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2019 Hong Kong Open Betting Preview

Fanling GC
Fanling, Hong Kong 22 Nov 2018 - 25 Nov 2018
Defending: Wade Ormsby

Favourite Watch

I have no idea what the appearance money is in Hong Kong this week but Patrick Reed, Sergio Garcia and Tommy Fleetwood have all been lured here.  All are unbackable around the 6/1 after showing form in Dubai last week.

Latest Satire: Golf Fan Overcomes Desperate Two Year Struggle To Tolerate Danny Willett Again

Doc's Top 5 Each Way Bets

Marcus Fraser 50/1

Frasier. Close enough

 Signs of a return to form with a T10 at the Alfred Dunhill Links and a T29 around Valderrama a couple of weeks back was a good knock for Fraser on a very tricky layout.  Comes in off a solid 4th place at the Aussie Open and has two previous top-10's at Fanling.

Jason Scrivener 40/1

Nice shirt Scriv!

Straightest driver in the field and T5 in greens hit on his way to a T16 finish last time out at the Nedbank say Jason Scrivener can sneak a place this week from 40/1.  Bests of T3 and T10 at this event since 2014.

Marcus Kinhult 40/1

A T22 finish at the Tour Championship last week got Marcus back on track after a week to forget in Sun City.  Was in contention in Portugal and France this year to produced top-5's and he will be looking to finish better in Hong Kong this year than he did 12 months ago when high on the leaderboard.

Wade Ormsby 50/1

Wade during Movember!

Don’t write off the defending champ Wade Ormsby at 50/1.  Played great in Dubai last week until a 75 on Sunday dropped him to T30. T16 before that at the Nedbank have Wade trending up.

Miguel Angel Jimenez 60/1

Wouldn't it be a dream to see 54 year old Miguel Angel Jimenez grab a place this week??  And why cant he with seven Asian Tour wins to his name and four Hong Kong Opens.  The current Senior Open Champion is still competitive every week and around this tight and tricky track experience is vital.

Long Odds Glory

Great to see Victor Dubuisson in the field this week.  He's had more than his fair share of dark times but his talent is beyond question. He's at 80/1 this week.
Clement Sordet 125/1 scored a T10 here last year and has the game for this course.  And what about SSP Chawrasia at 125/1?  Misses every cut during the regular season then pops up to surprise everyone on the trickiest layouts.

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After watching Danny Willett win the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai yesterday an avid golf fan has spoken out about his desperate two year struggle to tolerate him again.

"After Danny won The Masters it became really really tough for me because he was bloody everywhere," said massive golf fan Lee Craddle, from London. "I cant quite put my finger on what it was exactly that irritated the crap out of me most about him but I just felt the compulsion to want to kick the TV screen anytime he was on it you know.  Maybe it's the voice, the straggly chin hairs, the swagger, the way he keeps saying 'we did this, we worked hard, we've played well out there' when it's just f*cking him. I just don't know."

Yesterday however the 35 year old watched Willett play all 18 holes of the final round of the DP World Tour Championship without smashing in the TV and afterwards expressed his delight at coming through unscathed.
"I've worked so hard over the last two years, I was even happy for Danny, this is an incredible moment," said Craddle.  There were some very low times when I thought I'd never be able to watch a tournament he was in again, but thanks to my family I have a new perspective on life.  I now also have two young kids now who never stop crying and fighting and messing up the flat so I've learned to channel a lot of the hate I had for Danny onto them. It's really great."

More as it emerges.

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A plane was forced to make an emergency turnaround towards Orlando airport yesterday after a passenger left his seat and began wielding a golf club in the cabin.

Air traffic controllers reportedly heard the pilot proclaiming  “Ah for fuck sakes, what is this mental bastard doing, someone try to restrain him”, prompting them to instigate emergency procedures.

The plane was ordered to return to Orlando International Airport and landed 30 minutes later where the passenger was arrested and removed.

Later, authorities released a transcript of events leading to the grounding of the aircraft.

Pilot: “Sit down to f*ck you moron, cant you see I've the light thingy still switched on”.

Passenger: “Bubba here at 41,000 feet so I'm gonna practice my short game.”

Pilot: “What the f*ck are on about? Skull that chip through the window and you'll decompress the whole f*cking cabin”.

Passenger: “You're welcome.”

Pilot: “Right that's it. We're turning back.”

Later a video emerged of the passenger ramping through the cockpit.

More as it emerges.

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European Tour bosses were left in shock yesterday after Rory McIlroy decided he fancied a season of playing most of his golf on a better Tour, in the country where he now lives, with far less hassle and more money.

 "Rory is a highly golf skilled person and all that, " European Tour boss Keith Pelley told reporters "but he didn't stop to consider our feelings in all this."

