Betting on Golfers Not Named Tiger Woods
by Trevor Whenham - 5/30/2013
We are in the era of Tiger Woods. He’s playing so well, and is so visible, that he is the only guy most casual golf bettors are interested in betting in. He has a very good chance to win every time he starts a tournament, but he’s not unbeatable. When he is this dominant that means that other guys are going to be at higher odds than they normally would — and that means that there is value to be found.
Here are seven guys not named after big cats who could offer nice betting value through the busy summer golf season:
Simpson had a rough stretch earlier in the year, missing consecutive cuts in the Arnold Palmer Invitational and The Masters. That seemed to be a wake-up call, though, because he has been much better since. The week after The Masters he bounced back to finish second in the RBC Heritage and then was 32nd and 15th in his next two outings. This trend of strong play after struggles is one we have seen before — last year he missed the cut in the Players Championship and the Memorial then won the U.S. Open next time out, and he had another Top-10 soon after. He’s a real talent who seems to be in top form.
All of the talk surrounding Garcia has been about his moronic comments about Tiger Woods. While that obviously isn’t positive, the hope is that it will distract the public from the fact that he is playing as well now as he has in a long time. In the six PGA events he has started and completed (he withdrew from the Arnold Palmer after three rounds), he has finished no worse than 16th and has been in the Top 8 four times. He has been no worse than 19th in his six European Tour starts as well, and he has two Top-3 finishes. He hasn’t won yet this year, but the way he is playing it is a matter of time — as long as he just keeps his mouth shut.
Streelman is the kind of golfer that bettors love — a guy that is playing extremely well who casual fans have never heard of. He missed the cut last week at Colonial, but in his six outings before that he has finished first, second, third and sixth. The win was the first of his career, but this is his sixth straight year on tour, and he has made more than $6 million over the previous five years. He’s a guy who has found his game, and there could be opportunities to exploit that while the new-found confidence lasts.
Horschel is another anonymous player who has found his game in a hurry all of a sudden. After two underwhelming seasons on Tour, Horschel has piled up more than $2.5 million in earnings already this year. He missed the cut in the Players Championship, but had a first, second, third and ninth in his four previous outings. He’s done the right thing and taken some time off after the missed cut to get his head together and relax again. That should have him ready for another charge, and that could be profitable.
Kuchar is a guy who doesn’t get nearly as much credit as he deserves. He is an exceptional player, but casual fans don’t put him among the elite. He won the Match Play Championship this year and has made the cut in all of the other 12 tournaments he has played, with four Top-10 finishes, including a second in the Colonial last weekend. He’s going to win a major — and some other tournaments — before he’s done.
The 2007 Masters champ has not been particularly sharp lately, but he showed signs of rediscovering his form last time out at Colonial. He won that tournament in 2010 and 2012, and he almost did it again, ultimately winding up third. That effort followed out a nice 19th at the Players that was his best outing of the year before the Colonial. He’s rounding into form. Last year he followed up the strong showing at Colonial with a win three tournaments later. In 2010 he didn’t miss another cut after winning at Colonial and was third at the PGA Championship.
You always need a longshot, and Every qualifies as an interesting one. He is coming off a fourth-place finish in the Colonial last week. This could lead to a boost in confidence like we saw last year. At this time last year he finished sixth in the Memorial. He had eight missed cuts before then but only missed one cut in his last 10 tournaments. He didn’t win, but was a strong second in his last outing to close the season. A similar summer boost to his play this year could be useful for bettors because he certainly will go off at big odds every time he tees it up.
Read more articles by Trevor Whenham
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