Masters Betting Preview 2018

Masters Betting Preview 2018Augusta National Golf Club, Augusta, Georgia    

Par 72, 7,435 yards

The Course    

Welcome to my Masters Betting Preview 2018! Augusta National is one of the most beautiful, eye catching golf courses on the planet and has seen so much emotion over the years. The first edition of the Masters held in 1934 and has seen many modifications since, with the most recent changes being made by Tom Fazio in 2002. Fazio mostly added length to the course and tightened up the fairways making it a long demanding test with very tricky greens and lots of run off areas.     

The Masters was started by Clifford Roberts and Bobby Jones with Jones designing Augusta National with course architect, Alistair MacKenzie. The field of players is smaller than those of the other major championships because it is an invitational event, held by the Augusta National Golf Club.    

This course measures just under 7,500 yards and will demand a mixture of power and accuracy. There are a few elements to consider at Augusta, the first is experience. Players with plenty of experience here tend to go well, even more so if they are showing some good current form. The second element is a hot putter and a good short game. Augusta National’s teeth are its lightning fast greens with its tricky slopes and run off areas. 

If a player misses the fairway at here, the key is to land the ball in the right part of the green with a high penetrated ball flight. If a player has a high ball flight with a draw, or a fade if you’re a lefty, that will be a big advantage. The main reason for this is that many of the holes in Augusta are dog legs so players that can shape the ball should score well.     

There are a few key stats to pay attention to here. GIR will be important but the ability to negotiate these lightning fast greens will be key so strokes gained putting is one in particular along with scrambling, par 4 and par 5 scoring.  

 

Justin Rose 12/1 Masters Betting Preview 2018Justin Rose 12/1 

The Englishman has been in great shape this year with a win and three top 10’s in his last six starts. Rose played solidly throughout the week at the WGC HSBC Champions in China at the end of November shooting three rounds of 68 or better to win by two strokes from Henrik Stenson.  

He then travelled to Torrey Pines where he finished T8 at the Farmers Insurance Open and followed that with a T9 at the Valspar, which included three rounds of 70 or better. Rose then had yet another top 10 finish at Bay Hill where he shot rounds of 69,71,67,67 on his way to an impressive solo third.  

He sounded very positive when he was interviewed last week for Europeantour.com “I’m not worried about the other players or the other variables. I’m coming in playing as good as I’ve ever played, so I’m excited about that.”  

His record here is quite impressive with five top 10’s in ten appearances with form figures 2,10,2 the last three years. Statistically Rose ticks a lot of boxes here ranking 49th in GIR, eighth in scrambling, 13th in SGP and sixth in par 4 scoring. After coming agonizingly close to victory last year, Rose will be keen to try and put that right this year and should be right in the thick of things come Sunday.  

 

Phil Mickelson 16/1 Masters Betting Preview 2018Phil Mickelson 16/1 

The two-time Masters champion returns to Augusta National in great form after a T24 in Houston after an impressive final round 67. Lefty has been playing some great golf this year with a win and four top 10’s in his last ten starts.  

He started the season off with an impressive T3 at the Safeway Open followed by a respectable T15 at the WGC HSBC Champions. His more recent form figures read 5,2,6,1,17 and started with a great week in Phoenix posting a T5 and followed that with a T2 in Pebble and an impressive T6 in Riviera at the Genesis Open.  

The Five-time major winner then traveled to Mexico and defeated Justin Thomas in a play-off after an exciting final round 66 at the WGC-Mexico Championship to claim his first victory since the 2013 Open Championship.   

His from in Augusta National is very impressive with 10 cuts made from 12 appearances including two wins and a four top 5’s. Statswise he ranks second in SGP, fourth in SG Approaches to the green and fourth in scrambling, three stats that will stand him well here. Mickelson clearly loves Augusta and with his great current form and natural right to left shape, he could be a huge contender here.  

 


Paul Casey 22/1 Masters Betting Preview 2018Paul Casey 22/1
 

Casey arrives to Augusta in great form and will be feeling particularly confident after winning at Copperhead a few weeks ago at the Valspar. His form figures read 7,19,11,8,49,12,1,17 in his last eight starts.  

He started the season with a T7 at the CIMB Classic in Malaysia which included a second round 63 and a final round 65. Casey then tee’d it up at the CJ Cup finishing T19 and followed that with a T11 at the WGC HSBC Champions, T8 in Pebble and a T12 at the WGC Mexico Championship where he shot three rounds of 68 or better.  

