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2019 Valspar Championship Betting Preview And Tips

March 21st – 24th, 2019
Innisbrook Resort (Copperhead Course), Palm Harbor, Florida
Par: 71 / Yardage: 7,340
Purse: $6.7 million with $1,206,000 to the winner
Defending Champion: Paul Casey

Favourite Watch

Nice to see DJ, Jason Day and Jon Rahm in the field at Palm Harbour after The Players and with Tiger not here this year it adds star power to the field.  DJ starts favourite at 5/1 with Rahm looking primed for a win at 9/1.  Crazy short odds in my opinion though given that this is traditionally the toughest course on the PGA Tour and hasn't been kind to favourites.

Doc's Top-5 Each Way Bets

Patrick Reed 25/1

You just have to have Pat Reed on your betslip on a course like Copperhead.  Granted his current form is patchy at best, he climbed the leaderboard at The Players only to shoot 78 Sunday, but you'll want a fighter, a battler, a sticker on this treacherous par 71 and he's been T2 twice and T7 in his last four visits here.

Webb Simpson 20/1

Probably not in as solid a form line as when scoring a T8 here last year but Webb Simpson is driving the ball well and he's registering tournament winning putting numbers; he just needs a better week with his irons.  T16 at Sawgrass was a good improvement and he'll be confident of charming the Snake Pit!

Paul Casey 25/1

Very surprised to see defending champion Paul Casey out at 25/1 this week, but great for us and place betting.  He's out at these odds because of a 78 in round one at The Players last week which led to a missed cut but that'll mean he'll arrive at Innisbrook fresher than many.  T3 in Mexico, 2nd at Pebble and Casey continues to dominate the Greens In Regulation stats; something that will again be critical this week.

Jim Furyk 33/1

Winner pre-renovation here in 2010, seventh last year and how brilliant was it to see Jim Furyk playing great golf again in Sawgrass last week?  The only worry is the physical toll that effort has taken on the 48 year old heading to one of the most attritional courses on the calender.

Jason Kokrak 50/1

T47 at The Players last week but has been top-20 in the Greens in Regulation stats in his last for starts and on this course that kind of form will yield a much better dividend.  Top-10's at the Arnie and Honda say Jason can improve on his T8 here last year.

Long Odds Glory Shots

Three players worth a mention at 66/1

Russell Knox: A great putter on his day, can play in wind and a tough par 71 will suit him.
Adam Hadwin: The 2017 champ was T2 at the Desert Classic this year and is one to watch.
Charl Schwartzel: About as consistent as broadband in Ireland but also a former winner here with undeniable pedigree.

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Well After weeks of hitting high notes Rory McIlroy exploded into symphony at TPC Sawgrass to win The Players Championship in fine style.

Rory's Winning Stats 

Using a TaylorMade M5 driver McIlroy hit eight of 14 fairways on Sunday and 33 in total averaging 305.5 yards (5th in the field).  The 29 year old hit 15 final round greens in regulation, and 58 in total (T3 in the field) with his blend of TaylorMade P730 and P750 irons posting 2.775 Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green. On the greens McIlroy mixed the good with the not so good using a TaylorMade Spider X putter, recording a clip of -1.507 Strokes Gained: Putting but held them when it mattered most on the back nine Sunday. For the week McIlroy matched an eagle and 21 birdies versus just five bogeys and one double.

What's In The Winning Bag Rory McIlroy?

Driver: TaylorMade M5 (9 degrees) with a Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro White 70 TX shaft
Fairway wood: TaylorMade M5 (19 degrees) with a Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro White 90 TX shaft.
Driving Iron: TaylorMade P790 with a Project X Rifle 6.5 shaft.
Irons: TaylorMade P750 (3, 4), TaylorMade “Rors Proto” P730 (5-9) with Project X Rifle 7.0 shafts.
Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (48 degrees), TaylorMade MG Hi-Toe (54, 60 degrees) with Project X Rifle 6.5 shafts.
Putter: TaylorMade Spider X
Ball: 2019 TP5 Golf Ball (#22)

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Play was suspended for just over two hours at The Magical Kenya Open today when a streaker ran onto and around the golf course during the third round.

