AFTER a brilliant 22/1 winner last week Louis Ross (@LouisRoss67) is back for more glory this week in the Honda Classic. Who is he backing?
Honda Classic | Thursday – Sunday | Sky Sports
This was the first golf tournament to appear on WeLoveBetting a year ago. I wrote very enthusiastically about this course and the fact I had backed Russell Henley a year before at 200/1. It was a disaster with three of my four picks missing the cut. Thankfully we have improved a bit since then.
It’s been quite handy looking back at that piece. Another piece of research if you like. I love PGA National and following up last week’s winner would be great.
The Florida Swing marks a turning point in the PGA season as the West Coast and its Poa Annua Greens are left behind and the geographical turn also marks a move towards Augusta in just six weeks time. I can’t expect anyone to be as excited about that as me.
The Honda Classic returns to the Champions Course for a fourth year and the track at Palm Beach Gardens is every bit as difficult as Riviera last week. Although I expect a winning score of 8-10 shots more, around 8 under is the number here. Shoot lower than that and you will certainly win.
Just a mile from the Atlantic coast, there is an element of links golf here with wind a prominent feature. Most players will approach this however, more in fear of what the locals like to call ‘The Bear Trap’.
On a Jack Nicklaus (The Bear) designed course, holes 15,16 and 17 are the hardest trio on the PGA Tour. PGA National features plenty of water hazards and deep rough. Driving accuracy is paramount on most holes and those who can take advantage of the Par 5’s will almost certainly triumph.
I try and mix selections up with some long odds shots but I cannot find much this week that stands out further down the field. Russell Knox has brilliant course form but 40/1 is just way too short in a fairly high quality field. Geoff Ogilvy always comes into play on these difficult courses and a pound may go down at odds of 250/1. It’s a leap of faith to tip him though as his form is dreadful.
Rory is once again favourite. Odds of 6/1 are sadly the norm now but would you back him at that price based on his season so far and especially last week?
I have always had a little dig at the Northern Irishman because I think he has achieved far less than he’s capable of and last week showed/proved why.
Going into the last round four shots back, an eagle on the first put him right in the mix. Two poor shots later and by the 8th he was sending a 25 foot putt, 15 feet past the hole. His shoulders go down far too quick and putting and his temperament will always separate him and Spieth for me.
Back to this week and there are three golfers left from a shortlist of eight. I have binned Hideki Matsuyama, Adam Scott and Paul Casey amongst others and am happy with the chances of all my picks.
Rickie Fowler is my current pick for Augusta and I would like to back that view up by seeing him go well here. Three recent starts have brought finishes of 5th, 1st and 2nd.
He has three Top 20 finishes here but in my opinion has taken a serious step up in the last 12 months. His win in The Players was almost the making of Fowler and I will be shocked if he doesn’t take out a Major in 2016. He comes here fresh and with the game to win and is my NAP at 12/1 here.
Patrick Reed is a hard character to like, I constantly take him off short lists on the basis that I don’t really want to see him win anyway. He’s a quality golfer though and has all the qualities I am looking for this week.
Seventh and 24th from three starts here are acceptable but Reed is nothing if not a fighter and this course demands that winners can get over inevitable bogies and make tough pars. That is Reed all over and he’s a valid each way bet at 22/1.
Branden Grace won at 7/1 for us in Abu Dhabi three weeks back and has taken a break since and he wants to make an impact on the PGA Tour this year after his brilliant effort at the US Open.
This is exactly the kind of course you would want to see him on as his last three starts resulted in 4th, 5th and 1st place finishes. Grace putts well on Bermuda Grass and although on debut here, plenty have won this tournament at the first attempt.
Honda Classic – Rickie Fowler to win (12/1 Bet365)
Honda Classic – Patrick Reed to win (20/1 each-way Bet365)
Honda Classic – Branden Grace to win (33/1 each-way BetVictor)
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