it seems weaker than most years and I have struggled a bit to take some of the prices on offer seriously but it is what it is and I do think there is still a bit of value to be had. One note of caution it is due to be breezy all week so scores will probably not be low.
Having done my early research Rhys Davies was always going to be top of my short list as I think he is a player coming back to his best. He has been in the doldrums for a while but has shot some solid rounds this year and is close to putting four together in the same week. Last year I thought the course here in Madeira would suit but on his first visit he needed a round to get going - opening with a 74 he then shot 68/70/67 to climb to 5th. He seems to thrive on these tricky courses - last year he was 2nd on the clifftop course in Brittany, his second win on the Challenge tour in 2009 came on the similar Tecina course on Il Gomera and his best results on the European tour all came on courses where players who performed well have also done well at this weeks venue. I did want a bigger price but don't I always but having set myself a lowest target of 33/1 then I have to have him onside 0.4 ew 35/1
I am somewhat surprised at the price of South African Jake Roos this week - it can only be because of his lack of course form. A quick glance through the world rankings will show you that he is actually 2nd in this field just behind Ricardo Santos! Over the last eighteen months he has started to win some decent events on his home tour including the Cape Town and Zimbabwe Opens and a few weeks ago made a breakthrough win in Kenya on the Challenge tour. The field that week included many who are on show this week yet he is a much bigger price - it simply doesn't make sense. Of course the venue might not suit and he may miss the cut but one thing to note is that Daniel Vancsik won the Kenyan Open on the Karen course and then won here two years later - certainly food for thought 0.4 ew 70/1
One final small bet on the round one leader market on Joakim Lagergren - in the last two years he has opened up with a 66 and 67 to lie 2nd and 3rd after day one - I'll take a chance at the odds he can make it three in a row 0.1 ew 80/1
MAY 6th 20.13
This week we move on to the famous Pete Dye designed Sawgrass course in Florida and to be honest after a few poor weeks betting wise I have toned things down a little. Traditionally experience is key around this weeks venue with winners having many rounds under their belts before finally becoming victorious and my main pick certainly fulfills that criteria whilst my outsider has something else going for him. I have topped these bets off with a round one leader who has been a standing dish around here on a Thursday in recent years.
Jimmy Walker was always going to be my number one selection this week and with a missed cut on a course that he hasn't performed well at before last week I have gone in bigger at the enhanced price. I think he has been pushed out too far - especially when you consider he has now won three times in his last fifteen events and produced a superb debut 8th at Augusta. His two wins at Pebble Beach and Waialae came on small greens which he will certainly encounter at Sawgrass this week. He has played here four times with a best of 15th last year but only Stroud and Stenson of those playing this week have a better long term scoring average around here and at 71.21 he even pips Tiger Woods in that department. Just for a bit of added interest he can also boast a win in the Pete Dye Classic on the Web.com tour. Now he has figured out how to cross the finishing line on the main tour - when he is priced up @ 66/1 6 places we have to take notice 0.8 ew.
I will give Chesson Hadley another chance despite last weeks missed cut mainly because despite having not played this course in competition before he did win the Web.com Tour Championship on the Dye Valley course in the Fall. He seems to like Florida - his 24th at the Honda Classic and 14th at Innisbrook read far better when you look past the poor opening rounds and his win in Puerto Rico came on a course ideal for Florida lovers! Apart from last week he has actually shot some brilliant scores - Harbour Town he was 4th at the cut, Texas 4th after the opening round, Arnold Palmer 5th into the final round and in those two Florida events I mentioned above he went from 115th to 14th at the Valspar and 121st to 14th at the Honda. I know he doesn't have the requisite starts under his belt but in familiar surroundings if he gets a fast start he could surprise 0.2 ew 175/1 6 places
I don't think I am wrong in saying that Ben Crane seems a shadow of the player he once was but every year he comes alive at Sawgrass and I think he is worth a bet in the opening round where over the last seven years he has managed to finish 6/9/1/3/10/4/17 once all the scorecards are signed on Thursday 0.2 ew 125/1 FRL
MAY 1st 09.41
A few quick words about this weeks late Wells Fargo bet - Will Wilcox - if you believe in bio-rhythms then he has to be a bet! This is his weekend - 2010 Won 2011 lost play-off 2013 Won. In good form and over the last three months he tops the total driving and ball striking stats on tour - something that will fit well here. I have backed him on Betfair to win £45k - he is out early and often gets off to good starts.
On the Web.com tour I have backed Allred who will go close if repeating his 3rd from Riviera. He won a minor event last month and has solid course form. Tony Finau has also gone in the book as he hits it a country mile and with the course so wet and long he will need that this week.
On the Champions tour Jeff Maggert is a win only bet - he won on his debut and has reserved his next start for Woodlands where he has a great record from PGA tour days
april 30th 11.40
The European tour remains in the Far East for one final week before returning back to mainland Europe for the summer - and I for one can't wait! This week we head to Singapore and revisit Laguna National for the first time in years although it is often used for smaller local events. When the Caltex Masters was held here it was often the local Asian players who came out best and with the top European names swerving it I do wonder if the locals maybe in ascendence this week. As you can gather I am rather uncertain as to what to do so have kept official bets small and may add more in running.
The one local I was really keen in backing was Thai Pariya Junhasavasdikul who hits a lot of greens which will be useful this week. Laguna National was the scene of his first pro win back in 2008 in the Singapore Masters and he followed that up with a 3rd and 7th in subsequent years albeit in weak fields in each year but it just goes to show that he has an affinity for the course. He is also a two time winner on the Asian tour including in June last year in Malaysia so he is definitely a solid player. The question is - how will he fare against the Europeans? well if we travel back to Hong Kong in 2011 he had a great chance to win in a better field than this - finally finishing 4th. His form at the moment is distinctly average but he is making lots of cuts on courses he hasn't really excelled on in the past. I have kept official stakes low with a 0.1 ew 300/1 and 0.05 ew FRL 250/1 but personally have matched him in every market I could find and am green on Betfair to the tune of £15k with the hope of trading.
The other local I have backed is Mardan Mamat and I guess they don't come any more local than the Singapore player whose greatest moment came when winning the co-sanctioned Singapore Masters round here in 2006. He is probably not the player he once was with only flashes of good form such as an opening 66 in the Hong Kong Open to lie 3rd and that is where I have backed him - 0.15 ew 100/1 FRL. He has been 4th, 2nd and 1st in that category over the years and has a huge raft of course form so I have also had a saver on Betfair at 200/1
My one token European player is Gregory Havret who may well be inspired by the win last week of fellow Frenchman Levy. Generally the weakest part of his game is his putting and he has been putting too much pressure on that part of his game this year by a poor long game. However last week he was 2nd for DA and 11th for GIR which will help him around Laguna National. He has played here three times in the past and whilst two missed cuts do not inspire confidence he was 5th on his other attempt 0.15 ew 150/1
april 28th 21.08
As I have completed my bets at a fairly early stage I may as well go up early with my preview of this weeks Wells Fargo Championship. It was feared that it may lose some of its status as a top venue and event after the poor conditions of the greens last year but they have all been ripped up and replaced with bermuda grass. I guess the question is will the change in greens make a difference to the type of player who wins? I will take a chance and stick with the young guns who have performed well here in recent years.
Anthony Kim 2008 was 22 former Walker Cup player - 1st PGA win
Sean O'Hair 2009 was 26 - 3rd PGA win
Rory McIlroy 2010 was 21 former Walker Cup player - 1st PGA win
Rickie Fowler 2012 was 23 former Walker & Palmer Cup player - 1st PGA win
Derek Ernst 2013 was 22 former Palmer Cup player - 1st PGA win
Even last years shock 1000/1 Monday qualifier winner fitted the mould so I have gone for three young players - two of whom are still tour virgins and one who has already won but has strong local ties.
Danny Lee seems to have been around for ages but is still only 23 and could well be inspired by "fellow Korean" Nohs win last week. He was a top amateur becoming the youngest ever winner of the US amateur when just 18 and 1 month and was number one in the world until he turned pro. He has a low scoring average around Quail Hollow if you ignore the 2nd round in 2012 which led to him being disqualified for an incorrect scorecard. He has won on the Web.com tour but is still seeking his first PGA win although he came close when 2nd in Puerto Rico last month - 0.3 ew 150/1 6 places
The man that pipped Lee in Puerto Rico was Chesson Hadley who we were on and this week he has a home game in North Carolina. He is only 26 and was a Palmer Cup player like Ernst and Fowler in fact he played alongside the latter. He won his first Web.com event in his home state and won again just three months later. We obviously have a smaller gap since his first PGA win but I am convinced he has a big future ahead of him. 0.3 ew 80/1
I think a lot of people will write off Ben Martin after last weekends exploits in New Orleans but I for one was glad he struggled a bit as it was this week I wanted to back him after his 3rd at Harbour Town. We have to remember he will be learning all the time and it took him a while to win on the Web.com tour but then did it twice in 6 weeks - so he definitely holds his form well. He is still only 26 and was a top Amateur - losing in the final of the 2009 US Amateur. This is a fairly local game - being a South Carolinan but he has strong ties with Quail Hollow as his coach Charles Frost is based there and he has played quite a bit there this year so he will know the new greens more than most. He did play here in 2011 the week after he had shot 76/77 in New Orleans and opened with a 77 but he shot a very encouraging 68 in round 2. If he can take the positives from the last two events then he stands a good chance this week 0.3 ew 125/1
april 28th 09.04
Another slightly below average week with the only return being Pampling in the wind reduced WNB Classic with a tied 2nd @ 80/1. This week we move onto the Wells Fargo from Quail Hollow - will the young guns hold sway again on the new greens? The European tour continues its globe trotting as it moves onto Singapore and a return to the Laguna National and we have a full supporting undercard - back later on Twitter with tips.
april 23rd 15.03
The PGA tour tees off in New Orleans this week but many players have taken the week off including the two I originally had down to back - Hadley and Kokrak. The latter player was going to be a pick due to the event being a common one for players to lose their maiden tag but I have only picked one of those because it is so difficult finding the right week when a player finally wins his first title.
I make no excuses for picking Patrick Reed again because at the price in this field he is definitely worth a saver @ 40/1 win only (0.3 points) because we know he can get over the line. He also has some decent course form as this was one of the first places he made a PGA cut something he also did at Sedgefield and we already know he has won there.
