Charles Schwab Challenge (Colonial) and Made In Denmark – Betting Preview

Patrick Cantlay finished T3rd and Kang and Scott both delivered Top 20s to give us a profitable week. The main two bets didn’t deliver but that’s why I think it’s important to get involved in the Top 20 markets at majors. Finding the winner is tough (unless you just back Koepka of course!) and I think it’s easier to find a bit of value in the top 20 market. You also get a run for your money the whole weekend if they make the cut and it provides a good chance to make the stakes back.

The 10 places that several firms offer on majors also gives punters a massive opportunity to at least break even on the week. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the blog has done better at majors since 10 places became the norm.

Koepka was brilliant and barring a slight wobble when the wind was at it’s strongest on the back 9 on Sunday he never really looked like losing. His dominance (4 majors from his last 8) will give everyone a real problem in a month”s time when the U.S. Open comes around. We probably won’t see double figures about him for a long time in majors yet he will be looking to become the first player in over 100 years to win 3 U.S. Opens in a row and the first since 1956 to win any major 3 times in a row. It really shouldn’t be easy for him but that’s not to say it won’t be!

Another profitable week makes it 5 weeks from the last 6 and leaves the results as follows;

2019 pts advised = 254

2019 pts returned = 274.96

ROI = 8.25%

Charles Schwab Challenge

Another name change here for what is essentially just called “Colonial” anyway as that’s where it’s been played since 1946. It’s a tree-lined, classical course with fairly tight, winding fairways, thick rough and it’s generally a course that can’t be over powered. You have to hit the right parts of the fairways in order to not be blocked out from going at the flags. It’s a short enough course at just over 7200 yards so from there onwards it becomes a battle of the short irons. Some of the best wedge players in the game have won here like Steve Stricker, Zach Johnson and Jordan Spieth. Find fairways, attack the flags and make your share of putts. That’s the recipe year after year for Colonial. Useful stats are proximity to the hole, scoring relative to par from approaches in both the 100-125 yards and 125-150 yards ranges, putting from 10ft-25ft and one putt percentage. Being a par 70 Par 4 scoring is more important than usual and with the winning score usually nearer to -20 than -10, birdie average is also worth a look.

Corey Conners won around TPC San Antonio and that made a whole lot of sense as it’s an ideal course for him. Colonial also looks a great fit and I’ve got to side with him having missed out on tipping him in Texas due to him only Monday Qualifying and sneaking in under the radar. Conners was 8th here last year on his debut and seems to pop up at any ball-striker’s course where tee-to-green accuracy trumps power. I’ve seen a small backlash against some strokes gained stats recently and while they are by no means the be-all and end-all, used wisely they are a powerful tool. While nothing can predict how a player will play in any upcoming week it makes far more sense to side with someone who has been doing something well all season already. That is exactly what applies to Conners this week as he is 10th in strokes gained: tee to green. His numbers with the short irons are also strong as he is 4th in scoring relative to par from approaches at 150-175 yards, 9th from 125-150 yards and 1st in proximity to the hole. He was also 9th last week in strokes gained: off the tee which was better than McIlroy and Patrick Cantlay. Having made the weekend again for the 2nd major in a row I think his confidence will negate any fatigue and he should pitch up at Colonial raring to go. A decent putting week will surely see him out play his odds of 80/1. There is some 100/1 around still but I’d rather take the 8 places.

This course and Kevin Na are a match made in heaven. Fairways and wedges is what Na is all about and that’s perhaps why he has only missed the cut here once in 11 events returning 7 top 25s. He hasn’t been at his best this year but his numbers are still good in the relevant areas and he just can’t compete on the longer courses unless his whole game is at it’s best. Back here though I expect him to go well. Na is 5th in scoring relative to par from 125-150 yards and 12th in strokes gained: around the green. He missed the cut at Bethpage but that was far too long for him and prior to that he was going ok. His best strokeplay result this year was at the Heritage and if he takes that game here there is no reason he can’t improve on last year’s 4th place finish, especially since he now has that winning monkey off his back.

JT Poston has played here twice finishing 41st on his debut and then 20th last year but it’s his 6th at Heritage last month that gets him on the team here. He was 6th for total accuracy there and 2nd in the all-round and Harbour Town has always tied in nicely with Colonial as a similar skill-set is required at both courses. He was also 22nd at The Players which also correlates well as a more strategic course. There have been some missed cuts since but he played his first major weekend golf at Bethpage and I expect that experience to have a positive effect. Worth an each way go at 125/1.

Made In Denmark

Having left Himmerland GC last year we return again to the course that hosted from 2014-2017. I’m not sure whether that was a one-off or if they are alternating between the two but for now it gives us 4 year’s worth of course form and a fairly well constructed idea of what is required at Himmerland. It’s yet another links style course but it is also one of the shorter tracks on Tour at just 6881 yards and so far a sharp short game has been the order of the week. Everyone should be finding the fairways without the need for driver on lots of holes while the big greens are normally easy enough to hit. Depending on whether the wind blows scrambling can also be crucial as greens will be missed if it blows and it’s a very exposed course. Obviously hitting a high percentage of greens will help you contend at the majority of courses and for the most part the players on the leaderboards have also hit their fare share. However excelling on or around the greens looks like it might be the best way to come out on top this week.

