Irish Open Betting Tips – Thursday 28th May 2015

Not everybody was entirely blown away with the PGA Championship at Wentworth last week. The course was not in the best condition it’s ever been in with many players especially unhappy with how the greens were running. There will be no such concerns this week at Royal County Down. The Championship Course in Newcastle, Northern Ireland is regularly voted as one of the best courses in the world.

Set in the beautiful surroundings of the Murlough Nature Reserve, the par-71, 7,200 yard course has narrow, sloping fairways littered with dunes and bunkers. Postage stamp greens are well guarded and so take some very good approach shots to be hit in regulation. Many links courses play out-and-in, meaning the wind direction is relatively stable on the front nine and then changes for the back nine. That is not the case with Royal County Down. It was specifically designed so that the holes change direction and so does the wind. Only the best links golfers will consider themselves to have a chance of lifting the trophy come Sunday.

Rory McIlroy had a poor week at Wentworth. He missed the cut last week but it’s not a course he loves, whilst the opposite is true of Royal County Down. He grew up not far away and plays the event for fun regularly. The 26-year-old’s Rory Foundation is hosting the event this week and he’s responsible for many of the brilliant players making up the field. The world number one can control his ball flight and won the Open last year around a links course. He is, then, a deserved favourite at odds of 10/3 with Bet365, although you won’t get rich at that price.

At Royal Liverpool last year McIlroy kept Rickie Fowler at bay as the American finished tied for second with Sergio Garcia. All the talk then was of a rivalry between two friends that was going to dominate world of golf for years to come. Similar talk resurfaced after Fowler won the Players Championship at the start of May. Fowler is comfortable playing links golf and also played much of his formative golf in windy environments. Royal County Down holds good memories for the world number nine who played here in the 2007 Walker Cup. He must be considered for a good week at 12/1 with Coral.

The final pick for this week is Thongchai Jaidee. The most successful Thai golfer of all time has a good record at links courses and has shown himself capable of performing well in the wind. At 45, Jaidee showed that his game is still solid last week when he finished second at Wentworth. In the end he was unable to live with the scoring power of Byeong Hun An but he was his old, stable self. Jaidee will need to make sure that the distance of the course doesn’t trouble him but his approach play is so solid that he makes a great case for an each-way bet at odds of 66/1 with Bet365.

AT&T Byron Nelson Betting Tips – Thursday 28th May 2015

TPC Four Seasons plays host to the next tournament on the PGA Tour this week with the AT&T Byron Nelson. It is a tournament that has provided the maiden wins for a number of players including Jason Day, Keegan Bradley and Jason Dufner. For defending champion Brendon Todd, last year’s win was also his first win on the PGA Tour. He overcame the incredibly tough test offered by the course with aplomb last year but will find it very difficult to defend against a strong field.

The par 70 plays a little under 7,200 yards so it is not the distance that affects the scoring at the Las Colinas course. Rather it’s a track that requires some strong course management. A revamp back in 2007 made many of the greens bigger and with more slopes. The pin positions will have a huge effect from day-to-day because of those slopes. On one day the players might have a camber that will roll the ball towards the hole but away from the hole on other days. Expect the winner to be the player who hits the ball to the right part of the putting surfaces.

Jason Day enjoys this tournament. As stated above, it was the place of his first PGA Tour win and he has placed fifth, tied ninth and tied 27th since that 2010 victory. No player on tour has outscored the Australian on par-threes or fours this season thanks to an aggressive game that can get the ball as close to the hole as anybody else. Day is 16/1 with Bet365. He must improve on his driving accuracy which has seen him hit just 55% of fairways this season but the rest of his game is looking good for another win.

Brandt Snedeker managed to finish tied for second last week at Colonial. A very good result for the 34-year-old who’s already won and placed in the top 10 five times this season. Snedeker is thought of as one of the best putters on Tour and is ranked third in terms of strokes gained putting this season showing that his no nonsense approach is still working for him. His driving accuracy is over 60% and he is ranked 42nd for total driving efficiency. Even if he doesn’t put the ball in exactly the correct portion of the green, his flat stick should see him towards the top of the leaderboard at odds of 28/1 with Coral.

Ian Poulter decided to miss the European Tour’s flagship event at Wentworth last week to play at Colonial and was happy with his tied fifth finish. Poulter’s game has been solid this season with only his putter letting him down. Thankfully for his fans, he placed ranked fourth in strokes gained putting so is showing signs of improvement. Last week will have given him confidence that he can still compete amongst the best players on tour and his good driving accuracy and high number of greens hit in regulation make him good value for an each way bet at 50/1 with Coral here.

