Saturday, August 28, 2010

Races 28th August

Caulfield r8 n11, Royal Discretion 1 unit e/w

Not much luck last week behind the inform Stanzout when it blew the start. Good wet tracker with top jockey Luke Nolen on board. Live chance at big odds (currently $21)in a very open race.

Fast finishing 4th

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Golf - Barclays Championship

Course is expected to suit the long hitters and may play soft the opening two days suiting them even more. Greens are quite tricky so need to be in decent putting touch.

JB Holmes - 1 unit to win @ $91 (Sportsbet)
Near enough to the longest hitter on Tour and is in very good form of late. A 3rd round 77 in the PGA cost him basically a top 5 finish in that event and of his four starts prior, finished in the top 20 three times (including a T14th in the British Open). Has missed just one cut for the year so there are absoloutly no doubts on his consistency.

Aaron Baddeley - 0.6 units to win @ $280 (Betfair)
More on course suitability than form here. Hits the ball long and high and is a very good putter. Badds's main problem has been his accuracy off the tee and he may not get punished as much as he usually does on this course. Showing signs of getting back to his best on his two most recent events (although they were pitch and putt tourny's !!!) shooting 9 and 11 under respectively. Could be a bolter.

Steve Elkington - 0.6 units to win @ $190 (Betfair)
In excellent form and has been knocking the pins out. Putting was once somewhat of a weakness but he seems to have turned it into a bit of a strength lately. Not a long hitter by any means but not overly short either. His superior iron play may make up for shortcomings in that area. I'm happy to stick with him at the big price again.

Paul Casey - 2 units leading Euro @ $6.00 avge price (Betfair)
Clear top Euro rater on my figures and was almost tempted to back him to win but the price isn't great. Long hitter and excellent putter playing very well at the moment. If I had a query its that his GIR stats aren't maybe as good as they should be. However against that, there are doubts on a lot of the other Euros (putting might sort Rory out here for instance) that I am happy to back Casey.

No joy here.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

No Golf Bets This Week

Well we're back to a pitch and putt course this week for the Wyndham Championship so am not getting involved as I have no interest in these types of events any more.

The winner will shoot 20 under (par 70 course mind you) and be the best putter for the week.

May as well stick them on a mini golf circuit !!!!!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Races 14th August

Caulfield r6 n6, Predatory Pricer - 1.5 units e/w
One of the best horses in Oz resuming here. Last time first up here produced a withering burst to get up on the line. Strong wind may hinder front runners today and am hoping the Pricer can repeat his effort of last time. Clear top rater here as most of other favoured runners are on pace types.
2nd @ $2.20 place. Desperately unlucky I thought and seeems to be set for a big Spring.

Caulfield r7 n7, Ocean Challenger - 1.5 units e/w
5 starts here for 3 wins and a second. Also excellent 2nd up record of 2 wins from 3 starts. Gets the sit in the middle of the field. Is a mare on the rise and there are plenty of queries on the other runners. Happy to cop the $10 each way here.

Unplaced at $11. Never a hope.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Golf - US PGA

Plumping for some players at long odds here. Whistling Straits is a good test of golf but with four par 5's we are looking at players who hit the ball relatively long and play the par 5's well.

Vaughan Taylor : 0.6 units to win @ $400(betfair) and 1 unit top 25 @ $7.00(sportsbet)
Been very consistent the past month with three top 15 finishes his past 5 starts. In the other two starts he made the cut but threw a 74 in both times which ruined his chances. Although not a long hitter ranks 12th in par 5 performance this year, is very accurate and a decent putter. Is a non winner but am happy to take 400s about a player in good form.

Steve Elkington : 0.6 units to win @ 450(betfair), 1 unit top 25 @ $8.00(sportsbet) and 0.6 units top Aussie @ $13 (luxbet)
Another who has been very consistent in the lesser tournalments without looking like winning. Veteran who should relish his first opportunity to play in a major this year. Ranks 22nd for par 5 performance and 16th in ball striking. Putting has always been the question mark but that seems to have improved this season.

