DP World Tour Championship 2016 Golf Betting Preview – Thursday 17th November by @herefordrich

DP World Tour Championship 2016 – Dubai at 07:00 live on Sky Sports 4

Last weeks golf

Another blank week I’m afraid as overall yearly ROI drops to +4%. Last year’s haul of +77% was always going to be very hard to match, so here’s hoping we can find a winner this week to ensure we stay in meaningful profit as 2016 draws to a close.

Tournament History & Field

The DP World Tour Championship has been staged since 2009 ever since the European Tour changed it’s annual order of merit scheme to be known as the Race to Dubai. This is the third and final event of the final series and marks the conclusion to the 2016 European Tour season.

Four players are in with a chance of winning the pot of gold that is the 2016 Race to Dubai. Previous DP Tour champions Henrik Stenson and Rory McIlroy are joined by Masters winner Danny Willett and last weeks Nedbank winner Alex Noren as the quartet that can finish top of the tours annual money list if things go their way this week.

This is a reduced field of just 60 with no 36-hole cut and all the big names are here – the above four are ably supported by the likes of Thomas Pieters, Branden Grace, Rafa Cabrera-Bello, Sergio Garcia and Martin Kaymer.

 

The Course

Measuring in a touch under 7,700 yards, the Earth Course is a long layout that unsurprisingly suits the longer hitters. A par of 72 which includes the standard fare of four par 3’s and four par 5’s, the fairways at the Jumeirah Beach Dubai based course are generous and forgiving.

The greens are fast and undulating and many have run off areas that make getting up and down tricky when putting surfaces are missed.

Water is in play on five of the eighteen holes, including the dramatic closing two holes. The 17th is a par three island green whilst the 18th, a par five, has water in play from both the tee shot and the second/third shots – depending on whether or not you go for it in two shots.

The front nine contained the three hardest holes in 2016 (4th, 8th, 9th) as well as the two easiest (2nd and 7th) whilst the 620 yard closing hole mentioned above was by no means an easy birdie – averaging just 4.84 for the week – yet registering 33 bogeys or worse against just two eagles and 80 birdies.

 

Conditions

Hot and sunny as expected for Dubai, but be aware of a consistent 8-10mph breeze all week. Friday PM could see the winds blow 7mph faster than the AM – however with just 60 mean in the field, tee times will be much closer together than the average event.

 

DP World Tour Championship Recent Winners & Key Stats

2015 Rory McIlroy (-21) – DA 37 DD 1 GIR 4 PPGIR 4 Scrambles 8/12

2014 Henrik Stenson (-16) – DA 2 DD 2 GIR 4 PPGIR 19 Scrambles  6/12

2013 Henrik Stenson (-25) – DA 1 DD 7 GIR 1 PPGIR 10 Scrambles 3/4

2012 Rory McIlroy (-23) – DA 23 DD 3 GIR 25 PPGIR 1 Scrambles NA

 

Recommended Bets

Thomas Pieters 36/1 EW with Bet365

Team Europe’s leading points grabber in the Ryder Cup fits the bill for winning round the Earth course. Long off the tee, some previous course form (A T22 last year doesn’t sound great, but he opened with two 69’s) plus he’s won twice on tour this year. Last week in the Nedbank he finished down the leaderboard at T34, but two weeks before in China his top 20 finish in the HSBC really caught my eye. I’ve earmarked Pieters down for a long time to go well here and would have been happy to take anything over 33s for him. What better way to cap off a great year with a win here in Dubai?

 

Golf Betting

Thomas Pieters

Danny Willett 41/1 EW with Eastbridge Sports Betting Brokerage

It has been a quiet time really for the Augusta champion, though there were signs over rounds three and four at the Nedbank that Danny is finally springing back to life after a tough month or two. 13 birdies collected over the weekend on his way to a T11 announced to me that Willett is getting back to the form that saw him finish in the top five here last year. The Sheffield man will win the Race to Dubai with a first place finish here and I’m sure he’ll be going all guns blazing in the city in which he won the Dubai Desert Classic earlier this year.

