WGC Bridgestone Invitational Betting Preview 2017

WGC Bridgestone Invitational Betting Preview 2017Firestone Country Club (South Course), Akron, Ohio 

Par 70, 7,400 yards 

The Course 

Firestone Country Club was designed by Bert Way and was originally commissioned by Harvey Firestone for the employees of his tire company, Firestone Tire and Rubber and opened in August 1929. Firestone made a name for itself hosting a total of three PGA Championships in 1960, 1966 and 1975.

Robert Trent Jones oversaw a huge redesign for the 1960 PGA Championship adding over fifty bunkers, two ponds and extending the course to 7,165 yards. It was then renovated by Golforce in 2007 adding more yardage onto the course making it 7,400 for the 2015 WGC Bridgestone.

Firestone is a tough all round test of golf and only the very best players tend to contend here. It has only two par 5’s, one of which is the 16th which is the one of the longest par fives on the PGA Tour measuring just under 670 yards. It also has four par 3’s and 12 par 4’s. Seven of the 12 par 4’s measure over 460 yards and three of the four par 3’s will measure over 200 yards so good ball striking and accurate iron play will be essential into these testing bentgrass greens.

The key stats here are GIR, total driving, strokes gained putting (good bentgrass putters), par 4 scoring, previous course experience and good current form. This is one of the best courses in the world and the cream tends to rise to the top so bare that in mind.

 

Jordan Spieth 8/1 WGC Bridgestone Invitational Betting Preview 2017Jordan Speith 8/1

Jordan Speith comes to Ohio this week rested and energised after the heroics of Royal Birkdale a couple of weeks ago. I won’t harp on about fantastic he played and the putts he made because let’s face it, if you watched it you know what I’m talking about. The young Texan has been in superb form lately with two wins, a second and a top 15 in his last five starts. He played well in Colonial finishing T2 at the Dean & Deluca Invitational, after shooting an impressive final round 65. He followed that with a T13 at Memorial followed by back to back wins, the first at the Travelers Championship and the second at the Open in Royal Birkdale.

Speith has played very well around Firestone in the past finishing 10th in 2015 and third last year. He ranks second in GIR, first in par 4 scoring and sixth in par 3 scoring which are three very good boxes ticked for this course. It looks like he has rediscovered that killer instinct with his putter and is extremely difficult to avoid this week even at skinny odds. Given his current form and favourable history here, Speith is without a doubt the man to beat.

 

Brooks Koepka 16/1 WGC Bridgestone Invitational 2017Brooks Koepka 16/1

The US Open Champion has been playing some superb golf this season and should be well rested coming to Firestone this week. Since finishing T11 in Augusta, Koepka has a win, three top 10’s and a top 20 under his belt. He had a great week at the Valero Texas Open finishing T2 after an impressive final round 65 and followed that with a T5 in New Orleans, which included a final round 62.

Brooks then teed it up in Sawgrass and finished a respectable T16 at the Players Championship. It was Erin Hills that seemed to suit his game the best where he shot four rounds of 70 or better to win by four strokes from Hideki Matsuyama and Brian Harman to win the US Open in Wisconsin.

He has played well here in Firestone in the past finishing T6 in 2015, which included four rounds of 69 or better. Statswise Koepka is averaging just over 307 off the tee ranking 10th in driving distance and 21st in strokes gained putting. After a good performance here in 2015 there’s no reason why he can’t contend again.

 

Paul Casey 30/1 WGC Bridgestone Invitational Betting Preview 2017Paul Casey 30/1

The Englishman is having a fantastic season and comes here in great form. Since finishing solo sixth in Augusta at The Masters, Casey’s form figures read 12,22,10, 26, 5, 11. He had a good week at the Wells Fargo finishing T12 and followed that with a T22 in Sawgrass at The Players, T10 at The Dean and Deluca and a respectable 26th at the US Open in Erin Hills.

