Betting

The PGA Championship betting preview

So then, here we are for one last final hurrah. ‘Glory’s last shot’ (or now what they laboriously call ‘The Seasons Final Major’

The PGA Championship 2014 provides that final opportunity for all the worlds best to grab hold of a major, whilst this year it is the start of that final push for Ryder Cup qualifications, for those eligible 😉

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So then, this sets up to be a cracker, a few big names all playing seriously well, this has the potential to be a beaut of a final major for 2014! But who will win, Mcilroy is looking unmovable as the World number one whilst Sergio is ‘serging’ forward to a great year in 2014. Apologies for the pun!

Well, Valhalla. That name just sounds so cool doesnt it? Yeah, yeah anyway… The par 71 course will play at 7,458 yards – a remarkable 295 yards longer than Oak Hill last year and a couple of hundred more since Valhalla last hosted a major event – the 2011 Senior PGA Championship.

Valhalla is very much risk and reward, every winner since 2004 has averaged 290+ yards on Tour before their PGA victory (barring Jason Dufner last year!) But it’s not all about the length, ohhhh no! ther’s more to Valhalla than just smashing your tee ball– this war will require bravery yes, but a strategic battle-plan will, without doubt, provide us with the winner.

The tips you ask? Well, lets get to it.

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SERGIOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

The 1999 PGA Championship was the scene of Sergio Garcia’s arrival, a much more hot-headed character to the one we see today. It’s a tournament that has also seen him finish 2nd, back in 2008. With his newfound putting ability and love for the ‘claw grip’, Sergio has the perfect armory to attack Valhalla. Sergio has been is superb form lately, with a great display at the open and the wGC last week, he’s in touching distance of Mcilroy and it seems he’s got some good form at the right time.

Matt Kuchar, like Serge, he’s not far away, both of them are more than capable of winning a major, is it just a matter of time?

Rory. Enough said, he’s on flames at the moment and if he plays like he has been doing there is very little anybody else can do about it.

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Mahan, to me Hunter Mahan is one of the best American golfers on tour. His sweet ball striking, matched with consistency off the tee could help Hunter battle his way through Valhalla.

A bit of Aussie grit? Yeah Scotty should be up there as per, but we are talking Marc Leishman! 6 top 10s which include a 3rd last week at the WGC, T5 at The Open, T8 at the Quicken Loans National and T2 at Farmers Insurance Open, a few good ffinishes at tricky courses show he could be a contender for the final major!

Sooooooooooooooo the stage is set, the final major, lets see whatcha got Valhalla!

Thanks again!

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The Open, Royal Liverpool Betting Preview

Hello! Sorry it’s been a while, the weather has been BEAUUUTIFUL up North, which if you are from England will know this doesn’t happen all too often. This weather only means one thing, evening rounds of golf after work YES!!!

Anyway, its Open week, actually there’s only a day to go so let’s get to it!

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I love the Open, I’ve been the past few years and we’ve made it a tradition ever since. We’re off to Hoylake on Sunday for the final round and I cannot wait! I think this year more than ever it is completely wide open.

Rose, Mcilroy, Mcdowell are all in with a shout along with half the field, annnnnnnnd Tigers back! Tiger coming back is always good for golf and of course adds a little more excitement to the competition. Whether you are a player or a spectator, you want Tiger there over the weekend!

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So my tips, take these with a pinch of salt as I really can’t call this one!

The actual course is a 7,312 yard par 72 with 4 par 5s that are so vital to finding a winner – The last time it was held at Hoylake in 2006, Tiger shot a remarkable -14 on those 16 trips to the longer holes and it was a big contribution to his -18 total that won him the trophy by 2 shots from Chris DiMarco.

His game plan? Tee to green master class.  With the weather in everyone’s favour he found 85.71% of fairways (1st in Driving Accuracy for the week) and 80.56% of GIR (1st for GIR.)

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You are going to need a solid and accurate game from tee to green in order to win any Open Championship.  If you do find the hay then it is just as important how you recover, therefore scramblers always seem to do well.

Justin Rose, coming off a win up in Scotland Rose’s game seems in fine form ready for Hoylake, is it his time to lift the claret jug?

G-Mac The French open saw Mcdowell as he ground his way to another European title. His all round game suits Hoylake, getting up and down is what he does best, he’s a grinder, this sets up for him very nicely.

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Rickie Fowler, we have been raving about Rickie all year, we can’t stop now, he has to win at some point right?