Despite all that talk of short game my first pick is actually a tee-to-green merchant. Benjamin Hebert came agonisingly close yet again to his first ET win 3 weeks ago in China and given his course form here I’ll forgive the MC last time out at Hillside. While that course will share similarities with Himmerland, he will still probably have been gutted about his play-off defeat and traveling back from China to play will have only made that worse. His course form is trending and reads 6-13-14 so he looks an excellent each way bet with Betfair’s 45/1 and 7 places. Whether he will hole enough putts to win I’m not sure but the place portion just looks too good.

Thomas Detry has also been knocking on the door lately and the British Masters looked there for the taking for him two weeks ago. But he put in an uncharacteristically poor round of putting to finish T15th. Generally though he excels on links style layouts with grainy greens where his touch on and around the greens is important. He’s still chasing his first proper win but after winning the World Cup pairs event with Pieters, big things are expected from Detry in 2019. He also didn’t play last week in New York so will have had a week to get him absolutely right for this. He played here once in 2017 when he ranked 7th on the greens on his way to a 14th place finish. Coral’s standout 33/1 also comes with the standout 7 places and I think that looks more than fair with 7 of the 9 above him in the betting having played the US PGA.

Renato Paratore’s sole European Tour win was at Barseback GC where Marc Warren, Adam Scott, Joakim Haeggman and Ricardo Gonzalez have all won. They all have plenty of tie-in form at other similar courses, namely Gleneagles and Doha, and I think Himmerland is another similar course where recent leaderboards have shown the same kind of players with Marc Warren winning the first event back here in 2014. So Paratore would have been of interest this week anyway but the fact he was 8th last time out on a short, links course makes him properly stand out at 150/1 this week. He hasn’t played Gleneagles but he has been 4th at Doha. His two results here were a MC in 2015 but an 18th in 2016 where he ranked 9th on the greens and went 67-68 over the weekend, suggesting that he had got to grips with the course. His 2019 hasn’t really taken off yet but he will be looking to build on that British Masters performance and a course where he can leave the driver in the bag looks an ideal next stop for him.

Richie Ramsay was close as were regular bets Ryan Fox, George Coetzee and Thorbjorn Olesen but ultimately they just didn’t quite tick enough boxes this week. I should probably be backing both Fox (80/1) and Coetzee (100/1) on value grounds alone here but they are both on the naughty step after MCs at Hillside two weeks ago so I can leave them out from the start.

Summary of bets

Charles Schwab

Corey Conners – 1pt ew @ 80/1 (1/5 odds 8 places)

Kevin Na – 1pt ew @ 70/1 (1/5 odds 7 places)

JT Poston – 0.75pts ew @ 125/1 (1/5 odds 8 places Skybet)

Made In Denmark

Benjamin Hebert – 1pt ew @ 45/1 (1/5 odds 7 places Betfair/PP)

Thomas Detry – 1pt ew @ 33/1 (1/5 odds 7 places Coral)

Renato Paratore – 1pt ew @ 150/1 (1/5 odds 7 places Betfair)



Weekly pts advised =



Dell Technologies Championship and Made in Denmark – Betting Preview

Another disappointing week as Herbert did nothing in Czech Republic at a course that really should have suited his game perfectly. Over on the PGA Tour it was close but no cigar with 3 of the picks finishing inside the top 20 without managing to ever really make a run at the places. Luke List started the final round inside the top 30 but had a shocker to ruin the last chance of any returns. Both Tours have hit quite a difficult period and therefore I’m not planning on getting hugely involved this week, especially as the profits are now wiped out. In order to get back into profit for the year I’m going to have to be a little more selective and perhaps think about tweaking the strategy somewhat.

2018 pts advised = 400pts

2018 pts returned = 391.05

ROI = -2.2%

Dell Technologies Championship

No time for too much of a write-up for TPC Boston this week but I’ve found a few bets. Every year the course plays like a very scoreable championship course. It rewards mid to long irons and that is shown by the quality of players who have won here. Thomas, McIlroy (x2), Fowler and Stenson are among the recent winners. The score has been in the region of -20 but that is only usually out there for the most in form long games. While the winners don’t all stand out as great putters they all putted well during their win. This tells me that the 12.5 ft stimp, bentgrass greens suit most of the field and are rather straight-forward.

With plenty of trees around the correct placement in the fairway can be important and that often leaves lengthy approach shots. I’ve focussed on approach play between 175-225 yards as that is usually key to scoring in Boston. I’ve also given the all-round ranking a lot of consideration as these are the ARR figures for the season of their win for the last 9 champions here; 5-1-8-27-5-2-1-6-6.

Jon Rahm placed 2 starts ago at the US PGA and I think he can go even better here. It feels like following Rahm on courses like this will pay dividends just as long as he remains calm early on. Rahm ranks 1st for scoring relative to par for approaches over 200 yards and that will serve him well on the Par 5s here which are always crucial to scoring here. While Rahm’s first win was on poa annua greens and his 2nd on bermuda, he has shown a liking for bentgrass as he ranked 5th on the greens at Augusta this year. I’m forgiving him last week’s missed cut and with a better start this week I think he can go well here at a course that will reward his excellent long iron game. Rahm this season has largely either contended or missed the cut so any bet on the Spaniard comes with that risk. However that is factored into his price and with 4 top 5s in his last 8 events he looks a great each way bet again at 25/1.