Most recently Casey has been playing quite solid finishing T5 at the Travelers which included four rounds of 69 or better to post nine under in total. The Englishman had a super week at Royal Birkdale shooting three rounds in the 60’s to finish T11 at The Open Championship.

Casey has a great record here and seems to be a real horse for the course with two top 10’s and three top 20’s since 2005. He finished fourth in 2006, eighth in 2008, T17 in 2015 and T16 last year.

 

Daniel Berger 40/1 WGC Bridgestone Invitational Betting Preview 2017Daniel Berger 40/1

Berger has been playing great golf this season with a win and two top five finishes in his last six starts. He had a superb week at the FedEx St Jude Classic shooting a pair of 66’s to win by one stroke from Charl Schwartzel and Whee Kim. He followed that with a solo second at the Travelers where a moment of brilliance from Jordan Speith denied him victory after a tricky playoff. Berger bounced back well finishing T5 at TPC Deere Run at the John Deere Classic which included an impressive 63 in round three.

He teed it up here for the first time last year and had to controversially withdraw with an injured shoulder after hitting only one tee shot. Statswise he ranks 34th in GIR, 14th in strokes gained putting and 19th in par 4 scoring.

 

Rafa Cabrera Bello 45/1 Bridgestone Invitational Betting Preview 2017Rafa Cabrera Bello 45/1 

Since getting the monkey off his back in Scotland with an impressive victory at the Scottish Open, The Spaniard has maintained some great consistency over the last few weeks and looks to be striking the ball very well. He had a good week at the Players Championship shooting three rounds of 70 or better to finish T4. He then teed it up at the FedEx St Jude finishing T4 and followed that with a T4 in Royal Birkdale at The Open where he shot three rounds in the 60’s.

Rafa has played once here before finishing T29 in 2012 which included an opening round 66 and a second round 65. He ranks 27th in GIR on the European Tour and 45th in par 4 scoring on the PGA Tour. He has stood up to the plate in the big events and looks good value here to have a good week.

 

Charl Schwartzel 55/1 Bridgestone Invitational Betting Preview 2017Charl Schwartzel 55/1

South African Charl Schwartzel is another player that arrives to Firestone in good shape with three top fives and one top 15 in his last seven starts. He had a great week in Augusta finishing solo third at the Masters, a course where he won on in 2011, and followed that with a T2 at the FedEx St Jude Classic, which included three rounds of 66 or better. He then travelled o Germany last week for the Porche European Open where he shot an opening round 67 and a closing round 69 to finish T12 for the tournament on eight under par in total.

He has a great record around Firestone with form figures of 24,21,4,31,7 since 2012. Schwartzel is a good horse for the course kind of player and tends to play well on bentgrass greens. At 55/1 and some good performances in big events this year, he looks good value to have a decent week.

 

Final selections – 

Jordan Speith 8/1 1pt EW

Brooks Koepka 16/1 1pt EW

Paul Casey 30/1 0.5pts EW

Daniel Berger 40/1 0.5pts EW

Rafa Cabrera Bello 45/1 0.5pts EW

Charl Schwartzel 55/1 0.5pts EW

Total staked = 8pts

 

Good luck and enjoy the golf,

Doublebogey6

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Travelers Championship Betting Preview 2017

Travelers Championship Betting Preview 2017 Bubba WatsonTPC River Highlands, Cromwell, Connecticut

6,841 yards, par 70

The Course 

TPC River Highlands is shorter than your average PGA Tour setup measuring 6,841 yards and overlooks the Connecticut River. It was redesigned by Pete Dye in 1982 and has wide, rolling, tree lined fairways with four par 3’s, two par 5’s and 12 par 4’s. The two par 5’s measure 574 yards and 523 yards and will offer birdie opportunities along with the par 4 second, which measures a mere 341 yards and will be driveable by the bigger hitters in the field.

These greens are bentgrass and are smaller by tour standards so good, accurate Iron play will be required to get close to the pins.

There are some players in the field this week that have had great performances here over the years such as Hunter Mahan (3 top 10’s and a win), Bubba Watson (3 top 10’s and two wins) and Kevin Streelman (a win and two top 10’s). This suggests that previous form is certainly worth looking at.

