UA-33754892-1 Archives for 06 May 2012 | Jason Kelly Golf

Jason Kelly Golf

Golf Betting Tips

The Players Championship

Atrocious picks last week. Mickelson never really figured after a slow start, Bradley missed his second cut in as many weeks, Bo Van Pelt walked off after 9 holes of his second round and Jimenez shot his worst score in years to miss the cut in the Spanish Open. Willett was our only hope going in to the weekend, a quick 79 on Saturday extinguished any hope of a return and our 17 points were gone. We are now only 13.13 points up for the year or £131.30 to a £10 stake. Need to get it right this week.

I like John Senden (100/1), Bo Van Pelt (!00/1), Phil Mickelson (22/1), Tiger Woods (25/1), Lee Westwood (14/1), Rory Mcilroy (10/1), Keegan Bradley (66/1), Justin Rose (45/1), Ben Crane (66/1) and Jason Dufner (40/1).

To try and pick the winner of The Players Championship is never an easy task. It appears the big guns have fairly modest records and there are a few other players who find form every time they arrive at PGA Tour Headquarters. Sawgrass is really an accuracy test. It plays firm and fast with brutal rough in places. Experienced players do well here and, similarly to Augusta, players need course experience. Westwood is the most likely winner in my view. There is no better long game in world golf at the moment and he has an ok record at Sawgrass. He is number one in greens in regulation on Tour this year, 14th in total driving and 3rd in scoring average. There are two concerns. Firstly is his short game. 89th in scrambling, 186th in scrambling from the rough and 141st in putting. The question is can his long game be of a high enough standard for the most part to compensate for a weak short game. I am leaning towards yes. I would rather be on someone who will hit 70%+ of greens with a suspect short game than someone who will have to rely on his short game to see them round. 14/1 Westwood is about the right price and is tempting. The second concern is his ability to win big events. He strolls to victory in events in Asia when he does not care so much, he does struggle to get across the line in big events. You would want to back him each way and 3.5/1 the place is not great value.

John Senden is a very similar player to Westwood. We have been with him a fair bit this year and after opening 66, 68 last week it looked like we had given up on him a week early. He sits 4th in greens in regulation and 10th in total driving. His weekend was disappointing last week (72, 74 when in contention) and he has missed the cut at Sawgrass the last two years. 100/1 looks big and for me we are getting an ultra accurate player at a great price.

I have been quick to back Bo Van Pelt this year and I do think he is a classy player. He has a hit or miss record at Sawgrass but his game is the perfect fit. 100/1 is a big price but understandable as he has a wrist injury. He walked off after 27 last week and also withdrew from Bay Hill because of it. This makes him hard to back this week, if he were fully fit he would definitely be in the staking plan and one wonders how much his preparation has suffered. On Twitter he said, “Hated to leave Quail Hollow early, 2nd WD of my career. Left wrist is the issue. Hopefully a few days rest will allow me to go next week.” So my advice is to have a small interest, 100/1 Van Pelt is hard to ignore but he did cost us 4 points last week. I think when you are 5 over par after 27 it is easy to ‘protect an injury’.

Mickelson won this in 2007 but has not finished in the top 15 since. He ranked 5th in greens in regulation last week and considering how good his putting has been this season you would have expected to see him contend. I don’t think he drives it good enough for this course and 22/1 is short enough about him.

Tiger Woods is 25/1. I would very much doubt he has been this price since before the 1997 Masters and he is very hard to resist at such generous odds. He won this in 2001 and was 2nd in 2000. He also has good memories from winning one of his US Amateurs here. Since then his form has been in and out at Sawgrass including two withdrawals the last two years, his form at Sawgrass is not very Tiger-like. Last week was his 8th career missed cut and obviously sets off a few alarm bells but if you delve a little deeper I don’t think he was that far away. His driving accuracy was above the field average last week, he averaged 327 yards in round two from the tee and hit 78% of the greens. 33 putts was the obvious problem. He comes here under pressure and with a lot of questions to answer. There have been a fair few respected journalists, commentators and former players who have been more than critical this last week which won’t make it any easier but I do think it comes down to wether he can turn his putting around or not. He ranks 18th in putting this season so it obviously is not far away and last time we took a chance on him to regain form with the flat stick he rewarded us with a win at Bay Hill. Don’t get me wrong, I am not a fan of what he is doing at the moment. I think he is swinging it horrifically, I think his alignment is appalling, I think misses are way too big and his focus is not quite in the right place but in my view he should be a 14-16/1 chance and that makes 25/1 look big to me.

Rory is an interesting runner this week. The 10/1 favourite has been unreal over the last year. Top 5’s seem a near on certainty whenever and wherever he tees up. However he has not made a cut in two starts at Sawgrass. His driving was unreal last week at Quail Hollow. He averaged over 330 yards from the tee, the longest in the field. But some of his approach work, especially with his wedges, was seriously mediocre. He led the field in birdies with 23, all his mistakes seemed clumsy and he is obviously close to playing to a level which makes him untouchable to many, but I am not sure it will be here this week.

Justin Rose has been playing great this year so has to be considered. He has 8 starts at Sawgrass, 4 missed cuts and has only one top 40. Sawgrass seems to be a horses for courses venue and this is obviously not a course for this horse.

I shortlisted Jason Dufner before he won in New Orleans last time out but did not back him because I thought his price was too short. This course is perfect for him. He drives it straight and is a fantastic iron player. A 6th place finish last year shows he likes it here too. He is very tempting but again 40/1 in this field seems tight to me.

A bet I do like is Ben Crane to be first round leader. You can back this at 55/1. His opening rounds since 2006 are 68, DNP, 70, 65, 67 and 68. He says Sawgrass is his favourite course and is in decent form. He shot a second day 64 last week on route to finishing 21st (73, 74 on a disappointing weekend). I think at 66/1 he is worth a small each way on the outright too. His inconsistency is a little worrying this season but he is a horse for this course having finished 6th, 5th and 4th in 2008, 2009 and 2010.

Keegan Bradley is coming off two missed cuts. He putted awfully on day 2 last week, even four putting the 10th from 12ft. His long game was not up to much either hitting one fairway in his second round. But this means he has slipped out to a very tasty price. If he had not played the last two weeks he would be a 33/1 chance here. 66/1 is big even for a player with just one Sawgrass start (finished 72nd last year) and lacking a little form. He is a very strong player and worth a little saver.

The Players Championship

1 point each way John Senden @ 100/1

1.5 points each way Tiger Woods @ 25/1
1 point each way Ben Crane @ 66/1
0.5 points each way Bo Van Pelt @ 100/1
0.5 points each way Keegan Bradey @ 66/1

Special Bet

1 point each way Ben Crane to be 1st round leader @ 55/1

2012 running total +13.13 points. This weeks investment 11 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.

Twitter: @jasonkellygolf