It is believed that Pelley is upset at the fact that McIlroy has seemingly forgotten about the shitload of money he makes for the European Tour every year by showing up, and unfairly thought about himself for a change.

“I just cannot for the life of me understand it," Pelley continued. "We have no tournament sponsors, no advertisers, no backers, shag all events in actual Europe, less and less good players, and shite weather yet somehow, Rory, in some blinding moment of clarity from above, has decided to play on the PGA Tour."

“Look, now is not the time for bitching and moaning about Rory's putting problems and how he never wins anymore and his star being on the slide and all that," Pelley concluded speaking in Arabic. "We'll be grand. Just you wait and see."

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2018 DP World Tour Championship Betting Tips

November 15th – 18th, 2018
Jumeirah Golf Estates, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Par: 72 / Yardage: 7,675
Purse: $8 Million with $1,333,330 to the winner
Defending Champion: Jon Rahm

2018 DP World Tour Championship Betting Preview Video


Favourite Watch

With two wins among seven top-10's in his eight appearances it's not that surprising that Rory McIlroy tops the betting at 10/1 for this week's Tour Championship but the man in form is Sergio Garcia who might tempt the brave in the win-only market. He's at 12/1 after a 2nd in The Nedbank to follow his win in Valderrama.  The massive shift for Sergio in his last three starts is his driving accuracy; he is now head and shoulders above the rest for driving and irons combined in the stats and that should lay the foundation for a good week in Dubai where he finished T4 last year.

As always however I am looking for good each-way value in the market, where finishing top-4 or top-5 gets us a payout.

Doc's Top 5 Each Way Bets

Tommy Fleetwood 16/1

Tommy shot a pair of 65's in the middle of the 2017 Tour Championship but topped and tailed with a 75 and 74 for a T21 finish.  This year, coming in off six straight top-11 finishes including T7's in Turkey and at the HSBC, I believe he'll bring a more circumspect approach to the tournament.  Like Sergio of late, Tommy's driving and irons are stellar and that's key here at the Jumeirah Golf Estates.

Tyrrell Hatton 16/1

Any hope I had of Tyrrell flying into Dubai under the radar went out the window when I saw his odds of 16/1 but the bookies know a horse for the course and have done their homework.  Hatton's formline of T8, 2nd, T13, T6 in his four appearances here is excellent and includes a 63 in the second round last year.  Comes in rested having only played five times since the PGA Championship and with a recent T22 at the HSBC Champions and T2 at the Alfred Dunhill I expect him to challenge.

Haotong Li 20/1

Haotong has been very good to me in the betting these past few weeks, he now has four top-10's from his last five starts, and I feel I owe him one last week in the tips.  Another T5 finish in the Nedbank last week will have hopefully helped him forget about the yipped putt in the playoff versus Justin Rose in Turkey.  With every stat trending up, I think Haotong will have his best Tour Championship yet having finished T13 and T30 in his previous two appearances.

Thorbjorn Olesen 25/1

If you're of the school of thought that the players who skipped the Nedbank last week will be fresher after a long season (I am one) then Thorbjorn Olesen should be on your betslip.  A pair of T7 finishes in Turkey and China where he putted beautifully will give the Dane confidence heading back to Dubai where he has never quite gotten the hang of this layout.  Without a top-10 from seven starts here, he has however five top-20's and in current form can break that trend this week.  Three of five Tour wins have come in October and November too so he's one to watch late in the season.  Needs a good driving week.

Matt Fitzpatrick 33/1

It was a toss up between Matt Fitzpatrick and Shane Lowry, both at 33/1, but I'm going to go with Matt for my final pick. The winner here in 2016 and 12th and T4 in his other two appearances at the Tour Championship make him a horse for the course.  Very much like he is at Crans in Switzerland when he came home from a not great run in the US played well in Denmark, then defended his Omega European Masters title in style, Matt's game seems so in tune with Jumeirah Estates.  Out at 33/1 with the bookies after a T27 last week in Sun City but worth a punt.

Long Odds Glory Shots

Well as you've seen from my top-5 picks the odds are very tight this week and finding value is tougher than usual.  I do however see three guys at odds of 50/1, 70/1 and 100/1 that  a case can be made for.
First is Kiradech Aphibarnrat at 50/1; he was T2 here last year and showed with a recent T4 at the HSBC that when his putter is hot he can contend.
Dylan Frittelli 70/1 and Dean Burmester 100/1 may not be household names but both have serious credentials and are probably the best long odds shots in the field. Both shared a T4 here last year and fit with my philosophy of Sunshine players doing well in the Winter months.

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If Lee Westwood putting the lights out to win The Nedbank wasn't exciting enough for you; the ensuing celebration where caddie, and girlfriend (everybody calm down) Helen Storey, gave him the old Xenia Onatopp vs James Bond scissors strangle treatment from Goldeneye was pretty darn cool.

