UA-33754892-1 Archives for 02 December 2012 | Jason Kelly Golf

Jason Kelly Golf

Golf Betting Tips

Nelson Mandela Championship, Emirates Australian Open and Thailand Golf Championship

Oosthuizen’s 72nd hole bogey was costly last week as it kept him out of the places and cost us a double. He looked tired after a barmy schedule and having seen he was entered in Thailand this week would have been an easy one to take on. He withdrew yesterday. Rose was out of sorts in Sun City. He does not always get on a run as a player and seems to find it hard to get up for smaller events these days. The opposite to the player he used to be. BVP put in his usual strong performance last week in California but it meant nothing to us in the end. Dufner never really got going on a course he was debuting at. We lost all 10 points invested and slipped back to 158.86 points ahead for the season.

This week sees another bundle of bad betting opportunities. All top heavy, appearance fee based events. The top players dominate the betting but it is hard to deduce wether they truly care or not when they are getting paid more than the winners cheque just to be there. Lets try and find some opportunities anyway.

Lets look at Thailand first. Amata Spring Country Club about an hour outside Bangkok hosts. The course is playing very soft this year after prolonged heavy rain. This also means the rough will be up and juicy. Wet and 7435 yards will definitely favour the longer hitters and if the wind blows, as it can here, it will be hard to imagine the same scoring
Westwood produced there year. Westy opened with a 12 under 60 last year and dominated the event throughout. There was a stumble in the final day 36 but he was on fire at the time and had a weak field to dispatch. As I have mentioned before I think Westwood is best in events he does not care about, like this, but his recent form has been too poor to even consider him at 5/1. This field is a lot stronger and will take some beating. He is 5/1 now, which is way too short and I expect he will go off at a bigger price as the bookies should be desperate to get him in the book.

Amata boasts Asia’s only floating green on the 17th. This should provide some entertainment down the stretch. It will be interesting to see wether
Schwartzel can maintain his strong recent form and get involved on Sunday. He bounced back well from injury and I expect he will be fresher than most but is hard to back at 7/1. Not sure why he is half the price of Garcia, Watson, Mahan and a quarter of Colsaerts’ price. They have all had better seasons and are arguably better players.

Garcia is interesting at 12/1. He showed flashes of brilliance in his last outing in Dubai shooting 73-64-73-64 to finish 9th on -14, despite making 6 bogies, 2 doubles and a treble. He, like Westwood, has the advantage of playing here before but does not boast quite the same course form having struggled to a level par total of 288 and a tie for 24th last year. I am not going to be with Garcia this week but will be watching as I think he may need the run and may well fire in Malaysia next week.

Bubba Watson finished 9th last week in the World Challenge on a course that did not suit. Not only this but he is playing new equipment throughout the bag, which he put in play in China a few weeks ago. He says he is now confident with the new sticks and was disappointed with the few bad swings he made last week as well as not putting how he would like, rather than having concerns with the equipment. He seems up for this, “I am here to win, not just to turn up and wave to people”. At 14/1 he is worth consideration. The only real concern is he has never won outside of America.

Mahan has recently had laser eye surgery and says it is great to be able to see clearly again. He finished tied with Bubba last week in California and looked to be swinging it great, as he always does. He continues to be one of the US tour’s best ball strikers, ranked 3rd in overall ball striking (17th in driving accuracy and 12th in greens in regulation). What worries me is the rank of 111th in putting and a rank of 90th in birdies. When you look at his game he creates enough but does not make enough. At the same price as Bubba it is hard to be with the shorter hitting, less birdie making Mahan.

Colsaerts put a huge effort in pre Ryder Cup and it paid off. He made himself known in the build up and even more so in the main event. One can’t help but think he has run a bit flat since and perhaps his work ethic which peaked in September has maybe unravelled a bit as his goals have been achieved for 2012. 25/1 looks nice but in Dubai, on a course that should have been perfect for him, he could only finish 34th and for me is fairly easily dismissed this week.

Out the rest of the field it is worth suggesting
Wiratchant may be the best of the rest. He will win the Asian Order of Merit for a 2nd time and leads the tour in birdies made. He is 73rd in the world and will want a big finish in his last two events this year to crack the top 50 for next season. He finished 2nd last week in The Kings Cup, he is a three time winner this season, finished 19th here last year and can go well at 40/1.

The Emirates Australian Open is played at The Lakes Course. At only 6841 yards it really is one of Australia’s old gems. Looking back at past winners at The Lakes it really shows that ball strikers used to do well here but more recently, with modern technology neutralising, the trend has become more about the putter on a short track. Past winners include
Senior, Elkington, Strange and Parry who were all great strikers but recently Aaron Baddeley (Holden International), Richard Johnson (ANZ Champs) and Ogilvy (2010 Aussie Open) have putted their way round to victory. (Not to say that Ogilvy is not an absolutely top draw iron player as well).

