UA-33754892-1 Archives for 04 August 2013 | Jason Kelly Golf

Jason Kelly Golf

Golf Betting Tips

USPGA Championship and Norwegian Challenge

Last Week:

I don’t want to spend too long moaning but Brandon Stone @ 50/1 was the most likely winner after 18 holes, 36 holes, 54 holes and 63 holes before coming back in 42 on Sunday to not even return a place. Scary stuff. Still, he once again showed us his raw ability to shoot low numbers, which is encouraging. The rest is easy to learn compared to that and he is very young.

Bill Haas @ 66/1had a solid week at Firestone. He was at the front the peloton, trying to keep in touch and possibly chase down the breakaway leader, Woods, but the birdies dried up on the weekend and he finished 7th. No return for us again.

Kevin Stadler @ 50/1 got into position too. 11th with two to play on Saturday. A double, double finish saw him slip to 53rd. At least it meant we didn’t have to keep an eye on the secondary US event and we could just sit back and enjoy the Woods show.

Billy Horschel continued a bad run at Firestone. Having been ultra consistent for the first half of the season he has struggled in the last few weeks to keep it on the course. That’s not good news when you rank 155th in scrambling! Harris English played decent in Ohio but never really threatened to get us paid a percentage of the 150/1 taken.

This Week:

The USPGA Championship:

Right, this is all about Tiger. The 4/1 market leader wins this if he is anywhere near the same player we saw last week. He lead proximity to the hole with a very impressive 25ft 8 inches but I think, more importantly, his scrambling improved some 18% on his season average. 56% (90th) up and downs to 74% (4th). He is putting way better this season too, 35th last season to 4th this. That will increase your win percentage!

He ranked 6th in driving distance at Firestone, 11th in accuracy, 2nd in greens and 11th in putting. These are all reasons why we should back him. Is there any reason we shouldn’t? Well, we can’t put a line through him over anything physical, on my figures he is so far clear it is frightening. This season he ranks 4th in putting and 1st in scoring. One may question the rank of 90th in scrambling but he plays a tough course schedule. Scrambling on tough courses is not easy. However, I do think 4/1 is short, I would back him if he were 8/1 or bigger.

More facts that put me off lumping on Tiger;

1) Since 2008 he has only won twice on courses he hasn’t won at least 3 times on before.
2) 59 of his 79 Tour wins have come on courses he has won on at least twice.
3) In 2003 at Oak Hill he made 6 birdies all week and didn’t break 72, finished 39th. He won 5 times in 2003 and around the USPGA he had 7 top 7’s and 2 wins so he wasn’t playing bad at the time!
4) Since 2008 he has won his last event before a Major 7 times and not followed up.
5) His Major strike rate is way down on when he was last 4/1 to win a Major. He has not won a Major since the 2008 US Open. A run of 21 events.
6) He has 8 wins at Firestone, 8 at Bay Hill, 8 at Torrey Pines. That’s almost a third of his wins on three courses that he repeatedly says, “Fit his eye.”

There we go, finally got a line through Tiger. Am I brave or stupid? I guess time will tell but I did take some convincing!

Oak Hill Country Club in Pittsford, New York, as mentioned, hosted the 2003 USPGA won by Sean Micheel. It is a par 70 at a lenient 7163 yards. It will protect itself with tight fairways and lush rough. An example of this is the par 5 4th hole in 2003. A short par 5 which yielded the most birdies of any hole yet only 22% of players found the fairway. Pittsford has been deluged with rain throughout July and early August. So heavy in fact that a lot of the bunkers and Allen Creek, which runs through the course, were damaged. This also means the rough should lush and more penal. Many players commented at the start of the week at how slow the greens were, these should be sped up in time for Thursday. The other thing mentioned is the requirement of shaping shots. The general feeling is a fader has an advantage over a drawer, but the real advantage will be for the player who has both in the bag. Weather looks good with the possibility of a slight breeze. Should be a good, fair test.

We are looking for a good driver of the ball with a bias for accuracy over power. Look at the leaderboard in 2003 and you will see players like Cjeka, Micheel, Funk, Tim Clark, Jay Haas etc. Guys who are seriously accurate and not known at all for their power. Then the normal Major traits. Patience, management, acceptance, nerve and ability. One other interesting little stat, every USPGA Champion since 2006 finished in the top 25 the week before in the WGC Bridgestone Invitational.

Obviously Woods was on the shortlist, others who made it are, in order, Brandt Snedeker, Keegan Bradley, Henrik Stenson, Justin Rose, Jordon Spieth, Matt Jones, Billy Horschel, Chris Kirk and Bill Haas.