Cameron Tringale is my one player who hasn't won before despite knocking on the door numerous times - much like recent winners Horschel and Dufner. I expected him to be a much lower price as he was 4th in his penultimate start but a missed cut at unsuitable Harbour Town means the books pushed him out again. He has also shown some really good form around the Louisiana course as before last years missed cut he was 28/18/7 - 0.3 ew 66/1
Andres Romero can boast some even better course form as it remains his one tour win to date and he was also 8th in 2011. I don't think his form this year is that bad with a 12th place in the Honda Classic being his best finish and that reads quite well in this field. In past years he has always flown back to Argentina and played in an event the week before in his homeland. This year he did go back but went early and only played the pro-am last Tuesday - the last time he didn't play that event was interestingly the year he won here 0.3 ew 125/1
Last man in is Ken Duke who finally broke his PGA duck last year at another TPC course - River Highlands where Bubba Watson also won so there is another player who has victories at both venues. Duke can also boast some solid form round here - 2nd on his debut in 2007 and 7th in 2012. Whilts he is out of form at the moment he has a price tag to compensate 0.2 ew 150/1
april 22nd 15.08
A very tricky week on the European tour as we move to China and to yet another course which has not been used for a proper tournament. I have come up with three suggestions who may offer some value with everyone in the same boat on a new course.
Richie Ramsay returned from injury not that long ago (this time his ankle!) and finished 11th in Morocco and then 2nd in Spain albeit in a weak field. He is determined to make up for lost time which included a poor 2013 in general due to a catalogue of injuries. He missed the cut on the mark last week in Malaysia but that means we get a better price this week and that weekend off was due to one poor hole really. He has a good record in China - 2nd on his first visit in 2008 on the Challenge Tour, a superb 3rd in the HSBC event on a course designed by the same designer as this weeks venue and was 4th in Hong Kong (just over the border) on his last visit in 2011. I think at the price he represents some value in this weeks field 0.4 ew 55/1
I have been really impressed with Tyrrell Hatton as he has quickly moved through the ranks. From two wins on each of the Jamega and Europro tours he then had a solid finish to 2013 on the Challenge tour with 2nd placed finishes in China and Kazakhstan and 6th in the UAE to earn his full card. He hasn't rested on his laurels and has already wrapped up his card with a 10th in Abu Dhabi and a 2nd in the Joburg Open. The problem I had was which market to back him in? I think a win is a very tall order but is worth a small bet 0.1 ew 200/1, another top 10 is more likely - 0.4 16/1 whilst the best market could be top English player. In that market he was 1st Joburg, 1st Abu Dhabi and t4th Qatar - 0.3 ew 33/1
Last man in is a name most won't have heard of and is a bit of a shot in the dark. Rhein Gibson is a young Australian who was 4th in his home Open at the end of last year - ahead of Jason Day although a few shots back from Scott and Rory. He was 4th in China on the One Asia tour before that and surged through the field in his latest outing with a 62 to finish 2nd in Indonesia. That low round was no fluke - most news about him will lead you to the world record 55 he shot in 2012. It is a risk but at 150/1 I'll give him a chance 0.2 ew 150/1
april 21st 10.19
Well last week was a bit of a wash out unless you followed me in on Ben Martin but when only the one book was 125/1 I find it difficult to justify a recommended bet. I was guilty of getting just a bit greedy having backed him @ 160 on Betfair my lay was up @ 7/2 - he touched 4/1 but then made a mess of the par 5 on the back nine and I was too slow - sometimes there is a fine line between success and failure.
This weeks events look very tricky with the Zurich Classic of New Orleans which has always produced a lot of first time winners, the Volvo China Open moves to yet another venue and then we have the return of the European Challenge tour in Spain and a whole host of other events. I can see my picks being few and spread out.
On another note - having had a big return on Pineau de Re in the Grand National and then getting Summery Justice to place @ 66/1 in the Scottish I have had a crack at todays Irish version where I like the look of Goonyella 14/1 but most of all Daring Article 18/1
april 14th 20.04
We leave the Masters firmly behind this week and venture to Harbour Town for a coastal links tournament that at times can be very demanding should the wind choose to blow. I am a bit pushed for time this week so will just give a quick rundown on each of the five picks
Russell Henley - main pick - has won on two exposed tracks - Waialae and PGA National and was 6th on debut here last year. Seems to have a penchant for Nicklaus courses - as PGA National counts as does Harbour Town + 6th Muirfield Village and 1st and 2nd on two on the Web.com tour. With a 7% win rate and conditions in his favour there is a lot to like - 1.0 ew 50/1
Chris Kirk - won on similar Sea Island course last year and seems at his best on traditional short courses with small greens - 2nd and 5th Waialae and 2nd Pebble Beach. Hardly ever misses a cut and should give a good run for our money 0.4 ew 66/1 coming off a solid Masters debut
Kevin Streelman - very progressive Harbour Town improving with every start culminating in a 3rd last year - worth a small chance at the odds 0.3 ew 66/1
Richard H Lee - seems like a horses for courses man - 15/12/10 Pebble Beach - came as no surprise then that he was 9th on debut here last year. He was 4th just a few starts ago on the coastal windy Trump International 0.15 ew 200/1 + 0.3 top 10 16/1
Tim Wilkinson - gets in as an alternate and will be glad as he holds the 3rd lowest scoring average around Harbour Town of those playing @ 69.67. He is at his best on windy coastal tracks and already has a 7th at Pebble Beach and 10th Mayakoba this season. Will probably struggle to get over the line but this is his track and the top 10 odds are very big 0.1 ew 300/1 + 0.4 top 10 25/1
april 14th 09.41
After a quick pitstop in Spain the European tour is on its travels again and this week touches down in Malaysia for a co-sanctioned event with the Asian tour. Last year for the second time I got the winner here and both times when the event was reduced to 54 holes - guess what I am hoping for this week! Whilst players who have moved on from the Masters in the past two years have done well here I am happy to swerve them but I have found options thin on the ground. I am going to have to pass at the price on last years hero Aphibarnrat who also won us a few quid on this course in the CIMB Classic and I will stick with a player who did well for us last time out and a young promising Malaysian Amateur
Felipe Aguilar has returned strongly from the broken wrist he suffered in January and was 4th for us last time out in Spain albeit in a weak field. He has a habit of maintaining solid form for good periods including last year when he went 9/3/3/6.
His one European tour win was a co-sanctioned event in Indonesia so he has form in the area and inded was 6th here on his debut in 2011 being up in contention all weekend. I think he has a lot going for him and is a good price with the field lacking a huge amount of strength in depth 0.4 ew 66/1
My only other pick is well touted young Malaysian amateur Gavin Green who has had a promising amateur career and currently resides within the top 30 of the WAGR. He managed to finish 22nd here last year and then in his only other start in a pro event thereafter was 6th in the Selangor Masters. Now the win is a very tall order but he is worth playing in the side markets - 0.05 ew 300/1 + 0.2 top 10 25/1 + 0.1 ew 150/1 FRL. The 12/1 Ladbrokes go for a top 20 finish is a cracking bet IF you can get on!
april 14th 09.41
I admit to be rather tired after the last ten days - with the Grand National, Marathon and Masters taking up a lot of my concentration The first was brilliant - the middle OK with the big bet Kebede landing the e/w part and the latter proving a huge disappointment. I was still on line to save the day with the Couples top 20 bet but he had a poor back 9 and ended up t20th with 4 others! On the plus side those who took the 19/5 Bwin would be paid in full as they pay on ties included. I did however get lucky laying Haas after his round one exploits and Leishman when he took the lead even though he missed the cut!
This week we see the RBC Heritage from Harbour Town and the Maybank Malaysian Open from Kuala Lumpur - in the latter I am kinda hoping for three rounds as when it has been shortened I have backed the winner twice! I will be working full time today so hope some prices will be out otherwise bets maybe a bit late with holidays and some family time this week - stay up to date on Twitter
april 12th 21.17
Well it looks like this years Masters is pretty much a write off for the tips - usually I have one Major a year which makes me a lot of money - so we have three to go!!
Tomorrow we have the London Marathon and Kebede has been cut ever since I tipped him and is now generally a 3/1 or 7/2 shot which is pretty much how I had him to start with. In the womens race prices have been slower to materialise with some books not bothering at all and not taking much in the way of bets. I did get a bit of 12/1 Dibaba with Hills when they opened but sadly win only which shows a shocking lack of faith in their compilers! The only other runner I like is Tadesse @ 20/1 who has improved in her last three completed marathons winning all of them and achieving course records in the last two. Her last race was in the World Champs and she was in the lead at half way yet 2km further on she had pulled out. I cannot find anything sinister in her DNF so she is definitely worth a small play against the top of the market who seem to beat each other whenever they run.
april 11th 09.53
After Day one of the Masters it is time to write off a few bets and have a look at the lie of the land. I backed Bill Haas earlier this year on the Betfair staking plan but could never pull the trigger to have a proper bet on him and then he goes and leads after an opening 68! I really don't trust him in the lead though and was happy to lay some back last night. Marc Leishman had a cracking 70 from a late start and I can see him kicking on today - hence I had a bit more on @ 120 last night. It looks as if Freds' ailing back wasn't that bad - I guess it could flare up but a bit annoyed I din't have the bigger top 20 bet.
Betfair position below updated so the field is -£200 atm
Bill Haas 137.61 £48.00 £6,557.10
Marc Leishman 143.88 £60.00 £8,573.00
Jason Dufner 60 £35.00 £2,065.00
Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano 338.16 £50.00 £16,858.10
Branden Grace 306.4 £45.00 £13,743.10
Scott Stallings 404.88 £137.00 £55,331.40
Lay
Bill Haas 20.71 £175.00 £3,450.00
april 10th 09.24
Not long to go now before the start of this years first Major so I thought I had better pen a few words about the two additional bets plus my Masters trading position on Betfair.
My Fred Couples top 20 bet has been tempered due to the back injury rumours/news going around - it would have been a 3 point bet but have reduced to just 1 pt @ 7/2. The maths to me make little sense with the win/5/10/20 market when applied to some runners. Couples has played in 30 of these now - he has 5 top 5 finishes but only one since 1999 and 11 top 10's with only 3 since 1999 - his odds for those markets seem about right. However he has had 17 top 20 finishes and more importantly the last 4 straight would have made this a winning bet.
