WGC Bridgestone Invitational Betting Preview

WGC-Bridgestone_Invitational

Firestone Country Club (South Course), Akron, Ohio
Par 70, 7,400 yards

The Course
This course measures a whopping 7,400 yards and has only two par 5’s, one of which is the 16th which is the longest par five on the PGA Tour so it will not be reachable in two for most of the field. It also has four par 3’s and 12 par 4’s. Some of the par 4’s are quite long and testing so length off the tee will be a big advantage here.

There is also an element of accuracy needed off the tee as some of the fairways are tree lined and have plenty of bunkers but overall, they are pretty forgiving. Accurate iron play will be a big advantage when approaching these tricky bentgrass greens. The key stats here are GIR, total driving, strokes gained putting, par 4 scoring, previous course experience and good current form. Players with previous course experience here tend to do well. The weather forecast is to be warm and humid with moderate wind. There is also the chance of thunderstorms so there could be some delays.

Adam Scott
Adam Scott 12/1
The big hitting Aussie comes into this week after some great performances over the last few weeks, including a win at The Crowne Plaza Invitational back in May. Scott followed that with a T4 at The Memorial and a T9 at The US Open in Pinehurst. Most recently, he put together three solid rounds in Hoylake at The Open Championship shooting 68,73,69,66 to finish in T5th for the tournament.

Scott has won this tournament before, back in 2011 where he beat Rickie Fowler and Luke Donald by one stroke. He has also finished in the top 15 three times since 2006 so he knows his way around this course. He ranks second in total driving, 13th in GIR,14th in strokes gained putting and fifth in par 4 scoring. Scott comes here in great form and should be a huge contender here this week.

Justin Rose 18/1
With two wins in his last four starts, Justin Rose is certainly a man making very few mistakes lately. He played steady at The Open Championship and finished in respectable T23rd. He won The Scottish Open shooting a final round 65 to finish on 16 under par for the tournament. Rose also won the week before at The Quicken Loans at Congressional beating Shawn Stefani in a playoff. He also played well at The Players finishing in T4th and followed that with a respectable T12 at The US Open.

Rose has two top fives here in his last seven starts including a further two top 20’s. He was fifth here in 2012, second in 2007 and finished a respectable T17 last year. He ranks 27th in par 4 performance, 14th in GIR from 175-200 yards and 15th in approaches from 100-125 yards.

Rickie Fowler 22/1
With three top 10’s in his last three starts, it’s hard to leave out Rickie this week. He has really stood up to the plate at the bigger events this year and has the results to show it. He played very solid at The Masters in Augusta finishing in T5th on two under par for the week. He also played very well in the tricky Pinehurst No.2 at The US Open finishing in T2 behind the dominant Martin Kaymer.

Most recently, he put together four super rounds in the 60’s at The Open Championship at Hoylake to finish, yet again, T2nd. The week before Rickie also played well at The Scottish Open and carded a final round 65 to finish in T8th. Fowler has played well at Firestone before, his best finish being T2nd in 2011. He comes here in great form and will be looking to improve on his respectable 21st place finish last year.

Keegan Bradley 1
Keegan Bradley 22/1
Keegan Bradley has been playing very solid lately recording two top fives and a top 20 in his last five starts. He had a good week at Hoylake finishing in a respectable T19th on six under par, which included two 69’s in round three and four. The week before, he played well at The Greenbrier Classic shooting four rounds in the 60’s on nine under par and T4th for the tournament.

Bradley also had a good week at The US Open in Pinehurst recording yet another T4th. He is a player that knows this course and has a good record here with a win in 2012 and a second last year. Statswise he ranks 12th in total driving, 42nd in strokes gained putting, eighth in par 3 performance and 27th in par 4 performance. He also ranks eighth in approaches from 200+ and fifth in GIR from 175-200, two stats that should be a big help on this long par 70. Keegan is playing good golf at the moment and has the ball striking and distance to have yet another good week here.

Long Shots –

Steve Stricker 50/1
Stricker has been playing well the last few weeks with good finishes at The Memorial (T6), The US Open (T21) and The John Deere Classic (T11). He also has a good record at this tournament finishing in the top 10 three times in his last five starts, which include two top 15’s. His best performances here came in 2012 (T2), 2010 (T9) and 2009 (T5th). Stricker hasn’t finished outside the top 15 since 2008 and could be a good each way prospect.