Crowne Plaza Invitational Betting Tips – Thursday 21st May 2015

Rory McIlroy showed the world that he is standing up well to the pressure of being the world number one when becoming the first player to win multiple times at the Wells Fargo Championship last week. But Rory’s not here this week. With the exodus of many European Tour players to Wentworth the American stars of the PGA Tour will battle it out this week at the Crowne Plaza Invitational at the Colonial Country Club.

The par 70, 7,204 yard course requires a great deal of accuracy both off the tee and with approach shots. That should suit the world number two Jordan Spieth. The Masters champion has excelled on a number of different courses over the past two seasons but it is these sorts of tests where he can really stand out from the field. He’s by no means the longest hitter on tour but this season he ranks first in terms of scoring average, second for strokes gained and first for his putting average. If Spieth cuts out the blocks from the tee that have littered his driving this season he will be in and around the leaders this week and can be backed at 11/2 with Bet365 to win yet again this season.

Nobody has a better record at Colonial than Zach Johnson. He is a two-time winner and holds the 72-hole record around the Texan course. Famously, Johnson won the Masters without hitting any of the par-fives in two shots showing that his short game is one of the very best in the business. The 39-year-old was thought of as being one of the best putters around but he’s switched between equipment this season which has seen him struggle with the flat stick in recent months. A prodigious worker, Johnson will no doubt have been doing all he can to put his putting woes behind him so expect a ‘dialled-in’ (to use Tour-speak) Johnson at Colonial. Ladbrokes make him a 16/1 shot to win which is great value for the course specialist.

Ian Poulter hasn’t played at Colonial since 2010 as he normally opts to play at Wentworth at this time of year. However, he’s decided against returning to England to give the Crowne Plaza Invitational another shot instead. On the face of it, it looks good call. Poulter is the sort of golfer who enjoys hitting fairways and plotting his way around courses. For players of his ilk there are not enough challenges of the like of Colonial on the PGA Tour so they have to make the most of them. Poulter’s been solid this season with a number of top 25 finishes and is ranked third in terms of par-four scoring on tour this season. It is vital to pick and choose the right times to attack the par fours at Colonial so Poulter, along with caddie Terry Mundy, will have to have a rock-solid plan and carry it out to the letter. If he does that, he certainly has a chance at 45/1 with Coral.

BMW PGA Championship Betting Tips – Thursday 21st May 2015

The European Tour is now back in Europe for the summer months with some exciting tournaments ahead but nothing beats the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth. It is the tour’s flagship event and has attracted a field that boats 18 major wins between them. The majority of the European Ryder Cup team is taking part as are a string of previous winners of the event. The fans who descend on Surrey will be sure to see some glorious golf.

With almost 100 years of history, the West Course at Wentworth is worthy of the PGA Championship. It plays around 7,300 yards with five par five holes contributing to the par of 73. The big hitters will have an advantage but only if they combine their distance with accuracy. There are a plethora of strategically placed bunkers to navigate and anyone who misses the fairway by too much will have tree trouble.

The man to beat this week is clearly Rory McIlroy. His win at Quail Hollow made it three for the season and showed once again that he is the best golfer in the world. It is going to be a long time before McIlroy’s best golf isn’t enough to win tournaments. The only negative about the defending champion this week is the fact that this is now four tournaments in a row and he only touched down in London in the early hours of Monday morning. If he gets adequate rest and brings anything close to his A game to Wentworth the 11/4 favourite with Coral will win.

There are others who could be in with a chance of course. Not only is Lee Westwood one of the best golfers ever to have not won a major, he is one of the biggest fans of the West Course never to have picked up the PGA Championship trophy. The 42-year-old has finished runner-up twice (most recently in 2011) but it is puzzling why he’s never gone the distance at a course that should suit his game down to a tee. Westwood is a great driver of the ball who will cope well with the distance of Wentworth and he’s putted well while winning two tournaments out of his last 11. Such is the power of McIlroy at the top of the betting that Westwood, the third favourite, is 33/1 with Coral.

Although this is a huge event on the European Tour, the American Brooks Koepka offers a great bit of value at 50/1 with BetVictor. The big hitter won his first event on the PGA Tour at the Phoenix Open this year having made a name for himself first on the Challenge Tour and then the European Tour. He will gobble up many of these par fives and just needs to get his short game and putting firing to have a genuine chance of upsetting the European fans. The 25-year-old will be a fixture at the biggest events for years to come and could well come up against some of the players in this field at Ryder Cups to come. Back him each-way to potentially profit even if Rory defends his title.

