US Open Preview

The golfing world focuses on Pinehurst for the next 2 weeks with The US Open and The US Women’s Open being hosted on the world renowned Pinehurst No.2 course, just 1 of 8 superb courses at this absolutely amazing spot. I had the privilege of visiting the resort in October of 2007 and couldn’t get over the place – nearly as close to Golfer’s Heaven as there could be.

Having looked at the field it will obviously take a superb player to win around the recently revamped course and I feel those with the better short games should end up at the top of leaderboard while fighting it out for the US Open Trophy. These are my 4 picks for the 2nd Major of 2014, form an orderly queue at the bookies please………

Pinehurst No2  US Open 2014 Logo

Phil Mickleson

Mickelson1

The short game genius returns to Pinehurst and has been talking up his chances this week, along with his confidence in going back to the pencil grip with the putter. Phil has previous Pinehurst form, finishing 2nd to Payne Stewart in 1999, and is one of the few people in the field to have performed well at Pinehurst No.2 before. After six 2nd place finishes in this Major alone that seems to mean the most to him, can he complete the career Grand Slam this week? I, for one, think he can. He’s around 4th favourite with those in the know, BetVictor giving best price at 20/1.

Henrik Stenson

Stenson

The super Swede Stenson has yet to hit the heights of last year, it would be hard to replicate all those performances really, but when he is in the mood there are few better in the world. His recent form has improved and if he keeps the driver in the bag the majority of the 72 holes this week, one of the few players that can around any course, he can definitely contend for his 1st Major title. Best price is currently with BetFred and Totesport who are both offering 28/1 but with 7 places.

Ian Poulter

Ian Poulter

The Poultergeist is one of the best pitchers, chippers and bunker players in the world and when the putter is hot he can simply putt the lights out – this doesn’t always happen of course but I think IJP will be up for it this week as he needs to up his game to either qualify for the Ryder Cup or impress Captain McGinley enough to pick him as a Wild Card. A 1st Major would help on both counts of course, over to you Poults! He’s best price 66/1 with those boys offering 7 places, BetFred and Totesport. Most of the others including Paddy Power, Ladbrokes and BetVictor are offering 66/1 as well but 6 places.

Luke Donald

Luke Donald

Luke Donald is fast becoming the “Best Player in the World Not to Win a Major“, a very much unwanted title! He has been undertaking some swing changes of late to most of all improve his performances in the Majors and it is debatable whether this transformation is complete yet, having said that his short game remains superb and that is what you need around Pinehurst No.2. If he can find the fairways then expect Luuuuke to contend come the Back 9 this Father’s Day. Donald is 50/1 best price with Ladbrokes while most of the rest are offering 40s or less.

So, those are my picks for this week at Pinehurst. Having visited the resort, and for anybody there this week, the Ryder Cup Bar at the Pinehurst Resort and the Sports Page just down the road would come highly recommended for a few after golf tipples!! Enjoy the golf wherever you will be watching it from and fingers crossed 1 of my 4 might prevail, either that or an Irish winner will do!

Tournament Preview – Valero Texas Open

The PGA Tour heads to Texas this week for the Valero Texas Open, having finished the Florida swing at Bayhill last week. It looked like John had picked a winner as early as the second round last week with Adam Scott but unfortunately the Aussie faltered at the weekend. We’re hoping he’ll pick a winner this week! Here are his picks.

????????   Valero Texas Open

Phil Mickelson

Phil Pebble Beach

Lefty has shown decent form this year without doing anything fantastic. Phil has tinkered his preparation for the Majors over the years and his warm ups for The Open got him in the frame of mind to win at Muirfield. This week in Texas might be a warm up but don’t count Mickelson out if he gets into contention. He is favourite to win this week, best price 16/1 with Stan James and William Hill while Paddy is next best at 14s offering 6 places.

Zach Johnson

Zach Johnson

Johnson has won the Texas Open twice, in 2008 and 2009, and a large chunk of his PGA Tour victories have come in Texas and the Southern States so he is definitely one to watch this week. A gritty competitor who has enjoyed a great start to the season, he could be coming into form again at the right time and with Augusta on the horizon he’ll want to get in some good performances before driving up Magnolia Lane. Best price for Zach is 18/1 with Paddy Power, 6 places!

