UA-33754892-1 Archives for 15 September 2013 | Jason Kelly Golf

Jason Kelly Golf

Golf Betting Tips

Italian Open and The Tour Championships

To listen to my thoughts on this week's tournaments have a listen to the Skylife podcast (SkyBet and Sportinglife) here

Last Week:

Another nice week but the special bets saved us as the outrights disappointed. Fleetwood was up and down like a yoyo all week, eventually finishing 30th. A position flattered by a final round 67. Anders Hansen and Marc Warren both missed the cut. Damien Mcgrane, who we backed at 8/1 to finish in the top 10, obliged by finishing in a tie for 3rd. He won us 8 points.

In the BMW Championship our main bet of the week looked in fantastic shape going into the final round. Stricker shot a 3rd round 64 to sit one behind the 54 hole leader, Jim Furyk. Furyk has become a poor closer in recent years so, despite his awesome 2nd round 59, he looked like a sitting duck. Unfortunately it was not Stricker who picked him off. Furyk and Stricker both had very poor Sundays. As mentioned it is a common theme for Furyk now, but the more times I see Stricker in the mix for an important event the more I begin to question him.

Furyk and Stricker are now put into the Lee Westwood category for me. They are guys that can close out regular events but are only place runners for events that mean something to them. They struggle to get it done. Zach Johnson, the impressive winner, is the opposite. He is a winner through and through and knows how to close. It is a quality that is hard to learn, especially once you start to question yourself. For players like Zach, Mickelson and Woods they have won a lot at every level from Junior golf upwards. It is a second nature to them. For others, like Adam Scott, Justin Rose and Vijay Singh, they learnt how to win a little later in life, but the confidence and belief is there and they have converted chances at the highest level. Unfortunately, players like Stricker, Furyk and Westwood have just taken too many knocks when in contention and now find getting across the line on the big stage very difficult.

One win can always change this, but it is getting later and later in their careers and to imagine them winning big now is hard to see, although I don’t doubt for a second we will see them in contention……a lot.

Jordon Spieth had a similar yo-yoing week to Fleetwood. 71-65-73-68 (-7) saw him finish tied 16th. Tied in fact with our last pick, Keegan Bradley, who rallied late with a closing 66.

Brandt Snedeker we called perfectly, which gives me that warm, snug feeling inside! Too in and out to win right now but still full of ability. An opening 63 saw him land the 50/1 first round leader bet for us. Closing rounds of 71-72 saw him full to 8th. It would have been tuff to back him each way and not get a return! He won us 31.25 points.

All in we won 32.75 points on the week, meaning we are sneaking ever closer to promised land of yearly profits….. only 15.82 points behind now for the year.

This Week:

Italian Open

This is a tough event to try and work out. Torino Golf Club hosts for the first time. It is a 7208 yard treelined, parkland course. It looks pretty tight from the tee and at the length one will have to hit driver a fair bit. So a good, accurate driver will have an advantage. The greens are big but look to have a lot of sections. Accurate iron play and getting it pin high will be key as the greens are reported to be not quite where they should be, condition wise. Warm, humid conditions are forecast with the slight risk of thunder storms throughout.

The top of the market is tight with genuine contenders at short prices. Francesco Molinari is way too short at 14/1 based on recent form but with home advantage and playing a course he “Honed his game” on then maybe he maybe he has a chance of recapturing his best. The way the course looks to set up should be perfect for him. He drives the ball great and will appreciate that this test may separate the field, rather than the putter. Poor greens will equalise his weakness. Still, too short for me.

In fact it is very hard to make a good argument for anyone and I don’t think I will be having a bet here. Wiesberger 16/1, Manassero 16/1, Dyson 18/1, Colsaets 25/1, Fernandez-Castono 22/1 and Koepka 25/1 all have obvious chances but are unbackable at the prices on offer. It reflects the lack of depth in the field.

In the next price bracket I like Cabrera Bello at 40/1, but think he may be a little too wild from the tee. Havret has been in great form the last two weeks and will be high on confidence. He has won in Italy before and posting -12 for his last two Sunday’s will see him very motivated. Having said that, 28/1 does not come close to tempting me. Bourdy the same, a recent winner, very accurate from the tee, but 33/1 is not big enough.

Looking for some value further down I liked the look of Graeme Storm at 200/1. Compared to the players around in him at a similar sort of price he is certainly the quality. He is a former French Open champion. However, he drives it poorly and is therefore passed over. Simon Wakefield is 175/1 and one of the straightest drivers on Tour but again, I can’t get excited about his chances of beating the players at the top of the market.

Canizares hits it surprisingly straight considering his body language when he hits it. 80/1 is tempting but only because I want to have a bet. This event is better off left alone from a punting perspective. There is too much strength at the top of the market and no quality in depth, therefore there is no value about the most likely winner, and where there is value, there is no real chance of finding a winner!