Open de España Betting Tips – Thursday 14th May 2015

The European Tour returns home to mainland Europe for the summer stretch this week with the Open de España at the Real Club de Golf el Prat. Having been out in the Middle East, Far East and Southern Africa, European fans finally get the chance to see the best golfers the continent has to offer first-hand. This week is especially exciting for Spanish fans who will be cheering on both Sergio Garcia and the defending champion Miguel Angel Jimenez.

Jimenez broke his own record as the oldest player to win on the European Tour last season but will find it difficult to retain his title. He plays much of his golf on the Champions Tour these days and hasn’t set the world alight when playing on the European or PGA Tours this season. The course – a par-72 designed by Greg Norman – plays around 7,300 yards from the competition tees. So, those players who possess big distance have an instant advantage. That may rule Jimenez out but could open the door for Garcia.

Garcia was very impressive at the Players Championship last week but was unable to secure the win in a three-way playoff. His ball striking was as good as ever but he was once again not quite up to par with his putting. His ability with the putter has certainly improved of late as he mixes between a claw and more orthodox grip. Whichever he opts for in Catalunya this week, he will need to keep holing putts to justify his favouritism. Bet365 go 11/2 about Garcia. It’s a short price but you’d have to say he is the best player in the field and won’t suffer from the sort of heckling he endured at Sawgrass last week – even if he is a Real Madrid fan playing near Barcelona!

Thomas Aiken decided to take a two month break from competition after playing at the Masters in Augusta. He made his return last week at the Mauritius Open but did not suffer from any apparent rustiness. He finished fourth then and is the last man to win the Open de España when it was hosted around this track in 2011. That win was his first on the European Tour, he’s since secured two more and could well make it four this week.

Francesco Molinari is the final pick for this week. The Italian has had a few issues with his game of late but has been working very hard to right them. He’s not played on the European Tour so far this season but has amassed some impressive stats in America. He’s the most accurate driver on the PGA Tour and ranks 14th for greens hit in regulation. Along with his coach, Molinari is working to improve his power and distance and the early signs are encouraging. If he produces anything like his best, he’ll be in and around the leaders come Sunday afternoon. The bookies are split on Molinari’s chances with the best value to be found at Bet365 who are offering 35/1. Back him each-way to return to Europe with a bang and land you a very nice profit.

Wells Fargo Championship Betting Tips – Thursday 14th May 2015

Rickie Fowler is the talk of the PGA Tour after silencing those fellow pros who voted him the most overrated player around by winning the “fifth Major”, the Players Championship last week. However, as ever with top level golf, things move quickly. Fowler’s not playing at the Wells Fargo Championship this week which is where all the attention is going to be very soon.

Quail Hollow is the venue for the Wells Fargo Championship once again this week. After going through a sticky spell in the 90s it underwent serious renovation under the beady eye of Tom Fazio. He added length and renovated the greens (they’ve since been redone again) which took the course back onto the PGA Tour in 2003. It is now a bombers paradise at 7,500 yards. The closing three holes, known as the ‘Green Mile’, are known as one of the toughest ends to a round but the course is vulnerable to giving up shots on its par fives.

The world number one Rory McIlroy is at home at courses where he can utilise his huge distance off the tee. He will always have happy memories of Quail Hollow as it was the site of his first PGA Tour win. The Northern Irishman comes to the Wells Fargo Championship knowing that he is striking the ball beautifully. Two weeks ago he won the WGC Match Play and were it not for a misfiring putter he would have finished considerably higher than the tied eighth he managed at last week’s Players. McIlroy is top-priced 10/3 with BetVictor to win. He’s worth backing because we all know what can happen when Rory hits a spell of form.

Just below McIlroy at the top of the betting is his Ryder Cup teammate, Henrik Stenson. The big Swede hasn’t particularly enjoyed playing Quail Hollow in the past so will have a lot of work to do in the pre-tournament practice rounds. The power of Stenson’s game can sometimes be hidden in the stats due to the fact that he prefers hitting his three wood off the tee rather than a driver. He has plenty of distance to go low this week and should be added to your betting slips with an each-way bet at 20/1 with BetVictor.

Phil Mickelson has shown this season that there is plenty of life in the old dog yet. ‘Lefty’, as he is affectionately known on tour, loves it around Quail Hollow. Never one to take the easy route, Mickelson will take on everything he has a chance at. His aggressive game has been the cause of some serious meltdowns in his career but just now he is playing some beautiful stuff. He missed the cut last week but finished tied for second at the Masters, around another course that is suited to the bigger hitters. If Phil can keep hitting fairways, he’ll have a real chance to secure his first win since the 2013 Open. Mickelson is 25/1 to win at Ladbrokes so take him on at each-way terms, although Rory has to be our top pick this week.