Louis Oosthuizen 66/1
Louis has been showing signs of good golf over the last few weeks. He finished in a respectable T36 at The Open last week, but could have had a better tournament if it weren’t for a poor third round 76. He also put in a good performance at The Byron Nelson a couple of months ago finishing T11th. Louis is another player with a good record at this tournament finishing in the top 10 twice in his last three starts. He was T4th here in 2012 and T9th in T9th in 2010.

Final Selections:
Adam Scott 2pts EW
Justin Rose 2pts EW
Rickie Fowler 2pts EW
Keegan Bradley 2pts EW
Steve Stricker 1pt EW
Louis Oosthuizen 1pt EW
Total Staked = 20 pts

Good Luck and enjoy the golf,

DB

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The Open Championship 2014 Betting Preview

The Open Championship 2014 Hoylake pic 1

Royal Liverpool, Hoylake, England
Par 72, 7312 yards

The Course
The Open Championship is the oldest and most prestigious of all four majors. Hoylake has hosted The Open Championship 11 times before, and played host most recently in 2006 in dry and calm conditions when Tiger Woods won over Chris Dimarco on 18 under par in total. However, the weather forecast doesn’t look to be quite as forgiving with some showers and moderate winds expected throughout the week.

There are many players competing this week that played well in 2006, so previous form at Hoylake will be a key factor. This course is a par 72, has four par 5’s and four par 3’s and is quite flat and undulating. The greens are quite large and could be difficult to judge in terms of touch as the conditions can get quite windy.

Finding fairways will be important this week as there is a lot of thick rough and pot bunkers that align the fairways so a lot of the players will be taking irons and fairway metals off the tee. The 18th is a par 5 with out of bounds on the right and is certainly reachable in two and could offer an exciting finish come Sunday.

Henrik Stenson 1

Henrik Stenson 16/1
With five top 10’s in his last five starts, It’s hard to rule out Henrik Stenson here at Hoylake. He comes here after coming in T5th at the Volvo China Open in April, T7 at The BMW PGA in Wentworth in May, solo 5th at The Nordea Masters in June and T4th at The US Open in Pinehurst. Most recently, he had yet another top 5 finish which came at The BMW International Open in Germany a couple of weeks ago coming in T2nd.

Stenson’s Open Championship record is also quite impressive with three top 5 finishes in the last five years, including a top 15 in 2009. He was second last year, third in 2010 and third in 2008. He also finished in respectable 48th in 2006 when it was staged at this venue. He is extremely accurate with his three wood and long irons and should love these conditions. Stenson has taken the last two weeks off to prepare and should be prepped and ready to go come Thursday.

Adam Scott 16/1
Another worthy favourite here this week is none other than Adam Scott, who has proven he is a links specialist over the last few years competing at The Open Championship. He comes here in fine form with a win and two top 10’s in his last three starts. He had a great week at Colonial beating Jason Dufner in a playoff to finish on nine under for the tournament. He then followed that with a T4th at The Memorial and a T9th in The US Open at the tricky Pinehurst No.2

Scott finished third last year and second in 2012, where he dramatically lost to Ernie Els at Royal Lytham hitting his tee shot into a fairway pot bunker, which cost him the tournament. He also played well at this venue in 2006 finishing eighth and comes here well rested after taking a couple of weeks off and should be a big danger an here this week.

Thomas Bjorn 55/1
Thomas Bjorn is another links specialist and comes here with three top 15’s in his last five starts. He also had a decent finish in last week’s Scottish Open finishing in a respectable T24th. Bjorn has also had good performances at The BMW International Open finishing T8th, The Nordea Masters finishing T15th and The BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth to finish in T3rd.

He has proven he loves the challenge of links golf in the past with three top 10 finishes in his last 10 appearances at The Open Championship. He was eighth in 2002, second in 2003 and fourth in 2011. He also made the cut here in 2006 and finished in a respectable 41st place.

Stephen Gallacher 80/1
The Scotsman is having a super season on The European Tour so far since winning the Dubai Desert Classic back in February. Since then he has followed that up with top 10’s at The WGC Cadillac (T6th), The BMW PGA Championship (T5th), T2nd at The Nordea Masters and most recently, he finished T4th last week at his native Scottish Open shooting a superb final round 63.

He won in St Andrews in 2004 at The Alfred Dunhill Championship seeing off Graeme McDowell in a playoff so he is no stranger to links golf. His record at The Open is respectable with two top 25’s in his last three performances coming in 21st last year and 23rd in 2010.

