Thursday, September 30, 2010

2010 Ryder Cup - Friday Morning Odds and Picks

NEWPORT, WALES - SEPTEMBER 30: General View of crowds during the Opening Ceremony prior to the 2010 Ryder Cup at the Celtic Manor Resort on September 30, 2010 in Newport, Wales. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
The WAGS have retreated to the background. Captain Colin has remained relatively Malaprop free. What's left, the sun sets in the East? The betting houses stand to reap the largest reward with Celtic Manor hosting. The Brits will bet on how long a fly will stay on a sausage. Ladbrokes lists Europe as 4/7 to win back the Cup and the USA as 7/4 to retain it. As defenders the US would keep the trophy should this week's matches end in a tie.

Here's a look at the first fourball, (best ball), matches that start in a few hours.  As much as I love the Ryder Cup I'm not playing night owl to get a glimpse.

Match 1 - Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson vs. Lee Westwood and Martin Kaymer
Match 2 - Stewart Cink and Matt Kuchar vs. Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell
Match 3 - Steve Stricker and Tiger Woods vs. Ian Poulter and Ross Fisher
Match 4 - Bubba Watson and Jeff Overton vs. Luke Donald and Padraig Harrington

Not much surprise in matches 1 or 3 other than Pavin's decision to send Mickelson's group out first rather than Woods'. Westwood's injury may very well tell the story. Stricker and Woods, by all accounts, should handle Poulter and Fisher. Fourball is a birdie hunt. That's why I expect the US to win both matches, with a worst case scenario being 1 1/2 pts. grabbed by groups 1 & 3.

Groups 2 & 4 have potential disaster written all over them for the US. Cink has played well since winning the 2009 Open Championship and Kuchar, by his own admission, is exhausted. I still can't figure out how a pro golfer can become exhausted plying his trade. Geez, it ain't brick laying! McIlroy could have a birdie putt on every hole. McDowell's riding the crest of his US Open win and has played well all summer. Give this one to the Euros. Match 4 is bewildering. Bubba and hot-head Jeff Overton, both Ryder rookies, force Furyk and Zach Johnson to sit. It's great to get the rooks out on the course, but spread it out a little Pavin and don't pair them. Watson and Overton can make a lot of birdies. Why not spread the wealth? On the downside, they can lose a lot of balls as well. Why not dilute that with a more experienced partner? Hey, if they win, Pavin's brilliant.

To finish, I see us losing matches 2 & 4 and hopefully pulling out matches 1 & 3. I think the morning will conclude Euros 2 1/2, USA 1 1/2. Stay close til' Singles Sunday.

Til' next,

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

THE TOUR Championship 2010 - Odds and Expert Picks

LEMONT, IL - SEPTEMBER 10: Adam Scott of Australia lines up a putt on the eighth green during the second round of the BMW Championship at Cog Hill Golf & Country Club on September 10, 2010 in Lemont, Illinois. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
30 men enter, one leaves $10,000,000.00 richer. That's 2.5 mil. per round for you math majors. THE TOUR Championship at East Lake is the venue for the home stretch of the FedEx Cup and last money event of the year for the chosen 30. Conspicuously absent will be Tiger Woods, winner of two of these things, but not qualified in this his meltdown year. Let's hope he's home working out the obvious kinks in his game in the run up to the Ryder Cup.

If you've been to this site before you know the drill. We use Ladbrokes, the venerable British betting houses' latest odds, comment on player's chances or lack thereof, then pick three top picks and a dark horse. Sounds easy doesn't it? Well, if it was that easy everybody would be doin' it. So, without any pomp or circumstance, here we go.....

Phil Mickelson, 7/1 - Favorite with no betting public pulling for Woods. Can't keep it on the property. Won't win.

Steve Stricker, 8/1 - Would be 16/1 with Woods in the field. Could win, won't. Stricker's solid, just missing the magic from previous years.

Matt Kuchar, 10/1 - Shoulda woken up by now. Hasn't, so, could win.

Dustin Johnson, 10/1 - Monkey off his back? Maybe. Maybe not. 10 mill tightens things up a tad. Could win.

Paul Casey, 14/1 - Has motivation plus after Monty Ryder snub. Average Golfer gives him a legit shot.

Adam Scott, 14/1 - Playing better than I thought he would of late. Seems to be out of 3 year slumber. Kid could win.

Jim Furyk, 16/1 - I've picked him all year only to be let down. Putter isn't the same as his best years. Won't win.  