Players Championship Betting Tips – Thursday 7th May 2015

It’s the Players Championship this week, making it two huge events in consecutive weeks after the WGC-Cadillac Match Play which saw a return to winning ways for world number one Rory McIlroy. That win has cemented his place at the top of the betting followed closely by Masters winner Jordan Spieth. Both of them have good chances of success in yet another event this season but in order to do so they will have to overcome an incredibly strong field.

The strength of the field is befitting the brilliance of the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass. The Pete Dye design was specifically planned to test out as much of the players’ games as possible. Some holes dogleg to the left, some to the right; the holes are set-up to play into every possible wind direction; and, there is a mix of long and short holes. As befits a stadium course, the fans get some fantastic vantage points so will be right amongst the action for what is always a great spectacle.

World number one McIlroy has the confidence to know that if he plays his best golf he will be almost impossible to stop. However, the question is whether he can find his best golf after playing 121 holes of competitive golf last week. The Northern Irishman is very fit but even so it is a big ask to remain at the peak of his game. He also needs to do it at a course which has never been particularly kind to him. He’s 7/1 to win with every book out there with Spieth priced slightly higher at 8/1 with Ladbrokes. Spieth went out after just the three group stage games last week so has had more time to prepare for the challenges posed at Sawgrass.

The top two have such a strong impact on the betting that there are some big prices for players with a very good chance of winning. One such player is Zach Johnson who is a very tasty 66/1 with Coral. The former Masters champion has proved that he can win at courses that aren’t exactly set up for him but will find plenty of chances to outscore the field at Sawgrass. The longer par fives and fours will be a challenge for him but if he can stick with the field on those, he can out-perform them on the par threes which the majority will find tricky.

The last player with an all-round strong game who can upset the big boys this week is Hideki Matsuyama. He was well-fancied to do well at the match play last week but ran into an inspired McIlroy in the round of 16. He’s level-headed so can put that disappointment firmly behind him. In finishing tied 23rd here last year he couldn’t get himself firing so none of his rounds were sub-70. If he gets off to a good start this time around, there is no reason why the Japanese 23-year-old can’t add to his one PGA Tour win. Ladbrokes make Matsuyama a 33/1 shot to win which is well worth an each-way shot at a tough course.

AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open Betting Tips – Thursday 7th May 2015

Spring is in danger of turning into summer in Europe and with it the European Tour is only a week away from returning to the mainland. Before then, 40 tour players from Europe will join 40 from the Asian Tour and 40 from the Sunshine Tour for the Mauritius Open. Played at the beautiful Heritage Golf Club, the inaugural Mauritius Open has a tasty €1million purse that has tempted some big names to turn up. Thomas Bjorn has flown out to the Indian Ocean looking for his 16th European Tour win, as has George Coetzee, who’s already secured a win on tour this season.

As well as the prospect of some serious prize money, many players have flown out to get a chance of playing on a truly beautiful golf course. There is a deep, blue lagoon that comes into play on a number of the holes and the surrounding views are dominated by a mountain range. Although distance will not prove a challenge, the blustery winds blowing in from the Indian Ocean will take some working out as will the hills that run throughout the 18 holes.

The first pick goes to a man with a recent win under his belt, Kiradech Aphibarnrat. The Thai 25-year-old triumphed at the Shenzhen International in China. He did so under immense pressure as he had to hold off a number of challengers late on in the tournament. Golf fans were already well aware of Aphibarnrat but the character he showed for that win has boosted his reputation even further. That means his prices with the bookies have come in but 12/1 with BetVictor is still good value, even for an each-way bet.

The second pick is the powerful Australian, Scott Hend. The 41-year-old has winning form in far-flung parts of the world, most recently securing the win at the Hong Kong Open back in October. This season he’s finished in the top 20 on three occasions including his second place result at the True Thailand Classic. The course at the Heritage Golf Club plays only a little over 7,000 yards so Hend’s impressive distance off the tee should give him plenty of scoring opportunities. Tote’s 30/1 is as big as you will find Hend. He’s won when playing against better fields than the one assembled this week so it’s worth including him in your bets here.

Another player who has had good results far away from home is Paul Peterson. The American had to leave the States to join the Asian Tour for a chance of becoming a professional golfer and a season-and-a-half on things are going well. He finished 22nd on the tour’s order of merit last season and is on course for an even better year. Peterson is seventh as things stands and could take a huge leap forward if he is to secure his first win in Mauritius. The stats show that the lefty must be respected amongst this field, especially at odds of 33/1 with Ladbrokes.

