SERGIO GARCIA (SPA) 25/1 – £5EW SkyBet 8 Places

THOMAS PIETERS (BEL) 50/1 – £5EW PP 8 Places

JUSTIN HARDING (RSA) 150/1 – £2.5EW SkyBet 8 Places

ALEXANDER LEVY (FRA) 100/1 – £5EW SkyBet 8 Places

ASHUN WU (CHN) 250/1 – £2.50EW SkyBet 8 Places  

DANIEL BERGER (USA) 20/1 – £5EW Bet365 5 Places 

SUNGJAE IM (KOR) 30/1 – £5EW SkyBet 8 Places 

BYEONG HUN AN (KOR) 70/1 – £5EW SkyBet 8 Places 

MAX HOMA (USA) 70/1 – £5EW SkyBet 8 Places 

CHRIS KIRK (USA) 90/1 – £2.5EW SkyBet 8 Places 

04 – 07 FEB 2021

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 

PAST RESULTS

  • 2020 – Graeme McDowell  – Tipped Gavin Green 66/1 placed win 3rd £71 
  • 2019 – Dustin Johnson 

SERGIO GARCIA (SPA) 25/1

After looking through the top ten in the betting market this week, Sergio stood out for me based on constancy and current form. Ok so we have Reed and Casey playing this week both winning but will also still be on a high. DJ is of course world class and can never be ruled out but with odds at 5/1 way too low for a GBT pick.

So as for value here is my pick. Take last week’s performance he threw in two rounds of 73 on the Friday and Sunday which cost him possibly the win, finishing at nine under in a tie for sixth place.

For those of you that followed the PGA Tour coverage at the Sentry he looked good there as well, finishing just outside the top ten.  We know he has the talent to turn up and win any event and I just feel something about his chances here this week. Can he improve on his sixth place finish here last year I think so.

Going for a £5EW bet with SkyBet 25/1 paying 8 places      

THOMAS PIETERS (BEL) 55/1

Going to go with Pieters again this week he let us down at the HSBC but feel his game is turning in the right direction lately. 2021 he has played two events and feel he is well warmed up ready to attack the course this week.

As I have said a lot this year with so many talented players fighting to get in the squad for the Ryder Cup he is no exception, and would be a massive plus for the European Team.

Driving the ball well around here is again very high on the list, he ticks that box with distance and accuracy covered. Great scrambling and bunker play combined with a good average putts per round percentage.

His iron play for me has not been as consistent as last year so in turn his overall ball striking has suffered, missing a lot of greens so making his greens in regulation percentage look an average of 64% he can change this at the drop of a hat and feel this week could be that week where everything clicks.

The team reckon after watching him start the front nine in practice this week he could shoot easy in the low sixties in round one, so could also be a contender for a first round leader bet.

I am betting £5EW with       

JUSTIN HARDING (RSA) 150/1

The team and I were licking our lips when we saw Justin at this price WOW

OK, I know there are a lot of talented low priced players here this week, but for me Justin is just as good at this price.

We tipped him before the Masters 2019 as the team were following him on the Sunshine Tour, and he did not disappoint having a twelfth place finish in his first Masters was some going.

The putter is his weapon and seems to hole everything when needed. He also loves this part of the world and picked up his only European Tour win at the Qatar Masters in 2019.

He has made the cut here twice with an 11TH place finish in 2019 and a 56TH place last year. So gained some valuable experience and is now a more complete player and not fazed with playing or competing against the worlds elite.

Could have a great week so betting £2.50EW with SkyBet 150/1 paying 8 places

ALEXANDER LEVY (FRA) 100/1

Coming of a top ten last week Alex is peaking at just the right time for me, and another no brainer bet this week.

Previous results here:      2019 5TH               2020 38TH

He is a very passionate golfer and has an aggressive ball striking flare which sometimes gets the better of him on the course after a poor shot. This is why we love him so exciting to watch and never a dull moment.

Again like so many on Tour, every player can get it tee to green but the greens are where the money is made and we have seen a marked improvement in this part of his game over 2021 already.

He has won on tough courses in his career, and again another player who seems to like playing his golf in this part of the world.

The team also pointed out to me that he sat in third place last week for strokes gained approach which surprised me as not normally his strongest stat, he gained over two shots on the field per round.

Going with a £5EW bet here with SkyBet 100/1 paying 8 places

ASHUN WU (CHN) 250/1

Ashun is a player that has been on our radar for quite some time now, some of our team who caddied on the Japanese Tours over the years did say this boy has got some talent back then and would make a name for himself it seems they were right.

He now has five career wins under his belt with three of them coming on the European Tour in 2015 he won the Volvo China Open, he then won the Lyoness Open in 201, followed by the KLM Open in 2018.

He also has experience of playing at this event bagging a 13TH place finish here last year, and I feel he could mirror that again here this year. Coming in last year he went tied sixth place at the Omega the week before and this year he was tied ninth at the Omega so reckon could be some of the same here this year.