European Tour security quickly tried to apprehend the man, believed to be either an ex olympic marathon champion, or on his way to a well, but couldn't match the incredible pace the streaker was maintaining.

Police armed with tranquilliser guns were then loaded into the back of two Toyota Land Cruisers, but they also failed to apprehend the man.

"Did anyone catch what kind of runners he was wearing?" asked Police Chief Roger Kipchengo. "It could be someone from the  Kimetto tribe that live over the hill there, or Charles Kipchoge who likes his Saturday morning run in the nip, or it could be old Grandad Kiptinui who usually pumps out 40 kilometres to get water for the breakfast. If I saw the runners I could probably identify him."

Play resumed at 11am when the streaker disappeared.

More as it emerges.

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Jim Furyk's tanline at The Players is my highlight of the week so far.  He even has a little tan patch where the adjustable bit at the back should be.  It's glorious!!

And here's Jim proving the theory that "pin-in" or pin out, golf always finds a way to screw you over!!

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The Players Championship Betting Preview And Tips

March 14th – 17th, 2019
TPC Sawgrass, Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida
Par: 72 / Yardage: 7,189
Purse: $12.5 million with $2,250,000 to the winner
Defending Champion: Webb Simpson

The "fifth Major" as it is called has been shoehorned into its old March slot but with the entire organisation of the course now with the Tour and property overseeded with rye grass before Christmas, expect to see Sawgrass looking green but firmer and more playable than you might think.  Weather is also set fair this week so no mud-bath or 17th green disappearing in the water hopefully. Webb Simpson defends and Si Woo Kim won before that so please bear in mind before you go crazy betting that there's always an openness to the event even though it's usually the strongest field of the year.  You don't always have to bet pre tournament, sometimes prudence is best, track my tips, if they are going well after a round or two, then bet!

Favourite Discussion

Another T6 at Bay Hill make it five top-6 finishes in a row for Rory McIlroy and he's out at a tempting 14/1 this week because the bookies know Rors has never really figured out Sawgrass.  He has however three top-10's here from 2013 to 2015 and more than anyone in the field the date change should suit him.  He's simmering and ready to blow, and when he does he'll be winning by a mile! Dustin Johnson is favourite at 12/1 with Justin Thomas also enticing at 16/1

Doc's Top Five Each Way Bets

Xander Schauffele 25/1

Tied second on his debut here last year and Schauffele has the course management game for the Sawgrass test.  Two wins and never outside the top-25 in his last five starts.  Driver and irons looked to be working well in Mexico but a Friday 73 did for his chances there. Really impressive big game player last season, I'm dying to see if he repeats and improves this time around.  The stats say he will do.

Tommy Fleetwood 28/1

Improved his finish in his last four Tour events, but this issue of slipping away at the weekend when in contention is beginning to grow legs. Went from first to 11th on "moving day" at Bay Hill but, and this could be important this week, finished strong with a 68 for a T3 result.  T7 last year and you have got to think that Tommy has the very special skillset it takes to compete around this Pete Dye gem.

Ian Poulter 50/1

Has the form bubble burst for Poults? A T23 at Bay Hill was a real downer for us all following four consecutive top-6 finishes but could it be that The Postman is keeping his letters dry before delivering this week?  T11 in 2018 and T2 in 2017 and with the event moving to March with precision off the tee and  accuracy into small greens needed my feeling is it could suit a form European like Poults.

Adam Scott 40/1

Adam Scott is not consistent of late and that's not up for debate.  To go solo second at The Farmers then not get near Sunday at Pebble was not like him. To then be in contention at The Genesis then throw it away with a 76 Sunday? And then miss the Honda cut?  But the thing is this, Adam Scott is as good a ball striker as they come, and unless your irons are singing you wont be able to manage at Sawgrass.  Scotty has three successive top-12 finishes here in his last three visits, was a winner here in March 2004,  and consistency aside, is worth tracking each way.