Casey then went to Copperhead where he shot a final round 69 to post 10 under in total, one clear of Tiger Woods and Patrick Reed. His form at Augusta is excellent with four top 10’s in nine appearances, three of which have been the last three years in a row (6,4,6).  

Statswise he seems to fit the bill here ranking 17th in GIR, second in SGTTG, 11th in SG around the green and seventh in scrambling. With great current form and a recent win under his belt, Casey could be another player right in the mix come Sunday.  

 

Alex Noren 40/1 Masters Betting Preview 2018Alex Noren 40/1 

Ive had the Swede in mind for Augusta for the last few weeks and with his excellent form and natural fade, Augusta could be a good fit for him.  

He started 2018 off with an impressive T2 at Torrey Pines after losing a five-hole playoff to Jason Day on the Monday after running out of daylight on Sunday evening. Noren then finished T21 in Phoenix and followed that with a respectable T16 in Riviera and a solo third at the Honda, which included three rounds of 67 or better.  

More recently, he has kept up his decent run of form with a T14 at the WGC Mexico and a solo third at the WGC Dell Matchplay after beating the in form Justin Thomas 5&3 which will do wonders for his confidence coming into this week.  

Noren ticks a lot of boxes here ranking 48th in GIR, 16th in SGTTG, 17th in strokes gained putting, 26th in par 4 scoring and third in par 5 scoring. After a missed cut on his only appearance here last year, Noren arrives in much better form this time around.  

 

Kiradech Aphibarnrat 100/1 Masters Betting Preview 2018 Kiradech Aphibarnrat 100/1  

The in form Thai looks great value here this week given his current run of form. He has been playing some good golf so far this year and began 2018 with a respectable T22 in Abu Dhabi followed by a T27 in Malaysia at the start of February.  

It was mid February where he started to show some real class when he travelled to Australia and won the Super 6 where he won four matches convincingly including the final against James Nitties 2&1.  

Aphibranrat has shown he can compete in top quality fields finishing T5 at the WGC Mexico Championship after shooting an impressive final round 65. He then followed that with another T5 at the WGC Matchplay where he got to the quarter finals but was knocked out by the eventual winner Bubba Watson.  

Now number 30 in the world rankings, this will be Aphibarnrat’s second appearance in Augusta. His first appearance here was in 2016 where he finished in a very respectable T15 after a final round 70. He is playing some good golf lately and looks great value for an each way shout.  

 

Final selections – 

Justin Rose 1pt EW

Phil Mickelson 1pt EW

Paul Casey 1pt EW

Alex Noren 1pt EW

Kiradech Aphibarnrat 0.5pts EW

Total staked = 9 pts 

 

Good luck and enjoy the golf.

Doublebogey6

 

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WGC Mexico Championship Betting Preview 2018

WGC Mexico Championship Betting Preview 2018Club de Golf Chapultepec, Mexico City 

Par 71, 7,330 yards

We came agonizingly close on Noren making the playoff last week at the Honda but unfortunately, he came up just short, but he did get us a full each way place.  

We leave Florida and head to Mexico City for the WGC Mexico Championship. The course was designed by Scottish brothers Willie and Alex Smith and opened in 1928 and hosted to the Mexico Open from 1944 to 1960. It has three par 5’s, two of which measure just over 600 yards, four par 3’s and 11 par 4’s.  

It is a similar grass type to Riviera with kikuyu fairways and a mix of poa annua and bentgrass greens. The fairways are tree lined but forgiving so accuracy shouldn’t be a massive issue. There are also some water hazards to contend with, one in particular is the par 3 17th with a lake protecting the front and left side of the green that could offer an interesting finish on Sunday.  

Scoring doesn’t seem to be too difficult here. Dustin Johnson took the title last year and didn’t shoot worse than a 70 throughout the week to post 14 under par in total. The Mexico Open was last played here in 2014 and was won by Columbia’s Óscar David Álvarez who finished 17 under par in total.  

The course is at high altitude which plays into the bigger hitters hands a bit. If you look at the top 10 on last year’s leaderboard names like Rory, DJ, Rahm, Pieters and Thomas all featured and ranked inside the top 20 for driving distance last year so that could be a bit of a clue. DJ, Fisher and Fleetwood all ranked inside the top 5 in GIR and five of the top six ranked inside the top 20 for scrambling.  

