UA-33754892-1 Archives for 27 July 2014 | Jason Kelly Golf

Jason Kelly Golf

Golf Betting Tips

WGC Bridgestone Invitational

The last time Tiger Woods picked up a trophy was 12 months ago at Firestone. He blew away the field with a devastating 61 in round 2. Nobody got within 7 of him after that. This was no fluke. Woods has won 8 times at Firestone picking up over $11m in the process. This par 70 at 7400 yards is a ball strikers dream and when Woods was at his best, there were none better.

The thing that is a little misleading, if you take Woods as the model, is his wins normally come when ripping up the par 5’s. This has not always been the case here. There are only 8 to start with and last year he played them in just the 1 under. He did lead par 4 scoring though and ranked inside the top 11 in all six of the major statistical categories. Most notably 11th in fairways hit, 2nd in greens in regulation and first in proximity to the hole. Bubba lead driving distance and finished 27th, Jimenez and Zach Johnson lead driving accuracy and finished in a tie for 4th, Webb Simpson lead putting and finished 14th, Bradley lead greens in regulation and finished 2nd, Woods lead proximity and Stenson finished tied 2nd after leading scrambling for the week. It shows we are looking for a player who is strong through the bag but accuracy is perhaps more important than power. Players like Dufner, Stricker, Donald, Zach Johnson, Kuchar, Furyk, and Bradley also have strong records here. It may be a long course for a par 70 but the shorter, accurate, grinders do well here. Players like Mickelson have sorry records. You have to be able to get your ball in play.

I like, in order, Scott, Garcia, Bubba, Na, Kuchar, Zach Johnson, Rose, DeLaet, Senden, Rory, Bradley, Moore, Todd, English, McDowell and Walker.

Jimmy Walker has been relatively cold the last few weeks and has played an awful lot of golf this year. 50/1 is a fair price but he doesn’t really fit the profile of the golfer we are looking for.

G-Mac has been in great form of late but has a very weak record in this event. He has not finished in the top 20 here in 7 starts and although, again, 50/1 is fair, he is best left alone.

Harris English does fit the profile. He is a greens in regulation expert ranking 5th in the category. He also represents excellent value at 100/1. He finished 14th here last year. However, he is not the straightest from the tee and I think his ranking of 5th in greens this year is perhaps more a reflection of his easy schedule rather than his usual good play. His recent results and cold putter are also a worry, so a line is struck through.

Brendon Todd is a short hitter but he hits it straight and chips and putts as well as anyone. This is his first visit to Firestone which is a concern but his recent form of 1-5-8-17-5-4-39 is reassuring. I would have him at 50/1 so at 80/1 he is a bet for me.

Ryan Moore looks a great fit for this. He has 3 top 15s in his last 3 starts including a 12th at Hoylake. He ranks 15th in fairways hit and 7th in greens in regulation. I would make him 40/1 for this and you can back him at 55/1 but like English, he has played a relatively easy schedule and I can’t help but think his stats are flattered as a result. Also his best finish at Firestone is 16th in 3 starts.

Keegan Bradley seems to love tough par 70s. When he is on he is perhaps the best driver of the ball in the world. He is hard to back with all his twitches and nuances, he looks like the most nervous golfer of all time, but he does have an excellent record here of 15-1-2. His recent form is good too with 2 top 4s in his last 5 starts. I like his chances but he would be 40/1 in my book and at a price of 25/1 for this I think we are looking at poor value.

Rory, like most weeks, could be anything. He could win by 12 or be near the bottom of the leaderboard come Sunday. He does love a first round lead though, I don’t know what percentage of his professional events he has lead after round one, but I am guessing it is well into double figures. There is no doubt to his ability but who knows what The Open has taken out of him and at 7/1 there are far too many question marks for him to be backed.

John Senden seems to go off at very attractive prices each week. He has been our most backed golfer this year and we are still nicely ahead with him. He finished 16th here in 2012 and comes once again with a nice statistical package. Everything is very tidy and he has played a decent schedule. You have to go back to May to find his last finish inside the top 45 but he has only played 4 times since. I think 150/1 is a very big price about the Aussie.