In the first round leader market I will go for Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano who I backed at massive odds last year and managed to trade out of around the 30 market to add to Cabrera profits. Gonzo has played little golf in the US but in the last two years has started well four times, in 2012 he was 2nd in the PGA Championship, last year he was 4th here and 5th in the Arnold Palmer and yet again just a few weeks ago was 4th at Bay Hill after the opening round. I see a nice pattern going so have gone 0.2 ew 125/1
Each year for the Majors as well as the bookie bets I try and build a nice portfolio on Betfair to trade with - largely concentrating on my original fancies - my opening gambit looks as follows this year

Jason Dufner 60 £35.00 £2,065.00
Bill Haas 137.61 £48.00 £6,557.10
Marc Leishman 154.29 £35.00 £5,365.00
Branden Grace 306.4 £45.00 £13,743.10
Scott Stallings 404.88 £137.00 £55,331.40
Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano 338.16 £50.00 £16,858.10

With the field sat at -£350 - I will update any trades on the Twitter feed
One last point - the bet of 0.4 ew 66/1 Aron Price in this weeks Web.com Mexico Championship - I can see him continuing the Aussie theme and he has been quick to congratulate recent winners having grown up playing with them. He nearly came close to victory in Panama recently when 3rd and I can safely ignore the m/c in Louisiana and take heart from the fact that in recent history when missing the weekend there he has gone on to finish 1st and 2nd in his next event.
april 7th 21.45
This week they tee off at Augusta National for the Masters and I have a feeling we are in for a bit of a cracker with many surprises on the way. Adam Scott and Rory McIlroy are vying for favouritism and I will stick to my guns of never backing defending champions especially the way he capitulated in Texas two weeks ago and Rory just doesn't look fully on song to me. Phil may or may not have a pulled oblique muscle, who knows how bad Jason Days' thumb is, Bubba may sneeze his way around the azaleas, and Rose doesn't seem fully fit. Matt Kuchar still manages to drop the trophy before getting a single hand on it and Sergio always seems convinced he can't win a Major.Even I can't back course specialist Angel Cabrera despite the fact he gave me a big payday last year as he still seems to be carrying a shoulder injury. As I said earlier I think we are in for some surprises so here goes with my five to maybe pull that off.
The first bet I struck in January antepost when he was doing me a few favours was Marc Leishman and the the way the Australians have done on tour in recent weeks I am pretty glad I have him onside. Each victory of late by a player from down under seems to have inspired another great performance - maybe it's a late kick on from last years Masters as we approach the anniversiary but I am sure they will all take heart from Scotts' win last year. Leishman was 4th last year and was bang in contention from the get go and learnt a lot. Having opened the season in fine style he went off the boil a bit but a return to Augusta and recet happenings can only be positive 0.25 ew 150/1
My only other antepost bet has been on Patrick Reed - despite the fact he has to break the debutants hoodoo but if there was ever a player to do so it would be Reed. The man is brim full with self confidence and is it any wonder with three wins in his last fifteen events and I can visualise him off the first tee on Sunday dressed like Tiger and ready to go about his business. It is not as if he isn't au fait with Augusta National as he studied at nearby Augusta State and hence was allowed to play the course three times. Most debutants are overawed and shoot themselves out of things on day one - I don't think Reed will 0.4 ew 66/1
I was surprised to be able to back Jason Dufner at 50/55 this morning as people seem to be concentrating on his poor finishing in events BUT he won twice in 2012 and won his first Major last year. To me he has to be a bet at the price based on his performance in US Majors - in his last eleven he has that PGA win and four other top fives. He has improved with every start at Augusta and indeed led at the half way point last year and he has been in consistent if not spectacular form this year. If you want a player who will be relaxed in the pressure cooker atmosphere on the back nine on a Sunday then Dufner is your man 0.5 ew 55/1
Now time for a couple of complete rags who could pull off a huge upset this weekend. Firstly a young South African who reminds me of other young compatriots Immleman, Schwartzel who won and even Oosthuizen who nearly won and that is Branden Grace. After a sensational 2012 he has been a little quiet since and I admit he hasn't been at his best in the States of late but I don't think that is much different to his fellow South Africans and they did OK! He admitted to being overawed on his debut last year shooting a 78 but he found his feet and shot three rounds under par to climb to a tie for 18th. I admit it is a bit of a hunch given recent performances but some people just take to Augusta National 0.15 ew 350/1
Lastly a player who is simply written off most weeks despite three PGA wins in the last three years - Scott Stallings - as an unfashionable player he is available at a simply remarkable price. Admittedly the trends say a player had to make the cut last year - well he didn't play but he did in 2012 and finished 27th which was pretty impressive as at the time he was carrying a severe injury and could barely swing a club. The only reason he played seems to be down to a personal obsession with Augusta and when he won earlier this year and booked his ticket for a second time this week was at the forefront of his mind. There does seem a strong tie between Torrey Pines winners and players who do well at the Masters - we all know about Woods and Mickelson but O'Meara, Olazabal and recently Watson enter the equation and even famous debutant Zoeller won there in 1979 which got him into his debut Masters when he won. I know its an IF but if he is in contention come Sunday you know you have a player who knows how to win 0.4 ew 300/1
april 2nd 15.59
Next week we have the first Mens Major of the year with the US Masters but the first Major on all tours is the LPGA Kraft Nabisco Championship. Like Augusta the event is always played at the same course - Mission Hills in California so we have plenty of course form to go on.
A few years ago I noticed that Karen Stupples had an excellent round one record here and being a Major fortunately some bookmakers priced the first round leader market up - something they wouldn't normally do. Stupples record was incredibly consistent going 6/11/1/5/1/3 despite never finishing in the top ten until that last effort in 2010. Stupples is off the radar now but another English player Jodi Ewart Shadoff seems to be stepping up to the plate - tied 4th on her debut in 2012 and then tied 1st last year when she went on to finish 7th. She seemed to save her best for the Majors last year as she was also 4th in the US Open so I will recommend a small bet of 0.1 ew 110/1 outright and a 0.15 ew bet for first round leader @ 80/1 - it would be bigger but she has a late tee time.
My only other bet in the outright market is Amy Yang who in recent years has a solid and consistent record in Majors. In the last 4 years she has played in all 16 and has amassed 6 top 5 finishes including a 4th here in 2012. For the first time she comes into a Major as a winner on the LPGA tour having broken her duck in October in a playoff - alright it was Korea but it still counts!. She showed she was in good form two starts ago when 2nd in the LPGA Founders Cup and there is certainly some value in her price - especially the place part 0.3 ew 66/1
april 2nd 14.28
It's the week before the Masters and to be honest I am keeping my powder semi dry as you never really know who will be on song for the Shell Houston Open and who is simply going through the motions and preparing for next week. Phil Mickelson would be my idea of a bet but he is obviously struggling with fitness as a lot of top players seem to be at the moment.
Yet again the Graham DeLaet fan club is out in force (George Coetzee supporters seem to have taken him under their wing!) but my main play is on a player with better course form and who has a couple of PGA tour wins under his belt already.
Chris Kirk has a scoring average of 68.88 around this weeks track with finishes of 2nd and 22nd - thats over half a shot better than his closest rival Stenson on 69.42. He has turned into an incredibly consistent golfer (just one missed cut since July last year) who plays the same courses well year in year out - take the hint and get him onside 0.6 ew 50/1
The Australians are in fine form this year and with recent wins for Senden and Bowditch (and Scott should have won) plus Karrie Webb doing well on the LPGA and even Rhein Gibson nearly won in Indonesia last week - unerstandably I wanted to get an Aussie player onside. The pin fell on Geoff Ogilvy as he really caught the eye last week when finishing 11th and now comes to a venue where he has played well in the past. Back in 2008/9 he finished 2nd and then 6th so can clearly plot his way round the Redstone course. It has been a while since he graced the winners enclosure but I still think he retains the talent and have had a modest wager 0.25 ew 125/1
april 2nd 10.36
The European Tour touches down in mainland Europe for the first time this year with the NH Collection Open and boy have they set us a tough puzzle to unravel. Not only is there no real course form to look at (apart from an amateur comp played here 2010-12) but we also have a co-sanctioned dual ranking event with the lower Challenge Tour. With all this in mind I have tackled it from many different angles and come up with four very different bets.
Tom Lewis was part of the England team in 2010 and 2011 when it comfortably won the Euro Nations Cup around Sotogrande so he knows the course well - in fact we can quote him " "Played @lareservagolf as amateur, love the course, suits me" We know he is capable of winning on tour - something many around him in the betting cannot claim and that one win came on the Iberian peninsula. Following that win in Portugal in 2011 he totally lost his form but over the last six months he has been far more consistent. He showed he was in fine fettle when last seen in Morocco when 8th closing with a 65 and I really like his chances this week 0.5 ew 50/1
Running through the prices I stopped at the 100/1 tag next to the name of Felipe Aguilar as he is a much better player than that. I knew something maybe wrong and sure enough at the beginning of Janaury he broke a bone in his wrist. He returned to playing in Chile on the Web.com tour a few weeks ago but mised the cut. However a week later he won the four round tournament at the South America games so he appears to have healed. Returning from injury is never easy but the price is simply too big not to take 0.2 ew 100/1.
I nearly put up a whole host of rags at big prices (maybe I will add them in running) but before the off I have only selected two. Steven Brown is a bright prospect who gets in here from his position on the Challenge Tour.The former Walker Cupper has had a promising start to his professional career winning twice on the Alps tour to get his card, he then won again in Egypt this year as a warm up for the main season and then was 5th in Kenya on the Challenge Tour. He kept his hand in the other week by winning the Sunningdale Foursomes and may well be a surprise package this week 0.15 ew 200/1
Last man in is the hugely talented Daan Huizing who won twice on the lower tour last season and had four other top five finishes in just twelve events! He has struggled in his early travels around the world although he has made his last two cuts. I think he will feel more at home in Spain this week on a course he has also played several times and I was interested in the fact that he was 2nd at Las Colinas in the Q School on another Cabell designed course 0.15 ew 200/1
march 26th 19.22
Just time for a quick rundown on this weeks tips for the Louisiana Open
Tim Petrovic - will stick with him for another week after his tied 8th last week as he seems to love this particular Southern state having been 2nd in years ago and winning his only PGA tour title in New Orleans 0.4 ew 50/1
Brett Wetterich simply loves Le Triomphe having won here twice in 2003 and 2011 and also was 3rd last year on his seasonal bow. He played well for three rounds two weeks ago in Brazil 0.25 ew 66/1
Steve Wheatcroft - this course should be just up his street as shown in finishes of 18th and 7th in his last two visits. Gradually getting better this season and could be adding to his one tour win soon 0.25 ew 66/1
Ken Looper - local lad who Monday qualified and has some talent winning a few times on the NGA Hooters Tour. Will certainly be used tot he conditions and worth a risk if you can find a price - I got 125/1 0.2 ew but books have been adding him gradually - Stan James even went 200/1
march 26th 11.37
The PGA tour leaves Florida this week and heads to Texas for two weeks leading up to the Masters. The San Antonio Oaks course is a tough test especially if the wind gets up and outsiders have a very good record. Brendan Steele would be my number one pick and I got some money on at 55/1 on Betfair Sunday night knowing that everyone and his dog would be on but taking 33/1 and shorter will not earn you money in the long run. Instead I have come up with a couple of value plays on players who have won more often than Steele and at much bigger prices.
