Hyundai Tournament of Champions Picks

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Welcome to the start of the 2012 PGA Tour Golf Season. I hope everyone celebrated a terrific holiday season and is ready to get back into the swing of things in the New Year.

2011 gave us a final total of +69.2 units (outright + head to head) and our 6th straight profitable year

We now have to move on from the past and look to the future because 2012 should very exciting. I will continue to provide my clients with extremely detailed and accurate analysis of the PGA Tour Season.

How my 2012 picks are going to work: With the help of my friend Kevin I have moved my PGA handicapping business entirely online so that I can offer my services at a very discounted rate. For the 2012 PGA season I am going to be offering a yearly membership for picks instead of offering them tournament by tournament. This week I am releasing my premium picks for the Hyundai Tournament of Champions for Free (below), and then I will let you know how you can be apart of my 7th straight profitable season betting on golf early next week!

You can always reach me at steve@golfpicks.net as I thoroughly enjoy spending each day researching/discussing golf.

Hyundai Tournament of Champions Picks

The PGA Tour season begins in Maui, Hawaii with the Hyundai Tournament of Champions. The players will tee it up at The Plantation Course at Kapalua, a course which always provides plenty of excitement. This week will see 28 champions from last season battle for the honour of winning the Tour’s 1st event. To do so the players will have to be long and make a boat load of birdies. Let’s take a closer look at the course.

The Plantation Course at Kapalua

You can expect a winning score in the neighbourhood of -25 on this Par 73, 7411 yard course. This is one of the few Par 73 courses the players will see, and they will welcome the extra shot(s) with open arms. The Plantation Course has Bermuda grass from tee to green, a style certain players tend to play better on than others. Bermuda greens take time to adjust to, especially while putting, something to make note of this week.

The PGA players who bomb the ball should have an advantage this week, as The Plantation Course has absolutely massive fairways. One challenge for the players will be large elevation changes, making club selection difficult. Many of these players have played here before though which will help with course knowledge.

My favourite hole on the golf course this week is number 18. It is a beast of a finishing hole, measuring 663 yards in length. This Par 5 does not challenge the players as much as give the viewer one of the most beautiful sights in golf, and the world for that matter. Look for players such as Bubba Watson and Gary Woodland to give the hole a go in two, though most players will take the conventional three shots. The 18th is nicknamed (Home), a place all 28 players would like to take the championship this week.

The Players

There are 28 solid golfers who will be competing this week in the 2012 edition of the Hyundai Tournament of Champions.

The defending champion this week is Jhonattan Byrd, who last year started the season off with 4 terrific rounds. KJ Choi holds the course record at The Plantation Course along with Graeme McDowell who both fired amazing rounds of 62. Something I found interesting was that there has only been 1 hole in one recorded in this tournament (Lucas Glover in 2006).

STEVE’S SIX PACK SYSTEM PICKS

Here are this week’s six-pack of golfers I like to win the tournament outright. **Odds are based on 5dimes.com**

Much like last year, we will preview the 6 players I feel give us the best chance to profit from an outright victory this week. Some people have asked me if I could weight my picks in order I would select them and I will do that this year.

First Selection

Gary Woodland – 17 to 1

Gary is primed for a huge year in 2012 I think.  He has the rare ability to combine extreme length with accurate iron play and an ever improving putting stroke. This will be Gary’s first appearance here but I feel it sets up beautifully for his game. He can swing away with his driver and will be able to go at almost every Par 5 in two. Gary will also have added motivation this year as he wants to be on the American Ryder Cup team in the fall. Look for him to start his run at the team with a great opening tournament. Gary is by far my favourite pick this week.  

Second Selection

KJ Choi – 16 to 1

The course record holder seems to always be in contention when big names are participating in the event. I thought his odds would be closer to 10 to 1, giving him excellent value. KJ will not be the longest player in the field but watch how well he putts on these greens. Bermuda and KJ seem to provide excellent finishes, something I feel you will see this week. Also of note, KJ has placed in the Top 20 in all of his last 6 events. 

Third Selection

Rory Sabbatini – 26 to 1

Sabbatini absolutely loves playing in Hawaii. He has placed 2nd here twice (2001 and 2010) and I look for him to once again contend. Rory is kind of a character on the course and has a history of getting on extreme streaks. I feel the fact that this course forces the players to make plenty of birdies plays to Rory’s favour. Once he makes of few birdies he is the type of golfer who can run off 5 or 6 in a row. Look for him to have one of these stretches this week. 

Fourth Selection

Aaron Baddeley – 20 to 1

An under rated player in my opinion but also someone who is just knocking on the door to stardom. Badds is huge in Australia but people tend to forget about him in many tournaments here in North America. He is very solid off the tee, accurate with his irons and a great putter. Look for Badds to start this year off well in Hawaii even though he has failed to crack the Top 10 in his two appearances here.

Fifth Selection

Martin Laird – 22 to 1

Was a player I predicted last year to have a solid season and someone who exceeded many expectations. He picked up a huge win at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and played very well in some other big events. This year he will be looking to make the 2012 European Ryder Cup team, giving him added motivation to start the year off well. Last year he finished in a Tie for 4th here, and should have a great opportunity to build on that finish. Watch how far Laird not only hits his drives but also his irons. It is very impressive.

Sixth Selection

Keegan Bradley – 16 to 1

Keegan would have been the story of the year last year if it were not for Luke Donald’s incredible 2011. Keegan burst onto the seen last year winning two events along with the Rookie of the Year title. His biggest victory came at the PGA Championship, a tournament that provided fans with a crazy Sunday finish. I know I have mentioned it before but Keegan will also be looking to make the 2012 American Ryder Cup team, something I feel he will do. This is his first appearance here and is not anywhere near my top pick, but his talent and drive is too high to overlook.

Head To Head Match-Up Picks

Every week I will release head to head picks when I feel value is prevalent.

Please Note: All sportsbooks/bookmakers offer different head-to-head (match up) betting lines. You may not find these exact match ups at the bookie you are betting with. These were taken from www.5Dimes.com – I highly recommend you sign up for an account at 5Dimes.com to get these match ups and also the best golf betting odds out there.

As always, feel free to email me at steve@golfpicks.net if you have any questions about head to head match ups. I will get back to you as quick as possible.

KJ Choi (-125) over Bubba Watson – Though Bubba is one of the more recognizable players in the tournament, KJ is the pick here. When you look at Bubba’s 2011 Hyundai Tournament of Champions results, you will notice plenty of bogeys and double bogeys. When the winning score is around 25 under par, we will go with the player who avoids the large numbers.

Brendan Steele (+120) over Mark Wilson – I like the way Mark Wilson plays many courses but he is absolutely awful here in Maui. In the past two years Wilson has finished 27th each time. Steele is a young player who will be excited to play well this week. This is a complete bet against Wilson on this Par 73 course.

These are the two head to head bets I like the best. I hope everyone enjoyed the write up and get ready for a great 2012 PGA season and a 7th straight profitable season.

Sincerely,
Steve

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Since I was young I’ve spent as much time on the golf course as the weather will allow me to. As I began to bet on sports I figured I would try my luck at the sport I know the best - golf. I began hitting winners on a regular basis and have turned it into a really solid part time income profiting in 8 of the last 9 years.

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