STAR PREVIEW: American Express Golf

October 18, 2019, Jeju, South Korea: Phil Mickelson of USA action during an PGA Tour The CJ Cup Nine Bridges Round 2 at Nine Bridge Golf Club in Jeju, South Korea. (Credit Image: © Ryu Seung-Il/ZUMA Wire)

What a weekend! First full field PGA Tour event for 2020, first winner. The fact that it was 45/1 and it was Cameron Smith makes it all the sweeter. My three (that many?, editor) regular readers will know that I have backed and banged on about Smith’s quality all through 2019. Finally, the little Aussie battler came through and in some style I might say. Fighting back from three shots down with seven to play to win in the first hole of a play off. Those of you who stayed up with me until the ungodly hour of 4am UK time will know it was a damp, dramatic, nerve shredding, climax.

But you’re only as good as you’re last week and that’s history now, so onto this week.

I’ll be upfront and admit that I don’t really like these Pro-Am multicourse events where they play on three courses over the first three days with a bunch of celebrities. (Maybe Harry and Meghan will be there next year!) The format throws up way too many variables for me. But I’ve had a look through the field and based my selections on recent form and performance at this tournament in 2019.

Blue Horseshoe Loves

Phil Mickelson currently 40/1 with

I can’t quite believe the price about Mickelson here. Phil finished a close second to Maiden winner Adam Long at this tournament in 2019. The native Californian is actually hosting the tournament this week. He clearly loves the layout of the courses and the benign weather conditions in the palm springs desert. Anyone with a twitter account tuned to any sort of golf coverage will see that Mickelson has been working out like a mad man in preparation for this season to ‘hit bombs’ as he says. I think 40/1 is very generous each way value for a man ranked ninth on the list of most wins ever on the PGA Tour. (44 wins if you’re interested).

Abraham Ancer currently 45/1 with

Ancer, for me, is a bit like Cameron Smith. You can see he’s got quality about him, but he seemed to get in his own way a few times down the home stretch last year. Despite this he did play very well toward the end of 2019 and went deep in the Fed-Ex Cup. He also played very well in the Presidents Cup, as did Cameron Smith. Ancer is an accuracy based player. A tight layout and quick greens seem to suit his game very well and that is what is offer at the American Express. He also played well here last year finishing in a tie for 18th on sixteen under.

Kevin Kisner currently 28/1 with

I like this guy. He’s straight as a dye off the tee’s, is one of the best putters on tour and is tough as teak mentally. He shot four rounds in the 60’s last week at the Sony Open, including an absolutely brilliant third round 64. He finished in a tie for fourth and looks in excellent form. As long as he’s not too tired from two straight weeks of tournament play in the unusually high winds of Hawaii, he should give another good showing.

Daniel Berger currently 66/1 with

I think Daniel Berger is perhaps one of the most underrated guys on tour right now. He had a pretty slow 2019 after coming back from a long-term injury lay off. Berger spent most of 2019 struggling to get his game back to where it was, but there were flickers of life late in the season and he played quite well in Hawaii last week, finishing tied for 38th in very challenging conditions. He finished even higher here last year, tied for 12th on seventeen under. This guy might be a bit a of a long term blue booker, but he’s worth keeping an eye on. If he comes good, he’ll come real good and 66/1 is nice each way value for a quid or two.

RECOMMENDED BETS (scale of 1-100 points)
BACK PHIL MICKELSON 1 pt each way at 40/1 with
BACK ABRAHAM ANCER 1 pt each way at 45/1 with
BACK KEVIN KISNER 1 pt each way at 28/1 with
BACK DANIEL BERGER 1 pt each way at 66/1 with

EW 1/5 odds 6 places

PROFIT/LOSS SINCE JAN 1 2017: PROFIT 224.03 points
(excluding Premier League ante-post, Cameron Brown football bets)