The Honda Classic Betting Preview

Honda Classic 2014
The Champion Course, Palm Beach Gardens, PGA National, Florida
Par 70, 7,110 yards

The Course
PGA National is a tough par 70 with two par 5’s, four tricky par 3’s and will be a difficult test for the players here this week. This course was ranked second last year among the PGA Tour’s most difficult courses. The fairways are quite narrow and tight so driving accuracy will be of particular importance. There is also water present on this course and quite a lot of bunkers so be on the lookout for good bunker players.

Looking at the way this course sets up, it might be worth noting par 3 performance as this course has four very tricky par 3’s with GIR and strokes gained putting the also key stats here. The “Bear Trap” is a key feature on this course with holes 15, 16 and 17 being particularly difficult and could potentially offer a thrilling finish come Sunday night. The 18th is a straight forward par 5 and reachable with two good shots.

Graeme McDowell 25/1
Gmac played superb last week in Arizona with his never say die attitude and pulled off a miracle to beat Gary Woodland in the first round being three down after 15 holes to eventually win on the 19th one up. He provided huge entertainment all week sinking putts from every direction until he was sadly knocked out on Saturday by the eventual runner up Victor Dubuisson.

After a good start to the season, Gmac recorded a top 10 in his first event back after a lengthy break with a T7th finish in Pebble Beach. He had a couple of solid performances before Christmas finishing 3rd in the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai in November and followed that with a T6th finish at The Northwestern Mutual in December.

He also has quite a good record in this event with three top 10’s in the last three years finishing ninth last year, ninth in 2012 and sixth in 2011. He is clearly playing well at the moment and has a great previous record on this course. Expect his good from to continue here this week.

Charl Schwartzel 22/1
Charl had a good start to the season with a T5th finish at The Northern Trust Open the week before last shooting three 68’s and a 69 to finish on 11 under. He was knocked out in the matchplay last week by Jim Furyk but I reckon he will be back to his best here this week.

He had a great finish to 2013 with a win at The Alfred Dunhill at the beginning of December and had a super finish to the South African Open at the end of November finishing T4th. Charl is another player with a super record in this event with three top 15’s in his last three appearances. He finished ninth last year, fifth in 2012 and 14th in 2011. He is another player that has a great previous record and current form to go extremely well here.

Honda Classic 2014 bear trap pic

Rickie Fowler 33/1
Rickie played solid last week in Arizona beating big names like Sergio Garcia and Ian Poulter on his way to beating Ernie Els in the consolation match to eventually finish in third place. Fowler also has a good record on this course finishing in 13th place last year and seventh in 2012.

Despite struggling initially with the transition to his new swing from coach Butch Harmon, Rickie has said that his game is close to being right, which was evident, based on last week’s performance.

Statswise he ranks second in proximity to the hole, 28th in driving distance, sixth in GIR from 150-175 yards and sixth in approaches from 100-125. Fowler seems to have found his game in this new swing and I have no doubt his good form will continue here this week.

Sergio Garcia 18/1
Sergio is on a great run of form at the moment and played well last week at the matchplay, only to be beaten by Rickie Fowler. He lost because he was a little too generous and gave Fowler a putt because he felt he delayed him too long on the previous hole which then cost him the match.

Despite that, he has been playing well on both the PGA and European Tour so far this season. He had a great win which came at The Qatar Masters at the end of January, shooting a final round 65 finishing on 16 under par to seal victory. He also had a great week at the HSBC Champions in Shanghai in November finishing in 4th. Statswise he ranks fifth in stroke average and 12th in putts per round so far on the European Tour this season.

Will McKenzie 80/1
Overall Will McKenzie has had a pretty good season so far with six top 15’s in nine starts. He had a top 10 at the start of the season at The Frys.com Open finishing in T9th which included a third round 64 to finish on 12 under for the tournament. He also had a great week at The Farmers in Torrey Pines at the end of January finishing in T7th which was followed by a T13th finish at The AT&T in Pebble Beach.

McKenzie is another player with a good record in this tournament finishing fifth in 2009 and 12th in 2010 and 22nd in 2007. Statswise he ranks 49th in driving distance, 53rd in driving accuracy, 35th in GIR and 23rd in strokes gained putting. He also ranks sixth in par 3 performance and second in par 5 performance. Stats combined with good form and good previous performances make McKenzie a good bet this week.

