Audio Betting Guide Including 2018 Australian Open

Above Matt Kuchar the likely favourite for the Australian Open

This week we take a look at four events beginning with the Australian Open Championship at the Lakes Golf Club in Sydney.

We also cast an eye over the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai, the LPGA’s CME Tour Championship and the RSM Classic on the PGA Tour.

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Golf Betting Guide for November 8th

This week we take a look at the PGA Tour’s Mayakoba Classic in Mexico, the European Tour’s Nedbank Challenge at Sun City in South Africa and the Visa Taiheiyo Masters on the Japan Tour.

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Audio Betting Guide for November 1st.

This week we take a look at four tournaments on which betting is being held, the PGA Tour event in Las Vegas, the LPGA Tour event in Japan, the European Tour’s Turkish Airlines Open and the PGA Tour of Australasia’s Isuzu Queensland Open.

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Sarah Kemp’s decision vindicated

Rather than go through the process of trying to regain that status she made the decision to play only in Europe where she had experienced reasonable success earlier in her career and on the occasions in which she had ventured across the Atlantic from the USA.

In 2018 Kemp has been inside the top 12 in six of her 12 Ladies European Tour starts and she now lies in 5th place on the Order of Merit.

Kemp’s best finish of the season came when runner-up in Morocco and when 3rd in France.

Kemp first joined the Ladies European Tour in 2006 but in 2008 earned the right to play the LPGA Tour and has split her focus between the two tours for much of her career since.

Kemp has played three LPGA Tour events in 2018 although only one has been in the US where she qualified to play the US Women’s Open. She also played The Evian Championship in France courtesy of her Ladies European Tour status and the Australian Women’s Open in Adelaide.

Kemp was a former leading amateur in Australia and, while that success has not yet been carried over to the professional ranks, that she continues to put herself into position on the Ladies European Tour should see a breakthrough win before long for the still only 32 year old.

Audio Betting Guide October 25th

This week we take a look at the WGC HSBC Champions event in China, the LPGA Tour event in Taiwan and the alternate PGA Tour event in Jackson in Mississippi.

The WGC event understandably assembles most of the world’s best male golfers with the world number one, two and three, Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson and Justin Rose headlining the field.

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Audio Betting Guide for October 18th

After a little bit of success last week with In Gee Chun getting across the line at $21 in Korea and Lucas Herbert doing so well at $51 in Portugal, we have a little reserve to have another bet this week but like always betting is a week to week proposition and a small success is little to crow about as there are more losses than wins.

That won’t stop us from having a look again this week however and we investigate events in Spain, Korea, China and Japan.

Good luck with your investments.

 

RACV Royal Pines – Three Years On

Three year’s on from its initial role as host of the Australian PGA Championship, the fully revamped golf course layout at RACV Royal Pines on the Gold Coast again stages the PGA Tour of Australasia’s flagship event in late November.

The 18 holes of the championship layout (there are 27 in total at the facility) underwent massive redesign over two nine-month periods in 2014 and 2015, the golf course transformed from what was a relatively benign test with limited strategies, hardly in keeping with an event of the standing of the Australian PGA Championship and the Australian Ladies Masters.

It has always been a fine tournament venue for events such as the Australian Ladies Masters and others due to its location and accompanying facilities but now the revamped layout adds another dimension and in doing so offers an outstanding test for a tournament of the standing and history of the Australian PGA Championship.

As the layout has matured and established itself after such a hectic and intense redevelopment programme, it is clear, that in 2018, it will be at its best since those works were carried out and the PGA of Australia’s Director of Tournaments for the PGA of Australia, Andrew Langford Jones, confirmed just that.

Langford Jones was on the Gold Coast recently to inspect the course’s preparations and to talk over tournament set-up ahead of the event and could hardly contain his enthusiasm in the progress the layout continues to make.

“2018 is exciting from our point of view as it will be the first time the true course has had the chance, since the renovations and alterations, to show its real potential,” said Langford Jones.

“It has had two or three years now to settle in and we feel it will be easily the best condition the course has been in the now (including this year) six-year history of the event at Royal Pines.”

In those six years, Adam Scott won the event in 2013 when the original layout was used followed by Greg Chalmers in 2014 when only nine of the new holes had been completed, Nathan Holman in 2015 the first champion under the fully completed revamp, Harold Varner 111 in 2016 and in 2017 Cameron Smith who will defend his title this year.

