TIPS RECAP

 

GAVIN GREEN (MAS) 66/1  £5 EW  
MARTIN KAYMER (GER) 40/1  £5 EW 
IAN POULTER (ENG) 50/1  £5 EW 
TOM LEWIS (ENG) 28/1  £5 EW 

30 – 02 FEB 2020 

Saudi International powered by SoftBank Investment Advisers 

Royal Greens G&CC, King Abdullah Economic City, Saudi Arabia 

The Royal Greens Golf and Country Club is a premier 18-hole championship golf course and clubhouse, boasting a panoramic view of the Red Sea coast as its natural backdrop.  

Playing to a par of 72 and a maximum length of just over 6900 yards, the Course is characterized by beautifully manicured playing surfaces, enhanced by the creation of wadi & lake features and colourful and maintained native landscaped areas. Regular shaped bunkers, set within the manicured grassed areas, contrasts with freeform desert waste bunker edges. The creation of bold contouring, contrasting with the odd subtlety and ‘imperfection’, not only creates intrigue, but also ties all golf course features seamlessly into the neighbouring leisure facilities. 

Inspired by the surrounding Saudi Arabian desert landscape, numerous wadi features, which meander through the golf site, play a significant strategic & functional role on numerous holes. These features help to alleviate storm drainage from both the golf course and adjacent residential neighbourhoods and each wadi terminates in one of the four salt water lakes, all of which have been created for strategic challenge, aesthetic enhancement and habitat creation. As well as enhancing the course’s visual appeal and challenge, these ‘drainage’ features, along with the spectacular views of the Red Sea, will further characterise the course setting and compliment the perfectly manicured green, tee & fairway edges. 

Complementing the golf course is a premium golf academy featuring a state-of-the-art teaching facility with extensive practice areas including a full-length driving range with swing studios, as well as extensive putting, chipping and bunkers greens complexes. The Academy will open in early 2017, offering instruction and practice facilities including special facilities for women and children to learn the game. 

All grassing & landscape plantings were completed in late 2016, with the official course opening was in September 2017. 

The facility will be managed by Troon Golf, the world’s largest operator of competition grade courses. 

Course Stats – Course: 18 Holes – Length: 6900 yards, Par: 72 

“Only the one event previously held here with DJ picking up the win here last year”  

MIKES PICKS

GAVIN GREEN (MAS) 66/1 

I am throwing Gavin in the mix again here this week, I tipped him at the Aby Dhabi a couple of weeks ago and he performed well. It was just his costly 73 to open with that stopped him finishing higher than twenty first place.  

Last week was the same another 73 to open with which is so unlike him. I think this could change with him this week I see a great opening round nearer 68 or better. The game is there it’s just a matter of time before he picks up his first ET Tour title. He just needs to cut out that one silly round. 

In fact, one of his best results on the ET Tour last year was at this event, where he finished in 11th place. That week he started with a 68. He looks like a player who is playing well within himself and looks great out there in practice.          

I am betting £5 Each Way with Sky Bet paying 7 places at 66/1 taken 28/1/20.  

MARTIN KAYMER (GER) 40/1 

It has been a long time since Martin heard himself being announced as the world’s number one player. But he could be on his way back up the ladder after his last few outings. Top twenty at the Nedbank, top ten at the Abi Dhabi HSBC and followed that with another impressive show at the Omega last week.  

I don’t normally back Martin but feel it is the right time to do so. I feel 40’s is a fair price where Paddy Power and Betfair have him, paying eight places.    

Something we saw in Martin at the back end of 2019 was his overall look demeaner, where he just looked so much more relaxed and having more fun on the course. He also has been having some side bets with a certain Lee Westwood lately. What with Lee winning only the other week he wants to get one over him. I find it hard to believe that Mr Kaymer’s last win was as far back as June 2014, so well overdue.   

We compared the stats from when he was World no1 in 2011 to last years stats.  

Driving distance and accuracy pretty much the same. He was first on the ET over the whole year for GIR as high as 77.55%. Why do I like this because we know the amount of work and coaching he has had putting over the past year.  His past two events have been nearly one shot worse than the field strokes per round putting, he is so much better than this and if he can turn this around, he will be winning a few more this year for sure.    

I am betting £5 Each Way with Bet Fred paying 6 places at 40/1 taken 28/1/20.          