Key stats here are good course history, strokes gained putting, scrambling, par 4 scoring, par 3 scoring and approach stats between 150-200 yards. The fairways are quite wide and forgiving so expect the scoring to be low. There is quite a lot of water on the back 9 from holes 15-17, which play around a four acre lake and should offer quite a lot of excitement in the final round on Sunday.

 

Justin Thomas Travelers Championship Betting Preview 2017Justin Thomas 14/1

What a third round Justin had last week in Erin Hills. He carded an impressive nine birdies and an eagle to post a nine under 63. He has been in good form throughout the season with three wins and four top 10’s so far. He started off with a win at the CIMB Classic in Malaysia and followed that with back to back wins at the SBS Tournament of Champions and the Sony Open in Hawaii. Most recently, Thomas has three top 10’s in his last four starts. He had a good week in New Orleans finishing T5 which included an impressive final round 61. He followed that with a T4 at Memorial and a T9 last week in Erin Hills.

Thomas has a good record here at TPC River Highlands finishing T30 in 2013 and a T3 last year. He also ticks a lot of statistical boxes here ranking 11th in driving distance, 19th in GIR, fourth in SG approaches to the green and 29th in SG putting. Thomas will be looking to bounce back with a big week here after a disappointing finish to the US Open.

 

Marc Leishman 30/1 Travelers Championship Betting Preview 2017Marc Leishman 30/1

The Aussie started well last week at the US Open shooting 68,72,72 in the first three rounds and looked to be putting well throughout the week. Leishman has been in fine form over the last couple of months and got his first win of the season in Bay Hill at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. He followed that with a T9 at the WGC Matchplay, T13 at the Byron Nelson, T15 at Memorial and a T27 last week in Erin Hills.

Leishman has a great record at this course with a win in 2012, T30 in 2013, T11 in 2014 and a T9 last year. He ranks 38th in driving distance, 32nd in SGP, 23rd in SG tee to green and 28th in bogey avoidance. After playing well at the US Open, the Aussie could be in for another good week on a course he knows well.

 

Brandt Snedeker Travelers Championship Betting Preview 2017Brandt Snedeker 28/1

Sneds could be primed and ready for another good performance after playing well at the US Open last week where he finished T9. He didn’t shoot worse than a 71 throughout the tournament and looked to be putting particularly well with his signature pop stroke. The American has been playing solid since his T6 in Torrey Pines and has been relatively consistent since. He followed that with a T7 at the WGC Mexico Championship, T27 at The Masters, T11 at the RBC Heritage and a T9 last week in Erin Hills.

Snedeker has played here twice over the last three years finishing T11 in 2014 and a T10 in 2015. Sneds has gone low around this course a couple of times shooting a 63 in round three in 2015 and an impressive 64 in round four in 2014. Statswise he ranks 19th in SG putting, 14th in birdie average and second in par 3 scoring.

 

Brendan Steele 30/1 Travelers Championship Betting Preview 2017Brendan Steele 30/1

Brendan Steele is a real horse for the course here at TPC River Highlands and arrives in pretty decent form. He started the season off with a win at the Safeway Open back in October and followed that with a T6 in Kapalua and a T6 at the CarrerBuilder Challenge. Most recently, Steele played well at the Masters finishing in a respectable T27 and followed that with a T6 at the Players Championship and a T13 last week at the US Open.

Steele is another player with a decent record here finishing T13 in 2011, T13 in 2013, T5 in 2014, T25 in 2015 and a T17 last year. Brendan has gone low around here over the last few years shooting 62 in round one in 2014, a 66 in the final round in 2013 and a 64 in the final round last year. With a great record here and good current form, Steele looks a good shout here.

