Golf Odds and Predictions: WGC-Cadillac Championship Betting
by Alan Matthews - 3/9/2011
It’s our second World Golf Championships event in two weeks, and this week’s WGC-Cadillac Championship has the best stroke-play field of the young season so far and is played at probably the best course so far in 2011: the Blue Monster at Doral.
This tournament features all of the world’s top 50 players, and a cool thing it does is pair the top 21 players in the Official World Golf Ranking in threesomes for the first two rounds That means the top three players in the world — No. 1 Martin Kaymer, No. 2 Lee Westwood and No. 3 Luke Donald — are together for the first two days. It also means that the two top-ranked U.S. players, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, will play together for at least the first two days. Thursday’s round will be the 26th in which Tiger and Lefty have been paired at an official PGA Tour event and the first time since the final round of last year’s BMW Championship in the FedEx Cup playoffs. They are joined by Graeme McDowell, with that threesome teeing off at 11:51 a.m. off the back nine on Thursday.
This marks the first tournament that Kaymer will play as the world No. 1, a spot he gained from Lee Westwood two weeks ago by finishing runner-up at the WGC-Match Play. Kaymer, Tiger and Mickelson all skipped last week’s Honda Classic. Kaymer, who has now become the Masters favorite, is also the betting favorite this week on Bodog at 9/1, according to WGC-Cadillac Championship odds. The German has played this event the past three years with a high finish of third in 2010.
It seems this sentence is uttered most every week of late, but if there’s an event in which Tiger seems bound to end his winless streak it’s at this one. Tiger, who is 10/1 to win, has won the WGC-Cadillac six times in his career (his average finish in this tournament is a sick 3.4). That’s only two victories shy of the PGA Tour record for wins by one player at any tournament: Sam Snead’s eight titles at the Greater Greensboro Open. Tiger also won the former Ford Championship at Doral twice. But he has just one WGC-Cadillac win since the tournament shifted to the Blue Monster. In seven career starts in PGA Tour events at Doral, Woods has never finished outside the top 10. This is fifth straight year the TPC Blue Monster will be the site of a World Golf Championship, but for the first time it will be sponsored by Cadillac.
Ernie Els is tremendous value at 40/1, according to my WGC-Cadillac Championship predictions. The Big Easy ended a two-year victory drought on the PGA Tour here last year with a 4-stroke victory over fellow South African Charl Schwartzel. Els became the third player to win the same WGC event more than once, along with Woods and Geoff Ogilvy (two-time winner of the Match Play). The reason Els gets such long odds is that he has just one Top-10 finish on the Tour since last year’s U.S. Open. His best this season was a T17 and he was T70 last week at the Honda Classic on a course that’s right near his home.
Many experts seem to like Schwartzel’s chances this week and he’s nice value at 28/1. Schwartzel has only played twice in the States this year but finished in the Top 20 both times. In five Euro events he has finished in the Top 5 in all, including a victory. And of course Schwartzel was a runner-up here last year
And the other top long-shot option is Y.E. Yang at 33/1. Rather quietly he has three Top-8 finishes on the PGA Tour this year, including a runner-up last week at the Honda. Yang finished T30 at this event in 2010.
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