God only knows how ugly it would have been if regular caddie Billy Foster had been there! 

Here's the only decent video I could find. Includes Pierce Brosnan doing the famous arse burn!

In case you missed the highlights from the Nedbank here they are below.

How Did He Do It

Lee Westwood hit 29 fairways around the tight Gary Player Country Club with his Ping G400 LST driver (T32 in the stat) averaging 317.8 yards.  His Ping i210 irons however were on point finding 55 greens in regulation, 4th in the field. So often his Achilles Heel, this week the putts dropped. Westy's Ping Sigma 2 "Fetch" putter rolling in five crucial birdies (11, 13, 14, 16 and 17) in his final eight holes for 113 total putts and T14 in the field.  A mention too must go to his Ping G400 fairway wood which helped accumulate a field topping -11 on the par-5's and proved decisive in helping Lee win to a third career win at the venue.
His 24th European Tour win and 43rd victory worldwide now sees him jump 55 places to 64th in the latest World Golf Rankings and with this weeks Tour Championship to come, a chance to climb up amongst the world's elite beckons once again for Westwood.

What's In The Bag

Driver: Ping G400 LST (10 degrees) with a  Veylix Rome 60 X shaft.
3-wood: Ping G400 (14.5 degrees) with an Aldila Phenom 70X shaft.
Hybrid: Ping G (19 degrees) with an Aldila ATX Tour Green 85X shaft.
Irons: Ping i210 4-PW, UW's (50, 54 degrees) all with Ping JZ Stiff shafts.
Wedges: Ping Glide Forged (60 degrees) with JZ Stiff shaft.
Putter: Ping Sigma 2 Fetch
Ball: Titleist Pro V1

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Loved this little story from the guys in Sky Sports Golf at the The Nedbank in South Africa where unlucky Paul Dunne has had to pay for dinner for the entire group for seven nights in a row.

Apparently the deal when all the Irish guys go for dinner is that everyone puts their credit card onto a serviette in the middle of the table.  The serviette with all the cards is then wrapped up and shuffled and the waiter draws cards out one by one.  The last remaining credit card buys the dinner.  And Dunners has been the last card for seven straight dinners!

Take it with a pinch of salt!

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This is brilliant. The mannerisms of Dustin Johnson and Keegan Bradley via Jack Bartlett on Twitter!

First Keegan!

And DJ!

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There is a good read by James Corrigan in The Telegraph today about Tiger Woods turning down an offer of £2.5 million to play in the "Saudi International," the first ever European Tour event to be staged in Saudi Arabia.

The Kingdom and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman have been shunned by the Western World following the callous murder and bungled cover up of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi Arabia Embassy in Turkey.

But as James points out in the piece, it is not known whether Tiger had made his decision not to play the event starting Jan 31st before or after news emerged of the Khashoggi murder.

Meanwhile Tiger is focussed on his "Match" with Phil Mickelson in a couple of weeks time.

Here's the latest commercial for the $19.99 pay per view event which will see $10 million in a winner takes all pot.

What a crazy world we live in.

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Justin Rose, the world's number one player, for this week at least, is leaving TaylorMade and will be using HONMA clubs for the 2019 season. No I'm serious!

So how did this happen? How did a little known Japanese brand poach Rose away from his equipment sponsor of 20 years?

Let's start with Honma. The name comes from the Honma brothers who started making clubs in the 1959 in Japan. The company went tits up in 2005 but were bought up by Chinese hairdrying magnate "Mr Liu" (yep hangover-esque) nine years ago and went public on the Hong Kong stock market in 2016.  Known as a "luxury" brand in Asia they now average sales of $250 million.

Since 2016 Honma have taken on a large number of ex TaylorMade staff.  There's former TaylorMade big boss for 14 years Mark King, a long time supporter of Rose through bad times and good. King will head up Honma in America in 2019.

Other former TaylorMade high earners to fly the coup and join Honma are Jeff Letorneau, John Kawaja and Tom Cismoski.  All in all it makes quite a team.

And then there's the money!!  Tiger Woods' manager Mark Steinberg is also Justin Rose's agent and he is sure to have agreed a sweet deal.

That leaves TaylorMade left with just a few names.....Tiger Woods, Dustin Johnson, Jason Day, Jon Rahm and Rory McIlroy.  Don't feel too bad for them!!

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2018 Nedbank Challenge Betting Preview And Tips

November 8th – 11th, 2018
Gary Player C.C.,Sun City, South Africa
Par: 72 / Yardage: 7,831
Purse: $7.5 Million with $1,200,000 to the winner
Defending Champion: Branden Grace

Favourite Watch

Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia make the trip to Sun City this year and both are listed around the 8/1 mark.  Even after his shocking yip in the Turkish Open playoff against Justin Rose last week I think Haotong Li at 14/1 looks a good bet in the "win only" market.  Turkey made it four consecutive top-10's and after coming 4th here last year he can win and erase that horror of a week ago.