The Greg Norman designed course apparently reminded the winner of the first event here - Adam Scott of courses at home on the Mornington Peninsula and I will go for fellow Australian Aaron Baddeley to maintain his good record here. When Scott won in 2010 Baddeley was only two shots back in third and he played solidly again last year on his only other start when 15th. There does seem to be some correlation with another TPC course at Scottsdale where one of his three PGA tour wins came. His game hinges around how well he putts and this weeks greens are not your typical Bermuda ones as they have Poa-Ana in them as well and often West Coast players seem to perform better and I think this will suit the Australian - 0.5 ew 80/1
My pick from left field is Texan Sean O'Hair - although in truth he left his home state at an early age! He has been in the doldrums for a while saying that he was taking advice from too many people and had too many different thoughts in his head when standing over the ball. In the Fall he got rid of them all and got his card back in the Web.com finals series but things haven't gone according to plan until recently. In late February he returned to his old coach Sean Foley and last week we saw the first signs of what maybe things to come. He got a sponsors invite and on his final hole on Friday he had to sink an 18 footer for par just to make the cut. He duly knocked it in and it seemed to ignite something as over the weekend he was the joint lowest scorer and climbed into a tie for 10th. He managed to hit 15 of 18 greens in both those rounds ending up 3rd for GIR on the week and he will need that around here. He is a good player of tough courses - his winning score at Innisbrook and Shaughnessy were both only 4 under so I think the venue will suit - 0.3 ew 150/1
march 20th 08.28
Just got time this morning for a quick preview of the picks for this weeks Web.com event the Panama Claro Championship which was traditionally the opening event of the season but has now been pushed back a bit. Usually older more experienced pro's who are well travelled do well around the tough track and course form is not imperative as the last three winners have won on their course debut. So I have three of those and then one I feel is way overpriced.
Casey Wittenberg drops down to the lower tour after a poor season on the main tour, in 2012 he won twice - the Louisiana Open as has Ed Loar and the Wichita Open as has Matt Goggin. He has also won the Southern Amateur as have Ed Loar and Scott Dunlap. All those other players have won this weeks event. He has played here four times and made four cuts but it is usually his first event and this year comes in with three starts under his belt including last weeks 5th when he closed with a pair of 65's. The reason I mention that is that his Louisiana win came on his third start in 2012 and he quite simply blew away the field He also has a good finish on the tough Ohio State University course as other winners here do - 0.5 ew 60/1
Bill Lunde @ 38 fits the bill of an older player although he has experience around here with a best finish of 5th in his last visit in 2008. He has won on the tough OSU course and was 4th last month in Bogota - so he ticks a lot of boxes 0.15 ew 80/1
I must admit I thought Tim Petrovic was younger but he is definitely classed as a veteran @ 47. He has never played here before (not a problem) but he was an eyecatching 14th in Puerto Rico on the main tour a couple of weeks ago 0.2 ew 80/1
Apologies for putting up Cameron Beckman again but he is the right age and has won outside the states - Mexico and at 200/1 he only needs a small investment to see if he takes to the tough track 0.1 ew
march 18th 11.01
This week the PGA tour remains in Florida for the Arnold Palmer Invitational with the 120 man field teeing it up at Bay Hill. The big question yet again will revolve around Tiger Woods and his winning chnaces on a course he clearly loves. Last year he was 3/1 when he won - this time the bookmakers are basically saying they don't think he is playing well enough or his injured back is playing up as he is touching 8/1 on Betfair. I am happy to take him on as he didn't play his other favourite stomping ground Torrey Pines very well this year but there are question marks surrounding many at the top of the market.
I will stick my neck out and say that Patrick Reed is still value despite his vastly reduced odds - two weeks ago we were taking 160/1 on Betfair before the off but the manner of his win and his attitude makes me think there maybe more mileage in his price still to come. He has come under a lot of fire for his remarks saying he was a top five player but who are we to argue having won 3 of his last 14 starts? I must admit it would be fun to see him and Tiger Woods in the last two ball on Sunday both wearing the same outfit! I think Reed says these things to challenge himself and his self belief to the limit and why not. As for his course form well he has a m/c next to his name from last year but he was not in the best of form and he knocked himself out of the event by taking a ten on his 9th hole in round one - he played the rest of the 27 holes in level par which was not a bad effort when most peoples heads would have come off. He also played here a lot in his junior days (actually not that long ago) in a top event that Rickie Fowler won once - in three attempts he had a best finish of 3rd. I will split the bet with more on the win part given his current strike rate 0.5 ew 35/1 + 0.5 win 35/1
I am very keen on Will Mackenzie who has simply been in great form but at 55/1 his price just doesn't quite tempt me although I managed a 0.5 pt saver at 80 on Betfair. Having said that about Mackenzie I will put up another man who finds it difficult to cross the line and that is Kevin Na but only in the top five category where there is definitely some value. Since returning from injury in the Fall he has racked up 3 top 5 starts in 10 events including last week when 2nd although no doubt he would have found a way to throw it if Senden hadn't got a bit lucky on 16. He has a top 5 strike rate of around 10% on the main tour and they mostly come on the same courses year in year out. He has finished 4th and 5th at Pebble, 8th,5th and 4th at the Sony, 8th, 9th and 4th at Harbour Town, 5th,3rd,4th and 2nd at Scottsdale etc etc. He really likes it here at Bay Hill as well with an 11th, 4th and 2nd so the 10/1 really appeals place only so I have had 1 pt on that.
march 16th 10.28
Well it's not going to be the same Sunday update as last week! Two picks in Morocco never got close and in the Valspar it has been much the same story although todays forecast weather will make things very interesting indeed! We still have a glimmer of hope on the Champions tour though where 140/1 pick Esteban Toledo is tied for 4th and last year he coped really well when in contention.
Next week the European tour takes a break whilst the PGA tour moves onto Bay Hill and the Arnold Palmer Invitational where all eyes will be on Tiger Woods and the inevitable is he or isn't he questions will rear their heads once more!
march 12th 14.31
Another new sponsor for this weeks event on the PGA tour - the Valspar Championship although yet again we return to the Copperhead course at Innisbrook in Florida. Although we remain in Florida a lot of golfers will tell you it is not a typical course for the area with plenty of elevation changes and apparently it plays more like a Carolina course. Harris English is this weeks favourite and I couldn't put anyone off him as he won the Southern Amateur around the course in 2011 and has won twice on tour now but last year when he was 7th I tipped him at 150/1 - this week he is less than 20/1! I have gone for three picks who have won recently and one veteran past winner who has returned to a bit of form.
The Carolina connection is perfectly embodied in the shape of Carl Pettersson who went to college and lives there and has two wins in the Carolinas yet his first tour win was here and he has been 8th twice. The Swede changed his caddie for the Honda Classic ending a long relationship with Grant Berry and he made his first cut of the year and then was 4th last week in Puerto Rico. Interestingly the new man on the bag is his old looper Tommy Anderson who carried his clubs when he won here in 2005 - 0.3 ew 100/1 6 places.
Sticking with the Swedish theme I will put up Jonas Blixt who like Pettersson went to college in the states and lives in Florida. He has won in each of the last two seasons so is a talented young player and he really caught my eye last week. Having opened with a 79 he closed with a 66 to finish 16th - an impressive final round. He was 38th here on his only start last year managing a pair of 69's and that start was sandwiched by three missed cuts either side so it wasn't a bad performance. 0.4 ew 80/1 6 places
Scott Stallings is another proven winner on tour getting his third win at Torrey Pines at the end of January. He played here on a sponsors invite in 2011 and finished 3rd (and got his first ever professional hole in one) so has some fond memories of Innisbrook. I will say he is notoriously difficult to catch right but with his win ratio he is worth a bet this week at three figures 0.2 ew 100/1
Sang Moon Bae has only won the once on the PGA tour at the tough Byron Nelson event but has posted plenty of wins in Japan and South Korea. I do think he will eventually become a multiple winner on this tour and lost in a four man play-off here on his debut in 2012 0.25 ew 80/1 6 places
march 11th 20.13
I always find myself the week after a good one trying to be ultra cautious as it is always easy to get carried away but whilst there are plenty of golfers I fancy in the Tophee Hassan II there really is little point in getting involved with some of the prices on show. At the head of affiars Coetzee as usual is easy to discount despite the fact that he has finally got the gorilla off his back. I really fancy Horsey and Ilonen with their course and current form but the former was unconvincing in the mix when we were on last time and Ilonens' win last year was his first in six years.
I have not discounted all at the top of the market and have unusually had a decent wager on Bernd Wiesberger as despite the 28/1 price tag I can still see a bit of value. Since 2010 he has made a total of 116 starts on both the main tour and the Challenge tour and has won five times. His first Challenge tour win was at Golf du Governeur a course where he was 2nd in his previous start (interestingly Horsey won there as well) When he won at Royal Jakarta last year he had shown a liking for the venue when 7th the year before, and on the Diamond course in his homeland he was 5th 2011 and then won in 2012. There seems to be a definite pattern to his wins and he was 5th at Golf Du Palais Royal last year. Admittedly he has had a fairly slow start to the season but his 9th in Dubai in his last strokeplay event was pretty decent form. He hits the places these days roughly one in six so there is certainly win and place value in his price 0.6 ew 28/1
My only other bet is on Damien McGrane who these days only seems to come to the fore on certain types of courses - short, windy, exposed and linksy and this is what he faces this week so there was no great shock when he was 2nd here two years ago. He plays the course used for the KLM Open well as do other players who do well in Morocco and was top ten in East London two starts ago - another very similar course. His 20th place in Dubai shows that the top ten in South Africa was no fluke and if he were ever to add to his one main tour win this is the sort of week when it may happen 0.15 ew 125/1
march 10th 10.20
Feeling a bit brain dead this morning and would like to say a quick thanks for all the emails,tweets etc. In the end it turned out to be a fantatsic week - my third best ever behind Thompson and Mediate in their respective US Opens and ironically neither of those won.