Final Selections:
Graeme McDowell 2pts ew/4 pts total
Charl Schwartzel 2pts ew/4 pts total
Rickie Fowler 1.5pts ew/3 pts total
Sergio Garcia 1.5pts ew/3 pts total
Will McKenzie 1pt ew/2 pts total
Total staked = 15 pts

Good luck and enjoy the golf,

Doublebogey6
Follow me on Twitter @Doublebogey63

WGC-Accenture Matchplay Betting Preview

World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship - Final Round

The Ritz Carlton Golf Club
Dove Mountain, Marana, Arizona

Par 72, 7,791 yards

The Course
With this being a matchplay event, strokeplay form is not crucial. Be on the lookout for guys that performed well in Ryder Cups, Presidents Cups and Volvo Matchplay. This course also sets up well for players who like to take a bit of a gamble with all the par 5’s reachable in two, but there are plenty of bunkers to catch the players out.
Dove Mountain is a long golf course measuring a whopping 7,791 yards so players that can hit it 300+ off the tee will have an advantage, but they have to keep it on the short grass as the rough can be penalising. The key factors here this week will be driving distance and accuracy, GIR, scrambling and good putting.

Hunter Mahan 22/1
Hunter makes my list yet again this week and for good reason. Mahan has a superb record in this tournament over the last couple of years. He won in 2012 beating Rory McIlroy in the final, and played superb last year beating the likes of matchplay king Ian Poulter, Martin Kaymer and Matteo Manassero, he then got beaten 2&1 in the final by Matt Kuchar.

Mahan is having a good season so far with two top 10’s in his last three appearances. Coming off a poor performance in Riviera last week finishing in T52nd, he had a great performance at the AT&T in Pebble the week before last coming in T6th and played well at The Phoenix Open the week before that finishing in T4th.

Statswise Mahan ranks fifth in total driving, fourth in strokes gained putting, second in putting from 3-5 feet and first in putting from 10-15 feet. Despite playing poorly last week, overall, Mahan is playing well at the moment and is a fantastic matchplay player and should be a big threat here.

Rory McIlroy 14/1
McIlroy has had a great start to the new season with two top 10’s already under his belt. He played well at the HSBC in Abu Dhabi coming in T2nd and had a good performance at the Dubai Desert Classic finishing in T9th, which should have been a lot better considering he shot a disappointing final round 74.

Rory has was also playing well before Christmas with another two top 10’s coming at the DP World Championship in Dubai in November where he finished in T5th and a T6th finish at The WGC-HSBC in Shanghai.

McIlroy played very well here in 2012 getting to the final only to be beaten by Hunter Mahan. So far on the European Tour this season, McIlroy ranks second in driving distance hitting it an average of 314 yards off the tee, 12th in GIR and 22nd in putts per GIR. Rory is playing a lot better this year and seems to be over the slump that was last season.

Jason Day 20/1
Day had a superb performance here last year to finish 3rd beating the likes of Ian Poulter, Zach Johnson and big hitting Bubba Watson. Most recently, he played poorly at Pebble Beach but had a top 10 at The Farmers in Torrey Pines finishing in T2nd the week before.

He won the World Cup of Golf back at the end of November at Royal Melbourne with fellow Aussie Adam Scott. He also shot ten under par to win the singles tournament and had a solid finish to the 2012/2013 season playing well in the FedEx Cup playoffs.

Day always plays well in the bigger events and has proven he can compete at the very top level. He had a great performance in The Presidents Cup winning three and a half points for the International team and looks a big threat when he plays matchplay.

WGC Accenture Matchplay 1

Graeme McDowell 40/1
McDowell had a good start to the PGA Tour season with a solid performance at The AT&T in Pebble to finish in a respectable T7th, shooting a superb final round 67 to finish six under in total.

He had a couple of solid performances before Christmas finishing 3rd in the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shaghai in November and followed that with a T6th finish at The Northwestern Mutual in December.

Gmac is another superb matchplay player and I was quite surprised to see him at such a generous price. He played well here last year but lost to Jason Day in the quarter finals. He then went on to play in the Volvo World Matchplay in Tharacian Cliffs in Bulgaria and beat the likes of Branden Grace and Chris Wood on his way to the final. He then faced Thongchai Jaidee in the final and beat him 2&1. He has a great matchplay record and is a huge threat here this week at a generous price.