Players that hit it long, putt well and avoid the deep greenside bunkers should score well.  A good indicator could be looking at players who had a good week in Riviera a couple of weeks ago as this course has the same grass type.  

The weather looks sunny and dry with moderate wind so scoring should be good.  

 

Tommy Fleetwood 16/1 WGC Mexico Championship Betting Preview 2018Tommy Fleetwood 16/1  

The current number 2 in the Race to Dubai is trending in the right direction and judging by last week’s performance in Florida, looks to be hitting the ball nicely coming into this week.  

He has been playing solid over the last couple of months showing form figures 4,37,6,1,3,6,21,10 in his last eight starts.  

The Englishman had a great week at the Nedbank Challenge in South Africa in November finishing T10 (which is also a high-altitude course) and followed that with a T21 at the DP World in Dubai and a solo sixth in Hong Kong.  

Fleetwood had a super start to 2018 and successfully defended in Abu Dhabi at the end of January where he didn’t shoot worse than a 68 all week to finish on 22 under in total. He then travelled to the Dubai Desert Classic where he shot rounds of 69,69,66,68 to finish T6 on -16 for the week.  

Most recently on the PGA Tour, Tommy has kept up his good form finishing a respectable T37 in Riviera and a solo fourth last week at the Honda which included a 68,67,69 over the weekend. Fleetwood played well here in Mexico last year shooting four rounds of 70 or better to finish solo second and ranked fifth in GIR and seventh in par 5 scoring.  

Statswise he is leading GIR on the European Tour this season and ranks sixth in DA, 37th in DD and third in stroke average. The Englishman looks to be in great shape coming into this week and has to be respected here.  

 

Alex Noren 25/1 WGC Mexico Championship Betting Preview 2018Alex Noren 25/1 

I’ve decided to give the Swede another rattle this week based on last week’s impressive performance in Florida. He has been making a statement in the US over the last few weeks showing some impressive form and has the look of a man on the cusp of a win.  

He came very close to getting into the playoff last week with Justin Thomas and Luke List and was a bit unlucky not birdie the last after his third shot pulled up short of the green. That being said he still finished with an impressive final round 67 to finish solo third.  

Noren has been playing some great golf over the last year or so with form figures 3,16,21,2,12,31,45,12 in his last eight tournaments. His form has been particularly impressive over the last four weeks and despite losing a playoff, he had a great week in Torrey Pines shooting rounds of 70,66,,69,73 and followed that with a T21 in Phoenix. He then travelled to Riviera and shot four rounds of 71 or better to finish T16 on four under par for the week.  

After shooting an opening round 76 here last year, the Swede was left with an uphill battle but bounced back very well with rounds of 71,72,69 which is a huge positive.  

Statswise he is averaging just over 300 yards off the tee and ranks seventh in SGP, 37th in scrambling and fourth in par 5 scoring. Noren comes here in much better form this time around and could be a huge danger man here.  

 

Thomas Pieters 35/1 WGC Mexico Championship Betting Preview 2018Thomas Pieters 35/1  

The big hitting Belgian is playing some decent golf lately and after a great performance here last year, Chapultepec looks like it could really suit his game.  

Pieters has had a mixed bag of form over the last few months but there has been some decent stand out performances. He finished T11 at the Turkish Airlines Open at the end of November where he didn’t shoot worse than a 70 all week and followed that with a very strong performance in Abu Dhabi where he posted 17 under in total shooting three rounds of 67 or better to finish T5.  

He started well in Riviera with three 71’s but had a poor final round 78 to finish T68, which was a bit unusual for a player of his calibre. However, he did rebound well with an impressive T13 last week in Florida where he ranked 11th in strokes gained putting which will give him great confidence on the greens coming into this week.  

He had a great week here last year finishing T5 shooting three 68’s and a 69. Pieters is no stranger to stepping up to the plate in the big events finishing T14 at the WGC HSBC Champions last year, T4 at the Masters and solo fourth at the WGC Bridgestone. One to watch.  

 

Tony Finau 40/1 WGC Mexicio Championship Betting Preview 2018Tony Finau 40/1 

There’s some courses out there that seem to suit certain players and I think Chapultepec could be right up Tony’s street. He has been in great form this season with form figures 2,MC,6,32,16,11,26,2 with four top 11 finishes in eight starts.  

He started the New Year with a respectable T32 in Hawaii at the Sony, which included three 67’s in a row and followed that with an impressive T6 in Torrey Pines, which included an opening round 65. Finau then missed the cut in Phoenix but he bounced back in style in Riviera shooting three rounds in the 60’s to finish T2 where he led the field in strokes gained tee to green.  