Tour Championship

8 out of the 30 players who have made it to East Lake for the Tour Championship are here for the first time. What they will get to experience is one of the finest, traditional golf courses in the world. East Lake.

This was the Great Bobby Jones’ home club. It now measures 7307 yards, perhaps a fair bit longer than he ever played it at but the greens, that average 6200 sq ft, are still, I would imagine, fairly similar. The main difference in the greens would be the change from bent to bermuda in 2008. This sounds fairly trivial but consider that Woods won in 2007 with a 23 under par total and the best since is 10 under. The change in grass has made a difference.

East Lake, like the other three FEDEX Cup playoff venues, rather correctly rewards accuracy over power. It normally plays firm and fast. Being on the fairways and being able to control your approach shots is essential. It helps, of course, if you can fly it high and spin it with shorter clubs, but fairways are the main priority. The oner stat that always stands out here is the ability to scramble. Last year the field averaged just 52% in this category. The bermuda greens favour players with pop strokes like Snedeker and Zach Johnson. Snedeker has the 72 hole record since bermuda was introduced and Zach Johnson the course record, a 10 under 60.

The good news for the players is 9 fairways have been widened for this years edition. This gives them a chance to break the 50% barrier in fairways hit, which they failed to do last year (49.88% of fairways hit). In mixed news there is threat of thunderstorms throughout. Mixed news as nobody enjoys the disruption but with no draw bias and plenty of time to get completed the chance of a softer course is something most players would embrace.

So, we want a player who can hit a lot of fairways, can be precise with their irons and scramble well if they do make mistakes. 3 out of last weeks top 6 seem to fit that criteria quite nicely. Zach Johnson, Steve Stricker and Jim Furyk.

Lets briefly look at each player this week as there are only 30 runners. We will go in the order I think they will finish, just to make it interesting!

Tiger Woods. Price (6/1). East Lake Form (-,2,-,-,8). Recent form (6,1,40,2,65,11).

I think Woods is finally at a backable price. People won’t appreciate how good he was last week. It is not far from his best performances of the year. He got a two shot penalty and missed a number of short putts. His stats were very impressive otherwise.

Tiger averaged 308 yards from the tee, field average 270 yards. Tiger hit over 80% of fairways, field average 66%. Tiger hit 70% of greens, field average 62%. Tiger got up and down 72% of the time, field average 59%.

Not only did he dominate the mean of the field last week but this was significant step up on his stats from this year and bodes very well for East Lake. The two biggest jumps were in fairways hit and scrambling. Two of the three key ingredients for this week. If Tiger holes out a little better and his back holds out (warmer weather will help) then I think he is decent value at 6/1. We have seen him at smaller prices in strong, full field events and he is hardly in poor form. I don’t often back favourites, or single figure prices, but this is one of the rare occasions were I think we are getting value out of a favourite.

Steve Stricker. (22/1)(24-6-25-15-22) (13,12,2,4).

Stricker continues to boast incredible stats. Stats that are perfectly suited to the playoff test. He hits it straight and hits loads of greens. When he doesn’t he is one of the best wedge players and putters around. He is statistically formidable and is in great form. He is the perfect fit for this but as I mentioned in last week’s recap, he struggles to win big events. I have flash backs not just to last week but also the US Open final round, The Open at Carnoustie when Harrington won and Stricker missed short putts for fun.

I feel like I am not backing him because I am in a bad mood with him, but I think leaving him alone, even at a generous 22/1 is the right play. There isn’t enough each way value in the price.

Jordan Spieth. (33/1) (debut) (44,116,2,19,4,16).

Jordan Spieth is one of two rookies to make it to the final 30 and he has arrived in style. He has the tools for this venue ranking 14th in driving accuracy, 22nd in scrambling and 11th in scoring. Listening to a recent interview he is a wise and mature 20 year old. I don’t think he will fear winning this but the concern is he keeps throwing in one bad round each event.

Keegan Bradley. (33/1) (11,23) (15,2,19,33,16,16).

33/1 is an acceptable price about a strong player. Closed out last week with a solid 66 but not sure East Lake is the best fit for him. When he is on with the driver he drives it as good as anybody and he will need one of those weeks here. Just throws in too many big numbers.

Justin Rose. (18/1) (15,20,2) (97,17,33,2,16,33).

Rose got one of the strangest penalties last week when hitting his ball with a divot from a practice swing. However, his stats took a tumble and his greens in regulation and putting stats dropped again. 18/1 is too short. I would have him nearer 25/1.

Adam Scott. (14/1) (27,6,19) (3,14,5,1,53,28).

