UA-33754892-1 Archives for 05 July 2015 | Jason Kelly Golf

Jason Kelly Golf

Golf Betting Tips

Scottish Open and John Deere Classic

The Scottish Open has become a great event. It now boasts an incredible line up playing on an old classic links course. It shows you what the European Tour could be and is capable of. Having said this, one can't help but believe the success of this event still revolves around the vision of Phil Mickelson and his old friend Bob Diamond of Barclays fame. It was their passion to create a big, well supported event the week before The Open. A passion where Scotland, the home of golf, would their own Open which reflects their position and importance in world golf. Barclays and Bob Diamond abandoned the event when the R&A stood firm and would not allow them to use Turnberry as a venue, without the course being struck from The Open rota. A controversial decision as St Andrews continues to host the Dunhill Links, as it did at the time. But lets not get into the R&A debate now!!

Anyway, I love the look of the market in Scotland, perhaps too much. I could back a bunch of players and the hardest thing is trying to separate them. Rose is obviously a worthy favourite and is getting close to his form of last year. He is definitely on an upward trend and will love this test. However, it is tough to dwell on his chances too long with much better value lurking behind, although 12/1 fairly represents his chances. My main concern with Rose would be his driving. He hits it pretty wild for someone who is admired so highly by so many. His putting is not a strength either, but he is the man to beat.

Mickelson, Grace, Fowler and Lowry make this a fun market. Mickelson has a great record in this event but until he won The Open nobody thought he was a 'links player'. Grace's game was described by Els years ago, and regurgitated over and over agin at the US Open, as perfect for links. Fowler has a reputation as a real shotmaker that should be well suited to links. Lowry has a well deserved reputation as a links specialist. However, all four seem overrated in a very competitive tournament, perhaps for the aforementioned reasons.

Mickelson has in fact been consistent over the past two years, unfortunately it has been consistently at a level that hasn't seen him as competitive as we would expect at the top level. Fowler was voted, alongside Poulter, as the most overrated player on the PGA Tour. His win at The Players seems to have quashed this thought for most, but that appears now to have been a week out of the blue or, dare I say it, 9 holes that seems to have justified him as a top player. He doesn't win often and although his Major performances were impressive last year, he isn't that competitive often, and rarely wins. Grace is a winner and I can see why he is getting backed. 25/1 has gone and 22/1 is available in a couple of places but he is now generally a 20/1 chance or shorter. I don't see that as a great price. These fairways average 25 yards in width, he is far from being a straight hitter. Lowry has put in some strong performances in big events but still can't be seen as a player that if he plays good he wins, as, in my opinion, if others here play good they will beat him. I just think there are better players around. He is a good player and posses a great short game but one has to think that if a Jimmy Walker, a Brooks Koepka, a Ryan Palmer or a Matt Kuchar plays good, then they beat him.

So lets look at them. Matt Kuchar's price is so widely spread. 22/1 in more than one place and 35/1 in more than one place. It is rare to see such a spread but I can understand it. He hasn't been performing at a great level, in fact his lowest level at more than 3 years, but that level is still better than most. He drives it straight, has a great short game and putts well. I think he is open to bundles of improvement after a few weeks off. At 33/1 he looks a good bet but I actually prefer him for next week. Kuchar tends to play well when playing a lot and isn't always great off a break. He is 80/1, 90/1 in a place for The Open next week and when one considers, rather surprisingly, that from the past two Opens at St Andrews the winners strongest stats have been driving accuracy and scrambling, then Kuchar fits the profile well. I would rather back him for that.

Jimmy Walker is the best player in the field in my view. He is however on a slight downward trend since a great start to the year. He can overpower any course and is putting as well as anyone. 28/1 is fair but I am not going to back him this week as there is a little doubt in regard to his recent from.

Brook Koepka is of interest at 33/1. He has won in Scotland before, on the Challenge Tour and like Walker can boss any golf course. He has played well on his last two starts in the States. Before that he was doing a lot of great stuff mixed in with a few costly errors. It would be no surprise to see him win but I am not over excited about his price on the basis that the course may not suit entirely and he is error prone at the moment.

I do like Ryan Palmer though at 55/1. He is not dissimilar to Walker and Koepka as in he overpowers courses and has the ability to take it very low when on. I am keen on the Americans this week as the forecast is for the occasional shower but not too much wind. They are also incredibly good players who seem a little underrated when they're travelling. Many 'average Americans' have showed us in the past they don't travel too badly. Dimarco is one that stands out, Steele did well in France last week too and even Kevin Stadler and Boo Weekly should be noted, two you wouldn't expect to travel well at all. But back to Palmer. He plays golf at a very high level and even though the last few months have not been his best he still has a 10th and 22nd in his last 3 starts. His form in this event isn't great, 58-51, but he is desperate for a win anywhere. He will be playing hard here, not just warming up. I think he has been competing when playing poorly for a while and I think he has a lot of improvement coming. 55/1 is worth chancing. I would have him amongst the 33/1 runners.

Having mentioned Brandon Steel, I almost backed him last week in France last week. He was around the same price for that and I do rate him as a player, but he should be a little bigger in this line up.