The American made his WGC debut at the HSBC Champions in China back in October and played very well finishing T11 so that’s a huge positive here.   

He is leading the PGA Tour in driving distance averaging an impressive 327 off the tee this season. He also ranks sixth in SGTTG, 16th in par 5 scoring and 20th in par 3 scoring. He looks great value here to have a good week on a course that should suit him.  

 

Final Selections –  

Tommy Fleetwood 1pt EW 

Alex Noren 1pt EW 

Thomas Pieters 1pt EW 

Tony Finau 1pt EW 

Total staked = 8pts  

*Some bookies paying 6 places*  

 

Good luck and enjoy the golf.  

Doublebogey6 

 

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Honda Classic Betting Preview 2018

Honda Classic Betting Preview 2018The Champion Course, Palm Beach Gardens, PGA National, Florida  

Par 70, 7,158 yards 

The Course  

The PGA National Champion Course was opened on November 17, 1981 and was designed by Tom Fazio. It was the site of the 1983 Ryder Cup, the 1987 PGA Championship and the Senior PGA Championship for 19 years, from 1982–2000. The course underwent a $4 million renovation by Jack Nicklaus in December 2002, and in 2007 became the home of The Honda Classic.  

The Champion Course is a tough par 70 with two par 5’s, four tricky par 3’s and 12 par 4’s and will be a difficult test demanding precise and accurate iron play. It has smaller than average Bermuda greens, some of which are guarded by water and some tricky bunkers. The fairways are elevated and quite generous so there won’t be too much of an emphasis on accuracy off the tee.  

Looking at the way this course sets up, the main stats here are GIR, scrambling, par 3 performance as this course has four very tricky par 3’s, strokes gained putting and par 4 performance. There are over 100 bunkers on this course so good scrambling and sand saves will be essential.   

Water comes into play on roughly 13 holes so hitting a loose pull or slice could be very costly especially on Sunday.  

The “Bear Trap” is a key feature on this course with the par 3 15th, par 4 16th and par 3 17th being particularly difficult and could potentially offer a thrilling finish. The 18th is a straight forward par 5 and reachable with two good shots.  

This course has always been known to be one of the toughest courses on the PGA Tour with the average winning score being around the 10-12 under mark.  

 

Gary Woodland 25/1 Honda Classic Betting Preview 2018Gary Woodland 30/1  

The big hitting American has been playing some great golf so far this year with a win and two top 12’s in his last four starts. Woodland had a good start to the wrap around season with a respectable T28 at the CIMB Classic, a T18 at the Shriners Open in Vegas and a T34 at the OHL Classic.  

He began 2018 with a top 10 in Waialae shooting four rounds of 68 or better to finish T7 at the Sony Open. He followed that with a T12 in Torrey Pines, which included a second round 68 and a third round 66.  

Woodland then travelled to Arizona where he didn’t shoot worse than a 68 to finish 18 under par. He shot an impressive final round 64 and ended up beating fellow American Chez Reavie in a dramatic one hole playoff.  

He has played very well here in the past finishing T6 in 2011 and T2 here last year, which included two 66’s and a 69 over the weekend to finish four shots back from Fowler.  

Statswise he ticks a few boxes here ranking eighth in driving distance, second in GIR, fifth in SG Putting, 22nd in par 4 scoring and 29th in par 5 scoring.   

 

Alex Noren 25/1 Honda Classic Betting Preview 2018Alex Noren 30/1  

The Swede has been plying his trade on the European Tour over the last few years where he has racked up nine wins in total and has been making a statement in the US over the last few weeks showing some impressive form. 

He has been playing good golf over the last couple of months with form figures 12,45,31,12,2,21,16 in his last seven starts.  

Noren played well at the Nedbank Challenge in November finishing T12 and followed that with a T31 at the WGC HSBC Champions and a T12 at the Hero World Challenge in mid-December. 

He then travelled to Torrey Pines and played superbly throughout the week shooting rounds of 70,66,69,73, but just came up short losing to Aussie Jason Day in a playoff. He has kept up his decent form over the last couple of weeks with a T21 in Phoenix, T16 last week in Riviera and could have another good week here on a course that could suit his game.  

Although this is his first appearance here, Noren has been known to play well on tight, windy setups with a win at the Scottish Open in 2016, T6 at the Open last year and a number of top 10’s in both Dubai and Qatar which is encouraging for this course.  