Nothing special in Adam’s course form and played poorly the last two weeks. Ranks 107th in scrabbling and 97th in putting which is very off-putting, especially about a 14/1 chance.

Henrik Stenson. (16/1) (debut) (2,2,3,43,1,33).

Henrik’s long game has been incredible this year. He ranks 5th in driving accuracy and 1st in greens in regulation. There is big pressure this week and being paired with Woods is not ideal. His short game will be tested and he ranks 107th in scrambling and 123rd in putting. I’ve seen better 16/1 chances than him this week.

Sergio Garcia. (28/1) (2,-,-,-,15) (21,40,61,29,37,4,18).

Ranks 8th in scoring mainly due to his rank of 10th in putting. His other stats are very average. He ranked 1st in putting for most of the season and this fall in putting form is reflected in his inconsistent recent form. This is a guy who when putting well registered 19 top 20 finishes consecutively worldwide at the start of the year. He will need to find his putting touch again to be a factor.

Brandt Snedeker. (20/1) (16,1) (11,1,33,66,82,75,47,8).

Backing Snedeker to be first round leader turned out to be the play. We said his form had been too inconsistent with too many big numbers thrown in to be a realistic proposition over 72 holes. When he was contending week in week out at the start of the year he was right near the top of the greens in regulation stat. He ranks 75th in GIR now. He has also given up accuracy from the tee and although he ranks 4th in putting, he looks fairly easy to pass over this week, despite being the defending champion.

Graham Delaet. (40/1) (debut) (93,95,96,2,3,28).

The ball striking machine represents decent value but can one realistically consider the Tour Championship a first time winners title. It’s a big ask and one I am not interested is in after a drop in performance last week.

Jason Day (20/1) (17,6,-) (32,53,8,25,13,4).

Put in a decent performance without ever being in contention last week. 20/1 seems like an overreaction to a first decent week for a while. He would be a 33/1 chance in my book but with nothing to lose and a love for a big occasion it would not be a surprise to see him in contention come Sunday.

Billy Horschel (80/1) (debut) (116,68,44,107,90,70,18).

Showed that he is getting closer to where he was at the start of the year with an 18th place finish last week. It was an improvement but his game is still not where it needs to be to put four good rounds together. Wouldn’t be surprised to see him up there early before falling away. Having said that, 80/1 is pretty big.

Bill Haas (40/1) (1,-) (85,7,25,20,25,77,28).

Played here once and won once but recent form is fairly poor and would need to get a massive ‘return to former glory’ boost to return to the level he will need to win here.

Matt Kuchar (25/1) (25,20,10) (15,2,27,22,19,4,24).

Kuchar fired a beautiful 61 in the third round last week. Incredible he only finished 24th and went backwards statistically. His ball striking continues to hold him back ranking 119th in driving distance and 128th in accuracy, a fairly ugly combination. He ranks 8th in scrambling and 18th in putting, which keeps him competitive but it will be a long week if he does not drive it better. Being a long way back and in the rough is not how you want to play this course!

Brendon De Jonge (80/1) (debut) (46,33,52,19,9,18).

Similar sort of thing to Delaet, he has never won and has not given himself as many chances as Delaet. Would be a surprise to see that change here. He is a good solid player and does everything well. His stats are flattered by an easy course schedule and he does well around less demanding courses.

Hunter Mahan (20/1) (17,24,15,2,8) (9,wd,57,25,13,4).

Only player to play every FEDEX Cup Playoff event since its inception. Good course form, decent recent form and starts here in 15th so nothing to lose. Stats took a leap forward last week so perhaps he is peaking at the right time. The putter is the biggest change, up to 26th, which is as good as I have seen from Hunter. I like his chances this week but 20/1 is skinny for what he has achieved recently and is begrudgingly passed over.

Charl Schwartzel (33/1) (debut) (15,28,21,76,25,22,8).

Stats moved forward last week and is solid all around. Price is decent too but the two key stats let him down, 110th in driving accuracy and 122nd in scrambling. Recent form has been poor by his standards.

Phil Mickelson (18/1) (3,1,22,10,15) (1,21,72,6,41,33).

A red hot putter keeps Phil competitive. He ranks 2nd in putting. The rest of his stats are poor. 93rd in driving distance, 149th in accuracy, 57th in GIR and 84th in scrambling. His stats took a big leap backwards last week which is not a good sign and 18/1 is of little interest.

Webb Simpson (40/1) (22,5) (64,14,25,11,15,53,24).

Not much to get excited about with Webb at the moment. His stats are all very average and his performances have reflected that.

Jim Furyk (20/1) (6,7,1,-,7) (-97,9,9,2,6,27,3).

