UA-33754892-1 Archives for 06 August 2017 | Jason Kelly Golf

Jason Kelly Golf

Golf Betting Tips

USPGA Championship 2017

Quail Hollow produces great champions. The list of winners of the Wells Fargo, which the course has hosted from 2003-2016, is rather impressive. Rory twice, Fowler, Furyk, Singh, Anthony Kim and of course, Mr Tiger Woods. He seems to be on every achievement list in golf!

We can learn from these players but only to an extent. Quail Hollow has built three new holes since hosting the last PGA Tour event here in 2016. In part for this Championship, in part for the 2021 Presidents Cup. The course has also changed the order of the holes and has put new turf on all 18 greens, 4 of which are completely new greens. Familiarity will help, but it is not essential, the main characteristics remain the same. The biggest differences are the greens switching from bent to Bermuda grass and the par changing from 72 to 71.

The characteristics I refer to are big hitting and patience.
Derek Ernst won at Quail Hollow once. He stood out to me as he was statistically awful at the time. He had only made one cut ever as a pro entering the week. The only weapon he had was length. He was the outlier amongst the solid winners here. A little like Si Woo Kim and The Players.

In general, successful players at Quail Hollow are bombers who know how to incorporate good course management. The last three winners (
Hahn 2016, Rory 2015, Holmes 2014) ranked 26th, 1st and 3rd in driving distance. They ranked 10th, 1st and 5th in Strokes Gained Tee to Green, 11th, 1st and 2nd in strokes gained from the tee but only 42nd, 1st and 64th in strokes gained approach. They won their events with excellent driving and solid putting.

In 2016 players managed to only hit 51% of fairways and 58% of greens. Anytime you see a par 71 at 7600 yards you know length has to be an advantage, especially with the rain that is forecast to hit on a daily basis. There are 5 par 4s over 480 yards. We know
Furyk has a good record here, he was a great driver as he was accurate and not long. There is no doubt other parts of his game were very much on when he was winning and contending here.

So ideally we need a long hitter who can putt on Bermuda greens (Champion G-12 Ultradwarf Bermuda). The bent grass greens were replaced after the 2013 edition and replaced with Miniverde Ultradwarf Bermuda, so the three players highlighted above did win on a form of Bermuda greens, but not the current strain.

A good argument could easily be made for
Rory. He has won here twice, is the all time leading money winner at Quail Hollow, has the course record (61) and tournament record (267) and is coming off top 5s in his last two starts. When he is on he is a fine driver of the ball, although his misses recently are bigger than before. However, the big question mark for me isn't his long game or even his caddy, it is still the same old story of not having a good enough short game to save himself. If he is off on one day, or even for 9 holes, he plays his way out of contention as he can't save himself. He needs to be on for 72 holes tee to green. 7/1 is a very bad price.

Matsuayama was awesome last week. How long can he remain the most underrated golfer in the world, even with all the success he has had?? He was incredible tee to green last week, which he seems to be every time he tees it up. For Hideki it is all about holing a few putts and he seems to do this best on fast, bent grass greens like Scottsdale, Memorial and Firestone last week. 12/1 is fair and he can have another big week.

Fowler, like in every Major this year, I am desperate to back. Statistically he is my pick and he has won on the course in 2012. He finished 4th at Quail Hollow in 2016 and stormed through the field last weekend after making 4 doubles in his first two rounds. He is 16/1, if he were 20/1+ I would have been a backer.

Spieth I am going to make the same argument as I made against him at Birkdale! I don't think he drives it good enough. He got away with a couple of wide ones at Birkdale. I think it was the 6th hole in the final round he hit a snapper that hit the crowd to stay out of a bush and we all know about the block cut onto the range on the 13th. Spieth to me is like a limited ability version of Woods. He has that uncanny ability to hit big shots under the gun, but he can't hit the type of shots Woods hit; the towering iron shots, the blistering drives. He is a great player, but not for me this week.

Koepka is debuting at Quail Hollow and is in nice form. Won the US Open, 6th in The Open and 17th last week in the WGC Bridgestone. Everyone appreciates his big hitting, his power. What is underestimated is the fact he ranks 10th in putting on the PGA Tour. This is the type of player we are looking for, a bomber who can putt. 25/1 seems a fair price. He has to be considered. He ranks 140th in strokes gained approach and 73rd in strokes gained short game. That's a surprisingly poor combination. A worrying combination. One that probably explains his poor early season form rather than his recent strong play.