IAN POULTER (ENG) 50/1 

Another one of the old guards, and being a Ryder Cup year, he has to be feeling if he can win this year, he should be close to an automatic pick. And everyone would love to see the “Postman” deliver.  

Always nice to see a world class player with odds over forty or more. This place is right up his alley. 

Things the team liked about Poults stats last week coming into here were, strokes gained putting he was nearly one shot better over the field. Inside the top thirty for both GIR and Scrambling. One key factor for me personally was his scoring on the par three’s averaging 2.88 over the four days is special, these were some tough par three’s. The only real concern is if he wants to win here this week, will mean his Par five scoring will need to improve.  

Nine of his twelve ET wins have all started with an under par opening round. Let’s hope he get out of the blocks early? Come on Poults.      

I am betting £5 Each Way with Paddy Power paying 8 places at 50/1 taken 28/1/20. 

          TOM LEWIS (ENG) 28/1 

 

Solid looking bet here and could be my pick of the lot. A good friend of GBT is Tom and his caddie JB always have some good banter when we follow these two around in practice.     

He admitted to us he always starts the season slow to be fair so we can excuse his missed cut at the HSBC in Dhabi. Last week though he followed the missed cut with his best recorded finish at the Omega tied in third place.    

He said to us he feels like he is hitting the ball as well as ever and his numbers on trackman were evidence of this on Monday. He is also very much a creature of comfort and if he likes the feel of a place he normally delivers and looks relaxed. This is what we have seen when we look at his wins on the ET Tour with both coming at the same event the Portugal Masters in 2011 and 2018.  

This is one of those places for me where he loves to play. He bagged a 3rd place finish last year and with more to come this year I reckon.  

I am betting £5 Each Way with Paddy Power paying 8 places at 28/1 taken 28/1/20.    

TIPS RECAP

 

WEBB SIMPSON (USA) 14/1  £5 EW  
BUBBA WATSON (USA) 30/1  £5 EW 
TOM HOGE (USA) 90/1  £2.5 EW 
TONY FINAU (USA) 30/1  £5 EW 
SUN-JAE IM (KOR) 33/1  £5 EW 
WEBB SIMPSON (USA) 3.3/1 £10 TOP FIVE FINISH  

 

TPC Scottsdale, Scottsdale, AZ Jan 31st – 03rd Feb 2019 

Dubbed “The Greatest Show on Grass,” The Waste Management Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale has no problem living up to its name. In addition to playing host to the greatest players in the game, the tournament is the tours best attended event of the season with over five hundred thousand spectators each year. 

The famous 16th turns into “The Coliseum” it is by far the loudest hole in golf. 

The City of Scottsdale underwent an extensive renovation of TPC Scottsdale’s on the 1st April 2014. The golf course project, led by architect Tom Weiskopf, included the relocation of four greens, resurfacing of all greens, reshaping and re-grassing of all tee boxes, relocation and reshaping of all bunkers, replacement of cart paths, and re-landscaping of desert areas. 

The redesign resulted in strategic changes on all 18 holes.  Easily recognizable changes are the new green locations on holes 2, 3, 4 and 14 and major fairway and green modifications to hole 13. The renovated bunkers feature pure white sand, which will add a dramatic new look to the course, while more than 250 trees were planted for both strategic and aesthetic value. 

Players Suited 

Course knowledge around here is a big advantage and those coming in with good previous event form should be looked at. It is a pure ball striker’s course with all aspects of a player’s game needs to be in tune. The big hitters might well have a slight advantage on the 15th the reachable Par five and also the driveable par four 17th. Water is in play on both these holes so the tee shots need to be accurate. Hitting plenty GIR of course is the story of most weeks.  

What to look for:  

  • Good Scrambling and around the green shots.
  • High percentage of GIR
  • Course knowledge key factor 

If you look at Hideki Matsuyama stats when winning back to back here, he was around 35th driving distance, 40th driving accuracy, first for GIR and sixteenth for scrambling. So, accuracy from the tee does not seem to matter too much this week, I would look for more GIR players and putts gained per round.     

