WGC Cadillac Championship 2015

Prize Fund – $9,250,000Cadillac2

Winner’s Share – $1,530,00

Course – TPC Blue Monster @ Trump National Doral (7,528 yards Par 72)

Our 2014 Picks – Webb Simpson (T47), Sergio Garcia (T16), Zach Johnson (T16), Ryan Moore (T25), Hunter Mahan (T9)

Preview to follow.

 

 

 

 

DON’T FORGET – Our weekly competition with renowned magazine Golf Monthly continues, take a peak at the end of our selections to see how our stakes have been distributed this time.

TwitterYou can follow us throughout the week on Twitter @downthe18th for the latest news, betting + banter. Please get in touch and let us know what you think of our picks and who you fancy as well!

Joburg Open 2015

Prize Fund – €1,300,0002015_logo

Winner’s Share – €206,050

Course – Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club (7, 590 yards par 71)

Our 2014 Picks – George Coetzee (WON), Magnus A Carlsson (MC), Thomas Aiken (T5), Roope Kakko (T10), Graham Van Der Merwe (MC)

How would you even begin to describe the madness of last week?  There were bottles flying absolutely everywhere but in India it was great to see Anirban Lahiri produce another remarkable display winning his 2nd trophy of the month.  Some going sir.

But now we enter the South African tri-series of events where the European Tour moves across the country for the next 3 weeks – all be it with the WGC coming in between.

We head to J’burg, Joburg, Johannesburg, whatever you want to call it, first off and one of the more prestigious courses and events in this part of the world.

The Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club (try and say that quickly) plays host and there’ll be two tracks in use alternately over the opening couple of rounds.  Brilliantly named the East and West courses,  both have major similarities and pose the same requirements.  Accurate iron player and lengthy drives will certainly help but there is plenty of marsh land with lakes and rivers running right through the complex and god knows how many varying types of trees and plants.

They are both beautiful tracks, but the East course is the more famous of the 2 and will take over the full running at the weekend.  Measuring a whopping 7,590 yards, on paper, the par 71 seems like it will require monster ball striking.  Whilst this is true in many ways, if you look at those who’ve done well here, some don’t hit it far at all.

The gorgeous course that host the tournament this week

The gorgeous course that host the tournament this week

We feel that if you’ve played here regularly, know the course and understand when and where to plod, attack, lay up etc, there’s no reason why a lack of length should halt you.  An interesting few days though lie ahead and we have found it tough to find value or many that really catch our eye.

The field and therefore the odds is not the prettiest, mainly due to the WGC on the horizon and players who are wanting to acclimatise and prepare for that.

However, we’re very happy with the names we’ve got…

DON’T FORGET – Our weekly competition with renowned magazine Golf Monthly continues, take a peak at the end of our selections to see how our stakes have been distributed this time.

TwitterYou can follow us throughout the week on Twitter @downthe18th for the latest news, betting + banter. Please get in touch and let us know what you think of our picks and who you fancy as well!

Justin Walters (50/1 various)

Cracking value and great chance to grab that first European Tour win Courtesy of Gallo Images

Cracking value and great chance to grab that first European Tour win
Courtesy of Gallo Images

When we came together and discussed our picks, the first name that came up was Justin Walters.  We saw him at 100/1 with StanJames and scrambled our way to their site only to find he’d already dropped to 66s.  He was still at 80s with Coral and we did manage to get him at that price, so we are absolutely buzzing about him here!

Now, it didn’t even need much discussion because we fancied the South African hugely and having chatted to others, it seems he’ll be a popular bet this week.

It was interesting to see that he went over to the Sunshine Tour last week in preparation for this string of events coming up.  He finished T9 in the Dimension Data Pro-Am and apparently putted very well across the 4 days.  He was T8 for putts per round and we are certain that he’ll be feeling confident coming to his homeland after managing to put together a few decent rounds.

He had struggled in his last few outings before then, but when you think he averages the ball over 300 yards and 50th for GIR, he could really do well here.  He’s played the tournament every year and that finally payed dividends when he came T2 last year, although he went into the Sunday joint leader.

Big opportunity in a relatively weak field.

Thomas Pieters (33/1 various)

A new young Belgian Bomber is on the block. Photo by Tracy Wilcox

A new young Belgian Bomber is on the block.
Photo by Tracy Wilcox

In just one year, Thomas Pieters has climbed over 1,000 places in the world rankings.  He’s truly entered the fray on Tour and is fast becoming a true player to watch.  Now, that clearly translates in his price within a field like this, but we are fine with that because these are the sort of events top young guys make their breakthrough.

He mainly played on the European Tour last year, not finding a great deal of consistency, but his playoff defeat in Spain sparked some real signs of ability.  Yes he let slip a 2-shot lead going into the final round but he’d only made the cut twice before that all year (one of which was  T8 in Malaysia) and the lad was only 22.

Now, after some real bedding in, this year the Belgian has come to the fore.  In that T4 in Abu Dhabi at the beginning of the year, he hit the ball an absolute country mile and showed real class in and around the greens.  He looked a highly capable player with the short stick as well as with the longest and he could be a real force this week.

He did play here last year,  missing the cut in the process, but we are looking at it as a learning curve.  Bare in the mind that if you fancy him any week for the next few months, he probably missed the cut last year…

Johan Carlsson (70/1 Coral)

A lovely Swedish smile... Photo by Katja Elvå

A lovely Swedish smile…
Photo by Katja Elvå

Johan Carlsson is a young player in a smiler mould to Pieters.  He is flamboyant, aggressive and hits the ball too far for us mere mortals to even comprehend.

During his breakthrough year on the European Tour, he also struggled with consistency, but like the Belgian above, he shone in particular events when his driving capabilities came to the fore.

His first top 10 with the big boys came in South Africa at the beginning of last season at the SA Open Championship and tee to green there were few better than him across the week.  Inside the top 25 for both driving distance and accuracy as well as GIR, showed us what he can potentially do.

He’s then started this year with a couple of top 22 finishes before his last outing in Thailand where he finished T7.  In a way you can draw similarities with the courses because of the marshy rough and his irons were in cracking shape there, which gives us the hope he can bring that over here.

Ben Evans (250/1 various)

Passing over the royalty?  Evans won the U21 Faldo series twice in a row and here he is with Sir Nick.

Passing over the royalty? Evans won the U21 Faldo series twice in a row and here he is with Sir Nick.

Ben Evans didn’t have a particularly flamboyant year on the Challenge Tour last season, but when he did make the cut, he usually went on to finish very high up the leaderboard.  To us that means he’s just ‘one of those’  – a hit or miss.  But for starters, he’s a 250/1 hit or miss and that is a risk worth taking.

We were firstly intrigued by the fact the young Englishman has played here 3 times.  He missed the cut twice in a row before finishing T13 in 2011.  He went into the final round in T5, just 2 shots behind eventual winner Charl Schwartzel.  He shot a 66 and 2 67’s before that Sunday and that shows he will know a bit about this track and how to score here.