 

Final selections – 

Justin Thomas 14/1 1pt EW

Marc Leishman 30/1 0.5pts EW 

Brandt Snedeker 28/1 0.5pts EW

Brendan Steele 30/1 0.5pts EW

Total Staked = 5pts 

 

Good luck and enjoy the golf,

Doublebogey6

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The Masters Betting Preview 2017

The Masters Betting Preview 2017Augusta National Golf Club, Augusta, Georgia  

Par 72, 7,435 yards  

The Course  

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. Jones designed 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 that have played well here in the past tend to go well again, 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.

Greens in regulation will be a key stat here along with approaches, strokes gained putting, scrambling, par 4 and par 5 scoring.

 

Jordan Spieth 7/1 The Masters Betting Preview 2017Jordan Spieth 7/1

I don’t know what it is about Augusta but it seems to really suit Jordan Spieth. Despite missing the cut last week in Houston, Spieth has been in great form with a win and five top 25’s in his last seven starts. He started 2017 off with a T3 at the SBS Tournament of Champions and followed that with a T9 in Phoenix, a win in Pebble Beach, T22 at The Genesis Open and a T12 at the WGC Mexico Championship.

He has a superb record here with a win and two runner up’s in his last three appearances. Spieth was in the final group with Bubba Watson in 2014 and went on to lose by three which Spieth put down to lack of experience. He won by four strokes over Phil Mickelson in 2015 and played the par 5’s in 11 under par in total. He came agonisingly close to winning last year but had a major hiccup on the par 3 -12th which took him out of the running and ended up finishing second to Danny Willett.

Spieth ticks a lot of boxes for Augusta ranking third in GIR, first in SG Approaches to the green, 14th in SGTTG and 39th in strokes gained putting. I think missing the cut last week could work out in Jordan’s favour giving him an extra couple of days to prepare. He will have a big point to prove after last year which could be a big motivator.


Rickie Fowler 22/1 The Masters Betting Preview 2017Rickie Fowler 22/1

Granted, this one is a bit of a risk but I think it’s one worth taking on Rickie Fowler here. Fowler is playing decent golf lately and as I mentioned in my preview last week, he got the psychological relief of a win in Florida a couple of weeks ago at the Honda Classic which takes some of the pressure off a bit. He has been in good form so far this year with a T3 at the Hero World Challenge, T4 in Phoenix, T16 at the WGC Mexico, solo 12th at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and a T3 last week in Houston. In Houston he led the SGTTG, SG approaches to the green and total birdies and was in the top 5 in GIR and putts per GIR, which are very favourable stats coming into this week.

Despite missing the cut last year, Fowler has played well here finishing fifth in 2014 and 12th in 2015. He ranks 20th in GIR and ninth in strokes gained putting this season, two important stats for the lively greens of Augusta National.

 

Justin Rose 25/1 The Masters Betting Preview 2017Justin Rose 25/1

The Englishman has been playing some great golf recently has been slipping under the radar lately. He has only finished outside the top 15 twice in his last seven starts including three top 10’s. He had a good week at the Sony finishing solo second and followed that with a T4 in Torrey Pines, T4 at The Genesis Open, T13 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and a respectable T15 last week in Houston.

Rose has a good record here with form figures 5,36,20,11,8,25,14,2,10 in his last nine appearances in Augusta. Statswise he ranks eighth in SG off the tee, 19th in SG Around the green, 11th in SGTTG and 25th in driving distance. With great current form and a good record here, Rose could be a big danger man here if he putts well.

 

Louis Oosthuizen 50/1 The Masters Betting Preview 2017Louis Oosthuizen 50/1

The South African has been in mixed form recently but played super golf earlier in the year. He had a good week at the World Super 6 in Perth in February finishing solo fifth and didn’t shoot worse than a 69 in three rounds. He followed that with a solo third at the Phoenix Open and didn’t shoot worse than a 68 throughout the tournament which included a pair of 65’s. Most recently he then travelled to Florida and finished a respectable T21 at the Honda Classic and a T28 in Bay Hill.

Oosthuizen has played well here over the last five years finishing second in 2012, 25th in 2014, 19th in 2015 and 15th last year. He ranks 21st in SG off the tee and 21st in SGTTG so far this season and could be another player with a decent chance here.