Rafa Cabrera Bello 50/1

T3 at Bay Hill last week and now has four consecutive top-25 finishes but sometimes I'd love to kick Rafa up the backside out of frustration. Every week (well not every week) there's one dodgy round that upsets the apple cart. A 74 on Sunday at Pebble, a 76 on Thursday in Mexico, a 75 on Friday at Bay Hill….it's so tough to recover from that.  The week that Rafa plays four good rounds and avoids calamity he'll win. Lets pray its this week!

Lucas Glover 70/1

Did OK for us when tipped him last week with a T10 at The Arnie. That goes along with the T4 at The Honda and T7 at Pebble to make it eight top-20's from nine starts this season.  I'm now predicting Lucas Glover is going to win big this year and he may come into a place this week.  Recent best of T6 two years ago. Great each value.

Long Odds Glory Shot

I'll be watching Sungjae Im at 125/1 with great interest this week.  Another solid performance with a T3 at the Arnie and he looks like he can compete anywhere.  The Players has had a couple of South Koreans do pretty well in the last few years too like Si Woo Kim (2017) and KJ Choi (2011) so watch out!!

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"He's had some big moments in his career but I don’t know of any bigger than this," Paul Azinger said in his TV commentary as Francesco Molinari held a monster birdie putt on the last yesterday to finish the round that ultimately saw him win the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Zinger clearly oblivious to when the Italian won the Open Championship at Carnoustie last Summer and went 5-0-0 at the Ryder Cup!!

How Did He Do It?

On his first week as a Callaway staffer Francesco hit 43 fairways (T3 in the field) with his Callaway Epic Flash Sub Zero driver averaging 294.5 yards. That set up 48 greens in regulation (T6 in the stats), including 14 in his final round, using Apex MB '18 irons.
That foundation of 3.672 Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green allowed Fran to circle birdies at 1, 3, 6, 8, 12, 13, 16 and finally a 45 footer on 18 with his Odyssey Toulon Madison Stroke Lab putter. The now London resident ended the day with an incredible clip of 4.223 Strokes Gained: Putting with 25 total putts.

What's In The Bag

Driver: Callaway Epic Flash Sub Zero (9 degrees) with Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro Blue 70 TX shaft.
Fairway wood: Callaway Epic Flash Sub Zero (13.5 degrees) with Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro Blue 80 TX shaft.
Hybrid: Callaway Apex Hybrid (20 degrees) with Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro Blue 90 TX shaft.
Irons: Callaway Apex Pro ’19 (4-iron), Apex MB ’18 (prototype) (5-PW) with True Temper Dynamic Gold X 100 shafts.
Wedges: Callaway Mack Daddy 4 (50, 56, 60 degrees) with True Temper Dynamic Gold X 100 shafts.
Putter: Odyssey Toulon Madison Stroke Lab
Ball: Callaway Chrome Soft X


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This will brighten up your Monday!  Great piece of improv and acting from Charles Howell III along with Bubba Watson and Ted Scott.

It  starts off in the locker room at the Arnie with Bubba trying to figure out how to hit a draw!!

Meanwhile somebody decided to put the Pink Panther music to Keegan Bradley in a bunker!!!

More of this please!!

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The world of golf can breathe easy again this morning, when after an eight hour conclave, all 17 of Tiger Woods' personal physicians agreed that his neck strain is not career ending and he'll actually be grand again in a day or two.

Tiger Woods dropping the kids to school this morning.

Woods was placed in a protective neck brace and rushed to hospital in Florida Monday after turning his head suddenly to get a good look at a blonde woman with large boobs whilst out jogging.

The incident prompted fears that his golf career was definitely over this time causing shares in TaylorMade and Bridgestone to plummet.

