UA-33754892-1 Archives for 21 April 2013 | Jason Kelly Golf

Jason Kelly Golf

Golf Betting Tips

Ballantines Championship and Zurich Classic

I got it pretty badly wrong last week. I was bullish regarding Snedeker and he never showed up. Still in possession of a strangely cold putter, normally a club that never cools down. But, all in I saw the winner as a player that had to find greens in regulation, in fact I think I said, “Basically, what I am saying is many weeks you can scramble wins. It is hard to do that here.” It turns out that the guy who won, Graeme Mcdowell, leads the tour by miles in scrambling! He ranked 7th in greens in regulation for the week but got up and down over 79% of the time, which is incredible around Harbour Town. The field average was 59.56%. Webb Simpson lead greens in regulation and lost in a playoff.

So, we lost 5 points on Snedeker. Another 2 points on our each way double with Snedeker and Garcia. Chris Kirk had a solid week but never really figured - another point gone. Stuard, was one of a handful of golfers who missed the cut (91 players made the cut last week). Horschel finished my week off nicely. Sitting inside the places with two to play and looking like the ‘get out of jail free card,’ he finished bogey, double bogey. He stuck the dagger deep into my heart and just twisted it slowly, paused for a bit, pushed it in again, a little deeper this time, then gave it one final, massive twist. Bill Haas was the only player who seemed to be on my side, easily dispatching BVP for a 3 point profit. Larazabal was awful in Spain and cost 2 points. A funny event where the greens threw up a funny looking leaderboard. Course looked good otherwise, but in Europe it is so tough to get enough info about players to try and make educated opinions. Anyway, a 10.5 point loss on the week and now 90.55 points down on the year. Hmmmmmmm.

This week we have the Ballentines Championship in ‘Europe,’ well Korea. I can see the winner coming from the two favourites Louis Oosthuizen 10/1 and Alexander Noren 16/1. It is not particularly that fact I fancy them to play well its just I don’t really understand what is going on in the market just behind. Richie Ramsay 25/1, 3rd favourite, for a big prize fund in ‘Europe’? I understand his course form is good, 13th and 2nd the last two years, but is he a 25/1 player in a biggish event? Not for me. Bernd Weisberger defends at 30/1 and has had a top 5 this year. Probably a fair price. Victor Dubuisson 30/1, finished 3rd last year and has had 3 top 10’s this year but I still don’t really know who he is. Kiradech Aphibarnrat, despite a missed cut last week, is very fair at 33/1. He is leading the Asian order of merit and in his starts in 2013 has finished 3-1-4-1-5-102. Back in Asia this week, surely with course form of 27-15 should be shorter than Dubuisson, Weisberger and Ramsay? Then you got Sang-Moon Bae, 1 top 10 this year and no course form. Marcus Frazer, goes well in Asia, 1 top 10 this year but 3rd here last year. Y.E. Yang, I really rate him as a player and has a mc and a 15th to his name here but he has a been pretty cold for a while with a couple of top 25’s his best form so far in 2013 and although this is weaker than what he is used to, he will have to find a lot to win here, unless he has just been homesick the whole time. After him the standard Europeans come in at 40/1. David Howell, Agullar, Larazabal, Jaideee, Gallacher, E. Mollinari, Lawrie etc. You could argue each of these but none stack up better than Kiradech Aphibarnrat.

Aphibarnrat has the best current form in this field. In his presser this week he said “I try and finish as high as possible with every tournament that I compete in. I’m enjoying a good run of form and I’m feeling very confident about my game, especially after my win in Malaysia.” I like his outlook, his form and the way the course sets up for him. A small interest is advised in a funny little betting heat.

At a bigger price I am going to have a straight up, old fashioned, punt on Kristoffer Broberg. I can’t really back this up with any logic apart from I think the course will suit and he finished 2nd in South Africa in December. Since then he has not done much, a 34th in India his best so far in 2013 but at 150/1 he is worth, as I said, a small punt.

