UA-33754892-1 Archives for 16 July 2017 | Jason Kelly Golf

Jason Kelly Golf

Golf Betting Tips

The Open Championship, Barbasol Championship, Le Vaudreuil, Pinacle Bank Championship

The 146th Open Championship

Unfortunately between running The Open Sweep ( , meetings with Lawyers, the resulting piles of paperwork, still trying to practice a little and doing the research for The Open there is not much time left for writing a detailed preview. So please excuse the briefness.

Royal Birkdale is a great golf course. It is the best Open venue. It is fair, all in front of you and demanding. Bunkers are well placed, the wind blows constantly off the Irish Sea, it produces great winners and eliminates nobody.

The thing that perhaps makes it unique amongst The Open venues is it does not really favour long hitters or poor putters. The long hitting is obvious, the bad putter bit; well, most Open venues have greens that are not super fast and generally do not have huge breaks from close range. An example would be
Stenson at Royal Troon last year. Like all top 100 players, he is a very good putter but perhaps is slightly behind some of his peers, put him on flat slow greens like Troon and he will make his fair share as long with the good putters. Just watch the highlight reel, not many of all those 15 and 20 foot putts he made throughout the week had any break in them.

Birkdale appears to be different. Plodders who putt well and have good short games prevail. Go back to two time Birkdale winner
Peter Thompson. Perhaps the greatest strategist of all time, he plotted his way around and putted well. He was known for looking like he was shooting 70, but signing for 65s. He was not a long hitter or the purest striker but he knew better than perhaps anybody how to get his ball around in the lowest score possible on that day.

Lee Trevino would not be dissimilar. In control of his golf ball? yes. A power hitter? no. A shotmaker? A definite yes. He also had a superb short game and was a deft putter. Tom Watson was a steady driver and in fairness was pretty long in his day, but he had a short game and a putter that was equal too or greater as a weapon. He also understood how to get it around a links course better than most.

Arnold Palmer was a power player yes, but when he won in '61 it is interesting how his strategy differed to its norm.

"After seeing good shots blown helter-skelter during qualifying rounds, Palmer made two vital adjustments in his booming game. He began using a one-iron, that difficult club he controls so well, off some tees; and he started hitting all his irons low—screeching waist-high bullets that somehow retained enough backspin to bite on the soft Birkdale greens."

Johnny Miller won in '76. He was an incredible player and was long too. But he, like Palmer said:

“Nobody really knew who he (Seve) was I guess, maybe in Spain or maybe a few little European events, but surely nobody in the U.S. did. I was sort of curious watching him. He had this great big ‘ol swing and played super aggressively. I was hitting 1-iron off the tee almost every hole, and he was playing with his driver. He played pretty good on Saturday, but Sunday he was just all over the place. I guess the thought of a 19-year-old winning the Open Championship was probably, at that point, too much for him because he just started hitting it all over those giant sand dunes.”

Baker Finch was a putter. He hit little fades all week around Birkdale keeping it in play and then the putter warmed up over the weekend. Mark O'Meara is another average length player who's strength lies in his strategy, tidiness and putting. Brian Watts who he beat in the playoff was not long either.

Harrington and Poulter duelled in the most recent Birkdale Open, with 53 year old Greg Norman playing a very strong cameo role. Harrington and Poulter have always been known for strength inside 100 yards rather than long hitting and towering long irons. Harrington ranked 30th in greens in regulation, just above the field average of 48.48% for the week. That number shows you the value of the scramble. Add to that just two par 5s with number 17 being the only 'gimme' birdie on the course and you can see the value of saving pars against creating birdie chances.

We want a plodder who can keep it in play, deal with the wind, scramble relentlessly and manage their games and emotions in any conditions. It may be an Open for the 'old boys'.

Rickie Fowler is the first player as you see in the market that fits that profile. Spieth comes close but his driving is very poor for a short hitter, especially this season. Spieth will like the wind being from Texas but under 60% of fairways hit this year is off putting, as his wild ones right now aren't just missing, they're missing big. Anyway, back to Fowler. I backed him at The Masters and watched him at The US Open. Going into Sunday in both you will have checked how much your bet would pay if he won, instead you would have had to settle for just a share of a place (5th) at Erin Hills. 76 last round of The Masters, 72 last round of the US Open and add to that a final round of 79 in The Players when in with a chance. I won't blame anyone sticking with Fowler, he is due a Major, but not a 16/1 chance in my view.

In fact, looking at the market it is a very open heat and you can make arguments for and against all.
Dustin Johnson could be anything. If his intense preparations, which include training/boot camps with Brooks Kopeka in Florida and an early arrival at Birkdale with his new BFF, have worked then he will be hard to beat. Nobody hits 2 iron like DJ, I saw it in action at Sawgrass, I have never seen anyone strike, launch, flush, flight, a 2 iron with such power and ease. It was awesome. But form wise he is in a slump. Like I say, he could be anything.

I also like
Matsuyama. He spins his driver less than anyone else on the PGA Tour. This has huge value in the wind. He is in good nick too, but his putter is still his Achilles heel. 180th in putting puts him a long way from the player I am looking for.

So, I had better give you my picks before another phone call to the Lawyers.