Designer Graham Marsh with 2016 champion Harold Varner 111

The first year of the full redesign being used came in 2015 and the demands of a firm golf course layout completed a few weeks earlier were heightened by strong winds, both conspiring to cause chaos amongst a field which included USPGA Tour star Brandt Snedeker whose opening round of 84 saw him gone from the event before the weekend.

Rookie Nathan Holman won that year and in doing so earned the right to play the European Tour but his score of even par for the 72 holes told the story of a golf course more demanding than ever before experienced at RACV Royal Pines and there was, it has to be said, concerns over its universal appeal.

Holman defeated South African Dylan Frittelli and Harold Varner 111 in a playoff for the title that year and while Holman has struggled in his career since both Frittelli and Varner 111 are both now members of the PGA Tour.

Varner’s winning score of 19 under par in 2016 and Smith’s total of 18 under par twelve months ago told the story of a golf course that had overcome its controversial start and which, as it matured, was gaining increasing acceptance by those participating at the PGA Championship and, importantly, by RACV Resort’s guests and members.

Last year’s winner Cameron Smith was full of praise for a layout that he was enjoying more and more. “Yeah, probably this year has seen the most improvement,” he said after his win. “I think we’ve played three years on this course now since the redesign.

“Last year to this year was a huge improvement, just the grass filling in and you can actually play some shots that Mr. Marsh (course designer Graham Marsh) wants you to play.

“So it was nice to be able to do that because in years past you really couldn’t do anything with some of the holes.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cameron Smith is the defending champion in 2018

Twelve months on and the expectations are that it will be just that much better again.

Course Superintendent Lincoln Coombes is another excited about the prospects of what 2018 will bring in terms of course maturity.

“The fairway grasses have grown in fully now and the greens have grown into their profile and are a lot more forgiving and receptive than was the case in the first couple of years.

“The golf course has certainly grown into its strategies and I often talk to golfers who enjoy playing from the back markers, the members and the forward tees as they enjoy the range of strategies each offers.

“It is very much a thinking and strategic course now compared to previously and can’t be classed as just a resort course any longer which it probably was in the past.

“Obviously when you are laying turf on the sort of soils we were faced with here it takes time for the grass to get established and to build up that all important layer so the fairways are just so much better than they were three years ago.

“We have just completed our annual renovations and everything is pretty much on track to have the course at its absolute peak for late November.”

The par 5 15th hole

While the PGA Championship provides a great focal point for the Resort, David Hogben – Manager of Golf, Sports and Leisure at RACV Royal Pines had this to say on the reaction to the new course of both members and the visiting public.

“As the course has matured over the last three years it has been especially pleasing to hear the reaction to the layout of both our members and those visiting to play as guests. The general consensus is that it is a very strategic golf course and a considerably more aesthetically pleasing and enjoyable golf course than was the case previously.

“We have had many golfers joining from other clubs in the region and it appears nearly all are delighted with their decision to move to RACV Royal Pines.

“Importantly also, from us as an operator’s point of view, has been the improved capacity of the course to recover quickly from storms and for it to be back in play almost immediately, an additional and significant benefit of the redesign.

“The PGA Championship is, admittedly, a focal point of the calendar for us here at RACV Royal Pines but especially pleasing is the day to day reaction the course is receiving from golfers of all standards.”

The last word is saved for the man who was responsible for the redesign work, Graham Marsh, who was on the property this week as preparations ramped up for the PGA Championship less than seven weeks away.

“Last year we saw the benefit of two years grow in and it certainly played much better than was the case when the works were first completed and much of that can be attributed to the course being solid turfed.

“The benefit of solid turfing, which became necessary due to the time constraints of the project, is the immediacy it provided in getting the course back into play as soon as possible, the downside is that, naturally, it took longer for the grasses to develop and establish.

“That resulted in greens that were very firm in the first couple of years which is not how the golf course was meant to be played. I certainly did not want soft greens but because of the issues surrounding the turfing, the strategies and the quality of the pin positions we had created were not immediately apparent. They are certainly becoming that way now.

“I am very proud of what has been achieved by those involved at Royal PInes and its growing acceptance as a tournament, members and resort golf course and as always will be there at the PGA this year to see just how everything comes together.”

The driveable par 4 8th hole

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marc Leishman – Playing to Win

Just over twelve hours after his 4th PGA Tour victory at last week’s CIMB Classic in Malaysia, Marc Leishman was up early in Kuala Lumpur this morning to front a wide-ranging teleconference with Australian golf journalists.