“Tiger was out jogging and appears to have suffered a little neck spasm whilst twisting his head to cop a look at some big bouncy hooters,” said chief physician Gerry Reinoff, “That neck was used being twisted by young ladies and many many older ones too back in day but its not as supple now and Tiger needs to be careful when he's checking out the menu if you know what I mean,” laughed Reinoff.

“Golf-wise Tiger should be fine in a day or two.  We removed a couple of vertebrae from his neck that we think he doesn't use much anyway,” he added.

More as it emerges.

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2019 Arnold Palmer Invitational Betting Preview and Tips

March 7th – 10th, 2019
Bay Hill Club, Orlando, Florida
Par: 72 / Yardage: 7,419
Purse: $9.1 million with $1,638,000 to the winner
Defending Champion: Rory McIlroy


Favourite Watch

Well Rory McIlroy is due a win and he defends this week so no surprise that he's the unbackable man this week at 7/1.  That leaves both Justin Rose and Rickie Fowler on 12/1 which will entice many in the win only market.  Fowler added another big T2 at the Honda to his Phoenix win and Rosey's win at The Farmers is still fresh; he was solo 3rd last year.

As always I'm looking for each way value in the market.

Doc's Top 5 Each Way Bets 

Marc Leishman 25/1

An emotional winner here two years ago and placed a very good T7 defending last year.  Comes in this year under the radar with form a little hit and miss lately but T4 at The Genesis on his second to last outing and on his day the Aussie is well able to mix it with the best.

Lucas Glover 50/1

Lucas Glover has had some trying moments in his home life but after coming through the finals he is having the best start to a PGA Tour season of his career.  A T7 at Pebble Beach followed by a T4 last time out at The Honda made it seven top-20 finishes already.  Tee to green he's a wily old master, when he putts he contends. Recent best of T7 at Bay Hill in 2017.

Hideki Matsuyama 25/1

Formline reads T19, T9, T15, T3 through Mexico, Genesis, Phoenix and Farmers and Hideki is building in confidence as the season progresses.  Still not back to his very best with the putter but when that clicks he will be winning again.

Ian Poulter 50/1

Poults is out at 50/1 not because of his form but due to a recent dismal run at Bay Hill. You have to go back to 2012 for his last good showing here, solo third.  But this year the Englishman comes in as the in-form player in the field with four consecutive top-6 six finishes from Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Saudi and Mexico.  It'll be very interesting to see how he performs close to his home this week.

Si Woo Kim 70/1

Another who the bookies know has had zero luck at Bay Hill through three visits but his putting is just SO good right now surely he can buck that trend at contend.  T4 at Pebble Beach and 3rd last time out at the Genesis.

Long Odds Glory Shots

Michael Thompson 80/1: Another T16 at the Honda last week make it five top-20 finishes in a row for Thompson and I'll be having a little flutter on him myself at those odds.
Charles Howell 70/1: Second in the stats in Green In Regulation percentage and since getting his win at the RSM seems an ever presence on the leaderboard. T14 at the Arnie last year.

Course News

Bay Hill will play this year at a longer than ever 7,454 yard par 72. The heavy rough has been toughened this year and TifEagle bermudagrass greens are set to run at 13.5 on the stimp.  Weather is set to be good with only light wins.  Tiger Woods is a non-runner with a minor neck injury.

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This is pretty shocking stuff and doing the rounds on WhatsApp this morning.

I've no idea where it happened but the accents seem South African??

The guy at the bar of the clubhouse accuses another man of cheating on the course and the accused answers quite emphatically and brutally with his fists.

I'm in shock!!

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Who would have thunk the actual USGA would post an open tweet to Justin Thomas saying "Justin we need to talk."

The tweet was the straw that broke the camel's back in light of more (probably totally justified) bashing on social media by Thomas over another two shot penalty handed to Adam Schenk when his caddie stood behind him in a bunker.

