UA-33754892-1 Archives for 15 March 2015 | Jason Kelly Golf

Jason Kelly Golf

Golf Betting Tips

Arnold Palmer Invitational

Madeira looks a very difficult conundrum to solve so I am going to sit out of the Europe this week and concentrate on the Arnold Palmer Invitational from Bay Hill.

I don’t often back players at short prices, I like to find the underrated players who have the potential to outperform their odds, but this week it is impossible to ignore a player near the top of the market. For me he is the best player in the world at the moment. His recent form and stats back this opinion up. When you add to that strong course form we can justify our focus.

Bubba Watson ranks 4th in strokes gained tee to green, 15th in strokes gained putting, 3rd in scrambling and first in total strokes gained. The thing that is truly astonishing is just how far clear he is in that last stat, total strokes gained. He is 0.317 of a shot better per round than anyone else and 0.486 of a shot better than anyone else in the field this week, as Jordon Spieth is not playing. Therefore if everyone plays to form he should win by at roughly 2 shots.

If only it were that simple!

But on top of this statistical form we have a player who has finished 2nd, 14th and 3rd in his 3 starts in 2015 and won a WGC in China at the end of last year. His last four years at Bay Hill read 24-4-14-wd. He withdrew last year as his allergies flared up. We have known for a long time that Bubba is long and we also know his capability to hit an awful lot of greens in regulation, a statistic he always finishes in the top 2 or 3 in. What we didn’t know was how much he could improve his short game in such a short period of time. He ranked 184th in 2011 at 50.82%, 150th in 2013 at 54.48%, 74th last season at 59.14% and now 3rd at 70.25%. Obviously his putting has improved a lot too, as he ranks 15th in that stat, but we have seen him hole the pressure bunker shot in China to force a playoff and he holed two more at Doral last time out. In 2013 he averaged 33% saves from bunkers!

What I am trying to say by quoting all these numbers is that we have watched the evolution of a long hitting, shot shaping, showman, into perhaps the most complete golfer playing today. He has all the weapons. Physically he is there, the question is now will his attitude and health hold up?

His health doesn’t worry me. Bubba is not a gym rat and rarely gets injured, his allergies would be more of a concern but one would have to believe this is something he has taken care of now. His attitude is the only worry.

He can sulk on the golf course, he certainly doesn’t enjoy the traveling or being outside of his comfort zone but this isn’t a worry this week for native Floridian who now lives just around the corner, at Isleworth. The sulk has become less of a worry now firstly because of the consistency shown in his results and secondly he has calmed down a lot since becoming a father. He is good at blaming poor shots on other things, which is in my mind is a good thing. He is also good at staying out of his own way and not over thinking. He looks twitchy under pressure but handles it a lot better than he looks to.

I obviously like Bubba for this week but I also like him for The Masters and The Open. I think 12/1 is fair here even with Rory, Scott, Stenson and Day in the field. It is strange to think that Bubba has a better short game and is a better putter than all of those guys. Bubba’s Florida swing form is better than theirs too. He is 11/1 for The Masters, which is not huge but I would rather take that than the 11/2 about Rory, who is going to have huge pressure on him facing the career grand slam head on and has not got it done at Augusta in the past. He also doesn’t posses the short game to keep him competitive when he isn’t hitting it so well. Rory can still shoot 75+ where other great players can manage those days. Bubba obviously already has two green jackets and I don’t see any reason why he can’t make it three with his new short game weapons in tow.

The price that really has some bite to it is the 40/1 about The Open at St. Andrews. The course sets up perfectly for him and although he probably won’t enjoy the prospect Scotland, the 40/1is too big, especially if the weather is half decent. Will his form remain as strong through to July? That’s impossible to know but if the last 18 months is anything to go by, it would be a bit of a shock if he couldn’t maintain or even continue to improve upon his impressive play. The travel to Scotland may be an issue but he can stay in the Road Hole Hotel where he will enjoy his usual comforts, and surely the win in China will have been huge for his attitude to playing abroad. He certainly hasn’t been scared to test himself when you see where he has teed it up in the past, especially in Asia.

When Greg Norman first played with Bubba he said, “He is the most impressive player I have ever seen.” He is also the only player Tiger wants (wanted) to play practice rounds with. The Tiger link is interesting. The last player to match these dominating stats was Woods in his prime. He was long, an incredible iron player with an awesome short game and a great putter. He quite liked Bay Hill, Augusta and St. Andrews too.

Arnold Palmer Invitational

2.5 points each way Bubba Watson @ 12/1 (Non Runner)


The Masters

2 points each way Bubba Watson @ 11/1

The Open

1.5 points each way Bubba Watson @ 40/1

2015 running total =  -44.49 points. This week’s investment 12 points. This weeks P&L = Level

(Already advised) US Money List 2015

1.5 points each way Hideki Matsuyama @ 80/1
0.5 points each way Brooks Koepka @ 150/1

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
5 Year Total +582.27 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.