Matt Kuchar

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!

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?

 

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!

 

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! 🙂