Golf Bets

Find Me a 100 Winner: Four to back from 99/1 to 289/1

Golfer Lee Hodges
Lee Hodges after his victory at the 3M Open last year

We're off to Belgium for the Soudal Open and Texas for the Charles Schwab Challenge and Steve has two longshot picks in each event...

  • Read my Souldal Open preview here

  • Pablo may be poised to return to form

  • Forrest is full of pep for Soudal Open

  • Hodges can build on Valhalla performance

As highlighted in the Soudal Open preview, I've backed Matt Cooper's each-way fancy, Matteo Manassero, at a triple figure price and I had intended to put him up as a selection here, but his price has collapsed over the last day or so.

I'm not really surprised he's shortened up so much given his claims, but I've still got two picks in the event, starting with Spain's Pablo Larrazabal.

Pablo Larrazabal @ 110.0109/1

Larrazabal hasn't impressed since returning to the fray following the birth of his son, missing the cut in Japan before finishing a disappointing 50th in China, so I certainly can't recommend him on current form.

A return to the European mainland may help the 41-year-old, though, and a 10th victory on the DP World Tour is perfectly possible.

He withdrew at the Belgian Knockout here back in 2019 on his only previous visit to Rinkven but he enjoys a tree-lined test, and this place should suit him.

Form at the Diamond Course in Austria, where he led after round one back in 2012, holds up well here. A dreadful second round saw him slip to 20th, but he rallied to finish inside the top-10, suggesting he may just take to this track.

No bigger than 70/171.00 on the High Street, I though he was worth chancing at 110.0109/1.

Place order to lay 8 Us @ 10.09/1 & 12 Us @ 2.01/1

Grant Forrest @ 190.0189/1

Nobody would be in a rush to back Grant Forrest on current form given he withdrew in Indian three starts ago after an 80 in round one and subsequently missed the cut in Japan and China. But something has clicked since he returned from East Asia.

The 30-year-old Scotsman, who's in search of his second DP World Tour, having won the now defunct Hero Open three years ago, qualified for the US Open on Monday after shooting 10-under-par for the two rounds at Walton Heath.

grant forrest klm 2023.jpg

Forrest missed this event last year, but he was ninth two years ago and full of pep after his qualification for the US Open, he might just improve on his recent form on the DP World Tour.

He has played at this year's US Open venue, Pinehurst, and sounds excited to be returning.

"I played the US Kids Teen World Championships at Pinehurst, I think back in 2009. They have changed it since then, but I'm looking forward to going back. I actually watched the highlights from Michael Campbell's win there not too long ago."

Place order to lay 8 Us @ 10.09/1 & 12 Us @ 2.01/1

Lee Hodges @ 100.099/1

Lee Hodges trounced the field by seven strokes to win his first PGA Tour event at the 3M Open last July as a selection for the column at 100.099/1. Two weeks earlier, he'd telegraphed his wellbeing with a 12th place finish in the Scottish Open.

He missed the cut in the Open Championship at Hoylake in-between but that was his first appearance in the tournament.

Hodges hasn't been great in 2024 so his very recent upturn in fortunes has been very noticeable.

The 27-year-old finished a respectable 24th at the Wells Fargo Championship two weeks ago but he really caught the eye at Valhalla last week where he finished 12th, ranking 10th for Driving Accuracy, eighth for Greens In Regulation, fourth for Strokes Gained: Approach and fourth for Putting Average.

Hodges finished 35th here on debut after a run of form reading MC-MC-MC-51-MC-MC in 2022 and he was 29th 12 months ago having come into the event with figures reading 41-MC-73-MC-55.

He'll be teeing it up here on Thursday in far better form than previously and I'm glad he's drifted back out so he can be a selection for the column.

Hodges was matched at a high of 140.0139/1 on Monday but having dipped to a low of 75.074/1, he's now very fairly priced at 100.099/1.

Place order to lay 8 Us @ 10.09/1 & 12 Us @ 2.01/1

Ben Kohles @ 290.0289/1

This time last year, Adam Schenk, who's still in search of his first PGA Tour title, traded at odds-on to win the Charles Schwab Challenge, having also traded at odds-on to win the Valspar Championship a few months previously.

Ben Kohles, who is also looking to win for the first time, traded at long odds-on (1.111/9) just a few weeks ago at the Byron Nelson Championship, before making a mess of the easy par five 18th and he can emulate Schenk by contending again here.

Kohles has performed admirably enough since snatching defeat form the jaws of victory and a return to his home state may just inspire him to contend again.

Kohles finished 58th at the Wells Fargo Championship the week after his Byron Nelson loss and he finished 26th in the US PGA Championship last week, despite shooting 73 in round two.

Kohles also led the Puerto Rico Open by two with a round to go back in March (shot 73 in round four to finish sixth) so he's been in decent form for a while and his performance on Sunday on the last occasion he played in his home state, just three weeks ago, demonstrates that he's learnt from his experience in Puerto Rico.

This is just his second visit to Colonial, and it comes 11 years after his first, but he proved then that this venue suits his eye - opening up with back-to-back 67s to sit ninth at halfway before eventually finishing 62nd.

He was the most accurate driver at Valhalla last week where he also ranked eighth for Greens In Regulation and ninth for Strokes Gained: Putting and he's not the forlorn hope his odds suggest he is.

Place order to lay 8 Us @ 10.09/1 & 12 Us @ 2.01/1

Now read Steve's Charles Schwab Challenge preview

*You can follow me on Twitter @SteveThePunter


Staked: 92 Us Returned: 24 Us P/L: -68 Us


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