Russell Knox returns to Scotland this week. He has become one of the most consistent performers on the PGA Tour in the last 18 months. The two negatives against him are his one start in this event resulted in a 27th last year and secondly he withdrew from his last event two weeks ago. One would hope this isn't injury related but I have not seen anything suggesting he has 'health issues'. I think he is worth having onside this week. Like I said, he is ultra consistent, his numbers are on a par with Rose and Kuchar at the moment and his price is much bigger. 66/1 is a very decent price about the Scotsman.

Ben Martin has a 4th and a 10th in his last 5 starts. He was also lying 5th after two rounds at the US Open before posting 86 on Saturday on route to finishing 65th. The fact is he is a very good steady player (despite the 86!!). 80/1 is too big to ignore.

Beyond Hun An was heading for a place for us last week at the French Open last week. He was 5 under for the Sunday playing the 16th where he made a 7 on the par 3 to slip back. It was the story of his week. Like Kopeka of late, he was playing 16 holes a day which would see him a mile clear at the top of the board but the other two holes were never bogies, they were doubles or trebles, or on the occasion relayed above, a quad. The fact is, statistically he progresses week on week. Grillo (80/1) is numerically close to him, but where An progresses Grillo is in a 4 tournament decline. Of course if Grillo returns to his mean then 80/1 is big but it doesn't appear likely. An is a fair price at 50/1 and is taken alongside Palmer, over Koepka and Walker, to play aggressive golf and whilst hopefully limiting the mistakes.

A player who I think is worth a punt at a big price is Andrew McArthur. He has 4 top 15s in his last 9 starts including a 2nd and a 3rd on the Challenge Tour. He has two top 20s on the European Tour. His last start was in Scotland on the Challenge Tour where he finished 22nd but was 9th entering the final round. In his main Tour starts he has finished 18-34 (finished with a 77)- 13- 43-45. Not world beating but he has had poor weekends. This often happens when guys are not full time on Tour where their goal is to make the cut then they lose direction or focus over the weekend. He has a nice draw alongside Mark Tullo and ultra consistent Maximilian Kieffer in the afternoon on Thursday which may see him miss the rain forecast for Friday afternoon. I think the 300/1 on offer is worth a speculative interest for a player who grew up and hour west in Lanark. I would recommend a more realistic or conservative approach and back him to finish top 20 at 9/1 (14/1 with Stan James) or 20/1 to 25/1 for a top 10 (33/1 with Stan James) but with most firms betting each way 6 places this week I think it is worth keep the 'dreamy jackpot' alive!

In the John Deere it looks much more simple but not as attractive. Spieth is head and shoulders above the others but that doesn't make me remotely tempted by the 7/2 on offer. He has been on holiday with friends and may not be tournament sharp for this. Robert Streb looks a decent price at 40/1 to go one better than his playoff loss last week and is my next best to Spieth. Having the putter back in the bag shouldn't hurt too much, although statistically he was better with his wedge than his putter last week, gaining 1.2 shots putting over the closing 9 holes! The other worth an interest to reverse current and course form is William McGirt at 150/1. It is a hunch of mine rather than something carved in stone as his results have been poor, hence the price, but statistically he has remained steady and has plenty of room to improve into against average opposition, bar one!

As a final thought, again looking forward to next week's Open Championship, is Ian Poulter. For those who have been following this for a few years may be aware of my general disdain for Poulter. How my emotions have made me go against him in match bets etc. He is the only player who I find myself making the age old mistake of betting with my heart over my head with. I just never thought he was that good. This year he is proving me wrong and he has made huge leaps forward. He always has had the belief, the one thing that made him good, made him competitive. Now he has some game to go with that. I think he will warm up ok this week without too many heroics but I like him for next week. He knows St Andrews well and I think he will see McIlroy's absence as a huge chance. A lot of people criticise equipment changes and rarely praise them, the reason being it very rarely is a positive move, but Poulter's game has blossomed since switching to Titleist. He ranks in the top 100 of driving accuracy (60) and greens in regulation (49) for the first time in years and amazingly ranks 39th in strokes gained tee to green. He ranks 47th in scrambling but has always been more impressive around the greens when it is tight rather than lush, which he will find next week. 80/1 general and 90/1 in a place seems worth a play, for what would be horrible yet awesome television!

Scottish Open

0.75 points each way Byeong Hun An @ 50/1

0.75 points each way Ryan Palmer @ 55/1

0.75 points each way Ben Martin @ 80/1

0.75 points each way Russell Knox @ 66/1

0.25 points each way Andrew McArthur @ 300/1

John Deere Classic

0.75 points each way Robert Streb @ 40/1

0.5 points each way William McGirth @150/1


The Open

1 point each way Ian Poulter @ 80/1 (BetVictor 90/1, 7 places or Betfair fixed odds 90/1 8 places)

1 point each way Matt Kuchar @ 80/1 (BetVictor 90/1)

2015 running total =  -88.64 points. This week’s investment 13 points. This weeks P&L = -13 points

(Already advised)

US Money List 2015

1.5 points each way Hideki Matsuyama @ 80/1
0.5 points each way Brooks Koepka @ 150/1

The Open
1.5 points each way Bubba Watson @ 40/1

2014 total -103.98 points
2013 total - 24.22 points
2012 total +150.36 points
2011 total +370.78 points
2010 total +189.33 points
5 Year Total +582.27 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.