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Steve Bamford's tips for the 2011 RBC Canadian Open
Well Darren Clarke at 200/1 (Totesport) added to Chubby Chandler’s domination of the 2011 Majors and Clarke played an absolute blinder in the toughest of conditions to capture the Claret Jug. Great work Darren and don’t say I never gave you a steer in my Open longshots article…
“This provides a huge opportunity on a player I came extremely close to picking, Darren Clarke. Paddy Power for obvious reasons can’t match other bookmakers on “The Peoples Champion” but I’d very much recommend covering Clarke Each Way and to maximise his price by taking lower Each Way place terms.”
Paul Williams also grabbed a super 200/1 EW return on Thomas Bjorn and we enjoyed a great sunny day at the golf on Friday, not to mention setting record numbers of visitors to this website across the week as word spreads about Golf Betting System. All in all a great week!
We’re now into the second half of the 2011 season and the PGA Tour makes it yearly trip north of the border for the RBC Canadian Open. The Open itself follows a rota pattern and after Glen Abbey (08/09) and St Georges (10) a number of Open Championship competitors utilising a free Open Charter flight, plus the PGA Tour rank and file, meet up in British Columbia to play the classical Par 70 at Shaughnessy Golf & Country Club.
Shaughnessy was last played in 2005 and Mark Calcavecchia “grinded” his way to victory beating Ryan Moore and Ben Crane in the process. Shaughnessy is a rare breed on the PGA Tour i.e. a tough golf course where scoring will be high. Birdies will be at a premium and making par from 5 to 10 feet will be essential. The course is a classical, technical Par 70, where fast fairways and 4” rough will mean that finding the short stuff will be a key building block for success this week. Greens are small, running 12 on the stimp and feature Bent Poa grass. The course has been set-up to play firm and fast but, as you’d expect in the Pacific North West, rain will be a feature pretty much all week. Sounds like Royal St George's, except wind won’t be a major issue.
The bookmakers have a habit of making a killing in Canada. Chez Reavie, Nathan Green and, to a lesser extent, Carl Pettersson provided shock victories at crazy odds. Green held off “The Goose” and Kim in 2009, with Petters holding off Donald last year, so longer priced players and first-time winners have a habit of getting the job done in Canada. Naturally the bookies aren’t changing a winning formula and the ‘class’ favourites are incredibly short. At the time of writing the World Number 1 is available across the board at 8/1. His game is a perfect fit for Shaughnessy and he’ll be hungry for his first PGA Tour stroke play win since the Honda Classic in 2006. I’d personally cover off the World Matchplay and Scottish Open Champion with BetClic who offer you a £30 no lose bet when you open an account if you haven't already used your free bet. If he wins then happy days - if not then you get your money back, and it’s fully withdrawable! For full details of this offer click here.
The same strategy is more than viable on Kuchar, Schwartzel and Fowler all of whom sit sub 20/1, but for me I’m going to have a play this week and build a team of longer-priced players who have decent records on Classical and Carolina-type Par 70 tracks:
Wisconsin’s second-best player offers superb value at 150/1 this week. Like Steve Stricker, he grew up on Bent/Poa greens so a visit to British Columbia will be welcomed by the 3-time PGA Tour winner. 3 Missed Cuts in his last 5 tournaments, including his brief stay in Kent last week, have provided the platform for my punt on Kelly, and I’m not concerned at all with his Royal St George's and TPC Deere Run performances. Instead Top 40 results at TPC Four Seasons and River Highlands plus a Top 30 at St Jude all on Par 70 courses show a player that’s not far away from a decent result. He also missed 4 straight cuts last year before finishing 3rd on the Bent greens at Turning Stone in New York State. It happens! Kelly comes alive on tough courses where scoring is high and many of you may remember his last “payout” performance which unsurprisingly came at the incredibly windy PGA National where he finished 3rd behind Sabba and Yang. Rewind to 2009 and we see a 6th at Mayakoba, 3rd on the Bent Poa greens of Milwaukee and 5th in Canada (he also won at New Orleans) and a decent 2008 saw 3rd at Waialee, 2nd at the classical Memorial and 9th at Sedgefield. He ticks a hell of a lot of boxes this week at a great price. RESULT: T34
