UA-33754892-1 Archives for 17 March 2013 | Jason Kelly Golf

Jason Kelly Golf

Golf Betting Tips

Arnold Palmer Invitational and Malaysian Open

Watching Kevin Streelman win last week at the Tampa Bay Championship was very rewarding. It was reassuring to know I had identified a player at huge odds who was good enough to win on the PGA Tour. It was also the most horrific and frustrating thing I have ever seen! We backed that guy in his previous four starts at prices between 125/1 and 250/1 and have nothing to show for it. He was 6th on my list last week and was very close to getting picked. Anyway, our actual picks were less impressive. Matt Jones missed the cut, Brendon De Jonge, Brian Stuard and Billy Horschel played four rounds but never contended. I put this down to a misjudgment on my part. My research suggested the course was playing easy and the scoring would go low. This was not the case and did not suit the selected players. We lost a further 8 points meaning we sit at -47.25 points for the year.

This week looks interesting. ‘Europe’ is in Malaysia this week and on the surface there does not seem to be anything too exciting in the market. There are some very good players at the top at shortish prices that look hard to oppose. Luke Donald 11/2, Charl Schwartzel 6/1, Matteo Manassero 16/1 and Alex Noren 28/1 all look set to have big weeks. Out of them Schwartzel would be my pick and Manassero looks a very, very short price. However, it was interesting reading Harrington’s views on his Thailand Open experience last week referring to how the travel and the heat took its toll as the week went on. He said on Saturday he hit the wall. Nowadays these players are used to travelling the world and know how to deal with it but they are not immune, even the younger ones.

Harrington is an interesting one. His game often comes in spurts and in fairness his form has been pretty poor so far this year but last week he showed signs of a turn around. His rounds of 67,66,75,66 for a share of 34th show some good form. The 75 when he “hit the wall” cost him a chance but the other 3 rounds are a good sign. His advantage here is he will face no jet lag and he will be acclimatised. The negative, apart from his form, is the fact his driver broke last week. In a funny way I think this could work as a positive as I think he drives it terrible. I would love to see him hit 3 wood more as he hits his driver everywhere. His form is in Europe reads 33-23-4 and in the US 9-mc-mc-33-39. His stats are not great either but I got a feeling he may go well this week. A small interest at 30/1 is recommended.

Now to Bay Hill for the Arnold Palmer Invitational, the final event of the Florida swing. This event is all about Tiger Woods. If he is half on surely he wins? He looked in great form when trotting up to win at Doral, but then again 100 putts for a week will make anyone look good. The fact is Woods is like a top racehorse. He picks the races that suit, on the courses he likes, like prep races for his four target races. He does not play courses like Riviera or Copperhead as they are tight and treelined. Tiger may be the ultimate horses for courses player and we know just how well he has gone well here. That combined with a win last time out, a weeks rest and rankings of 6th in putting and 1st in scoring make him very tough to beat. However, this is represented in a price of 3/1.

I make Woods and Snedeker a long way clear of the rest. Woods is not a betting proposition at 3/1 and there are question marks about Snedeker. He was in exceptional form at the start of the year and if he has retained that level he is a must bet at 22/1. But to read quotes like "I feel completely healthy, I'm going to have a little soreness and that is to be expected, but no concern whatsoever. This is an injury you don't want to try to play through because it can get worse. The Masters is something that you don't want to miss due to an injury. I'm glad I'm back, but the Masters was a concern." and “About the only thing he was able to do was complete the family's move to a new house in Nashville. While movers did the heavy lifting, Snedeker went three weeks without touching a club and didn't start hitting balls again until 10 days ago.” is a little deflating. Therefore it is hard to trust him at what now looks like a short 22/1.

Chris Kirk is my first pick this week. He has only played Bay Hill once, a missed cut in 2011. He appears to be a different player now. Two top 5’s already this year including a 2nd at Pebble Beach bode well. He opened with a pair of 68’s last week before a poor weekend but a look at his stats shows he is more than capable. 8th in putting, 1st in eagles, 18th in birdie average and 8th in scoring. Bay Hill is a tough course to get it up and down. This is a reason why proximity to the hole here last year was out to 38’5” (6th highest on all courses including Majors) with players taking a more conservative route and not just firing at pins. Instinctively this makes you think green in regulation robots like Westwood or Boo Weekley should come to the fore or short game experts like McDowell or Poulter, but I think it still plays into the hands of the putters. It is all well and good hitting it to 40 ft all day but you got to 2 putt. A couple of 3 putts and you are back taking pins on again and forcing mistakes. Therefore Kirk’s profile sets up well and he is a bet at 125/1.

Next up is Russell Henley. He is 125/1 with Stan James, 90/1 in a couple of places and a general 80/1. This is too big. He is a very solid all round player who has had an incredible rookie season thus far. He has shown he is comfortable at all levels including the two WGC events he has played. Rookies have a poor record here. In the last 4 years, 33 have played and one has managed a top 10. There are similar stats in place for the poor performances of rookies in the Sony Open, the event Henley won in his first start on Tour. The 125/1 on offer is huge, 90 is great and 80 big. He is a good bet this week. 28th in ball striking, 13th in putting, 11th in eagles, 8th in birdies, 16th and in scoring confirm this.

Brian Stuard did not quite fire last week after his top 5 in Puerto Rico shooting 75-68-74-69 to finish 43rd. This guy can play and again it sets up well for him. 24th in fairways hit, 9th in putting and 11th in scoring make the 150/1 (175/1 with Stan James, worth opening an account at this rate!) on offer too good to turn down.

Next on my list is Sergio Garcia who is in good form but is short at 22/1. Matt Jones comes after him and his stats look very good for a 150/1 chance but he has not registered a top 10 this year and has never made a cut at Bay Hill. He is a streaky player and missed the cut last week. Streelman comes next and is still tempting at 100/1. When thrown in next to my next two choices he actually starts to make a bit of sense. Players who struggle to win for years react two ways. They either disappear or enjoy the fact the weight has been lifted and step up and play at this new level. I think Streelman could be the latter, he can go well again and is still a good enough price. He finished 7th here in 2010 and ranks 2nd in total driving, 11th in ball striking and 14th in scoring. By the way, the next two on my list were Jimmy Walker 80/1 and Phil Mickelson 18/1.

Arnold Palmer Invitational

0.5 pts each way Chris Kirk @ 125/1(-1pt)
0.5 pts each way Chris Kirk @ 100/1 betting without Tiger Woods (-1pt)
0.5 pts each way Kevin Streelman @ 100/1 (-1pt)
0.5 pts each way Kevin Streelman @ 90/1 betting without Tiger Woods (-1pt)
0.5 pts each way Brian Stuard @ 150/1 (175/1 Stan James) (-1pt)
0.5 pts each way Brian Stuard @ 125/1 betting without Tiger Woods (150/1 Stan James) (-1pt)
0.5 pts each way Russell Henley @ 90/1 (125/1 Stan James) (-1pt)
0.5 pts each way Russell Henley @ 80/1 betting without Tiger Woods (100/1 Stan James) (-1pt)

Malaysian Open

1pt each way Padraig Harrington @ 30/1 (-1pt)

2013 running total = -47.25 pts. This week’s investment 10 points. This weeks P&L = 10 pts

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.