Patrick Cantlay has also played very well in recent weeks and TPC Boston couldn’t come at a better time for this brilliant ball-striker who was 3rd in the all-round last week. Cantlay ranks 8th in scoring RTP for approaches over 200 yards. The fact he ranked 18th for putting last week is very interesting as that is often his achilles heel. If he keeps that going this week then this long game test looks an ideal place top get his 2nd win. He also ranks 7th on the season in the all-round ranking so he passes that trend nicely too. Cantlay is having his 2nd look at the course having finished 13th last year where he ranked 5th for GIR. His price has come in a little but I like his chances here even if it’s hard to argue there is any value left in the 30/1.

Tommy Fleetwood ranks 2nd in the all-round ranking and that should mean he can go well on his first look at TPC Boston. It is surely only a matter of time before he bags his first PGA Tour win and he would have probably placed last week if it weren’t for an uncharacteristically poor 3rd round. Fleetwood’s long and straight driving will leave him in the ideal spots to reach these greens and he ranks 3rd in the crucial scoring RTP for approaches over 200 yards. With the Ryder Cup looming I don’t expect Fleetwood to be feeling that much pressure here and maybe he can freewheel a little with his Fed Ex Cup expectations lower than that of his American peers. That could be the small difference that helps get him over the line.

Chris Kirk is having a decent enough season and looks over priced as a 200/1 rag here. Kirk won here in 2014 when he was 27th in the all round ranking for the season. This year he is in a similar position at 32nd and I think he warrants a small bet despite his game not quite firing on all cylinders. He hasn’t missed a cut in 10 events so a return to the scene of his biggest win might just get him up the leaderboard again.

Made in Denmark

The Made In Denmark moves courses this year having made its home at Himmerland Golf Course. The new venue is Silkebork Ry Golfklub the home golf course of Thomas Bjorn. The course is quite short at under 7000 yards and it is a tree-lined one again in the mould of Wentworth, Woburn, Crans etc.

With there being a lot of guesswork I’m going to plump for another 1st time winner as my main bet here. The last 4 European Tour winners were getting their maiden win and across the 29 regular ET events this year, 11 of those were won by first-timers. There was a similar theme last year with the 8 ET events following on from the US PGA throwing up 6 first time winners. With the Ryder Cup looming heavily that may be different this week as the market principals are fighting to show Bjorn what they can do. But with that comes extra pressure and Olesen and Pieters have both let down favourite backers on courses that suit in recent weeks.

Erik Van Rooyen will have none of that pressure and he will be arriving rather fresh having only played once since his excellent major debut at Carnoustie. That was a missed cut but if we forgive that for a little rustiness then he was very much trending towards a win through the rest of the year. On a course that should reward tee to green accuracy this set-up should suit Van Rooyen perfectly. He was 20th this year on his Wentworth debut and 7th at the Trophee Hassan around another tree-lined track. At 50/1 there might even be a shade of value there too.

I’m going to supplement the main bet with a small play on an outsider. David Drysdale looks very over priced on a short course like this. The veteran Scot can usually only really contend on shorter courses and the price seems to be a little bit of an over reaction to 2 MCs at courses where bombers had a huge advantage. Prior to that he contended in Germany while he has the made the weekend on all 4 editions of this event. No reason he shouldn’t play well again at a massive 200/1.

Summary of bets

Dell Technologies

Jon Rahm – 1.5pt ew @ 25/1 (1/5 odds 7 places)

Tommy Fleetwood – 1.25pt ew @ 35/1 (1/5 odds 6 places)

Patrick Cantlay – 1.25pt ew @ 30/1 (1/5 odds 6 places)

Chris Kirk – 0.5pt ew @ 200/1 (1/5 odds 7 places Betfred)

Made In Denmark

Erik Van Rooyen – 1pt ew @ 50/1 (1/5 odds 6 places)

David Drysdale – 0.5pt ew @ 200/1 (1/5 odds 6 places)


Weekly pts advised = 12pts


The Northern Trust and Made in Denmark – Betting Preview

Fairly miserable week last week made all the worse by Johan Carlsson making the semi-finals of the Match Play. He was the first name on my short list last week but left him out due to being in a very strong quarter of the draw. In hindsight it was a stupid move and his strong showing again together with Anthony Wall’s impressive defence highlighted how important event form is even after just three editions.

Total pts advised = 380.5

Total 2017 pts returned = 300.96pts

ROI = -20%

The Northern Trust

The Fed Ex Cup Play-offs kick off this week with a new course to the PGA Tour. As is now customary the first event takes place in the greater New York area but Barclays have been replaced as the sponsor by Northern Trust. The course which the top 125 players head to this week is Glen Oaks Golf Club on Long Island.

It is a long Par 70 playing to some 7350 yards and while it hasn’t been used yet on Tour there are a couple of pointers we can take. It was renovated in 2012 by Craig Currier who was responsible for the works carried out at Bethpage Black prior to it staging the 2002 US Open. Bethpage held this tournament last year and both are in the NY area so form from last year and when BPB hosted in 2012 could be important.

They also both have poa annua greens which is a surface that always divides opinion. Some players thrive on the surface while others hate it. Glen Oaks is also said to have gone against the recent tide of new courses to the PGA rotation. We have seen Chambers Bay, Erin Hills, Pinehurst No. 2 and Whistling Straits all welcome majors in recent times due to their rugged use of natural terrain however Glen Oaks is very much the opposite. It is a lush green course with perfectly manufactured lines in the fairways, greens and bunkers. It is said to be similar visually to Augusta so form there could well be of interest and also Riviera which always ties in nicely with Augusta but it also has poa annua greens so form there could be key.

If we look at the list of winners at all the Fed Ex Play-off events since it began in 2007 we notice a pattern of very classy winners.

