Wednesday, May 09, 2012

players championship

off we go to sunny Florida this week and the PGA tour's own club at Ponte Vedra is our venue - the famous Sawgrass course is the host as usual for the Players Championship, a terrific event and one of the best on tour

hugely anticipated and with the world's top players all competing together for once - should be a great week of golf

this is a great course with the infamous 17th too which will no doubt provide some thrills and spills as always; scoring is actually quite good on this hole but obviously a misjudged club could mean a wet ball - overall, Sawgrass tends to favour accuracy off the tee, those who manage good GIR stats and you will need to scramble really well here or else you will get punished too - you can get away with some wayward shots but usually the triumphant golfers are those who have a straight hitting week and set up as many birdies as they can and don't pressure themselves in having to get it up and down too often

the way the players are scoring these days on tough courses however, it wouldn't surprise me to see 66s flying about and a winning score of at least -15 or so

my current world rankings with this week's event built in are as follows >

1 donald 12.00
2 westwood 15.00
3 mcilroy 15.17
4 mickelson 15.50
5 woods 17.00
6 stricker 24.33
7 oosthuizen 24.33
8 mahan 24.50
9 kaymer 25.50
10 scott 25.50
11 simpson 26.50
12 poulter 26.83
13 els 27.50
14 rose 29.00
15 haas 29.83
16 dufner 30.00
17 kuchar 30.00
18 hanson 30.67
19 bradley 31.17
20 watney 33.33
21 garcia 33.50
22 wilson 34.00
23 choi 34.50
24 fran molinari 35.17

the clear value if you think they will do well is on haas and wilson as they are big odds compared with their relative ranking although my value rating shows them to be nothing more than reasonable as their form has dipped a bit; my rankings show donald as the top-rated player here as his scrambling is the clincher - westy just above rory as his tee to green game is so good currently (both are fabulous in this respect) > this is where my rankings include a bias towards the current event amongst other factors

micko and woods don't attract me too much this week although woods just missed the cut last week and westy was 1 shot better at halfway and then ended top 5 after a good weekend's scoring - woods has missed just 8 career cuts although you wouldn't think it to see some of the analysis (digging!) and is still likely to find his game and make a lot of people look silly... too risky for me however as I thought it was just his putting to work on pre-masters but he seems to have lost his way with his swing again

the ones who interest me are good ball-strikers, good scramblers, hit plenty of greens and are in form... els, poulter, scott, molinari all tick some boxes and there are a few others at longer prices who do likewise such as moore, curtis, molder, etc

garcia has a good record here but I never back him and after his own admission at the masters he's even more of an 'avoid' for me especially at the price he is; mahan probably won't scramble well enough here although is two-time winner this yr and drives so well; bradley has gone off the boil and a few others have either had their good spell or aren't in good enough form to win  in a field like this

good cases for a lot of players however and the prices are superb with all these big names at the top pushing the odds out on decent players way down the list

picks >

luke DONALD > of the top 3 I really can't decide as I'm not sure about rory here, westy will be the pick from tee to green but can't sink them when it matters so I think donald will be my pick - this course can suit shorter hitters so no problem there, his superb short game may be the difference here and the odd shot saved over others could be the difference - I think he will also relish a chance to really make a statement as he faltered at the masters > his odds are higher than usual of course which helps and he managed T4 here last yr too... really expecting westy to go off all guns blazing and get the lead but then stutter and donald to sneak up and nick it, 15.5 betfair

adam SCOTT > could be another flatter to deceive week but he has a great record here and has won previously - is in really good consistent form and may relish being under the radar a bit currently.. 12 consecutive cuts on this tour, top 10 at augusta, stats are showing well for scoring, mid to long putting, GIR (8th) and so on > a lot more experienced these days obviously and seems to be ticking over nicely - I think he has the highest percentage of rounds under par here who have played a few times or more.. 40 betfair is attractive for a previous winner (2 top 10s also)

ian POULTER > odds out to 90 betfair now and that's good for poults who is confident, in good form again with recent good efforts (3rd at arnie palmer inv and 7th masters) and another who has played well here before (2nd in 09) - also loves the big tourneys and often impresses when up against it, not sure if he is likely to win but expect him to give a very good account and a confident shout for the top 10 for me

ernie ELS > another experienced player in great form, close to winning this year and playing well - might need a bit of luck but could be rolling back the years here if he can get the putter to work - usually plays well here and his accuracy should help him compete, 55 is tempting for the big easy who does like a pete dye course

ryan MOORE> hitting form nicely and big price at 120; often plays well for a few weeks so hoping to keep his current run going (ignoring a blowout 85 at houston in the 3rd round) - has been 4th 5th 8th in last 4 events.. usually makes the cut here so about time he made the frame

francesco MOLINARI > superb tee to green game, relaxed and in form with a great win last week (may have been favourite but still have to win) shooting 65 to win in style on a tough course - played here 2 yrs ago and managed a top 10 so why not... 75 is too high for a euro player who prospers over the pond it seems

going with 6 picks rather than dropping one, Crane and Kuchar are others who you could expect to do well.. add Mcilroy/Westy in and there's a top 10 for me although there may be a few from nowhere who do well this week - Oosty could easily have been in my picks and I may watch him and look to add during the tourney - Curtis also was close to being picked as backed him couple of times recently with success

there are plenty who came close to being picked > oosty and curtis as mentioned, styricker of course as well, watney showing a return to form, mcdowell who plays well here, kuchar who collects top 10s for fun but can't go that bit further oftne enough.. and so on...  going with the ones I feel are best primed however...

trading > some cracking prices for some not bad players > will be going with a few in the hope they drop rapidly after good starts..

COUCH @1000 like this price a lot for decent accurate driver who can putt... likes florida too so if he clicks he could be a decent trader, only won the one time on tour (06) and hasn't done much this year but worth a small dabble for me

MAYFAIR @ 950 quick swansong perhaps, decent scrambling will help

KIRK @ 850 too high price for decent player

MOLDER @ 310 stats tick a lot of boxes so another decent shout, game should really suit being accurate and good short scrambler

top 5 & 10 markets >

looking for some decent bets here as have started doing these markets recently with great success...

top 10 Moore at 9.2 for sure, Poulter 7.4 and Curtis 7.6, Els at 5.9 all look decent to me and could trade a lot lower (I like getting out of these when the market drops rapidly on them as they often go quite low)


  1. ps crane is obviously well backed with his excellent record here ... I'm wary of bandwagon jumping and especially with the talk of being the 4th golf boy to win this yr etc! but top 10 at 7.2 is decent, worth an interest...

  2. poults off to a flyer with a 65! consequently his price has plummeted to 11 to lay right now... not bad for a back at 90!

    scott 2nd fav now and 13 to lay so another result there

    moore also down to 55 lay so he's more than halved

    top 10 bets all looking very healthy as can lay them off and green up nicely... will see how we go on friday but poulter is down to sub 3 and crane about 4.4, moore just over 7, curtis 5.1 > some good profits to be made in this market as I've realised in the last few weeks

  3. doing sioe in running probably today... looking at a few possible longshots who might make a move if nerves affect the top 3 which Im sure they will

    laying na top 10 at 1.1 as he may struggle bigtime with this pressure - low risk and worth a dabble for sure

  4. na wobbled a bit as predicted so that paid off - ended 7th and did feel sorry for him as the heckling was uncalled for...

    donald managed to make the frame as paid 6 places so that got a small return for those on fixed odds...

    trading out and top 10 markets helped this week... as always I use betfair and cover my losses or take small profits...