PAST RESULTS

  • 2019 – Rickie Fowler 22/1 
  • 2018 – Gary Woodland 50/1
  • 2017 – Hideki Matsuyama 11/1 
  • 2016 – Hideki Matsuyama 25/1 
  • 2015 – Brooks Koepka 40/1 
  • 2014 – Kevin Stadler 125/1
  • 2013 – Phil Mickelson 25/1 
  • 2012 – Kyle Stanley 66/1 
  • 2011 – Mark Wilson 80/1 

MIKES PICKS

   TONY FINAU (USA) 30/1 

30’s WOW. Tony has been on “FIRE” of late. The two events he has played in 2020, fourteenth at the American Express, he then followed that with an impressive tied sixth at the Farmers Open last week.  

Some of his latest stats just are all green lights for me here this week, taken from the PGA: 

  • Off the Tee – 9th  
  • Approach to the Green – 21st  
  • Around the Green – 5th 
  • Tee to Green – 2nd
  • Driving Distance – 25th  

Another positive for the team was the amount of work he has been doing on his putting stroke. I feel last week was still a bit too early to back him and we were right. His strokes gained putting is now pointing in the right direction. He was +.272 at the American Express and even better at the Farmers measuring +1.443 strokes gained putting.     

All lights here are green and at 30/1 he is a must; he should be making plenty of birdies.    

I will bet £5 Each Way with Sky Bet paying 8 places at 30/1- taken 28/1/20  

WEBB SIMPSON (USA) 14/1 

He will be on the top of many betting slips this week and for good reason.  

Coming off a third at the Sony Open in Hawaii, he is the third favourite for this week and for good reason. For most of you who have followed us for a while you know we rarely back players under 30/1 but when we do, they should feature come Sunday. 

Tee to green he is one of the best here this week, total ball striking course he shows this week in and week out. The putter for me will be one of the main factors whoever wins, and what is not too like with Webb, Putting average 1.665 first on the PGA stats. Total putting fourth on the PGA, with a birdie average of nearly six per round, which only points to a great scoring average of 67.61.  

I will bet £5 Each Way here with Betfair paying 8 Places- taken 28/1/20  

Also betting £10 for a top five finish at 3.3/1 with Betfair Exchange.    

  BUBBA WATSON (USA) 30/1 

This is best the team have seen Bubba play in quite some time. We followed his second-round last week and even though it was his worst scoring round of the week we were mightily impressed by the way the putter was working. To be honest it saved what could have been a shocker into an ok round in the end. This is the first time in five tournaments where we have seen a positive for strokes gained putting. 

Driving will be his advantage over the field this week, averaging 313 yards off the tee. His greens in regulation although a key factor with past winners here is only 70% so not the best, but his scrambling and putting makes up for that in a big way around here.       

We will be placing £5 Each Way with SkyBet paying 8 places at 30/1 taken 28/1/20.   

  TOM HOGE (USA) 90/1 

Some great value here with Tom this week. He has been closely watched over the back end of 2019.  Nothing really to write home about to be fair, stringing four missed cuts in a row to close 2019. But boy has been working hard in the off season, fitness and core strength has been his main focus working with Fit Lab USA and fine tuning his overall ball striking.    

And you can see the results paying off already. 

  • The Sony Open – 12th  
  • American Express – 6th
  • Farmers – 5th      

That’s a little bit better than the end of 2019 don’t you think.  

Last year’s outing here was ok he started well and managed three rounds in the sixty’s but had a poor Sunday to end up in a tie for 44th place. He is wild off the tee but not a disadvantage around here, he more than makes up for that with his approach to green and tee to green stats.     

Solid putter if everything clicks and his game carries on the same this week, I see no reason why he could not be a contender.   

I am betting £2.50 Each Way with Sky Bet paying 8 places taken 28/1/20.  

SUN-JAE IM (KOR) 33/1 

A must for the team here this week. On the back of three cuts made, has yet to really turn the gas on. I feel this could be his week.    

He is a much better all-round player than this time last year when he managed a very impressive top ten on debut. What I like the most about him is his overall game seems it fit the TPC track so well, ticks a lot of boxes.   

Over the last three events he has managed to gain nearly one shot per round putting. His greens in regulation is around 70% but again with the same as Bubba his short game and putting makes up for that. The fact that his overall scoring average is 69.74 is a testament to this.       

I feel he makes a lot of clutch putts this week when needed and should have a great week.  

I am betting £5 Each Way with Paddy Power paying 8 Places taken 28/1/20 

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