Fast forward a few years and he’s back on the European Tour coming into this South African stretch off the back of an interesting performance in India last week.  He finished T12 in Delhi and his tee to green stats were beyond ridiculous.

Driving accuracy, distance and GIR were inside the top 15 every day and that proves he is in a good place with his game and tells us that he hits it a country mile as well.

Cracking outsider.

Golf Monthly £10 ChallengeGM_masthead-630x176

Every week we’re running a weekly betting competition on both Tours with esteemed magazine Golf Monthly.  It is a bit of fun between us and them to see who has the better tipsters!  We have £10 to put on each tournament and will write up a weekly post for their site detailing the horrors we are sure to endure throughout the year – so keep an eye out.

It will also (for the first time from us at DownThe18th) show some sort of staking plan we have for out bets.  Obviously, this isn’t the exact stakes we will put on our players, some weeks we won’t even enter a couple of our picks, but at least it can be shown roughly where our thoughts are money wise.

Our £10 against Golf Monthly will be as follows  –

£1.75 e/w on Justin Walters at 50/1

£1.75 e/w on Thomas Pieters at 28/1

£1.00 e/w on Johan Carlsson at 66/1

£0.50 e/w on Ben Evans at 250/1

Each way bets ¼ odds for top 5 finish. Prices sourced from Paddy Power

Find the Golf Monthly Preview here (http://www.golf-monthly.co.uk/news/tour-news)

Current Standings after 6 weeks

DownThe18th                                 Golf Monthly

European Tour: £14.30                European Tour:  £-50

PGA Tour: £-22.63                           PGA Tour: £37

Total: £-8.33                                      Total: £-13

DownThe18th leads by: £4.67

The Honda Classic 2015

Prize Fund – $6,100,000Honda1

Winner’s Share – $1,098,000

Course – PGA National (Champion), Palm Beach Gardens, Florida (7,158 yards par 70)

Our 2014 Picks – Graeme McDowell (T46), Hideki Matsuyama (WD), Keegan Bradley (T12), John Senden (T46) Chris Stroud (T12), Brendon Todd and Michael Thompson (MC) 

It’s these tournaments that we cannot get enough of. Sure, birdie-fests can be exciting and watching these guys go at every pin is certainly impressive. But nothing compares to watching the best players in the world struggle grinding out pars, scrambling for their lives. And that’s exactly what you have to do at the Honda.

PGA National is 7,158 yards and you will have to think about every one of those. It’s commonly known as a ball strikers course where you don’t want to be finding the rough off the tee. McIlroy has won and finished 2nd here which could make you think length off the tee is vital, but this is Rory. When you look further into the people who have enjoyed success here (Rose, Westwood, McDowell, Donald, Villegas, YE Yang) they all love a mid-iron and certainly know how to think their way around a course.

Remember the 18th last year? More of the same please - courtesy of progolfnow

Remember the 18th last year? More of the same please – courtesy of progolfnow

A good gauge of who could do well here is their major record. If you can do it on that stage, you can do it here. It’s clear that scrambling is also vital and a lot will be made of that – but. If you are to actually win this thing, you won’t be doing so constantly scrambling. You need to be finding greens, getting it close. For us, this gives hole proximity and GIR much more importance over scrambling. And if they do miss, there are over a hundred bunkers out there so it’s got a good chance it could get sandy. Certainly, your pick has to be adept from the bunker.

It’s always good to look through the various stats but for courses like this, trust your judgement. You ultimately know who the thinkers are out there. It’s a tough track and this title won’t be given to you.

DON’T FORGET – Our weekly competition with renowned magazine Golf Monthly continues, take a peak at the end of our selections to see how our stakes have been distributed this time.

TwitterYou can follow us throughout the week on Twitter @downthe18th for the latest news, betting + banter. Please get in touch and let us know what you think of our picks and who you fancy as well!

Lee Westwood (40/1 Ladbrokes)

Consistency is what Lee is all about these days

Consistency is what Lee is all about these days

Now we’re often the most critical of Westwood especially when it comes to his short game. But with age has come a lot more consistency in both his finishes and his putting. His current form reads 5th, 9th, 1st, 16th – that’s up there with the best around. Lee has a good habit of doing well around tough courses mainly down to his impeccable ball striking.

Our slant we put on Lee is this – he’s never going to drain birdie putt after birdie putt but one thing he will keep finding his greens. If you 2-putt your way around PGA National you will have a good week and that’s what Lee will do. And in 5 recent starts here he’s recorded 3 top 10’s. He likes it here.

Stats? 64th ball striking, 5th sand saves, 20th hole proximity. His class will shine.

Ryan Palmer (35/1 Paddy Power)

Ryan Palmer has every chance here. Courtesy of Amy Sancetta, Associated Press

Ryan Palmer has every chance here.
Courtesy of Amy Sancetta, Associated Press

It was a toss-up between Palmer and Matsuyama and with the latter withdrawing, our decision was made. When we looked through the market leaders we had concerns over the majority whether it be price, form or course history. With Palmer, we struggled to find any negatives.

You could argue his missed cut at Pebble Beach isn’t great but the tournament has never suited the eye of the American. He knocked on the door at the Waste Management prior to that only being outdone by the outstanding Koepka. It’s worth mentioning Palmer was 1st GIR at TPC Scottsdale that week.

Then there was last year. Play-off defeat to Russell Henley. Now Palmer had never really enjoyed much success at PGA National so last year perhaps was a surprise to some. But despite being 38, we honestly believe the American has taken his game to a new level – his 5th at the final major of last year, a best ever major finish, is a big indicator. His form too is eerily similar, with a 2nd at the Humana Challenge a few weeks prior to coming here last year. And stats-wise we know what he does, 14th ball striking, 9th putting, 11th hole proximity and 9th scrambling. Time for Palmer to go close again!

Boo Weekley (150/1 Various)

Ball striker.

Ball striker.

Having started with a couple of high-end favourites, we’re delving straight into outsiders. And as regular watchers of golf, rarely have we ever seen the top 5 not have at least one person with odds of 100/1 or higher. James Hahn (200/1) is a prime example.

So Boo is renowned for doing things his way, on and off the course. One thing we are always guaranteed from him is ball striking. Tee to green he is genuinely up there with the best in the game. He’s 30th in ball striking for 2015. And then his form – 7 starts, 3 top 10’s, 1 runner-up, no missed cuts.

So why this week? Well we’re already intrigued considering his odds. But when you look at his last outing, he ranked 20th putting. Putting is the one thing he isn’t known for. And you have to look at this one very much like Westwood, he may not drain every putt he has but finding greens in regulation is what he will do.

Ian Poulter (125/1 Coral)

Sir Ian.

Sir Ian.

