Golf: Ace Venturer’s Honda Classic Tips


AFTER a couple of bad weeks it’s time I got back on a winning streak. Therefore I’m sticking with the Honda Classic as I never do well Down Under so will give the ISPS Honda in Perth, Australia a miss.

The Florida Swing starts at the Champion Course at PGA National in Palm Beach. With the last two outings there going down to a play-off (Russell Henley and Padraig Harrison prevailing this could also go down to the wire.

The Champion Course is well known for the Bear Trap (holes 15, 16 and 17) and if you manage even par (3-4-3) through them it feels like you’ve gained a half stroke on the field.

This season Patrick Reed has had 26 consecutive GIR (9th on Tour) and is the Tour leader in bogey avoidance which shows real consistency. Returning from an injured ankle at the Farmers. Reed finished a creditable T6 in the AT&T Peeble Beach Pro-Am. His GIR stats for that tourney were 73.61%, driving accuracy of nearly 71% and strokes gained putting of .523 so looks like he’s getting back in the groove.

Hideki Matsuyama is having a good season on the PGA Tour with one win (Waste Management Phoenix) and three top 20s from six outings. He came back after his win and was T11 at the Northern Trust Open at the weekend. His stats for that tournament were 73.6% GIR, driving accuracy 60.71% and although his putting wasn’t that great last week if he can get the short stick working the way it was when he won in Arizona he’ll be right in the thick of it at the weekend.

Making his first start on US soil as a Tour member, Branden Grace arrives in good form, Four weeks ago he won in Qatar and has been no worse than T8 in his last six outings worldwide. On the European Tour his driving accuracy stats are below 50% but makes us with it with GIR of 72.8% and putts per round of 28.7. Last year on the PGA Tour his driving accuracy was over 60% and that’s what he’ll need to attain if he wants to challenge here.

Local boy Brooks Koepka hasn’t had a great start to the season but hasn’t had a bad one either. A T3 in the Tournament of Champions is the highlight and last week a T8 at Pebble Beach showed he is returning to form after a T41 at the Waste Management in Pheonix. His stats last week were driving accuracy 65.45, GIR 68.06% and strokes gained putting was a superb 2.161. Also being local he is definitely worth a flutter.

A win, a second and two other top-10 finishes in his last five outings has pushed Kevin Kisner to second in the FedEx list. This guy has talent and with his first win on the Tour in November has grown in confidence. I’m going to ignore his stats for the missed cut in the Waste Management and instead look at the tournament before where he had driving accuracy of 83.93%, GIR of 73.61% and strokes gained putting of .751.

Honda Classic Tips

1.5pts ew Patrick Reed (20-1, Bet365)
1.5pts ew Hideki Matsuyama (20-1, 888sport)
1.5pts ew Brooks Koepka (33-1, Ladbrokes)
1.5pts ew Branden Grace (33-1, Betfred)
1.5pts ew Kevin Kisner (40-1, Bet365)

Ace Venturer

  1. Profile photo of craig
    craig 8 months ago

    Tough european tournament last week,well done to any winners there.
    Going for 3 in Perth;
    Ulihlein 33/1 ew
    Bland 40/1 ew
    Fraser 28/1 ew

    • Profile photo of Mr Fixit Author
      Mr Fixit 8 months ago

      craig, I’m going with my old buddy Matsuyama and also taking Kisner tipped by Ace yesterday – and Palmer today.

  2. Profile photo of nazalus
    nazalus 8 months ago

    From the blindingly obvious to Sam Saunders, who is way overpriced at 1,000/1.

    That’s not a typing error – Saunders is 1,000/1 and there are, of course, reasons why he’s considered a complete no-hoper. Chief among them is a run of four missed cuts this year, six from seven on the season, with the exception a decent but non-threatening share of 29th in the RSM Classic.

    But there are positives to easily negate that issue, especially at the price.

    Crucially, Saunders is from Orlando and has been seventh and third at Sawgrass on the Tour. That includes his most recent start in the Sunshine State which came just last October, when he opened with a round of 64 and closed with 67 to earn some sort of status for the upcoming season, all soon after an accident which could’ve taken his life.

