94th PGA Championship – Pins (R2)!

If you ever thought a 10,000 metres open water swin looked hard, being pummelled for 12 minutes against a heavy weight boxer or a gold medal winning performance in the triathlon looked hard – take a look at some of these pin positions – in particular holes 12 and 13! Enjoy watching this on TV!

94th PGA Championship – Pins (R1)!

There are some tight pin positions on the opening round of the last shot at glory in 2012 over Kiawah Islands brutal Ocean Course. Take a look.

141st Open Championship – Pins (R4)!

Some cute pin positions on the final round of the biggest and most prestigious major tournament today – holes 9 and ten in particular. Im glad the sofa beckons as these are enough to halt anyones ascendancy up the leaderboard on final day!

FedEx Cup: AT&T National

Fed Ex Cup:        AT&T National

“Thank you for calling the AT&T National, please hold….“

Welcome to The Old Line State – Maryland; America in miniature with Countryside that ranges from sandy dunes dotted with sea grass in the east, to low marshlands teeming with wildlife and large bald cypress near the bay, to gently rolling hills of oak forest in the Piedmont Region, and pine groves in the mountains to the west. Despite the 3,400 mile distance, this is McIlroy County – home of Rory’s sensational US Open victory in 2011 but he’s not hearing the call (he’s in Ireland) – leave a message – tell him it’s the greatest game on grass and the PGA Tour is dialling in!

Date:                     28th June – 1st July 2012

Venue:                 Congressional Country Club (Blue Course), Bethesda, Maryland

Steeped in tournament history, Congressional has hosted many leading tournaments from juniors, ladies and seniors to majors in the form of the PGA and US Open as well as this established annual gathering – although the AT&T has had a 3 year absence from the roster at this venue and this year is 314 yards longer than it was in 2009! The exclusive Club counted Woodrow Wilson, Dwight D Eisenhower and Gerald Ford amongst its esteemed members and is so posh that the ice cubes are frozen twice to help them last longer in their G&T’s – now that’s cool!

Yards:                   7,569 yards

Par:                        Par 71

Field:    

“Just one moment please….”

If you are looking for your AT&T host – he’ll be a long in a minute, as for the first time since he took the trophy back in 2009 Tiger Woods (11/2 with SkyBet) has accepted an invite – from himself!! This invite only event at the Congressional is restricted to a field of only 120 including nine players who have already won on the 2012 PGA Tour, 11 major championship winners with a mantelpiece holding 28 major trophies and two of the current top three in the FedEx Cup standings, all of whom will be competing for a $6.5 million purse and a winner’s cheque in the region of $1,100,000.

Consider…:

“How may I direct your call?”

The World watched in 2011 as McIlroy obliterated the US Open field, and we knew the Blue course was tough – some would say brutal, but the scores were unlike many a US Open for at least 19 players ended in red numbers! It may not quite play so brutal this time around but the course still hosts tricky but rewarding holes – no more so than the 489 yards par 5, 6th hole and the 471 yard par 4, 12th holes that could make a big difference to a cards.

Ones to watch:

Potentially the hottest player on the Tour without a victory (yet) this year, Ryan Palmer (37/1 with BetDaq), if recent history is anything to go by, could see another finish in a placed position this week. In his last five starts, he’s posted four top 10s including in each of his last three outings. At a staggering aggregate 33-under in those 4 starts, with averaging 3.74 birdies per round and having finished 21st in 2011 U.S. Open, he knows how brutal but rewarding the course can be.

England’s Brian Davis (90/1 with BetDaq) recorded his third fourth place finish of the year at the Travelers Championship where he shared the 54-hole lead. He ranked within the top 10 in fairways hit, greens reached and birdies obtained at TPC River Highlands. He is certainly consistent currently sitting 29th on the PGA Tour in the all-around ranking but has yet to make the breakthrough into the winners circle and as such, it may just be a podium (and no more) on this call.

Ones to win:

Bo Van Pelt (35/1 with BlueSq) tied for 24th at the Travelers delivering his fourth top 25 in five consecutive starts and his ninth of the year from 13 cuts made! He is currently sitting fifth on the PGA Tour in total driving accuracy, 52nd in greens hit and third in Strokes Gained-Putting and tied for 14th at Congressional in the 2011 U.S. Open. The World number 32 sits 37th on the FedEx Cup and with a few strong events could be a contender for a valuable Ryder Cup spot in Chicago.

Scot Martin Laird (63/1 with BetDaq) is a good call this week in theory, if you consider his length off the tee and the frequency of hitting greens in regulation (he currently sits 10th in the Tour rankings). Like some of Scotland’s other finest exports, he has a tendency to play the difficult courses well – coping well with the firm and fast conditions that suit his game. With warm, dry weather expected, don’t expect him to lose his cool.

Trick shots:

“I’m just putting you through…”

On fire Marc Leishman fresh from his win at the Travelers last week, returns 147/10 with BetDaq to finish on Sunday in a place… and with two top fives in his last 4 outings, you wouldn’t bet against it would you?

