UA-33754892-1 Archives for 14 June 2015 | Jason Kelly Golf

Jason Kelly Golf

Golf Betting Tips

US Open

It is a pretty busy week this week. I am in Milan playing a tournament as well as running a sweep for the US Open. (See Major Sweeps for more information) But I think in fairness this US Open doesn’t need a long write up.

I see it as being pretty simple. The USGA has chosen to play Chambers Bay and experiment a bit. What we are going to be left with is an event that is going to be captivating to us, the viewer, but potentially a nightmare for a player. There is no point me regurgitating all the press write ups and player quotes to make this point, it is all out there for everyone to see and I am sure you have heard enough about it.

The conclusion I have drawn is that the course is long, potentially, as it has hundreds of tees and can be adjusted and manipulated to Mike Davis’ discretion. He is in charge of course set up, amongst other roles. Chambers Bay can be stretched out to 7906 yards but is unlikely to play anywhere near that. It can play 516 yards shorter. But with generous fairways it should be a bombers paradise. It will probably play somewhere around 7600 yards and will feature four of the five longest par 4s in US Open history. A par 70 at 7600 yards, ouch!

The putting surfaces are large (average 8700 square feet) and have huge undulations. They are hard to identify from distance and only white dots will help us, the viewer, identify the difference between fairway and green. They are also surrounded by large mounds. We will see some unbelievable bounces this week, good and bad, and some crazy putts. The surfaces themselves are said to be poor.

Another factor to consider due to the numerous tee boxes is that target lines from the tee will change considerably and being able to choose the correct line and not be over aggressive will be important. Other holes will change completely. 1 and 18 will interchange between par 4s and par 5s, an awful concept in my opinion, but it will not change the overall par on any given day. The par 3 9th has an elevation change of 100 feet between tees, so one day could play hugely uphill and another straight downhill. It is going to be very difficult to know what a good score is on any given day. A 72 could be brilliant one day and average the next, but with fair weather forecast I would predict +2 or +3 winning.

Frankly, my conclusion is that luck is going to play a huge roll. Patience and acceptance to the challenge will also play their part. Experience and strategy will help. The greens will benefit the good ball strikers rather than the good putters in my opinion. But surely it is going to suit a bomber with a decent short game, who employs good strategy and can be accepting and patient. Hmmmm, not many of those around!

It’s also a physical test. The walk is over 8 miles and it is hillier than Augusta. Many players are not playing 18 hole practice rounds because of the physical test. When former players were asked how to win there was a mixed reaction. Nicklaus said, “Stop complaining and deal with it. A course is not supposed to suit your game, your game should be adjusted to suit a course.” Faxon said, “You have to laugh a lot.” Woods in his prime would have loved this.

Jordan Spieth would be my favourite this week. He played the US Amateur here in 2010 and his caddy knows the course better than any other caddy or player this week. He caddied here before picking up Spieth’s bag. The young American has the best form coming into this and his two Augusta outings bring further confidence. I say this because nobody is supposed to do well at Augusta before they learn the course. He learnt it quicker than most with a 2nd on debut and a convincing win this year. He may not quite fit the bomber profile so well but his low ball flight will help him chase it around here and Augusta is supposed to favour bombers too. I really do like his chances, even at 9/1. The forecast is for showers on Friday morning, otherwise the weather should be favourable. Spieth will tee off early on Friday so may well get wet. I would back him, but that large element of luck I was talking about makes it hard to take single figure prices.

Mickelson is a man on a mission this week. A win here would see him complete the career Grand Slam. Something he really deserves. His US Open record, Masters record and recent Open record all suggest he can handle the US Open, the greens and a links course. From a betting perspective he found form just too soon. 3 top 5s in his last 5 starts has seen his price collapse. This, out of all the US Open courses, is perhaps his best chance and he says he loves the course, but he is not a 16/1 chance in my book, he hasn’t won for over two years.

Dustin Johnson looks to suit this type of course but he is a long way from being a great strategist. Can he stay relaxed, patient and take conservative lines? I don’t think so. He has done well on similar courses though, like Pebble Beach and Whistling Straits. 22/1 doesn’t tempt me.

I like Brooks Koepka. He finished 4th at Pinehurst last year and played the US Amateur here. His game appears to suit perfectly and he showed a return to form last week in Memphis. That was nice as it was the first week for months we haven’t backed him! He finished tied 3rd, even after a one over weekend. I think 50/1 is fair but a rank of 166th in scrambling is a concern.

