UA-33754892-1 Archives for 02 January 2011 | Jason Kelly Golf

Jason Kelly Golf

Golf Betting Tips

Hyundai Tournament of Champions and Africa Open

The 2011 season gets underway this week in Hawaii. The field for the Tournament of Champions is made up exclusively of winners on last years PGA Tour. 34 of the 39 players eligible are in attendance. The venue is the Plantation Course, a 7400 yard par 73, the only par 73 on the tour schedule. The course features huge greens, the biggest on tour and massive changes in elevation. The main factor in regard to scoring will be the wind, it can really blow here and the strength and direction can change quickly. The forecast this week is for winds easing to breezes by Thursday but picking up for Sunday, which could prove interesting. The Plantation Course has a great combination of massively long holes as well as a couple of driveable par 4’s. The scoring normally goes pretty deep despite it being the first event of the year with many players coming here after a decent break.

The course has an interesting split. It is the easiest to score in relation to par with players averaging -3.116 per round. It is also has the highest average of greens in regulation with 82.54%. The players average 5.10 birdies per round, the most in any event on tour. Surprisingly some of the key scoring stats are not that good. Players average further from the hole from 100-125 yards here than any other venue throughout the year and it is the hardest place to hole out from 15-20 feet with just 12.84% going in from this range. Hence double defending champion and this years favourite Geoff Ogilvy praised a deft pitching touch as one of the key reasons for his success here.

Ogilvy is a worthy favourite here. His course form is awesome and he is in great touch due to a strong showing in Australia over the winter, including a win and a playoff loss in his last two starts. He is the least rested player in the field and this should be to his strength. He will have plenty of justified support at 8/1 and could match his Australian compatriot Allenby by completing his hatrick. I really want to be with him here, he seems an each way certainty, but I just have a feeling if the wind does get up he could struggle and there may be better value elsewhere.

I want to look for a player who hits it long as accuracy is really not of a premium here, enjoys bermuda greens and can handle the wind. He will need to make a lot of birdies and potentially go well fresh.

In a limited field it is often hard to find much value, especially without a short priced favourite. However, on my shortlist I have Ernie Els, Bubba Watson, Hunter Mahan, Charley Hoffman and Robert Garrigus.

Charley Hoffman had a great finish to 2010. He had a new coaching team in place and you can guarantee he has been working with them over the winter as he is a player who enjoys fast starts to seasons winning the 2007 Bob Hope in his first event of that season. He had great stats last year and looks a decent bet at 50/1.

Bubba Watson may have a course built for him here. According to his tweets he is playing great and looking forward to this. No course experience and a long off season is a little off putting and seems correctly priced at 40/1 despite being 3rd in birdies and 1st in eagles in the 2010 season. I would have backed Bubba if Hoffman was not a bigger price, these two are the wrong way round in my view.

When Hunter Mahan is on there are few better. He can make birdies for fun and that is a key component here. He finished 5th in 2008 on his only previous start here. A position he matched in December at the Chevron Challenge. He should do well here but 20/1 is a little short for me.

Robert Garrigus is an interesting contender. Making his debut here the longest hitter on tour will definitely be up for it. The course should suit but I am not sure if I can see him beating such a strong field. At 125/1 he is worth a small each way interest.

Ernie Els would be my favourite for this week. After a dominating performance in December to win the South African Open he has obviously playing some good stuff. He has a great record here with five top six finishes in eight starts, including a win in 2003 when he shot a record 32 under par. He ranked 9th in putting from 15-20ft last year and should be tough to beat this week. 10/1 is a good price.

Elsewhere the African Open takes place in East London, South Africa. This is a unique, borderline funky golf course. I really did not like it. The top 3 in the betting are the South African trio of Goosen, Schwartzel and Oosthuizen. They look very difficult to beat and are priced accordingly. I am going to go on a complete gut shot here. I am going to back a South African player who is based in the States. He is a classy performer with great technique and bucket loads of ability. He has not had the immediate success that many people predicted but is a great price this week to make that prophecy come to light. Take the 300/1 on Tyron Van Aswegen.

Hyundai Tournament of Champions.

2pts win Ernie Els @ 10/1
1pt each way Charley Hoffman @ 50/1
0.5pts each way Robert Garrigus @ 125/1

African Open.

1pt each way Tyron Van Aswegan@ 300/1

Special Bet.

0.5pts each way double Geoff Ogilvy 8/1 and Louis Oosthuizen 9/1

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.

2010 record +189.33 points.