UA-33754892-1 Archives for 24 February 2013 | Jason Kelly Golf

Jason Kelly Golf

Golf Betting Tips

The Honda Classic and Tshwane Open

The WGC was an interesting week. Kuchar and Mahan showing that bogey avoidance and scrambling really are the keys to winning matches at Dove Mountain. Garrigus was impressive for the most part. He made more birdies than anyone in the four rounds he played and looked a real contender. He picked up a wrist injury just before his quarter final match with Kuchar, went behind early and despite some good fight towards the end came up short. If he had won that game we would have at worst picked up our each way money.

Our first round double worked out nicely with Westwood’s short game being just bad enough to let Cabrera-Bello in. That double made us 7.45 points. Pettersson losing to an inspired Lowry in round 2 cost us 3 points, Clark losing to the matchplay king Ian Poulter cost us our 3rd round double and another 1.5 points. With the luckless Garrigus costing us a further 2 points it meant we made a whopping +0.95 points on a difficult week.

On to this week and first things first. Lets get ‘Europe’ out of the way and once again I will not be playing in the Tshwane Open.

Now, lets get down to business and the Honda Classic. The PGA National is a tough venue. Scoring is more about hanging on then going deep. Last year was the lowest scoring for years when Rory won on -12. This year the forecast is not good. This course is exposed and is nearly always breezy and it is forecast to be once again. The warmest day will be Thursday and even then it is not that warm. It will get cooler as the week goes on and there is a chance of rain every day but a greater chance over the weekend.

PGA National is a 7110 yard par 70 that averaged +1.186 over par per round last year. It is a ball striking test with four very tough par 3’s and the infamous Bear Trap to finish off (the 15th, 16th and 17th holes). Like all courses that suits ball strikers scrambling will be a seriously important split too. Last year Rory got up and down 83.33% of the time compared to a field average of 54.97%. The average green in regulation split was very low at 59.73%. Ball striking and scrambling, that’s the combination to look for.

Now Garrigus would have been top of my list again this week. The initial 40/1 was not big by any means but he is playing great and is riding a wave of confidence. However, maybe due to tiredness from last week’s efforts or, more likely, the wrist injury still playing up, he decided to withdraw from the event yesterday.

So, who else? Well, Russell Henley looks interesting. The are a lot of pluses and minuses for him. The pluses being he has won this year, ranks 13th in ball striking and 12th in putting. He also played well last week defeating Schwartzel (14/1 this week) in round one. The minuses are the bad record rookies have at The Honda and the fact he ranks 166th in scrambling, a key stat as mentioned. Now are these minuses as bad as they initially sound? Well, no. No rookie has finished in the top 10 since 2010 but he won the Sony Open at Waialae where rookies also have a very poor record. The scrambling stat is hard to get ones head around. To be 12th in putting and 166th in scrambling seems almost impossible. He looks like he has plenty of confidence in the way he approaches and plays his short shots so one can only conclude that his aggressive approach means when he misses he misses in some bad spots. He may be forced to play a little more conservatively this week and the fact he ranks so highly in ball striking and putting suggests 70/1 is a fair enough price.

Jimmy Walker looks due a big week but is another with a late withdrawal. A shame as this would have suited. Chris Kirk looks a big price at 66/1. He ranks 68th in ball striking but 13th in scrambling, 11th in putting, 16th in bogey avoidance and 3rd in scoring. He already has two top 5’s in 5 starts this year. His form is not great here with a 56th and a 29th in two starts but he seems worth a go at a nice price.

Jason Day potentially could have a good week here. However one can’t help but think last week will catch up with him at some point, even though Rory won last year after being losing finalist the week before and Day is only 25 years old so should have the stamina. Even so, 35/1 is not huge in a quality field like this. Kevin Stadler is another that looks good on paper, does not mind the wind but normally likes a slightly easier test than this. Ball striking wise he ranks 17th which is good enough and ranks 10th in scoring but he has played the easier venues so far this year so is a little flattered by that. 80/1 is tight enough.

Matt Jones is an interesting one. He has great stats and at 150/1 is worth a look but he has no form and a high scoring average. On closer inspection he is not scared of making a big number, when it goes wrong it goes wrong quickly which is not good around here. Maybe one to keep onside for a more lenient venue. Billy Horschel is a decent price at 125/1 but despite ranking 11th in ball striking his short game does not look sharp enough. Brian Gay is a form player and at most venues 110/1 would be tempting but he has awful course form. Charles Howell III has finished 26th, 10th and 26th here the last 3 years. He is in form and beat Woods last week. He has 3 top 10’s in 6 starts including a 2nd and a 3rd. He ranks 75th in ball striking, 18th in scrambling and 4th in scoring. Although pretty open from the tee 174th in driving accuracy is a bit of a worry. He lives in Orlando, Florida which is only an hour and a bit away (where I will be from Friday!) and one has to think that 50/1 is worth a play.

Stephen Ames can be backed at a huge 500/1 this week. In his first two events of the year he played some great stuff but two missed cuts and a 9 hole WD at the Northern Trust since raises questions. His record is so so here with a best of 17th. Probably one to keep an eye on.

I am going to make more selections than normal for one event this week but they are all small stake, big prices. I say this as for once the guys at the head of the market look opposable so there is a fair bit of value amongst the others. My final three picks are hopeful improvers that fit the profile well. Firstly Kevin Streelman. He is 200/1 this week, 250/1 in a place. He ranks 9th in ball striking and 20th in scoring. He has been playing some steady stuff considering the price. 26th at The Sony, 10th in Palm Springs, MC in Phoenix, 40th at Pebble and 27th at The Northern Trust. He finished 13th here in 2009 which is the highlight of some poor figures but he can get in the mix at a big price. Brad Fritsch ranks 10th in ball striking and is 300/1. Again, he has been solid enough with 26th in The Sony, 65th in Palm Springs, 9th in the Farmers Insurance, MC in Phoenix and 40th at Pebble. He hits it long, ranking 10th on tour and is 2nd in sand saves. 300/1 is big for the graduate. Finally Nicholas Thompson. He ranks 11th in driving accuracy, 8th in greens, 12th in total driving, 3rd in ball striking. He finished 41st in The Sony, 6th in the Humana, 21st in the Farmers Insurance and MC at Pebble. 200/1 is a nice price.

The Honda Classic

1.5 pts each way Charles Howell III @ 50/1
1 pt each way Russell Henley @ 70/1
1pt each way Chris Kirk @ 66/1
0.5 pts each way Kevin Streelman @ 200/1
0.5 pts each way Brad Fritsch @ 300/1
0.5 pts each way Nicholas Thompson @ 200/1

2013 running total = -21.25 pts. This week’s investment 10 points. This weeks P&L = -10pts

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 to with the subject ‘register'

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.