The Snidetats 2013 Golf Betting Review
With the 2014 golf season already upon us, today on the blog Barry Snidetats takes a look back at 2013 and who may be worth following in the coming year.
I usually write these end-of-year missives in luxurious foreign lands but perhaps it's symptomatic of my life at the moment that I find myself penning this in a tattered house coat after completing the baby's 3am feed. Don't get me wrong, there are advantages (... like getting to watch the Ashes), it's just that things have changed rather a lot since I wrote a similar piece last year.
Looking back over the last 12 months, there have been some notable successes – not as many as I would have liked – but I guess it's hardly surprising when I’m head deep in nappies rather than spreadsheets. So, it’s on to 2014 with renewed vigour, but firstly, a quick look at the year just gone.
The One That Got Away
Henrik Stenson. The big Swede was the best golfer in the world in 2013, but although I started backing him early and followed him throughout the year, he couldn't quite land a Major victory (… for either of us). His performances were stellar but although I picked up a few modest winners, mainly in the Top European market in the big events, I never quite nailed him in a decent event at the right price.
Next year could be a big one for Henrik but based on current form his price will be shorter than Katie Price’s attention span come the Masters in April. He’s third-favourite in the early showings, as short as 15.00 in places ( although Stan James go 21.00), which suggests the bookies have over-reacted to a player who has yet to finish better than T17 in the event.
If the Sten Dog is to bag a Major next year then the PGA Championship could be the one to fit the profile. He’s finished inside the top six in three of the last six renewals, which suggests the 26.00 on offer is substantially better value than his price for the Masters.
The One That Didn’t Get Away. Twice.
Phil Mickelson. Big Phil was full of confidence before this year’s Open Championship and with his short-game skills, improved driving and undeniable mettle he was always going to be a big player at Muirfield. I liked the fact he chose Castle Stuart as his warm-up, a beautiful but unchallenging track that would allow him to wolf up birdies and build his confidence. I gobbled up the 21.00 on offer for Phil to win the Scottish Open (a price that placed too much emphasis on a patchy display the week before in the Greenbrier Classic - a course he’s always hated) and I took the 25.00 about him winning the Claret Jug.
The big man obliged, showing balls of steel in both events, and producing one of the finest closing stretches in Open history. Claret Jug for Mickelson; case of Claret for Snidetats.
The Ones To Watch In 2014
The international golf circuits are among the most hectic of any sport – the season never really stops, rather it just rolls into the next. So the 2014 season has already started. Here are a few players to keep an eye on.
Joost Luiten: Last year was a defining one for the talented Dutchman who scored two European Tour wins including victory in his home event, the KLM Open, where he needed plenty of bottle to hold off wily veteran Manuel Angel Jimenez in a play-off. He’s accurate both off the tee (8th in driving accuracy, 71.4%) and into the green (12th in GIR, 74.1%) and last year his annual stroke average nudged under 70 for the first time in his career (4th, 69.92). It’s testament to Luiten’s growing stature that he has secured one of 12 Masters invites for European Tour players, and whilst his weak spot with the putter means a run at Augusta is unlikely, he’s definitely one to watch in the tier-two events.
Peter Uihlein: A rare breed of American, who chooses to ply his trade in Europe rather than on home soil, Uihlein picked up a maiden Tour victory at the Madeira Open in 2013 and showed real links pedigree to finish second at the Dunhill Championship in St Andrews. In that event, he was just centimetres away from shooting the Tour’s first 59, so he has the potential to go low when it suits him. Long off the tee (over 305 yards driving average) and solid with the flat stick, if he can sort out the wayward driving (just 53.4% accuracy) he’ll be in contention a lot this year.
Martin Kaymer: The former world number-one and Major winner showed signs of a return to form in 2013 and this year could be the one where he really starts to compete again in the big events. Last year he switched allegiances to the PGA Tour and posted three top-ten finishes in 17 starts, including a course record 62 at the WGC HSBC Champions event. Long, accurate and a birdie machine (1st in birdie average), Kaymer has the game to compete in the Majors again. Don’t be surprised if he puts up another strong showing in the PGA Championship, the event he won in 2010.
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Barry Snidetats is the founder and author of WagonBetting.com
You can follow Barry on Twitter: @BarrySnidetats