It will be difficult to match last week but I will give it a go! This week is headlined by the Valspar Championship from Innisbrook and the Trophee Hassan II from Morocco plus a full supporting schedule from the Champions, Asian and Web.com tours - bets as ever will be tweeted first.
march 9th 09.28
Well it has been a while since I sent out a Sunday message but today it's probably in order as I can't remember the last time I was in this position - not one but two 54 hole leaders! Reed leads at Doral but has some big names lurking in behind so it would be prudent to take a profit if you can although he has been in this position twice lately and did come out on top both times. Hedley hasn't been in this position on the main tour but has won twice on the Web.com tour in recent months so it all looks fairly psoitive. On another note the free Cheltenham Festival tips are up here - good luck today if you are on - it's going to be an interesting day whatever the results are!

march 5th 14.15
Last years result at the Puerto Rico Open rather rained on my parade re the close links with Florida - B = Born, C = College L = Lives
2008 Kraft C L
2009 & 2011 Bradley B L
2010 Lamely C L
2012 McNeill B C L
I maintain that it is still a key fact as the course is so similar to typical Floridian resort courses and that's what led me to my two big priced outsiders
Hudson Swafford was born and lives in Florida and whilst he went to college in Georgia that in itself could be a blessing - as he could follow in the footsteps of Watson, Kirk, English and Henley - all Bulldogs who have won this year. He was 8th in the Sony earlier in the year and played well for three rounds last week 0.2 ew 125/1
In Ted Potter we have a player who has already won on the main tour - that win came after a poor run of form - five straight missed cuts before a slightly improved Web.com start and then he won. This year he missed the first five cuts but last week saw him play really well for the first three rounds. The born and bred Floridian should see conditions in his favour this week 0.2 ew 150/1
I can see Fabian Gomez continue his good run of form in this event where he has been 7th and 2nd in two appearances - his only two top tens on the PGA tour. He won just before Christmas in Argentina and his two m/c at Pebble and Torrey were actually better than past years. 0.25 ew 80/1
Chesson Hadley impressed me last year on the Web.com tour with a brace of wins and five other top five finishes. He finished 5th in Nevada on the Summerlin course (where McNeill has been 1st and 2nd), was 10th at Pebble Beach and last week after an opening 73 he shot six under par to finish 24th - apparently he was a bit unwell during the opening round 0.3 ew 50/1
This time last year Michael Thompson had just won the Honda Classic and went on to finish 8th at Doral. I wanted to wait for the tee times to be announced before backing him because in 2011 when he was 14th here on his only start and he actually got to his finishing score of -9 after just 24 holes - treading water thereafter. He was brilliant on the front nine that week and he goes off early off the first tee tomorrow. His title defence last week ended in a missed cut but he tweeted he had six lip outs in round one which wouldn't have helped! 0.4 ew 50/1

march 5th 11.33
This week we see a completely revamped Blue Monster at Doral - the big question is will old course form hold up? I will take the chance that it won't and that it may well prove to be a more level playing field as regards course form - in fact it may even favour those who haven't played before as they won't have preconditioned attitudes as to how to play certain holes. There are a few other un-knowns - mainly around Tiger - if fit and well his price is massive, also I do think if Els' performance at the matchplay is a sign then his price of 180 on Betfair is simply too big. I have put up two bets on players who know how to win and offer some value in a top class field.
Patrick Reed has now won twice on tour in his last twelve PGA tour events and I don't think they will be his last. What I don't understand is why he is such a big price compared to other players who are yet to even win on tour - the 160 he reached on Betfair this morning is utterly insane compared to lets say a price of 60 for Delaet. I am not convinced last weeks PGA National course would be the ideal test for him but his 24th place finish was a vast improvement on last years 58th. I am always prepared to take a chance on a known winner at this price even when he has no course form 0.5 ew 90/1
Kevin Streelman has recently become known as one of the happiest golfers on tour - the long term journeyman finally won on tour last year and then at the end of December he became a Dad against quite a lot of odds by all accounts. As a new father he hasn't played as much as maybe he would have done in the past but he has the peace of mind of a long term exemption on tour. His win last year came in Florida and he also backed that up with a 2nd in the Players Championship so he is obviously very happy on the Bermuda greens he will encounter this week 0.2 ew 150/1
march 3rd 07,58
The number six is one that is really beginning to annoy me - especially when it appears in the form column next to a player I have backed. The galling thing about Mackenzie last week was that a lot of books were offering six places but not those who were 125/1 and I made the sacrifice for the price and to be honest it looked like he would get a share until Hurley holed a 23 footer for birdie at the last after Mackenzie had missed one a third of that length. That result dropped us into the negative profit situation for the year as we enter a busy week headlined with the WGC Cadillac from the new look Blue Monster at Doral and also the Puerto Rico Open which has been a happy hunting round for me in the past.
Before I go - a quick congrats to Ben Coley from Bettingzone who put up Henley @ 300/1 - so nice to see the tipsters there prepared to put up outsiders as compared to the main gambling press who seem to perm any three to four of the favourites each week!
february 26th 12.50
A top class field arrives at the PGA National for the start of the Florida swing but despite being a top heavy field there is still plenty of value to be had with outsiders. Last years winner Michael Thompson was matched @ 1000 on Betfair before the start not to mention Ogilvy 2nd, Guthrie 3rd and Lynn, Compton and Glover all tied 4th. The year before that Gillis was 2nd and wins from Sabbatini and Yang were hardly expected. It is the toughest courses they play outside of Majors and those players with a good US Open record - usually played on a tough par 70 fare well as do those who have good PGA Championship records. I have gone for five big priced outsiders to trouble the favourites who in my opinion are all worth opposing on grounds of rustiness or lack of or indeed poor course form.
It should come as no surprise on a tough course that good ballstrikers perform well and in this weeks field Will Mackenzie ranks 2nd in that category over the last year. He has been in a consistent run of form since getting his PGA tour card back and returns to the Honda Classic for the first time since 2010 and in his last two starts here he was 12th and 5th. He lives very close to the course and plays it regularly so will be more at home than he has been in events so far this year 0.25 ew 125/1
Picking Jeff Overton may come as a bit of a surprise but he seems to be able to play tough courses well year in year out. He has two top tens here in 2009 and 2011 and also a pair of top tens at Southwind, Las Colinas and Aronimink which are always at the top of the tough course list. He also managed his second top 10 of his career at Waialae this year which is another breezy par 70 course where most winners of this week have a good record. I think he is one of those players that will always struggle to win - hence the top ten bet as well as he has a 13% strike rate in that category 0.15 ew 150/1 + 0.7 top ten 12/1
Geoff Ogilvy came 2nd here last year totally out of the blue as he was in poor form at the time whereas this year he has at least had a slightly better West Coast swing but he admits he is much happier playing in Florida. He has won at Doral before and his record in this event is actually top class - last years 2nd was actaully the third time he has occupied that position having been 2nd at both Heron Bay and Mirasol. We can safely say as a US Open winner he plays tough courses well so expect him to be up there again this week 0.3 ew 125/1 6 places
I picked George McNeill in running in his last start in California when he finished 6th so he has obviously shaken off the broken collarbone injury which has meant a slow start to his season. The Florida native is desperate for a win in his home state as he has three 2nd place finishes so far and whilst his course form is not top drawer I am prepared to have a small bet at the price 0.1 ew 200/1
Last man up is David Lynn who has an excellent record in the limited number of PGA tour starts he has had. In fact he has had just 22 starts and has a 4th here and a pair of seconds at Kiawah Island in the PGA Championship and at Quail Hollow - all tough venues. It took him a long time to gain his second European tour win and to be honest I struggle to envisage a win here but with his top five strike rate he is worth a bet in that market 0.2 30/1 and I like the top European market for him 0.3 ew 40/1

february 25th 12.25
The European Tour faces its final event down in South Africa and it's the eighth one so far - I wish we had that many at home then I might get to see some golf live! Of the seven events so far the home contingent have won five of them with the other two going to Bjorn and Madsen - both Danes! I have gone for another Dane this week to challenge the locals again and a Frenchman and an Indian make up my team of three.
The one player that leapt off the page at me when I looked at the original prices was Julien Quesne - I couldn't see why he should be 80/1 when he has won twice on tour in the last two years? Maybe the layers were looking at the length of the course and thought Quesne was no match for it but at 290 yards he is hardly short off the tee. Then again they may have looked at last years result and seen a missed cut against his name but I think we can find some excuses for that. He played in Abu Dhabi last year but didn't withdraw after round one due to injury but becasue his wife had given birth to his first child. He then didn't appear for seven weeks until teeing it up here but had apparently picked up a niggling hip injury so I am quite happy to forgive him that missed cut. I am sure watching good friend Victor Dubuissons exploits last week will only inspire him 0.5 ew 80/1
The Dane who I think could follow in the footsteps of Bjorn and Madsen is Lucas Bjerregaard who is beginning to quickly fulfill the potential he showed as an amateur. He was 9th at East London on a course that wouldn't necessarily have suited and then stayed on in South Africa and was 2nd last week. That was quite an impressive finish as he had to master three seperate courses in the pro-am event. As already hinted at, big hitters fared well here last year and they don't come much longer than the young Dane 0.3 ew 66/1
I was going to leave it at just those two picks but had another look at the driving statistics and Gagangeet Bhullar caught my eye. I then looked at his form this year and his 10th in Abu Dhabi and 22nd in Qatar read well in the quality of this weeks field. He played solidly the last few weeks in South Africa with some long and accurate driving. As a multiple winner on the Asian tour already it is interesting that the young 25 year old doesn't tee it up at home this week - it is clear where he thinks his future lies 0.25 ew 125/1

february 18th 16.21
This week I have concentrated on the Honda LPGA Thailand event and also had just the one bet in the WGC Matchplay so will start there.