Straight away, although arguably deserved, it is odd seeing Poults at this price. Okay, he hasn’t had much success at PGA National before and he did miss the cut at Pebble Beach but on his day there aren’t many better ball strikers. Nobody can be too detrimental about his form either. Apart from his MC at Pebble Beach, a completely different course and style needed, he was 19th at the Farmers Insurance having been top 5 after round 1. Then looking back before Christmas, he finished 21st, 2nd and 6th with the latter at the WGC HSBC Champions, showing his pedigree in big events.

Then stats – 13th scrambling, 28th sand saves, 13th 3-putt avoidance. He’s got the perfect touch around the greens. If Poults locks in with his irons like we know he can, this is a solid bet. As we said in our preview, we’re trusting our instincts.

Daniel Berger (125/1 Various)

New generation - courtesy of ESPN

New generation – courtesy of ESPN

At 21, he’s one of the new generation and we’ve already seen enough of this guy to know he could go far in the game. In his rookie season, to finish in the top 10 twice before February is out isn’t bad. And yes, stats can often not be a true reflection, but 9th ball striking, 65th scrambling and 33rd sand saves is impressive. It’s his tee to green game in particular that we feel shows he will take it to PGA National. To be finding regular fairways at an average of 305 yards makes the game a whole lot easier especially when you see he’s got a nifty touch around the greens too.

As much as a mature head and inventive nature is key, sometimes the innocence of youth or a first-timer can give you a fresh outlook on the course. Russell Knox and Russell Henley are good examples of this. This course is going to be a massive test for the young lad and we’re exciting to see what he does.

Golf Monthly £10 ChallengeGM_masthead-630x176

Every week we’re running a weekly betting competition on both Tours with esteemed magazine Golf Monthly.  It is a bit of fun between us and them to see who has the better tipsters!  We have £10 to put on each tournament and will write up a weekly post for their site detailing the horrors we are sure to endure throughout the year – so keep an eye out.

It will also (for the first time from us at DownThe18th) show some sort of staking plan we have for out bets.  Obviously, this isn’t the exact stakes we will put on our players, some weeks we won’t even enter a couple of our picks, but at least it can be shown roughly where our thoughts are money wise.

Our £10 against Golf Monthly will be as follows  –

£1.90 e/w on Lee Westwood at 28/1

£1.50 e/w on Ryan Palmer at 35/1

£0.50 e/w on Boo Weekley at 125/1

£0.65 e/w on Ian Poulter at 80/1

£0.45 e/w on Daniel Berger at 100/1

Each way bets ¼ odds for top 6 finish. Prices sourced from Paddy Power

Find the Golf Monthly Preview here (http://www.golf-monthly.co.uk/news/tour-news)

Current Standings after 6 weeks

DownThe18th                                 Golf Monthly

European Tour: £14.30                European Tour:  £-50

PGA Tour: £-22.63                           PGA Tour: £37

Total: £-8.33                                      Total: £-13

DownThe18th leads by: £4.67

Hero Indian Open 2015

Hero-Indian-Open-2015-LOGO_Final-01Prize Fund – $1,500,000

Winner’s Share – €218,512

Course – Delhi GC (7, 014 yards par 71)

Our 2014 Picks – New Tournament

Golf betting is a funny thing – after a pretty barren start to 2015 things had certainly started to pick up with a few near misses, namely Ryan Palmer and Lucas Glover over in America. But an unlikely star, Andrew Dodt (125/1), gave us our first win of the season. Not forgetting Nick Watney’s near miss over in America! But as more golf gets watched and players start to find their feet, betting starts to become much more fruitful as the season wears on.

The Thai Classic was new to the European Calender and so is the Indian Open this week. Played on a municipal course, it’s not exactly a mouth watering field compared to say the Northern Trust Open. Nevertheless there are odds for this just like any other event and we are actually very confident having seen the initial markets.

The famous unnamed tomb

The famous unnamed tomb at Delhi GC

The Delhi GC is relatively short and it’s only defence against low scoring this week is the tightness of the fairways. Rough is non-existent here but there are plenty of trees. Everywhere you look narrow fairways keep being talked about. Then you have to look regular events that are held here, of which there are 3. The Panasonic Open, SAIL-SBI Open (Both Asian Tour) and the Bilt Open (PGA Tour of India). So this means we have plenty of guys who have a lot of course form to look at! Rashid Khan, Anirban Lahiri, SSP Chawrasia, Siddikur, Jyoti Randhawa and Mukesh Kumar have all had at least SIX top 10 finishes here. Some people played in all 3 of the events in 2014.

We always have to take a lot of these high finishes from the Asian Tour/Indian PGA players with a pinch of salt because of the quality of their fields. Until they have proven themselves on the European circuit (i.e. Lahiri) it’s hard to ever be certain how they will fare against a Miguel Angel Jimenez in a final pairing on day 4, for instance. Still, the players with tremendous course form will obviously be at a huge advantage.

DON’T FORGET – Our weekly competition with renowned magazine Golf Monthly continues, take a peak at the end of our selections to see how our stakes have been distributed this time.

TwitterYou can follow us throughout the week on Twitter @downthe18th for the latest news, betting + banter. Please get in touch and let us know what you think of our picks and who you fancy as well!

Shiv Kapur (28/1 Various)

All smiles for Shiv - courtesy of topnews

All smiles for Shiv – courtesy of topnews

Shiv is one of the best exports of India, having been born right here in New Delhi. With 2 Challenge Tour titles and 1 Asian Tour, he’s a name we see frequently on the European circuit. He even finished T23 at last year’s US Open.

2014 was hardly one to write home about with his best finishes coming at the Tshwane, French and Hong Kong Opens – all top 20. And again this year, nothing spectacular but his T11 at the Thailand Classic was his best finish on the European Tour since the Avantha Masters back in 2011! So what better way to follow that up with a trip home. He will be buzzing coming to his home event. He last played here in 2013, 3 times, which he finished 4th, 4th and 13th.

Statisically speaking he was the real deal last week – 3rd driving accuracy, 7th putts per GIR, 23rd GIR and averaging 290yards off the tee.

Jyoti Randhawa (50/1 Coral)

Course form is different level - courtesy of topnews

Course form is different level – courtesy of topnews

This guy got a brief mention in the preview with his outrageous course form. 8 top 10’s including 2 wins on this course in the last 10 years no less. So when we looked into the Thai Classic stats a bit more, it was very interesting to see he finished 15th ranking 15th driving accuracy and 3rd putts per round. His form before that wasn’t particularly special but coming to a course he knows like the back of his hand, it looks like he could be peaking at the perfect time.

 

Rashid Khan (50/1 Stan James)

Birthday boy on his home course - courtesy of topnews

Birthday boy on his home course – courtesy of topnews

It was a close call between Khan and Richard T Lee, but the far superior course form was enough to plump for the former. The Indian has 6 top 10’s around here including a win at last year’s SAIL-SBI Open. And we can’t forget he is only 24. That means he was playing this course when he was 16. Not to mention this is his home course anyway, so he was playing it a lot earlier than 16! There is no doubting he will go onto bigger and better things.