Webb Simpson 28/1
Webb is having a superb season so far on the PGA Tour with five top 10’s in his last seven starts including a win at the opening event of the season, The Shriners Hospital Open in Vegas. In 2014 so far, Simpson has two top 10’s in his last four starts with a T3rd finish at The Hyundai Tournament of Champions last month and, most recently, a 10th place finish in Phoenix.

Last year Webb made it to the quarter finals only to be narrowly beaten by Hunter Mahan. In the Presidents Cup last year he won a total of three points for the US Team. Statswise Webb ranks 28th in total driving, 23rd in GIR, third in strokes gained putting, third in birdie average and seventh in scrambling.

Final Selections:
Hunter Mahan 2pts ew/ 4pts total
Rory McIlroy 2 pts ew/ 4pts total
Jason Day 1.5pts ew/ 3pts total
Graeme McDowell 1.5pts ew/ 3pts total
Webb Simpson 1.5pts ew/ 3pts total
Total staked = 17 pts

Good luck and enjoy the golf,

Doublebogey6
Follow me on Twitter @Doublebogey63

Northern Trust Open Betting Preview

Northern Trust Open 2014

Thursday Feb 13 – Sunday Feb 16 2014
Riviera, California
Par 71, 7,349 yards

The Course

The PGA Tour stays in California this week and arrives in Riviera. Previous winners include John Merrick, who won last year beating Charile Beljan in a playoff to finish on 11 under, Bill Haas, Aaron Baddeley, Phil Mickelson twice (2008 and 2009), Charles Howell and Rory Sabbatini.

Good ball striking and greens in regulation will be of particular importance here, not to mention the ability to negotiate the tricky poa annua grass on the greens which, as I mentioned last week, can be quite bumpy and tend to get worse as the day progresses. This course is on the coast and can be prone to rain and windy conditions. If the rain comes and the wind blows, these greens will be very tricky to manage. They are also quite small and penalising if you are off target, which makes it quite similar to pebble last week.

There are three par 5’s, the first of which is the opening hole and offers a makeable opening birdie. The other two are on the back 9 and will favour the bigger hitters if they keep their drives on the short grass. Players that can shape the ball will have an advantage around this course as there is quite a few doglegs and tricky par 4’s.

This course has a couple of signature holes, for example, there is a bunker in the middle of sixth green, which is a par 3 and could force some players to chip from one part of the green to the other. There is also a driveable par 4 which only the bigger hitters will be able to hit.

Players that like the course tend to play well here with Phil Mickelson being a prime example of that with two victories back to back on ’08 and ’09. It’s a great event and has a superb field so we will be in for some great viewing.

Hunter Mahan 20/1
I narrowly missed out on a place on Mahan last week at Pebble, where he had his second top 10 in a row coming in solo 6th, which could have been a lot better in my opinion. He also had a great week in Phoenix finishing in T4th on a total of 14 under for the tournament.

He has had a good start to the season and is really showing some solid form, especially on these poa annua greens, which seem to suit his game. He had a good performance here last year getting a top 10 finishing in T8th. As I mentioned last week, Mahan is a Californian and grew up playing on these tricky poa annua greens which should be a huge advantage to him this week.

Last season he ranked eighth in total driving and 20th in par 5 birdie or better leaders, which will help on Riviera’s scorable par 5’s. He also ranks second in strokes gained putting which is a stat that will be very useful on these greens this week.

Dustin Johnson 12/1
He looked solid as a rock last week in Pebble. If Jimmy Walker didn’t have such a big lead going into the final round, Dustin would have been lifting the trophy last Sunday, that’s for sure. He played super and shot an impressive final round 66 to get him into T2nd. He is having a great season with a win already under his belt which came at The WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai back in November.

He also had a great performance a couple of weeks ago at The HTOC in Hawaii finishing in T6th after shooting a disappointing final round 73. Johnson has a great track record here in Riviera over the years finishing in T4th in 2012, T3rd in 2010 and T10th in 2009.

Statwise he ranks ninth in driving distance, first in GIR, first in birdie average and second in scoring average. He also ranks eighth in par 4 performance and third in par 5 birdie or better leaders, which will big a big advantage here with its tricky par 4’s and par 5’s. Johnson is without a doubt a very worthy favorite here.