 

Tyrell Hatton 25/1 Honda Classic Betting Preview 2018Tyrell Hatton 25/1  

The Englishman has been in super form recently and hasn’t finished outside the top 20 in his last six starts.  

Since winning the Alfred Dunhill Links and Italian Open back to back in October, Hatton followed that with an impressive T11 at the WGC HSBC Champions in China. He then travelled to Turkey finishing T16 at the Turkish Airlines Open followed by a T19 at the Nedbank Challenge in South Africa.  

Hatton then capped off 2017 with another top 10 at the European Tour’s finale in November, finishing T8 at the DP World Championship in Dubai, which included a second round 63.     

He has had a good start to 2018 with a top 5 and a top 15 in his last two starts. He played well in Abu Dhabi and didn’t shoot worse than a 70 to post T15, and followed that with a solo third at the Dubai Desert Classic, which included a 64 and two 66’s over the weekend.  

He has played well here on the Champion Course in the past shooting three rounds of 68 or better to finish T4 last year. Hatton has proven to be a good wind player with a win at the Alfred Dunhill Links last year, a T5 at the Open in 2016 and a good record in the desert, this course should be right up his street.  

 

Brian Harman 33/1 Honda Classic Betting Preview 2018Brian Harman 33/1  

After taking the last three weeks off, Brian Harman will return to the Champion Course this week for the for his seventh appearance.  

The American has been in super form so far this season with five top 10’s and a top 20 in his last seven starts. He played well at the CJ Cup back in October finishing T5 and followed that with a solo eighth at the WGC HSBC Champions, T4 at the RSM Classic and a solo third in Kapalua at the Sentry Tournament of Champions.  

He started the New Year with an impressive T4 at the Sony, which included a 64, 63 in the first two rounds and followed that with a respectable T20 in California at the CareerBuilder Challenge.  

In his last six appearances here, Harman’s best finishes were T11 in 2015 (which included a final round 64) and T12 in 2012 (which included a second round 61). 

Statswise he also ticks the boxes here ranking ninth in driving accuracy, fourth in GIR, eighth in SGP, third in par 4 scoring and 13th in par 5 scoring.  

 

Final selections –  

Gary Woodland 1pt EW 

Alex Noren 1pt EW 

Tyrell Hatton 1pt EW 

Brian Harman 1pt EW 

Total staked = 8 pts  

*Some bookies paying 7 places* 

 

Good luck and enjoy the golf.  

Doublebogey6 

Waste Management Phoenix Open Betting Preview 2018

TPC Scottsdale, Arizona  

Par 71, 7,266 Yards  

Well we came close last week with both Rahm and Finau sitting in second and third spot after 36 holes. Rahm had a poor finish but Finau finished T6 getting a full place (PP paying 1-7) for a small profit for the week. Let’s hope we can go one better this week in Scottsdale.     

Waste Management Phoenix Open Betting Preview 2018The Course  

The Waste Management Phoenix Open has long been the best attended event on the schedule and this year should be no different. This year particularly should be special for the hosts as this is the 30-year anniversary of the tournament. TPC Scottsdale underwent some major renovations back in in 2014 with over $12 million dollars spent on upgrading the course.   

Strategic changes have touched all 18 holes with some of the fairways being realigned and bunkers reshaped with a view to making them more punishing. The large Bermuda greens were also resurfaced and tend to be a bit on the quick side. Roughly 100 yards was added to the course but it hasn’t made a huge difference to the scoring. The fairways are quite forgiving but if a tee shot goes a little wayward, it could end up in the desert or a deep bunker.  

The course features three par 5’s that all measure between 550 and 560 yards and should be reachable in two by some of the bigger hitters in the field. The 15th is a reachable par 5 with water coming into play so the second shot will certainly get the players attention. The course also has four par 3’s and 11 par 4’s. The 17th is a driveable par 4 and also has water in play and has been known to trip up the leaders in the final round over the last few years.  

The signature 16th hole is an enclosed arena that holds some 20,000 spectators and tends to offer a football stadium feel to it with a great atmosphere. It is an arena that can erupt at the sight of a good tee shot and give any player who is in the hunt a good ego boost going into the final few holes on Sunday. 

This course doesn’t really favor length or accuracy but judging by previous winners, a hot putter and hitting plenty of greens appear to be the ingredients for success here. With 11 par 4’s in total, it’s also worth looking at par 4 scoring along with good scrambling.  

