WGC Cadillac Championship

WGC Cadillac Championship

Well. We have barely finished popping the corks celebrating our new world number one player and even before the hangovers have subsided and the full English breakfast has been digested, we are off again! It seems there is no rest for the wicked as the greatest show on grass rolls on…

Thankfully, it’s not even 90 miles from the PGA National and as with their other fine events, the World Golf Championships have brought together the best golfers in the world again to a special venue in the latest chapter of the WGC series.

Date:                     7th – 11th March 2012

Venue:                 Doral Golf Resort & Spa, Florida, USA – Blue Monster Course

Well. The famed TPC Blue Monster Course of the Doral Golf Resort & Spa has played host to the PGA Tour for almost 50 years. In fact, virtually every great name in golf has had a moment of personal triumph at this world-class venue. Originally designed by Dick Wilson, this course provide a challenging test for the world’s best players. At 7,334 yards, both length and finesse are needed to score well on this historic course. The now named TPC Blue Monster features the famous 18th hole, a demanding par 4 that is ranked consistently as one of the Top 100 Holes in the World.

Yards:                   7,334 yards

Par:                        Par 72

Field:                   

Well. The field here at Trumps new $150 million toy rivals that of any major and includes the top ten golfers in the world, the top golfing ten on the PGA Tour, the ten top golfers a-top the FedEx Cup standings and golfs top ten from the one and only European Tour as well as all of the winners of the bigger events on the all three of the worlds best tours. Funny what effects an $8,500,000 purse and a $1,500,000 winners cheque can carry. Interestingly, and perhaps reflective of the global game, if Poulter makes it through the man flu, 38 of the 74 field will be regular European Tour players.

Not everyone can be a punters’ favourite though – the WGC also has some also-rans in Tetsuji Hiratsuka, Garth Mulroy, Juvic Pagunsan and Tadahiro Takayama (all 969/1 with BetDaq). In case the long odds are your tipple.

Consider…:

There’s a lot to consider this week including Nick Watney (37/1 with BetDaq), last years winner and holder of two of the top ten shots from 2011 however, his putting may be a little too inconsistent to ignite your interest. Then there is the return of Paul Casey (242/1 with BetDaq!), after his long awaited recovery from a snowboarding injury at Christmas. Then lets not forget Tiger Woods (33/5 with BetDaq) – whose last win here in 2007 ensured that he was the first played in Tour history to win the same event six times! His current form, especially his closing course record 62 on Sunday, means he once again means business.

Ones to watch:

Four events in to 2012 and with two top tens and a victory to his name, WGC Match Play Champion Hunter Mahan has relatively long odds for someone in such competitive form. At 38/1 (with BetDaq) these generous odds are largely due to his form flying under the radar while the big four make all the noise – it is Mahan who sits quietly in the top ten of much of the stat line items on the PGA Tour and it is there in black and white that no one scores better than him on the front nine!


Our new world number one on this rich vein of form must always be worth watching as its Rory McIlroy (13/2 at BetFred) who is deadliest on tour with scrambling – ably demonstrated by the performance at the Honda Classic this weekend past. That said rightly pipping Westwood (above to the top of the stats board) is Rors who leads the PGA Tour in putting, scrambling and scoring – no wonder then that he leads the Race to Dubai, is second in the PGA Money List and heads the world rankings. But when will his bubble burst?

Ones to win:

I have to admit to not being his greatest supporter but it’s great to have golf’s biggest attraction back in the mix at the business end of the leaderboard on a Sunday. With those six victories in this very event to his name, a hot putter and a lightening resurgence up the world rankings (now in 16th) its’ Tiger Woods (7/1 at Ladbrokes) who as second favourite, still has a lot to prove to win on the PGA Tour once again. Would you bet against him?

With 6 events played on both sides of the pond culminating in 4 top 5s and no worse than a 17th place – its England’s Lee Westwood who has again lost out in the title race for the world number one spot but who will likely once again challenge this weekend. Westwood ranks in the top 5 on the PGA Tour in scrambling, proximity to the hole and scoring and comes with odds as long as 15/1 with BetDaq.

Trick shots:

Dorals favourite poster boy Nick Watney with a -2 handicap is at 10/1 with PaddyPower.

Justin Rose to be first round leader returns odds of 50/1 with William Hill.

Thank me later!

WGC-Accenture World Match Play Championships

Fed Ex Cup:        WGC-Accenture World Match Play Championship

As the eyes of the golfing globe focus on Tucson, the Worlds’ top 64 golfers will this week try to etch their names into the golfing history book. Billed as the corner stone of the highly regarding WGC series, the WGC Accenture World Match Play Championship has a whopping $8.5 million dollar prize pot and a Redknapp themed (allegedly) tax avoiding moonlight flit by the winner to hide $1.4 million – sadly with recognition on the PGA, European Tour and the Japan Golf Tours as evidence and exhibit A: the famous mildly camp and twee looking oversized granny-esque looking fruit bowl in the living room – the Walter Hagen Cup.

