IT wasn’t a good start to our selections last week but we’ve 40-odd weeks to build up our bank balances. One consolation was I didn’t back Martin Kaymer who blew a 10-shot lead.
We’re still in the Middle East this week with a visit to the Qatar Masters at Doha GC. One man whose record over the last seven years at Doha has been superb is defending champion Sergio Garcia.
He has finished only once outside the top nine in that time and of course we tipped him last year when he won. His price is short and I don’t like backing players at single figure odds but I will.
What I said about Charl Schwartzel last week still stands. His putts per round is still under 30 and GIR is over 70% which is good considering his driving accuracy isn’t up to speed yet. He had four under par rounds last week when finishing T9. I still have faith in him to get into the top five so I’m going again with an small each way bet.
Nicolas Colsaerts hasn’t had the best couple of years recently but I expect him to bounce back this season. He was T26 in Abu Dhabi last week and although he’s not hitting the ball as far as last year and driving accuracy is 57% his GIR is 86.11%, which is some going. With the big greens in Doha his putting might be a concern but well worth a punt.
Over at the La Quinta GC in California for the Humana Challenge there are two really good picks to look at. First Matt Kuchar, with driving accuracy down at 42%, still managed to finish T3 in the Sony Open in Hawaii last week.
He didn’t do much wrong with a 65 and 63 in his first two rounds. He has been no worse than T29 in the last five years here and was co-runner up in 2010. He’s worth an each-way wager.
Also I like the look of Ryan Palmer who was runner-up here last year and was T17 last week at the Sony with four sub-70 rounds. He had an up and down season last year but it wouldn’t surprise me if he really scored some notable victories this year. His GIR is near 66%, driving accuracy over 54% and in strokes gained (putting) his fifth on Tour with 1.168.
15pt staking plan
Sergio Garcia 2pts win (8-1, 888sport)
Charl Schwartzel 1pt ew (18-1, Betfred, bet365)
Nicolas Colsaerts 1pt ew (45-1, Betfred)
Matt Kuchar 2pts ew (18-1, Paddy Power)
Ryan Palmer 1.5pt ew (25-1, 888sport)
Note: Doha action starts 3.55am Wednesday
USA action starts 4.30pm Thursday