JT had a pop at the USGA on Twitter and used the "growthegame” hashtag......OOoooooo big mistake!!
But the USGA would never tweet back a reply, would they?

We they's what came back! WE NEED TO TALK.

Justin, we need to talk. You’ve cancelled every meeting we’ve planned with you, but we are reaching out again. We were at the first 5 events, and tournaments last year, and your tour has had a seat at the table for 7 years. We’d love nothing more than to give you a seat. Call us.

Needless to say Justin was taken aback that the Borg (the USGA) actually responded.

“It was a little shocking. It was a little upsetting just because it was inaccurate,” Thomas said of the cancelled meeting claims. “I haven’t canceled anything, especially any meetings. But it is what it is, and all I want is the best for the game of golf and the best for the sport,  and that’s what we’re going to continue to try to communicate with each  other to get that. It is unfortunate. It just was — it really hurt me.”

And that's where we stand. Beware what you tweet,  The big boys are watching. And now they're tweeting back!!

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This is ridiculous in the extreme. Alex Cejka was DQ’d from the Honda for using last year’s greens reading book. And since the greens were resurfaced since last year....the bloomin’ book was useless anyway!!

“It was brought to the committee’s attention that Alex might possibly be using some old greens reading materials, and so we were obligated to check that out,” riles official Robby Ware said. “Alex was basically using an old yardage book and old greens reading materials that did not fit the size to scale limit.”
It all happened at the 14th hole. Nobody is sure who tippped off the officials but playing partner Cameron Tringale did say he noticed Cejka using the old book.
I went to use the bathroom and when I came out I saw him riding off in a cart.”

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2019 Honda Classic Betting Preview and Tips

PGA National Champion Course
Palm Beach Gardens, FL
Par: 70 / Yardage: 7,125
Purse: $6.8 million with $1,224,000 to the winner
Defending Champion: Justin Thomas
Last week: T3 Paul Casey 35/1 Ian Poulter 80/1

Doc's Top-5 Best Each Way Bets

Adam Scott 16/1

After some positive signs to finish 2018 Adam Scott has started this year looking like he's edging closer to his brilliant best. Solo second at The Farmers, tied 7th at The Genesis, is he building towards this week where he won in 2016 and onwards to The Masters?  I think he is.

Cameron Smith 28/1

Great putters can contend anywhere and Cam Smith is proving to be up there with the best of them.  Needed just 106 putts last week in Mexico (topped the stats) on his way to a T6 finish and that sits nicely alongside  a T15 in Phoenix and T9 at Torrey Pines since his Aussie PGA win.  Debutant this week.

Michael Thompson 60/1

On a run of good form is Michael Thompson with a T7 at the Desert Classic, T13 at The Farmers, T10 at Pebble and T7 last time out at the Genesis.  He does it by pounding fairways and greens and if he can putt like he did at Riviera he could really contend again  at Palm Beach Gardens. I say "again" because he hasn't performed well here on his last five visits but nobody can take away 2013 when he won!!

Webb Simpson 25/1

Things didn't go great for Webb in Mexico but that T39 (putting aside) contained some solid stats.  That was first non top-20 finish of the 2019 season and I expect he'll be back contending this week. T5 here last year after skipping six years.

Gary Woodland 20/1

Six top-10's already in this 2019 PGA Tour season and surely a win must be coming soon for Gary Woodland.  He already has 2nd's at the CJ Cup and Tournament of Champions was T9 at Torrey Pines, T7 in Phoenix and figured out El Chapultepec at the weekend to finish T17 in Mexico.  Best of T2 in 2017 when Rickie Fowler won.

Long Odds Glory

Luke List (50/1) and Brendan Steele (125/1) have solid track records around Palm Beach Gardens. List was solo 2nd last year and though Steele didn't play in 2018 he has 3 top-15 finishes in a row before that.

Gmac (80/1) needs to make the most of every opportunity that he gets.

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