Still a little jaded following the demands of his five-shot victory and an enjoyable celebration with colleagues at his tournament hotel last evening, Leishman was his typical candid and likeable self as he answered a series of questions on his win, his summer of golf in Australia, his career and what lies ahead.

Ten years on from joining the PGA Tour in 2009, a season in which he was named Rookie of the Year and made it all the way to the Tour Championship, Leishman was asked how what he had achieved thus far (US$24 million and 4 titles) compared to the expectations he held when first graduating to the PGA Tour.

“The first couple of years on the PGA Tour I just wanted to keep my card. Obviously I wanted to win tournaments but I was thinking about how to earn enough money to keep a card and have a job for the following year.

“Obviously it was always a dream of mine to win on the PGA Tour and win a major but now having won four times and the amount of money I have won I have probably exceeded my expectations to be honest but knowing what I am capable of my expectations have changed from the first couple of years on tour.

“It’s a lot easier now not having to play for my livelihood I guess. It is my job but I don’t think about the money at all. I am lucky to be in that situation that if I have a chance to win I am going to play to win rather than playing to not mess up and finish second or third.”

One of those changed expectations he now carries is to win a major and having recorded two top tens at Augusta National and three at the Open which of the majors does he see as most likely the one he would win.

“Probably one of those two”, he said referring to the Masters and the Open. “I am capable of winning any of them but I would think certainly the Masters or the Open. They both suit me in different ways but I will take whatever I can get (laughing).”

Leishman revealed that during his win yesterday he had learned a lot about his game and approach. “I think you learn more when you don’t win but this one I think I learned about my game and myself which I can out to good use in the coming months.

“I don’t stress too much but yesterday I learned even more. A lot of people put pressure on themselves and that’s not something I do. I practice hard and so when I got in a situation like yesterday that is how you test yourself as to whether you are doing the right thing and I enjoy that.

“It is not so much pressure to win the tournament in as much you have to win this tournament but pressure to do the things you need to do the best you can to win. Obviously, it is nice to be able to take a trophy home to the family but you realise that there a lot of good players out here and that you can’t win them all.”

With both Jason Day and Adam Scott missing the key events this summer on the PGA Tour of Australasia Leishman was asked whether there should be concern over the Australian Open given that essentially three of Australia’s four leading players are not in the field.

“As far as the Australian Open is concerned I don’t think there is anything to worry about. For me I don’t spend more then two weeks away from my kids so that’s the reason I’m not playing (he is committed to the World Cup and PGA the following weeks)”.

“As far as the other boys Jason’s wife is having a baby and am not too sure about Scotty circumstances but there are still plenty of good players.

“I hope to get back to play it in future years but the reason I am not playing and the same reason I am not playing in China next week is because of the fact that I like to be away from the family for only two weeks at a time.”

Leishman plays the second of two PGA Tour events in Asia this week when he tees it up at the CJ Nine Bridges event in Korea.

 

 

 

 

 

Audio Golf Betting Guide for October 11th

This week we take a look at the PGA Tour’s CIMB Asia Pacific Classic in Kuala Lumpur, the LPGA Tour’s KEB Hana Bank Open in Korea and the European Tour’s Sky Sports British Masters at Walton Heath near London.

Adam Scott plays Japan Open

Adam Scott returns to tournament golf this week, five weeks after playing his last event at the BMW Championship in Philadelphia.

Scott tees it up at this week’s Japan Open at the Yokohama Country Club, playing the event for the 34th occasion in the last five years.

Scott has a best of 7th in those three previous starts, that effort coming in 2015 when finishing eight shots behind the winner that year, Satoshi Kodaira.

Scott is currently 41st in the world ranking dropping ten positions from his standing at the start of the year although at one stage he had slipped outside the top 70 before a late season rally including a 3rd place at the PGA Championship and a 5th place finish at the first of the Fedex Cup Playoffs in New Jersey.

He was unable to make the Tour Championship field however and the BMW Championship was the last PGA Tour event he played in 2018 season.

Scott joins fellow Australians Brad Kennedy, Brendan Jones, Matthew Griffin, Won Joon Lee, Anthony Quayle, Scott Strange and amateur David Micheluzzi in the field for the ¥200,000,000 or A$2.43 million event.

Paul Sheehan was the last Australian to win the Japan Open that victory coming in 2006. Craig Parry was the previous Australian to claim the significant title when successful in 1997.