The enigma that is Andres Romero is next up this week on his first visit to Canada. The Argentinean attracts me this week for a number of reasons. Firstly is his liking for classical and, in most cases, high latitude located tests. It may surprise you that “Pigu” has 5 Major Top 20 finishes to his name including 4 Top 10s. 8th at Hoylake in 2006 and 3rd at Carnoustie in 2007 plus 13th at Turnberry in 2009 highlight a player who welcomes high scoring tests. 2008 brought an 8th on debut at Augusta and a seriously contending 7th at the tough Bent Poa Par 70 at Oakland Hills, Michigan behind Harrington. Back then Romero was in the World’s Top 30 and was a young charger set to mature and win Majors. Andres though followed the wrong path and totally lost his hunger so 2009 and 2010 were unmitigated disasters. Moving onto my second reason for selection this week and I’m starting to slowly see Romero’s hunger return and his game. 8th at New Orleans was the turning point and has been backed up with 16th at Quail Hollow, 39th at TPC Sawgrass, 6th at River Highlands and 30th at Aronimink. I’ll close by highlighting Romero’s form at the incredibly classical Riviera located on the Pacific coast in Los Angeles, which is played on the same Bent Poa green mix as Shaughnessy further up the coast. 3rd (09) and 5th (10) placed finishes highlight to me a player who could find Shaughnessy a comforting set-up this week, with his game in far better shape. RESULT: 3rd
Arkansas born and Georgia educated Bryce Molder is another player who thrives on Par 70 tracks where steady, accurate play is demanded. It has to be said that Molder is very much work in-process in terms of developing the mentality to get the job done on a Sunday, but for me he’s a decent value Each Way pick this week. Canada has been a happy hunting ground for Scottsdale-based Bryce with 16th at the low-scoring Glen Abbey and 4th at the classical Par 70 St Georges last year. Tie that in with a recent form line of 30-8-6-MC-30 with the Top 10s being at Aronimink and River Highlands and you start to build the picture of a player who should like Shaughnessy this week. 31st in Bogey Avoidance, 5th in 3 Putt Avoidance, 2nd in Putting from 5 to 10 feet and 21st in Scrambling across a 2011 that only gained momentum in June tick more boxes for me and a glance at Molder’s CV adds more positives. 6th at Pebble (11), 5th at Colonial (10), 2nd at St Jude (09), 4th at Congressional (09) highlight an ability to play on classical technical tracks and you can add a decent showing at Turnberry in 2009 to the list where Molder went out in the last 5 groups on the Sunday. 50/1 is a decent investment this week. RESULT: M/C
All of the early 30/1 and 28/1 has been grabbed by punters who are hungry to get Moore onboard as part of their punting portfolio this week and, although an obvious choice, I can’t argue that I want the Arizona resident on my side this week as well. A trip to Shaughnessy and Vancouver in general will be like returning home for a player who was born and brought up in the most North Westerly State of the US and you’d hazard a guess that the tree-lined, Bent Poa nature of the course will fit in with his early golfing days. Indeed Moore finished 2nd to Calcavecchia here in 2005 so that part fits! Moore is a Bent, Par 70 specialist whose result record fits perfectly with what is required to get the win here in Canada. TPC River Highlands 2nd (11 & 06), 4th at Riviera (11), 5th and 2nd Muirfield (10 & 07), 2nd at Aronimink (10), 2nd at TPC Four Seasons (08) and a win at Sedgefield (09) is just about the perfect form for this place. Royal St George's was never going to overly suit so his decent 28th place and the relative low exertion that went with it is a positive for me this week. The only question is can the 2004 US Amateur Champion turn multiple runners-up positions into his 2nd career win on a course that is perfect for him this week? RESULT: T29
I can see Paul Williams shaking his head as he reads this tip, but Streelman has that habit of appearing on the right leaderboards and his game is trending in the right direction both short term and long term. Kevin’s geography certainly fits as he was born and raised in Illinois so his game was honed on the same carpet as the greens at Shaughnessy. So it doesn’t come as a major surprise that Streelman is both Bent positive and performs better on courses located on higher latitudes. His breakthrough first year on Tour in 2008 saw his best results come at Sedgefield (Carolina) where he finished 6th and a week later on the classical Bent Poa set-up at Ridgwood in New Jersey where he finished 4th. 09 was a weaker affair but he grabbed a contending 4th at the tough Norman-designed Par 70 at Mayakoba and finished 8th at Deere Run (Illinois) and 11th at Congressional (Maryland). Streelman developed as a player in 2010 with 3rd in Puerto Rico, 7th at Bay Hill and tellingly 18th at Sedgefield followed by a “shock” 3rd again on the Bent Poa at Ridgwood behind Kuchar and Laird. His recent form line excluding his MC in Kent works towards my theory with 15 (Aronimink-Pennsylvania)-6 (River Highlands – Connecticut)-67(US Open)-7 (Memorial – Ohio). His next career step has to be a win and everything about Shaughnessy fits the bill for Streelman. RESULT: M/C
Odds and bookmaker offers correct at 20:15BST 19.7.11 but naturally subject to fluctuation.