Find Me a 100 Winner: This week's trio of 99-1 plus outsider picks

Ian Poulter ticks several boxes for the Honda Classic
Ian Poulter ticks several boxes for the Honda Classic
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Looking to back outsiders in this week's golf tournaments? Paul Krishnamurty has scoured the list of players available at 99-1 or more, recommending three picks and some alternatives...

"Poulter is always worth considering when in Florida, where he has a home. His record on Bermuda greens is excellent and he's contended strongly for most of the Florida Swing events. With loads of incentives - from ranking points to Ryder Cup spots - Ian is one to follow over the next month."

Hanson is good value to improve on promising debut

Finding likeable outsiders for this week's Qatar Masters shortlist was significantly harder than in previous renewals, simply because the standard is so inferior. It feels very strange to not be able to get 99-1 about a non-winner like Nino Bertasio in such a prestigious event. Ditto [80.0] chance Sean Crocker.

By the same token of course, this renewal will take less winning than usual and, as Steve Rawlings explains in tremendous detail here, this tournament has numerous rock-solid form indicators.

Before getting to the selection, a few words about the pair discarded from the shortlist. Callum Shinkwin should in theory be perfect for Doha - very long, great ball-striker, good in the wind and on links. If you can forgive a really poor result last week following a good start, odds of [140.0] are appealing.

At [170.0], seven-time European Tour winner Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano caught the eye. Although he missed last week's cut returning to this tour, Gonzo has shown signs of life on the Web.com, has a good course record and loves windy conditions.


Back Chris Hanson 2u @ [160.0]
Place order to lay 10u @ [15.0]
Place order to lay 20u @ [5.0]

Preference though is for this solid, improving player. Hanson has been a friend to this column in recent seasons as a back-to-lay option without ever getting really close to winning. He's certainly good enough to contend against this level of opposition and ticks a number of boxes.

First, 18th on last year's course debut was promising. So too a recent sixth in the Dubai Desert Classic. In two years on the European Tour, he's fared pretty well on numerous wind-exposed courses. Hanson has often started events strongly, only to fall away, which is perfect for trading purposes. Sooner or later, he's bound to contend seriously or breakthrough.


Scrambling could be the answer to the Honda puzzle

The Honda Classic is an absolute must for outsider punting. As Steve Rawlings explains in his preview, we've seen several unlikely winners in recent years, including at odds of [400.0], [600.0] and [1000.0]. Besides the winners, plenty more big outsiders traded short in-play.

Players of all type have contended at PGA National but one statistical clue really stands out - you have to scramble well to have a chance on this tough layout. Of 32 players to have placed fifth or better in the past five renewals, 27 were ranked in the top-25 for scrambling. 20 were ranked inside the top-ten.


Back Ian Poulter 2u @ [120.0]
Place order to lay 15u @ [10.0]
Place order to lay 20u @ [3.0]

The ideal time, therefore, to back the best scrambler on last year's PGA Tour - also top amongst these for strokes gained around the green. Poulter also has both the skills and temperament to thrive in the forecast windy conditions and what should become a battle for survival.

Poulter is always worth considering when in Florida, where he has a home. His record on Bermuda greens is excellent and he's contended strongly for most of the Florida Swing events. He was third here in 2015 and was Sawgrass runner-up for a second time last May. With loads of incentives - from ranking points to Ryder Cup spots - Ian is one to follow over the next month and a recent sixth in Dubai bodes well.


Back William McGirt 2u @ [290.0]
Place order to lay 10u @ [30.0]
Place order to lay 15u @ [10.0]

McGirt just isn't consistent enough to make a strong statistical argument for, although 13th for strokes gained around the green during 2017 reads well enough. He remains up for regular consideration by this column though, because he's always a big price and has a knack of popping up in contention on tough courses, where scrambling is at a premium.

His best efforts came when winning the Memorial in 2016, then following up with top-tens in both the WGC-Bridgestone and USPGA - all tough scrambling tests. At PGA National he only lost by seven strokes in 2015, then finished eighth in 2016. McGirt finished 2017 well and, though yet to fire in 2018, has a record that suggests he'll pop up somewhere soon.

Others to make the Honda shortlist include Florida resident Bud Cauley at [130.0]. Another good scrambler, he's been making nice progress on arguably less suitable courses. I missed the big gamble on Lucas Glover - from [250.0] to [100.0] - but this Bermuda specialist's case remains obvious. Finally both at around [130.0], Emiliano Grillo and Jhonattan Vegas make some appeal.


Follow Paul on Twitter @paulmotty

2018 Profit/Loss

-26 units

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