Well ladies and gents as promised there were going to be a few changes to the write up.. But if I’m honest I have to admit I am questioning the week I have chosen to do so especially with 3 events to cover and a bucket load of less familiar names to investigate. Thankfully the Hero is a baby sized field of the world elite and only being included as it’s a fantastic betting opportunity. However the two events on the European Tour Schedule have been an absolutely minefield to explore and research. Hopefully its all been worthwhile, you enjoy the changes but more importantly we find success and top up those bank balances at the end of the week.
Anyway lets get started with a little of the usual and a European Tour, DraftKings Preview for the Australian PGA Championship.
The 2018 Australian PGA Championship will once again 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 550 yards 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 of good of scoring under their belt and the field will be quite stretched. Last year 54 players from a field of 156 posted tournament totals below par, Cam Smith was the only player to post 4 rounds in the 60’s. 2 years ago 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.
CURRENT WEATHER - It has been hot and sunny leading up to the eventt and as we move into tournament play were expecting more of the same but with the potential of an interrupting passing thunderstorm or two.
The course will be playing firmer than last year and better suited to its design and yardage, they will be less inclined to push tees forward and we should get to see this course in its full glory.
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 also worth noting that the rough is far from punishing, so as long as those odd mistakes don't result in penalty strokes as a result of dropping from a hazard then maybe only birdie may be taken out of the equation on that hole.
This is most certainly an Ausi Dominated event.. this will be the 99th time this event has been held and so far it has been won by a home player on 80 occasions. Of course a huge percentage of the field represent Australia and that alone naturally increases the odds of a home player win. But you also have to factor in these guys are truly at home and feeling comfortable. Those that have made the journey from Europe have had to travel to the complete opposite side of the world, they will need to adjust to a 11 hour time difference and a flip in the climate.. I don't care how used to travelling you are or how well you travel. The mind and body are going to be out of sync somewhat and it cant help but have an affect on performance.
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 added focus to putting on Bermuda and slower speed greens. Green speed is expected to be 10ft on the stimp reading.
Marc Leishman - $11,500 - The class act in the field and in fine form right now. Having picked up a victory already at the CIMB, 18th at the CJ Cup with a strong finish and last week another very solid performance to earn the Ausi team a 2nd place finish at the World Cup. I have gone with Marc, over the obvious course form options in Smith and HV3, hoping they will between them swallow up a nice chunk of that ownership and Marc being at least $500 more expensive may cause many to avoid him, to be able to find more balance in their teams.
Lucas Herbert - $9,700 - It is very easy to look at Lucas’s form and think that their has been a bit of a dip in performance over recent weeks. However you have to consider the strength of the fields he was playing in during the Rolex Series season closer’s and looking throughout his 2017/18 season lets not forget how impressive he has been, especially within what are considered to be less top heavy fields. Last year he managed 7 top 10’s with one of those coming exactly a year a go at this event.
$8,000 - $9,000
Jake McLeod - $8,800 - Sticking very much with the Ausi theme, I have chosen to back the OOM leader for another big performance to go with his last two outing on the PGA Tour of Australia. Those being a win at the NSW Open and a 3rd place finish the following week in the Australian Open. Jake also has great form on this course and in this event with an 11th place finish in 2017 and a 25th place finish in 2016.
$7,000 - $8,000
Gaganjeet Bhullar - $7,300 - The last time I got behind Gaganjeet he did me very proud and picked up a win in Fiji. Ok I am not quiet expecting the same great result from him here but at this price and a great chance of a top 10 I will be rolling the dice on him again. Ticks those boxes for whats needed on this course and from what ive seen and heard seems very ready to put together 4 good rounds.
$6,000 - $7,000
Daniel Nisbet - $6,800 - Currently sat in 2nd place on the OOM and looking for a big performance to take the spoils. Admittedly didn’t play to well in his last outing, however considering the start he had its always tough to recover and narrowly missed out making the weekend. Prior to that he did show good form in the NSW Open placing 14th and has always competed well in this event in particular… 2014-MC, 2015-18th, 2016-62nd, 2017-20th. Another top 20 at this price will work perfectly for me however this year I believe we could see even better.
Bonus Pick - Cameron Smith - $11,500 - It was almost impossible to split Cam and Marc and although I have gone with Marc as my main play I will still have a share of Cam as well and even use him in a couple of Combo bets (Smith and Smith to win outright… (Stranger coincidences have already happened this year)
Australian PGA Championship (E/W 1/4 1-2-3-4-5)
Marc Leishman. (5/1, +500) (2 points)
Cam Smith. (6/1, +600) (2 points)
Jake McLeod. (40/1, +4000) (0.5 point)
Daniel Nisbet. (200/1, +20000) (0.5 points)
Afrasia Bank Mauritius Open (E/W 1/4 1-2-3-4-5)
Jordan Smith. (14/1, +1400) (2 points)
Trevor Fisher Jnr. (45/1, +4500) (1 point)
Joachim B Hansen. (80/1, +8000) (0.5 points)
Hero World Challenge (E/W 1/5 1-2-3-4)
Tony Finau (16/1, +1600) (2 points)
Henrik Stenson. (25/1, +2500) (1 points)
Gary Woodland. (28/1, +2800) (1 points)
E/W Treble (Bome Bet)
Marc Leishman, Jordan Smith, Gary Woodland. (3044/1, +304400) (1 point)