UA-33754892-1 Archives for 04 May 2014 | Jason Kelly Golf

Jason Kelly Golf

Golf Betting Tips

The Players Championship

This week I am reporting to you live from Florida, watching the players warm up at The Players live on the Golf Channel, knowing I will be there on Sunday to watch the finale. This is the way golf tipping should be done!


Last week Will Mackenzie pretty much confirmed he has reverted to his mean, missing another cut. He is out to 200/1 this week and even a drastic price hike doesn’t tempt me. Webb Simpson and Zach Johnson were both in good position going into Sunday at the Wells Fargo. Webb stumbled back to 38th, another week riddled with mistakes, although he did putt much better. Zach had a solid Sunday and finished 14th, but did not make a Furyk like charge, unfortunately. We lost the 7 points invested and went back into the red, -3.1 points for the year.

So lets get on to this week. I love this event and I love the course at Sawgrass. It is a classic Pete Dye design. Flirt with trouble from the tee and you will be rewarded with an easier approach shot. This course rewards accuracy over power. Having said that, Tiger won this tournament on the par 5’s last year. He posted 10 birdies and an eagle to be 12 under on them for the week, but they are all reachable for everyone. When you look at the stats there are none that really stand out as being key. The stats almost became a little jumbled. For example, Boo Weekley lead fairways hit and proximity and finished 48th! I think the two to take on board are greens in regulation and scrambling. Woods finished 3rd in greens in regulation and 6th in scrambling last year. He was 19th in driving accuracy and no better than 24th in any other category. But, in conclusion, I believe winners tend to be straight drivers who are solid iron players who putt decent for the week. That profile is backed up with wins by Stenson, Funk, Love, Ames, Garcia, Clark, Choi and Kuchar.

I like, despite not necessarily fitting the profile, in order, Dustin Johnson (50/1), Adam Scott (16/1), Bubba Watson (35/1), Zach Johnson (33/1), Sergio Garcia (22/1), Harris English (66/1), Webb Simpson (80/1), Justin Rose (25/1), Russell Knox (150/1) and Charles Howell (150/1).

Rory misses out on my top 10 as he is not travelling to Sawgrass until Thursday, saying he wants to stay and practice at home instead. Is he making changes? I don’t know. But I am not convinced this is a great course for him anyway. A favourite to take on in my view.

Dustin Johnson, despite not looking an ideal fit, something that is backed up by his Sawgrass record, is a bet. Now, I know that makes no sense but 50/1 is too big to turn down. He is definitely more power than accuracy and has a record of mc,mc,34,57,dnp,wd. I think Dustin can compete on any course. This year he is putting better than any previous, he is making very few bogies and I think he can adapt to this test after a break. He, like Tiger last year, can dominate these par 5’s too. The price is big for two reasons. Firstly, his last two starts resulted in a withdrawl from Houston and a 68th at Augusta. Secondly because of his poor record and fit to this course. I think he has the ability to overcome the challenge of this course and an extended break will help forget his last two starts. One thing is for sure, if he is back in his February/ March form, 50/1 is huge. He ranks 4th in greens, 20th in putting, 2nd in birdies, 10th in bogey avoidance and 5th in ball striking. These stats suggest his ‘stereotypical profile’ isn’t as far away as some think. He just needs to find the fairways, winners since 2002 have averaged over 73% of fairways for the week.

Adam Scott is an obvious contender. He is a past winner and a great fit for this. He would be clear favourite in my book but is hard to back at 16/1 with no top 15s in his last 6 starts here. He is the best player in the field this week in my view, but he is not a bet.

Bubba Watson’s stats are just beautiful this season. If he had not admitted to having 2 weeks off, without touching a club and only having only returned to practice a week ago, then I would have bet him here, but I can’t considering there is a lot of extra attention, expectation and potentially, considerable rust. Just watching his presser now, he is saying “I just don’t see eye to eye with this course, my best is 37th and I am on a run making back to back cuts here, so maybe I can finish 36th this year.” 35/1 seems a little short based on those words!

Zach Johnson looked in good nick last week, isn’t scared to win big and has the perfect game for this. The problem is he has been backed from the opening 50/1 into 33/1 and that is just too short for me to get involved with.

Sergio should have won this last year but imploded late on under the Tiger glare and much controversy. His game is perfect for this and his putting is as good as it has ever been. I expect him to go close but he seems too short at 22/1 for someone who doesn’t win too often in the States. Physically he is more than good enough, mentally this is going to be a real challenge.

Harris English is bet number two. Again, he does not carry the best course form but he fits the profile beautifully. He was round one leader on his debut here before slipping to 64th. Last year he finished 33rd. He is a big time player now. The Georgian claims to putt his best on bermuda and loves the subtle grain at Sawgrass. He also changed putter at Hilton Head which seems to have boosted his confidence. He ranks 3rd in greens and 5th in scoring. 66/1 looks very fair.

Webb Simpson is a tricky one. I really want to be with him this week. He is doing enough things well to be a factor but the thing he has done badly the last few events is drive it poorly. You have to be accurate from the tee at Sawgrass, which he was when finishing 15th here last year. Before that his course form was very poor. mc,mc,69,mc. When you add that into his recent poor form it is hard to make a decent argument for him, even at 80/1.

Rose, at his best, has the game to win this. However, this year, after his shoulder injury, it is his short game that is keeping him competitive. 146th in driving accuracy and 93rd in greens will not get it done here. At 25/1 there are better options.

Russell Knox could be a sneaky shout at 150/1. It is his debut but he looks to fit the profile nicely. 18th in fairways, 29th in greens and 16th in scoring. Another sneaky factor is he went to Jacksonville University and lives locally, as does his family. He will know this venue better than most. Must be worth a go at 150/1.

Charles Howell III finished 23rd and 68th the last two years. He sits right next to Knox in the betting at 150/1. Most people will put a line through him for ranking 176th in driving accuracy or for the backward trend in his putting over the last few weeks. I just think he is a big price and is due a big week. Rankings of 11th in scrambling and 6th in bogey avoidance suggest that he has the ability to carry momentum at the moment. It’s a gut shot, and much like Dustin Johnson his chance revolves around finding the fairways. The price makes him worth a play.

The Players Championship

1.5 points each way Dustin Johnson @ 50/1
1 point each way Harris English @ 66/1
0.5 points each way Russell Knox @ 150/1
0.5 points each way Charles Howell III @ 150/1

2014 running total =  -3.1 points. This week’s investment 7 points. This weeks P&L = -7 points

2013 total - 24.22 points
2012 total +150.36 points
2011 total +370.78 points
2010 total +189.33 points

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