Our tips for the 2013 edition of this event will be published on this page on the Tuesday before the event - bookmark this page and come back soon! Other Jan 2013 events: Sony Open In Hawaii, Humana Challenge, Farmers Insurance Open & Waste Management Phoenix Open. In the meantime you can check out our stats pages for the Hyundai in our stats section.
Happy New Year to all of you! Before we start I want to take an opportunity to mention the launch of our 2012 Golf Punters League which everybody can play for free. Simply join our Golf Betting System Facebook group and give us 3 players who you think will go well at both the Hyundai and African Open. The Punters League is sponsored by Paddy Power each weekly winner receives a £25 free bet with the season champion grabbing a £250 free bet! Click here to join today.
We start the 2012 PGA Tour season with the Hyundai Tournament of Champions at the Plantation Course - Kapalua on Maui, Hawaii. This short field - Each Way pays just 4 places - invitational curtain-raiser for 2011 winners offers $1,120,000 to the winner who also gets a Masters invite...very important for the 11 players in the field who haven't already received their invite pre-Christmas. However it has to be said that 'champions' tag seems a little rich this year as a whole host of star players including Donald, McIlroy and Mickelson have decided to start their busy 2012 schedules later in January.
Kapalua is a unique golf course that covers some serious sized real estate above the Pacific Ocean. The extremely slow nature of the uniquely over-sized Bermuda greens, the huge on-course undulations and the runway wide fairways of this +7,400 yard Par 73 make for a unique challenge. Naturally the course is suspect to wind and 15 - 20mph trade winds are forecast throughout the 4 days which will actually make this course play shorter. However it's absolutely clear that the winner this week will need to be a minimum 290 yard driver of the golf ball to be able to pile up enough birdies on this resort-style course to be able to win. Maybe Luke Donald knew this all along?
Kapalua, which starts this Friday 6th January, in my experience is one of those tournaments that regularly offers up some superb Golf Trading betting exchange opportunities - in 2011 the play-off was played out between eventual winner Jonathan Byrd and my tip Robert Garrigus who went off at 60/1 and 100/1 respectively. For those that are new to golf trading, by choosing the right longer priced players you can lock-in guaranteed profit as the tournament unfolds. Better still open up an account with Betfair and they will give you a free £25 no risk bet where quite simply you can't lose! - click here to open an account today, or read our golf trading guide here: Golf Trading
Personally I'll be covering off big hitting Chris Kirk at 60 who not only won the Viking Classic on the Bermuda greened resort format of Annandale last year but also finished 2nd at the Redstone drag strip. Reno-Tahoe winner Scott Piercy at 70 also presents a great platform to trade from as low scoring resort courses are his absolute forte.
Of the favourites, proven Bermuda Watney winner is an absolute must for Kapalua this week. Butch Harmon's protégé is a future Major winner in my mind and a superb 2011 which delivered a WGC win at Doral followed by a mightily impressive second win at the classical Aronimink Par 70 should be the platform which propels him into major contention and the US Ryder Cup team in 2012. 3 of Watney's 4 PGA Tour wins have been on Par 72 formats and that win at Doral plus his coastal 09 victory at Torrey Pines highlight that Kapalua won't hold any fears this week.
4 of the past 5 winners at the Plantation Course have had course experience and Californian Watney delivered a 5th on debut on Maui in 2008 and his 2010 visit saw him have a joint lead after the 1st round. Link that to a busy 2011 season close that included a 2nd at TPC Summerlin, 4th at the Australian Open and a vital 3&2 singles win over Choi in the President's Cup and I can see Predictor no. 2 selection Watney contending on his return to his beloved Bermuda greens. RESULT: T12
Geoff Ogilvy and Aaron Baddeley are cut from the same cloth for me and the fact that Ogilvy won here in 09 and 10 certainly works in the favour of Baddeley this week. Ogilvy's resumé contains strong performances at Tucson, Redstone with WGC wins at Doral and Dove Mountain, so let's take a closer look at Aaron. 2 wins on Bermuda Triv greens at Hilton Head (06) and Scottsdale (07) start my interest and Baddeley's resulting visits to Kapalua delivered 27th and 12th (08). So imagine my excitement when I saw the following performances on 'Ogilvy tracks' - Tucson 2nd (04), 6th (05); - Doral 6th (07); Dove Mountain 9th (07 & 08); Redstone 4th last year.
With Baddeley rejuvenated, holding an autumn form-line of 4-9-23-3-22 and back in the World's Top 50, his wayward driving won't be a problem this week and I'm expecting piles of birdies from the Aussie birdie machine. RESULT: 21st
The Scottsdale-based, long bombing Scot was in these Hyundai Champions tips before Christmas as far as I was concerned and the early 30/1 about Laird on Monday was snapped up in a flash! Laird had a break-out 2011 and has his invite to Augusta in his back pocket. He started 2011 in red-hot form and contended at Palm Springs, then delivered Top 5s at Phoenix and Copperhead. Laird then arrived on the world stage by contending all week at the WGC in Doral and topped off his great run with a superb victory at the Bay Hill Invitational. For the eagle eyed amongst you all of these performances were on Bermuda greens. A mid-season dip then came good in the autumn with 12th at Cog Hill, 4th at the Team World Cup and finally 6th at Thousand Oaks. However there is no doubt that the Scot is on the ascendancy and 4th on debut here in 2010 in tandem with his autumn form is an intriguing cocktail. RESULT: 2nd
Of the course virgins, Na at an under-the-radar 33/1 has mighty appeal this week. Fall Series winners perennially challenge for victory at Kapalua and I can see TPC Summerlin (where he averaged 313 yards off the tee) victor Na following Garrigus, Kuchar, Love III and 07 winner Chopra by being in the absolute heart of the action this weekend.
Like Nick Watney, Na grew up in California and resides in Las Vegas so it should come as no surprise that his West coast form contains a plethora of T5/T10 results and 2010/11 delivered great results at 'monster' Par 72s Quail Hollow and Bay Hill. Don't be fooled by the price, a confident Na can cause some serious damage this week. RESULT: T12
Vegas finished 2011 on a roll and that's extremely dangerous on a course which will suit his booming, birdie-making style. 2nd in the Shark Shoot Out with Rory Sabbatini followed his first WGC Top 10 at Shanghai and 5th behind Na/Watney at TPC Summerlin. Truth is Vegas found his putter at the close of 2011 and that makes this momentum player a dangerous animal this week. Naturally Jonny qualified for this Champions event by winning with -27 on the Bermuda Triv greens at Palm Springs, but his 3rd place the following week at Torrey Pines shows that South America's No 2 can play coastal golf effectively when he's 'rolling the rock' with authority. RESULT: 17th
Odds and bookmaker offers correct 17:40GMT 3.1.12 but naturally subject to fluctuation.
Our tips, picks and predictions for the 2013 edition of this event will be published here on the Tuesday before the event - bookmark this page and come back soon!