    His first start as a professional in Florida actually came in this event back in 2010. Back then, Saunders had no status and was relying on invites, so it was a mighty effort to shoot 69-69-69-73 for an eventual share of 17th place. Reading between the lines, he closed with a bogey on the par-five 18th when electing to hit driver off the deck in a bid to crack the top-10 with an eagle, something he needed to do if he was to earn a place in the following week’s tournament.

    In other words, even a very good 17th place can be upgraded – it turns out a birdie would’ve seen him share ninth – and while his recent form is not pretty, there can be little doubt he’s a better player now than he was six years ago.

    Regular readers may recall that I tipped Daniel Berger in this event last year, the young Floridian losing a play-off to Padraig Harrington having looked set to collect his first title.

    Berger’s form and overall profile was undeniably stronger than that of Saunders, but what’s interesting is that they both won the same junior event here at PGA National. It was that fact which compelled me to pull the trigger on Berger and I can’t resist Saunders for the same reason.

    It’s also worth noting that Saunders did shoot 67 in the third round at Pebble Beach last time. That will have given him some valuable encouragement heading back home and again draws some parallels with another to have gone well here. When I tipped Henley to win this title in 2014, he’d been in poor form but had also shot five-under in his most recent round out in California, using that as a springboard for a breakthrough week.

    Without doubt, victory for Saunders would be among the great PGA Tour upsets in the modern era. But it’s only two weeks since the last one and Saunders has been involved in a play-off for a PGA Tour title before – he’s by no means without hope now back on the east coast.

    There’s of course the option to play top-20 at 20s or top-10 at 50s but I’d much rather take a chance each-way in the hope he can produce the best week of his career.

    Another of the reasons I believe this event has thrown up some surprises is the fact that it typically kicks off the Florida swing. Layers have little choice but to base their markets on what’s happened over the last few weeks but we know full well that there are those who excel in the east and struggle in the west, which presents opportunities.

    THIS IS COPIED & PASTED ,so i take NO CREDIT for this info

    • Profile photo of nazalus
      nazalus 8 months ago

      Good start for Saunders……Currently 1 under after his 1st rd finish.
      I got him with Hills EW @ 500/1
      Top 10 @ 40/1
      Top 20 @ 12/1
      Long way to go though :)

  3. Profile photo of craig
    craig 8 months ago

    Big fan of Matsuyama last year mr fixit.but been swayed away lately as his odds are getting shorter and shorter.
    Lowry 55/1
    Scott 20/1
    Long shot S Kang 150/1
    3 ew bets for the Honda Classic

    • Profile photo of Mr Fixit Author
      Mr Fixit 8 months ago

      craig, that’s always going to happen with guys who look good.
      As you see there’s always room for a long shot in golf betting.

  4. Profile photo of lee cunliffe
    lee cunliffe 8 months ago

    No luck last week with my 3 tips finishing 4th, 11th and week off

    This week Adam Scott 22/1 for some reason international players have good record here if you look at previous winners of tourney you will see what I mean. Adam Scott played really well last weekend and was odds on at one stage on Round 4 but fell off towards end with the big guns behind him.

    Luke Donald 66/1 e/w speaking of guys doing well here this is purely a pick based on his previous performance here with 4 top 10 finishes so is worth ew bet

    Rickie fowler 12/1
    In good form this year 8 yh overall Un putting and played well here in past

  5. Profile photo of aceventurer
    aceventurer 8 months ago

    Hi guys, as you know I didn’t have a pick for the ISPS Honda Perth International. Wish I had as one of my Six of the Best for this year, Peter Uihlein, is leading after first round. I know it’s early days but it’s nice to dream.

  6. Profile photo of craig
    craig 8 months ago

    I’m pleased with Uihlein place as oosthuizen didn’t look like being stopped on the last day.hopefully Scott can end a good week tonight

    • Profile photo of Mr Fixit Author
      Mr Fixit 8 months ago

      craig, should be a good battle between Scott and Garcia tonight – will be watching in the office.

      • Profile photo of nazalus
        nazalus 8 months ago

        Well,i got 12/1 for a top 20,very pleased,but it could’ve been a lot better had Saunders not bogied the 16th.
        But will be following the same tipster next time :)

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