All matches are held over 18 holes including the final. The losers of the semi-final matches play an 18-hole consolation match for third place. This five-day, six-match tournament begins on Wednesday, with a match per day through Friday. The quarterfinals and semifinals are played on Saturday; the finals and third-place match conclude the tournament on Sunday.

Date:                     22nd – 26th February 2012

Venue:                 Ritz-Carlton GC, Dove Mountain, Marana, Arizona

Legendary champion Jack Nicklaus took advantage of the High Sonoran Desert Brokeback Mountain-style setting to integrate strategy, variety and fair shot values into his Signature Design golf course at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, Dove Mountain.

The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, Dove Mountain is his first Tucson golf course in 25 years, playing at elevations ranging from 2,300 to 3,200 feet. Nicklaus created 27 holes with unique challenges and distinct character, blending naturally among noble saguaros and the surrounding Tortolita Mountain Range.

Yards:                   7,791 yards

Par:                        Par 72

Field:                   

Donald (18/1 with ToteSport) will go into the first WGC event of the year as the top seed and, for the first time, all four top qualifiers are European with Lee Westwood (22/1 with BetDaq), Rory McIlroy (13/1 with StanJames) and Martin Kaymer (25/1 with BlueSq) occupying the top four positions in the World Ranking although Rory McIlroy could take the number one spot this week if dominoes topple a certain way.

There are also 23 Americans in the 64-man field … and 10 of those Americans are in the Hogan bracket, led by No. 2 seed Steve Stricker (44/1). The Hogan bracket also has all four Golf Boys in it — No. 5 Bubba Watson (41/1), No. 6 Hunter Mahan (57/1), No. 9 Rickie Fowler (69/1) and No. 12 Ben Crane (79/1 – all BetDaq). Watson and Crane will face off in the first round.

There are some interesting first round duals taking place on Wednesday including Luke Donald vs. Ernie Els (137/1) (top overall seed vs. last seed); Keegan Bradley (47/1) vs. Geoff Ogilvy (51/1) Ogilvy, the two-time champ, is a 12th seed!); Dustin Johnson (36/1) vs. Jim Furyk (82/1) (power vs. precision) and there is potential for a Snedeker (69/1)  Vs Stanley (49/1) in match 2 that also might mean must watch TV. (All bets BetDaq)

WGC Accenture World Match Play Championship Bracket

What to know:

The weather forecast is scheduled to be around 20 degrees Celsius with no more than a one club wind across the five days of tournament play.  What does that mean? That it shouldn’t be as cold as last time around and therefore possibly does not lean in favour of the Europeans quite as much as last year?

Staggeringly the new leaner, meaner and fitter Darren Clark is 250/1 rank outside for this event! Interesting odds given he won this tournament in 2000 pipping Tiger Woods at the post and that his record in Match Play is pretty decent including in the Ryder Cup and this very tournament. Albeit you should recognise the form guide for Clarke is not filled to the brim with positives about his current form.

Ones to watch:

Poster boy, Nick Watney (49/1 with BetDaq) – not on form but he makes a shed load of birdies and so the attacking style must be worth watching – especially with an easy-ish entry to the event with a head to head with Mr Clarke (see above!).

The perpetually young looking Sergio Garcia (20/1 with Paddy Power) enters this big tournament after an earth shattering final round 64 at last week’s Northern Trust Open. Belongs to a particularly strong group with three of the 4 major winners in it – but with that sort of form, its confirmation that he’s back to his very best.

Ones to win:

Dustin Johnson (36/1 with BetDaq) – will need to break the duck of his last three appearances here but his current form in undeniable; striking the ball long and accurate – DJ will make light work of the nearly 8,000 yard track and provided he makes it to round two and beats Furyk then Scott (34/1 at BetDaq) and then Donald will be right in it come the business end of the weekend.

With a core speciality that is avoiding making bogeys, it is Matt Kuchar (50/1 with SkyBet) who is sticking his head above the parapet this week and will be fighting his way in every match. Accurate and deadly with a putter – his form in 2011, showed he was a major contender and as the next big tournament on any tour, a win here would put him some way to show his true metal and with relatively long odds this weekend, a win would be just a Kuchie coup….

Trick shots:

The competitive Ian Poulter is at odds of 12/1 with BWin to reach the final! Perhaps a bet worth taking, win or lose …

Dustin Johnson AND Rory McIlroy to make the final and you will receive a massive 100/1 with BWin. Go do it! Even a pound… I dares ya!

Oh, and you can thank me later!