Made in Denmark Betting Tips – Thursday 25th August 2016

The organisers of the Made in Denmark should be very proud of the job that they have done. This week sees only the third renewal of the tournament but they’ve been able to attract some of the biggest names in European golf to Himmerland Golf and Spa Resort. Clearly, some of those big stars are here in an attempt to prove to Darren Clarke that they are worth a captain’s pick for the Ryder Cup but the fact that a win at such a young event could sway Clarke’s decision is testament to success of the Made in Denmark’s first two years.

There is not too much top quality golf played in Denmark but that has not dampened the locals’ appetite for the game. The Made in Denmark is one of the best supported European Tour events. Much of the reason for the event’s popularity is the Backtee New Course. It has a real stadium course feel with plenty of great vantage points but the real standout is the short par three 16th hole where over 3,000 people sit on banking surrounding the green.

Pressure Off for Fitzpatrick

At around 7,000 yards, the New Course is not a huge test of distance. Scoring well here is much more dependent on how much control players can have over their ball rather than how far they hit it. That is particularly true when the wind whips up as it often does on the exposed course.

Matt Fitzpatrick will be one of those players in the field hoping that the wind really gets up. The young Englishman has the sort of low ball flight that penetrates breezes and he should be able to outscore the field if conditions get tough. He’s also here in a great mood having secured a spot in Europe’s Ryder Cup team thanks to the ranking points he’s picked up on the European Tour. All of which makes him look like a good bet this week at a top price of 14/1 with BetVictor.

Home Favourite Olesen Worth Chancing

The Danish fans are very respectful of all those who turn up to play at the Made in Denmark but they are a patriotic crowd who will be especially supportive of their home favourites. Of that number, Thorbjorn Olesen looks like the man to back. Olesen finished seventh in the Made in Denmark in its first tournament when he looked to love performing in front of his own fans. The 26-year-old won in the wind at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship and can play himself back into form thanks to the support of the crowd. At 45/1 with BetVictor, back Olesen each way.

Solid If Unspectacular for Kaymer

Martin Kaymer still obviously feels that he needs to prove himself worthy of a place in the Ryder Cup but he must be considered a firm favourite to make the squad based on his performances already this season. The German made the cut at all the majors and has been very close to winning on a few occasions. He may not win this week but has the class to cement a wild card pick and claim a top five finish at odds of 9/4 with Coral.

The Barclays Betting Tips – Thursday 25th August 2016

The PGA Tour is dead. Long live the PGA Tour. As the Wyndham Championship brought the curtain down on the regular season the Barclays this week gets the FedEx Cup Playoffs underway as the top 125 players in the rankings look to end their season with a bang and a big boost to their bank balances.

There is a $10 million prize waiting for the man who can finish top of the FedEx Cup rankings after these four Playoff events each of which carry quadruple points compared to the PGA Tour season. Those points will scarcely be tougher to win than at Bethpage’s Black Course this week. The 7,468 yard layout plays as a par 71 and tests every facet of a golfer’s game.

It is long, the greens are tough to hit, the rough can be penal and even with a lot of watering, the hot weather in the New York area means the greens will be fast and fiery. It’s a good thing the players in the field have had good seasons up to this point!

Day a Fair Favourite

Jason Day is in a strange position this week. The Aussie is the defending champion of the Barclays but his comfortable win last season came at a very different course. Still, the bookies think that the world number one is the man to beat at Bethpage and it is hard to disagree. There is not a weak part of Day’s game as is testament to the fact that he ranked first in terms of total shots gained on the PGA Tour this season. Day will be fairly disappointed not to have picked up a win at any of the majors this season but he can put that behind him by having a good few weeks from now until the Tour Championship. That could well start with victory at the Barclays at a best price of 8/1 with Ladbrokes.

Stenson to Challenge Once More

In order to win, Day is going to have to beat the best players in the world. The likes of Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth will all feel they’ve got a big performance in the tank but there is arguably nobody playing better than Henrik Stenson at the moment. The Open champion was involved in yet another incredible battle down the stretch at the Olympics and it was only a poor final hole which cost him gold. He’s big enough and experienced enough to be able to dust himself down from that disappointment and his game – based as it is around hitting a high percentage of greens in regulation – is a great fit for the Black Course. Stenson should be there or thereabouts at odds of 12/1 with Bet365.

Donald Worth an Outside Punt?

Luke Donald has been threatening to get back to form over the past few months so his second place finish at the Wyndham Championship was no big surprise. There are plenty of people tipping the former world number one for a shock return to Darren Clarke’s Ryder Cup team. That will be more than enough ammunition to fire Donald up at the Barclays. He’ll have to keep his drives out of trouble but when he does, he is lethal from the fairways so looks worth an each way bet at 100/1 with Coral.

