Thursday, June 20, 2024

Specials and prop picks for Pinehurst including Tiger Woods

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Ben Coley is backing Tiger Woods to make the cut in the US Open, one of four selections from the various specials markets.

Golf betting tips: US Open specials

1pt trixie Harman top lefty, Bezuidenhout top SA, Matsuyama top Asian (9/4, 7/4, 100/30 – Sky Bet)

2pts Tiger Woods to make the cut at 9/4 (Sky Bet)

  • A trixie is made up of four bets: A+B, A+C, B+C, A+B+C. Two winners are required for a return.

Sky Bet odds | Paddy Power | Betfair Sportsbook

Top left-hander

Robert MacIntyre’s Canadian Open victory will go down as one of the highlights of the year in golf, but it’s helped elevate him to a false position in the top left-hander market, where he is now favourite.

MacIntyre did win this at the PGA Championship but even these factors combined shouldn’t have been enough to make him a shorter price than BRIAN HARMAN, the reigning Open champion.

Harman is ranked higher by the OWGR and, more importantly, by DataGolf. He leads the head-to-head providing you measure beyond the last three starts, and when he’s played suitable courses lately, he’s been 12th (Heritage) and 24th (Colonial), latterly finishing ahead of MacInyre who didn’t take part in the former event.

At a long, soft PGA Championship he still proved competitive despite a slow start and this year’s PLAYERS Championship runner-up has generally been in solid form. Wins matter and MacIntyre holds the edge there but by every other metric, Harman has enjoyed the superior season, and I do like Sawgrass as a handy guide to this event.

Clearly, a firm course where a good short-game could be important ought to be a good fit for Harman, who will be at home on bermuda greens, and while I could see MacIntyre enjoying it too, they’re the wrong way round. Harman ought to be favourite and anything 7/4 and upwards rates a bet, with Phil Mickelson and Sam Bairstow easy to oppose, and Akshay Bhatia the only other threat.

Bhatia should arguably be second-favourite so there’s mileage in backing both if you can cherry-pick prices and build yourself a strong 10/11 chance, but I’d be slightly wary of Bhatia’s lack of experience and recent short-game troubles. Backing Harman alone is preferable.

Top South African

Dean Burmester was the pick of the South Africans at Valhalla but the golf course is key and here, at PInehurst, it’s CHRISTIAAN BEZUIDENHOUT who holds all the aces.

Although he’s adding length all the time, Bezuidenhout remains a precision player with wonderful touch and his short-game stats this season have been excellent, as ever.

One of the best putters on the PGA Tour, he ranked sixth for strokes-gained tee-to-green last week and it’s only an opening 74 in the PGA which prevented him from potentially cracking the top 30 in each of his last nine starts. As it is, he’s done so 12 times in 16 appearances so far in 2024.

Consistency and short-game class give him the edge here and while his US Open record doesn’t look pretty, this is totally different. Versus the brawn of Dean Burmester, under these conditions Bezuidenhout holds a clear edge, as he does over Erik van Rooyen and an inexperienced Casey Jarvis.

Top Asian

We were a little hard done by with HIDEKI MATSUYAMA in the PGA Championship where even-money that he was the best Japanese player was a steal. Unfortunately, one of his compatriots stormed through the field on Saturday and just did enough to deny us in the end.

I am happy going in again, this time in the more competitive top Asian market where we can take upwards of 3/1 about a player who hasn’t missed the cut in a US major since 2016, a phenomenal record of consistency under a variety of conditions.

He’s played here before, unlike every other Asian player in the field, and while I respect the Korean contingent in particular, Matsuyama beat them all last week and can do so again. His underrated short-game and the skills he put to use in becoming Masters champion will serve him well at a course where experience, patience and a touch of class will go a long way.

Best of the rest

I wanted to find a way to get Brooks Koepka on-side and top LIV golfer was the most appealing option, especially with Bryson DeChambeau potentially vulnerable under these conditions. Koepka shouldn’t be having conquered Shinnecock and with doubts surrounding Cam Smith and Jon Rahm following their respective performances at the weekend, Koepka at 7/2 seems a fair bet.

Another way to play him could be in the top former winner market at 5/1. Rory McIlroy though could finish 15th playing poorly, something he’s done twice in his last three starts, and I can’t quite bring myself to dutch them at 13/10. Nevertheless, that’s the price about a McIlroy top-10, and we can throw in Koepka for free knowing that something along those lines almost certainly proves enough.

Tom McKibbin could go well among the top debutants but Ludvig Aberg sets the bar incredibly high so the final selection that appeals is TIGER WOODS TO MAKE THE CUT.

He did so comfortably at Augusta, this year and last, and this is a much easier walk than Valhalla. It’ll play shorter, too, and with warm weather forecast, Woods should find this is an easier cut to make than the PGA Championship was ever going to be.

He hasn’t played in a US Open since Winged Foot and there’s guesswork involved, but 9/4 feels on the generous side in a volatile tournament held at a golf course which will beat plenty of players mentally. If it’s close come Friday evening, Woods still has many of the tools required to grind it out and earn a weekend tee-time.

Posted at 1205 BST on 11/06/24

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