OHL Classic at Mayakoba Betting Preview 2014

OHL Classic 2014 pic 1

The Course – El Camaleon GC, Playa Del Carmen, Mexico
6,987 Yards, Par 71

The Course

It’s the final PGA Tour event of 2014 with El Camaleon Golf Club in Mexico playing host for The OHL Classic at Mayakoba. Previous winners here include Harris English (2013), John Huh (2012), Johnson Wagner (2011), Cameron Beckman (2010), Mark Wilson (2009) and Brian Gay (2008).

Looking at previous winners here, it appears that accuracy off the tee is a key indicator along with GIR. Key stats on this course are driving accuracy, GIR and par 4 scoring. Good wind players will also fare well at this venue as it’s located on the Caribbean Sea. It may also be worth looking at players who have played well on other similar seaside courses such as Waialae Country Club, host of the Sony Open in Hawaii and Harbour Town Golf Links, which hosts the RBC Heritage.

This course was designed by Greg Norman and is classed as one of the easiest courses on The PGA Tour. It has three par 5’s, four par 3’s and 12 par 4’s. The fairways here are quite large and forgiving but there are hazards to be wary of. It winds between three different landscapes – Tropical jungle, dense mangroves, sand lined oceanfront and thick vegetation.

Harris English won here last year shooting the tournament record of 21 under par 263 for the tournament. The weather is to be a bit cloudy but very warm and dry with some moderate winds. With the weather being good, expect the scoring to be low.

Brian Stuard pic 1

Brian Stuard 33/1
I think Stuard could be a popular selection among us golf punters this week given his history at this event. Stuard has been runner up here twice in two appearances finishing second to Cameron Beckman in 2010 and again to Harris English last year, so he seems to be a horse for the course. Despite a poor start to the season, he played well at The CIMB Classic recently, finishing T13 on nine under par for the tournament.

Stuard also played very well in Waialae at The Sony Open finishing solo sixth and also put in a good week at The RBC Heritage in Harbour Town finishing T5th earlier in the season, which are similar set ups to this week’s venue. After taking last week off and with such a good record here at El Camaleon and a good performance recently at The CIMB Classic, this could be the week Brian Stuard breaks through with a win.

Jason Bohn pic 1

Jason Bohn 33/1
Bohn has started the new season well despite missing the cut at The Frys. He finished T18 at The Shriners in Vegas and followed that with a T2 last week at The Sanderson Farms Championship shooting 68,71,66,69 on his way to a 14 under par finish. He is another player that has played well here in the past finishing T3 last year and had a top 20 here in 2011 finishing T19th.

When you look at his stats, he seems to fit the bill ranking 48th in driving accuracy, seventh in GIR and 20th in strokes gained tee to green. He also ranks 20th in approaches from 100-125 yards, which is a good stat for approaches into some of the short par 4’s. After a good performance last week and a good previous record here, Bohn looks like a good bet here this week.

Rory Sabbatini pic 1

Rory Sabbatini 35/1
Rory Sabbatini is another player that has started the season well with a T22 at The McGladrey Classic and a T8 at The CIMB Classic in Malaysia. He has proven to be another horse for the course at El Camaleon finishing T3 here last year and T5 in 2011. Sabbatini had a disappointing season last year finishing with only three top 10’s, one of which came at The RBC Heritage earlier in the year where he finished T9th on five under par, which is a good indicator for this week.

Staswise he ranks seventh in GIR, 26th in strokes gained tee to green and sixth in par 4 performance. He also ranks first in GIR from 100-125 and GIR from 75-100 yards, which is a good stat for the short par 4’s. Sabbatini is a complete horse for the course and comes here after a good finish at The CIMB Classic. I expect that good form to continue here this week.

Hudson Swafford pic 1

Hudson Swafford 50/1
Hudson Swafford is another player to enjoy a promising start to the 2014/2015 season. He started with a T8 at the Frys.com Open, which included a final round 67 to finish on 11 under par. He followed that with a good week at The Shriners Open in Vegas shooting 69,67,68,69 showing superb consistency to finish T18. At The McGladrey Classic, he continued showing good consistency shooting rounds of 70,67,66,67 to finish T12 and 12 under par for the tournament.

Swafford is hitting just over 60% of fairways so far this season and ranks 45th in GIR, 18th in birdie average, third in par 3 performance and 19th in par 5 performance. Despite this being his first visit to this event, I reckon he can continue his good form here in a relatively weakened field.

Will MacKenzie pic 1

Will MacKenzie 50/1
MacKenzie had a superb start to the season getting into a playoff with Robert Streb and Brendon De Jonge at The McGladrey Classic. He dramatically bogeyed the par 4 16th in the final round to drop one stroke behind the leaders and then went on to birdie the par 3 17th to get into the playoff. He was knocked out of the playoff and had to contend for second, but played super golf all week. He showed great consistency shooting rounds of 65,68,65,68 to finish on 14 under par for the tournament. MacKenzie also played in the CIMB Classic, which was his first visit to Kuala Lumpur finishing T52 after a disappointing final round 76.

He has played well here at El Camaleon in the past finishing T12 last year and hasn’t missed a cut in his last three appearances. MacKenzie also seems to fit the bill statswise ranking 29th in driving accuracy, third in strokes gained tee to green and first in strokes gained total. After coming close in a similar field at The McGladrey, MacKenzie has the game and potential to have a good week on a course he has played well on in the past.