 

Byeong Hun-An 34/1 EW with Bet365

Benny is long overdue another win after last summers tearaway victory round Wentworth in the BMW PGA. A T10 in Turkey last time out followed some nondescript performances across Asia over the past month or two, suggests the Korean wonderkid might be hitting top form once more. Ben An finished T4 here last year mainly thanks to middle rounds of 68 & 66 plus he also finished inside the top five in the Dubai Desert Classic this year.

 

Victor Dubuisson 90/1 EW with Bet365 (now 50s which is OK)

Enigmatic would be a kind word to describe Victor who is unpredictable in both his personality and golf demeanour week-to-week. At his best he is a a top-class tournament winner, including two final series event victories in Turkey. At his worst he is a grumpy ten handicapper, prone to withdrawing either before or half way through an event. His green in regulation stats in both Turkey and South Africa were superb – confirming his game is in good order right now. Victor also putted well last week, finishing T8 for PPGIR at the Nedbank. Course form here including a T13 and two top 5 finishes on the back of his T3 in the Nedbank last week leads me to believe that top-class Victor is back in town and he can certainly go well this week.

 

Prices correct at time of writing.

By @herefordrich.

 

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Nedbank Challenge 2016 Golf Betting Preview – Thursday 10th November By @herefordrich

Nedbank Challenge 2016 – Sun City at 06:00 live on Sky Sports 1

Last weeks golf

Picking a winner that is horribly out of form isn’t an easy thing to do, so missing out on Thorbjorn Olesen’s fourth European Tour victory was not that disappointing. What was upsetting was leaving out Li Haotong at 200/1 who played brilliant golf over the weekend to finish comfortably inside the places – a week after this column had tipped him up at 500/1 in China – annoying.

Anyway, all three picks finished in mid table obscurity. Scott Hend raced to a T7 on Saturday before a triple-bogey cancelled out a run of three birdies in a row, whilst Lucas Bjerregaard started and finished brightly, but a stone cold putter during rounds two and three meant he never featured after day one. Kiradech Aphibarnrat never got in the mix, his iron play letting him down all week.

So after two poor weeks we move on to South Africa, hoping we can quickly improve the years ROI which stands at +7.1% for 2016.

 

Tournament History & Field

The Nedbank Golf Challenge was first played in 1981 and has been a co-sanctioned Sunshine and European Tour event since 2013. This is the first year that the tournament has formed part of the European Tour’s final series of events and like last week in Turkey, we have a limited field with no 36 hole cut.

Past winners here include the three men mentioned below as well as high class champions such as Martin Kaymer, Lee Westwood, Henrik Stenson, Sergio Garcia and Jim Furyk.

Stenson and Kaymer feature this week alongside other South African stars Branden Grace and Louis Oosthuizen, as well as other big names Andy Sullivan, Danny Willett, Rafa Cabrera Bello and Alex Noren.

 

The Course

The Gary Player Country Club in Sun City measures in at an eye-watering 7,831 yards, however being situated at altitude means it actually plays closer to 7,100 yards. It is a parkland course described as having narrow fairways and small, bunker-surrounded greens. There are four par five’s and four par three’s making up a traditional par of 72.  

All the long holes come inside the first 14 holes and measure at 569, 596, 547 and 601 yards. These four holes all played within the five easiest holes of the week last time out. Holes 5,6,7 and 8 all averaged above par last year when Leishman won. If you pick needs to birdie the last then you are in trouble as only 16 birdies were recorded here all week – the fourth toughest hole on the course. The 17th also saw the most double bogeys or worse recorded last time out, so it isn’t an easy finish at the Gary Player layout.

 

Conditions

Thursday and Sunday are looking clear but Friday and Saturday’s early forecast suggests some electrical activity could interrupt proceedings. In a reduced field, we should still have plenty of time to get a 72 hole event in though.