Webb Simpson, you will NOT win the Open without a good putting stroke. Actually you won’t win a lot without a good putting stroke, luckily this man has one of the best putters in the game! 2 top 3 finishes in his last 4 will also fill the American with confidence.

Zach Johnson, again another contender, 2nd last week at the John Deere, his short game is impeccable, I think he will contend for a top spot as he picks apart Royal Liverpool.

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There’s so many to pick from this week, it really is tough to call, outsiders for me are,

Shane Lowry, we saw enough of him at the Scottish Open to suggest he could be in for a career defining week, a game suited to the links courses with both of his wins coming from the coastal ranks. Shane is arguably playing some of the best golf of his career right now.

Danny Willet’s game is right there at the moment, being an Englishman he will feel right at home on Hoylake and with a decent showing at Scotland he could be a real outsider..Could be.

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Do you guys have any tips? Or have you been to Hoylake before and have any course tips, where to go, stand, which grandstands to go to etc, get in touch and let us know, otherwise enjoy the golf!

That’s all for now folks, thanks again!

I’ll have  couple of course reviews coming up soon and lots more to come, stay tuned. As always if you enjoy my Ramblings you can follow me on twitter @shaun_lloyd4.

Pinehurst No.2, 114th US Open

Let’s get straight to it, the second of the majors gets underway this week with the 114th US Open, at Pinehurst No.2. Woooooooooooooooo!

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Did you know… ( I didn’t either)

Twelve of the 14 US Open winners this century have been aged between 26 and 37 – only Woods and McIlroy have won at an age younger than 26 and in the case of those two world class stars such players are always likely to buck trends. Reducing the age range of the last 14 winners further, exactly 50% of them have been aged between 29 and 33.

So what does it take to win the US Open?

Well, in 2010, Pinehurst underwent a massive renovation that completely changed the way it plays. The course cut 35-40 acres of area that was just fairways and rough.

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‘The course now consists of 50 acres of turf, all maintained at fairway mowing heights, essentially eliminating the higher rough. The rest of the marginal areas were transformed into irregular, sandy ground dotted with wispy, unpredictable wiregrass. Bunkers that had been grown over also were reclaimed, while some existing ones were tugged and extended into lines of play.’

So yes, now it has been cut back it does allow the longer hitters to have a little more room when they hit bombs but I think Pinehurst will still have enough bite to punish those wayward drives to make some think twice for their risk and reward.

However for me I still think it’s going to come down to strong approach play, tight recovery shots and a magical touch around the greens that will Unlock Pinehurst No.2 come weekend.

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Although Rors and the inform (never really out of form) Adam Scott are favourites I honestly think it’s somebody else’s day… Not Jason’s either (apologies for the pun!)

To me this favours players like Jim Furyk, Graeme McDowell and Zach Johnson. They aren’t the most intimidating off the tee, but they understand that putting the ball where it needs to be is more important come Sunday!

Other favourites for me are Matt Kuchar, steady eddy, a few hiccups here and there so far in 2014 but Matt’s always there, scrambles well too which will be key at Pinehurst!

Another one for me is Jason Duffner, another easy going guy, but hey what do I know, let’s wait and see, bring on Pinehurst!

Who’s your pick to win the US Open? Who will rule the weekend at North Carolina?

 

A ‘Fifth’ Major, The Players Championship

So today the ‘fifth’ major gets underway at TPC Sawgrass, theres many to watch and its one of my favs to watch too! The Players is part of history, whether you believe in the fifth major or not, its a great event and definitley not something to miss.

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Theres loads with a shout, JB Holmes off the back of his win last week, Adam Scott will be wanting a good finish, a top 16 will also see Scotty return to the world number one spot. Garcia, Dustin Johnson, the list is endless, I really can’t pick a winner!

If i had to have a guess i’d go wth Fowler as an e/w bet, hes finding form with Butch in his corner, his swing is looking good, and I think this year he will produce something special, will it be the players? I’m not too sure. Jim Furyk finished well last week and finding some form, when he’s on it he really is tough to beat, long off the tee and deadly accurate when he wants to be, one to watch for sure!

Something a little different here’s a few players who have never won at the Players… Yeah yeah, theres a lot of players who havent done that, but packing a top field you would have thought one of these guys would have lifted the unofficial fifth major!

One. Jim Furyk. This week could change all this, a fourth and fifth finish here, he’s done better than a few others and in his current form could break the duck!

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Two. Justin Rose. JR has missed the cut here five times over the years, clealry he struggles here but why? Clearly this isnt his english cup of tea! Come on Rosey!

Three. Bubba Watson.  Bubba, Bubba Buba Bubba. Bubba long may struggle me thinks.

