UA-33754892-1 Archives for 08 June 2014 | Jason Kelly Golf

Jason Kelly Golf

Golf Betting Tips

US Open

The 2014 US Open is played on Pinehurst Number 2 at the Pinehurst Resort in North Carolina..... and I am here!

A good friend of mine, Simon Griffiths, came out to Orlando with me at the start of May to play regional qualifying at Lake Wales Golf Club. I missed by one, he shot 5 under and qualified easily. He then went to Walton Heath for final qualifying and finished second. So, ‘Coach Kelly’ made the trip back out. I always knew I would make it to Pinehurst this year!

In fairness to Si, if there is an event built for him you would think it should be the US Open. He drives the ball as good as anyone and hits his irons pure. However, this isn’t set up like a normal US Open. There is no rough and the greens are raised and surrounded by tight, grainy runoffs. It’s not a standard US Open set up but it is definitely ‘US Open difficult’. Not an ideal set up for Si, but he has been playing very nicely in practice.

The course is 7562 yards and plays it. Everyone is saying it plays and looks like a links course, that it’s fiery and fast, but the fairways really aren’t like that. They are bermuda grass and feel like a cushioned carpet when you walk on them. The ball doesn’t chase like you would expect. The approach shots are the same. With so many par fours over 475 yards a player is going to go in to the greens with a lot of club, the greens are raised so if you fly it on it will hit the hard green and shoot over the back. If you try and chase one in it will snag quickly in the grainy bermuda. Its difficult.

Like I said, there is no rough, but every hole is framed by natural waste areas. Areas of sand and long, clumpy, wispy grass. These areas really are a lottery, you can hit it in and be fine but a yard either way you could be taking an unplayable. It’s patchy and inconsistent. But, as we know, if you are going to win you have to play well and be lucky.

The biggest test of the week, without question, is around the greens. Like I said, they are raised and every green runs off in almost every direction. When the ball has finished you can often be 6 to 8ft below the putting surface. Then you have choices. You can try and putt it but the grain in the bermuda will try and grab it and it bounces. You can try and chip it but the grain will grab the club and it’s easy to duff and if you do get it right the greens are firm and fast and tend to run away from the run off areas. The third option is something else, like a rescue or a chip and run. Si has actually bought a chipper this week to experiment with! Either way, with any of the three options, you need imagination, feel and confidence.

The things with the run offs is players will end up there a lot. The leader of greens in regulation at the end of the week may be averaging 9 or 10 per day. The greens average 6400 square feet which is bang on average on tour, but in reality, the bit of the green the ball will actually stay on is tiny. Like table tops. Pretty much every approach shot the player will be aiming at the same point on the green, no matter where the flag is. The only time this will change is when you are aiming to miss the green in a place that makes the chip easier. You can’t short side yourself, if you do shots will fritter away very quickly.

This is the 2nd green. It normally plays a little down wind but it’s 507 yards, par 4. You can see the percentage slope on the green. Anything over 3% slope with the speed of these greens isn’t really stopping so you can see the first 8 yards or so the ball will come back off the front, especially on the front right, the back 5 yards will run off, 10 yards from the right of the green will run off right and 5 yards from the left will run off left. So where this green appears large, 35 deep, it only has a hittable green of about 22 feet at most, and is narrow. You can see by the contours short that you can’t really run the approach shot in but long is dead. So you have a rock hard table top to try and hit with potentially a very long club. Therefore, knowing the right miss is vital.

So, basically, you have to drive it good, good iron play will help but perhaps not as key as course management (experience), then the real test starts and the ultimate separation of the players has to be on and around the greens.

I like, in order, Adam Scott, Bubba Watson, Sergio Garcia, Dustin Johnson, John Senden, Webb Simpson, Matt Kuchar, Ryan Palmer, Zach Johnson, Brendon Todd, Jimmy Walker, Harris English, Rory McIlroy, Keegan Bradley, Justin Rose, Kevin Na, Graham DeLaet, Hideki Matsuyama, Jordon Spieth.

Let’s take Dustin out first. I love most of his stats and his price is great at 33/1 but, his putting is in free fall. Last week he had slipped to 79th in putting, now 96th. He also ranks 82nd in scrambling. These are linked, obviously, but are off putting.

Webb Simpson goes next. Improved effort last week and 9th in putting but long game still looks average. 40/1 is a huge overreaction in price on one good closing round, but he has the short game to do well.

Ryan Palmer, got on the list as he represents great value at 150/1. The price is too big but it is hard to back a wild driver who ranks 101st in scrambling and 75th in putting.

Zach Johnson makes the list based on his early season form but he hasn’t been firing for a few starts now. Again, it is a putting slump. He is normally a banker for a top 10 in the putting rankings, and, as a short hitter he needs to be. He ranks 43rd now. The rest of his stats are fine but this backward trend is off putting, even at 66/1.