Martin Laird also delivers 51/10 (also with BetDaq) for a top ten finish – he has had three already in 2012 and 18 in his career. The odds are looking in our favour…

Thank me later!

FedEx Cup: Travelers Championship

Fed Ex Cup:        Travelers Championship

We have crossed from the Pacific to near the Atlantic as the greatest game on grass arrives in the 3rd smallest state – Connecticut. Now they say ‘the past is a foreign Country, they do things differently there’ and looking at this place that maybe true (that’s what happens when the Irish and Italians get together!) but look a little closer and the stereotypes are not so true – this place is clever. It’s famous for Yale and Trinity, George Bush, Martha Stewart and Paul Newman! Join them clever folks at the insurance capital of the world at the Travelers (spelling?) Championship!

Date:                     21st – 24th June 2012

Venue:                 TPC River Highlands Course, Cromwell, Connecticut

The TPC Network provides the ultimate host venues for PGA Tour events and here we are at yet another quality resort course to see how this week’s story plays out. The TPC River Highland course meanders over 148 acres with corridors of mature maple, oak, sycamore and pine trees framing gently rolling fairways while lakes and ponds add to the golf course’s beauty. The course is a well-balanced golf test with a mixture of long and short holes but overall it’s a short one at a par three under 7,000 yards so expect low scoring – likely around the 20 under mark.

Yards:                   6,841 yards

Par:                        Par 70

Field:                   

Playing the pantomime dames this week could be one of nine 2012 winners holding 10 pieces of silverware including Bubba (33/1), 12 major champions holding 17 major trophies including Angel Cabrera (125/1) and Keegan Bradley (40/1) and seven former winners including last years’ winner Frederick Jacobson (40/1), old timer Kenny Perry (100/1) and, on the plus side, Brad Faxon who will return beautiful odds of 1,500/1 if he pulls it off again in 2012! Even here, the lord loves a trier… (All bets StanJames)

Consider…:

It really is anyone’s call this – few of the top world ranking are playing but still the quality of the field is apparent and scoring could be very low despite TPC River Highlands boasting a tough finishing stretch. The 15, 16 and 17th holes all play around a four-acre lake and the four-hole collection is, according to Stewart Cink, the man that robbed Tom Watson of his final major trophy “four of the most exciting finishing holes in a group anywhere in the world.”

Ones to watch:

Making his professional debut after two years at “school” is Patrick Cantlay (80/1 with Bet365) – the first second year student ever to win the Ben Hogan Award. He leaves his amateur status on top of the world amateur rankings and his 60 in the second round here last year was just the 25th score in the history of the PGA Tour! Overall in 2011, he posted 4 top 25s in eight starts and has survived seven cuts including the Masters and 2 U.S. Opens – now the games a bogey!

Despite sharing his name with the elephant man, the marginally better looking real John Merrick (60/1 with SkyBet) finished in second place at the St. Jude Classic two weeks ago – one of just two golfers with four rounds in the 60s – and ranks 23rd in greens hit and 43rd in birdie average. Despite his middle of the road stats he was tied for 11th here in 2009 and shared ninth last year. I’d watch him as the other John said, ‘people are frightened by what they don’t understand…’

Ones to win:

Coming off a sterling 68 to grind out a fourth place at the US Open and with three top ten finishes and 6 top 25s from 9 cuts made in the US already, Padraig Harrington (29/1 with BetFair) is also a solid sand player on a course that has 119 bunkers. He’s eighth in scoring average, and also finished T5 here in 2010. With the Ryder Cup selection looming, it’s crucial that he starts to focus on either European points or Global points so the pressure is well and truly on.

From 2006-2009, this tournament flicked the switch that started Hunter Mahon’s (25/1 with SkyBet) summer however, in the last three years, he’s done the damage earlier in the year. That said, the 2007 champ currently ranks sixth in greens hit and 24th in adjusted scoring and has won there in 2007, runner-up in 2008 and 2009 and is in the midst of arguably his best season on Tour. Key to success this week though is his stats lying 6th in Greens in regulation top 25 in scoring.

Trick shots:

Sang-Moon Bae is 6/1 with SkyBet for merely completing this in a top twenty finish. With three top twenties already polled from 16 events in 2012, the South Korean is highly likely to reward your vote of confidence.

JJ Henry allows generous odds of 11/1 with William Hill for one step better than Mr Bae – a top ten finish. With two top tens from ten cuts made – your odds are looking better by the minute!

Ryan Moore is 33/1 with StanJames for first round leader – emulating the feat he achieved last year with Andres Romero.

Thank me later!

112th US Open Championship – Pins (R4)!

Saturdays hole locations were tough enough. Take a final look at the fourth and final rounds locations. In particular, observe the knife edge you play with on the last… Thank goodness its them and not me!

112th US Open Championship – Pins (R3)!

If you ever think that they put the pins in a hard place for your Club Championship – what about these tricky and unforgiving pin placements for the 112th US Open Championship at the Olympic Club in San Francisco?