Of the 40 tournaments to date, 24 of those have been won by major winners and 36 of those by players who have played on either Ryder Cup or Presidents Cup teams. Of the 40 tournaments the only one which was won by a Tour maiden was Camillo Villegas’ 2008 BMW Championship.  While it makes sense that only world-class golfers would win the latter events where only 30/75 players are competing, the fact they have also dominated the first event tells us that the cream always rises and the weaker players in the field struggle as the better players start taking things more seriously.

With nothing else much to go on those look to be the pointers this week; form on poa annua greens, form in the NY area (specifically Bethpage is a bonus), form at Augusta/Rivera and already an accomplished winner on Tour.

Matt Kuchar is so often a player that has gone off too short a price over the last 5/6 years since he took his seat at the big boys table on the PGA Tour. This is nearly always due to the high chance of him playing well and placing rather than his chance of actually getting over the line and winning. This may sound a little unfair about a man with 7 PGA Tour titles, especially as it is almost knocking his consistency, but there is no question a player of his talents should have won more tournaments in recent times.


A different Kuchar was witnessed at Royal Birkdale though as he pushed on to go toe to toe with Jordan Spieth during the final round. He didn’t wilt under the pressure or settle for 2nd place and it took Spieth’s best over the closing holes to beat him. All this makes me think he looks a little over priced here at 40/1. Kuchar hasn’t missed a cut since March, he has finished inside the top 16 in all 4 majors and inside the top 30 in all three WGC tournaments this year. He also has a very solid record in the New York area with two of his early wins having come at Atunyote Golf Club and Ridgewood Country Club. Ridgewood also has poa annua greens and is visually quite similar to Glen Oaks while Kuchar also has an impressive Augusta record with four top 8 finishes.

There have already been nine multiple winners of Fed Ex Play-off tournaments and I think Kuchar is a fair price to become the 10th with very few players in the field arriving in better form. Even if the 40/1 disappears I would suggest 33/1 is still a fair price.

Lucas Glover won the 2009 U.S. Open at Bethpage Black and he has shown enough glimpses of form in 2017 to suggest he can go well this week in similar conditions. He fits the classy profile of Fed Ex Cup winners and so looks a little over priced here at 125/1. He ranks 16th in strokes gained: off the tee which should help him on a 7350 yard par 70 layout. No more reasoning than that. Small each way bet at 150/1 and a top 20 bet at 8/1.

I was absolutely gutted to miss out on Jimmy Walker winning on the poa annua greens of Baltusrol at last year’s US PGA given how much I focussed on the putting surfaces and the fact he is known as the “prince of poa”. With his fatigue related illness at the moment it is proving hard for him to be competitive over four rounds but he showed glimpses at Firestone where he opened 68-65 to lead at half way. Despite his struggles his odds of 270 on Betfair look far too big so I’m advising 0.5pts win in the hope that he starts well. I’m also having 0.5pt ew at 125/1 in the first round leader market. Baltusrol is also a par 70 in the New York area and a return might see him find some extra energy levels this week.


Made in Denmark

This will be the 4th running of the MID at Himmerland Resort so we have a little bit of form to go on. The one thing that jumps out at me is how all the winners and leaderboard regulars are very strong putters. Not only in reputation but on the stats too and all three currently rank inside the top 27 for putts per round on Tour. Thomas Pieters won last year, ranking 3rd for putting and we know how good he can be on the greens. 2015 winner David Horsey regularly makes the top 20 in season putting stats and  2014 saw the silky putting stroke of Marc Warren triumph.

That evidence was enough for me to only consider very good putters this week but I have also given some consideration to a couple of courses that correlate well through the winners. Last year I mentioned how Doha Golf Club, Gleneagles, Crans, Tsleevo and Royal Golf Dar Es Salam all tied together with form here so I have had a look through recent leader boards at those events but didn’t really find anything too exciting from a betting angle.

Chris Paisley currently ranks 2nd for 2017 in putts per round and while he provided some returns for the blog earlier in the season, his game deserted him a little through the summer. But he looked to be playing well again last week as Alejandro Canizares needed extra holes to beat him in the quarter finals. He has played at the course twice before and finished 34th and 35th but that doesn’t tell the whole story as he shot a final round 78 in 2015 to fall away having been in contention after three rounds in the 60s. With putting looking crucial I think he can out play his odds given he arrives in decent form.

Johan Carlsson putted very well last week from the limited coverage that was available. He takes his time over them for sure but he seemed to roll in more 15-20 footers than he missed and while there is no doubt the stroke-play format suits his error strewn, aggressive game, he is a little bit of the Thomas Pieters mould in that respect and he won here last year. Across his 6 matches last week I make him around 31 under par and he made 4 eagles on Sunday alone. With confidence high he could be a little over priced here at 80/1 despite missing both his cuts here to date.

Other strong putters like Lagergren, Bertasio and Scrivener were all considered but none of those three have shown enough recently to suggest that they can contend here. Paul Dunne makes some appeal and should go well but he looks short enough at a general 25/1. Thomas Detry could easily have been included again this week having shown up well at the match play but again he hasn’t really done enough yet in the game to be odds of 40/1 in this sort of field.