Jimmy Walker

jimmy walker

Walker still sits atop of the FedEx Cup rankings after an amazing start to the season, his form has tailed off a little recently but if he can recreate the sort of golf he was playing over the first 2 months of the year especially then he could be a contender this week and at Augusta too in 2 weeks time. You can get Jimmy at 20/1 best price with Victor and William while Paddy are offering 18/1 (6 places).

They are DC’s picks for this week. He also wants you to watch out for Casey Wittenberg in Louisana, 50/1 best price with bet365 and BetVictor, while Chella Choi is also a notable for John in the field at the LPGA Kia Classic at 50/1 with bet365, Ladbrokes, Boylesports and many more. As usual you can give John feedback via Twitter on @johnalandeasy ! Prices accurate as of 10.45am on 27/03/2014 via Oddschecker.com

Tournament Preview – WGC Accenture Matchplay

So we’re back at Dove Mountain for the Matchplay, perhaps for the last time and definitely with probably the worse field to tee it up there but hopefully without last year’s snow! I still very much enjoy the format though and Matchplay is always a great watch.

Accenture Matchplay   Dove Mountain2

It’s always tough to pick the winner of a Matchplay match, nevermind the overall winner of a Matchplay tournament but we’re going to give it a go! First up is the Bobby Jones bracket. Henrik Stenson is our pick here, the Swede was the best player in the World for the last 6 months of 2013 and he also has form at Dove Mountain in the past. Expect him to come through his bracket and at 22/1 with totesport, SpreadEx, BetFred and sportingbet it’s a decent pay-out even if the Double Money List winner from last year gets to the Semi Finals.

Stenson

We like Matt Kuchar to make it through in the Gary Player bracket. He may well end up playing Jordan Speith on his way through the matches but Kuchar knows his way around Dove Mountain and is a solid matchplayer. With a price of 28/1 to win overall with Paddy Power, bet365 and CORAL he could be worth a few quid, that’s working out as 7/1 to win the bracket too if you back him each way.

World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship - Final Round

The Ben Hogan bracket isn’t an easy one so I’m going for 2 players – Ian Poulter and Jimmy Walker. Poults is a superb matchplayer and if his putting hits any form in this format then he’s near to unbeatable. You can get the “Postman” at 35s best price with bet365 and Boylesports this week. Walker is the form player in the World at the moment and it is tough not to consider him this week, of course Matchplay is a very different game but if you play well you will of course have the chance to win. 50/1 best price with CORAL is worth at least a second look!

jimmy walker  Ian Poulter

The toughest bracket this week could well be the Sam Snead, it could very well be the case that our pick to win the bracket could go out first round but we hope not! We are going for Zach Johnson here, superb putter and wedge player along with being one of the most competitive players head-to-head – he is very well suited to Matchplay. Zach is available at 35/1 with Stan James if you fancy a flutter here!

Zach Johnson

So that’s what we think will happen this week, summary as follows:

Bobby Jones bracket – Stenson; Gary Player bracket – Matt Kuchar; Ben Hogan bracket – Ian Poulter or Jimmy Walker; Sam Snead bracket – Zach Johnson. Stenson hasn’t played too much this year or overly well but he is truly World class when in the mood and expect him to be so this week. Another WGC title for the Swede, well at least we think so!! Enjoy the golf this week!

Tournament Preview – Dubai Desert Classic

Now in it’s 25th year, the Dubai Desert Classic continues one of the most prestigious events with a field to match. This week really isn’t any different and it should be a great few days of golf in the UAE.

Dubai Desert Classic   Dubai Desert Classic2

Europe is going to be tough this week but John is going for Matteo Manassero, best price 80/1 with most bookies and 66s next best after that. The young Italian is just getting better and better and with his new Callaway clubs getting a tune up last week he’s going to be firing on all cylinders, leaving out Tiger and Rors might not be a wise call but both have yet to shake off the Christmas rust.

Matteo Manassero

Long John Daly is the other JD’s sneaky bet for the week, the slimmed down razorback is showing good sings of form and his big hitting and fearlessness on the course might pay off for any punters wanting to take a risk, a top 10 finish pays out €330 for a €10 bet!

John Daly

If you’d like to give John a follow on Twitter you will find him@johnalandeasy ! Prices accurate as of 10pm on 22/1/2014 via Oddschecker.com