Matt Kuchar at 66/1. Coral go 1/5 odds 8 places or Skybet 50/1, 1/5 odds, 10 places.

Kuch hits low bullet fades, drives it incredibly straight, has huge experience and a short game to rival anyone. 18th SG: Around the green. He has a poor Open record with just two top 15s in 12 starts but this course suits him better than most, even though he shot 79-73 in 2008 to miss the cut. Form wise Kuch is on the rise. A slow start to the year but he has 3 top 10s in his last 5 starts which have all have gone for top 20s. He is hitting it a little better but the putter has been warming up too, which has really been the difference. He finished 4th last week on the Dundonald Links in the Scottish Open.

I also like the in form
Daniel Berger. I backed him on Sunday at 125/1, but 80/1 now does not appeal to the same extent.

Bill Haas 150/1 with Skybet, 1/5 odds, 10 places fits the Bill (excuse the pun!). He has a great short game and is streaky with the flat stick. He is a plodder for sure. He has two top 20s in 7 Open starts which is not great, but did finish 9th last year. 150/1 about a player who has won 6 times on Tour including a Tour Champs, a FedEx Cup and finished 5th in the US Open a few weeks ago will do me. Add to that he has two top 10s in his last 4 Majors and we are getting 30/1 the place (top 10) with Skybet, I'm happy to bet it.

I am hoping
Steve Stricker (125/1, 1/5 odds 8 places with Coral, 100/1 Skybet, 1/5 1-10) can play the Greg Norman or Tom Watson role here. Perhaps more common was the Nicklaus Major role. The Senior who rolls back the years and outplays his age. This course is set up for it. He spins it very little and fits the profile beautifully. He finished 4th at Troon last year, a much tougher test for him than Birkdale and has exactly what I am looking for. He ranks 1st in driving accuracy on the PGA Tour and we all know about his short game and putting. There is no nicer guy in golf, I would love to see him contend, especially with my cash on him!

Brandt Snedeker is my final pick. I hope I have this profile right, these picks are almost identical players! The one advantage Snedeker has is he has proven quality in the wind He finished in the top 10 (9th) in the US Open and 14th in the Travelers on his last start. 12 top 20s since last years Open at Troon where he finished 22nd. Again, here is a player who has 12 wins as a professional, 8 of which are on the PGA Tour, a Tour Championship, a FedEx Cup Champion with 9 top 10s in Majors in the last 9 years, coming off a top 10 in a US Open available to back at a juicy price. Back him at 70/1 with Skybet, 1/5 odds, 10 places.

The Open - Outright

1.52 points each way Matt Kuchar @ 66/1. Coral (1/5 odds 1-8) (+18.54)
0.67 points each way Bill Haas @ 150/1. Skybet (1/5 odds 1-10) (-1.34)
0.8 points each way Steve Stricker @ 125/1. Coral (1/5 odds 1-8) (-1.6)
1.43 points each way Brandt Snedeker @ 70/1. Skybet (1/5 odds 1-10) (NR)

The Open - 72 Hole Matches

5 points Tommy Fleetwood to beat Rory McIlroy @ Evs (Bet365) (-5)

The Open - Round 1 Threeballs

2.5 points Youngshan Song @ 5/2 to beat Frittelli and Horsey (08.25) (+6.25)
2.5 points Aniban Lahiri @ 11/8 to beat Bryan and Plant (09.14) (-2.5)
4.5 points Julian Suri @ Evs to beat Dinwiddie and Hodkinson (11.15) (+4.5)
3.5 points Bill Haas @ 11/8 to beat C. Smith and Shinkwin (12.20) (+4.81)
2.5 points Sergio Garcia @ 13/10 to beat Day and Z. Johnson (13.04) (-2.5)
3 points Jon Rahm 5/4 to beat Westwood and Reed (14.59) (+3.75)

The Open - Specials

1 point each way Chan Kim Top Debutant @ 80/1 (1/4 1-3) Coral (+19)
1 point each way Young Han Song Top Debutant @ 28/1 (1/4 1-3) Coral (-2)
4 points Length of winning shot over 2.6 feet @ 11/8 (Skybet) (-4)

Pinacle Bank Championship - Outright

0.8 points each way Michael Arnaud @ 125/1 (-1.6)

Other Events - Specials

0.5 points each way Patent (-1)

Cheeson Hadley @ 33/1 Barbasol Championship
Aaron Rai @ 8/1 Le Vaudreuil Challenge
Abraham Ancer @ 25/1 Pinacle Bank Championship

(Already Advised)

Antepost 2017 Season
4 points Rory McIlroy to win a Major in 2017 @ 2/1 (Bet Victor)

This week's P&L =
This week’s investment = 48.94 points

This week's Outright P&L =
This weeks's Outright Investment = 10.44 points

This week's matches/specials/in running P&L = +21.31
This week's matches/specials/in running Investment = 38.5 points

2017 Total P&L = -73.1
2017 Total Investment =  1117.98 points

2017 Outright Bets P&L =  -151.36
2017 Outright Bets Investment = 532.22 points

2017 matches/specials/in running P&L =  +78.26
2017 matches/specials/in running investment = 692.9 points

2016 total +3.88 points
2015 total -116.28 points
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
6 Year Total +469.87 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 '1 point' signifies £10.