Summary of Bets

The Northern Trust

Matt Kuchar – 1.5pt ew @ 40/1

Lucas Glover – 0.5pt ew @ 150/1 and 1pt Top 20 @ 8/1

Jimmy Walker – 0.5pts win @ 270.0 and 0.5pt ew @ 125/1 first round leader

Made in Denmark

Chris Paisley – 0.75 pt ew @ 150/1

Johan Carlsson – 0.5pt ew @80/1


Weekly pts advised = 9pts

2017 pts advised =389.5pts


The Barclays and Made in Denmark – Betting Preview

Just as Bill Haas got himself into contention for the each way places he completely blew it with two out-of-bounds drives on the Par 5 15th. It was pretty hard to take especially as that is relatively out of character for a multiple winner who is usually accurate enough off the tee.

I must admit I was starting to think it pretty much summed up my 2016 so far but it is all too easy to get down on yourself in the difficult golf betting game. I must remember that one good week can quickly turn it all around. It had just better arrive soon!!

Results stand as follows

Total points advised – 766.50

Total points returned – 793.79

ROI – 3.5%

This week it’s the start of the Fed Ex Cup play-off series on the PGA Tour and the European Tour heads to Denmark for  an event which unfortunately won’t be spice up by Ryder Cup qualification as all 9 of the points qualifiers have already been decided. Martin Kaymer and Thomas Pieters will be looking to stake their claim for a wildcard pick however and Darren Clarke has picked Pieters to play with for the opening two rounds. No pressure then!

The Barclays

The top 125 in the Fed Ex Cup list head back to New York this week for the first of the play-off events. Knowing that only the top 100 continue to the following week at the Deutsche Bank Championship, many of those towards the bottom will be playing with the pressure of trying to progress. While that could well inspire, the Barclays is normally won by one of the game’s best as the recent roll of honour includes Jason Day, Hunter Mahan, Adam Scott, Nick Watney, Dustin Johnson, Matt Kuchar and VJ Singh.

I don’t expect that to change given the host course this week. The Barclays has taken to rotating around some of New York’s finest courses and this week it’s the turn of the intimidating Bethpage Black Course. It is famously one of the hardest courses in the world and in the 2002 US Open when Tiger Woods won he was the only man to finish under par. Things picked up a little for the 2009 US Open but there were still only five players in the red when Lucas Glover claimed the trophy. All that despite the course being very receptive with a rain-softened course hosting both editions.

There is some respite for the field this week however as the course played a little easier when hosting the Barclays in 2012. The par 4 7th hole was lengthened and turned into a Par 5 creating a slightly more favourable Par 71. That allowed Nick Watney to win on a figure of -10 and I would imagine we can expect a similar winning score again this year.

The course is another A.W. Tillinghast brute just like Baltusrol and it stands at 7468 yards long. Another similarity with the US PGA host course is the greens as Bethpage features a bentgrass/poa annua mix just like at Baltusrol. That leaderboard looks a good pointer along with 2012’s Barclays leaderboard and the 2009 US Open.

I have found some recent reviews that suggest they have grown the fescue rough up for the Barclays so when considered together with the below average width fairways it is very easy to think that driving accuracy will be important. But I don’t want to fall into the same trap as many did at Baltusrol where it was thought that finding fairways would be vital. Moreover it was actually the ability to hit it close from the rough that separated the field that week. So while long, accurate drivers can certainly prosper, a player should still be able to contend with good proximity figures from the rough.

Bethpage Black sits in a sprawling landscape with lots of elevation changes and that only adds to the difficulty. A look at the last three winners shows a list of fit, relatively young golfers and with the difficulty level, length of course and the physical challenge, I would think twice about backing a golfer who isn’t perhaps one of the more athletic this week as temperatures look set to hit 30 degrees.

Another aspect of the course that might not make driving accuracy the be-all-and-end-all is the size of these greens. They are on the larger side and that will mean that it will be possible to hit them even from 175 yards away in the rough. Approaches from the rough might not quite hold the green however which will make scrambling from the fringe important.

With Lucas Glover having won around the course you wouldn’t imagine holing putts to be too crucial. Although 3-putts will need to be avoided on these large greens so perhaps lag putting is the most important short stick aspect to consider this week.

When looking at the US PGA Championship, putting on poa annua greens was one of the things I considered most and yet Jimmy Walker’s form was poor enough to not even consider a player dubbed “the prince of poa”. So while holing lots of birdie putts might not be crucial this week I’d certainly want anyone I was backing to have some form on the trickier surfaces. One of the main attributes of poa infested greens is the ability for the ball to break sharply at the hole. That resulted in a lot of short putts being missed so if you were looking for another putting stat then holing out from inside 5ft could well be worth a look as that together with lag putting will help keep the 3-putts to a minimum.

While there is some Bethpage Black form to look at there also seems to be a bit of a correlation with Torrey Pines in California, home of the Farmers Insurance Open. Tiger Woods won there numerous times, Nick Watney has won there , 2012 runner-up Brandt Snedeker has two wins there and Lucas Glover has a 3rd and a 4th place finish. It maybe isn’t a rock solid link as they could just be two courses where the best players tend to win but it should be noted that both courses have poa annua present in their greens.

I’d expect Jason Day and Dustin Johnson both to go well this week with their impressive record on US Open layouts but I’m not prepared to fire into either at the prices when lining up against this strong a field, most of which by the nature of the play-offs, are in very good form. But as usual their price leaves some juicy exchange prices around and none more so than the player who I had in mind for this even before his excellent finish last week.


Hideki Matsuyama has been putting poorly of late so it is actually quite amazing that he has finished 4th at the US PGA Championship and 3rd at the Wyndham Championship in his last two starts. What is most impressive about that however is that they both virtually turned into glorified putting contests for most of the leaderboard. As we have mentioned already the US PGA was played on a Tillinghast design and it was a brilliant effort to contend while ranking 60th in total putting.