 

Webb Simpson 35/1 Waste Management Phoenix Open Preview 2018Webb Simpson 35/1  

Webb has been trending nicely in the right direction lately and given his excellent form here in Arizona over the last few years, he is well worth backing this week.   

He started the season with a respectable T17 at the Safeway and followed that with a T20 at the Shriners Open in Vegas which included three rounds of 70 or better. He began the New Year with an impressive T4 at the Sony shooting rounds of 67,70,63,65 to post 15 under par in total. Simpson was particularly impressive over the weekend in Waialae shooting a total of 12 under and putted superbly.  

His record here in Scottsdale is very impressive with form figures 2,14,10,8,8 since 2011.  Simpson has played a total of 20 competitive rounds here and has shot a 70 or better 16 times so this course clearly suits his eye.  

Statswise, Webb is hitting an average of 71% of greens in reg and ranks 38th in SGTTG. He seems to be getting used to the new putting regulations ranking an impressive 18th in strokes gained putting, fourth in scrambling and third in par 4 scoring. All in all, he looks great value at 35/1 here.

 

Daniel Berger 35/1 Waste Management Phoenix Open Betting Preview 2018Daniel Berger 35/1  

Daniel Berger is another player that seems to be trending in the right direction with three top 20’s and a top 25 in his last five starts. He played well at the WGC-HSBC Champions back at the end of October finishing T24. Berger then had another decent week in Bermuda at the Hero World Challenge finishing a respectable T14 which included two 70’s over the weekend.  

The Florida native started the New Year with a four rounds of level par or better in Kapalua finishing T11 at the Sentry Tournament of Champions posting 10 under par in total. He then travelled to Waialae for the Sony Open and shot four rounds of 69 or better to finish T14 for the tournament closing with an impressive final round 64.  

These large Bermuda greens could suit the American as both of his PGA Tour victories to date have come on the Bermuda greens of TPC Southwind in Tennessee, home of the St Jude Classic.  

He has a good record here with two top 10’s in three appearances finishing T7 last year and T10 in 2015. Statswise he is hitting just under 70% of GIR and ranks 19th in SG off the tee. With good current form and a good record here, Berger looks to be a good shout here.   

 

Alex Noren 35/1 Waste Management Phoenix Open Betting Preview 2018Alex Noren 40/1  

The Swede played brilliantly last week in Torrey Pines but just fell at the last hurdle. He got himself into a three-man playoff and ended up losing to Jason Day early on Monday morning in a six-hole playoff. Despite that, Noren played great throughout the week shooting rounds of 70,66,69,73 to post 10 under par in total.  

He has nine European Tour wins to date, one in 2017 in Wentworth and four in 2016. These wins came on various different courses from English parkland (BMW PGA 2017, Bristish Masters 2016) to tricky Scottish links courses (Scottish open 2016, Nordea Masters 2015) to mountainous South African courses (Nedbank Golf Challenge 2016), this guy seems to have the game to contend anywhere.  

He has been in decent form over the last couple of months finishing T31 at the WGC-HSBC Champions and followed that with a T12 at the Nedbank Challenge in South Africa. Noren then teed it up at the Hero World Challenge in Bermuda finishing T12 in early December.  

It’s also worth noting that the Swede has great form on desert style courses over the last few years finishing second in the Dubai Desert Classic in 2015 and T4 at the Qatar Masters in 2013. Noren has proven he can play, contend and win anywhere on any style of golf course. After coming close last week in Torrey, he could go one better in Arizona.  

 

Austin Cook 60/1 Waste Management Phoenix Open Betting Preview 2018Austin Cook 60/1 

I backed Austin Cook a couple of weeks ago at the CareerBuilder in California where he was in great shape after 54 holes holding a one-shot lead, and then went through a bad spell in round four shooting a disappointing, uncharacteristic 74 to finish T14. That being said I am willing to overlook that slight blip and give him another chance here on a course I think could suit.  

He has been playing well so far this season with a win and five top 25’s in his last seven starts. He started with a respectable T25 at the Sanderson Farms Championship back in October followed by a T20 at the Shriners Open in Vegas posting three under for the week.  

Cook then teed it up at the RSM Classic where he didn’t shoot worse than a 67 for the tournament (including a second round 62) to win by four from J.J Spaun on 21 under par. 

He then travelled to Kapalua and finished T22 and followed that with a T18 at the Sony where shot rounds of 67,71,65,66 to post 11 under in total.  