 

Matt Fitzpatrick The Masters Betting Preview 2017 Matt Fitzpatrick 60/1

The young Englishman has been playing well over the last few months. He won the European Tour finale, the DP World Championship in Dubai back in November beating fellow in form countryman Tyrell Hatton by one stroke. His good form continued when he returned to Dubai, this time for the Desert Classic finishing T5 on 12 under par for the tournament. Fitzpatrick then went over to the other side of the pond posting a T16 at the WGC Mexico Championship and a T13 at The Arnold Palmer Invitational. Last year was his second appearance in Augusta but the first appearance as a pro and he finished T7 after shooting a superb final round 67. He played as an amateur in 2014 and ended up narrowly missing the cut.

Statswise he looks like another player that could suit this course ranking fourth in strokes gained putting, ninth in sand saves and 19th in GIR (European Tour) and 19th in par 5 scoring. He comes to Augusta in much better form this time around and could go well at a generous price.

 

Marc Leishman 60/1 The Masters Betting Preview 2017Marc Leishman 60/1

I’ve had Marc Leishman in mind for the Masters ever since he won in Bay Hill a couple of weeks ago. He has been playing very steady golf this year and only finished outside the top 25 twice in his last ten tournaments. He played very well at the CIMB in Malaysia finishing solo fifth and followed that with a T24 at the OHL Classic, T9 at the World Cup of Golf, back to back T20’s at the Sony and Torrey Pines and a T24 in Phoenix.

The Aussie then shot rounds of 71,66,71,69 to win by one from Charley Hoffman and Kevin Kisner at the Arnold Palmer Invitational where he led GIR and was second in strokes gained putting for the week. Leishman also played well at the WGC Matchplay and got the last 16 but was beaten by Phil Mickelson. Statswise the Aussie ranks third in strokes gained putting, 14th in scrambling, second in par 3 scoring, 19th in par 5 scoring and ninth in 3 putt avoidance. Good value for a guy bang in form.

 

Final selections – (PP 1/5 – 8 places)

Jordan Spieth 1pt EW 7/1

Rickie Fowler 1pt EW 22/1

Justin Rose 0.5pts EW 25/1

Louis Oosthuizen 0.5pts EW 50/1

Matt Fitzpatrick 0.5pts EW 60/1

Marc Leishman 0.5pts EW 60/1

 

Good luck and enjoy the golf,

 

Doublebogey6

 

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WGC Bridgestone Invitational Betting Preview 2016

WGC Bridgestone Invitational 2016 Betting PreviewFirestone Country Club (South Course), Akron, Ohio

Par 70, 7,400 yards

The Course

Harvey Firestone commissioned the club 87 years ago in 1929 as a park for employees of the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company. Its first course, the South, was designed by Bert Way and opened on August 10, 1929, with Firestone driving the first ball. A major redesign by Robert Trent Jones in 1960 added over 50 bunkers, two ponds and brought the course up to 7,189 yards at par 70. The course was redesigned by Golforce in 1985 and played at 7,400 yards for the WGC event in 2013 which is what is measures today.

At 7,400 yards Firestone is a tricky test and has only two par 5’s, one of which is the 16th which is one of the longest par fives on the PGA Tour and will not be reachable in two for most of the field. It also has four par 3’s and 12 par 4’s. Seven of the 12 par 4’s measure over 460 yards so length along with accurate iron play will be an advantage here. Good long iron players will also be worth looking at here as four of the par 3’s measure over 200 yards.

The key stats here are GIR, driving distance, strokes gained putting, par 4 scoring, previous course experience and good current form.