Of late, he hasn’t been particularly impressive with a top 10 here and there. But last week, despite a missed cut, he did actually rank 5th GIR. Putting, as Phil would say, was embarrassing. But Khan will undoubtably know these greens better than the club captain.

And if you are one for storylines, it was Rashid’s birthday on Sunday…

Lee Slattery (80/1 Coral)

How British does Slatts look? - courtesy of BBC

How British does Slatts look? – courtesy of BBC

This is more of heart than head bet if you know what we mean. If you follow the European Tour regularly you will know what a solid performer Slatts is. And to see him at these odds in this quality of field is definitely worth a pop.

Despite a MC in Abu Dhabi, he last appearance before that was a 3rd at the South African Open where he finished 1 shot off Schwartzel and Sullivan. That week he ranked 18th driving accuracy, 3rd distance and 7th putts per round. This field is a lot weaker than that week and Lee will definitely know this is a huge opportunity to get his first European Tour win since the Madrid Masters in 2011.

Damien McGrane (125/1 Bet365)

2nd here in '08. Can he go again?

2nd here in ’08. Can he go again?

The Irishman is one of those who takes advantage of the smaller events. His close 2nd at the Russian Open last year was an example of that.

This year he hasn’t impressed but has made 4 of 6 cuts. And last week he actually played really well tee to green – 18th driving accuracy and 20th GIR. On the greens was a different story. But that can change and he’s never going to be the perfect pick when he’s at such high odds.

One thing we love was his 2nd here in 2008, finishing 2 shots behind course stalwart SSP Chawrasia. That was obviously 7 years ago and we can’t read anything into the stats, but, he did rank 4th driving accuracy, 3rd putts per GIR and 2nd putts per round for that week.

Golf Monthly £10 ChallengeGM_masthead-630x176

Every week we’re running a weekly betting competition on both Tours with esteemed magazine Golf Monthly.  It is a bit of fun between us and them to see who has the better tipsters!  We have £10 to put on each tournament and will write up a weekly post for their site detailing the horrors we are sure to endure throughout the year – so keep an eye out.

It will also (for the first time from us at DownThe18th) show some sort of staking plan we have for out bets.  Obviously, this isn’t the exact stakes we will put on our players, some weeks we won’t even enter a couple of our picks, but at least it can be shown roughly where our thoughts are money wise.

Our £10 against Golf Monthly will be as follows  –

£1.75 e/w on Shiv Kapur at 30/1

£1.00 e/w on Jyoti Randhawa at 40/1

£1.00 e/w on Rashid Khan at 40/1

£0.75 e/w on Lee Slattery at 50/1

£0.50 e/w on Damien McGrane at 100/1

Each way bets ¼ odds for top 5 finish. Prices sourced from Paddy Power

Find the Golf Monthly Preview here (http://www.golf-monthly.co.uk/news/tour-news)

Current Standings after 5 weeks

DownThe18th                                 Golf Monthly

European Tour: £24.30                European Tour:  £-40

PGA Tour: £-12.63                           PGA Tour: £47

Total: £11.67                                      Total: £7.00

DownThe18th leads by: £4.67

Northern Trust Open 2015

NT OpenPrize Fund – $6,700,000

Winner’s Share – $1,206,000

Course – Riviera CC (7,349 yards par 71)

Our 2014 Picks – Jordan Spieth (T12), Graham DeLaet (T70), Bill Haas (T23), Charles Howell III (MC), Victor Dubuisson (T40) 

We finally had a proper week to remember from a betting point of view, with Andrew Dodt becoming our first winner over in Thailand, whilst Nick Watney went close at Pebble Beach, falling short to a brilliant Brandt Snedeker.  Rarely do we not begrudge someone who pips over one of our players, but it’s absolutely superb to see Sneds playing like that again and we hope it’s the true start to his prominence in the game again.

Moving onto this week and we’re staying in California for the Northern Trust Open.  It’s the fourth oldest event on the PGA Tour calendar and has been running since 1927!  When you look at it’s history, there’ve been 67 different winners – and remarkably 33 of them have been major winners!  That is some statistic.  The alumni include Ben Hogan, Sam Snead, Byron Nelson, Arnold Palmer, Tom Watson, Sir Nick Faldo, Freddie Couples, Phil Mickleson and Adam Scott.

Obviously with such a long history, you can begin to really gage and understand what’s required to win this trophy, especially with the host course hosting the event since 1973.  The Riviera Country Club is a magnificent course which will test all aspects of your game – every club will most likely be used in the 4 days.

Course management will be crucial, which comes in turn with understanding every nook and cranny, every dogleg and bunker position – just a sound knowledge of this track.  There’s a reason players have continued to do well and come back year after year, whilst others struggle.  It will, without doubt, be a massive help if you’ve played here a few times.  Since the turn of the century, every winner has recorded at the very least a top 20, barring John Merrick’s victory in 2013.

One of the greatest finishing holes in world golf.  Tremendous

One of the greatest finishing holes in world golf. Tremendous

The greens are on the smaller side and with the course measuring in at 7,349 yards, it’s clearly not the longest, so precision tee-to-green is crucial.  Long game accuracy will come into it, as there will need to be an understanding of when to go long and cut back, but scrambling in and around the greens will be vital to save shots and gain a lead against the field.

It’s a real mixed bag of a tournament and tough to pinpoint a winner, but bare in mind there are plenty of doglegs and has historically tended to favour the faders of the ball.  Those that can move the ball with ease will be at a complete advantage.

It is also worth noting that every player, barring the enigmatic and erratic Phil Mickelson, every winner in recent times has come here in a bit of form.  We listed the names down to Mike Weir in 2002, but could have easily carried on, however we feel our point is proven at least going that far!  Even the guys who didn’t quite have a top 10, still played well weeks before that as well, so it does show – take the past few tournaments into account and what their form is saying!

2014 – Bubba 2nd before win (at waste management)

2013 - John Merrick (T16 at Pebble Beach)

2012 - Bill Haas (T19 at Waste Management)

2011 - Aaron Baddeley (T6 at Pebble Beach)

2010 – Steve Stricker (3rd at Sony Open)

2009 - Phil Mickelson (T55 at Pebble Beach)

2008 – Phil Mickelson (MC at Pebble Beach, but 2nd the week before)

2007 – Charles Howell III (T23 at the FBR Open)

2006 – Rory Sabbatini (2nd at Pebble Beach)

2005 – Adam Scott (T20 at the Sony Open)

2004 – Mike Weir (T4 at Pebble Beach)

2003 – Mike Weir (T3 at Pebble Beach)

Enjoy the weeks golf – we’ve got a fairly decent field lining up, so it should be a great deal of fun – let’s hope our 2nd winner of the season comes in the form of…

DON’T FORGET – Our weekly competition with renowned magazine Golf Monthly continues, take a peak at the end of our selections to see how our stakes have been distributed this time.

