UA-33754892-1 Archives for 13 April 2014 | Jason Kelly Golf

Jason Kelly Golf

Golf Betting Tips

Malaysian Open and RBC Heritage

I think I said enough about The Masters in my final round preview but I would like to ask one question. Where is the logic in ’Tiger proofing’ golf courses by making them longer? It plays into the bombers hands and eliminates the majority of players. When you add to this rock hard, fast greens you end up with tournaments like this year’s Masters. Strange looking leaderboards with no birdies. That combination equals very little excitement for the viewer.

I would like to see them shorten holes that have been lengthened recently, like number 7, that used to be a great hole where players had a legitimate chance to hole their second shots on Sunday, and a birdie chance the rest of the week. Now only a small percentage of the field can find the putting surface. I would like to see them take the new trees out of the right side of 11. The trees that Bubba hits it over and the rest of the field has to hit it around. I would like to see them keep the greens softer so players are tested with a greater variety shots. Hitting it high and landing it soft is a skill but so is taking the spin off shots. Holes like 15 used to be great as you could hold the green with your second shot but if you laid up you had to work hard to not spin it back into the water. This year players could not hit it close in two and laying up looked a better choice than hitting it straight over the back. Hence there were so few charges made on the back nine on Sunday.

Without any disrespect to the old guard. Couples (again), Mize, Lyle and Langer all played the weekend. Would this happen in a regular tour event? Would Els, Garcia, Mickelson, the Johnsons, Webb Simpson, Harris English, Donald, McDowell etc all miss the cut in a regular event? I tell you what, it would be a hell of an accumulator! I think it all shows the uniqueness of the course, but moreover, this year, the poor set up. Bring birdies back, it makes it so much more enjoyable.

Anyway, Kevin Stadler finished in the top 20 which saved our blushes somewhat. I hope some of you backed him each way in the top debutant market too at 28/1. The debutantes proved their strength but failed to land the 8/1 to win which we took. All in, on a bad Masters all around, we lost 12.5 points, taking our yearly total back to 11.4 points ahead.

This week looks tricky. We have the Malaysian Open in a sweltering Kuala Lumpur and the RBC Heritage at the awesome Harbour Town Resort in South Carolina.

Lets look at Malaysia first. The top quarter of the market is strong but many players look set to struggle with the conditions. The bottom three quarters is full of Asian’s that will like the conditions but will need career bests to get it done. Normally I would sit out of an event like this but it is at a good, fair course in Kuala Lumpar Golf and Country Club and I have heard a strong word for a player who was on my shortlist.

Therefore, we can keep it fairly simple. Back Louis Oosthuizen at 12/1. He loves the course, proof of which was in his win here two years ago. Last week he was in the mix thru two rounds and looked to be hitting it great and struggling with the putter. We saw little of him on the weekend but I am told he is “Putting great.” So if the best player in the field is confident, putting great, won on and loves the course...... why not?

Oosthuizen will do me in Malaysia, there appears to be no need to complicate it. Harbour Town looks a little different though. At this point I feel it has become tradition to tell you about my win here where I made 6 birdies and 3 bogies on my front 9 in the final round and won by 3, but I fear boredom would once again set in when reading one of my write ups!

Anyway, that is the story with the course. It is brilliant and certainly in my top 10. It is only 7000 yards long but provides one of the best tests on the PGA Tour. The course is pretty tight, you have to shape it both ways, the greens are tiny but the course is very fair and for me, a great test of a players ability. It is more than just power, you need skill and guile.

This is backed up in the stats from 2013 when G-Mac won in a playoff from Webb Simpson. Hoffman should have won. He recorded the best strokes gained putting stats of the whole season, by any player, here last year, but choked on the final day in windy conditions. Driving distance, as mentioned, is not relevant here. G-Mac ranked 51st, Jason Day was the longest and finished 30th. G-Mac ranked 5th in driving accuracy, Jerry Kelly was the straightest and finished 5th. G-Mac ranked 6th in putting, Hoffman putted best and placed 6th. G-Mac ranked 7th in greens in regulation, Simpson hit the most and lost in a playoff. Proximity was not a big factor as the greens are so small, averaging just 3700 square feet. G-Mac, not surprisingly, led scrambling. Scrambling is a big factor this week. Two time winner here, Boo Weekly’s famous double chip ins here are further testament to that.

You need an all round accurate player with great touch that can shape it. I like Zach Johnson, Will MacKenzie, Harris English, Chris Stroud, Charles Howell III and Russell Knox.

Zach has a 6th and 2nd in amongst some disappointing results here since 2007. He is 25/1 and ranks 6th in driving accuracy, 15th in greens and 13th in scrambling. Looks a strong fancy after reviewing those stats. The off putting thing with Zach is his putting appears to be in free fall. In mid March he ranked in the top 10 in putting, he now ranks 57th. This accounts for a series of lacklustre finishes during this time. He could turn it around this week on a course that fits so well, but looks a little risky at the price.

Russell Knox is also dismissed based on putting, ranking 138th. He is improving in the category, but on a week where there is such an emphasis on holing out, he is best avoided. Same goes for English, he finished 8th here in 2012 but missed the cut last year. For a long hitter he does well on tight courses despite ranking 119th in driving accuracy. It is the 141st in putting that finally put a line through him too. CH3 ranks an incredible 5th in greens from 167th in driving accuracy. These small greens are tough to find from the rough and he is another who’s putting is in free fall.

