UA-33754892-1 Archives for 12 January 2014 | Jason Kelly Golf

Jason Kelly Golf

Golf Betting Tips

Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship and Humana Challenge

Last week Matsuyama withdrew before the off, so stakes returned. This is the second time we have backed him before he has become a non-runner. The fact he has had a few weeks off and travelled to Hawaii would suggest he was over the injury, but obviously not. His wrist remains a concern for backers of the young Asian star. At least he is not playing a few holes before withdrawing. That would be hard to accept!

Our other bet, Justin Hicks, got off to a hot start, -4 thru 14, before making a triple on the straightforward 15th. He never really fired after and our 100/1 chance finished 51st. We lost 1.5 points on the week.

A player who I highlighted last week, and impressed, and could come back to near his best this year, was Padraig Harrington. If he has simplified his approach and given up on his obsession with distance he could be one to follow this year.

This week there are two good events. In Europe it is the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship and in the States, the Bill Clinton presented Humana Challenge.

In Abu Dhabi the rough is up and there is going to be a higher emphasis on finding fairways. It is still a long course and length is an advantage. There a few players who have very strong records here. Most notably, Kaymer and Mcilroy. Kaymer has been practicing very hard this week. There are two ways to take that. Firstly, positively, he may be up for this week. Secondly, negatively, his game is not where he wants it to be. One has to sway a little towards the latter and with his price already compressed because of course form, I think the 16/1 is better left alone.

Rory, as I said, has impressive numbers here. He won last time out in Australia and has, by all accounts, found a ball he likes. But having seen some of his golf over the last 12 months it is very difficult to be a player at 6/1. That is way too short in a field of this quality and it is hard to forget so quickly.

Stenson at 8/1 and Garcia at 10/1 have a lot more appeal than Rory. They are the two to be with if you don’t mind taking short prices or backing win only. It is hard to separate the two. Stenson has lived in this part of the world (Dubai) so may feel more at home, but then is a slightly shorter price. Either way the course sets up beautifully for them both. Don’t be put off by Stenson signing with Callaway. He played the clubs and ball last year and did ok!

The reason why I won’t back one of these two outright is the strength in behind. I think Stenson or Garcia are the most likely winners but look at the guys they have to beat. There are a lot of very capable players. Mickelson could be anything at 16/1. He finished 37th on his only start here in 2011 but claims he has driven the ball beautifully with a new driver in the off season. If this holds true we could see something special. He ranked 149th in driving accuracy last season using a 3 wood, any improvement in this stat would make him hard to beat.

The next few in behind this, Bjorn, Donald, Luiten, Donaldson (defending champ), Grace, Hansen, Weisberger are all very real challengers. It’s a tough market. Therefore I am going to make a play on three at bigger prices.

Jaidee does not necessarily fit the profile of a player that should go well here but he has done. Jaidee has finished 13,13,46,mc,9 and has finished 10,9,10 in his last three starts. He is not intimidated by the big name players and could spring a surprise here. Of course if one of the big guns get going Jaidee may not be able to keep up, but there are a lot of plusses about this 66/1 chance.

The other two I am going to back are probably sharing a room this week, and I am backing them for very different reasons from Jaidee. Brooks Koepka and Peter Uihlein. Koepka has not done much since almost winning in the States, but he hasn’t played much either. 100/1 is big for a player with loads of potential on a course that should be perfect. Same story with Uihlein, full of potential and looks to have the perfect game for the desert. 80/1 is good.

They are in the desert in the States too, Palm Springs. I played these courses last year and you can see why you have to play every three holes in at least one under to compete. -25 won this last year. Brian Gay prevailed from a three way playoff. He hit 81% of fairways and got up and down 10 out of 12 times. He ranked 2nd in driving accuracy, 4th in greens, 4th in scrambling, 25th in putting, 42nd in proximity to the hole and 75th in driving distance. The top finish by a winner of a stat category was Bryce Molder who finished 16th, leading the putting stat. One would think that putting is important to get to these deep numbers, and of course it is, but to me it shows that even on easy, resort courses with very little rough, every aspect of your game needs to be good. Wedges from the short grass are easier to get close than out of even slight rough and bogies must be avoided.

Webb Simpson and Zach Johnson are very worthy favourites. But much like Garcia and Stenson, I just can’t take them in a field of this size on a courses that doesn’t eliminate any players. Although I am sure these very in form players will have plenty of support at 14/1.

Instead of telling you the players I don’t like lets look at the ones I do. I am going to back Charles Howell III at 33/1 and John Senden at 80/1.

CH3 lost in a playoff last year and despite what you hear on the TV, his ball striking, especially his driving accuracy, is his weakness. His shortgame stats are awesome. 1st in scrambling and 31st in putting. He finished 5th and 19th in the respective categories last season. He has gone from 43rd to 19th in greens in regulation. He has finished 26,13,49,2 here the last four years and 5,7,27,6,8 in his last 5 events. I think 33/1 is very fair.

Senden is interesting. I normally think he would struggle to keep up with the low scoring but his game has changed. We know him as one of the best ball strikers around but this year he ranks 7th in putting as well. His long game remains very tidy. He has two top 10s in 5 starts here and has two top 5’s in his last 3 events worldwide. 80/1 looks big to me.

Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

0.75 points each way Thongchai Jaidee @ 66/1
0.5 points each way Brooks Koepka @ 100/1
0.75 points each way Peter Uihlein @ 80/1

Humana Challenge

1 point each way Charles Howell III @ 33/1
0.75 points each way John Senden @ 80/1

Special Bets

0.5 point each way double Sergio Garcia @ 10/1 and Webb Simpson @ 14/1
0.5 point each way double Sergio Garcia @ 10/1 and Zach Johnson @ 14/1
0.5 point each way double Henrik Stenson @ 8/1 and Webb Simpson @ 14/1
0.5 point each way double Henrik Stenson @ 8/1 and Zach Johnson @ 14/1

2014 running total = -1 point. This week’s investment 11.5 points. This weeks P&L = -11.5

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

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