TwitterYou can follow us throughout the week on Twitter @downthe18th for the latest news, betting + banter. Please get in touch and let us know what you think of our picks and who you fancy as well!

Harris English (40/1 various)

Harris showing the healthier 'John Daly Diet' option... Sam Greenwood/Getty Images North America

Harris showing the healthier ‘John Daly Diet’ option…
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images North America

When we studied what’s required to win this tournament, one of the first names that bizarrely came to both our heads was Harris English.  No denying he’s a quality player, but there are some stellar names in this field, so for us to shout out English, it instantly felt like he would take our number one berth this week.

Traditionally, he is a ridiculously solid ball striker.  We’ve all seen him tank the ball consistently, finding the fairway and then swing his irons effortlessly.  When he is in full flow, he is a magician tee to green because his length really aids him if he’s driving it straight.

He’s been in decent form recently as well – his last outing at the Farmers, he lost in a playoff to the outstanding Jason Day, but it was encouraging to see him holing that clutch putt on the last to get him in the mix.  That shows his nerves and capabilities to win, but also proves that he is in some decent form.

Looking at the stats, he was T4 for driving distance, T55 for accuracy, T42 for GIR and T17 for putting average.  Those are some very consistent stats and whilst he can be slightly wayward of the tee at times, he has the sort of game that easily gets him out of trouble.

11th in scrambling across the season proves that and he’s inside the top 40 in every approaches stat between 125-200 yards.  He is a top, top player that can certainly go far in the game and this is the sort of course that should suit him perfectly.  He finished T10, shooting a -4 67 on the final day and that should give him plenty of confidence, considering the form he is in right now.

Every chance.

J.B. Holmes (40/1 various)

jb holmes

We would never have thought our 2nd pick would come in the form of J.B. Holmes in such a cracking field and whilst we don’t mean any disrespect by that, it’s still a bizarre one.

We are sure though that many will look at the American this week because he has the perfect game and form for the event.  As we mention earlier, faders of the ball will be at an advantage and boy is Holmes one of them.   He naturally moves the ball left to right and will be brimming with a ridiculous amount of confidence from his last 2 outings.

He, like English, lost in that playoff to Day, but he was hitting the ball a bloody long way and swinging with apparent ease.  6th driving distance, T55 accuracy, T42 GIR and most importantly, 4th for putting average.

The week after he goes to Pebble Beach and finishes in a tie for 10th and he was 5th for putting average there.  His short game has got a lot better since last year and it’s scary to think how much of a roll he could go on in this form on a course he’s played so many times and performed very well at.

From 2008, he found the top 12 five times in a row, including a T3 finish in 2010.  Interestingly his irons looked cracking at Pebble Beach as well, where he finished T20 overall for GIR, so when you put all these factors together, he has every chance to find the winners circle.

Brendon Todd (80/1 BetFred)

Pointing at his forthcoming trophy...

Pointing at his forthcoming trophy…

Mr.Dependable Brendan Todd.  What a back end to the season he had in 2014, truly entering his name into the reckoning for big titles.  So, whilst he hasn’t played quite to that similar level admittedly, how is Todd valued at 80s for the sort of tournament that should suit his game perfectly?!

He has a couple of top 10s in his last 4 outings, including a T10 last week at Pebble Beach, where his 65 was the best round on Sunday.  If it wasn’t for a chaotic round on Friday, he would of been in with a great chance to challenge.

But what intrigues us the most is the fact his last bogey came on the 13th on that Friday.  Yes, it was the 13th hole on the 13th of the month on a Friday.  Very spooky indeed, but this isn’t some Halloween scare fest, this is confirmation that Todd is in fine fettle.  13 birdies followed (again, weird) and he’ll be feeling in great spirits.

He finished 3rd for driving accuracy and 1st for GIR,whilst he was T24 for putting average.  Those are a ridiculous combination of stats.  He is a top scrambler – 37th in the rankings for the season and 1st in sand-save percentage, so he has all the attributes.  He’s played here a couple of times, all be it recording just a T35 and MC, but we’re looking at it like he’s seen the track and will know a bit about it.

For us, he seems like a no-brainer at those mid-range/high odds.

John Peterson (175/1 Coral)

Now, if there was ever a pick that enlightened us with their stats, it would be John Peterson.  He literally does everything well and that usually scares us, but at 200/1 we felt there was no harm in us chucking some on him.

Across the season he’s been playing consistently without ever truly challenging, although a couple of weeks ago he finished T20 at the Humana, opening up with a round of 64, which shows his calibre.

He dropped 14 places in a final day 76 at the Farmers, but again showed the odd glimpses in the previous few days.  He was 7th GIR and T23 driving accuracy.  Whilst his putting and distance averages weren’t great, over the course of the season they are impressive – 98th distance, 17th strokes gained putting, 36th scrambling and 23rd sand-save percentage.  Ridiculous.

William McGirt (150/1 Coral)

Cracking beard Mr.McGirt

Cracking beard Mr.McGirt

Our final pick comes in the form of William McGirt.  Now here is a player who has shown some strong indicators he could challenge for trophies, but has been too inconsistent across the 4 days of an event.

He shot a couple of 67s in his T30 finish at the Waste Management – either side of some horror scores, whilst last week a 66 couldn’t propel him higher that T21.

He was T27 for driving accuracy, T7 for GIR and 27th in putting average.  He is a highly consistent player tee to green, but at times his lack of length has let him down, but we don’t feel that’ll be a problem here.  He finished T6 last year which shows he’s got a liking for the track and a very interesting outsider.

Golf Monthly £10 ChallengeGM_masthead-630x176

Every week we’re running a weekly betting competition on both Tours with esteemed magazine Golf Monthly.  It is a bit of fun between us and them to see who has the better tipsters!  We have £10 to put on each tournament and will write up a weekly post for their site detailing the horrors we are sure to endure throughout the year – so keep an eye out.

It will also (for the first time from us at DownThe18th) show some sort of staking plan we have for out bets.  Obviously, this isn’t the exact stakes we will put on our players, some weeks we won’t even enter a couple of our picks, but at least it can be shown roughly where our thoughts are money wise.

