UA-33754892-1 Archives for 30 December 2012 | Jason Kelly Golf

Jason Kelly Golf

Golf Betting Tips

Hyundai Tournament of Champions

Happy New Year and here is to a profitable 2013 season. I started my year looking for some value in the season long markets and found very little. Some order of merit match bets would have been nice but nobody has priced them up. Every market seems to revolve around Rory Mcilroy and I agree with the bookies that he should have a big year. The only two that were interesting were 12/1 for a hole in one in each major and 9/4 there to be a 59 on either the US or European Tour. The 12/1 for the hole in one is a pure punt but the venues look good for it. The 59 is getting threatened more and more. I think we may well see one this year, maybe in the Greenbrier at the Old White TPC where someone always goes close and Appleby did it but even somewhere like St. Andrews in the Dunhill, if the weather is good and the horrific changes are not so tough could be a chance. 9/4 is tight and only one bookie (William Hill) have priced it up. They are also the only firm to price up the 59. I guess its nice to see one trader worked over the festive period but all in the specials offered this season are very poor with little imagination put in. There is nothing that truly interests me.

So lets look at the first event of 2013, the Hyundai Tournament of Champions in Hawaii. This is a real trappy betting heat.
Kuchar heads the market at 12/1 then you have Simpson at 14/1, Dufner 14/1, Stricker 14/1, D Johnson 14/1, Bradley 14/1, Snedeker 14/1, Poulter 14/1, Watney 14/1, Watson 16/1 and Moore 20/1. Now how does one separate these guys? Well, when you look back at players that have done well here it is indeed an eclectic mix. Long game masters like Vijay have strong records as do the putters like Ogilvy, Appleby and Stricker. There is no consistent profile to the winners. But when you have a course that is pretty lenient from the tee, that is pretty long at 7411 yards (but plays a lot shorter), that has huge greens (averaging 8000 square feet) it has to suit the longer hitters. However, to counter that suggestion, last year players were on the green 81.64% of the time averaging 40 feet 7 inches from the hole and a huge 31 putts per round which suggest it is all about putting. A long hitting, strong putter would be nice then!

But that is not the full story unfortunately. 4 of the last 7 winners led the field in scrambling. When you start at 1999 scrambling leaders finished 2,2,8,4,2,2,5,1,1,3,4,6,1,1. The putting leaders from 2004 onwards finished 1,2,9,13,1,1,1,8,3. Suddenly emphasis shifts to the short game, especially if the forecast and customary winds pick up.

Now when you consider that 8 of these players are in the worlds top 20 and they have all won at least once on tour last year then you will appreciate there are not too many weak short games amongst them. However, most of these players are coming off a break so rustiness has to be a factor too. Some guys like
Poulter have played plenty of golf up until a few weeks ago so may be more dialled in than others.

Snedeker ranked 1 and Blixt ranked 2 are clear of Zach Johnson ranked 9 and Carl Pettersson ranked 21 when it comes to putting stats last year. In scrambling you have Poulter ranked 2, Kuchar 7, Dufner 8, Snedeker 10 and Blixt ranked 16.

Now lets look at some of these in more detail.
Snedeker has one start here in in 2008 and finished 10th and for the first time in 3 years has not had surgery over the winter so he may have trained on more over the winter but for me is short at 14/1. Blixt, alongside his excellent putting is ranked 1st in sand saves and 14th in par breakers. He finished 10th in the Dunlop Phoenix a few weeks ago. He debuts here but is appealing at 33/1. Pettersson has plenty of appeal this week. He won, finished 2nd twice and had a 3rd in 2012 and finished 4th here in 2011. He finished 7th in the CIMB, 16th in the WGC-HSBC and 7th at Sun City. At 22/1 he has as bigger chance as anyone in my view.

Poulter finished 6th here in 2011 and has been in marvellous form since the Ryder Cup. It would almost surprise you if he was not in the mix here but his stroke play record in the States is not great and I’ll struggle to back him at prices like this. Kuchar is a worthy favourite. 9 top 10’s in 22 starts last year including a big win in the Players Championship. He finished 3rd here in 2010 and 6th in 2011. He ranks 26th in putting and 5th in scoring. As always he is going to be in there come Sunday as he is super consistent but at 12/1 is hard to back each way in a competitive field and no matter how much I like him as a player, he is hard to back win only.

If there was not such a large emphasis on putting in golf
Jason Dufner would easily be the best player in the world. For me right now he is alongside Rory as the best. As I mentioned he ranks 8th in scrambling but also 2nd in ball striking, 4th in scoring and has had two runner up finishes since the end of the playoffs last year. One to BVP in Australia and another to Poulter in the HSBC. My only concern is the amount of big breaking putts he will face on the slopey, grainy greens here. He is very tempting all the same.

A player worth noting is
Steve Stricker. He has the best course form in the field having won last year and runner up in 2008. Nobody else has finished higher than 3rd here. Since the Ryder Cup he has looked shaky and for maybe the best putter in the world over the last few years to change putter raises serious question marks for me so is probably best avoided at 14/1.

Two to avoid this week are
Nick Watney and Kyle Stanley. Both players are long, hit it high and are in and out putters, especially Stanley but both have just signed new deals with Nike, leaving Titleist. This means new equipment throughout the bag including a new ball. They will be worth taking on. As it stands there are no 18 hole matches available (lazy bookies!) and despite what I have said it is hard to take Stanley on with either Scott Stallings or Marc Leishman in the 72 hole match bets but with a choice of Dustin Johnson or Bubba Watson to go against Watney with its take your pick. I will go with Dustin Johnson at 10/11 with Betfred, totesport or boylesports.

So here are the picks:

Hyundai Tournament of Champions

1.5 pts each way Carl Pettersson @ 22/1 (-3pts)
1pt each way Jonas Blixt @ 33/1 (-2pts)
2 pt win Jason Dufner @ 14/1 (-2pts)

Hyundai Tournament of Champions Specials

4.4 pts Dustin Johnson to bt Nick Watney @ 10/11. 72 hole match bet (Betfred, Boylesports, Totesport) (+4pts)

This weeks investment 11.4 points. This weeks P&L = -3pts

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.