Henrik Stenson has turned his game around this season. He has 3 top 3’s in his last 3 starts. He looks a perfect fit for this ranking 6th in fairways hit, 2nd in greens and 7th in scoring. Another big plus is he led scrambling last week and led greens in regulation at The Open. He is ‘on’ right now but this is reflected in his price. 25/1 is too short for me. At 40/1 he would have been a bet. The combination of 122nd in scrambling and 105th in putting could come back to haunt, although these are obviously improved over the last few weeks.

Similar story with Snedeker. He has the third best form in the field behind Woods and Mickelson and for me is fairly closely matched with Woods statistically. What he loses out in power he makes up with in touch and scrambling. I think 25/1 is the correct price and therefore offers little value, despite believing he will put another big performance in a Major. Maybe, like at The Open and so many of his campaigns he will make just a few too many big numbers. If he cuts out these mistakes and limits them to just bogies instead of doubles and trebles he is a serious contender.

My first pick is Keegan Bradley at 35/1. He plays well in chunks of events, then goes missing for a bit, then will put in another run. He has just started playing well again finishing 2nd last week. He lead both total driving and greens in regulation at Firestone and ranked 6th in putting. He ranks well in every major stat and has 4 top 4 finishes this season. Only Bill Haas has more top 10’s. I like him at a fair price, I would be nearer 25/1 about him and he has won this before.

Justin Rose has an awesome all round game. He ranks 14th in greens in regulation, 2nd in scoring, 15th in scrambling but 147th in putting. Last week he ranked 53rd in putting. If the greens are a little slower this would suit him but at 28/1 I will leave him alone.

My second pick is Jordan Spieth. The recently turned 20 year old has had a dreamy rookie season and this could cap it off perfectly for him. A winner at the John Deere a few weeks ago proves he can win and 6 top 10’s including another 2nd proves his class and form. He ranks 21st in driving accuracy and looks a good fit. 101st in putting is a concern but at 100/1 he is worth a play.

Matt Jones is pick 3. He ranks 5th in total driving and 3rd in scrambling. All his stats are very solid and possibly flattered slightly by an easy schedule, but he has no obvious weakness. 250/1 is a big price about a player who has finished 2nd and 7th in his last two starts. He got in when Woods won last week as he was first alternate, a place was reserved for the winner of the WGC. Hopefully this will give him a reactional flow that he can carry throughout the week.

Billy Horschel is a player I want to back in Majors. After the US Open if someone said I could have 125/1 about him to win the USPGA I would have begged, borrowed and stolen as much as I could have got my hands on. However, he has gone missing in action a little since. I heard word he could barely keep it on the range at Muirfield and that is not good for a player who ranks 155th in scrambling. He has to be passed over for this.

Chris Kirk is having a very tidy season having posted a 2nd in amongst 3 top 10’s. He is 27th in the FEDEX Cup rankings and 200/1 (250/1 with two smaller bookies)! He ranks 5th in eagles, 9th in birdies and a very encouraging 1st in scrambling. The concern is a rank of 114th in driving accuracy but that is the only weakness in his strong armoury. He can get in the mix at a huge price.

Bill Haas is my final pick. He finished 7th last week, his 4th top 10 in 6 starts. He leads the tour in top 10 finishes with 9. He has the benefit of his dad’s advice here. Jay finished in the top 10 here in 2003 and enjoyed an individually successful Ryder Cup in 1995. We know Bill Haas is a quality ball striker and the worry tends to be more with the putter but he ranks 41st in that stat this year. Pretty good for a guy who ranks 12th in greens. That combination will tend to give you a high number of top 10’s! Further encouragement comes in the performance of his putter last week. He ranked 10th in putting, 3rd inside 10 ft (63 from 68) and didn’t miss inside 6ft. 60/1 is a good price, I would be half that.

Norwegian Challenge

I am giving Brandon Stone another chance on the Challenge Tour this week. Have to stick with a player of his ability at nice prices. 33/1 is shorter than last week but still more than fair in my opinion.

USPGA Championship

1.25 points each way Keegan Bradley @ 35/1

1 point each way Bill Haas @ 60/1

0.75 points each way Jordan Spieth @ 100/1

0.5 points each way Chris Kirk @ 200/1 (250/1 in two places)

0.5 points each way Matt Jones @ 250/1

Norwegian Challenge

0.75 points each way Brandon Stone @ 33/1

2013 running total = -106.44
pts. This week’s investment 9.5 points. This weeks P&L = -9.5 pts

2012 total +150.36 points
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.