Czech Masters Betting Tips – Thursday 18th August 2016

This week sees the third renewal of the D&D REAL Czech Masters. It’s only a young event on the European Tour but it is certainly one which has caught the attention of the continent’s best players. Of course it helps that there is a healthy prize purse for those who play well but the biggest draw is the host venue, Albatross Golf Resort.

Just like the tournament itself, Albatross is a young venue. It was only opened in 2010 and in that time the parkland course has been rated as the number one course in the Czech Republic. It is a beautiful venue but anybody who takes their eye off the challenge it poses will quickly find themselves going backwards on the leaderboard.

At 7,467 yards, the course is a very demanding test of distance but it is also tough in terms of accuracy and ball striking. There are a number of hazards including lakes and some strategically placed bunkers and avoiding them becomes tough when the wind gets up.

As you would expect for such a long course, the most powerful players in the field are going to have a real advantage. Not only will they be able to fly a number of the most troubling hazards but they’ll leave themselves shorter irons into the greens which can be tricky to hit. Finally, the course’s par fives rank amongst the easiest holes and it will be important to take full advantage of them.

Thomas Pieters will have some very special moments when he returns to Albatross Golf Resort this week. The big hitting Belgian won his maiden European Tour title here last year and 12 months of hard lessons on both the European and PGA Tours later he is back to defend. He’s had a number of issues to deal with since, including injury and a loss of form but he looks back to something like his best having placed fourth the Olympics last week. His power hitting will be a big advantage and at odds of 10/1 with Bet365 he is going to take some beating this week.

Matt Fitzpatrick finds himself in the final position for Ryder Cup qualifying going into this week. The young Sheffield golfer has firmly established himself on the European Tour but he knows that his inexperience could count against him in terms of a captain’s pick so he needs points to guarantee himself of a place in the European team at Hazeltine. That is going to require a very good performance amongst this level of competition but having finished third at this event last season, Fitzpatrick should be fancied to go well at odds of 16/1 with Betfred.

Oliver Fisher has had a tough time of it over the past few years but there may be a bit of light at the end of the tunnel. The Englishman had a good run to the semi finals of the Paul Lawrie Match Play a couple of weeks ago which will give him a much needed shot of confidence. Fisher’s only European Tour win so far came at the 2011 Czech Open played at Albatross and that makes him worthy of a small stakes bet at 100/1 with Coral.

Wyndham Championship Betting Tips – Thursday 18th August 2016

After Ryan Moore’s very professional win at the John Deere Classic, the PGA Tour rumbles on ever closer towards the FedEx Cup playoffs, which begin next week with the Barclays. The distraction of Olympic golf is firmly behind us and we’re being treated to a procession of world class events in American beginning with this week’s Wyndham Championship. The proximity of the playoffs means there will be some very anxious players in the field who still need to confirm their place inside the top 125 of the FedEx Cup rankings for a spot at the Barclays.

This week’s venue, Sedgefield Country Club, was the original course for this event but it was taken off hosting duties for a number of years as PGA Tour players began to overpower it. It was left to Kris Spence to add length to the par 70 layout which can now stretch to 7,130 yards. Along with other alterations, the event organisers decided that Sedgefield posed a tough enough test for it to return as the host in 2008. It is a challenging course in places but winning scores since 2008 (including years that went to a playoff) have ranged from -14 to -21, showing that there are still numerous birdie chances.

Davis Love III showed last year that Sedgefield provides a tactical test of golf. The small greens are very difficult to hit from the wrong part of the fairways so the winner this week is going to have to drive the ball well before hitting high quality approach shots.

Jim Furyk is going to have to deal with an increased amount of media attention this week. Having shot a 58 a fortnight ago, Furyk is in demand when it comes to interviews but he is professional and experienced enough to turn it on when he takes to the course. The 46-year-old missed a large chunk of this season through injury and is currently just outside of the top 100 on the FedEx Cup rankings. That’s inside the cut off for next week’s Barclays but he’ll be looking to make a deep run in the playoffs and at a course that should suit his game he looks a strong betting option at 22/1 with BetVictor.

At this stage of the season it is always worth having a look at the players who sit just outside the cut mark for the Barclays. Of those desperate for a big tournament, have a bet on Morgan Hoffmann. The 27-year-old American has been very hit and miss this season but pulled it together with a T3 last time out and is tempting at odds of 150/1 with Coral.