Angel Cabrera pic 1

Angel Cabrera 60/1
With a win a two top 25’s in his last three events, Angel Cabrera comes here in good form. He won the Greenbrier Classic a couple of weeks ago shooting back to back 64’s in round three and four to win the tournament on 16 under par. He also played well the week before at The Quicken Loans National at Congressional finishing in T24th. Cabrera also had a good week at The Travellers the week before that finishing in T11th, which included a second round 65 so his game looks good.

He is another player with good experience at The Open with four top 25’s in his last 10 appearances. He finished 11th last year, 24th in 2009, 22nd in 2003 and most importantly, finished seventh on this course in 2006. Cabrera will be hitting a lot of long irons off the tee here where controls the ball beautifully.

Ernie Els 66/1
Ernie has a superb record in this championship over the years recording two victories and a further four top 10 finishes. He lifted the Claret Jug in 2012 where he rolled in a super birdie on the 18th in Royal Lytham and St Annes to beat Adam Scott. He also won it ten years before in 2002 at Muirfield where he shot a total of six under par.

With the exception of two missed cuts, Ernie hasn’t finished worse than 34th in his last ten Open appearances. He was 18th in 2003, second in 2004, fourth in 2007, seventh in 2008 and eighth in 2009. More importantly, he was third here in Hoylake in 2006 so he has played well on this course in the past. Ernie finished in a respectable T41 last week at The Scottish Open and has proven he loves the challenge of links golf.

Shane Lowry 66/1
After recording another top 5 finish last week in Scotland, Shane Lowry looks to be in good form coming into this week. He played well at The Scottish Open shooting 72,68,68,66 on his way to a ten under par total to finish T4th for the week. He also played well the week before at The BMW International Open finishing in T12th on 16 under par. Lowry also had a great performance at The BMW PGA Championship a few weeks ago where he nearly won, only for a certain Mr McIlroy to come and spoil the party. However, he did have a great week and ended up finishing in solo second.

Lowry has played The Open Championship twice before finishing in 32nd last year and 37th in 2010. He is no stranger to links golf and won the Irish Open as an amateur in Co. Louth Golf Club in blustery Baltray in 2009. After a tidy performance last week in Scotland, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Shane in contention here this week.

Mikko Illonen 80//1
Mikko Ilonen has played very steady so far this season and recorded his fourth European Tour win at The Irish Open in Fota Island a couple of weeks ago. He has had some great performances this season with top 10’s coming in Qatar in February and China in April. He also played well last week in The Scottish Open shooting 71,68,69,70 to finish on six under par in total and T16th for the tournament.

Illonen played well on this course in 2006 shooting 68,69 in the opening two rounds and went on to shoot 73,72 in round three and four to finish T16th and six under par for the tournament. With his recent win at The Irish Open and a good performance last week in Scotland, Illonen could be worth a look here considering he played well on this course before.

Final selections
Henrik Stenson 2 pts EW
Adam Scott 2 pts EW
Thomas Bjorn 1 pt EW
Stephen Gallacher 1 pt EW
Angel Cabrera 1 pt EW
Ernie Els 1 pt EW
Shane Lowry 1 pt EW
Mikko Illonen 1 pt EW
Total Staked = 20 pts
(Paddypower) Places 1-7

Good Luck and Enjoy the golf,

DB

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John Deere Classic Betting Preview

JohnDeereClassic

TPC Deere Run

7,268 yards, par 71

The Course
TPC Deere Run is a 7,268 yard par 71. It has three par 5’s, four par 3’s and 11 par 4’s. Over the years the winner has usually been roughly 20+ under par to win the tournament. The course sits along rolling woodlands alongside a rock river and has some small ponds and ravines.

The course has undergone elevation changes on several holes. The 14th is a downhill par 4 measuring just 358 yards and can be drivable in the right conditions. There is also water present on five holes but shouldn’t be too much of a problem for the players. This course is relatively easy but will demand good putting and accurate iron play. Key stats to look at here will par 4 scoring, strokes gained putting, GIR, previous history and current form.

Harris English 22/1
With some solid performances already under his belt this year, Harris English looks like a standout player this week at TPC Deere Run. He has only played in this event once before and recorded a respectable T15 finish last year. He comes here after playing well at The Travellers a couple of weeks ago, which included a superb second round 64 to finish in T7th.