Brendan de Jonge : 0.6 units t win @ 190(betfair) and 1 unit top 25 @ $6.00(sportsbet)
Six top 20s in his last 8 appearances on tour says it all about this blokes consistency. Knocking on the door for a win and why can't it be a major ? Very accurate and putts well. 190 is miles over the odds for a player in the form that he is.

Matt Jones : 0.6 units top Aussie @ $13 (luxbet)
Long hitter with a good record on the par 5's. Over the odds for top Aussie.

Update : Put a few lays in the system hoping to get matched in running.
Elkington to lose 30 units @ $17 (win 2 units)
Elkington to lose 30 units @ $7 (win 5 units)
Elkington to lose 30 units @ $3 (win 1o units)

More wishful thinking but you never know. If he finished top 25 that will be enough for me and if he gets top Aussie that will be a bonus.

Well the Elk gave me a good run for my money and if he'd holed that eagle putt on 16 then who knows what might have happened. Managed to get set at $7 and $17 on the lay side and also collected on the T25 and Top Aussie.

The majors have been worth their weight in gold to me this year.

Would be great to get an outright winner before the PGA season finishes but am in front on the golf so can't complain too much.

Monday, August 9, 2010

The problem with Tiger

As we've seen from this weeks performance Tiger's game has gone right off and whilst its correct to say that his tee to green isn't what he is capable of, the real problem lies with his putting. Specifically the short putts.

Tiger used to be near unstoppable from inside 5 feet but that has all changed. The statistics tell the story.

Inside 5 feet
2010 - ranked 59th
2009 - 4th
2008 - 1st

Between 5 feet and 10 feet
2010 - 150th
2009 - 9th
2008 - 72nd

Putts per round
2010 - 129th
2009 - 22nd
2008 - 20th
2007 - 48th
2006 - 137th
2005 - 33rd
2004 - 20th
2003 - 32nd

Unfortunately I can't get the short putt stats prior to 2008 but I'm pretty confident that Tiger would have been ranked up high. He has always had a high overall putting ranking except for the blip in 2006.

This loss of confidence with the short putts must be affecting the rest of his game in my opinion. There is now enormous pressure on him on every shot he makes as he knows he cannot putt himself out of trouble any more.

Personally, I don't think his overall game has deteriorated that much. Its always been his putting that has been the difference. Simply, he made the putts when it mattered.

Now putting is more or less a confidence thing. I think its fair to say that the traumas of the last 9 months have really got to him mentally. He changed putters at the British Open and that was the first sign to me that he is starting to get very concerned.

Can he come back though ?

Well, he needs to get his shit sorted off the course and get that swagger back. I think all it will take is a few good putting rounds where he holes everything under 6 feet and all will be well with the world though. But we have seen great players never come back from putting woes before.

If you're a golf punter then watch Tigers putting carefully the next few tournalments. If you detect that he is getting his mojoe back then you might be able to get some value. However, until then its going to be very difficult for him unless the course being played does not have much putting emphasis.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Golf - WGC Bridgestone Invitational

Ross Fisher, 1 unit to win @ $48 (betfair)
Has claims to being the hottest player on the planet at the moment with a series of excellent performances in the past month. Hits the ball long, gets great GIR statistics and putting is above average which are all the key statistics you want to excel in this week. Only slight pot are his two disappointing efforts here the past two years but he was nowhere near the golfer he is now. Excellent value.

JB Holmes, 0.75 units to win @$110 (betfair) *unmatched
This course suits the long hitters as the fairways are soft and generally easy to hit so big bombers like JB can go for it without fear. Three top 20 finishes in his last 4 events and is knocking on the door for a big victory. His putting is under-rated too.

Graeme McDowell, 0.75 units to win @ $85 (betfair)
This is just a ridiculous price. Since his US Open victory, Graeme has performed most credibly at a time when he probably wasn't concentrating fully on his golf. he is now ranked 11th in the world yet we can get $85 about him whilst someone like Mickelsen who is clearly not at his best is served up at $15. McDowell is a brilliant putter and id he hits his share of greens in reg will be high up on the leaderboard towards the end.

