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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2016 British Masters Golf Betting Preview – Thursday 13th October by @herefordrich

2016 British Masters – The Grove, from Thursday 13th October live on Sky Sports 4

Last weeks golf

A T7 for Soren Kjeldsen meant we missed out on a 50/1 (12.5) EW payout by one place. To be fair, the amiable Dane was never inside the top 6 so it wasn’t too much of a disappointment. Graeme McDowell finished a couple of shots further back, but starting with a round of +1, he was never really in it.

Missing out on winner Tyrrell Hatton, who opened at 80s with one firm, feels like a big miss as he is someone I have followed closely since he placed for me at 160/1 at Crans three years ago. I did look pretty hard at him, but with two MC’s on his only two outings at the Alfred Dunhill links and my perceived requirement for the winner to have had to had at least one top 20 here, it made sense to leave him out – kind of!

Still, lessons learnt. We move on….

Tournament History & Field

Previously known as the Dunlop Masters, the British Masters was founded in 1946 and was an annual event up until 2008 when it dropped off the European Tour schedule. The 2015 return was hugely successful, partly due to its significant financial backing and support from sponsors Sky Sports, who again back the event this year. Last year the event was hosted by Ian Poulter at Woburn – this years edition will be held at The Grove – with Luke Donald taking over hosting duties for the week.

We have another star-studded field this year with Donald being joined by fellow Englishmen Danny Willett, Lee Westwood, last years champion Matthew Fitzpatrick and Chris Wood. Other leading lights include Graeme McDowell, Shane Lowry, Bernd Wiesberger, Alex Noren plus last weeks winner Tyrrell Hatton.

The Course

The Grove opened for business in 2003 and has hosted one major professional event – the 2006 WGC American Express Championship. Located just outside central London in leafy Hertfordshire, the tournament host describes the course as being “A parkland course, and it has some elevation changes. It is always presented in great condition. It has a really nice variety of some longer holes, and some driveable par-fours. I think it will also be a fun course for the spectators, so it will be a great venue for the 2016 British Masters supported by Sky Sports.”

At a touch over 7,100 yards with three par 5’s and four par 3’s, it looks that scoring will be low. The drivable par 4’s Donald spoke about appear to centre around the 1st and the 10th, but both are over 340 yards and look very long to be reachable in one shot at this time of year in the UK. Perhaps they will fiddle around with the tee blocks, but I’d take this comment with a pinch of salt.

Holes 3 and 4 could be tough – the 3rd is a monster par 4 at just under 500 yards whereas the 4th is a par 3 coming in at 226 yards. My gut feeling is there will be plenty of scoring opportunities coming in, with holes 13  thru 18 looking like they could be taken apart with anyone peppering greens and putting well.

Conditions

Originally the forecast was pretty good, but that has changed over the past 48 hours. Now Thursday looks to be particularly breezy, peaking at 18mph by mid afternoon. Friday morning appears to now be set for some wet stuff with a 65% chance of rain. There could be an early-late draw bias at this stage given that winds looks more consistent through Friday. Saturday looks easily the best of three days with Sunday again looking damp.

Recent British Masters Winners

2015 – Matthew Fitzpatrick (ENG)

2008 – Gonzo Fernandez Castano (ESP)

2007 – Lee Westwood (ENG)

2006 – Johan Edfors (SWE)

2005 – Thomas Bjorn (DEN)

2006 WGC Leaderboard (held at The Grove)

1st – Tiger Woods (-23)

T2 – Ian Poulter (-15)

T2 – Adam Scott (-15)

4th – Jim Fuyrk (-14)

5th – Ernie Els (-13)

 

Recommended Bets

Joost Luiten 40/1 EW with Bet365

It was only four weeks and two events ago that the flying Dutchman was shooting a final round 63 on the way to winning his home title, the KLM Open. Since then a T38 in Italy (which did include a 67 and a 66) and a MC last week in Scotland has seen Joost’s price climb to 40/1 – making him a must back this week. He has course form round inland parkland courses that can be effected by strong winds such as the Diamond Country Club and Valdarrama. He’s also won on Bristish soil previously at Celtic Manor and has other top 5 finishes in Scotland and Ireland. Joost certainly offers a lot more value than the likes of Wiesberger, Lowry and Wood who are considerably shorter in this weeks market for some reason.

 

2016 British Master Golf Betting Preview

Joost Luiten

Alex Levy 50/1 EW with Bet Victor

Since placing the bet I’m slightly wary of the wind that has forecast which might not be to Alex’s high ball flights favour. But it was only three weeks ago that Levy gave this column a win at the same 50/1 price – I cannot fathom why he should be so big this week. A T63 last week at the Dunhill might be to do with it, but links golf has never been the Frenchman’s strength. On a course that could suit those mid-irons, there are few better in the business than Levy at tearing apart a short-ish, soft golf course – if he stays straight off the tee.

Alejandro Canizares 80/1 EW with Eastbridge Sports Betting Brokerage

Canizares is someone that always catches my eye when it comes to set ups like this, yet I surprised myself to find I haven’t backed him anywhere for over twelve months. The Spaniard’s game has been in fine order recently, including a T7 in Italy and a T4 in Holland in the past few weeks. Prior to that was a T24 at Crans which should have been so much better, were in not for a poor final round of 72. The 2014 Trophee Hassan champion looks ready to win again, and with some fine performances down the road at Wentworth including a T10 last year, I reckon this week could be a winning one for Alejandro.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat 100/1 EW with Eastbridge Sports Betting Brokerage

The three-time European Tour winner makes a welcome return this week after several events on America’s web.com secondary tour. A T24 last time out followed two MC’s and a T5 at the Olympics, suggesting his game is slightly off the boil at present. Last year he finished T5 at Woburn and has a win on British soil – the 2015 Paul Lawrie Matchplay. Kiradech is a fine wind exponent and a great scrambler. In possession of a T15 at this years Masters at Augusta, I believe this weeks price is pretty disrespectful of a multiple champion whose presence on the web.com recently shows a desire to make it to the top.

Depending on the draw (due Tuesday PM) I may add one or two more – follow twitter for any updates (@herefordrich)

Prices correct at time of writing.

By @herefordrich.

 

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