Scott Piercy probably isn't at the forefront of most peoples thoughts this week but I have selected him as I believe he is a decent matchplay golfer. The last four years at Dove Mountain we have seen one common trait amongst winners and that was the experience to play the year before and win at least two matches - so that certainly narrows the field down. Piercy played well last year beating Paul Lawrie 4&3 before trouncing Luke Donald 7&6, he lost his next match one up to Steve Stricker. He is a Las Vegas native who plays his best golf in the desert and has an excelent record in the Phoenix Open played in Arizona - with finishes of 3/6/8/15/15 - his 15th the other week included three rounds of 67. If you look back at his career you will see he won the Ultimate Challenge in 2007 - in the winner take all final he birdied five of the last six holes to claim the $2m prize stating last year  “At the time, when I was dead broke, there was probably a lot more stress than there is now,” Last weeks closing 83 hasn't gone un-noticed but I think by Sunday he had lost all interest - expect a different game face this week when he faces Justin Rose in the first round as he has a poor record and is coming back from injury. 0.3 ew 150/1
My other two picks this weeks come on the LPGA tour which visits Thailand this week. Over the last few years Yani Tseng has been a standing dish around the Siam course but I don't think she is back to her best even with a win last month in her Taiwanese homeland. Amy Yang has a very strong record in this event finishing 10/7/4/12 and comes here for the first time as an official LPGA tour winner. Whilst she has won events on the LET tour the LPGA win had always eluded her until October when she won an event in South Korea. She sandwiched that performance with a 10th in China, 5th in Malaysia and 7th in Mexico so is clearly at home when the tour is on its travels 0.4 ew 33/1
I will take a chance with Lizette Salas who is yet to score on tour but I am sure that is only a matter of time. In forty LPGA events she has only missed one cut way back in April 2012. Looking at her past results she always seems to improve her finishing position once she has played a course before and she was 8th here last year - her first career top ten. She had three further top five finishes last season and was 3rd on her seasonal bow in the Bahamas - well worth a bet 0.3 ew 50/1
february 17th 10.07
Well we're getting close and especially with the big bets so far this year we have had 6 bets @ 0.6 and bigger - and they have thrown up a 3rd @ 45/1 and 2nd 50/ plus we were close with Steele who was 6th @ 80/1. This weekend Horsey had a superb finish to grab the profit for the week whilst Tringale had a great start yesterday and traded at 6/1 before fading whilst in running play McNeill came up just shy in t6th.
This week will probably be a bit on the quieter side with the WGC Matchplay where I have one player in mind, the Dimension Data Pro-Am looks stronger than most years with a lot of European players staying on - they may as well have co-sanctioned it! The LPGA moves to Thailand which brings up horrific memories of last year when 80/1 pick Jutanugarn took a two shot lead up the par 5 last and triple bogeyed!

february 12th 09.36
The Web.com tour makes its reappearance this week in Colombia and I am sticking with my theory that it is best to stick with an older more experienced pro around the tricky course which is high in altitude. The three winners before last year were Pate 48, Pappas 40 and Kendall 48 with good finishes from the likes of Triplett 50 and Riegger 48. Last year saw a youngster win but Bertsch did well aged 42 so that's where I will focus.
Cameron Beckman might not be quite as old as the above but he has been around a long time with numerous wins on tour. He managed to finish 2nd on the main tour @ Annandale last year where he had won before and interestingly Pappas, Kendall and Triplett have all finished 2nd at that course before. As an experienced pro I don't think he would be travelling to Colombia if he didn't think he had a chance and it was only 2010 when he last won on the main tour in Mexico 0.15 ew 200/1
I will also put up Dicky Pride who has won once on the PGA tour way back in 1994 when only 24 years of age - he has hung around as a journeyman pro ever since making a lot of money - last year his best finish was 5th at altitude in Montreux. He has the advantage of a few starts already this year and was a solid 35th at Pebble Beach last week. With his inability to get over the line though I can only advocate a small bet 0.1 ew 125/1
On the Champions Tour I will give Mark Calcavecchia a chance to prove he really has rededicated himself to the senior ranks which is what he said before they started last week. I had a small bet on round one leader last week and he was awful shotting a 75 but he recovered over the weekend shooting 67/64 - last chance saloon for him - for me! 0.3 ew 50/1

february 11th 15.13
This week we have a top class field at a top class venue at the Riviera Country Club for the Northern Trust Open and there are lots of players vying for favouritism of whom I think Webb Simpson is probably the favourite for me. I am utterly baffled that Delaet is shorter than some Major winners who have better course form even though he is in top class form - in a field of this quality there is no point in backing a non winner @ as low as 18/1. I have gone for four players all at big prices with the intention of getting at least one in the frame - easier than trying to maybe get the winner from the shorter priced starters.
Kevin Stadler (apparently nicknamed Smallrus!) is a big pick for me this week for a whole host of reasons. He finally broke his duck on the main tour in Phoenix a couple of weeks ago but maybe he can do a Jimmy Walker and add to his win in quick succession and it's not as if he hasn't done it before. Back in 2004 he won his first pro event on the Web.com tour, he then played the following week finishing 66th and then grabbed his second win a week later. Then in 2005 he won the Argentine Open and although there was a bit of a gap he won his next but one start. He was following in his fathers footsteps when he won the Argentine Open and Craig has also won this event in 1996. He has some great course form around Riviera and it should come as no surprise as he has played here more than anywhere else as it's the home course of the USC Trojans and he says he loves it more than any other course in the world. With the win under his belt he will only feel more confident 0.5 ew 80/1
JB Holmes was a bit of a standing dish around Riviera when he was fit going 7/6/3/12/8. Since then he has undergone brain surgery, an operation on his arm and then last year he broke his ankle and missed most of the year. He has shown glimpses of his best form this year and I just can't leave him out of the staking plan 0.15 ew 125/1
Cameron Tringale is the one non winner in my team but he is a great prospect and has been remarkably consistent in his four starts here 21/24/21. He has just started to quietly hit some form with 12th and 13th in the last two weeks. In his short career to date the Californian has some class finishes in top events and surprises are possible - similar to last years shock winner John Merrick 0.2 ew 150/1
A few pundits have gone for South African players like Schwartzel and Oosthuizen as they have a good record in this - partly due to the Kikuyu fairways and Bentgrass greens - more commonly found in South Africa than America. I will go left field and pick Trevor Immelman who loves playing Riviera and was 7th on his debut a few years ago. He won on the Web.com tour at the end of last year showing he still has the ability and a few weeks ago was 10th at Torrey Pines. Apparently his brother gave him a swing tip at Torrey and Immelman reckons he was hitting the ball better than he has done for a long time. I will take all those hints and get on board 0.15 ew 200/1 + 0.2 top 10 20/1
february 11th 12.12
Saying that this weeks Africa Open is a weak looking affair would be an understatement but there are a few good looking betting opportunities when you look at the nature of the East London course. I don't really understand why players like Benson and Sullivan who are in good form, were in Africa last week and have played the course well have given it a swerve - just makes no sense to me as it would have given them a fine opportunity of a maiden victory. Anyway - maybe it gives my three off the tee a better chance!
Main bet for me has to be David Horsey and I dived into the early 50/1 as whilst he has no course form he has thrived on every similar course they play on the circuit. Courses like Golf du Palais Royal where he has been 1st and 2nd, and the venues for the KLM Open have all been played well and it makes sense as he was a top amateur playing the coastal courses around the UK. He found some form at the Joburg Open last week with a best ever venue finish of 10th and being top for Driving Accuracy and 3rd for putts per round will should stand him in good stead this week. 0.8 ew 45/1
Talking of the Golf Du Palais brings us neatly on to Michael Hoey who comes to life on these types of courses and he was indeed 2nd here on his first visit in 2009. For Hoey he has actually been in consistent form with all cuts made recently and a best of 10th in Abu Dhabi. There really isn't a great deal of point advocating an each way play as he has the same number of wins as top five finishes on the European tour - ie if he's up there he will win! so it's 0.3 win only 40/1
Final bet is on a rag I bet last year - Lyle Rowe and for those with a poor memory he was the player who caddied for Canter when he won the South African Amateur around East London and was 8th in 2012 in this event. Don't get me wrong he is not the strongest young home player on show but this is a very weak field 0.1 ew 250/1 + 0.2 top 10 25/1
february 10th 09.08
Will just have to put down last week as one of those weeks and move swiftly on but the most galling bit was backing Walker at Torrey at the same price with Tiger in the field but leaving him out this time - if I had known he was sick at Torrey I would have backed him last week.
Onto another week and a pretty full schedule with the Northern Trust Open from Riviera and a weak looking Africa Open from the East London club. Throw in the Womens Australian Open, a Champions event and the return of the Web.com tour in Colombia and it's going to be busy
february 5th 14.22
This week it looks like we won't be seeing Pebble Beach in all its glory as it is set to be overcast, rainy and breezy - but on the plus side Bill Murray won't be playing! Four picks for me so here goes -
Patrick Reed reminds me a bit of Dustin Johnson who was also 7th on his event debut then won later that year on the main tour before winning here at Pebble Beach in his second start. On the plus side for Reed he has already added another victory and that came on another multi-course event in the Humana Challenge a few weeks ago. One minor concern is that he withdrew from the Farmers Insurance Open with a rib injury but seemed to play well enough in Phoenix last week on his debut when 19th 0.5 ew 40/1
I was hoping for a bigger price from the books for Spencer Levin having got 120+ on Betfair but I really don't want to leave him out. The Californian local has a great record in this event including finishing 4th and 9th in his last two attempts. He did miss nine months of golf running up until July last year but has made seven of his eight cuts this season. He reminds me Oberholser who finally won his maiden event here capping some top class course form so get him onside 0.4 ew 75/1 - bigger on Betfair
I am going to take a punt on a player who has been 2nd twice and third once in his last nine PGA tour starts yet is available at a whopping 150/1. The reason for Jason Bohn being a big price is that he usually reproduces his best form on the same courses year in year out and his form at this event isn't exactly exceptional. However his last win in Louisiana came on a course he had little form on and he has won the Pebble Beach Invitaional before 0.2 ew 150/1
Last man in is Justin Hicks who is also looking for his maiden tour victory and is making more of his third full season on tour with some excellent ball striking. He finished a really solid 12th here a year ago and is probably most famous for leading the US Open at Torrey Pines in 2008 so he is definitely at home in the area. One of my main reasons for picking him is that both his wins on the Web.com tour came in multi course pro-ams - he certainly likes this format 0.2 ew 125/1
february 5th 13.02
Before doing the Pebble Beach preview a brief look at the three other tips from the smaller tours this week. I think Diana Luna is worth a small punt in the Australian Ladies Masters considering her return to form at the end of last season after early season problems after injuring herself in this event. Her previous finish in this event was 2nd in 2011 - one of five 2nd placed finishes in recent years. She may well struggle to win on her seasonal bow but she was 4th in Dubai before Christmas after a two month break so can go well fresh and the place part of the bet is on the big side 0.2 ew 100/1
On the Champions Tour I have gone for two debutants on this tour to attempt a repeat of what Rocco Mediate did last year and win on his tour debut. Billy Andrade won four times on the main tour and showed he was no back number still when 5th at Annandale last July - 0.3 ew 50/1. Wes Short Jnr can't match that number of titles with just the one but he came back and played a pretty full schedule last year and then won the Champions Tour Q School by a full five shots 0.2 ew 66/1
february 4th 14.18
The European Tour leaves the desert and heads back to South Africa for this weeks Joburg Open which for the first two rounds is played over the West and East courses so we have a bumper field of over two hundred. I am happy to take on Schwartzel who I think will lack a bit of match fitness whilst non winner George Coetzee is easily passed over at the price. Instead I have gone for three players in the mid priced range.