Tyrrell Hatton may not be a member of the PGA Tour but the earnings he’s made in America this season have him just outside of the top 125. One more solid performance would be a huge result for the young Englishman who is contending with increasing regularity. Hatton is not afraid to go low and could be there or thereabouts so back him for a top 10 finish at 4/1 with Coral.

John Deere Classic Betting Tips – Thursday 11th August 2016

The Olympics have caused their fair share of chaos in the world of golf this year. The sport’s return to the Games after a 112 year absence has been something of a nightmare for the schedulers on the PGA Tour but after this week’s John Deere Classic it is back to normal. The John Deere is usually held the week before the Open but plenty of players in the field this week will find this an event worth waiting for.

Jordan Spieth won the John Deere Classic for the second time last season. His score of -20 took him to a playoff with Tom Gillis but that is by no means a freak. The last five champions all shot a score of -19 or better en route to victory and once again we should be in line for a massive number of birdies. At 7,268 yards, TPC Deere Run is a relatively long par 71 layout but of all similar courses on the PGA Tour, this is one of the easiest.

Whenever you look at an event where low scores are predicted it is important to be betting on players who will hit a high percentage of greens and hole the majority of their putts. Spieth putted his way to success last season but generally those two stats have combined to produce the winner of this event. Once again, we should be looking towards accurate players who will not crumble under the inevitable pressure of having to shoot a good score.

There was not a chance in the world that Zach Johnson would be missing this event. The 2012 John Deere Classic champion has a phenomenal record at TPC Deere Run and must almost budget for at least a third place cheque when he previews his season at the start of the year. The course sets up perfectly for his eye and game style, something which he capitalises on time and time again. Johnson is in decent form at the moment and with the added confidence that playing at this course brings, he can once again clean up at odds of 15/2 with Betfred.

Jerry Kelly raised a wry smile in the scorer’s hut at last week’s Travelers Championship as Russell Knox rolled in the winning putt. Had Knox missed from 12 feet, Kelly would have been in a playoff. As it was, he had to be content with finishing as runner up. That will put fire in the belly of the man who has already secured his PGA Tour card for next season. It will be hard for Kelly to hack the scoring pace for four days but he may well be able to grab the first round lead at odds of 45/1 with Betfred.

The John Deere Classic was one of the first events that Jordan Spieth won on the PGA Tour and it could prove to be a similarly important stepping stone in the career of Patrick Rodgers. Having made the step up from the Tour, Rodgers has now found his feet amongst the big boys but is just lacking that first win. He’ll love the chance to hit a ton of birdies this week and could well hit enough to win at 45/1 with Bet365.

Olympic Golf Betting Tips – Thursday 11th August 2016

After 112 years, golf has returned to the Olympic Games. Golf’s various administrators have been campaigning for the move for a number of years but now the run up to golf’s return in Rio has been anything but smooth. The preparations have been rocked by a series of big names pulling out of the games. None of the world’s top five players are in attendance and scores of players are giving Rio a miss. The Zika virus and scheduling issues have been offered up as excuses for not competing but in truth, Olympic golf was simply not attractive enough.

However, there are sure to be a few players regretting their decision already as those players who are in Rio have been posting their experiences on social media. Golfers don’t often get the chance to be part of the team and while the format is a straight knockout, the gold medal winner will be contributing to something much bigger.

So, what will it take to win the gold medal? The players are going to have to quickly get to grips with the brand new Olympic Golf Course designed by Gil Hanse and Amy Alcott. If the weather conditions are benign, the 7,128 yard par 72 layout is going to yield plenty of birdies. There are no trees, little rough to worry about and the track was designed to be playable by amateurs as it will be a public course after the Games. The main concerns for the players will be the high number of bunkers filled with sand native to the area, getting to grips with the three distinct parts of the course, the undulating fairways and the wind which can whip up to give the course an Open like feel.

The way that qualifying works for the Olympics has assembled an eclectic field. More than usual, we are likely to see the winner come from towards the top of the leaderboard and the first of the favourites to back this week is Henrik Stenson at 6/1 with Ladbrokes. Stenson is incredibly happy to be representing his country, he is in phenomenal form right now and showed that he can cope with the wind when he picked up his first major win at the Open.

Another player who is very good at dealing with the wind is Patrick Reed. The American showed his patriotic side at the 2014 Ryder Cup and will be desperate to bag himself a medal and get on that podium. Reed sees himself as one of the best players in the world and this is a chance for him to do something that none of his peers have managed. Expect him to make the most of his sawn off follow through to control his ball flight and go well in Rio at odds of 18/1 with Betfred.

Finally, have a bet on Soren Kjeldsen to win a medal at 18/1 with Paddy Power. Fewer players are as adept at utilising a low ball flight in the wind as the Dane and his ability to hit fairways and greens all week long will surely keep him in contention for a spot on the podium at great odds.