Chris Stroud is the player I have been mulling over the most. To back him I would have to break some of my rules, which I don’t like doing too often. Firstly he is 45/1 when I would make him a 50/1 chance. Secondly, he ranks very lowly in one of the key stats, 122nd in putting. But, he is in decent form, 7 top 20’s this year including a 12th last time out in Houston. His key stats other than putting are 45th in driving accuracy, 27th in greens and 4th in scrambling. Throw in a ranking of 12th in scoring and he becomes seriously tempting again. I don’t want to be fully invested him but he has to have a chance so we will stake him up accordingly, just because I can’t make myself put the line right the way though his name!

That means Will MacKenzie heads our assault again, if you can call two outside picks an assault?! It is the same story too. His form is awful at the course, 50,72,77,32,69,dnp,dnp. But, as we know, a year on the has transformed him as a player. He finished 2nd last time out in Texas which was his 5th top 10 of the year and has another 4 top 20’s on top of this. Even with those facts he is available to back at 50/1. Still underrated, but not under appreciated by us. He ranks 65th in driving accuracy, 11th in putting, 32nd in greens and 92nd in scrambling. Throw in a 4th in scoring average and he is an inevitable bet again at the price.

Malaysian Open

2 points each way Louis Oosthuizen @ 12/1 (+4 points)

RBC Heritage

1 point each way Will MacKenzie @ 50/1 (-2 points)
0.5 points each way Chris Stroud @ 45/1 (-1 point)

2014 running total =  +11.4 points. This week’s investment 7 points. This weeks P&L = +1 point

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

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The Masters (Day 4)

It’s been a funny Masters so far this year. Maybe its just because its one of my worst tipping performances for a while but I haven’t been as absorbed as normal. I have become bored of watching people lay up short right of the 11th all week, I’ve been bored of watching Larry Mize, I miss Tiger, I’ve been continually amazed at how bad the Sky Sports commentary is, especially Bruce Critchley and I have been frustrated at the course set up.

I like it when players can make a charge throughout the field. I like seeing players trying to manage the spin into holes like 14 and 15, not just try and hold the green. Good, fair, course set up normally sees the cream rise. This, I don’t think, has been the case. I know it has been breezy but the best Masters have been when the winning score is 10-14 under and you get the best leaderboards. So many good players have missed the weekend this time around and it has effected the tournament negatively and surely it’s not just coincidence. Anyway, Sunday is always the best day and, although the players at the top are not necessarily the ones we wanted or expected to see, it is close and it looks to be an exciting Sunday shoot out for The Masters.

We still have a chance of getting out of dodge. We have Kevin Stadler at 7/1 to finish in the top 20 and he is currently 10th and 6/4. We also have Spieth and Blixt in contention to win as debutants. The 8/1 we took is now 5/2. So we have some nice Sunday interest.

I think Bubba will probably wins this. I know he struggled yesterday on the greens but he hits it so good and the course is perfect for him. He is driving it straight and hitting a lot of greens. He could win this without having to putt too well. I wouldn’t put anyone off taking the 3/1.

I like Blixt. Statistically he is the worst player in contention. He hits very few fairways, hits it pretty short and hits a very low percentage of greens for a PGA Tour multiple winner. What he does have on his side is two years ago he ranked 2nd in putting and 16th in scrambling. Those numbers have not been so pretty over last season and a half but they way he is performing and playing this week suggests he is back there and perhaps a little better. The one key with Blixt is he has only really had two chances to win on Tour and he has taken them both. He doesn’t have as much Major experience as others around him, but 12/1 definitely makes him the best bet amongst the leaders in my view. Bubba, Kuch and Spieth have had way more looks and often struggle to convert. The final day of the Masters is a lot about damage limitation as every player will hit poor shots when under pressure. The one who recovers best and keeps momentum will probably win. Blixt can do this.

Elsewhere there appears to be some value in Chris Kirk to finish in the top 10 at 11/1. He currently sits in 18th two shots out of the top 10 and although the leaderboard is congested I think he can shoot a low one today. He is a good iron player and is trending the right way. The price just looks too big to me.

The only other interest for me tonight, financially, is backing Jimmy Walker each way to shoot the lowest round score. He has hit it great this week and just struggled with the putter. He ranks highly in putting this year and with a bit of pressure off him he can go out and enjoy himself.

(Already Advised)

The Masters

1 point each way Dustin Johnson @ 28/1 (-2 pts)
0.5 points each way Webb Simpson @ 80/1 (-1 pt)
0.75 points each way Harris English @ 66/1 (-1.5 pts)
0.5 points each way Ryan Moore @ 110/1 (-1 pt)
0.75 points each way Hideki Matsuyama @ 80/1 (-1.5 pts)

Special Bets

0.5 points each way Keegan Bradley @ 50/1 to be ‘First Round Leader’. 1/4 1-5 (-1 pt)
1 point Kevin Stadler @ 7/1 to finish in the ‘Top 20’ (+7 points)
1.5 points ‘A Debutant To Win’ @ 8/1 (-1.5 pts)
1.5 points each way Zach Johnson @ 7/1 in ‘Top Former Winner’ market. 1/4 1-3 (-3 pts)
1.5 points each way Graeme McDowell @ 10/1 in the ’Top GB&I’ market. 1/4 1-3 (-3 pts)
1 point each way Hideki Matsuyama @ 18/1 in the ’Top Rest Of The World’ market. 1/5 1-4 (-2 pts)


1 point each way Dustin Johnson to win The Masters @ 20/1 (-2 points)

2014 running total =  +23.9 points. This week’s investment 18.5 points. This weeks P&L = -12.5 points 

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

To get the tips first and receive exclusive in running advice - send an email with the subject ‘register'