Despite him putting poorly again at the Wyndham last week there was a slight improvement as he ranked 23rd for total putting. He has some decent results on poa annua greens in addition to Baltusrol last month. His last two performances at the Northern Trust have yielded a 4th and an 11th and the rolling hills of Riviera aren’t too dissimilar to Bethpage Black. He also finished 3rd at Silverado in the 2014 Frys Open open which features poa annua greens.

He fits the mould of recent Barclays winners perfectly this week and given what a brilliant ball-striker he is I was quite surprised by his odds this week. The course certainly looks to be less about putting than the last two that he has played on and given that he only finished 5 and 6 shots behind the respective winners, that could be enough to see him over the line. The rest of his game is in absolutely perfect order as he ranked 1st in total driving, 1st in ball -striking, 2nd in scrambling and even 1st in the all-round ranking despite his misfiring putter. He even ranks a respectable 37th on Tour for putting inside 5ft which will no doubt help him here.

We know he has the game to win big events on Tour and if Bethpage Black rewards ball-striking as I expect it will this week then he might just have ranked up win number three by Sunday night.

Ricky Barnes stormed onto the scene in 2009 taking the 3rd round US Open lead (with a 3rd round 65) at Bethpage Black. He shot a 76 to blow his chances but he still hung on to 2nd place in just his 2nd major start as a professional. It is fairly certain to say that his career hasn’t quite panned out as anyone thought since then and he is still looking for his first PGA Tour win after some 200 odd starts.

But there has been a noted improvement this year from Ricky with two 5th places in his last three starts and he has always been someone who has played well on poa annua surfaces. He grew up on the surface in Northern California and he has some decent results with a 3rd at Pebble Beach and a 9th at Riviera.

He led the Valero Texas Open earlier this year before going on to finish in 4th place and while it was a closing 74 he wasn’t terrible in contention. All that adds up to him sitting at 66th in the Fed Ex List and he knows that a good performance this week could see him right through to the Tour Championship.

From a stats point of view Barnes is also a good match for Bethpage Black as he ranks 4th for GIR over the last 3 months and 5th in 3-putt avoidance. He might not be the proven, multiple winner we are looking for but he won the US Amateur in 2002 and he certainly has ability. At 35 years old he still has plenty of time left to get his win, after all Jimmy Walker took until 34 and he is now a major winner. If he is to get a win then a tough championship layout with poa annua greens looks the place to do it and he is a sporting each way price at 150/1.

Graeme Delaet is a name that sounds the alarm bells with many a punter and subsequently a lot have written him off. But to hark back to Jimmy Walker again, he was a player that was also written off until he got his first win. Granted, Walker was always a good putter whereas Delaet often appears one of the worst on Tour. That’s not quite the case though and he falls into the Lee Westwood category whereby they hit the ball so close, so often that they end up having more birdie putts inside 20ft than most.

I’m not suggesting Delaet is a good putter at all but he is ok at holing out and he is also ok from long-range, he is just very poor from 5ft-20ft. However if my reading of the Bethpage Course is right, I think par will be a good score away from the Par 5s so his short stick woes could be factored out somewhat.

The Canadian also has some course form at Bethpage Black as he was 5th there in 2012. Throw in a 2nd and 9th at Torrey Pines and an 8th at Riviera and you can see that a lot of his better results come at ball-strikers courses with poa on the greens.

As ever he ranks very well in GIR and total driving and if he continues to hit more fairways and greens than the majority this is exactly the sort of track where he could pop up with his first win. All things considered 200/1 for a player of his quality looks like an excellent piece of value.

I’m also going to play Barnes and Delaet in the Top 20 markets as even if they play well they could find a few just too good at this level.


Made in Denmark

Now in its third edition, The Made in Denmark will be held again at Himmerland Golf and Spa Resort in Farso near Aalborg. During the first two years it has been a massive success with some of the highest crowds seen for a regular European Tour event. This year Martin Kaymer has joined the field to give it a little bit of class at the head of the market and overall the field does look a little deeper than last year. The course is a short, exposed 6,851 yard Par 71 layout and with two runnings now under its belt there is a little bit more to go on than last year. They were won by Marc Warren in 2014 and then David Horsey last year.

Prior to last year’s tournament I used a few course links through Marc Warren and while the players that I tipped up didn’t do too well, I think those on the leaderboard did back them up a little. I focussed a lot of my work on the two other courses where Marc Warren had won and I’m not seeing too much wrong with the approach although I have also expanded that to look at the courses where David Horsey has gone well.

Despite not being right by the coast, the course plays very much like a links course as the wind usually blows and it has undulating fairways with a sandy soil that can play quite fast if conditions allow. That coupled with Warren’s win made me think of a few similar courses like Barseback, Gleneagles and Doha Golf Club. Another course that would appear to bee a good guide would be Archerfield Links, host course of last month’s Paul Lawrie Match Play. The wind blew all weekend there on the parkland/links mix and visually it is another course that is similar.

David Horsey throws up a slightly different set of courses as he often goes well on fiddlier, shorter tracks and his other three wins have come at Eichenried Golf Club, Golf Club Du Palais Royal and Tseleevo Golf Club. Looking at the list of winners at those tracks we see yet more strong links players like Michael Hoey, Ernie Els and Martin Kaymer.