Doc's Top 5 Best Each Bets

Related post: Outrage As Rory McIlroy Says New Putting Style "Is Legal For Him" Not Cheating

Lucas Bjerregaard 25/1

Another T5 last week in Turkey saw a return to form for the Dane who now has a formline of a win and 3 other top-10's in his last six starts.  Sun City winners are exclusively great greens in regulation merchants; and Lucas sits 2nd in the Tour's GIR stats with a 74.2% hit rate and 6.2% advantage over the field. In lays mans terms he should place!

Tom Lewis 33/1

What an end to the season it has been for the Englishman with a win in Portugal and subsequent drive which has seen a T10 at the Alfred Dunhill, T5 at Walton Heath and T14 at Carya last week. At 33/1 with his GIR game and this form Tom is trending up.

Joost Luiten 33/1

Week three of his comeback and the wrist is improving and getting back to Tour speed all the time.  T11 in Valderrama and T23 in Turkey where tee to green he was excellent points to another improvement in South Africa where he's been top-15 on his last two visits. Still fresh amongst some tired men.

Shane Lowry 20/1

You just get the feeling that Shane is powering up towards the end of the season having scored good results in Turkey (T14) Spain (2nd) and Portugal (6th).  He's a fantastic iron player (73.5% GIR on Tour this year) and strokes gained tee to green is the key this week where 11 and 14 under have won over the last two years.  Has been top-15 in Sun City a couple of times and is in the form to contend.

Lee Westwood 35/1

If you're looking for an experienced head this week try Lee Westwood at 35/1.  Still able to compete on Tour as he showed in Valderamma (T5) and Denmark (T2) and although he didn't feature at the top of the leaderboard last week he did top and tail with a pair of 66's.  Knows Sun City like the back of his hand and won twice at the venue in 2010 and 2011.  Worth a flutter.

Long Odds Glory Shots

Danny Willett is 40/1 at time of writing any showed signs again in Turkey of a return to form with a T7 finish.  Winner here in 2014.  Andrea Pavan at 66/1 is another man in form who plays a great tee to green game.

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Just one day after Bryson DeChambeau confirmed he intends to use the new amendments to the Rules Of Golf to seek advantage by putting with the flagstick in, Rory McIlroy has added to the controversy by saying he intends to use a new legal putting aid that nobody else will be entitled to use.

In an interview yesterday McIlroy said, as a Northern Irish citizen, he fully intends to use the special "backstop" currently being finalised between EU and UK Brexit negotiators to ensure the ball doesn't run too far past the hole.

The new backstop will mean only players from Northern Ireland will be eligible to use it during events.

"As international law takes precedence over all others, I'm intending to have Harry carry the backstop around with the bag and place it behind the hole," McIlroy told reporters. "Especially when I'm putting. Though I may use it too when I'm chipping. But not like when I'm flopping a chip because that would mean if I lands it behind the backstop, and then  I spin it back, the backstop could stop it going in the hole and that would be stupid."

Questioned as to what he intends to do if the backstop rule cannot be agreed before the EU Brexit deadline in March 2019 McIlroy was upbeat.

"If for some reason negotiations break down and I cannot use the backstop in 2019, we are going to make a hard border out of plastic which we can place around the green," he said.  It wont be as good as a backstop, but it wont be bad either."

More as it emerges.

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I'm just back from the fifth annual World Golf Awards in La Manga where the newly refurbished Adare Manor in Ireland was voted World's Best New Golf Course.

Scott Peddie picked up the award on behalf of Adare Manor which is widely tipped to host the 2026 Ryder Cup.

Gary Player was also among those honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Check out all the winners on the World Golf Awards site here and all my winners interviews in association with Destination Golf Travel.

Scott Peddie on behalf of Adare Manor.

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It is with a heavy chest that I must break the news to the world today that Holly Honders has been dropped from Fox Sports Golf coverage.

I can tell you all that we here in the golf media world, especially us men, are heartbroken at the news.

Lured from the cozy confines of the Golf Channel with promises of greatness alongside Greg Norman at Fox in 2015, Holly Sonders outlasted the Aussie but has now been given the heave-ho from USGA golf telecasts.

It's all gone a bit pear shaped for Sonders who was also an NFL sideline reporter for a spell. She is now expected to do some studio presenting of college football broadcasts. Which means we will never ever ever see her again. Meanwhile Fox are contracted to the USGA until 2026 but who cares really if Holly is not there.

Holly was the face of American golf on Golf Channel’s “Morning Drive” show and I'll miss her sooooooooo much. Here's just some of the fun bits!

Lets start with sexual qualifying!

And finding a flat spot on the tee.

And who can forget the Ice Bucket Challenge

The pics will never be the same again!

I need to go and cry now.

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