Ernie Els, 16/1 - Big fella loses when I pick him, wins when I don't. Like to see him win, so I won't pick him.

Luke Donald, 20/1 -   Lovely short game helps. If the putter's hot, Luke could win here.

Retief Goosen, 20/1 - Goose has let me down all year. No reason to think that changes this week. Won't win.

Zach Johnson, 20/1 - Just the venue for ZJ. Holds the course record, 60. He'll sneak up on Sunday and win before anyone knows what hit them. Could win.

Best of the rest.....

Everyone's good this late into the playoffs. Notables to watch include Mahan, Day, Watson, Rose, Moore, Watney, Palmer, and hot Hoffman. Seriously, no great surprise if any one of the 30 pulls out a victory. Full field and 1st round tee times.

Average Golfer's Picks

1. Adam Scott
2. Ernie Els
3. Zach Johnson

Long Shot (If you could call it that)

Ryan Moore

Sentimental Pick

Bubba Watson      

There you have them. No charge, gratis, on the house. Thank me with monetary gratitude. You're welcome. 

Bet early and often.

Til' next,

Friday, September 10, 2010

2010 BMW Championship - Casey Win(s) Would Give Monty Heartburn

AUCHTERARDER, SCOTLAND - AUGUST 29: Colin Montgomerie,The European Ryder Cup captain, talks to the press during his announcement of his three captain's picks after the final round of The Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles at the Gleneagles Hotel and Resort on August 29, 2010 in Auchterarder, Scotland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

Paul Casey carded a pair of 69s in the first two rounds of the BMW Championship at Cog Hill. That placed him two strokes behind Charlie Wi and Matt Kuchar. Casey's well within sniffing distance to claim a win and provide European Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie with a serious case of second guessing. Currently 14th in the FedEx Cup standings, Casey's a virtual lock to advance to the season ending event, THE TOUR Championship, one week before the Ryder Cup. He'll be in a field of only 30, thereby increasing his odds of Monty regretting skipping over the 9th ranked player in the world when selecting his Ryder squad. Part of the rationale in not choosing Casey was his full time involvement in the PGA Tour. Somehow that didn't digest well with Euro xenophobes. Truth is Casey has teed it up in 2010 in 11 European or joint PGA/Euro tournaments. At Cog Hill today some American spectators were heard offering Casey a temporary green card and selection to the US team. I don't care who you are, that's funny.

Monty has the unique ability to open mouth, insert foot. I'm looking forward to the inevitable gaffes afforded by open microphones in the next few weeks. Some people are just natural targets. Lotsa room for a bullseye on ole' Monty. Should be fun!

Til' next,

Thursday, September 9, 2010

2010 BMW Championsip - Woods, Mickelson Flop

PARAMUS, NJ - AUGUST 26: Matt Kuchar watches his tee shot on the 11th hole during the first round of The Barclays at the Ridgewood Country Club on August 26, 2010 in Paramus, New Jersey. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Tiger Woods is reportedly working on a new swing under the eye of Sean Foley. What's Phil's excuse? Neither Ryder Cup teammate looked the part of #s 1 and 2 in the world at the BMW Championship as Woods struggled to a +2, 73 and Mickelson posted a +1, 72, both in contrast to 1st round leader Matt Kuchar's -7, 64. Woods began his day with a double bogey on his first hole and then played par golf the rst of the way. He hit 36% of the fairways and 56% of the greens, hardly inspiring numbers. Mickelson by comparison hit just 50% of the fairways and 61% of the greens to back up his 73. Woods had posted 11 consecutive rounds in the 60s here at Cog Hill prior to today's pedestrian performance. Neither player was exactly confidence inspiring with an impending Ryder Cup on enemy turf looming.

Fanning the flames for Player of the Year consideration was Matt Kuchar, whose brilliant 64 led Ryan Moore by one and Ian Poulter by two at day's end. Kuchar nailed 64% of his fairways, 78% of his greens in regulation and needed just 26 putts to complete the circuit. Kuchar entered the event 1st in FedEx Cup points and appears to be feathering his already comfortable nest. Full Field 1st Round Scores.

Woods is attempting to become the first player to begin the FedEx Cup "playoffs" outside of the top 100 and qualify for the Tour Championship which consists of the last 30 men standing. Not lookin' real good for Tiger.  

Stay tuned to Average Golfer as the drama unfolds....

Til' next,