Our £10 against Golf Monthly will be as follows  –

£1.50 e/w on Harris English at 30/1

£1.50 e/w on J.B. Holmes at 40/1

£1.20 e/w on Brendon Todd at 70/1

£0.40 e/w on John Peterson at 125/1

£0.40 e/w on Will McGirt at 125/1

Each way bets ¼ odds for top 5 finish. Prices sourced from Paddy Power

Find the Golf Monthly Preview here (http://www.golf-monthly.co.uk/news/tour-news)

Current Standings after 5 weeks

DownThe18th                                 Golf Monthly

European Tour: £24.30                European Tour:  £-40

PGA Tour: £-12.63                           PGA Tour: £47

Total: £11.67                                      Total: £7.00

DownThe18th leads by: £4.67

AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am 2015

Prize Fund – $6,800,000AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am 2010 Logo

Winner’s Share – $1,224,000

Course –Pebble Beach Golf Links (6,816 yards par 72), Monterey Peninsula Country Club (6,838 yards par 70), Spyglass Hill Golf Course (6,858 yards par 72)

Our 2014 Picks – Jordan Spieth (T4), Hunter Mahan (6th), Graeme McDowell (T7), Aaron Baddeley(T56), Retief Goosen (MC)

Andy Garcia, Huey Lewis, Ray Romano, Michael Bolton and Bill Murray.  No, it’s not the line-up for The Late Late Show with future host James Corden, but actually 5 names who will be teeing it up at Pebble Beach this week.

This fantastic tournament shows off not just celebrities, but opens our eyes to the wonderful world of true links golf.  We’ve seen all sorts of madness on the 3 tracks that play host to the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am and expect no different again in 2015.

Pebble Beach is a famous course that’s hosted 6 major championships, most recently in 2010 where Graeme McDowell came out on top.  We all know what the short 6,838 yard par 70 offers – strategic, windy and difficult shot making to go with the variable and inevitable windy conditions.

The par 3 7th is one of the most famous sights in golf and has been a trap to so many in the past.  But only 2 of the 4 rounds will be played here as it’s traditional for the other 2 to take place at the Monterey Peninsula Country Club and Spyglass Hill Golf Course.  Both come in under 7,000 yards and will test the field in a similar way to Pebble Beach.  Spyglass is often regarded as the tougher of the ‘other’ 2 tracks – with the various hazards and small, elevated greens. If there are consistent birdies to be made, it will have to be on the Monterey course.

The gorgeous par 3 7th

The gorgeous par 3 7th

We’ve seen so many varying types of golfers win over these 3 courses, with bombers (Dustin Johnson), creative geniuses around on and the greens (Brandt Snedeker, Phil Mickelson) and iron gurus (Jimmy Walker, Vijay Singh) becoming champion.  On the whole, the winner will be a solid and experienced links player.  A manipulator of the golf ball and strategic in their shot making to understand when to attack and defend – in other words, ball-strikers.

It’s proven that rarely do we get a winner here who hasn’t already bagged themselves a PGA title.  Since Tiger Woods won the trophy back in 2000, the average PGA Tour victories before their Pebble Beach win is 10.6.  That says it all really…

DON’T FORGET – Our weekly competition with renowned magazine Golf Monthly continues, take a peak at the end of our selections to see how our stakes have been distributed this time.

TwitterYou can follow us throughout the week on Twitter @downthe18th for the latest news, betting + banter. Please get in touch and let us know what you think of our picks and who you fancy as well!

Nick Watney (33/1 various)

We hope to see Watney eying up more greens this week

We hope to see Watney eying up more greens this week

As we’ve said before, you’ll often find the top players doing well at this tournament, so sometimes it’s difficult to find value, but we are incredibly happy with our selections this week and to have Nick Watney kicking things off for us may seem strange at first.

He hasn’t won a tournament since 2012, he only had a couple of top 10’s all of last season and has simply struggled for form.

BUT, this is a lad with 10 professional wins to his name – 5 PGA Tour titles and a Nike sponsorship.  He is no mug.  And we really feel there are a few signs (admittedly we said it a couple of times last year) that he is close to getting back to something near his best.

He was very much in the hunt last week for the title, but just like so, so many around him, he struggled on Sunday, shooting a respectable +1 to finish T7.  He looked fantastic tee-to-green, finding himself in 6th in GIR and T14 for driving accuracy throughout the week.  He has been inconsistent with his putter, but what’s impressed us the most is that rhythm he’s showing with his irons.

That’s where he is ridiculously dangerous and he should now be coming to a tournament in high spirits and somewhere he’s played well before.  He’s had a couple of top 10s here and above all, he’s a proven links player.

He’s finished T7 at The Open and recorded a couple of T20 finishes, so he knows his way round a seaside track.  Never has there been a greater chance for Watney to re-enter the winners circle.

Chris Kirk (33/1 various)

The Captain

The Captain

What a year Chris Kirk had in 2014.  He nearly pushed his way into the Ryder Cup team and his consistency was ridiculous.  He showed that, on his day, there are few better tee-to-green stalwarts on Tour.

Now, you may be wondering how on earth he’s got into our reckoning considering his lackadaisical start to the year, but there’s enough about him, especially at mid-range odds, for us to go there.

Firstly, let’s get this year out the way.  No, it hasn’t been great when you compare it to 2014, but look closer and it’s not been awful.  He started off with a T4 at the McGladrey, went onto finish T14 at the WGC and then T14 at the Hyundai.  That is impressive form.  The 3 events since have not warranted a top 10, but he’s been in and around shooting some mixed scores.  At the Sony, he finished with a 64 after a 74 on the Saturday.  Last week he opened with a 67, before 2 over par rounds in bad conditions.  But boil it all down and he is actually putting really well.

38th in strokes gained for the season and 11th last week tell that tale and his irons have seemed to let him down in the past few weeks.  That should change considering he’s coming onto a course where he finished 2nd in 2013, shooting 3 ridiculously low rounds.

He is another top links player, as we mentioned in our Open betting last year.  In 2013-14 out of 12 links tournaments, he found 4 top 5s and a win, then going onto finish T19 at The Open.  Not bad.

Freddie Jacobson – WITHDRAWN

Freddie - the demon putter

Freddie – the demon putter

If you’ve followed us over the past few years, you’ll know we’re big fans of Freddie Jacobson.   However, he had never returned us any many until he finished T2 at the Wyndham last year and boy were we buzzing.

The big Swede is widely regarded as one of the top players on the greens and he is starting to show that once again.  9th in putting average for the last 2 weeks and clearly 1st overall for the season.  He is simply irresistible with the short stick and when you holing them, the rest of your game will start to pick up.

He was T14 for driving accuracy in his T32 finish last week, but he dropped 11 positions after a +3 final day in this horrendous conditions.  We saw quite a bit of him over in Phoenix and he played solidly for his T7 finish.  He was driving it so well – 9th for the week – and he often had chances to attack the pins.

He looked very good on the Par 3’s, which are notoriously difficult this week, so no reason why he shouldn’t do well here at high odds.   Plus, he’s recorded a T7 finish at Pebble Beach before, back in 2013.

Zac Blair (100/1 various)

One hell of a future ahead for Blair Photo: Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

One hell of a future ahead for Blair
Photo: Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

Zac Blair may be a rookie on the PGA Tour, but he’s made a stellar start and is part of this endless batch of ridiculously talented youngsters coming through.   8 tournaments played and 3 finishes inside the top 12.  That is some going and whilst we know you need experience at the top of the game and on this sort of track, we were too intrigued not to back the 25-year old.