Mr. 59 has been priced up accordingly. 20/1 is way too short for me. Hasn’t finished outside the top 10 here in his last 4 starts and it sets up perfectly for him. Obviously in good form but will be interesting to see how much the latest ‘win conversion failure’ will affect him. Ranks 74th in putting so questions to see if he can keep the blade hot. I had him nearer 40/1 so I am certainly not a player at half that price.

Kevin Streelman (80/1) (9,-,-) (79,59,12,19,41,33).

Was hot at the start and middle of the year but his stats and form continue to fizzle out week on week. One start at East Lake and one top 10 but needs a considerable step up in fortune to contend here. He hits it straight enough but needs another part of his game to light up again as all parts of his game have slipped to mediocrity. As we have mentioned before, generally you need to be doing something very well with another part of your game also firing to contend to win.

If you compare someone like Streelman’s stats to a Woods or a Stricker you see how much ground they need to make up, or how much they have to over perform compared to their average game. Someone like Streelman for example, I believe underperformed on his average by 1.8% last week, where as Woods over performed by 35% on his average, meaning he is closer to playing his best.

Zach Johnson (20/1) (16,9,-,15) (6,4,8,5,27,1).

Zach’s form has been very impressive. 5 top 10’s in his last 6 including a win last week. Despite being a very short hitter he is statistically pretty strong. The only other stat that he ranks low in is 76th in scrambling, a stat category he won last week. Referring back to under/over achieving figures, he only over achieved by 11% to win, which is impressive. Especially to win in such style. However, his East Lake form is average, which is surprising as it sets up perfectly for him and he has that pop stroke which is perfect for bermuda greens.

Boo Weekley (150/1) (debut) (58,33,12,37,58,35,54).

Boo’s form is pretty average and it is fairly impressive that he has made it here with such average form figures and the fact he ranks 175th in putting and 134th in scrambling.

Roberto Castro (66/1) (debut) (6,12,121,25,9,15).

Similar profile to Boo but with slightly better form figures. Solid stats apart from being a little short from the tee and his poor putting, ranking 163rd. When he contends he does it by relentless hitting greens, but it makes life tough. Ranks surprisingly high in scrambling at 19th. Place chances at best.

Jason Dufner (33/1) (19,-,13-20) (26,4,1,37,9,54).

Underachieved by 11% last week. Form at East Lake very average, ranks 154th in putting.

Gary Woodland (66/1) (13,-) (61,1,74,2,41,18).

All the coaching changes have worked for Gary Woodland who makes it to East Lake for the 2nd time. 151st in fairways hit and 145th in scrambling will make this a tough week for him.

Luke Donald (20/1) (25,2,3,3) (97,78,9,88,41,41,4).

A few people may be surprised to see how far down Luke is on my list considering his 4th last week and his excellent East Lake form. However, for me he is one to continue taking on. A good last round on his home track snuck him in here and a rank of 150th in greens in regulation will make scoring difficult here. He is going through swing changes and is unbelievably short at 20/1.

Dustin Johnson (50/1) (27,22,23,10) (32,2,33,8,75,27,62).

Dustin’s course form and recent form suggests we will once again have to scroll down the leader board to find his name. Ranks 174th in driving accuracy, 169th in scrambling and 114th in putting.

Nick Watney (33/1) (13,4,26,28) (97,44,124,82,9,35,2).

Bounced back to form last week with a 2nd place finish. Ranks 13th in greens in regulation but 113th in scrambling and 104th in putting. Has two top 10’s in last 3 but a poor East Lake record and an otherwise poor season means that he is more likely to threaten the bottom of the leader board, rather than the top.

DA Points. (150/1). (Debut) (108,59,40,6,86,57).

The biggest price and far and away the worst player in the field. I think I can say he won’t win. The only thing in his favour is he ranks 57th in driving accuracy. Ranks outside the top 100 in every other major category.


It is not that often I back a favourite or a player in single figures but Woods looks to be peaking and 6/1 seems fair price. If he continues to hit the percentage of fairways he has been hitting combined with a slightly warmer putter he can run away with this. The rest look either a little out of form, struggle to win or badly priced.

Italian Open

No bet

Tour Championship

5 pts win Tiger Woods @ 6/1 (-5pts)

Special Bets

0.5 pts each way Billy Horschel @ 50/1 First Round Leader, Tour Championship. (+6.25 points)

2 pts Keegan Bradley @ Evs to beat Nick Watney, 72 hole match bet. (Coral) (+2 points)

2 pts Steve Stricker @ 11/10 to beat Matt Kuchar, round 1 18 hole match bet. (VC) (+2.2 points)

0.5 pts each way Gareth Shaw @ 80/1 Kazakhstan Open (-1pt)

0.75 pts each way Brandon Stone @ 55/1 Kazakhstan Open (-1.5pts)

2013 running total = -15.82 points. This week’s investment 12.5 points. This weeks P&L = +2.95 points

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.