Australian PGA Championship Betting Tips
Robert Cobley is a maths graduate with years of experience in the sports betting industry. He has now teamed up with Bet UK to bring his golf betting tips to our readers.
Royal Pines Resort, Benowa - Queensland, Australia - Par 72, 7,380 Yards
We head to the beautiful Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia for the final event of 2019 at the Royal Pines Resort 10 minutes drive inland from the lively seaside resort of Surfers Paradise. This wonderful part of the World is home to some of the most picturesque and challenging golf courses anywhere in Australia, and this 1990 Tomojiro Maruyama design is no exception. A composite 18 holes on a complex of 27, this week's venue is made up of the "green" and "gold" nines (the patriotic Australians sticking to their national colours), and should provide a more relaxed and conquerable challenge than that posed by Royal Melbourne at last week's enthralling Presidents Cup. Royal Pines is a tree lined, largely flat, course with rivers and trees running along the fairways. It is generally more picturesque than challenging, but players will need to avoid complacency if they are to be successful this week.
The fairways here are quite narrow by Tour standards, although the couch grass rough could be more penal, so whilst there is more of an emphasis on driving here at Royal Pines than some of the bigger, more open, venues, there is no significant punishment for slightly wayward drives. Players, especially the bigger hitters could find trouble if they are significantly off line, and it's possible to run up big numbers with bad driving here, so i will generally favour the consistent, straighter, hitters. This is supported by the fact that lakes eat into several fairways making overpowering the course almost impossible, and players will need to think strategically throughout the round.
Lakes, as well as significant bunkering, also provide the biggest defence for the approach shots here. There are over 100 green side bunkers (although not all are realistically in play for these players), and if players are able to avoid these obvious hazards, there are also large runoff areas to contend with, making this primarily a second shot course. Any player whose shots do run off the green will need an extremely strong short game to get up and down as they are chipping back against the grain (direction of the grass), making both contact and ball speed exceptionally hard to control. To contend, players will need to hit a high number of greens in regulation. Failing that, a superb short game will be required, and it is no surprise to see home grown players taking four of the last five titles here.
Last Five Winners:
|2015||Nathan Holman||Level Par|
The Market Leaders
Adam Scott (11/2) edges out his fellow Australian, and two time Australian PGA Champion, Cameron Smith (6/1) to enter this week as the bookmakers favourite in Queensland. Scott's game has been relatively uninspiring of late, and he has failed to follow up his best PGA Tour season for 10 years with any significant showings over the Asian and Australian swings of the Tour over the past couple of months. That has been followed by a largely lacklustre showing at the Presidents Cup last week, and Scott will be looking to bounce back in the last event of the year. Previous visits to Royal Pines have been kind to the Australian number one with a win in 2013 followed by a runner up place the next year, and a subsequent third before missing the cut on his last visit in 2017. The course should be fairly suitable with Scott's accurate and intelligent long game able to put him ahead of the majority of what is a fairly weak field. The concerns come with the iron play, and particularly the short game. Last week at Royal Melbourne, Scott found himself in the run off areas more times than he would care to imagine, and his recovery play was on the whole quite poor. With relatively little form, and a badly missed cut at the Australian Open two weeks ago, i am leaving Adam alone this week at a price that, to me, seems a little short.
Cameron Smith could push Scott to become the favourite as the week progresses. He had a fantastic Presidents Cup, capped off with a singles win over World number 5 Justin Thomas, and Smith is beginning to show his teeth as a top level competitor on Tour. Royal Pines perfectly suits Smiths strengths; he is a fairly diminutive character, and length is not a strength of his, but what he lacks in power he more than makes up for in accuracy, and an exceptional touch around the greens. Cameron won this event last year by two strokes over Marc Leishman (5 ahead of third place), and the year before triumphed in a playoff over Jordan Zunic so success here will not be unfamiliar to the twenty six year old who also finished in the top 10 in both 2015 and 2016. Although he hasn't played a great deal of stroke play golf lately, his game is indisputably in great shape, and it would be a surprise if Smith is not up there contending over the weekend.