The young American looks like he could have the game to suit this week ranking 27th in GIR, 18TH in scrambling, 45TH in SGP, 14TH in par 3 scoring and 29th in par 4 scoring. With a precise long game, good putting and solid short game Austin Cook looks great value here. 

 

Final selections – 

Webb Simpson 35/1 1pt EW

Dan Berger 35/1 1pt EW

Alex Noren 40/1 0.5pts EW

Austin Cook 60/1 0.5pts EW

Total staked = 6 pts 

(PP and Coral paying 7 places on 1/5)

 

Good luck and enjoy the golf.

Doublebogey6

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The Open Championship Betting Preview 2017

Open Championship 2017 Royal Birkdale The Open Championship 2017 Betting Preview

Royal Birkdale, Southport, England

Par 70, 7156 yards

The Course

Its Open Championship week and promises to be filled with a mixed bag of weather and plenty of drama. Royal Birkdale was established in 1889 and underwent a huge redesign in 1922 by Fred Hawtree and JH Taylor to create the current layout. It gained it “Royal” status in 1951 and has been on the Open rota since 1954 when it hosted the Open Championship for the first time. Peter Thompson was the first man to win here and he went on to win a further five Open Championships. He returned to Birkdale in 1965 to win his fifth and final title. This course has been one of the most regular venues for the Open along with Royal Lytham and St Andrews.

It last took place here in 2008 when Irishman Padraig Harrington won on a score of 283 (+3) beating his closest challenger Englishman Ian Poulter by four shots in total. From what we can tell, it was a tough, testing track back in 2008 and demanded accurate driving, GIR and most importantly a good touch on and around the greens.  2017 will be the tenth time Royal Birkdale will be hosting The Open.

Birkdale has a total of 12 par 4’s, four par 3’s and two par fives and like many links courses, can play either very difficult or fairly straight forward depending on weather conditions. It is a very spectator friendly course with high dunes spread around the golf course offering some great viewing points. Traditionally with all links courses, keeping the ball in the fairway and avoiding the challenging rough will be extremely advantageous. Judging from the 2008 Open driving accuracy, GIR, scrambling and hot putter are a must if players are going to contend here.

 

Adam Scott 25/1 The Open Championship Betting Preview 2017Adam Scott 28/1

The Aussie arrives in Birkdale on the back of a respectable T35 in Scotland and looks nicely warmed up coming into this week. He has been in great form over the last couple of months with three top 10’s in his last six starts. Scott had a good week in Augusta finishing T9, which included two rounds in the 60’s. He followed that with a T6 at the Players Championship in Sawgrass, a T31 at Memorial and a T10 at the FedEx St Jude Classic which included an impressive second round 64.

Scott has a great record at The Open Championship over the last few years with four top 10’s in his last five appearances. He finished second to Ernie Els at Lytham & St Annes in 2012 and followed that with a third place finish in Muirfield in 2013, fifth in Hoylake in 2014 and a T10 in St Andrews in 2015.

Statswise Scott ticks a few boxes here ranking 33rd in GIR, 23rd in driving distance averaging a little over 300 yards of the tee, and first in par 3 scoring. Given his Open pedigree and decent current form, Scott has to be well fancied this week.

 

Sergio Garcia 18/1 The Open Championship Betting Preview 2017Sergio Garcia 18/1 

After a sensational performance in Augusta beating Justin Rose in a playoff, I don’t think anyone would begrudge the Spaniard a major especially after coming oh so close so many times. He’s one player that jumps off the page in terms of Open Championship form. He has an impressive 10 top 10 finishes in the Open over the last few years and came close to winning in 2007 when he was denied victory by Padraig Harrington in a playoff in Carnoustie.

His results over the last few years have been particularly impressive with three top 6’s in his last three Open starts. He finished second in Hoylake in 2014 and followed that with a sixth place finish in St Andrews in 2015 and a fifth in Troon last year.

After victory at The Masters, Sergio kept up his good form with a T30 at The Players, T20 at the Byron Nelson, T12 in Colonial, T21 at the US Open and T2 at the BMW International Open in Germany.

Statswise he is averaging just under 300 yards off the tee and ranks 30th in driving accuracy, sixth in GIR, third in SGTTG and 17th in par 4 scoring. Sergio seems to be a different man since winning in Augusta and has to be respected here especially with great performances in the Open over the last few years.

