Any week we are able to get out in profit is always a classed as good one by me, and non more so than this week, where on form South Korean Si Woo Kim took the tournament by the scruff of the neck and wasn’t for letting anyone else get near, so from a long way out it looked like we’d have to settle for a 3rd place finish at 28/1 from Brandt Snedeker, and sure enough this was good enough to just about tip the scales in our favour.
Moving on to this week where the fun starts on the PGA Tour in the form of the FedEx cup playoff series, where week on week the field sizes are whittled down. With all the top players back out for the next month or so, and the odds on them now getting silly low with so many players at the top of the world rankings playing well and bookies running scared, I will be going down the value route for the next stretch of weeks in search of more profit. Hopefully a good run is ahead of us to finish off the regular season.
The Barclays, PGA Tour – 10 pts Outlay at Bethpage State Park (Black), 7,468 yards, par 71 – Thursday August 25th to Sunday August 28th
Built by A.W. Tillinghast, the Black opened in 1936 and was a treasured public gem for locals for decades until the 2002 U.S. Open thrust the course onto the world stage. A famous sign greets golfers near the first tee warning that only “highly skilled” golfers should play the Black, and its reputation for toughness attracted such pros as Sam Snead, Gene Sarazen and Byron Nelson early on to test its strength. Snead famously called it “an unfair test” after beating Nelson in a 1940 exhibition. Tiger Woods captured the 2002 Open at Bethpage, and the event returned just seven years later when Lucas Glover won a rain-soaked edition. The Black joined The Barclays rota in 2012, when Nick Watney prevailed.
FedEx Cup points leader Jason Day, also the reigning Barclays champion, and U.S. Open titleholder Dustin Johnson head a roster currently set for 122 at the opening playoff stop. Sergio Garcia sits out The Barclays for the second consecutive year, while Shane Lowry has opted to play the final European Tour stop before the automatic Ryder Cup berths are locked in. Masters champion Danny Willett is the third missing name. Emiliano Grillo and Smylie Kaufman, who won the season's first two events back in October, top a list of six rookies expected to crack the 2016 playoff lineup.
NAP – BRANDT SNEDEKER 40/1 (PaddyPower) 2.5 pts EW
Last week’s Wyndham Championship saw Brandt Snedeker notch up his seventh top 10 finish of the year; with a win and a further three times inside the top 3 to his name it really has been a great year for Brandt (currently sitting 6th in the FedEx Cup rankings). With the return of many of the games top names to the field, the value is there for all to see outside of the top 4 or 5 in the market. Having shot a round of at least 66 in each of this last three events, including two rounds of 65 in his 3rd place finish last week, there are few playing much better than Brandt Snedeker heading in to this week. What I also like, is that he has some good experience in the bank here at the tough Bethpage Black layout, having competed on this course in the 2009 US Open, and also securing runners up honours when The Barclays was last here in 2012, where he impressively shot all four rounds under par!
NB – JIM FURYK 45/1 (SkyBet) 1.5 pts EW
Whenever there is talk of golf about to be carried out on a tough US Open venue, my mind always turns to one man, Mr Reliable himself. Similar to the above, Jim Furyk arrives here this week in great form, with stand out rounds like the remarkable 58 just two weeks ago followed by a 64 last week helping Jim secure a 5th and 10th place finishes. Although his 94th place ranking in the FedEx Cup may seem modest to most, it is important to remember that Jim’s season got going very late due to a lengthy wrist injury, so in actual fact he has done very well to earn his spot in the top 125 for this event, having had almost half of the events as the majority. Having made the cut here in the aforementioned 2009 US Open, Jim Furyk also competed in the 2012 playing of The Barclays, both held around Bethpage, so he will also gain the benefit of having had tournament experience of this tough set up.
IWAC – SI WOO KIM 100/1 (StanJames) 1 pt EW
I have been following Si Woo Kim all year (currently 15th in the FedEx Cup rankings) since he graduated from the Web.com tour, feeling sure his textbook technique would see him break in to the winners circle sooner rather than later, he came close when losing in a playoff not long ago, but he put this behind him in great style only a few days ago to win the Wyndham Championship in tremendous style. Yes he may be the one that got away, but I don’t feel Si Woo Kim is a flash in the pan, and it has been said for a while it was only going to be a matter of time before an Asian competitor would mix it with the big boys at the top of the game, and at the spritely age of just 21 I feel confident that Si Woo will grow to be that man. The fact there is 100/1 available for the most recent winner on tour is simply too good to miss out on.