 

Brooks Koepka 22/1 WGC Bridgestone Invitational 2016Brooks Koepka 20/1

Big hitting Brooks has been playing some superb golf this season and comes here in great form. He hasn’t finished worse that T13 in his last three events and looks like he could win any day now. He was unlucky not to win the Byron Nelson a couple of weeks and lost a playoff to Sergio Garcia after a wayward second shot on the first playoff hole. He then had a T2 at The St.Jude and didn’t shoot worse than a 70 over the four rounds. He followed that with a respectable T13 at Oakmont after shooting an impressive final round 68 to finish +4 for the tournament. He played well here last year finishing T6 and didn’t shoot worse than a 69 for the four rounds finishing -5 for the week.

Statswise he ranks 14th in driving distance, fifth in strokes gained off the tee and fourth in par 4 scoring. With great form so far this season and a good performance here last year Brooks looks in good shape to be a big contender here.

 

Branden Grace 22/1 WGC Bridgestone Invitational 2016Branden Grace 22/1

The South African has been in fine form so far this season and came close to a win in Oakmont a couple of weeks ago finishing T5 after shooting a final round 70. He had a great week at The RBC Heritage recently coming away with a great win and followed that with a T9 in Texas which included a 69 and a 67 over the weekend.

Grace has played well here in the past finishing T17 last year and T23 in 2014. He ranks 20th in SGTTG, 30th in GIR and seventh in par 4 scoring. Grace always seems to bring his A game to the bigger events and has to be respected here after grinding out a great performance in Oakmont.

 

Bubba Watson 25/1 WGC Bridgestone Invitational 2016Bubba Watson 25/1

It’s hard to know which Bubba will turn up at Firestone this week. He hasn’t been at his strongest form wise lately but I’m willing to wager that if he can bounce back anywhere, it could be here. On paper this course looks like it could suit the big hitting lefty and after a second place finish last year, he will be coming here feeling he can take this course on again. He hasn’t been at his best over the last four or five events but he has played well this season with a win at The Hero World Challenge earlier in the year, a T10 in Kapalua, T14 in Phoenix, a win in Riviera and a solo second at The WGC Cadillac.

Despite a T37 in 2014, Bubba hasn’t finished worse than T27 in five of his last six attempts here at Firestone. His form figures read 2,37,27,19,21,22 since 2010 so he knows his way around here. Watson also ticks a lot of boxes statswise here ranking ninth in driving distance, eighth in GIR and 11th in par 5 scoring. After coming close here last year, big hitting Bubba could be worth keeping an eye on here.

 

Patrick Reed 35/1 WGC Bridgestone Invitational 2016Patrick Reed 35/1

Reed has had a bit of a mixed bag over the last few weeks but all in all seems to be playing well. He finished solo second in Texas recently and followed that with a T28 at The Byron Nelson, T15 at Colonial, T8 in Memorial and a T39 last week in Congressional.

The young American has a decent WGC CV with a win at The WGC Cadillac in Doral in 2014, T15 here in Firestone last year and T4 in Firestone in 2014. He ranks first in strokes gained around the green, 19th in SGTTG, fifth in scrambling and 18th in par 5 scoring. Reed is a confident guy and could have another great week after playing well here in ’14 and ’15.

 

Jason Dufner 40/1 WGC Bridgestone Invitational 2016Jason Dufner 40/1

With a couple of top 10’s and a top 25 in his last four starts, Jason Dufner returns to Firestone where he has played some good golf in the past. He had a good week at The Byron Nelson finishing T24 and followed that with a T6 in Colonial, T33 at Memorial and an impressive T8 at The US Open in Oakmont.

In his last 16 competitive rounds Dufner has shot worse than a 70 three times (worst was a 73 in round 1 in Oakmont) so something seems to be clicking. In three appearances here Dufner has finished T66 in 2014, T4 in 2013 and solo seventh in 2012. He ranks seventh in GIR, 21st in SGTTG and 23rd in par 4 scoring.

 

Final Selections –

Brooks Koepka 1.5pts EW 20/1

Branden Grace 1.5pts EW 22/1

Bubba Watson 1pt EW 25/1

Patrick Reed 1pt EW 35/1

Jason Dufner 1pt EW 40/1

Total staked = 12 pts

 

Good luck and enjoy the golf,

Doublebogey6

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