He is this price for a reason but when he is on his game he beats the likes of a lot of players around the 80/1 mark. So we will take 250/1 all day with most bookmakers paying eight places this week.

I am betting £2.50EW with SkyBet 250/1 paying 8 places.  

04 – 07 FEB 2021

TPC Scottsdale, Scottsdale, AZ 4th – 07th Feb 2021 

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. This will not be happening in 2021 and the Coliseum atmosphere will be truly missed.  

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

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

  • 2020 – Webb Simpson 14/1 – Tipped Webb Win &T10- 2nd and 3rd £202 
  • 2019 – Rickie Fowler 22/1 – Tipped Chez 4th Place Win returned £50 
  • 2018 – Gary Woodland 50/1
  • 2017 – Hideki Matsuyama 11/1 – Tipped Hideki to Win and Byeong 66/1 Place win £124 
  • 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 

DANIEL BERGER (USA) 23/1

First up this week, I have gone for Daniel Berger. Currently there is no one else in a better run of form coming into this week than him:

  • Tour Championship – 17TH
  • ZOZO – 17TH
  • Mayakoba – 23RD
  • Sentry – 10TH
  • Sony – 7TH

And still at a great betting price on the market, this could drop before the first tee shot is hit on Thursday.

Around the greens and putting are what he is good at and probably explains his good results here in the past, as these are high on the winners stats come Sunday evening. He is also pretty steady over all aspects over his game and makes a ton of birdies, in 24 rounds he has made 117 birdies only five players better than him.

We should get a good solid performance from him here this week and if that putter gets going early watch him climb that leader board.

Previous here is not too shabby either since 2015: 10/58/7/11/MC/9 only missing the one cut in six visits.

I am betting £5EW with Bet365 5 Places     

SUNGJAE IM (KOR) 30/1

Another no brainer bet here for this week. Showing some of his best golf of late, was so close to winning the Sentry at the start of 2021.

Just a strokes gaining machine he seems to gain strokes off the tee with ease, being very deliberate with his swing he can manage all types of ball flights with a hands set action. He showed us on the range at the start of the year just what he has been working on, believe me you think Bryson takes the golf to another level this guy is just as mathematical if not more so.

Second at the Masters in November which saw some was very impressive scoring. He picked up his first win at the Honda in 2020 and has also won on the Korn Ferry in 2018.

So winning he has that box ticked, so if in contention this week he should be able to close the deal.

I did say experience is also key around here and he managed a top ten in 2019 and finished in 34th spot last year.

I am betting £5EW with SkyBet 30/1 paying 8 places   

BYEONG HUN AN (KOR) 70/1

Our old favourite Byeong, the team have known him for quite some time now well before we started our tipping business we tipped him to win the BMW at Wentworth in 2015 and what a week that was.

He has been a cash machine for us over the years if you remember, we tipped him once last year at the Honda finished fourth 4.5 times stake money back, then at this event in 2017 where I tipped the winner Matsuyama and Byeong finished in sixth place at 66/1 returning 5 times stake back.

Surprisingly he has yet to win a PGA Tour title, I feel this will only be a matter of time his game is very hit and miss so you never really know what An is going to turn up week on week. I feel watching him play the American Express a couple of weeks ago he looked like he found that solid ball striking that was missing at the back end of 2020.

Around the greens he is mustard, the putter on the other hand is cold most of the time. Most of his missed cuts are down to the flat stick and this has been the main factor in trying to close a win on the PGA Tour, he made a slight improvement at the American Express but it is still a worry.

If he can get the putting stroke working this week he will be close to the top of the leader board.

Going to bet £5EW with SkyBet 70/1 paying 8 places

MAX HOMA (USA) 70/1

With his supreme performance last week he is back inside the world’s top 100.

I think this will be a great year for the thirty year old, already a winner on the PGA Tour and will be looking to add to that very soon.

The team studded his last three events combined, here are some of the numbers based on the average we collected.

GIR – 70%    DRVG ACC – 55%   BALL STK – 80   SG PUTT – 1   ONE PUTT – 42%

For me he is a horses for courses fit this week, everything he excels at fits the course set up and conditions around here.

This has been proven over his last two visits here with a twenty sixth place in 2019 and then a solid top ten in 2020.  Looking to improve on that this year and should be creeping nearer that top 50 in the world player rankings very soon.

I am betting £5EW with SkyBet paying 8 places. 

CHRIS KIRK (USA) 90/1

I had just finished the report when the team came through with this great addition to the picks for the week. So I had to add him otherwise there could have been trouble J

90/1 hmmm???

  • Currently 38TH position on the FedEx Cup rankings
  • Six straight cuts made
  • Two top 20’s and a 2ND place at the Sony
  • SG Approach the Green – 23rd PGA Tour
  • SG Tee to Green – 31ST PGA Tour

There is enough here to suggest to me that he is well worth the pick this week.

Three times a winner on the PGA and two times on the Korn Ferry Tour, so no reason why he can’t add to his tally this week.

I am going to bet £2.50EW with SkyBet paying 8 places

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