It seems like that has been the criteria quite a lot this summer and yet it hasn’t yielded much in the way of returns. I suppose it could be that with more and more links type courses on Tour, players are getting used to playing on them. However I’m going to stick with this method for at least one more week in the hope that it can pay dividends.

Marc Warren

Marc Warren was favourite last year to defend his title and we know how hard even the world’s best can find that so in hindsight tipping him at just 11/1 wasn’t the wisest of plays. But he was arriving in great form and the field was fairly poor. But after a quiet 2016 he has actually perked up a little in recent weeks with a 9th in the Match Play and then an 11th in the Czech Masters. He ranked 9th in total putting last time out and it was his putter that won this for him in 2014 so he looks hard to pass up this year at 45/1.

Warren is also a good wind player which is backed up by where he has won. Barseback GC in Sweden and Gleneagles are both tracks that play very much like links courses with the former also being exposed to the elements. On price alone he must be a bet on a course where has already won.

This is all starting to feel like déjà vu as I also tipped Robert Karlsson last year but again he arrives off the back of a good performance and the course should suit him perfectly. His 7th place finish in the Czech Masters was a turn-around in form as he hadn’t done a great deal in the previous few months.

He has won at Qatar, Crans and finished 2nd at Barseback and they are all courses which have thrown up similar winners over the years, often solid links golf exponents. His game was in good order last week but particularly off the tee and putting as he ranked 5th in total driving and 6th in total putting.

He finished down the field last year with our money on but I’m happy to give him another go on a course that I’m convinced suits him.

Richie Ramsay looks to be another excellent piece of value when you consider both his recent form and the courses that he has won and played well on. Odds of 45/1 appear to forget that he made it to the 3rd round of the Paul Lawrie Matchpaly with some brilliant golf on the first two days before ultimately being knocked out by an inspired Oliver Fisher. Prior to that was a missed cut at The Open but that is a grade above the level where the Scot is comfortable and the week before that he finished 6th in Scotland at Castle Stuart.

He has won both the Omega European Masters (Crans) and the Trophee Hassan (Golf Club Du Palais Royal, where David Horsey won in 2011) and this looks like a course that he will enjoy as he usually plays well in the wind. Odds of 45/1 make him a very solid looking each way pick.


Summary of bets


Hideki Matsuyama – 1.5pts ew @ 30/1

Ricky Barnes – 0.5pt ew @ 150/1 and 1pt Top 20 @ 5/1

Graeme Delaet – 0.5pt ew @ 200/1 and 1pt Top 20 @ 7/1

Made in Denmark

Marc Warren – 1pt ew @ 50/1

Richie Ramsay – 1pt ew @ 45/1

Robert Karlsson – 0.5pt ew @ 75/1

Weekly pts advised – 12pts

Total pts advised – 778.50


Wyndham Championship and Made in Denmark – Betting Preview

Day is congratulated on the 18th green by wife Ellie and son Dash

Day is congratulated on the 18th green by wife Ellie and son Dash

USPGA Review – Jason finally has his Day (…..sorry!)

After two previews with zero returns, had the third also been fruitless then it may well have proved to be the last. However my feeling that Jason Day was going to win was similar to that which I had at this years Masters regarding Jordan Spieth, very strong. So upping the stakes and going with one solid pick turned out to be a great success and the site is now in overall profit for the 3 weeks. (73pts advised, 105.8pts returned for a ROI of 45%)

In reality Day looked like the winner all weekend and barely faltered whatsoever. But that’s not to say it wasn’t still a nervy experience for his backers on Sunday, never more so than straight after his chunked wedge when sitting in A1 position on the 9th fairway. The panic was short-lived though as he saved par and then played a near flawless back 9, oozing the perfect concoction of power, accuracy and touch. Despite the murmurs of it being too easy a major with its record breaking score, I found the US PGA to be one of the more enjoyable Majors of recent years with an immaculate golf course allowing the world’s best golfers to play some truly breath-taking golf. To cap it off we got perhaps the most deserving major winner of the last 5 years and a hugely popular one at that.

The usual post major lull will hit both the PGA Tour and European Tour this week although there is still a decent enough field assembled on both sides of the Atlantic and I’m going to run through my thoughts for both quickly followed by 3 outright picks in each followed by any other bets that I might like. If it’s a succesful format then I might keep it going during these lower profile weeks.

Made in Denmark

Held at Himmerland Golf and Spa Resort in Farso near Aalborg, this tournament had its inaugural running last year and was a massive success with some of the highest crowds seen for a regular European Tour event. It hasn’t attracted too many of the biggest names so a fairly average looking field arrives in Denmark to tackle the relatively short, exposed 7,033 yard Par 71 course. With only one running so far there isn’t a lot of course form to go on so instead I have decided to look quite closely at last year’s winner, Scotland’s Marc Warren for more information. Warren at his best is a great ball striker served by one of the best swings on the European Tour. He is a deadly putter and thrives on windy, links courses. He has won 3 European Tour titles ; The Scandanavian Masters in 2006 at Barseback Golf and Country Club, Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles in 2007 and then the 1st Made in Denmark last season.

Whenever I think of Gleneagles I immediately think of a few courses that correlate nicely with Gleneagles. Crans in Switzerland (Omega European Masters), Doha Golf Club (Qatar Masters) and Barseback. As already mentioned Warren has won at two of these and only this year he finished 2nd in Qatar. Thomas Bjorn has won at Crans, Qatar, Gleneagles and came 4th at this course last year. Paul Lawrie has won at Qatar and Gleneagles. Robert Karlsson has won at Crans, Qatar and lost in a playoff to Warren at Barseback. Even Joakim Haeggman had 2 of his 3 career wins at Barseback and Qatar. The list goes on with countless players cropping up on the leaderboards at these same courses over the years.