English has a handful of top 10 finishes so far this season, not to mention winning the OHL Classic back in November. He ranks eighth in GIR, eighth in par breakers, eighth in par 4 performance and eighth in par 5 performance. English comes here off a good performance at The Travellers and could be a big danger man here this week.

Chris Stroud 33/1
Stroud looked to be playing very solid last week at The Greenbrier where he finished in T4th. He opened with two 66’s in round one and two, and finished 70, 69 in round three and four to finish nine under par for the tournament. He has been playing decent over the last few weeks with decent performances at The Crowne Plaza Invitational finishing T14th and followed that with a T18th finish at The Travellers.

His form on this course has been good over the last few years with two top 25’s in five appearances and never missing a cut. His best finishes were 22nd in 2007 and 15th in 2009. He ranks 47th in GIR, 38th in strokes gained putting, 10th in par 3 performance, 17th in par 4 performance and 28th in par 5 performance. With a good mix of decent previous form along with decent current form, Stroud looks like a good shout here this week.

Kevin Streelman 50/1
After winning the Travellers a couple of weeks ago, Kevin Streelman looks like a man that’s coming back into some form. He has a good record at TPC Deere Run with a T8 finish in 2009 and another T8 finish in 2012. Streelman played super golf at TPC River Highlands shooting 69,68 and two very impressive 64’s on his way to a 15 under par victory. His form has been a little up and down with four missed cuts and a T14 finish at The Wells Fargo before his win at The Travellers.

Streelman ranks 45th in par breakers, 40th in par performance and 11th in par 4 birdie or better leaders. He seems to be playing well at the moment and has finished well on this course in the past.

John Deere Classic pic 2

Luke Guthrie 66/1
Luke Guthrie played pretty solid last week at The Greenbrier Classic shooting 67,69,68,71 to finish five under for the tournament in T26th. He played well on his debut here in 2012 and finished in T5th, which included and opening round 65 and a closing round 64. He also went to college at The University of Illinois so he should feel a little bit more comfortable and at home here this week.

He also played well at The Memorial recently finishing in T8th. He started poorly with an opening round 75 and clawed his way back into contention with a 69 in round two and a 66 in round three. With good current form at the moment and a good performance in 2012, Guthrie looks like a good each way chance this week.

Jason Bohn 90/1
Jason Bohn is another player with a good history at this event over the last few years. In eight appearances, he has five top 30’s in this event and seems to be your typical horse for the course. Bohn comes into this week after a good week at The Greenbrier finishing in T11th. He also had a good week at The FedEx St Jude Classic a few weeks ago finishing in a respectable T24th so his current form is good.

He ranks 23rd in strokes gained putting and led the field in putts per GIR last week at The Greenbrier. He also ranks 16th in approaches from 125-150 and third in approaches from 200-225. These are two stats that will be a big help on the par 4’s and par 5’s.

Michael Thompson 66/1
With three top 11’s in his last seven starts, Michael Thompson seems to be playing some good golf lately. He played well at The Wells Fargo in April finishing in T11th and seven under par for the tournament. He then followed that with another good week at The Crowne Plaza Invitational finishing in T10.

Most recently, he played well at The Greenbrier last week finishing T11th on eight under par, which included an impressive third round 64. Thompson ranks 11th in strokes gained putting and 33rd in total putting, which are two good stats for this course.

Final Selections:
Harris English 2 pts ew
Chris Stroud 1.5 pts ew
Kevin Streelman 1.5 pts ew
Luke Guthrie 1 pt ew
Jason Bohn 0.5 pts ew
Michael Thompson 0.5 pts ew
Total Staked = 14 pts

Good luck and enjoy the golf,

DB

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The Greenbrier Classic Betting Preview

Greenbrier Classic

The Old White TPC, White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia

The Course

The Old White TPC is a par 70 measuring 7,287 yards. It has two par 5’s, four par 3’s and 12 par 4’s. The fairways are tree lined with water hazards featuring on a lot of holes throughout the course.

The course was taken apart by Stuart Appleby in 2010 when he shot a record breaking 59 to beat Jeff Overton by one stroke to win the tournament on 22 under par. The course was then made a little more difficult to make scoring a little more challenging after 2010. It was then lengthened by about 250 yards and all of the greens were reconstructed making them a little smaller and undulating and reseeded with bentgrass.