Final selections
Brian Stuard 1.5 pts EW 33/1
Jason Bohn 1 pt EW 33/1
Rory Sabbatini 1.5 pts EW 35/1
Hudson Swafford 1 pt EW 50/1
Will MacKenzie 1pt EW 60/1
Total staked = 12 pts

Good luck and enjoy the golf,
DB

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WGC-HSBC Champions Betting Preview 2014

WGC HSBC Champions pic 2

Sheshan International GC (West)
Par 72, 7,266 yards

The Course
The WGC-HSBC Champions returns to Sheshan International Golf Club for its fifth visit this week. The field includes most the world’s top golfers including FedExCup champion Billy Horchel, Bubba Watson, Adam Scott and Martin Kaymer. The line-up will feature 12 of the top 20 players in the world rankings. Rory McIlroy will not be featuring this week as he is preparing for an upcoming court case and defending champion Dustin Johnson will also be absent.

Previous winners include Phil Mickelson (2009), Francesco Molinari (2010), Martin Kaymer (2011) and Dustin Johnson (2013). Dustin Johnson holds the 72 hole record here with a score of 264 (2013).
Sheshan International is a par 72 measuring 7,266 yards and has four par 5’s, four par 3’s and 10 par 4’s. The course has some elevation changes along with some man made lakes and tree lined fairways.

Length will be a big factor here as two of the par 5’s measure over 590 yards. The par 4’s will also favour the big hitters with half of them measuring 450 yards or longer and the par 3’s measuring 200 yards or longer. The fairways are fairly wide and forgiving and the greens are also quite large so scoring should be good this week.

The main areas of focus for me are previous form and current form, driving distance, GIR, SGP, par 4 scoring and par 5 scoring.

Sergio Garcia pic 1

Sergio Garcia 16/1
After a superb start to the season with a T2 last week at The CIMB Classic in Malaysia, Sergio comes to Sheshan this week in fine form. He was steady all week shooting rounds of 69,68,68,69 finishing on 14 under par. He showed superb consistency last season recording an impressive 10 top 10 finishes, two of which came at the end of the season. He had a great week at The BMW Championship finishing T4th, which could have been better if it weren’t for a third round 72. He then went on to have another good week at East Lake finishing T9th at The Tour Championship, which included a final round 66.

His record here at Sheshan is quite impressive with a win here in 2008 and a T4 last year. Last season Sergio ranked 14th in GIR, second in strokes gained tee to green, fourth in both par 3 and par 4 performance and 24th in GIR from 200+ yards. With a great record here and coming off a T2 last week, Sergio looks to tick all the boxes here.

Graeme McDowell WGC HSBC pic 1

Graeme McDowell 28/1
Gmac is another player that comes into this week showing some good current form. He played well last week at The BMW Masters in Shanghai finishing in a respectable T16 on 10 under par which could have been a lot better if it hadn’t been for a disappointing 74 on Sunday. He also had a good performance at The Volvo World Matchplay finishing T9th after being knocked out by Joost Luiten.

McDowell has a great record on the course over the last few years finishing third here in 2011 and third again last year. Statswise last season he ranked 12th in driving accuracy, first in strokes gained putting, 15th in par 4 scoring and 13th in GIR from 150-175, which is a good stat for some of the lengthy par 4’s. Gmac is showing good form at present and could go well on a course he has played so well on in the past.

Jamie Donaldson pic 1

Jamie Donaldson 28/1
Jamie Donaldson has been playing super golf since August when he won the Czech Masters. He followed that with a solo 7th at The European Masters, a T4 at The Wales Open, T13 at The Volvo World Matchplay and a T4 last week at The BMW Masters in Shanghai. Not to mention his super Ryder Cup display at Gleneagles.

Jamie has also played Sheshan once before, which was last year when he finished eighth.
Donaldson also fits the bill statswise ranking eighth in stroke average, 57th in driving distance hitting it an average of 290 yards off the tee. He also ranks 12th in putts per GIR and 23rd in putts per round. With super current form and a good performance last year, it’s hard to ignore Jamie here.

Ryan Palmer pic 1

Ryan Palmer 40/1
Ryan Palmer has been playing good golf over the last few weeks and could sneak under a lot of people’s radar. He comes into this week with four top 10 finishes in his last six starts on all tours. He played well at The BMW Masters last week finishing T8 on 13 under par. Palmer had a good finish to the season at The FedExCup Playoffs finishing solo seventh at The Tour Championship, T4 at The BMW Championship and T16 at The Deutsche Bank. He also had an impressive week at The PGA Championship finishing T5 on 12 under par.

Palmer was one of the bigger hitters last season hitting it an average of 300 yards ranking 23rd in driving distance. He also ranked 15th in strokes gained tee to green, 35th in SGP and seventh in par 4 performance. He also ranks fifth in GIR from 175-200 yards, which is a good stat for approaches into the long par 4’s.

Lee Westwood pic 1

Lee Westwood 40/1
Westy has had a decent start to the new season finishing T12 at The Frys and T13 at The CIMB Classic last week. He also played well towards the end of last season before the start of the FedExCup playoffs finishing T19 at The Bridgstone Invitational and T15 at The PGA Championship. Westwood’s record here is quite impressive finishing runner up to Phil Mickelson in 2009 and again to Francesco Molinari in 2010. He was also runner up in 2007 and finished in a respectable T13 in 2011.

He ranks sixth in strokes gained tee to green and seventh in strokes gained total. He is also averaging 299 yards in off the tee and ranks 10th in par 3 performance on the PGA Tour so far this season. With three second place finishes at this event and two top 15’s in his last two events, Westwood is certainly good value at 40/1.

Final selections –
Sergio Garcia 2 pts EW at 16/1
Graeme McDowell 1.5 pts EW at 28/1
Jamie Donaldson 1.5 pts EW at 28/1
Ryan Palmer 1 pt EW at 40/1
Lee Westwood 1 pt EW at 40/1

Total staked = 14 pts

Good Luck and enjoy the golf,
DB

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