Graham DeLaet 22/1
This man is playing seriously good golf at the moment with five top 10’s in his last six starts. I backed him Phoenix a couple of weeks ago and he didn’t let me down getting me a place coming in T2nd. He also played fantastic rolling in five birdies on the back nine in TPC Scottsdale to close the gap to one. If he didn’t have a disappointing bogey on the par 5 15th, it could have been an entirely different story.

Statswise he ranks seventh in total driving, sixth in GIR, fifth in strokes gained putting, eighth in birdie average and second in scoring average. He is a player riding the crest of a wave at the moment playing some of the best golf of his life. He is very close to getting his first win on the PGA Tour and it looks like it could very well be here this week. Stats combined with awesome current form make him lethal here.

Bill Haas 28/1
Haas is a player with a great record in Riviera over the years with T3rd finish last year, a win in 2012 and T12th finish in 2011. He is having a good run so far this season staying under the radar making seven cuts in row which included two top 10’s in his last five starts.

The first of his top 10’s came at The Humana a couple of weeks ago in which he finished in T6th which included an opening round 65, a second round 66 and two closing 67’s to card a total of 23 under. He also had a good performance in The Northwestern Mutual Challenge back in December finishing in T9th so there are signs of good golf.

Statswise he ranks 18th in GIR, 40th in total driving and 15th in par 5 performance. If he gets the putter going he will have a good week here.

Ryan Moore 28/1
Moore has had some good performances in Riviera over the last few years with a T17th finish in 2012 and a T4th finish in 2011.

He has had a good season so far with a win already under his belt beating Gary Woodland in a playoff in the CIMB Classic in Malaysia. He also has two top 10’s which came at The Shriners Open in Las Vegas finishing T9th and he also had a good week at HTOC in Hawaii finishing 10th. Moore played well in Phoenix the week before last finishing just outside the places in T6th after his birdie putt horseshoed out of the hole on 18.

Statswise Moore ranks seventh in driving accuracy, fourth in GIR, fifth in birdie average, first in par 3 birdie or better leaders and tenth in par 4 birdie or better leaders which will give him an advantage here. He definitely has the game to go very low this week and is clearly playing well at the moment coming off a good week in Phoenix.

Kevin Na 66/1
Kevin Na comes into this week with two top 10’s in his last four starts. He had a super finish last week in Pebble Beach coming in T4th shooting a total of 8 under. He played well in the Sony Open in Hawaii shooting an impressive final round 66 to finish in T8th. He has a good previous record on this course with T10th finish in 2010 and a T3rd place finish here in 2011.

He ranks 20th in strokes gained, 19th in birdie average and 12th in scoring average which shows there is consistency in his game this season after a suffering from a back injury last year. He also ranks 10th in par 4 performance and 18th in par 5 performance, two key stats for me here this week. His previous history combined with good current form make him a great each way shout.

Final selections:
Hunter Mahan 2pts ew/ 4pts total
Dustin Johnson 2 pts ew/4pts total
Graham DeLaet 1.5pts ew/3pts total
Bill Haas 1 pt ew/2 pts total
Ryan Moore 1 pt ew/2pts total
Kevin Na 1 pt ew/2pts total
Total staked: 17 pts

Good luck and enjoy the golf,

Doublebogey6
Follow me on Twitter @Doublebogey63

AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am Betting Preview

AT&T National Pro Am pic 1

Thursday Feb 6 – Sunday Feb 9, 2014
Pebble Beach Golf Links, Pebble Beach, California

This tournament is played on three courses which include Pebble Beach, Spyglass Hill and Monterey Peninsula. The format is the same as The Humana Challenge and takes place on all three courses over the first three rounds with everyone playing Pebble Beach on Sunday. The weather can be a factor at this tournament, with rain and wind being quite common in California this time of year.

There are a few different factors to consider. The first factor is grass type. The greens here are poa annua which is a grass that tends to be a bit bumpy. If the rain comes and the wind blows, these greens will be a serious test. The greens at Pebble Beach are quite small and penalising if you are off target, so be on the lookout for good scramblers. The local Californians will certainly take a shine to this grass type so keep in mind locals that are in good form at present.

Length is not a huge factor this week but tends to favor the big hitters in the past. Previous course experience and good scrambling will be important here this week.