Travelers Championship Betting Tips – Thursday 4th August 2016

The Travelers Championship is one of a handful of events on the PGA Tour to be shunted about by golf’s return to the Olympics. However, the event organisers have not taken their new position after the US PGA Championship as a negative. They’ve spent the extra month they’ve got to prepare by making a number of changes to the course at TPC River Highlands.

The championship course still measures at around 6,800 yards and it still contains only two par fives to make a total par score of 70. However, every hole has had some work done to it to make the challenges posed more relevant to the world’s best players. You may think that the removal of a number of trees and bunkers would only make the challenge easier but River Highlands is now a tougher test of strategy. All the remaining hazards are very much in play while the fairways have been narrowed to make the tee shots look quite dramatically different.

One player who would have loved the course to stay the same is Bubba Watson. Bubba is a two time winner at TPC River Highlands and comes into this week as the defending champion. He clearly felt at home with the old design of the course and will need to put in a lot of work alongside his caddie Ted Scott to plot a route around the new challenge.

Those two had a famous falling out during the 2013 Travelers Championship but they remain a formidable team at the very top of the game. Bubba has the ability to hit shots that nobody else in the world would attempt. Using that unique vision of his, he should be able to quickly get to grips with the course changes which makes him look a very good bet at 14/1 with Ladbrokes.

One of the key aims of the course changes at TPC River Highlands was to reinvigorate the risk-reward element of the course. The new sightlines off the tee will tempt many players to hit riskier shots than they would have contemplated but it is still a course which will reward sensible players who have a world class wedge game.

That is great news for Jim Furyk. The experienced American has been a little up and down since returning from injury only a couple of months ago but he’s recorded some very promising results this season and excels at tricky, relatively short courses. Furyk is one of the PGA Tour’s highest earning players and looks too big at 40/1 with Coral to ignore for an each way bet.

Jamie Donaldson made a very good start to last week’s US PGA Championship but just couldn’t keep it going over the weekend. Still, he finished the tournament under par which was very welcome after a tough few months. Interestingly, the Welshman ranks second for strokes gained putting on the PGA Tour this season. If he can keep his ball out of trouble and hit high quality approach shots into the greens, Donaldson will take enough birdie chances to make him look a decent long odds shot at 150/1 with Betfred.

Paul Lawrie Match Play Betting Tips – Thursday 4th August 2016

It’s going to be a very short week’s work for 32 European Tour players. That’s because this week it’s time for the second Paul Lawrie Match Play, an event which will see half the field head home after just one day. We don’t get much match play on the golfing schedule so it is great to see some ahead of the Ryder Cup at Hazeltine later on in the summer. It’s also great to see a player of Lawrie’s standing being rewarded with the chance to host a tournament on the European Tour.

Lawrie’s popularity in the game has ensured that a number of the European Tour’s best players have made the trip back to Scotland for a chance to play at Archerfield Links in North Berwick. It’s not just the change in format that the players will have to get used to, this is a brand new course to the European Tour so there is a lot of work to be done during the practice rounds.

The Archerfield Links website describes the course as “golf as it’s meant to be”. The Fidra Links is a par 72 measuring just under 7,000 yards. That may look short but the clue about this course’s main defence is in the title. It contains many of the challenges of a traditional Scottish links course which is no surprise as golf has been played on the land for over 100 years. Lawrie wants to take the European Tour to some unfamiliar but traditional links courses and he’s found a very good venue in that regard this week.

Alex Noren will be very happy to return to Scotland having bagged his first win for over a year at last month’s Scottish Open. The Swedish star has been struggling with injury this season but his win at Castle Stuart confirmed that he is now back playing somewhere near his best. Noren is a powerful player who has the confidence and the concentration to ensure that he hits sensible shots around tricky courses rather than simply aiming to overpower them. That will stand him in good stead this week and the bookies’ favourite will be tough to beat at odds of 16/1 with BetVictor.

David Howell finished in fourth position at last season’s Paul Lawrie Match Play and he returns full of confidence after strong showings at both the Scottish Open and the Open Championship. Howell has enough experience of match play events to remain level headed when things go against him and has all the skills required to cope with a tricky links course. At odds of 50/1 with Betfred, Howell looks very good value.

The final player to get on board this week is Stephen Gallacher. The Scotsman has not been playing at his best ever since making an appearance at the Ryder Cup in 2014. This could be the best chance for him to bounce back to form in front of his home fans. He’ll be able to contend with the pressure of match play and is worth a small stakes bet at tasty odds of 66/1 with BetVictor.