Paul Casey, 0.5 units to win @ $42 (betfair)
One of my favourite players and seems to be over this injury curse that has got him the last 12 months or so. Finished 8th here two years ago and if the course is wet it will definitely suit his style.

With the smallish field and there being no cut I'm going to have a dabble in the H2H markets this week.

Matt Kucher to beat Tim Clark, 2 units @ $1.90 (centrebet)
This course simply does not suit Clark and Kucher is in good form.

Dustin Johnson to beat Hunter Mahan, 1 unit @ $1.93 (sportsbet)
I expect the big hitting Johnson to go well here.

Rickie Fowler to beat Adam Scott, 1 unit @ $1.93 (sportsbet)
The emphasis on putting could be Adams downfall here and I sense his game has been a little off since his won a few months ago.

Well Kuchar demolished Clark but all other bets fell by the wayside. Smallish loss on the event.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

The boring state of the US PGA Tour

Regular readers of this blog would know that golf (particular the US PGA Tour) is one of my favourite sports to bet on. The reasons are threefold :

1. Large prices on offer giving an opportunity to trade in running and for a major collect.
2. I think I've got an edge with the form due to the data I have available.
3. I'm an avid golfer myself so the sport interests me.

However, whilst I like betting on it, I often find that trying to watch it at times borders on sleep inducing.

For whatever reason, the golf authorities in the US are under the impression that audiences like seeing scores of 20 under winning tournalments. Today we had two players shooting 60 and 61 respectively and with all due respect to D A Points and JB Holmes neither is Woods, Mickelsen or Casey.

Now I completely understand if its an old course that is getting shot up. Some of these courses were designed 100 years ago and simply cannot cope with the modern golf technology. But relatively new courses added to the tour have no such excuses.

Today for example I watched the back 9 with Jeff Overton. I understand he is one of the longest hitters on tour but honestly every hole was so repetitive. Driver, wedge, putt from 15 feet for birdie. Where is the challenge in that ? Honestly I think the modern professional only needs to carry driver, 3 wood, 3 iron, 9 iron, 4 wedges and a putter. When would they ever hit a 4 or 5 iron except perhaps to reach a par 5 in two ????

And for some reason US course designers think if you stick a lake or two on a hole that toughens it up. Have a look at the last hole this week at Greenbrier. Its a 160 yard par 3 over a small lake. But this is no issue for the professionals. Its just a simple 9 iron/wedge to the hole and again the regulation 15 footer for birdie.

So whats the solution ?

1. Set up the course so that 66, 67 is an exceptional score - not a good to average score. This can be done in a couple of ways. Narrow the fairways by a few yards or so each side so if the big bombers are inaccurate they get punished accordingly.

2. Make the rough, rough. I mean some of the light rough is like some fairways I've seen. The US Open is tricked up so that even the light rough is impossible. I'm not saying that the regular tour should be like that but at least if you go 10 yards or more off the fairway then you should be getting into US Open rough territory.

3. The greens need to be hard and bouncy. At the moment, its just target golf where you take a club and hit it knowing the ball will basically stop where it lands. Make the players think a bit.

4. The greenside bunkers are far too easy. Water them in the mornings so that the sand is hard making it more difficult to control the shot.

5. Drop zones. If you hit it into a grandstand, then the drop zone should be behind a tree or in some other difficult position. At the moment, you can miss any 18th green by 40 yards, fly it into the grandstand and more often than not the drop zone is 15 feet off the green. Thats rubbish.

The Open Championship and the US Open are by far the most interesting tournalments for me during the year. Thats because a good score is earned not just expected. I like seeing players in trouble and extricating themselves out of it. I also like seeing players rack up the occasional double or triple bogey. It also means that if a player is 2 or 3 shots in front, that it never really ends until the ball is on the final green. On the general US Tour players WIN tournalments. In the US Open and British Open, players can WIN tournalments but they can also LOSE tournalments.

Now thats interesting.