Made in Denmark, European Tour – 10 pts Outlay
At Himmerland Golf & Spa Resort, 7,033 yards, par 71 – Thursday August 25th to Sunday August 28th
The Backtee Course is one of three layouts at the Danish golfing haven of Himmerland and its most celebrated one, having officially re-opened in 2013 following one of the most extensive golf course renovations in Scandianian history. Designed by renowned course architect Philip Spogárd, who also designed Carya Golf Club, host venue for this season’s Turkish Airlines Open, it sits 20km away from the city of Alborg in the exposed landscape of northern Jutland. Although it’s not coastal; it is linksy and often windswept so the 7,033 yards can often feel longer, with the respective nine under and 13 under winnings scores in 2014 and 2015 proving it’s no walkover.
Although qualification for Europe’s Ryder Cup Team has already been finalised, this year’s Made in Denmark boasts its strongest field in the tournament’s history assembles at Himmerland Golf and Spa Resort this week. Three Major winners, Darren Clarke, Martin Kaymer and YE Yang, head the field with the 2011 Open Champion from Northern Ireland taking one final opportunity to run the rule over some of his potential wild-card selections for his European team at Hazeltine. Home favourite, Søren Kjeldsen who finished in a tie for second in the 2015 Made in Denmark, is among the players hoping make one final impression ahead of Clarke’s wild card picks next week, with former World Number One Kaymer and Ireland’s Shane Lowry targeting strong performances to catch the eye of the captain. Horsey returns to defend his crown while the inaugural champion Marc Warren from Scotland is also in the field.
NAP – SOREN KJELDSEN 18/1 (PaddyPower & Coral) 2.5 pts EW placed
Currently sitting in 17th position in the Race to Dubai, and having narrowly missed out on Ryder Cup qualification on both the European and World point’s lists, it has been another season where Soren Kjeldsen has been the model of consistency. With four top 8 finishes on the European Tour since February, Soren, in front of home crowds, will be looking to make plenty of noise this week to force himself in to captain Clarke’s thinking. Finally, and worthy of note is the strong course and event form shown by Soren Kjeldsen – in the first two playing’s of this Made in Denmark event Soren has finished inside the top 15 on both occasions, with the highlight being last years running, where he finished in 2nd spot after three rounds in the 60s.
NB – BRADLEY DREDGE 28/1 (SkyBet, PaddyPower, Coral & Bet365) 1.5 pts EW - 2nd
The 2016 season has seen Bradley Dredge continue to take steps to get back to where he once was as one of the more consistent and top golfers on the European circuit. Three times inside the top 7 places this year see Bradley riding high in 27th place on the Race to Dubai rankings, and having made the cut in each of his last three events on tour, I feel Bradley will be wanting a nice strong finish to the season. With that in mind, there will be no better place to start than here at this event, where he has a stand out record in the only two previous running’s of the event, with an outright 2nd in 2014 and a 6th place finish last year, Bradley Dredge has never found himself more than 3 shots behind the winner come close of play at this event on this golf course, and with 7 rounds under par from 8 attempts he looks destined to go close once more come Sunday afternoon.
IWAC – KRISTOFFER BROBERG 90/1 (Bet365 & StanJames) 1 pt EW
There is a little punt associated with my final selection here, but Kristoffer Broberg has form figures in this event that are too strong to ignore, with a 67 and a 69 to his name in the inaugural event in 2014; and an incredible final round of 62 seeing Kristoffer finish in runners up spot last year. With this form in the book, there must be something in the water around the Himmerland Resort that brings out the best in Kristoffer. This season hasn’t been the best, and this week will indeed have to spark an upturn in fortune for Kristoffer Broberg to get competitive here for the third year in a row, and with him sitting in the precarious position of 113th in the Race to Dubai, there are lots of incentives for Kristoffer to play well back in his native Scandinavia.
NOTE: As per usual, please do be careful and aware of who you are betting with for the golf, amazingly a lot of the higer profile companies change week by week on what place terms they offer. This week at The Barclays PaddyPower, SkyBet & StanJames are still offering places on the top 7 and 6 respectively! For the European Tour event, all bookies are 1/4 odds for the top 5 places.
This Week’s Outlay – 20 pts
Thank you all for the continued positive responses over my articles. Hope you have a nice week, and good luck to all those following,