US PGA Championship Betting Tips – Thursday 28th July 2016

The US PGA Championship can often feel like the forgotten major. While the Masters has the bright green splendour of Augusta National, the US Open is known for being one of the toughest tournaments of the year and the Open is always played at historic links courses, the US PGA Championship has struggled to differentiate itself amongst the majors.

For years, the US PGA used the slogan, “Glory’s Last Shot” but that simply drew ridicule. Why, the critics asked, should a major championship have to rely on a marketing ploy? So, the US PGA have worked very hard to keep the prestige as high as possible but there is one way they can increase interest in their event – keep holding it at fantastic golf courses.

That’s the route they took last year at Whistling Straits and it’s the route they’ve taken this year with a return to Baltusrol Golf Club. The 2016 US PGA Championship will be held at the club’s Lower Course, a very difficult par 70 that measures over 7,400 yards from the championship tees. That will test the players’ power but the main challenge is keeping the ball out of trouble. Baltusrol always has penal rough but the bunkers have been recently made deeper and manoeuvred to bring them into play more often from the tee.

All the players in the field know that they have to be at the top of their game to have any chance of success this week. It is vital to have a plan to keep bogeys off the card and make the most of the few birdie chances and then to stick to it. Anybody who tries to cut corners or push their luck will likely find themselves moving backwards relative to the competition.

Rory McIlroy has had a frustrating time of it so far this season. At various times he’s had issues with his full swing, his pitching and his putting but he might be about to put all those concerns behind him. A bad week for McIlroy is a good week for most other golfers and he only needs a few small things to go his way in order to win the US PGA Championship for the third time. He’s 9/1 with Ladbrokes and could well increase his major tally.

Phil Mickelson has improved dramatically this season after changing his swing coach and the only thing that’s been lacking is a win. ‘Lefty’ has six top five finishes to his name already this year including that valiant second place at the Open. He’s clearly still got the game to win at the top level and won the US PGA Championship in 2005 when it was last held at Baltusrol. At 22/1 with Coral, Mickelson looks well worth an each way bet.

Another previous winner of this championship who could well go well this week is Jason Dufner. The 2013 champion has put some very tough years behind him and won on the PGA Tour at this season’s CareerBuilder Challenge. He’ll have to be at the very top of his game but at tasty odds of 100/1 with BetVictor, Dufner looks like a very good each way option.

Senior Open Betting Tips – Thursday 21st July 2016

Golf fans in Scotland are right in the middle of their best time of the year. A fortnight ago the European Tour hosted the Scottish Open at the wonderful Castle Stuart Golf Links. Last week the galleries were treated to perhaps the best Open Championship of all time and this week they’ve got the chance to see masters of the game compete for the Senior Open at Carnoustie.

Just like the Open, the Senior Open is always held at genuine tests of links golf. That is certainly an apt description of Carnoustie. The 7,295 yard course is as long a layout as you will find on the Senior European Tour. Players on the Senior Tour like to use hybrid clubs to approach the greens on long courses but they tend to launch the ball high into the air which is not ideal on windy links courses. The distance will be a concern for some (the 255 yard par three 16th will be particularly tough) but it is far from the only defence of Carnoustie.

Like many other traditional links courses, Carnoustie plays host to a number of very difficult, deep bunkers. These are strategically placed around the greens and on the edges of the fairways and should be considered genuine hazards. There are windy water hazards ready to catch any poorly struck shot or even good shots as the ball rolls up the firm fairways and the weather will have a huge impact on scoring.

Given the size of the challenge posed by Carnoustie, it makes sense to bet only on players who have a proven ability to get round the course without being eaten alive. That is why you will see Bernhard Langer at the top of the bookies’ outright markets across the board. The German star won the last Senior Open when it was held at Carnoustie with a quite remarkable score of -5. He is a perennial competitor on the Senior Tour who knows just how to score at links courses. He will not allow the troughs to overly frustrate him and will not get carried away by the peaks so is the man to beat at 4/1 with Betfred.

Tom Watson is another man with a good history at Carnoustie. He won the Open here in 1975 and although he’s not quite the same golfer now, he remains a very competitive player on the Senior Tour. Watson is a clever strategist, has the ability to hit a low ball flight to keep it out of the worst of the wind and with 79 professional wins to his name, he knows how to overcome the nerves of the closing stretch. At 40/1 with Bet365, Watson is well worth backing.

Mark O’Meara made the cut at last week’s Open to the delight of his many, many friends in the game. The experienced American carefully picks and chooses the events that he plays in and will feel that his game is in perfect shape for a battle with Carnoustie. He’s an Open champion and at odds of 50/1 with Sky Bet he looks a great each way selection.