Whilst a huge amount of punters got seriously burnt last week with Tiger going back to his old 'sideways' ways (off the tee and in the bunkers!), I almost delivered a 16/1 winner with Lefty finishing an unbelievable 2nd behind the phlegmatic Bubba Watson. What an unbelievable back 9 and closing hole. Brilliant entertainment!
We move into the Desert for the next stage of the PGA Tour West coast swing and visit Scottsdale, Arizona for the Waste Management Phoenix Open. After last week's glowing performance, Phil Mickelson is unsurprisingly the favourite available at a market leading price of 8/1 with Bet Fred. But there is a real quality to the assembled field at TPC Scottsdale with the Arizona desert and a season to date high purse of $6,100,000 tempting out some real quality. You can make justified cases for Dustin Johnson, Nick Watney, Rickie Fowler, Bill Haas, Bubba Watson, Geoff Ogilvy, Ben Crane, Brandt Snedeker et al.
The fact that you can grab Angel Cabrera at 125/1 might surprise some as well. The last few months have seen plenty of positive feedback in our inbox to one particular bookmaker's opening account offer. That got me thinking. Combine the 2007 US Open and 2009 Masters Champion who performs best on fast greens with the 888 Sport £20 No Lose Bet. El Pato has a habit of appearing at the top of leader boards on fast +12 on the stimp greens. So the fast Bermuda Poa Trivialis greens at TPC Scottsdale will suit him down to the ground. If he wins you pocket over £1,500, if he places Each Way you receive +£315. If he misses the cut, your account will still contain £20. Don't say I never warned you!
Cabrera is just one of a number of great fast green players who can thrive on the Par 71 +7,200 yard test that is TPC Scottsdale. The course features wide fairways and there is a definite lack of penal rough so a champions list that includes Hunter Mahan, Kenny Perry, J.B. Holmes, Phil Mickelson, Chris DiMarco, Mark Calcavecchia and Tom Lehman highlights the requirement for making birdies and a liking for desert / altitude golf. The Phoenix Open is also famous for being the most widely attended tournament on the whole of the PGA Tour. The Stadium Par 3 16th is unique in golf with its raucous crowd behaviour &.so is it that surprising that the list of champions I highlighted have all played in the US Ryder Cup team? My tips are below - click here for my spread betting selection for this event.
It has to be said that I rarely go for defending champions in tournaments. Year on year victories on the PGA Tour always tended to be the preserve of Tiger Woods, but Hunter Mahan has to be an exception for me this week as his game and temperament is perfect for the Phoenix Open.
Mahan is close to being at the top of the next wave of US World Class players. Whilst Fowler, Johnson, Watson and Kim grab the attention the slightly more experienced Texan came of age in 2010 winning both the Phoenix Open and the WGC event at Firestone. He's the real deal and after a solid start to the season that included a superb performance last week at Torrey Pines on a course that has never been his favourite I'm expecting a strong defence this week on a course that will suit. RESULT: T29
Kim is a momentum junkie who wins when his game is on a roll. I highlighted him towards the back end of 2010 and tipped him for the Hyundai Tournament of Champions where he played reasonably. Since then he played well at the Sony Open on a course that didn't overly suit and then contended last week at Torrey Pines. All of his victories have arrived on fast stimp surfaces and you have to think that 25s is a decent price to get stuck in on. RESULT: M/C
A Bermuda specialist who hits it a fair whack and can make tons of birdies is always a decent combination for TPC Scottsdale so step forward Ryan Palmer. His penchant for this green surface was for all to see when he finished like a train at the Bob Hope Classic 2 weeks ago to finish a credible 4th.
Ryan led here in 2006 after 61 holes to eventually finish 2nd behind J.B. Holmes and almost scooped the WGC event at Firestone when finishing 2nd behind Mahan last August. Needs a result to burst into the World Top 50 and guarantee his spot for February's WGC events. RESULT: M/C
Indiana's finest golfer is becoming one of those players who NEEDS to win. Phoenix delivered a first win for Holmes in 2006 and Ryder Cup member Overton is long overdue. After qualifying for the Ryder Cup team last year after a run of superb performances his game tailed off. However 2011 has started in understated but promising vain which is perfect form for this event. Overton is plenty long enough off the tee and makes plenty of birdies plus his CV lists Top 5 performances across a host of fast Bermuda and bent green surfaces. Great market leading price and Unibet are offering another ?20 No Lose bet promotion, so what have we got to lose? RESULT: T41
Arizona based Aussie Jones is totally under the radar at 140/1 but he has so much potential this week. Like previous winners Perry and Mahan before him Jones has a habit of Top 5 finishes on fast up state surfaces just check his CV and you'll see decent Top 5 finishes at the Bob Hope Classic, Buick Open and John Deere Classic.
Like Overton has started the season in decent enough nick with 29th at the Bob Hope and 51st at Torrey Pines showing that his game is close to delivering. Over priced at 140s and offers a superb Each Way value punt. RESULT: M/C
Odds and bookmaker offers correct at 20:00GMT 1.2.11 but naturally subject to fluctuation.
Finally, we run a weekly competition on our facebook group where you can win a £25 free bet with Paddy Power simply by predicting who will win each week's eventsit's great fun and free to join, here's a link to the page: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=254181393361