Bubba Watson’s long game gives him a huge chance, his length and shotmaking ability are huge assets and he hits loads of greens. He also ranks 1st in bogey avoidance. 79th in scrambling and 53rd in putting are not great and this will test his patience. I would have him at 25/1 so 18/1 is too short.

For me Brendon Todd looked like he may well be a bit of dark horse for this. The 8th in scrambling, 7th in putting combo is eye catching. He is a little short from the tee but seems to be improving week in week out. 100/1, and already a winner this year I guess means he is not really a dark horse, but he certainly has some appeal.

Jimmy Walker is capable of anything here. Any bomber who is putting as well as he is this year is potentially a player at any tournament. 3 wins shows this. Walker has an awful lot going for him, maybe more than any other, and 50/1 looks fair, but he does feel like a risk to back as the 192nd in driving accuracy and 99th in scrambling suggests.

Harris English is in a little bit of a slump but is a hell of a player when firing. He is streaky and you feel like he will come back at any time. 90/1 is ok but for him to reverse his form and improve not only his driving accuracy but also his scrambling (83rd), and putting (113th). Probably best left alone.

Rory is a much touted favourite. He is long and can flight it high which helps but, apart from some magic that he showed in the PGA at Wentworth, his short game has been very average. A favourite here can not rank 172nd in scrambling and 71st in putting. He makes more birdies than anyone, but he has to counter the his mistakes he inevitably makes. He has also been so inconsistent round to round. For me, you look how solid Scott has been and wonder how Rory is favourite. Not for me at 11/1.

Keegan Bradley is a fair price at 66/1 but ranks too low in keys stats. 99th in driving accuracy, 67th in greens, 58th in putting. His scrambling is much improved this season which is a plus for him but I am not convinced by him for this, he just hasn’t contended enough.

Justin Rose I think is too short at 28/1, I would have him nearer 40/1. His long game is not where it should be, especially the driving accuracy (146th). His short game is good which gives him a chance, but poor driving, 77th in putting and a bad price makes him one to watch, but not to back.

Kevin Na is a great price at 125/1. His long game is not up to much, but 19th in birdies, 2nd in bogey avoidance, 25th in putting, 12th in scoring and 2nd in scrambling definitely do give him a chance. My only issue is that he has played one of the easiest schedules this year so his stats are flattered somewhat. I am very tempted by him, but will leave him alone.

Graham DeLaet is the opposite to Na, his long game gives him a great chance but his short game may hinder, and he has played a tough schedule. 89th in scrambling, 130th in putting make him hard to back, and even the best long games are going to chip and putt a lot, maybe, at best 8 or 9 times per round. 100/1 is fair.

Hideki Matsuyama was awesome in the Majors last year and was impressive when winning the Memorial a couple of weeks ago. So good was his long game that he became only the 22nd player since 2004 to win losing strokes to the field putting. However, during the course of the season this has not been the case and his keys stats do not really shine as one would expect. 102nd in greens, 95th in bogey avoidance, 97th in putting. He does make a lot of birdies ranking 5th. His stats are perhaps poor as he played a lot of the early season injured, but he is still hard to back at 50/1.

Jordon Spieth didn’t impress me when I watched him at Sawgrass. He hit it very average but his short game was pure. His stats reflect this. 96th in driving distance, 126th in accuracy, 93rd in greens but 11th in scrambling, 7th in scoring and 28/1. I think the short game is massive this week but I can’t back him at 28/1.

So, Adam Scott at 14/1. I think he has to be a bet. When you see 27th in driving distance, 56th in driving accuracy, 25th in greens, 3rd in birdies, 5th in scoring, 4th in bogey avoidance, 41st in scrambling and great form whats not to like. My only concern is what he does around the greens. He can’t really putt it too often with the broom handle. This is the only negative. I think he has to be backed.

Matt Kuchar ranks 6th in scrambling and 12th in putting. He has a huge chance and has the patience, the game, the form and experience to go well. There is nothing not to like, apart from he hits it a little short, but he hits his hybrid great, like Jimenez. I like him at 28/1.

Sergio Garcia looks an incredible fit for this. The negatives are his injury withdrawal from the PGA and his driving has not been of his normal high standard. The pluses outweigh this. 8th in greens, 9th in birdies, 1st in scoring, 5th in bogey avoidance and 5th in scrambling. The stats are so pure for this and 33/1 is a good price in my book.

Last up, John Senden. 100/1 is a nice price about the Aussie who excels on the Australian sand belt courses. This is similar. 10th greens, 13th bogey avoidance, 56th scrambling and 13th in putting. He’s a bet again.

US Open

0.5 points each way John Senden @ 100/1
2 points each way Sergio Garcia @ 33/1
2 points win Adam Scott @ 14/1
1 point each way Matt Kuchar @ 33/1
0.5 points each way Brendon Todd @ 100/1

US Open Special

2.5 point Simon Griffiths to win his 3 ball @ 2/1 Vs Constable and Quinn. Tee’s off 14.31 EST

2014 running total =  -34.6 points. This week’s investment so far 12.5 points. This weeks P&L =

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

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