Graham DeLaet is one I want to be with this week. I would have been more happy if I could have taken 80/1 but 70/1 is still big enough. He has played a tough schedule but still ranks 12th in driving distance, 70th in accuracy, 2nd in greens in regulation, 15th in scoring, 6th in bogey avoidance and jumped 7 spots up the all around rankings last week after putting well in Canada. He gained over a shot putting last week, which for him is very strong. If he putts well again this week he won’t be far away. He showed at the end of last season that he wasn’t scared of contending on the big stage. I like him for this.

Rose, as we know, has been in great form and if he had been on the other side of the draw at The Open he surely would have gone close. It looks that his draw suffered around a 3 shot penalty for their tee times over the opening two days. He should go well but his price of 18/1 is way too short for me and a rank of 122 in driving accuracy is a concern.

Zach Johnson has only one top 25 in his last 7 starts, a 2nd in the John Deere, but he does have a good record at Firestone. 6th in 2011 and 4th last year. He should go well but I think 40/1 is exactly the right price.

Matt Kuchar is a machine and for him to go 4 starts without a top 10 is a borderline slump. I don’t know how he brings it week in week out, but his level of consistency over the past four seasons is one of the most underrated achievements in golf. It is truly incredible, maybe more so as he does not have any obvious weapons. He just does everything very well and has a great attitude and mind set. He has played one of the toughest schedule this season but is still right at the top of all the stats bar driving distance. He has 2 top 10s in his last 4 starts here and is destined for another, but, having said all this, his price of 28/1 is about right and therefore is left alone.

Kevin Na plays tough courses well and was another badly affected by the draw at The Open. 31st in driving accuracy, 2nd in scrambling, 12th in scoring, 22nd in birdies and 1st in bogey avoidance are not stats you would associate with a 125/1 chance. He has recent form of 2-12-52-13-54 and finished 63rd in his lone start at Firestone. Those form numbers aren’t exceptional by any means but he has been playing well and is still nearer a 60/1 chance than a 125/1 shot in my book. Worth chancing for sure.

Bubba Watson should in theory relish the set up at Firestone but has a very average record for him. 22-21-19-27 in his last four starts here. Consistent but not what one would ideally like to see. He also has slipped quickly down the greens in regulation rankings. He is never normally outside the top 4 in this stat but now ranks 22nd. He still ranks 4th in birdies and 2nd in bogey avoidance on a pretty tough schedule and has arguably the best form in the field this season. I think there is a little margin in his price too, you can take 40/1 about a player I would have at 33/1. Still, I think I will leave him alone until his green in regulation stat returns nearer to it’s norm.

Sergio has a weak Firestone record. 22-53-29-40 in his last 4. In fact his last top 20 was in 2007 when he tied for 20th. However, he does have two runner up finishes in his last 3 starts, including at Hoylake where I so nearly backed him. Statistically he is the only person who gets close to Scott. 4th in greens, 6th in scrambling, 1st in scoring, 6th in birdies, 6th in bogey avoidance combined with great form makes him a bet this week. I make him 20/1 and he is widely available at 25/1. Not huge value, but worth being with.

Scott, once again, would be my most likely winner. He won here in 2011 and since his win at Colonial has finished 4th at Memorial, 9th in the US Open and 5th in The Open out of the wrong side of the draw. His stats are simply brilliant. He is statistically as good as Woods was in his prime. He is the number one in the world but when you look at the numbers you can’t believe he is not actually winning more. He is a complete golfer now. For years we knew if he could putt at a decent level then he would be capable of anything, he ranks 14th in this stat. Having said that I would back him at 16/1 but I can’t at 11/1. It would be no surprise if we saw something very special from Scott this week.

WGC Bridgestone Invitational

1.5 points each way Sergio Garcia @ 25/1 (+7.88 pts)
0.75 points each way Kevin Na @ 125/1
0.75 points each way Graham DeLaet @ 70/1
0.75 points each way Brendon Todd @ 80/1
0.5 points each way John Senden @ 150/1 (-1pt)

2014 running total =  -18.04 points. This week’s investment 8.5 points. This weeks P&L = +2.38 points

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