Nedbank Golf Challenge Past Winners & Key Stats

2015 Marc Leishman (-19) – DA 12 DD 6 GIR 1 PPGIR 8 Scrambles 16/17

2014 Danny Willett (-18) – DA 24 DD N/R GIR 3 PPGIR 4 Scrambles 18/21

2013 Thomas Bjorn (-20) – DA 5 DD 4 GIR 1 PPGIR 6 Scrambles 13/16

 

Recommended Bets

Charl Schwartzel 22/1 EW with BetVictor (now 21s)

Out of 193 golf bets I’ve placed this year, only four have been at odds of 30/1 or less. This makes this selection of South African Charl Schwartzel go against the grain, somewhat. The simple fact is I think this years Valspar Championship and Tshwane Open winner is great value this week to add a third trophy to his 2016 haul at 22s. Charl has an outrageously good record in his home land in recent times with South African staged event form reading W, T9, W, T5, 2 coming into this week. He’s featured inside the top 10 in seven out eight appearances on this layout and he certainly fits the class act winner profile seemingly needed to win round here. I just cannot see how he doesn’t feature this week and am happy to load up.

 

Golf Betting

Charl Schwartzel

Thongchai Jaidee 51/1 EW with Bet365

Thongchai was right in the mix in Turkey up until a slow weekend saw rounds of 70 and 73 undo the excellent 67 and 66 he opened with. Jaidee has terrific course form here with top ten finishes in all three of his starts at the Gary Player Country Club and he proved in the summer during his Open de France win that he has quickly become a horses for courses type golfer. Now an eight time winner on tour, he won’t be afraid to get the job done on Sunday if in the mix. Finally he was just about the best putter on show in Turkey – never a bad stat to have on your side.  

Kiradech Aphibarnrat 81/1 EW with Betfair

OK, I know – third event running I’ve backed Kiradech – but I promise there’s more to his ongoing selection than pure stubbornness. This is a layout Aphi seems to enjoy having finished T16 and T5 here during his past two outings here and I was impressed by his putts per green and putts per round stats last week in Turkey (16th and 13th respectively) His irons were a little off judging by a greens in regulation stat of 52nd out of a field of 78th, but Kiradech’s short game is clearly in good order, as is his long game off the tee. Sometimes in (golf) betting you need to stay loyal and this is just one of those such instances.

Prices correct at time of writing.

By @herefordrich.

 

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Portugal Masters 2016 Golf Betting Preview – Thursday 20th October By @herefordrich

Portugal Masters – Vilamoura at 11:30 live on Sky Sports 4

Last weeks golf

A dead heat payout courtesy of that man Alex Levy and his T4 meant we broke even last week. Bearing in mind he was never inside the EW payout spots until he was already in the clubhouse after his final hole, plus Richard Bland, Tommy Fleetwood and Peter Hanson had good chances to birdie their 72nd holes, this was a right result.

I walked the course on Friday having travelled down for the day and followed Levy in the morning. He played really well and was certainly a good pick for the course. All four picks made the cut and big priced outsider Kiradech Aphibarnrat shot a final round 64 to finish T12, just three shots outside the places.

Following on from Levy’s German win, Kjeldsen’s near miss at the Dunhill and now this week, I feel we are close to landing that third winner of the year that will guarantee meaningful profit – currently sitting at +12.7 ROI for 2016.

 

Tournament History & Field

This will be the tenth staging of the Portugal Masters. Low scoring is the theme on the Oceanico Victoria course, an Arnold Palmer designed layout found in golfing tourist paradise, Vilamoura.

Many outsiders have won this event over the years, including Tom Lewis, Richard Green, David Lynn and Stave Webster. In fact, Englishmen have a fine record on the Algarve set-up, with five out of nine winners being born in England.

This year the field sees returning champion and Ryder Cupper Andy Sullivan head the field alongside other stars of the tour including Thomas Pieters, Alex Noren, and Thongchai Jaidee.

 

The Course

Playing to a par of 71 and a yardage of 7,146, Oceanico Victoria is not a particularly stern test of golf. The last two winners have played somewhat target golf on a damp course, and all of the last four winners have ranked extremely high in the weeks putting stats. Sullivan won by 9 shots last year and recent European Open winner Levy (tipped up on this column) hit a remarkable -18 in a 36 hole rain-reduced event the year previous.

Three of the four par 3’s are lengthily at over 200 yards, whilst the three par 5’s, found at the  5th, 12th and 17th, measure 579, 547 and 589 yards respectively. Many of the par 4’s are shorter than 450 yards (8/12) and what you do on these holes appear crucial in having a low scoring week.

Holes 10-15 is a real scoring section of the course with all these holes – except the 11th – averaging below par in 2015. Even then the 11th averaged 4.04 to a par of 4. Don’t be too disheartened if your golfer gets off to a slower start playing the front nine first, he can make up ground on the back nine!

