Plantation Course, Kapalua, Hawaii
– Par 73, 7,411 yards
First of all let me wish you all a very Happy New Year and profitable 2014!
This tournament is an interesting event because it’s just for past winners of the previous year and the field is quite a bit smaller than usual. The field has been set to roughly 34 including big names such as Masters Winner Adam Scott and last year’s winner Dustin Johnson.
The Plantation Course is quite open and generally suits the big hitters on the PGA Tour with accuracy off the tee not being as important as the fairways are quite wide and forgiving. The greens are also on the forgiving side but watch out for good wind players as Kapalua is quite exposed. Weather permitting; the scoring should be low with the winner averaging around the 20 under mark judging from previous years.
Webb Simpson 10/1
With a win at The Shriners Hospital for Sick Children Open in October followed by two top ten’s coming at the McGladrey (T7) and The Northwestern Mutual (5th) it’s easy to say Webb Simpson is on a great run of form at present. He has played well here in previous years finishing in tied 11th last year and tied third the year before.
The more I look at his stats the more I think his game is so well suited to this course, most importantly his putting stats on these big, open Bermuda greens. He ranks first in Strokes Gained Putting, 2nd in putting from 15-25 feet, 3rd in 15-20 feet, 6th from over 25 feet and 9th from 20-25 feet. Not to mention good scoring and GIR stats. A solid bet here and a big threat in my opinion.
Matt Kuchar 9/1
Kuch is playing really good golf at the moment and demonstrated that by playing superb in the Franklin Templeton Shootout a couple of weeks ago with another in form player Harris English. Prior to this he has three top ten’s in three events with a T7th finish at The McGladrey, 4th at The World Cup of Golf and a T3rd finish at The Northwestern Mutual. He has a good record around this course with three top tens here in his last three appearances finishing 3rd in 2010, T6th in 2011 and T9th in 2013.
Although his Driving stats don’t look that impressive, his scoring and putting stats look very good. He ranks 2nd in Scoring Average with an average of 67.50 strokes per round. He also ranks 5th in Par 3 Birdie or Better leaders and 4th in Par 5 Birdie or Better Leaders which should stand him well here with its 4 par 5’s and 3 par 3’s. Putting wise he ranks 1st in putting from 10-15 feet and 5th in putting from 5-15 feet which should help on these big Bermuda greens. Although he’s a short price at only 9/1, he is a must for me this week.
Dustin Johnson 8/1
The defending champion returns to the Plantation course in good form. He started his season with a win at The WGC HSBC Champions last month, shooting four superb rounds in the 60’s which included a 63 in the second round. This course sets up perfectly for a big bomber like Johnson with its wide open fairways and forgiving greens.
Stats wise he ranks 13th in Driving Accuracy, 1st in GIR, 1st in Birdie Average and 2nd in Scoring Average. He also ranks 1st in Birdie or Better Conversion Percentage, 1st in Par 4 Birdie or Better Leaders and 10th in Par 5 Birdie or Better Leaders, which will be a major strong point for him here this week. On paper he looks like the man to beat for me this week. The big question is can he win it for a second year in a row? In my opinion Yes.
Harris English 22/1
A first timer here at The Plantation Course but he is showing some great form recently playing superb at the Franklin Templeton Shootout with Matt Kuchar. He also won the OHL Classic at Myakoba which included a second round 62. English had another top ten at The CIMB Classic in Malaysia finishing in T7th.
Stats wise he ranks 21st in GIR, 20th in Birdie Average and 2nd in Scoring Average. He is also in the top ten in Par 3 and Par 4 performance ranking 2nd and 7th. Other important stats worth mentioning are putting. Putting from 20-25 feet he ranks a respectable 9th and putting from 15-25 feet he ranks 7th. Stats combined with great form make Harris English a good selection here this week.
Outsider to Watch….
Martin Laird 28/1
Martin Laird is a real horse for the course here with some super previous performances over the last few years. He finished T4th in 2010 and had a superb 2nd place finish in 2012 which suggests he could go well again after a nice rest over Christmas.
His stats really aren’t that impressive but there’s something about this course that he seems to like, maybe it’s the generous wide fairways and big greens, who knows. But I am willing to take a small risk on him here at 28/1.
Webb Simpson 1pt EW/2 pts total at 10/1
Matt Kuchar 1pt EW/2 pts total at 9/1
Dustin Johnson 1pt EW/2 pts total at 8/1
Harris English 1pt EW/2 pts total at 22/1
Martin Laird 0.5 pts EW/1 pt total at 28/1
Total Staked: 9 pts
Happy New Year and enjoy the golf,
Follow me on Twitter @Doublebogey63
Golf Betting System Punters League 2014
The Punters League at Golf Betting System starts this week and runs through to the Euro Tour finale at the close of November. Top prize = £250 of free bets for the season long champion, with weekly winners receiving a £25 free bet all with Paddy Power, who have sponsored the comp since it’s inception in 2011. It’s the competition’s 4th year and we are hopeful of record entry levels.
All the details on the competition can be found by clicking on this link http://www.golfbettingsystem.co.uk/punters_league.htm
Entry is only via the Golf Betting System Facebook Group. Click here to join https://www.facebook.com/groups/254181393361/