Interestingly, he isn’t one of these young guns that absolutely batters a ball, but he is more methodical and an accurate iron player who relies on his short game.  That is one MASSIVE box ticked for this tournament.

He started the year in Hawaii finishing T6, shooting 3 rounds in the 60’s, before a MC and then last week a T11.  He remarkably shot a 69 on Sunday when the wind was battering the players and that shows us he has the ability to manipulate his ball flight and keep his score ticking.  Impressive.

Plus he was 1st by some considerable distance in putting average, whilst he was 10th for driving accuracy.  Over the season he is 24th for sand-save and 6th for scrambling, which all in all show us how good a player this lad is around the greens.  That’ll hold him in great stead for the future, but it could be even better in the short term because he has all the tools to be a surprise on these links tracks.

Shane Lowry (50/1 various)

He'll hopefully have the trophy in the passenger seat come sunday

He’ll hopefully have the trophy in the passenger seat come sunday

Yes, our 2nd player out of the 5 who has never played here before, but in Shane Lowry we have a bonafide links specialist.

We can only assume that he’s making the trip over to Pebble Beach for the first time because he knows deep down he could really do well here.  Out of 7 links events last year he found 4 top 10s, including a T9 at The Open and a T2 in Wales.

We undoubtedly had reservations about his pedigree on the PGA Tour, but when you look at his history, you see that he has made the trip over a few times and done well, on the whole.

Firstly, just last week he came over for the Farmers and kamikazeed up the leaderboard on Sunday to finish T7.  No real surprise considering how comfortable (well comfortable in terms of his game, he would of been bloody freezing) in those ridiculous conditions.

Before that, you look at his major finishes and can see that he doesn’t mind being in illustrious company.  5 made cuts out of his 8 appearance is not bad going for someone so young and raw.  In 2013 he finished T15 at the Valero Texas Open and T9 at the WGC Matchplay.

His iron game and ability to move the ball will be a great help on these courses and he will be absolutely buzzing after a heroic final day effort at the Farmers.  He could really be a surprise package.

Golf Monthly £10 ChallengeGM_masthead-630x176

Every week we’re running a weekly betting competition on both Tours with esteemed magazine Golf Monthly.  It is a bit of fun between us and them to see who has the better tipsters!  We have £10 to put on each tournament and will write up a weekly post for their site detailing the horrors we are sure to endure throughout the year – so keep an eye out.

It will also (for the first time from us at DownThe18th) show some sort of staking plan we have for out bets.  Obviously, this isn’t the exact stakes we will put on our players, some weeks we won’t even enter a couple of our picks, but at least it can be shown roughly where our thoughts are money wise.

Our £10 against Golf Monthly will be as follows  –

£1.50 e/w on Nick Watney at 30/1

£1.50 e/w on Chris Kirk at 30/1

£1.00 e/w on Zac Blair at 100/1

£1.00 e/w on Shane Lowry at 40/1

Each way bets ¼ odds for top 6 finish. Prices sourced from Paddy Power

Find the Golf Monthly Preview will be published here when available –

Current Standings after 4 weeks

DownThe18th                                 Golf Monthly

European Tour: £-29.20               European Tour:  £-30

PGA Tour: £-15.38                             PGA Tour: £57

Total: £-45.08                                   Total: £27

Golf Monthly leads by: £72.08

True Thailand Classic 2015

Prize Fund – €2,000,000LOGO TRUE THAILAND CLASSIC FINAL

Winner’s Share – €289, 862

Course – Black Mountain Golf Club (7, 420 yards par 72)

Our 2014 Picks – New Tournament

A new tournament to the European Tour calendar comes in the shape of the True Thailand Classic.  Not the greatest field has been assembled but this is a marquee event for Thailand, as it will be the biggest prize fund of $2 million ever seen for golf in the country.

The co-sanctioned events between Asian and Europe often throw up surprises in the betting, with stalwarts of the Asian Tour at long odds regularly bag a place.  But rarely do they win… So absolutely fantastic effort from Anirban Lahiri last week, not only against the odds (literally) but coming from absolutely nowhere to overhaul Lee Westwood and Bernd Wiesberger.  The latter of the 2 must be wondering what the bloody hell they’ve gotta do to win a tournament…

So, moving onto this week, where as we’ve already mentioned, the field is nowhere near as strong as Malaysia, therefore there’s the potential of a complete outsider storming through.

From what we can tell of the Black Mountain Course, it is firstly, absolutely gorgeous.  Interconnected waterways run through the undulating fairways surrounding mountains and full-on greenery.

So many beautiful colours! Credit: Richard Castka/Sportpixgolf.com

So many beautiful colours!
Credit: Richard Castka/Sportpixgolf.com

Native red grass make the colours sublime from an aerial shot, but will also hinder the players who are wild off the tee.  Whilst we’ve yet to see a European Tour event here, the Asian Tour has held a few tournaments in recent years.

We can’t really tell a lot from the players that have done well as we’ve got the likes of Prayad Marksaeng who won last year and he is a straight, short-hitting animal, whereas Scott Hend is the epitome of the term ‘bomber’ and he’s had a couple of top 7 finishes here.

It does seem relatively low scoring, so it will be important to attack from the front, but we will be going for players that are in form and have a knack for this sort of Thai challenge.

TwitterYou can follow us throughout the week on Twitter @downthe18th for the latest news, betting + banter. Please get in touch and let us know what you think of our picks and who you fancy as well!

Rikard Karlberg (50/1 Coral)

The suave Swede

The suave Swede

Who believes in fairytales then?  Well if you’re a cynic this bet won’t mean jot to you.  If you’re a believer then look no further than Rikard Karlberg this week.

He has all the headlines awaiting his name in Thailand and if he wins it will be one hell of a few days for the Swede.  Firstly, Black Mountain is his home course.  That may seem strange considering his native land is on another continent, but when you think that the owner is Stig Notlöv, also Swedish, it makes a tad more sense.

He would of played this track several times, because it’s not just about the golf on this resort, it is a holiday area and the perfect setting for holidays, weddings, whatever it may be.  And that’s where this tale gets even crazier.  The week after the climax of this event, Karlberg will be tying the knot with his long-term girlfriend at Black Mountain with all his friends and family coming over to not just the ceremony, but the 4 days golf as well.

He will have huge, vocal and unheralded support on every hole and that can only help his momentum as he strives to find the form that elevated him into attention when he was winning trophies in his early 20s.  He is still only 28, but has 7 professional wins to his name and having plied his trade on the Asian Tour, he’ll be more than used to the crowd, weather, surroundings, pretty much everything.

