I MADE it back-to-back wins last week thanks to Jason Day in the Accenture Matchplay.
Day was a 20-1 2pt ew tip and followed on from Thomas Aiken winning the Africa Open at 12-1. Can I make it three in a row? Don't bank on it but I'll give it a go and hopefully earn a pay rise from Mr Fixit.
The Honda Classic is the first tournament in the Florida Swing at the PGA National where hitting the greens in regulation is paramount. That’s why I think Graeme McDowell, who is having a steady start to the season with four top-10 finishes in five starts, stands a chance.
He is 67 per cent in driving accuracy and 75 per cent in GIR so up there in stats.
In the Accenture last week he never teed off ahead in the first three rounds but won them all then in the fourth round he was two up after three and lost.
He felt like he was “robbing” the guys he beat but that’s golf. He just never seems to give up.
Sergio Garcia, second in the Race to Dubai, is another one I fancy here. In three starts on the PGA Tour he’s not been out of the top 11. On the European Tour he has four top-10s (including a win and second) in five starts.
He’s just back after a few weeks off and I am looking for him to continue his good start to the season.
Rory McIlroy, who won here in 2012, has had four top-10s in six starts on the European Tour and two from three on the PGA Tour.
He’s certainly looking a different player from last year and has that bounce back in his step. It could be a big year for Rory now he’s got a driver he’s happy with and the problems with changing clubs last year have gone.
When he won here in 2012 he went on to win the USPGA. Can history repeat itself?
Zach Johnson is having a good year with three top 10s (not counting Accenture Matchplay). He’s No.1 in driving accuracy, second in birdie average, third in GIR and fourth in scoring averages so all in all his stats are impressive.
He won the Hyundai Tournament of Champions at the beginning of January and could go close again this week. Very strong each-way chance.
In the Tshwane Open in South Africa, the eighth and final tournament on the European 2014 Tour schedule to be held in the country, we have a strong home presence with defending champion Dawie van der Walt and recent Tour winners George Coetzee and Aitken.
Aiken's stroke average is his best ever on tour, driving accuracy is slightly down on last year but still beats every other year, and his GIR at 79.89 is well up on his previous six years. I don’t normally pick someone to win twice in a row but in this case he looks a good bet.
Another who could have a good year on the European Tour is Jaco Van Zyl. His driving accuracy is 71.21 per cent and GIR 69.81, although not great, most of his stats are getting better year on year. Could be a good each-way bet.
20pt staking plan
Graeme McDowell (2.5pts ew) 22-1 bet365
Rory McIlroy (2pts ew) 10-1 Betfred
Thomas Aiken (2pts ew) 16-1 Paddy Power
Please also remember, I have written a betting masterclass on how to pick a winner when betting on golf so check that out!