GOLF: ACE VENTURER’S TOP TIPS

MRF_Golf

WELL, that’s the end of the Jordan and Jason show for this season with Jordan Spieth finishing in a flourish after a four-stroke win in the Tour Championship last weekend.

With five wins, including The Masters and the US Open, a T4 in The Open and 2nd in the USPGA he had a year to remember. Jason Day also had five wins, including the USPGA, a T4 in The Open and a creditable T9 in the US Open while suffering from a severe bout of vertigo.

Can’t wait for next season with a fully-fit Rory McIlroy trying to get back in the mix.

My selection Justin Rose gave it a real go in the final round with a 66 but fell a bit short but he still gave me a return with his T2nd place.

With the PGA Tour over for the season I can now focus on the European Tour which pitches up at St Andrews, Carnoustie, and Kingsbarns for the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. This tournament is notoriously difficult to forecast as the last two winners (Oliver Wilson and David Howell) prove.

European Top Golfer of the Month for August, Shane Lowry, returns to European shores after his superb WGC-Bridgestone Invitational win in Ohio. His approach shot on the 72nd hole over the trees at Akron was sublime and to seal the victory with an 11ft birdie putt was sheer class.

Coming up to the final part of the Race to Dubai the Irishman is sitting sixth and has a good record here with a third-place finish in 2013 and sixth in 2014. Looks good for a place.

Branden Grace has had a good season this year and a T4 in the US Open, T20 in The Open and 3rd in the USPGA has now got people speaking of him as a Major contender of the future.

In his first year on Tour in 2012 Grace won four tournaments which included this event in the final round at St Andrews. He is sitting fifth in the R2D, just ahead of my first choice Shane Lowry, and will certainly put pressure on those ahead of him in the final tournaments of this season.

Danny Willett had a great Open at St Andrews finishing a T6 and with four rounds in the 60s two weeks ago in Italy is in top form. Just over 300,000pts behind Rory in the R2D he has a great chance to go top as the Irishman isn’t taking part this week.

With two wins and five top-10 finishes he’s having a good season and if his form continues he could finish the season on top of the pile.

In August Brooks Koepka had three top-six finishes, including a T5 in the USPGA, but missed two cuts in the Barclays and Deutsche Bank. He seems to be regaining some form after a T49 in the BMW and T18 last week.

I saw him at the Scottish Open at Gullane this year where he finished T22 and he looked at ease on the links course. In The Open the following week he finished T10 having started with a 71 and improved by one every subsequent round.

He seemed to be getting to grips with the course as the week went on. In fact in those two tournaments he wasn’t over par in any of the eight rounds. Last year he was T9 at the Dunhill which included a 64 at St Andrews in the third round.

Recommended Bets

Shane Lowry 2pts ew (20-1, Ladbrokes, William Hill)
Branden Grace 1.5pts ew (18-1, Coral)
Danny Willett 1.5pts ew (20-1, Ladbrokes, BetVictor)
Brooks Koepka 1.5pts ew (20-1, Ladbrokes, Betfred)

Ace Venturer

18 Comments
  1. HullShaker 1 year ago

    Ace, unlucky with Rose!

    Love a golf bet and been a cracking few months following the Tour with your thread…some wins and a few big nearly wins!

    Cheers Ace…great stuff – I might just have a go at Lowry myself…also fancy Padraig e/w as a value bet at 100/1.

    Good luck

    • Profile photo of Mr Fixit Author
      Mr Fixit 1 year ago

      HullShaker, Ace has had a good season – not sure I’ll have a bet on the Dunhill though until maybe the final round.

  2. Steven7 1 year ago

    Are those prices the best available? just to save me from checking them all thanks.

  3. StevenRG 1 year ago

    The Dunhill Links Championship

    The players find themselves on the east coast of Scotland this week and on three of the UK’s finest courses, St Andrews, Kingsbarns and Carnoustie. This tournament has a different format to the norm with it being a Pro-Am. So each player plays a round at all three courses along with their often “celebrity” amateur of choice. The cut then falls after three rounds with those who make it continuing on to a final round at St. Andrews on Sunday.

    Given the slower, less serious nature of this Tournament, players will need to feel comfortable in this environment in order to win. Scoring is always low as the courses aren’t set up as hard as they would be for a normal European Tour event given that amateurs are also playing.

    With all three courses playing to a Par 72, Kingsbarns at 7150 yards usually plays as the easiest of the three, followed by St Andrews (7307 yards) and then Carnoustie (7412 yards) which retains some of its bite even with the favourable amateur pin positions.