WGC-Cadillac Match Play Betting Tips – Thursday 29th April 2015

It’s the second WGC event of the season this week as the top 64 ranked players in the world descend on San Francisco for the Cadillac Match Play. TPC Harding Park is not a course that too many of the players are familiar with but when you’re playing one-on-one course knowledge is not the most important factor.

Winning match play tournaments often comes down to consistency from tee-to-green and the ability to hole putts under pressure. Those players who prefer to take more risks will likely have to reign in their natural instincts until the latter stages of their matches.

For the first time ever, the WGC-Cadillac Match Play will be employing a group stage format. Previous tournaments have always been straight knock-out which provided great entertainment but was difficult on players who travelled thousands of miles for 18 holes and for sponsors who hated the idea of the best players making an early exit. So, the WGC drew 16 groups, each of which contained one of the top 16 seeds, decided by world ranking.

The top two seeds are Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth. McIlroy has been the number one player in the world for some time now but he is being strongly challenged by Spieth who secured his first Major a few weeks ago at the Masters. That week, Spieth showed he is capable of both blowing away the field and playing steady, safety-first golf. His putting is so good that he will be incredibly difficult to beat this week.

McIlroy still has that special something which sets him apart from the rest, but he needs a level of consistency that has so far not been too evident this season for any chance of claiming the title. Both can be backed at 10/1 with Ladbrokes and both are so good it is down to you to decide whether stability and great putting or the ability to do something special and unique will guarantee success this week.

One of the best things about the match play from a betting perspective is the number of different markets available to bet on. Not only can you bet on each individual match, the bookies are also offering markets on the group winners. So, let’s look at three players to back to win their groups.

First, there’s the runner-up of last year’s match play, Victor Dubuisson. His price of 3/1 to win group eight is big because he’s not one of the top seeds and has to have a better record than Dustin Johnson who’s looked brilliant since returning this season. However, Johnson’s powerful game may not prove to be as well suited for match play as the Frenchman’s accuracy and delicate short game.

Second, Justin Rose came back to form when finishing tied for second at the Masters and winning last week’s Zurich Classic. The Englishman who has plenty of Ryder Cup experience is 11/10 to top his group. The third player to back to win his group is Jason Day who’s also 11/10. He does have an incredibly aggressive game but showed he can pick and choose his moments when he won this tournament last season. All those prices are with BetVictor and combining them into a treble makes nice odds of 16/1.

Volvo China Open Betting Tips – Thursday 23rd April 2015

The European Tour remains in China this week with the Volvo China Open taking place in Shanghai. The championship course at the Tomson Shanghai Pudong Golf Club is flat and tree-lined with plenty of water hazards. The OneAsia Tour shares the sanctioning duties this week but as the course feels European, expect the players from the European Tour to have the best of it.

Alexander Levy goes into this week as the defending champion for the first time. Last year’s China Open was his maiden victory on tour but that win came at the Genzon Golf Club, which played host last week. He’s not played a tournament at the Shanghai course but has spoken of the confidence he has this week. There’s never been a back-to-back winner of the China Open in its 21-year history but Levy is an intriguing option. He couples decent distance off the tee with a high percentage of greens in regulation. The Frenchman’s putting has improved this year so as long as he gets a hang of the track, he could go all the way. Bet365 are offering a tasty 30/1 on Levy so get involved on each way terms.

Another European to take a look at next, in the shape of Englishman David Howell. The 39-year-old is one of the most experienced players in the field. It’s been almost 10 years since he was placed in the world’s top 10, when he held off Tiger Woods to win in Shanghai at the HSBC Champions, but he’s fared well so far on tour this season. He had a shot at winning the Shenzhen International last week but couldn’t quite get his round firing on the Sunday, ending up tied for fourth, good form to take into this week. Winless on tour last season, the bookies have all priced Howell up at 40/1. It’s not the strongest field that will be assembled this season so that’s a very tempting price for an each way bet about a player who should be in contention on Sunday once again.

The final tip for this week is a player who also had a chance of winning last week. Emiliano Grillo ended up tied for 11th, the latest in a series of good performances for the young Argentine. He boasts a stroke average of under 70 shots in his last 15 tournaments and if he puts those sorts of numbers together this week he could secure his first win on the European Tour. Grillo’s game has steadily improved since he first played on tour in 2012. This season he’s hit three quarters of all greens in regulation, averages around 290 yards with the driver and hits 70% of all fairways. Those are impressive stats and point towards him making a major breakthrough at some stage. The bookies believe that he’s dangerous this week as the best price you can get on him is 25/1 with Coral. Take that price with a third each way bet and his breakthrough could land you with a tidy profit, hopefully adding to profits from our other long odds selections.