I also like Bubba Watson at 35/1. This sets up beautifully for him and will capture his imagination and cater to his creativity. The only concern with Bubba is the patience factor. He has performed well on similar courses like Whistling Straits but this will test his mental fortitude. He is also tough to judge form wise as he has not played for a long time. I would like him slightly bigger than the 35/1 but the fact he ranks 13th in scrambling is reassuring.

Another player at the same price is Hideki Matsuyama. His only weakness is his putting. His ball striking is incredible and he ranks 7th in scrambling. There’s a lot to like about the Japanese who finished tied 5th last time out at Memorial and has a fantastic record in the Majors. The weakness in his putting should be neutralised somewhat here.

Jason Day at 40/1 could look a huge price come Sunday evening. I say this as he has finished in the top 5 in three of the last four US Opens. If he was up with the leaders entering the back 9 on Sunday you would like to have him on side. Mentally he is tough. The problem is his recent form and struggle with injury. The poor form is really a result of recent health issues which include a bad wrist and dizziness. A fit Day would be a bet but he never seems to be healthy.

Patrick Reed is definitely worth a look as he loves the big stage. His ball striking is poor but on and around the greens he is excellent. 50/1 appears fair, especially with his US Amateur experience here. He’s interesting.

Beyond Hun An is 80/1. It feels like everyone knows about him now. There won’t be any fancy prices about him and, at first glance, 80/1 seems too short about a player with such little big event experience. But his win in the PGA at Wentworth must have given him huge belief. He didn’t look short of belief before or during! But the facts are he is long, hits a lot of greens and has a very decent short game. He was also a semifinalist in the US Amateur here. I don’t think the price is huge, but it is worth a chance. He is a very good player.

There are two outsiders I like. Brendon Todd and Alex Noren.

Todd was going well at Pinehurst last year. 69-67-79-69 finished 17th but he was inexperienced then and the third round killed him. He bounced back with two top 5s the following two weeks. He hits it short, maybe too short to be a real threat here but he has competed on long tracks before. I look at him, not only because his stats are better, but his style of play is very similar to that of Kuchar. I like Kuchar for this but Todd is 150/1 compared to Kuchar’s 50/1. 1st in sand saves and 12th in scrambling shows you why he could go well at a US Open. On tough courses the stat that explodes in importance is scrambling. One would assume greens in regulation but everyone misses a bunch of greens when it is tough. All the events that finish around par or worse the winner is always top 10 in scrambling.

That’s why Noren is my must bet of the week. He won the Nordea two weeks ago on a course which had links qualities and finished 9th in The Open at Royal Lytham in 2012. He also won his first Nordea at Bro Hof Slott which is exposed and demanding. He practices a lot at Terre Blanche which is brutal and loves a tough test. But as a player he is not the straightest and is just above average in length. But he is creative and will adore this test. The key for me is he ranks 4th in scrambling in Europe. That combined with his recent form (8th at Wentworth, 21st in Ireland and 1st in the Nordea Masters) and his love for tough conditions makes him well worth an interest at 175/1.

Noren is also worth supporting in the Top Continental European market. He is 12/1 (each way 1/4 1-3) with Stenson, Kaymer, Garcia and Molinari in front of him in the market. Stenson and especially Kaymer have serious question marks in their short games. Stenson has issues from tight lies (ranks first in scrambling from the rough and 48th overall) and Kaymer has the yips and won’t be able to putt every time he misses a green like he did at Pinehurst. Garcia’s long game is poor this year and maybe won’t like it this tough. Molinari looks the biggest danger and is in great form. If he wasn’t so short he would look a good bet in the same market at 10/1.

US Open

1.5 points each way Hideki Matsuyama @ 35/1
1.25 points each way Bubba Watson @ 35/1
0.75 points each way Byeong-Hun An @ 80/1
0.5 point each way Brendon Todd @ 150/1
0.5 points each way Alex Noren @ 175/1


1 point each way Alex Noren to be Top Continental European @ 12/1

2015 running total =  -63.11 points. This week’s investment 11 points. This weeks P&L = -11 points

(Already advised)

US Money List 2015

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

The Open
1.5 points each way Bubba Watson @ 40/1

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.