 

Henrik Stenson 25/1 The Open Championship Betting Preview 2017Henrik Stenson 25/1 

Its hard not to back Stenson after last years final round performance in Troon. We saw two heavyweights of the game with Stenson and Mickelson going toe to toe in the final round and it turned out to be one of the best final rounds in major championship history. Stenson was on fire from the get go and ended up carding, what turned out to be an unbelievable 63, winning by three from Mickelson who shot a none-too shabby 65.

The Swedes form in this event is excellent over the last ten years or so. He has three top three finishes including a win last year. He played well in Birkdale in 2008 finishing third and followed that with a T13 in Turnberry in 2009, third in St Andrews in 2010, second in Muirfield in 2013 and a superb win last year in Troon.

Stenson has been back showing some good form over the last couple of months finishing T3 at the BMW PGA in Wenworth, T16 at the Players Championship in Sawgrass, T26 at The Nordea Masters, T10 at the BMW International Open and a respectable T26 last week in Scotland, which included a final round 68. Stenson is hitting just under 75% of greens in regulation ranking 21st and ranks eighth in driving accuracy. He seems to be warming up nicely coming into this week and could be one to watch here.

 

Alex Noren 40/1 The Open Championship Betting Preview 2017Alex Noren 40/1

The in-form Swede is in superb form over the last year or so and when it comes to links courses, Noren has to be on the shortlist. He won the Scottish Open in Castlestuart in 2016 and went on to win four more times winning the European Masters, The British Masters, The Nedbank Challenge and the BMW PGA Championship. It’s also worth mentioning Noren was runner up to Anthony Wall at the Paul Lawrie Matchplay in 2016 in Archerfield Links in Scotland. He has also played well at the Alfred Dunhill Links over the last few years finishing T11 in 2016 and solo third in 2012.

Since winning the PGA in Wentworth, Noren went on to finish T15 at the Nordea Masters, tenth at The Players Championship and T10 at the Open De France. He hasn’t the best record in the Majors but Alex played well here in Birkdale in 2008 finishing T19. He also had a good week at the 2012 Open Championship finishing T9 at Lytham and St Annes. With a great links record and great current form, the world number nine could be another huge danger man here.

 

Padraig Harrington 50/1 The Open Championship Betting Preview 2017Padraig Harrington 50/1 

The 2008 champion has bounced back well after an elbow injury and looks to be back playing some good golf again. The Irishman played excellent last time the Open was held here in Birkdale and shot a superb final round 67 to beat Ian Poulter by four and lift the Claret Jug. Harrington played well last week in Scotland holding the 36 hole lead after shooting 67,68 in the first two rounds. The weather got the better of him on Saturday which resulted in a disappointing 79 but he bounced back with a final round 66 to finish T4. He has had a couple of good results over the last few weeks finishing T17 at the Travelers at the end of June shooting three rounds in the 60’s.

He has two Open Championships under his belt, the first one coming at Carnoustie in 2007 where he beat Sergio Garcia in a playoff and the second here in Birkdale in 2008. He also finished T20 in St Andrews in 2015 and T36 last year in Troon. He seems to be in a good place with his game and he’s the only one in the field that knows what its like to win here in Birkdale. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see him floating around the leaderboard come Sunday afternoon.

 

Ian Poulter 70/1 The Open Championship Betting Preview 2017Ian Poulter 70/1

I thought Poulter looked great value considering he’s back playing some good golf lately. As I mentioned above Poulter finished runner up to Harrington in 2008 on this course and has some good results at The Open over the last few years. He finished ninth in 2012 at Lytham and St Annes and followed that with a third place finish in 2013 in Muirfield.

He had a good week at the RBC Heritage in Harbour Town finishing T11 posting 11 under in total. Poulter then tee’d it up in Sawgrass and played solid throughout the week and putted very well finishing T2. He travelled to Scotland last week and finished T9 at the Scottish Open finishing seven under par in total. After a decent performance in Scotland and a runner up finish here in 2008, Poulter could be worth a small punt here this week.

 

Final Selections – 

Adam Scott 28/1 1pt EW

Henrik Stenson 25/1 1 pt EW

Sergio Garcia 18/1 1 pt EW

Alex Noren 40/1 0.5pts EW

Padraig Harrington 50/1 0.5pts EW

Ian Poulter 70/1 0.5pts EW

Total staked = 9 pts

 

*Most bookies paying seven places (PP paying 8)*

 

Good luck and enjoy the golf,

Doublebogey6

 

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