You had to be quick off the blocks to get on Dawie Van Der Walt as he has proved to be a very popular pick and whilst I got 80/1 and 70/1 there was still plenty of 66/1 when I put him up. He has won twice in the last year in co-sanctioned events in his homeland and I was impressed with him the last two weeks with 9th in Qatar and 29th in Dubai shooting a 65 each week in what were better quality fields than he will encounter this week. He has some decent course form as well with a 3rd in 2012 and 9th in 2008 so all in all there was not a lot not to like! 0.5 ew 66/1
I am prepared to give Scott Jamieson another chance this week as he seemed a little rusty on his return to golf last week in Dubai. In the first two rounds he took 34 and 32 putts per round which was probably 8 shots worse off than what he would normally achieve or indeed did in the last two rounds. He has a great record in South Africa and has been 6th and 24th in two attempts here so the new Dad could add to his maiden tour win 0.3 ew 66/1
I am going to give a player I would normally swerve a crack this week in the shape of Dane Soren Hansen who I have accused of being way too short in price for a long time but I have a feeling we could see the best in him this week. Last year was a recovery mission after a full year out with injury and he finally managed a 6th in South Africa before Christmas. His ball striking is as good as it ever was and he just needs a bit more confidence on the greens. He has played here twice before and if you can forgive his missed cut last time and concentrate on his 6th in 2010 then he is capable of mastering this weeks courses 0.4 ew 80/1
february 3rd 09.35
Well these golfers have no idea how much one shot can cost us punters though I suspect it is worth more to them. Rock had a bit of a lacklustre finish to his round and only got us a four way tie for 5th whilst Steele managed that most horrible of places - 6th (unless you are on for six places!) Rock did get matched as low as around 5/1 - I traded a bit higher than that and maybe I should have stuck with Gallacher but I hate backing defending champions!
Onto this week and the main two events are both multi course - the Joburg Open where Schwartzel will be a warm order and the AT&T Pro-Am from Pebble Beach which has fond memories for me having got Oberholser 50/1 and Points 100/1 so that may bring us a change of fortune.
january 29th 09.50
The PGA tour stays on the West Coast but leaves California as it travels to Phoenix for the one event of the year that is different to most. The raucous event is one that players either love or hate and some having played it once will never return. I have gone for three players who have definitely shown an affinity for the event but have left out one player in Matt Every who I fancy to go well but as a non winner I find it difficult to imagine him winning in this pressure cooker environment.
Brendan Steele was always going to be my headline pick this week and I was pleasantly surprised to see 100/1 offered by a few books when they opened on Monday and snapped it up accordingly. With finishes of 5th and 6th in his last two visits here and a scoring average of a shade over 68 it is easy to see why he is an obvious pick. He seems to have an affinity for TPC courses as well as he has been 1st and 4th at the San Antonio Oaks course and Le Golf National has always struck me as a TPC type of course and in two forays over the pond he was 7th both times so we can definitely put him in the horses for courses category. He has had a steady start to the year blowing the cobwebs away in the Humana and then hit plenty of greens at Torrey Pines last week. He says he is fitter than in past years and if that's the case this week is the event to get onboard 0.6 ew 80/1
Looking at the performances of my headline pick brought my attention to Martin Laird who also likes TPC courses. His first PGA tour win came at Summerlin in 2009 in the Nevada desert and he was runner up in his defence of that title. Last year his third win came at the same San Antonio course where Steele won and he has also been 2nd and 5th the last two years at Sawgrass - I don't think they are all a coincidence. He has not been in blistering form and has only played well here once before in 2011 when 3rd but he lives locally and at the price is well worth backing 0.25 ew 100/1
Most people will not have noticed that Retief Goosen has any course form around Scottsdale but delving back he in fact played here in 2003 and 2004 finishing 3rd and 9th. That was a long time ago but his calm manner could well be suited to this rowdy atmosphere. He has only had twenty starts on the PGA tour since 2012 but that has resulted in four top ten finishes including in Hawaii this year so spread your bets 0.15 ew 150/1 + 0.2 top ten 14/1
january 28th 14.37
This week the European Tour stays in the Middle East for the third leg of the desert swing with the 25th Anniversiary of the Dubai Desert Classic and I am more than happy to take on the three market leaders with some established tour winners at decent prices.
If you can forgive a player one poor week and I will make that exception for a 50 year old then Jimenez is simply a massive price this week. He finally won this in 2010 having been 2nd twice and also 4th and we saw in Hong Kong just a few months ago he is more than capable of multiple wins at the same venue. Before last weeks missed cut in Doha where he has never played that great he was a solid 10th in Abu Dhabi - I make him a lot shorter than the 100 on Betfair and the official bet is 0.5 ew 80/1
On his day Robert Rock showed he is capable of great things - beating Tiger Woods down the stretch in Abu Dhabi in 2012. Apart from his 2nd in the Irish Open last year the only decent finish he has had since that second win was when 7th here. He showed enough signs in Doha last week when 22nd - his best finish there in four starts to make him of interest this week 0.15 ew 200/1
Marcel Siem took a very long time to add to his first European win when he finally won in France in 2012 but he added a third win in Morocco last season. He then split his time between Europe and the USA but I think he will show his best form on this tour and why not add win number four on a course where he has been 5th and 4th before 0.25 ew 125/1
I deliberated a bit over final pick Scott Jamieson as he hasn't been seen since December - mainly because he was due to become a Dad in the last few weeks. I am guessing that as he tees it up baby has arrived safely! He was 2nd on his seasonal bow last year so can go well fresh and why not here where he has a sterling record. In his two starts he has been 5th and 26th opening with a 65 each time to lie 2nd and 3rd so hence the split bet 0.15 ew 150/1 + 0.1 ew 110/1 first round leader
january 27th 09.17
Well that was a rollercoaster of a Sunday and we didn't know until the last two putts on the 72nd hole whether we would make a profit or not. Leishman yesterday simply couldn't hole a putt until the 18th which thankfully got him into a tie for 2nd just one back of Stallings - who a year ago went for the 18th on Sunday at the Humana and found water - sadly for us his fate this time around was different!. When Woodland missed his birdie putt it meant Noh finished in a tie for 10th. Yet again there is another important lesson - try and get concessions - you would have got a full place payout on Leishman with a bookmaker paying six places and Sportingbet were offering both top five and ten markets with ties paid out in full - pretty costly I would imagine!
I have put up the first antepost bet of the year on Leishman for the Masters 0.25 ew 150/1 - I doubt he will get bigger. This week we have the Dubai Desert Classic which celebrates its 25th anniversiary and the raucous Phoenix Open from Arizona.
january 22nd 14.39
Apologies for the delay with the preview for the Farmers Insurance but this will be a common theme as prices get so much bigger the closer to the off on Betfair and that is where I have to place the vast majority of my bets.
I am sticking with Marc Leishman after he secured us a 5th place payout in the Sony. Taking out last years missed cut he has a very good record at Torrey Pines including a 2nd and 9th and is on record stating he plays certain courses well despite them being very different which he mentioned in Hawaii pointing out this weeks venue as one to follow him on. He showed last year at the Masters that he can compete with the best and has drifted to a big price on Betfair although the official bet is 0.6 ew 50/1
Ben Crane was the surprise winner here in 2010 although it wasn't totally out of the blue as he was 7th the year before and often plays well at the start of the year. He showed some solid signs of another fast start last week when after an opening 70 he then shot nineteen under par for his next three rounds. He has been practicing hard in the off-season in California and is a fair price to add to his five PGA tour wins 0.25 ew 125/1
I cannot resist a small play on Jimmy Walker as I do think if he hadn't won in Hawaii he would possibly have been a lower price! He has now won two of his last six starts, been top ten in nine of his last twelve Californian starts including being 8th and 4th here. There really isn't a lot not to like now that the ability to cross the line has finally clicked 0.35 ew 35/1
Sung-Yul Noh would have finished a lot higher here than his 27th place on both starts here if only he could play the easier North course better - he has certainly mastered the tougher South course. He looked like he was going to lose his card last year until he won one of the Web.com play-off events. He is a talented youngster and maybe that win was the spur he needs to kick on 0.1 ew 200/1 + 0.2 top 10 16/1
Finally I cannot resist a small play on local lad Michael Kim who has left college early and just turned pro. He was the top ranked collegiate player in the US last year and having attended Torrey Pines High School and living down the road has as much experience of playing here as anyone. Luckily he plays the easier course first which may well give him a bit of confidence 0.1 ew 225/1
january 21st 11.18
I am not going to be rushing into completing my bets for the Farmers Insurance as with Tiger short and probably shortening there should be some movement in the markets yet but I will crack on with a look at my two picks for the Qatar Masters which kicks off tomorrow.
