The European Tour moves in to its 2nd week of the season with 2 events being held. The Australian PGA Championships and The Mauritius Open... Now unfortunately DraftKings have decided not to cover the Mauritius Open which is by a very long stretch, far more of a European Tour event than the Australian PGA Champs... Not only is Mauritius considerably closer to European Soil but also has a massive representation of players that frequently play in Europe... So unfortunately and no disrespect aimed towards Ausi golf were left with the contest to compete in where almost every name to the average golf follower will be unknown..
Anyway enough of a moan about DraftKings stupidity and lets face it with Tiger back competing this is going to be an amazing week regardless of who and where everyone else is playing.
The Venue and Course
The 2017 Australian PGA Championship will be held at RACV Royal Pines Resort on the Gold Coast. RACV Royal Pines Resort has three 18 hole combination golf courses, including the Graham Marsh re-designed Championship course which hosts the Australian PGA Championship and the RACV ALPG Players Championship. Ideally located between the white sand beaches of Surfers Paradise and the lush Gold Coast hinterland, RACV Royal Pines Resort has been the home to the Australian PGA Championship since 2013
Set against a lush tropical background, just minutes from the beach to the east, this course will test the most astute golfer. From the championship tees it measures 7,364 yards, with six par 4s that measure more than 440 yards, four par 5s that are over 500 metres long and a 229 yard par 3. It all adds up to a tough series of holes when you factor in the parade of bunkers that come into play on most holes.
Key Stats and Strategy
Looking back at previous performances on this course, it certainly suggests that only a handful will get 4 days worth good of scoring under their belt and the field will be quite stretched. Last year only 40 players submitted 4 cards accumulating to a score under par and only 5 of those managed to reach double digits and only Harold Varner reaching the dizzy heights of -19. The year before thanks to extremely tough conditions only our 3 play off players (again one of those being HV3) managed to submit scores that were level to par, the rest of the field over par and many of those with scores you would normally hang your head in shame with..
So with all of that in consideration, the elements will no doubt determine the end result of this event and with such a varied and somewhat unknown field it could be a bit of a lottery event.
Personally I will be lowering my spend and enjoying the Tiger show. However of course I will be having a little dabble and entering a few line ups but maybe with a little lower expectation than I would of if I was covering the event in Mauritius.
CURRENT WEATHER - It is forecast to be a damp and breezy week for the players, showers forecast with the possibility of the odd thunderstorm to interrupt play...
The course will be playing long and tough but on the plus side for the players the greens will be receptive and for your ball strikers their should be plenty of chances to pick up birdies.
Certainly don't mind players who get the ball launching big distances off the tee. Although they may make the odd mistake they will gain on the par 5's and maybe be offered up with the easier scoring chances on the par 4's when the fairway has been hit.
It is always thought that Ausi players dominate this event, this is certainly true when looking at the percentage of the field they represent, however I would say this course is so similar to many played on the tour in Europe and with conditions being very similar as well its not a bad week to get behind those solid performers we all know and love.
Form from recent events in Europe, Australia, Asia and Japan.
Course fit and course history... certain players seem to love playing here and due to conditions I think the key to competing this week will be a good combination of accuracy and distance from the tee.
Bogey avoidance, could be massive in trying to get 6/6 through to the weekend. A score within a couple of par could be all that's needed.
Solid short game, I expect a few greens to be missed so someone with that get out of jail card in their pocket could bode very well here.
As with any week that hot short stick, with the advancements of technology and science behind the game... Too many hit the ball on a frozen bit of rope now and what it often boils down to is holing out when it counts
Sergio Garcia $11,500 - Ultimate ball striker
Cam Smith $10,700 - In fine form
$10,000 - $9,000
Wade Ormsby $9,500 - Win last week, returning home
Harold Varner $9,200 - Course history
Andrew Dodt $9,000 - Course history and fit
$9,000 - $8,000
Ryan Fox $8,800 - Big hitting birdie making gamble
Brett Colleta $8,400 - Course form, low owned.
Brett Rumford $8,300 - Course and recent form.
$8,000 - $7,000
Sam Brazel - $7,600 - Recent form returning to home soil.
Jack Sing Brar - $7,400 - Course and scoring fit, low owned.
Chris Hanson $7,200 - Recent form, course fit and ball striking.
Thomas Detry $7,100 - Recent form and course fit. (Cash game play)
$7,000 or less
Jason Norris $7,000 - Recent form and home soil.
Aron Price - Low owned gamble.
Sean Crocker $6,800 - Recent form.
Harrison Endycott $6,700 - Recent form, low price and ownership gamble.