Some may think “so what?” but it’s a method that can often throw up a winner. Many golfers just feel more comfortable on certain types of courses and it’s no coincidence that most of the courses above have undulating, exposed fairways (bar Crans which is tree-lined) and require a very sharp short game. So I’m looking for players that have performed well in the last couple of years at Qatar Masters and Omega European Masters, are in decent form and preferably better than average putters.

Marc Warren is favourite this week and rightly so. He arrives here off the back of a T48th at Whistling Straits and a T25th at Firestone. Not amazing but playing in fields that make this look like a Sunday Medal. Prior to that he looked set to win the Paul Lawrie Matchplay until a slight back injury prevented him from playing his best towards the end of a long week, losing in the Semi Finals to eventual winner Aphibarnrat. Warren is simply in great form, is suited to the course and on his day is one of the best in this field. His odds look poor but it must be noted that the opposition does too so I think he is worth a win only play at 11.5 on Betfair.

Johan Carlsson is also in good recent form with a T9th at the Matchplay and a T16th at Crans with no over par rounds and 68% of greens hit and 12th in Putts Per Round. This isn’t one of his strongest attributes usually so to me that was worth noting. Carlsson finished 13th and 16th the last two years in Qatar hitting a 65 on both occasions so we know he can go low when conditions suit.  Carlsson isn’t the most accurate off the tee but last year’s winner Warren only hit 50% of fairways so it clearly isn’t the most crucial of factors at Himmerland. The clincher for me with Johan was another course link. He has only won once as a professional on The Challenge Tour. This win was at the Kazakhstan Open and the previous winner at that same course was Tommy Fleetwood who has won at Gleneagles. Another tedious link to some no doubt but enough for me to think that he can go well at  a big price.

As I have mentioned Robert Karlsson has already won at both Qatar and Crans with the lost playoff at Barseback. So he is a great fit for the course but he also arrives in impressive form, having made the final of the Paul Lawrie Matchplay at Murchar Links. While he hasn’t won for a few years that performance will have given him confidence and looks overpriced if anywhere near his best.

Wyndham Championship

Like most Donald Ross designed courses, Sedgefield favours those that arrive with their whole game in good shape. This event has been held here since 2008 so there is plenty course form to study along with form at numerous other Donald Ross (DR) designs which the PGA Tour visits (East Lake, Aronimink, Oak Hill, Oakland Hills)

I’m not going to overthink this too much as there is a decent field with 7/8 top class players lining up so I’ve found three proven winners that arrive playing well with a solid bank of form around DR courses. They also rank highly on Par 4 Scoring and Scrambling which are possibly two of the more important attributes at Sedgefield.

Brandt Snedeker is vying for favouritism and on first look he appears a bit short at 16/1. However he closed impressively last week at the USPGA and has had a good enough 2015 considering he has been hampered by a hip injury. A Top 20 last week suggests he is over that and Brandt has performed well on a number of DR courses, finishing 9th at the US Open in 2014 at Pinehurst and winning the Tour Championship at East Lake in 2012. He ranks 10th in Par 4 Scoring and 5th in Scrambling. Add to that a win in the Wyndham at a different course with 2 further Top 5s at Sedgefield and Snedeker looks primed to get his 2015 going again.

Bill Haas is a player I have had some joy backing over the last few years. When playing well Haas has the all-round game to challenge the best but we normally see him coming to the fore in the tier below Majors/WGCs. He has a couple of Top 10s here and usually plays nicely around DR courses. Bill finished down the field last week but prior to that had a 25th at Firestone and a T4th at the Quicken Loans. Ranks 32nd in Scrambling and 46th in Par 4 Scoring.

Carl Pettersson won the first staging of this and has had several Top 10 finishes since 2008. He can be a little patchy with his form and missed the cut last week but prior to that he was T4th at the Quicken Loans and is never without a chance around his favourite courses. Looks a decent price and I’d expect him to play well again.

  cropped-golfbetting.jpeg                                     SUMMARY OF BETS

Made in Denmark

Marc Warren – 2pts win @ 11.5

Robert Karlsson – 1pt ew @ 40/1

Johan Carlsson – 0.5pt ew @ 80/1 and 1pt Top 10 @ 7.4

Wyndham Championship

Brandt Snedeker – 2pts ew @ 16/1

Bill Haas – 1pt ew @ 28/1

Carl Pettersson – 0.5pt ew @ 66/1

In addition to these main bets I’m going to do each way cross doubles with the selections above at 0.25pt ew. The cross doubles just means that I will combine each of the European Tour selections with each of the PGA Tour selections to give 9 each way bets. This is a good way to have a betting interest in the golf each week for lower stakes but still with the potential for decent returns. Obviously for a return you need to get one player from each tournament in the Top 5 while the dream is to get both winners!

9 ew cross doubles (Warren, Karlsson, Carlsson) x (Snedeker, Haas, Pettersson)- 0.25pt ew @ odds ranging from 209/1 to 5426/1

Johan Carlsson + Carl Pettersson Top 20 All Swedish Double – 0.5pt @ 15/1

This weeks outlay = 18pts

Total outlay = 91pts

Total returns to date = 105.8