On to the main event, The Zurich Classic of New Orleans at TPC Louisiana. Now this event is a conundrum. We know the scoring goes low. We know the forecast is good except for storms, but playing conditions should be fine with only a moderate wind. We know the past champions at the venue have no pattern, Petrovic, Couch, Watney, Romero, Kelly, Bohn, Watson Dufner are all very different players. What we don’t know is the type of player likely to go well.

Past champions give no real guide so lets have a closer look at last years event. Dufner beats Els in a playoff after tying on -19. Perfect, two classic green in regulation players who struggle to make putts. Not so perfect is neither ranked in the top 30 in greens in regulation for the week, their putting was the key to their week, not their ball striking. So what do you do? Find a player who hits a lot of greens but can’t putt and hope he gets hot for the week?! Not a great plan. But strangely, look back to 2011 and Bubba Watson fits this profile exactly, and Couch in 2005!

Dufner going into this last year ranked 3rd in scoring, 3rd in birdie average, 4th in greens, 5th in total driving and 5th in the all round. He was also in a rich run of form and everyone knew it was just a matter of time before he caught a win. Sounds a bit like Billy Horschel this season. He looks like he is due a win and ranks 17th in scoring, 4th in birdies, 46th in greens, 16th in total driving and 12th in the all around. It is a nice fit and he should go well. The problem for me is 33/1 is not much of a price. There is plenty of quality in this field and although 12 players have lost their PGA Tour winning virginity in this event since 1990, I am finding it hard to back a virgin at the price. You might say, “Jason, you backed Dufner here last year at 33/1 and he was a virgin, thanks for the winner but why not Billy this year?” Well, in my view Dufner looked like he knew he was going to win whereas Billy looks increasingly frustrated. He lost his head at Harbour Town last week trying to force things. It is perfect for him and if he was 50/1 he would be a bet, but I am going to reluctantly pass.

I am going to stick with my guns here. In the top 10 and ties last year (12 players) 9 ranked in the top 10 in putting. 1 ranked in the top 10 in greens, Ryan Palmer who finished 4th ranked 6th in greens but also 8th in putts per green in regulation and 8th in putts per round. Two players ranked in the top 10 of fairways hit, Donald ranked 6th, finished 3rd, Rose ranked 3rd and finished 10th. So, I still think a putter has the edge here. Anywhere where you got to get to near 20 under you have to putt good. Birdies and putting.

Chris Kirk is my first pick. His ball striking is not great ranking 105th but 5th in scrambling and 4th in putting makes him 6th in scoring. He ranks first in putts per green in regulation and putts per round combined in this field. He has shot -16, -17 and -13 already this year so he does fear going low. 55/1 (60/1 with Stan James) is good enough to make him a bet for me.

Next up is Jordon Spieth. He caught the eye last week again finishing 9th showing he does not mind a bit of breeze. He ranks 19th in fairways, 36th in greens, 83rd in putting, 7th in eagles, 70th in birdies and 19th in scoring. Now, agreed, his birdie rank is low for this but he has not played the easiest venues in his short career. His putting rank is also a little low so he fits a little more into the past winners profile of a player who is solid and if the putter warms up he can get right in the mix. He shot -19 in Puerto Rico so we know he can go low. 55/1 is fair.

Finally, despite missing the cut on his last two outings, I am going to put Brian Stuard back in the staking plan. He got off to a horrible start last week but played good on day two. He ranks 14th in putting, 36th in birdies and 14th in scoring. It is a little risky as he could be on a downward curve but this should suit. Again he has posted -16, -21 and -18 already this year. Hopefully he can go low again this week at 150/1 (175/1 with Boylesports).

The Zurich Classic of New Orleans

1.5 pt each way Chris Kirk @ 55/1 (-3pts)
0.75 pt each way Brian Stuard @ 150/1 (-1.5pts)
1 pt each way Jordon Spieth @ 55/1 (-2pts)

The Ballentines Championship

1 pt each way Kiradech Aphibarnrat @ 33/1 (-2pts)
0.25 pts each way Kristoffer Broberg @ 150/1 (-0.5pts)

2013 running total = -90.55 pts. This week’s investment 9 points. This weeks P&L = - 9 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.