Four. Rory McIlroy. Like Rose, This isnt Rorys favourite either, missing the cut in his first three attempts! Like Bubba and other big hitters Rory may struggle, can he hone in those long drives to cope with the doglegs and tight lies?

Five. Lee Westwood. A great ball striker works well pretty much anywhere and Lee has that, thats for sure. He’s struggled in America before now, but now he’s moved over maybe he’s settles on US soil? the unoffical major still counts as a major right Lee?

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Six. Luke Donald. Luuuuuuuuuke! Easy to forget poor Lukey boy was World No.1 not so long ago, a 2nd place finish here nearly 10 years ago on his way up the rankings and fourth and sixth finishes as well, you would think this course suites his game.

Who’s your bet for the players? Maybe one of the above?

Where it was won, The Masters!

A week on and we take a look at how the Masters really won!

A Masters without Tiger just didn’t seem possible, however this year marked the first year Tiger didn’t feature at Augusta since 1995!! This undoubtedly opened the door for so many, now yes Tiger may not have been in the form of his life but I still believe he has that ‘Tiger’ Factor, he would still have taken the favourite spot! This gave a massive opportunity to those in the field to showcase what they truly had!

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Off the back of several top ten finishes many thought Matt Kuchar would come close to wearing that green jacket, however few stumbles in the final round saw him drop to T5 along with Rickie Fowler.

Jiminez marked a late challenge for the green jacket however it was too little too late, however he finished nicely in 4th spot, the Spaniard was the only one looking to challenge the two at the top.

Moving day

The 3rd round found 8/9 players in with a shout, however that soon went down to four at the midway point, Kuch, Fowler and Young Swede Jonas Blixt fluttering with the top spot however Bubba Watson started to show signs of his former Masters form!

The American left-hander, 35, shot a final-round 69 to win by three after overhauling a two-shot deficit on his co-overnight leader Spieth on a sultry day at Augusta. Watson became the 17th player to win two Masters titles, eight of whom have gone on to win three or more Green Jackets. He showed signs of brilliance where so many faltered, his short game accuracy, his distance off the tea, he just didn’t seemed phased by any of it, he proved myself and im sure a lot of people wrong when he grabbed his second win at Augusta.

Stand Out?

Jonas Blixt was one of two who stood out for me, the young Swede came from absolutely nowhere to grab a slice at Augusta but fell short towards the end when his birdie run dried up.

The other stand out was of course Jordan Spieth. A debutant Spieth, 20, was bidding to beat Tiger Woods as the youngest ever winner and duelled with Watson for much of the day, but the Texan’s chances were sunk in the water of Amen Corner and he carded 72 to end five under.

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So where was everybody else?

Justin Rose started round 4 nicely after struggling in the first couple of days, although he seemed to struggle to go low towards the end and ending any hope of putting an early low score on the leader board. Westy, well he did what he does best, play better than everybody tee to green and just couldn’t get that putter warm enough. Adam Scott and Rory two more  favourites who just couldn’t get in to the swing of things (apologies about the pun 😉 ) and Luke Donald still struggling after some swing changes which have left him fall short of his sublime form.

What next?

After his first Masters win Bubba had a bit of a hangover didn’t he, leaving him waiting till 2014 for his next victory on Tour at the Norther Trust Open, hopefully he can replicate his masters form and kick on this season!

I fancy Kuch to have another good season, he’s a safe bet, whether he can get to the finish line is another question. Westwood, well hopefully he gets the flat stick working, his game tee to green is second to none and that could see him up there this season, a major though? I’m not sure. Spieth and Fowler are looking good so far, Spieth may taper towards the end of the season, he’s young and a long season could take its toll, however I feel Fowler isn’t far away from something special!

Thanks for stopping by, see you soon!

 

Jordan the 2nd

Where to start with this one…

America has already seen one of the best Jordan’s to grace the sporting world, so is it time for one more?

He might not be an NBA legend like Michael, however Jordan Spieth, who last year won the John Deere Classic to became the fourth youngest PGA Tour champion and also the first teenager in 82 years to win on the PGA Tour, is about to set the golfing world on fire!

Everybody watched Sunday right?

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Composed (most of the time), creative, mature (again at times) and with that instinct you just don’t see in every young kid? Yep and he’s only 20 years old! I am slightly envious being 2 years older than him and still hacking at my local club yes!

Now before we get started I hate to say I told you so.. however..I told you so, see our first blog on ones to watch for the year.