    Unsurprisingly, given the name, this tournament is normally won by a proven Links exponent. With a winning score usually in the 20s under par it is also important to score well with the pure links greens playing softer than in the summer. So my research is going to revolve heavily on finding players suited to the courses, putting well and with some good recent Links form also. In addition to previous editions of the Dunhill, we can look at this year’s Scottish Open held across the Firth, the Irish Open, The Open (which was held at St Andrews this year) and even the Dubai Desert Classic which plays very much as a Links course (several players have won both there and the Dunhill to back his up)

    With such an impressive field I could have backed about 12 players this week but even with just the one tournament I wanted to keep it at 4 main plays and some additional side market bets. I really like Danny Willett’s chances this week but he looks plenty short enough at 20/1 as does Shane Lowry who hasn’t been seen since his US PGA missed cut.

    Thomas Pieters finally got off the mark with a win in the Czech Masters in August and he promptly followed that win up with another in the KLM in Holland which is played on the Kennemer course in Zandvoort. It is an undualting, exposed course and Links specialists like Simon Dyson, Joost Luiten, Darren Clarke and Ross Fisher have all won there previously. Pieters has several other high finishes on Links courses and a decent T18th on his debut here last year. It is very hard to win three tournaments in a row (he hasn’t played since Holland) but at this stage with the talent he has this powerful Belgian could yet be anything. As well as his length of the tee he will be aided this week by his deadly putter. He is -39 for his last 8 rounds so while he may look slightly short at 40/1, his limits are not yet known so I’m happy to include him while his putter is hot (averaging 26.25 putts/round over those 8 rounds) in a Tournament that can often turn into a putting competition in fair weather. Furthermore he can take inspiration from Branden Grace who won here in 2012 after himself having a multiple win breakthrough season in 2012.

    Eddie Pepperell is a young Englishman that has been more banging the door down than knocking on it over the last 2 years. This season alone he has 4 top 5 finishes on Links courses; 4th in Qatar, T2nd in Irish Open, T4th in Scottish Open and T5th in the KLM 3 weeks ago for the blog. He told me yesterday on Twitter that he hasn’t played at all since Italy two weeks ago but I’m not that concerned as he will arrive refreshed and determined to finally get his win in a Links environment that will suit him perfectly. Those that follow him on Twitter will know that he is good fun and doesn’t take himself too seriously so he should feel at ease in this Pro-Am format. With a week off his price is possibly a little better than I expected so 50/1 looks very fair for a proven Links specialist that is deadly on the greens.

    Pablo Larrazabal is a player that I struggle to get right. He has let me down a few times when everything has looked in his favour for playing well. But I think, given the course links from where he has won tournaments, he is due a big performance in a classic Links tournament. Golf Club Eichenried, where he has won two BMW International Opens, has a very similar roll call of winners as The Dunhill; David Howell, Martin Kaymer, Robert Karlsson, Colin Montgomerie and Lee Westwood have all won at both and a host of other players have high finishes. Now Eichenried is not a Links course so I’m not sure why this is the case. But there is a premium on distance control with the irons and also scrambling when the small greens are missed. Larrazabal’s other wins have come at Le Golf National and Abu Dhabi which have also been the scene of wins for many strong Links players, amongst these Martin Kaymer, Graeme McDowell, Jamie Donaldson and Paul Casey. He arrives in fairly poor form but those that are familiar with him know that he can appear out of nowhere to play well. Pablo’s win this year in the BMW came after 2 weeks off and prior to his T100 last week he also had 2 weeks off. It is more of a hunch play but odds of 150/1 are available and they are just too big for this proven winner who enjoys such a short game test.

    Peter Uihlein has been promising to take the European Tour by storm for the best part of three years. But after his first win in 2013 Uihlein has had to sit back and watch his friend Brooks Koepka and several fellow members of the 2011 Walker Cup (Russell Henley, Harris English and a certain Jordan Spieth) establish themselves with multiple wins. Uihlein impressed most on courses with some room off the tee where he could let loose with his long yet erratic driving and then let his excellent iron game give himself numerous eagle and birdie chances which he would often take when his putter was hot. But over the last 18 months he has tailed off somewhat and subsequently we have seen some decent prices about him in 2015. He lost to David Howell here in a play off in 2013 and followed it up with a T18th last year when in very average form. So we know that he likes this group of courses but that isn’t really enough if he isn’t playing well. Which is why it was very interesting to see that he came 3rd in GIR (an impressive 80.6%) last week en route to a T12th in Germany which came 3 weeks after a T30 in Holland (77.8% GIR ranking 16th). Uihlein is a serious talent and if he is going to get that elusive 2nd win he is going to do it when conditions suit. The Dunhill Links Championship looks a perfect fit and although I had hoped for odds greater than 50/1 I think he is still a good ew play this week where his putter should hopefully warm up on familiar greens.