Stephen Gallacher is my main pick as he seems to take a few events at the beginning of the year to get warmed up and there were positive signs in last weekends rounds of 68 and 69 which saw him climb to a tie for 8th in Abu Dhabi - by far his best finish there in nine attempts. Last year he won his third start of the year in Dubai, the year before he was 2nd in the same event - again in his third start. He has a solid bank of form around Doha over the years but took him a long time to get to grips with the Emirates course before he finally won - proving that he can compete with the best. There is a definite link between Doha winners and those who do well @ Gleneagles and Gallacher has been 6th, 6th and 2nd in his last three starts there and it is that course in his homeland that is at the forefront of his mind this year as he is determined to make the Ryder Cup team. I managed to get some early 66/1 but 55/1 is well worth taking - 0.4 ew.
Andy Sullivan is a bit of a leftfield pick but he could surprise this week as apart from his 3rd and 5th in South Africa last season his 9th here was probably one of the highlights of his year. He kicked off in Abu Dhabi last week with a solid 19th - much improved from his 68th last year. I think he is a promising young player who could easily get his maiden win this year 0.15 ew 175/1
january 20th 09.11
We bagged our first winner of 2014 last week with Marksaeng winning in Thailand @ 25/1 but sadly he was the only pick who troubled the judge come Sunday. Garrigus went storming out the traps on Thursday going -6 though 12 but back to back doubles saw an early end to him whilst Summerhays got close to the lead on Friday but it was all about Patrick Reed who won a shade cosily with Ryan Palmer (a mention on Twitter) finishing 2nd.
This week we have the Commercialbank Qatar Masters from Doha - don't forget that starts Wednesday whilst the PGA tour stays in California and Tiger Woods makes his seasonal bow at Torrey Pines in the Farmers Insurance Open.

january 15th 12.00
Over the years who to follow at the Bob Hope and now the Humana Challenge has shifted and changed - in the latter years of its five round stage you looked for a big hitting rookie who had preferably played the Sony but missed the cut and then got practice in on all four courses. Since it changed to a four round event then it has been best to side with proven early season performers - but we only have two outings to suggest that's the way to go. There are definitely links to other low scoring birdie fests such as Annandale and quite possibly the Old White course used for the Greenbrier Classic. I have come up with five picks for a variety of reasons.
Robert Garrigus is my headline pick - mainly due to his scoring average around here - finishes of 14th, 2nd and 16th have yielded an average of 66.85 - half a shot per round better than anyone else. His 22 under par when 2nd in 2012 was even more remarkable when you see he was 6 over par through 8 holes on the first day! Add in finishes of 2nd and 6th at the Q School around these resort courses and he clearly feels right at home. In 2012 he couldn't quite manage a second win on tour but was runner-up no less than five times but after a bright start to 2013 last year turned into a bit of a damp squib. I am not put off by the fact this is his first start of the year as it was in 2012 when he was 2nd and he was 2nd at the Hyundai TOC in 2011 so he can go well fresh 0.75 ew 55/1
Sang Moon Bae is a huge young talent who has also shown a liking for these resort courses. He was 11th in his first attempt at Q School and in his two attempts at this event has managed finishes of 14th and 27th. He can blow a bit hot and cold and will be difficult to catch right but in 150 pro events he has a 6% win rate and notched his first PGA win last year. He started last week in the Sony really well leading after round one before fading but showing his game is in good order - maybe this weeks easier venue will suit better 0.25 ew 125/1
Daniel Summerhays seems a popular pick this week and it is easy to see why as he seeks his elusive first PGA victory. He came close here in 2011 in only his second PGA start when he faded in the final round to finish 11th. That has often been the case since - especially last summer when in consecutive weeks he held the final round lead in the John Deere before coming 4th and then lost in a playoff at Annandale. He can also boast a 5th at the Greenbrier Classic so he seems to like low scoring events 0.25 ew 125/1
Kevin Na really should have more than one PGA win to his name by now but to say he is twitchy in the mix is probably an understatement! He missed most of last season due to injury but came out all guns blazing in the final rounds at Cordevalle in California to shoot a pair of 64's to end up 3rd and soon got it going this year with an 8th at the Sony. All of his best form tends to be in the early part of the year on the West Coast on desert resort courses or when they play them again in the Fall. I cam see him being in a hurry to make up for lost time last year 0.25 ew 80/1
Last man in is local Californian James Hahn who showed a liking for his home events last year when 4th here and 3rd at Pebble Beach. The rest of the season was pretty much a write-off - maybe he got excited about locking up his card early on. He can shoot really low numbers when on song so hopefully the venue will rekindle some positive memories 0.15 ew 200/1

january 14th 19.40
Just a few quick words about Prayad Marksaeng in the Kings Cup on the Asian tour - the Humana preview will be up tomorrow morning. The Thai veteran is getting long in the tooth now (he is a year older than me!) but he can still win tournaments - and especially at home. In the early half of last year he played in three events in his homeland and finished 1st, 3rd and 1st. Add in the fact that he has some impressive course form of 2nd and 8th when it was the home of the Black Mountain Masters and even I am prepared to take a lowish price 0.4 ew 25/1
january 14th 11.19
A top class field assembles in Abu Dhabi this week for the start of the Desert Swing but I will take a chance on a couple of outsiders to upset the big guns as in the last couple of years we have had surprises with Rock at a massive price and Donaldson last year at 50/1 plus.
If Thorbjorn Olesen is fit and ready to go and can put behind him a disappointing final six months of 2013 then his price tag of 80/1 is way too big. We are of course taking a chance but this is a man who was 2nd here last year and 3rd in Dubai and went on to finish 6th on his Augusta debut. After that the wheels somewhat came off but he loves the desert as he was also 8th here on his seasonal debut in 2012. Of course he only has the one main tour win but a top five strike rate of 12.7% makes 20/1 the place look very big on a course we know he can play 0.5 ew 80/1
Ricardo Santos is a bit left field but he strikes me as a horses for courses type of player and we were on him in China last year when he was 5th. He made a flying start to the season last year going 4th here then 22nd, 7th, 3rd and 9th. A similar start to his campaign this year could see us bank an early reward from this talented young player 0.15 ew 175/1
january 13th 09.12
Last week showed the importance of three things - trading, getting 6 places and looking at the Betfair markets closer to the off! At the cut Stuard was 1st and Leishman tied 2nd and they went on to finish 6th and 5th respectively having both traded around the 7/1 mark and both were pushed out on Wednesday to 130/20 and 85/15. Stuard even was matched @ 1.25/1.3 for a place (I should know!) The result was that the site is showing a small loss whereas personal stakes show a nice profit - but do I start putting up lays on the site? I think the answer is probably No but I will have to leave it to your own judgement.
This week we have the Abu Dhabi Championship as the European tour begins it's desert swing whilst the PGA tour hits the West Coast for the Humana Challenge and some slightly nicer viewing times.
january 8th 12.50
In 2013 the usual profile of the Sony Open winner was turned on it's head with a young tour rookie shooting at least eight shots lower than the normal winning score in flat calm conditions. The players who had played the week before in Kapalua had been blown apart by strong winds and delays. The question is - was that an anomoly and will things refer to type? I will risk the latter. Before last year the aim was to find an experienced pro with a couple of wins under his belt, who was short off the tee but could hit the small greens and who had plenty of course experience but not necessarily exceptional and quite possibly had played the week before. This has given me three of my selections this week and the other two are based on their course scoring averages.
Brian Gay has been all the rage this week and it's easy to see why - I managed to get a bit of 80 on Sunday night on Betfair and some 50/55 ew when the books went up on Monday and some books are now as low as 33. Of my three picks who played last week he played the best finishing 13th and improving on past performances mainly due to a superb 65 in round three. He has some solid course form over the years with a 5th and 6th in recent years and has made twelve straight cuts. The links between El Camaleon and Harbour Town are well documented and he has won at both those venues. Last year he won his second start of the year so we have plenty of pointers towards his chances this week - hence the decent bet 0.6 ew 50/1
Boo Weekley has won twice at Harbour Town and added to those victories last year at the old fashioned par 70 Colonial course. These are the only types of courses that Boo stands a chance on really as he is really accurate tee to green but a poor putter. The last time he played the week before in Hawaii was 2009 and he went on to finish 9th here so maybe he will play better with a tournament under his belt. He has always struck the ball well round here and occasionally putted well on the grainy greens and to be honest I expected him to be a bit lower in price 0.4 ew 66/1
DA Points is my one from leftfield as he reminds me a bit of Johnson Wagner as you never know which player will turn up. His course performances are not great (like many winners) although he was 6th in 2012 - the only year where he played the week before. He did play Kapalua better that year than he did last week but the runout can only have done him some good. He has won round Pebble Beach on the coast and with small greens so this weeks venue should hold no fears so just have a small saver on him - 0.2 ew 150/1
Marc Leishman doesn't quite fit the same bill as those above but I really like his course form around here. Finishes of 12th, 20th and 27th were capped off with an improved 9th last season showing he can score well - in fact in sixteen rounds he has only shot over par twice and one of those was his debut round. My one concern is how he will play after an extended break but I guess if it's any consolation both his PGA and Web.com victories came after a three week break Admittedly he is hardly a prolific winner but the person laying 80 on betfair is taking a risk - 0.4 ew 50/1
Last man in is Brian Stuard who has to be a bet purely on his affinity for similar coastal courses. He rounded off last year with 2nd at El Camaleon where he had also been 2nd before back in 2010. Last year he was 4th in Puerto Rico and 5th here in Hawaii so there must be something in it. He doesn't really fit the winners profile but I found it impossible to leave him out 0.3 ew 66/1
january 8th 11.04
Well this is the first official blog post of the New Year so it's time to archive 2013 away to the left and start afresh.
This week we have two events and I will kick off with the Volvo Champions event on the European Tour which is open to past winners of the event, last years winners and a few odds and sods and it is from the latter category that I have had my one and only bet. Darren Clarke strikes me as a touch of value at the available prices as he has some decent course form - 4th in the 2005 South African Open and last year after a poor opening 75 he played as well as anybody over the last three rounds. That is the crux of the matter - how rusty and unfit is he after the Christmas break? well he says on his blog he has undertaken a long term fitness campaign to get him ready for the PGA tour and before Christmas he was feeling much fitter. That showed in some results in the Autumn when 12th in the Dunhill Links and then he only lost by a shot to Shwartzel in China. I think these days we will probably only see the best of Clarke on suitable courses and windy,coastal, linksy Durban should be right up his street 0.2 ew 175/1
 
 
 
 
 
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