I quite like
Casey for this, his numbers are good and he has finished 5th in two of his last 3 starts and boasts 5 top 10s in his last 9. The problem with Casey is he just doesn't win anymore. He used to have a killer instinct. We haven't seen this for years and he appears happy to plod along and pick up some serious pocket money. When he has had a chance to win recently he has capitulated very quickly. I wouldn't put another top 10 or even a place past him but there's not much value in the 40/1.

Dustin Johnson has not been the same player since withdrawing from The Masters with a back injury. His early season form and perfect fit here would have seen him at a very short price if he had maintained that level. 12/1 isn't bad and he doesn't look a long way off. He hit it great in Canada when finishing 8th and putted well at Firestone last week. If he combines those two things here he will win. To back a 12/1 chance you would have to have more confidence than that.

Tony Finau could be a bit of a sneaky one at 80/1. This guy can really bomb it, which makes his incredibly consistant play this season even more impressive. He has 6 top 10s this year including 3 in his last 5 starts. 4th in Strokes Gained from the tee, 30th in strokes gained approach but a lowly 143rd in strokes gained putting. Interestingly he won in Puerto Rico last year on Bermuda greens. I like him.

I like
Francesco Molinari too. He is 150/1 and is statistically way better than that price. He finished 19th here in his only start making only 6 bogies during a tough scoring week. This course may be a little long for him but you could say that about Firestone too, where he posted 69-65 on the weekend to finish 24th. I know he doesn't match our profile but he is worth a few quid each way, his ball striking will be rewarded here.

My main bet for the week is going to be
Jon Rahm. He has never had a top 20 in a Major but he will have plenty. The hype around him has died down a little the last few weeks and this is a great chance for him. This is where other great young players made their mark. This was the venue for Rory's first win in the US in 2010. Same for Fowler in 2012. They were both young players who, at the time, played with a pretty heavy draw. I know winning a Major is different from winning the Wells Fargo, but this looks a great fit for the Spaniard.

He is the best driver of the ball in the field and ranks first in strokes gained driving, 24th in strokes gained approach and 57th in putting. He will know how to putt Bermuda from his Spain days and many college events. He ranks 3rd in both the total strokes gained stat and All Around Ranking. One poor round cost him a good finish last week at Firestone, a 2nd round 77 sandwiched between rounds of 67,67,68. He is a 28/1 chance for this and is as close as anyone to the big hitting, great driving, good putter combination we have been looking for and unlike Fowler and Dustin, he is a fair price and unlike Koepka, the rest of his game is well above average.

Below are my top 10 in order of the average of my 4 simulations:

Dustin Johnson

Rickie Fowler
Jon Rahm
Hideki Matsuyama
Jordan Spieth
Sergio Garcia
Francesco Molinari
Tony Finau
Justin Thomas
Paul Casey
Adam Scott
Kyle Stanley

Enjoy the golf.


USPGA Championships - Outright

3.6 points each way Jon Rahm @ 28/1 (-3.6)
1.25 points each way Tony Finau @ 80/1 (-2.5)
0.66 points each way Francesco Molinari @ 150/1 (+19.31)

USPGA Championships - 72 Hole Matches

6 points Marc Leishman @ 10/11 to beat Bubba Watson (Betfair Sportsbook) (+5.45)

(Already Advised)

Antepost 2017 Season
4 points Rory McIlroy to win a Major in 2017 @ 2/1 (Bet Victor)

This week's P&L =
This week’s investment = 16.96 points

This week's Outright P&L = +12.21
This weeks's Outright Investment = 10.96 points

This week's matches/specials/in running P&L = +5.45
This week's matches/specials/in running Investment = 6 points

2017 Total P&L = -64.91
2017 Total Investment =  1198.62 points

2017 Outright Bets P&L =  -152.82
2017 Outright Bets Investment = 570.08 points

2017 matches/specials/in running P&L =  +87.91
2017 matches/specials/in running investment = 717.9 points

2016 total +3.88 points
2015 total -116.28 points
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
6 Year Total +469.87 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 '1 point' signifies £10.