The Courses:
Pebble Beach Golf Links – Par 72, 6,816 yards and has three par 5’s and five Par 3’s.
Spyglass Hill – Par 72, 6,858 yards and has four par 5’s and four par 3’s.
Monterey Peninsula – Par 72, 6,838 yards and has four par 5’s and four par 3’s

Hunter Mahan 16/1
I tipped Hunter a couple of weeks ago at The Farmers in which he finished T47, but I expect him to have a much better week here. Mahan had a super performance last week in Pheonix finishing in T4th shooting a super opening round of 66. He has played well in this event over the last few years finishing in T16th last year, T15th in 2012 and finished in second to D.A Points in 2011.

Mahan is a Californian and grew up playing on these tricky poa annua greens, which should be a huge advantage to him this week. Last season he ranked eighth in total driving and 20th in par 5 birdie or better leaders, which will help in Spyglass and Monterey with its four par 5’’s. After a great week in Pheonix, he looks like he has well and truly shaken off the cobwebs and looks like a big threat here this week.

Jason Day 12/1
I tipped the aussie a couple of weeks ago at The Farmers in Torrey Pines and he played well for his first event of 2014, finishing in T2nd and got me a place. He had a couple of bogeys on the front nine in the final round eventually finishing one behind Scott Stallings. He looked solid all week, putted very well on the greens in my opinion and deserved to win, but that’s the way it goes sometimes unfortunately.

He won the World Cup of Golf back at the end of November at Royal Melbourne shooting ten under par for the singles tournament. Day had a solid finish to the 2012/2013 season playing very well in the FedEx Cup playoffs finishing T13th at The Deutsche Bank, T4th at The BMW and T14th at The Tour Championship.

Looking at his stats from last year, he ranked 16th in driving distance hitting it an average of just under 300 yards off the tee. He also ranked 11th in scoring average and 27th in scrambling. With good power and distance with good scrambling, Day could be a big threat here this week.

Jimmy Walker 25/1
Jimmy Walker couldn’t have asked for a better season so far. He already has two wins under his belt which came at The Frys.com back in October which included a superb third round 62 and final round 66. He also won at The Sony Open in mid-January shooting two 67’s, a 66 and a final round 63 to clinch victory.

The course layout here at Pebble is similar to Waialae in that a player must hit many greens in regulation to be in contention as the greens here and in Wailae are quite small so that might be a big advantage here for Walker this week. He also has a super record here over the years coming in T3rd last year, T9th in 2012 and again T9th in 2011.

He missed the cut at The Farmers the week before last due to being unwell, and the fact that he was paired up with Tiger for the first two rounds didn’t help matters either. Statswise he ranks eighth in driving distance, third in strokes gained, third in birdie average and first in birdie or better conversion percentage, which should bode well here in Pebble Beach. Overall, he is a player that should really suit this course.

Patrick Reed 35/1
Patrick Reed is another player having a fantastic start to the new season. He recorded his second PGA Tour win recently at The Humana Challenge in which he shot three 63’s in the first three rounds and finished the tournament with a respectable 71 to finish on 28 under par. The Humana was a Pro-Am which is the same format this week. He had a good finish in this event last year recording a T7th finish so it would appear he plays well and feels comfortable with this format.

He also has two top 20’s in his last three starts with a T19th finish last week in Pheonix and a T16th finish at The Hyundai TOC. Statswise he ranks 25th in total driving, 14th birdie average, sixth in both par 4 birdie or better leaders and birdie or better conversion percentage. When you look at the stats and his current form, he looks like he could go well here especially in this format.

Pat Perez 50/1
Perez has been really impressive over the last couple of weeks. I backed him for a top 10 in Torrey Pines at The Farmers and he did the business very comfortably. He is a player that is showing great form at the moment and had another steady performance last week in Pheonix coming in 11th and looked very solid throughout the week.

As I said above in the Jimmy Walker piece, the conditions here at Pebble are quite similar to Waialae at The Sony Open in which Perez finished T8th. He has had some decent previous performances here over the years finishing in T24th in 2008, T14th in 2006 and 2nd in 2002. The greens here are poa annua greens and Perez played on them beautifully in Torrey Pines. There is no reason why he shouldn’t continue that here this week.

Final selections:
Hunter Mahan 2 pts EW/ 4 pts total
Jason Day 2 pts EW/ 4 pts total
Jimmy Walker 1.5pts EW/ 3 pts total
Patrick Reed 1pt EW/ 2 pts total
Pat Perez 1 pt EW/ 2 pts total
Total staked: 15 pts

Good luck and enjoy the golf,
Doublebogey6
Follow me on Twitter @Doublebogey63