The changes to the course were evident in 2011 as the course played noticeably harder than the previous year. Scott Stallings won the tournament on 10 under par, a huge 12 strokes less than the previous year.

On this course, driving accuracy isn’t massively important but distance is a factor as the two par 5’s will require two solid shots to make the green in two. Par 4 scoring, birdie average, good previous course form and good putting are all stats that are also worth checking this week. This tournament is a tough one to call and could be a good place for an in form player to bag his first win.

Jimmy Walker 12/1
As I mentioned above, good previous course form is important this week and this man has it in spades. With the exception of a missed cut in 2012, Jimmy Walker hasn’t finished worse than fourth in three of his last four starts here at The Old White TPC. He was second here last year, fourth in 2011 and fourth again in 2010. He had the season of his life so far winning three times on the PGA Tour this year. He has been playing well lately with four top 10’s in his last six starts.

Walker also had good performances at The Masters (T8), The Players (T6) and most recently at Pinehurst where he managed to another top 10 finishing T9th. Statswise he ticks a lot of the boxes ranking 16th in driving distance, 28th in GIR, fourth in strokes gained putting and second in birdie average. He also ranks fifth in par 4 performance and eighth in par 5 performance. With good previous performances here along with good current form, Walker is certainly a worthy second favourite.

Brendon Todd 20/1
I’ve decided to take another chance on Brendon Todd this week after he put in another great performance last week at Congressional getting me a small each way return finishing in fifth. He appears to be riding on the crest of a wave since winning the Byron Nelson recording three top 10’s and a top 20 in his last four events.

Todd put in a great performance at The Crowne Plaza Invitational shooting three rounds in the 60’s to finish T5th. He then followed that with a T8th at The Memorial. Todd then travelled to Pinehurst where he finished a respectable T17th, which would have been a lot better if it weren’t for a poor third round 79. Last week at Congressional, he had yet another solid performance to finish in T5th and two under par for the tournament.

He is another player that ticks a lot of statistical boxes ranking sixth in strokes gained putting, 34th in birdie average, 22nd in par 4 performance and 13th in par 5 performance. With a 46th place finish here last year, he comes here in much better form this year and looks like a big contender here.

Greenbrier Classic pic 2

Brendon De Jonge 33/1
De Jonge is another player that has good played well at this event in the past recording two top 5’s and a top 20 in his last four appearances. He finished third here in 2010, fourth in 2011 and 17th last year. He has put together some good steady performances over the last few weeks and hasn’t missed a cut in his last eight events which includes two top 10 finishes.

De Jonge put in a good performance at The Wells Fargo in April, which included a second round 62 to finish T6th. He also played well last week at Congressional shooting 71,68,71,73 to finish T8th. He comes here in good form and has proven he is a horse for the course here at TPC Old White.

Ben Martin 40/1
Ben Martin in playing good golf at present and had another good week last week at Congressional finishing in T3rd. He has put together some great performances over the last eight weeks with four top 15 finishes in his last six starts. Martin had a good week at The RBC Heritage at Hilton Head in April finishing T3rd and nine under par for the tournament. He followed that with a T15 in New Orleans and a T13 at The FedEx St Jude Classic so his current form is good.

Martin also ticks a lot of statistical boxes here ranking 39th in GIR, 31st in strokes gained putting, 19th in par 4 performance and 16th in total putting. Martin comes here this week in very good form and seems to be great value for a big contender.

Daniel Summerhays 50/1
Summerhays really looks like a player that could suit this course and comes here with a mixed bag of form. His previous performances at this event are very good with two top 10 finishes in his last three appearances. He played well here last year finishing ninth and also had a good week in 2012 finishing fifth on 13 under par for the tournament, which included a final round 64.

His recent form has been fairly steady with four top 30’s in his last six events. Statswise he ranks 16th in strokes gained putting, 24th in driving accuracy, 34th in par 4 performance and 18th in par 5 performance. With great course history and steady current form, Summerhays looks like the type of player that could be another big contender here this week.

Final Selections:
Jimmy Walker 2 pts EW/ 4 pts total
Brendon Todd 2 pts EW/ 4 pts total
Brendon De Jonge 1.5 pts EW/ 3 pts total
Ben Martin 1 pt EW/ 2 pts total
Daniel Summerhays 1 pt EW/ 2 pts total
Total staked = 15 pts

Good luck and enjoy the golf,

DB
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