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Without a doubt Sunday was the start of something, something just a little bit special! I’m sure he won many fans over last week, and it’s not hard to see why!

He poses an excellent short game, and is just an incredibly talented young guy, however this isn’t what separates Spieth from the other young potential pool of talents out there. Spieth conducts himself in a completely different manner to the other youngsters out there, he’s calm, collected and could be… ‘could be’ mentioned in the same breath as Mcilroy. Not yet I admit, but he isn’t too far away!

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For me, Rory McIlroy represents the RAW talent in the game, so many youngsters progress to be a pro and so many fall short.

Rory for me, is the only player since Tiger to have capitalised on their raw talent, with two major wins in 2012. Rory knew he had this, he just had to unlock his true potential. Dustin Johnson is up there and has improved year upon year, and Jason Day too!

Oppositely you look towards Adam Scott, he has in my opinion the best swing in the game, and was labelled the next ‘Tiger’ and yet it took him an age to realise just how good he was, since winning the green jacket last year he just looks ruthless!

But Spieth? He’s here to stay, in my eyes a definite future major champion, this year or next? Maybe, maybe not he, consistency is key in my eyes, once he gets on that ladder he will definitely be up there for good!

Now Rory and Tiger showed promised potential, Jordan’s obviously got a long ladder to climb before being in the same ball park as Tiger or Rory but this could definitely become possible!

 

Augusta, Masters betting preview 2014

So the Masters gets under way tomorrow, don’t know about anybody else but I’ve cleared the schedule, the mum and dad are away and ive got a weekend with some food, the couch and the TV. In between all that I’ll be having a little bet or two.

So to cut it short, here are a few pics and ones to watch.

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DJ!! So, Dustin Johnson might have seven top 10’s in Majors since 2009 but he has never managed a win in four attempts at Augusta. Last year however saw DJ ‘T13 his best yet in his quest for the green jacket. This season Dustin Johnson though the big man is a different animal all together. So what has changed? Firstly he’s found form with the flat stick and a glance at his stats proves it; he’s gone from 117th in Strokes gained putting to 10th. And If you’re still not satisfied he’s also second in driving distance AND greens in regulation for good measure. He’s also never been in form like he is going into Augusta with second place finishes at Pebble Beach and Riviera and a fourth at Doral. Definitely one to watch!

I’ll be honest, I hate betting on majors and especially The Masters. Predicting a winner is pretty well impossible! Think we would have more chance sticking the lottery on, but that’s not as fun right?

Betting each way? Not a bad shout at all, Matt Kuchar is a solid and safe bet in my opinion. Kuuuuch started the season well with a T6 and T8 at the TOC and Sony Open before taking a month off then missing the Riviera cut. However since then he has silently been building momentum towards the Masters as evidenced by that excellent showing in Texas. He always seems to be up there these days, there or there abouts anyway.

Touch and go but still I have a feeling Keegan Bradley will have a much better Masters than last year. Anything has to be better than that Saturday 82 last year right? But credit to Keegan he went out Sunday and shot a 69 to leave with better memories. Already a major champion and his game suits Augusta, long driver, high ball flight and he’s not bad at scrambling either!

If you have been following us the past month or two you will know we are big Fowler fans! He’s seeing a good start to the season thanks to his new swing, I feel he’s maturing a lot more now too, a lot like Mcilroy did, something’s clicked and I think Rickie isn’t far away from showing his true potential. Still too early? Maybe, who knows, definitely one of my outside bets I think.

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Now Sergio, where to start with good old Sergio. Extremely good ball striker, perfect for Augusta, oozes class and definitely has the ability to tear Augusta apart. He also has the ability to implode which has happened to him far too often. He’s another one of my favourite golfers, and he has to win one someday doesn’t he? I bet on him every year in hope he does, so he best do anyway to recuperate some of the losses I’ve had on him haha!

Now this one is, well it’s a long shot, a huge long shot however I feel there is a case to be made for this guy.

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Trevor Immelman… no no stay with me, hear me out, I know what you are thinking. He’s struggled with injuries over the years and slipped drastically out of touch with the game I know, however four consecutive cuts from The Honda to the Texas Open has been a huge confidence boost for the South African heading back to the site of his most famous victory in 2008. Four other top 20 finishes at Augusta also add to his credentials.

A field without Tiger is anybody’s game and there’s so much talent right now it’s hard to choose from, there for, a typical disclaimer here… I can’t be held responsible for all of the above loosing you all and myself included a lot of money!

Don’t forget to share, also, if you have picked some winners we’d love to know! Comment below! 🙂