The par 5’s played the three easiest holes last year – make anything worse than a bogey on these hole and you will be losing ground to the field.

 

Conditions

This event has been hit with thunderstorms and lightning threats in recent years. Luckily we are set fair for the first three days, but Sunday looks wet. Thursday AM and Friday AM starters will enjoy little to no winds before the breeze picks up to around the 10mph mark on both of the first two afternoons. At this stage I expect no draw bias.

With the tour moving on to China next week, the organisers will be keen to avoid a Monday finish. If that rain due on Sunday does involve electrical activity, we could yet see another reduced hole affair this year.

 

Recent Portugal Masters Winners & Key Stats

2015 – Andy Sullivan (-23) – DA 14 DD 11 GIR 5 PPGIR 6 Scrambles 10/12

2014 – Alex Levy (-18)* – DA 10 DD 38 GIR 46 PPGIR 2 Scrambles 8/8 (*36 hole event)

2013 – David Lynn (-18) – DA 70 DD 67 GIR 22 PPGIR 9 Scrambles 14/16

2012 – Shane Lowry (-14) – DA 13 DD 15 GIR 13 PPGIR 1 Scrambles 10/16

2011 – Tom Lewis (-21) – DA 33 DD 4 GIR 3 PPGIR 37 Scrambles 9/10

Clearly what you do off the tee doesn’t matter at all in regards your chances of winning this event. Whilst it helps to hit greens, Levy and Lynn both managed to win their titles despite finishing 46th and 22nd for the weeks GIR stats. They, along with the other winners listed above, all scrambled exceptionally well all week.

What is important is making birdies – and lots of them. For this you naturally need a hot putter to ensure you take advantage of those shorter holes where many will be going in with a wedge or a 9 iron. With limited rough to speak of around the course and the greens, you can putt from off the putting surfaces to help you save those pars, and even hole out for birdies, despite missing the green in the correct number of shots.

Finally, Sullivan’s runaway win was a bit of a rarity here. Many third round leaders have been passed by the eventual champion from some way back. Lynn won from 6 back in 2013 with a round to go whilst Lowry and Lewis bot won from 4 back in the two years before that. Richard Green went even better in 2010, winning by two shots from fully 7 back!

 

Golf Betting

Thongchai Jaidee

Recommended Bets

Thongchai Jaidee 25/1 with Bet Victor

Up until the past three weeks, its been a quiet time for Thailand’s number one golfer. This year he captured one of the tours biggest crowns though – the Open de France – and recent top ten finishes on the Asian Tour coupled in with a T22 at last weeks British Masters leads me to believe that Jaidee is ready to win again. 6th in GIR last week shows that is his ball striking is back on song and that he is creating the birdie chances needed to win here. Course form is OK, with 5/7 finishes yielding T23 or better. I don’t usually like backing shorties (sub 33/1) EW, but with Pieters and Noren looking so strong, Jaidee looks a must EW play.

 

David Lipsky 100/1 EW with Betfair 

The 2014 European Masters champion has landed this column two places this year thanks to strong finishes in Denmark and the Czech Republic. A lowly T54 last week at the British Masters followed a MC at the Dunhill links (not his forte) means we get another tasty price this week. This is his first look at the Oceanico layout but that doesn’t concern me – Levy and Lewis both won here on their virgin visit to the Algarve. Recent finishes of T24 in Germany and T16 in Italy suggest his game is still in fine order. Finally, Lipsky is sat just outside the top 60 in the Race to Dubai, so needs a decent cheque this week to guarantee his presence in the end of season jamboree.

 

Nacho Elvira 175/1 EW with Bet365

It was only three events ago that Nacho finished a T3 at the Italian Open, just 4 shots behind eventual winner Francesco Molinari. Last years three-time Challenge Tour victor certainly knows how to get the job done and was severely unlucky not to register his first European Tour trophy earlier this season when losing in a play-off in Morocco back in May. Elvira shot 67,68 on his way to a T21 in the rain curtailed 2014 edition so has course form to fall back on. Worth a play on price alone.

Prices correct at time of writing.

By @herefordrich.

 

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