So lets take the favourite out first.
Adam Scott looked pure class at both the Singapore Open and the Talisker Masters. This course will not play to his strengths. Epic driving and ball striking. The major concern however is he has been seen with only a short putter in the bag this week. Well, shorter at least, a kind of belly putter he is using with a claw grip. If he uses this surely he has to be vulnerable at 7/2 on a course that is not ideal.

Rose looked top class in Dubai but did not follow up in Sun City. Just on the back of that 13/2 looks a little short. Throw John Senden into the mix here too, a player I really like, and all of sudden you see that the top 3 in the betting are all wrong for this venue. They all have awesome long games, all three probably in the top 3 ball strikers in the world, all 3 can win here, but the course is far from ideal. Senden is 12/1 and ranks 98th in putting, Rose ranks 129th in putting and Scott 148th. May be a new putter will do Scott some good!!

Greg Chalmers ranks 17th in putting on the PGA Tour this year. He almost landed the triple crown in Aus last year and has had a very solid year in the States, despite being one of the shortest hitters. He finished 32nd in the USPGA and 9th at The Barclays, two brutal, long courses. He followed that with 39th in the Deutsche Bank, 16th in both the BMW Champs and CIMB in Malaysia before finishing 46th in the HSBC. He is in form and on a course that suits. 14/1 is tempting but I would have liked to have seen at least 20/1 in a field like this.

Geoff Ogilvy is a past winner on the course but how can you back a player who has managed just one top 10 all year (9th in The Open) at 14/1? He ranks 44th in putting and 6th in scrambling which is the only real encouragement for him going into this. His good record in Aus and on this course will help but I would rather be with Chalmers at the prices.

Nick O’ Hern at 40/1 looks like a big price at first glance. I remember him as a steady plodder who occasionally would have the putter light up and he would contend. This does not happen anymore. He ranks in the top 100 in only two stats in the US, fairways hit and sand saves. He ranks 168th in putting, 178th in birdies and 160th in scoring average. Only a brave man would back him at any price, unless he gets over a severe bout of homesickness by returning back to Australia!

Peter Senior showed glimpses at the Talisker Masters sharing 6th, but surely the old pro can’t spring a surprise at 66/1 on a course he has won on before? Stranger things have happened but not worth a go in my opinion. Bowditch won his US card back at Q School last week and will be buoyant here but the bomber will be tired and has done nothing the rest of the year. 66/1 looks big but isn’t. Kyle Stanley has a win and a 2nd on the PGA Tour early this season, which should make him a big player in a field like this, but despite being 40/1 he can’t be backed as he ranks 189th (2nd from bottom) on the tour in putting. As you can see I am desperate to find someone to back as this won’t take too much winning. Chalmers looks the best of a bad bunch and despite being a little too short, is worth a small go when the rest are hard to fancy.

Now to the worst event of the week. The Nelson Mandela Championship played at Royal Durban. It is an old course (1892) and was built inside the Greyville racecourse. When you read
“Royal Durban is one of the very few golf courses to be sited in the middle of a horse racing track and has hosted some renowned golfing tournaments in the last 100 years, including (most notably) the South African Championships in 1911 and the Commonwealth Tournament in 1975 which saw Nick Faldo playing at the tender age of eighteen.” it kind of turns you off the event pretty quickly! Oh, desperate times for the European Tour.

Grace is the 8/1 favourite, and last years Tour School graduate is an ambassador for the event. On the US Tour you have Palmer, Nicklaus, Clinton, Woods etc as ambassadors for events, Europe has Brandon Grace. Anyway, this course inside a racecourse is short and unless the wind blows and the rough is up will have very little protection. It is very hard to support top players in events like this. I am going to make a play on three big prices.

Matteo Delpodio played great at Tour School finishing 14th. He is a strong player and is no stranger to poor events. He will relish this opportunity and has a really strong work ethic. He is big friends with Eduardo Molinari and is using the same model which saw his rise to stardom in two seasons. 300/1 is too big in this field. The second is Chris Swanepoel. The Afrikaner is fearless and knows how to get it going. This season he has finished 17th in the Jo’burg Open, 1st in the Zimbabwe Open, 2nd in the Platinum Classic and 29th in the SA Open. He is a kind of Boo Weekly character, wears his heart on his sleeve and can defy the 200/1 price. Finally Scott Henry at 250/1 should be backed. The Scott is one of two players I have ever played mini tour golf with who clearly should not be there. He rips it and has a strong all round game. His lack of European Tour experience should not be a big factor this week and he can go well.

Nelson Mandela Championship

0.5 points each way Scott Henry @ 250/1
0.5 points each way Chris Swanpoel @ 200/1
0.5 points each way Matteo Delposio @ 300/1

Emirates Australian Open

2 points Greg Chalmers @ 14/1

Thailand Golf Championship

2 points Bubba Watson @ 14/1

2012 running total +158.86 points. This weeks investment 7 points. This weeks P&L = -7 pts.

2011 total +370.78 points
2010 total +189.33 points

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My advice comes with a point system to rate the strength of a tip. A 1 point bet means placing your usual stake, so if you would consider your normal bet being £10 then a point signifies £10.