Jason Scrivener (12/1) and American Cameron Champ (14/1) make up the remainder of the top of the market this week. Scrivener could be perhaps labelled a bit of a journeyman pro with only one win to his name at 30 years old, but he has been showing some promise of late with back to back top 10 finishes before another strong showing at the Australian Open where he tied for 13th place. That was followed by a week off, and the local lad also has relatively strong course form having finished in the top 20 on four of his last six appearances, including a career high 6th place last year. Scrivener is another with a very solid, but unspectacular, game, and he will likely be around all week. If he can make the putts that he needs at the crucial times then it isn't beyond him to contend, but the price is slightly too short for me. Champ is more explosive, and the young American has perhaps failed to live up to his billing this year, despite claiming his second PGA Tour win at the Safeway Open two months ago. Cameron is a spectacular talent, and his strength lies mostly in his phenomenal length from the tee. That said, he has a good all round game, and if things all come together for him this week then the price could look very generous come Sunday evening.
Rob’s Betting Tips
Headline Golf Betting Tip
At 46, and having suffered substantial injury problems over the past couple of years, many people could have been forgiven that they had about seen the last of Greg Chalmers. The Australian has 11 worldwide victories, including 5 on the PGA Tour, and 5 in Australia; including the 2014 Australian PGA Championship. That was at a happier time for Chalmers, but he did manage to post a hugely impressive 5th placed finish at the Australian Open two weeks ago on his return, and if he can repeat that type of form around Royal Pines, then the three figure quotes about him this week could look staggeringly inaccurate come the end of the week. Chalmers is an elegant left handed player (aren't they all), with a solid, accurate long game, and is terrific around the greens. Back in his hay day, Chalmers regularly ranked in the top 10 on the PGA Tour for driving accuracy, and his skills around the green, and ruthlessness when in contention made him one of the most feared players on leaderboards for many years. His prolonged absence is clearly written heavily into his price this week, but given the performance at the Australia Golf Club just two weeks ago, it seems crazy to write Greg off here at such a big price, and i see enough value to make him my headline selection this week with 2 points e/w at 100/1.
Other Betting Tips
Scotland's Calum Hill is enjoying a strong run around Asia and African to close 2019 after establishing himself on the European Tour over the course of the season. Hill is a strong player who has a great short game, and will be well suited to a lot of the challenges posed here, as he was two weeks ago when finishing in the top 20 at the Australia Club. Hill has gone largely unnoticed on Tour this year thanks to the exceptional performance of rookie of the year Robert McIntyre, but has used this swing of the Tour as his platform to really show off what he can do. One concern i do have over Hill is that length is an important part of his game, but he showed two weeks ago, and in Africa that he can put that strength aside and cope with the nuances and strategy required at a thinking player's venue such as this one. Whilst it is his first trip to Royal Pines, i see Hill as a cert to be in the top 20 and to push on to challenge for the title if he finds the course to his liking. In a relatively weak field, i am happy to have 2 points e/w at 25/1.
Andrew Dodt has been one of Australia's most consistent Worldwide performers over the past decade, collecting four wins across Europe, Australia, and Asia. This year has been a quieter one with a few top 10s on the European Tour being the best he can muster, but the World number 294 has recently stepped up his game with two top 5s in Asia before a disappointing missed cut at the Australian Open. This type of second shot should suit Dodt, who i had the pleasure of walking with at the Scottish Open a couple of years ago for his final 18 holes alongside Ian Poulter when neither player managed to play up to their best in the final group. He is, again, a straight hitter with a short game that is characteristically strong for an Australian player. What Dodt needs to do to contend this week is hit the 70% greens in regulation stat and get a few putts to drop. Although this is true of most of the field, Dodt should have the ability to avoid the big numbers, and to really put his foot down if he can get into contention. In his previous two visits to Royal Pines for this event, Andrew has finished 2nd and 15th so the synergy is clearly there, and i am happy to throw my weight behind him with 1 point e/w at 33/1 .
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