Wednesday, March 21, 2012

arnold palmer invitational (bay hill)

off to Bay Hill, Orlando this week for the ARNOLD PALMER INVITATIONAL - a popular event and a decent field assembled for it too

this event used to be pretty much owned by tiger but things have changed a bit in the last couple of years eh? tiger is back here this year along with the in-form justin rose and big phil but there are plenty of others including the new kids on the block who are looking to take over and establish themselves as consistent tour winners rather than 'flash in the pans'

at least we have a tricky course for a change although I thought that last week and promptly watched pod shoot a 61

two weeks to go until the masters so good chance for some to sharpen their games up a bit and a chance for others to nick a tour win whilst the focus may be starting to concentrate on AUGUSTA

having backed rose for the past 3 weeks I am inclined to leave him this week although he plays ok here and has the game to do well being the sort of course that requires good ball-striking (don't they all?) and the ability to find these greens in set numbers

tiger apparently played ok at lake nona this week and seems to be fit and healthy but there are doubts of course; perhaps he will find his range on the greens and make his price look generous indeed - that would also affect the masters prices too of course as a tiger win here would really move the market out to longer odds 

this event/course usually requires experience over youthful enthusiasm and as such, ELS and FURYK both appear on the radar after their recent good efforts; if ernie had the confidence to sink a few he would be off the back of a win last week - his tee to green game is really impressive

GARCIA is another who is in good form and having picked up a couple of wins last yr he may well be in the mood to take a big tour win again but I have some doubts so will avoid him although he may well be a good back to lay or top 10 bet - popular no doubt but no value for me with his demons still in there I feel, much better value in some of the others in the market

TIGER has an awesome record here and is game is looking excellent bar his putting - he seems to be lagging putts well but is mis-reading too many from middle-distance - it may well click or else we are looking at someone who will never be as good as he was which means he may well win again but he won't be as dominant.. thus, the big question is what price is value with him? having seen him shoot that 62 recently and checking his record overall in the stuttering past 2 years, I think he is still likely to win and often and probably just needs to get some confidence on the greens and ensure his caddie is not hindering him in reading them

MICKO is having a good season but is not a great fan of this course judging by his results - he may well be happy to fine tune with Augusta in mind so I wouldn't be too keen on backing him here

have updated my rankings for this event and they are as follows >

my ranking / name / points

2 woods 14.67
7 rose 20.33
9 haas 21.67
10 simpson 23.67
11 watney 24.00
12 watson 24.33
13 mickelson 25.50
14 garcia26.83
15 mahan 27.00
17 choi 29.67
20 van pelt 30.83

> these reflect the form, ranking, previous event perf, etc etc and these are the players here this week of course

* the value here is woods as he is -6 to my combined current ranking v official world ranking
 haas, watney and van pelt also show up as value bets this week according to the rankings 

* further down my rankings, els comes up as value this week and overton and o'hair show quite positively too

> next I check the odds to see if there is real value ie the actual price is good compared with what my rankings expect - tiger looks to be reasonably good value here due to his record and his form etc but obviously there is a big question mark over him still; top 5 is likely but not much value

rose may have had his 3 week spell and be slightly off the boil although this course is another good one for him

haas is going great guns and worth looking at, watney is due an upturn as he is close (odds lengthening on him nicely)

simpson is still impressing with consistency but not quite doing enough yet perhaps

ok, here are this week's picks >

bubba WATSON > last time out a fortnight ago he probably should have won (lost the playoff) and was well placed in this here last yr too.. as he also tops the rankings in distance off the tee and GIR then you really have to expect a good performance here from bubba; might not be the best at holding a lead but he can shoot low and could well be in the mix on sunday and thus worth backing at 28 betfair

bo VAN PELT > has managed to make the cut each time he has played (7) and thus looks to be worth backing when bearing in mind his recent form; under the radar indeed and probably enjoying it accordingly 34 betfair is low perhaps but van pelt has finished top 10 in his last 4 strokeplay events and that is after finishing last season well with top 10s at both the deutsche and tour championships, followed by a win in malaysia at the asia pacific classic - he is ranked 3rd in strokes gained putting, 3rd in birdies, 4th allround and 5th in total driving on this year's tour too - impressive indeed and shows his current improved performance

ernie ELS > toss-up between him and furyk but the way he played tee to green last week and the fact he needs a result to qualify for the masters means ernie may well be worth getting behind here this week - tempted to lay if he does well so perhaps not an ideal fixed odds bet but the big easy is on the up game-wise and having won here twice he gets the nod, 44 betfair

zach JOHNSON > backed him last wk and worth another go here as he has a decent record and obviously the experience - game could suit too as the course rewards all players if they play sensibly, 50 betfair looks generous but understandable - really think he should step up again soon and want to be on him if so

final pick really is a toss-up between mahan, watney and simpson > odds-wise watney takes this although form-wise it should be mahan then simpson! WATNEY is close I feel and could improve here; 4th here 3 years ago and has good GIR stats - too good a player to be away from the sunday fun for long and worth a dabble at 40 (probably regret this as mahan or simpson do the biz!)

trading > nibbles at mcgirt 430, ishikawa and palmer both 230, love 240, stroud 170

top 10 market > bubba 3.2, garcia 3.8 els 5.2 interest me


  1. and van pelt withdraws!

    ok, will add MAHAN to the list of 5 as was tempted as mentioned

  2. early doors and stroud going well, down to 30 to lay recently... not bad for opening back at 170.. love and ishikawa also going well altho prices arent moving as tiger is also looking useful

  3. top 10 bets all dropped nicely as els ok, garcia and watson top 5 currently... liquidity is the only problem here for laying but will see how they go

    garcia going well as predicted (still a back to lay!), watney and bubba up there too with tiger...

  4. my pre-tourney comment about tiger wasn't bad then - he has go this confidence back and bingo, in the lead - whether he can hol don like he used to 99% of the time or whether he will stutter will be interesting.. needs others to challenge obviously and stick some pressure on

    odds have drifted now on most due to tiger

  5. good to see how my ratings for this tourney came out >

    2 woods 14.67 > leading
    7 rose 20.33 > 5th
    9 haas 21.67 > made cut
    10 simpson 23.67 > 6th
    11 watney 24.00 > 15th
    12 watson 24.33 > 6th
    13 mickelson 25.50 > made cut
    14 garcia 26.83 > 6th
    15 mahan 27.00 > made cut
    17 choi 29.67 > 15th
    20 van pelt 30.83 > withdrew

    > not bad at all - all in with a chance of the frame and obviously quite a few can win it.. I also didnt pick haas, micko, choi, who are all lower so that shows the value ranking in my ratings is working well too

  6. 1 round to go and els has moved into contention nicely (good lay now at 15.5 if required)

    rose has faded as predicted and garcia too (back to lay as always!)

    zach johnson top 10 as is bubba aswell so looking good for the predictions - although watney fell apart dropping 6 shots in his last 4 holes, not sure he will be on my list for the masters now...

    will be interesting to see how tiger does but he needs to be pressured - been a while since mcdowell was in this position but dout he will give up as he's tough

  7. top 10 bets again looking great > els 1.35 to lay (massive profit after backing at 5.2), bubba ok at 2.4 lay currently and sergio was a trade as usual!