We know he missed the cut last week, but he will be so comfortable in his surroundings as he tees it up on Thursday.  He came over to play in the King’s cup last year which this track hosted and he finished clear 2nd.

He hits the ball long and is a decent iron player, so all the stars are aligned for Karlberg to begin his marriage on one hell of sound footing.

Prom Meesawat (50/1 StanJames)

If Meesawat finds the trees, his caddy is a sensational climber.  Cracking effort

If Meesawat finds the trees, his caddy is a sensational climber. Cracking effort

Now for the 2nd of our Black Mountain regulars.  Prom Meesawat is becoming one of the stalwarts of the Asian Tour and often pulls out impressive performances outside of his home continent.  He will, without doubt, be one of the crowds favourites being a Thai golfer and it would be fitting for a local lad to lift the trophy in this inaugural event in his home country.

In his 87 appearances on the European Tour, he has made the cut 57 times, which is not a bad return what so ever.  He finished T2 at the Hong Kong Open last year – still his best finish on the bigger tours to date.

Therefore, in our eyes, he’s getting better and better.  He is a ridiculous straight and accurate player, whilst very capable on the greens – 18th driving accuracy, 33rd putts per round on the European Tour and last season on the Asian Tour he was 28th putts per round, 35th GIR and 50th driving accuracy.

He has played here in the King’s Cup the last 3 times Black Mountain has hosted, finishing T15 and T40, before a T3 last year, where he shot the joint best round of the event – 65.  Last week in Malaysia he finished a respectable T25 and was consistently inside the top 25 for GIR and driving accuracy stats, so overall he has one heck of a chance here.

Paul Peterson (80/1 various)

So, ye Paul Peterson is also on the Nike roster...

So, ye Paul Peterson is also on the Nike roster…

Now, we didn’t really know a great deal about Paul Peterson before last week.  We’d seen his name a few times last season as he kept popping up in cracking positions on the Asian Tour and we saw that he was American.  Don’t know why, but we always get more excited about a golfer from the States plying their trade abroad than any nationality.  Just look at Uihlein and Koepka…

In his debut year on the Asian Tour, he recorded a ridiculous 8 top 10s in his 16 start, including 5 T4 finishes.  Basically, the lad was playing out his skin.  He has taken that form into this year as well, winning on the lower Egolf Gateway Tour – love the fact he went back down a level and shot a 64 and 67 to close out the victory – then he’s come to the European Tour and absolutely bossed it in his first outing.

A ridiculous 64 on the Saturday propelled him up the leaderboard and to finish T5 really is some achievement.  He was never outside the top 10 for driving accuracy and at the weekend found himself inside the top 25 for both GIR and putting stats.

He will be in supreme confidence and that is dangerous on a course where pretty much anyone can win and the field is not of the highest quality.

Wade Ormsby (50/1 various)

Wade Ormsby may have never played here, but he will certainly be used to the climate and tools required to perform well on the Asian Tour.  He has 7 top 10s on this Tour in the past couple of years, including a win over in India.

He ended 2014 in decent form as well, finishing T4 in Turkey and T9 in Perth, then going on to record a T2 finish at the Australia PGA Championship – losing in a playoff to Greg Chalmers (Adam Scott was also in that playoff) and when you look at that field you know he is not afraid of top players around him – Stallings, Boo Weekley, Leishman, Senden, De Jonge to name but a few.

Then last week he shot a 67 on the Sunday to finish T11, which should give him plenty of confidence coming into this week.  At the weekend he consistently found over 70% of fairways and was inside the top 25 for putting stats, which shows he’s in some form.

In no way is Ormsby a bad mid-range bet, considering the field.

Outsiders

Andrew Dodt (125/1 Ladbrokes) and Johan Edfors (100/1 Ladbrokes)

Love the barnet Johan, but not too sure about the pink

Love the barnet Johan, but not too sure about the pink

Our two outsiders this week come in the form of Andrew Dodt and Johan Edfors – and we like the look of both.

Firstly, Andrew Dodt has actually won on the European Tour before, back in 2010 at the Avantha Masters in India.  That being a co-sanctioned event gives us great confidence that the Aussie has the bottle to repeat such a feat if he was up there on Sunday.

He finished the season in Asia well last year, coming 2nd at the back end of 2014 in Thailand and he didn’t look too bad last week.  Off the tee he was an absolute animal, constantly over 300 yards (never dropped outside the top 6 for distance) and he was always inside the top 30 for accuracy, which on a course like this, could be a potent combination.

He’s also played here a couple of times, recording a T10 last year and T15 several years back.  Not a bad outsider what so ever!

Secondly Johan Edfors.  Now this is another Swede in our line-up and our 3rd player who has major associations with the club.  He is reaching the mid-late part of his career at 39 now and has had a very decent career, winning 3 European Tour titles and 9 professional trophies all together.  He has completely slipped off the radar recently though and this is a place it could all change.

He has played in and out of the Asian Tour, but actually won on this track by 2 strokes in 2009 (known as the Black Mountain Masters at the time) and he’s since record a T30 an T17 here.  He also won an ‘unofficial’ title here in 2013 on the Ecco Tour.  To sum up, he bloody loves it round here. He’ll know the place inside and out and that makes him a dangerous prospect.  He may not have played much golf over the recent weeks, but he did pick up a long overdue victory in China on the Challenge Tour in October last year (his first on the top Tours in 5 years) and all in all, this lad could really mark his return to the elite this week.

Golf Monthly £10 ChallengeGM_masthead-630x176

Every week we’re running a weekly betting competition on both Tours with esteemed magazine Golf Monthly.  It is a bit of fun between us and them to see who has the better tipsters!  We have £10 to put on each tournament and will write up a weekly post for their site detailing the horrors we are sure to endure throughout the year – so keep an eye out.

It will also (for the first time from us at DownThe18th) show some sort of staking plan we have for out bets.  Obviously, this isn’t the exact stakes we will put on our players, some weeks we won’t even enter a couple of our picks, but at least it can be shown roughly where our thoughts are money wise.

Our £10 against Golf Monthly will be as follows (http://www.golf-monthly.co.uk/news/tour-news/true-thailand-classic-golf-betting-guide-66041) –

£1.25 e/w on Rikard Karlberg at 50/1

£1.00 e/w on Prom Meesawat at 40/1

£1.00 e/w on Paul Peterson at 40/1

£0.75 e/w on Wade Ormsby at 50/1

£0.50 e/w on Andrew Dodt at 100/1

£0.50 e/w on Johan Edfors at 100/1

Each way bets ¼ odds for top 6 finish. Prices sourced from Paddy Power

Find the Golf Monthly Preview will be published here when available –

Current Standings after 4 weeks

DownThe18th                                 Golf Monthly

European Tour: £-29.20               European Tour:  £-30

PGA Tour: £-15.38                             PGA Tour: £57

Total: £-45.08                                   Total: £27

Golf Monthly leads by: £72.08