    A couple of place market bets for me this week too. Anthony Wall is a bit of a European Tour journeyman but he is always worth consideration on Links courses such is the quality of his scrambling. He finished T12th at The Open Championship this year at St Andrews so I think he looks over priced for a Top 20 this week at 13/2.

    I’m also keeping the faith to a certain extent with Lucas Bjerregaard. I’d be very surprised if he wins this week but I expect him to continue his fine form for another big cheque.

    Paul Dunne led The Open after three rounds at St Andrews and that was an amazing achievement for an amateur golfer. As expected he fell away on Sunday but he arrives here as a professional now and will be keen to start banking some money. The Dunhill Links looks an ideal place to start and 8/1 looks a nice price for a Top 20 when he has already proven he can handle playing with the very best on Links courses.

    Darren Fichardt is an excellent putter and can go well when the his long game is in decent shape. He arrives off the back of 20th and 12th place finishes and has previous Dunhill form of 25, 28th and 13th. Again 8/1 looks a good price for another South African that putts well on the grainier Links greens.

    Summary of bets

    Thomas Pieters – 2pts ew 40/1 and 1pt Top 10 7/2

    Eddie Pepperell – 2pts ew 50/1

    Peter Uihlein – 1pt ew 50/1

    Pablo Larrazabal – 0.5pt ew 150/1

    Anthony Wall – 1pt Top 20 13/2

    Lucas Bjerregaard – 1pt Top 20 9/2

    Paul Dunne – 0.5pt Top 20 8/1

    Darren Fichardt – 0.5pt Top 20 8/1

    Weekly outlay – 15pts

    Total outlay – 179 pts

  4. HullShaker 1 year ago

    MR F…he’s been spot on – way beyond my knowledge base in golf…not done so bad yourself either?

    • Profile photo of Mr Fixit Author
      Mr Fixit 1 year ago

      HullShaker, I’ve done OK but don’t have the time to research it properly.

  5. malkster 1 year ago

    Another successful week in golf…take a bow mr Jaidee..a few places too..

    Dunhill..Grace to win..ew pieters karlberg fitzpatrick

    Web…Glover ernst burgoon vdwalt

    Challenge toor…Sogaard arnold linard

    Japan..matsamura imahara muto.

    Bol guys..

  6. Ace Venturer 1 year ago

    Hullshaker Appreciate your comments and let’s hope Lowry can do the business this weekend.

  7. Craig 1 year ago

    Thomas Pieters 33/1

    Tyrrell Hatton 80/1

    • Profile photo of Mr Fixit Author
      Mr Fixit 1 year ago

      Craig, Pieters is interesting with 2 recent wins. I’m not that keen on having a pre-tournament bet but might try David Howell at 60-1.

  8. Barnsleylad 1 year ago

    Had a fiver on Lowry 20-1. Gl all

  9. DrWooll 1 year ago

    Alfred Dunhill
    Shane Lowry e/w
    Charl Schwartzel e/w
    M Fitzpatrick top 20

    EMC Challenge Open
    Joel Sjoholm top 10
    Brandon Stone e/w
    Dean Burmester e/w

    Taiwan masters
    Cameron Smith outright win
    Chapchai Nirat e/w

  10. Derek 1 year ago

    Manager in paddy power Glasgow told me a punter placed a £700 bet on Danny Willet at 20/1 today in the nose !!!

    • Profile photo of Mr Fixit Author
      Mr Fixit 1 year ago

      Derek, I see Racing Post have also tipped Willett. Must be thinking if Ace and the Post tip him he can’t lose.
      Seriously, I think it’s a crazy bet for this event. It’s basically a star-studded pro-am and with it being on 3 different courses on the first 3 days luck could play a part, for example you’d rather play Kingsbarns than Carnoustie in bad weather.

  11. Paul Durcan 1 year ago

    Hey Ace you have picked 4 out of the top 5 in the market. Would you have any value EW pick?

    • Profile photo of Mr Fixit Author
      Mr Fixit 1 year ago

      Paul, he’s advising them all each way – it’s an event for low stakes due to the pro-am format.

  12. paul 1 year ago

    Just a couple of quid on each for interest.

    Eddie pepperell 60/1
    Tommy Fleetwood 50/1
    Oliver Wilson 350/1

  13. Gunner 1 year ago

    Only the 1st round but not 1 of the picks are near contention unfortunately. Really thought Grace would be up there-although he has the best chance I suppose. Unlucky son-that’s the way it goes sometimes

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