Find Me a 100 Winner: Three outsiders to defy the Betfair markets

US golfer Peter Uihlein
Peter Uihlein was fifth in the most recent WGC event
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It's a World Golf Championship week but don't forget the European Tour's supporting event. Paul Krishnamurty has scoured both fields in search of value bets at 99-1 or more...

"Very much a bomber, Uihlein ranks 19th for par-five performance amongst these on the PGA Tour over the past year, and fourth in European Tour events."

Back Peter Uihlein 1u each-way @ 150/1 (1/5 odds, six places)

As one would expect in a World Golf Championship week, the gulf between the two main events is enormous. The Tshwane Open involves numerous non-winners with little pedigree trading below [100.0]. At the WGC Mexico Championship, our price range includes major champions and all manner of multiple winners.

Neither event, it must be said, is particularly fertile territory for outsider backers. Among five Tshwane renewals, four winners were very obvious and the other a respected outsider. The inaugural Mexico Championship produced one of the most obvious leaderboards of 2017. Nevertheless here's three capable of defying the market.

Tshwane could be due an overseas winner

Given that South Africans have won all three renewals at Pretoria CC and provided the bulk of top-20 finishers in 2015 and 2016, it is no surprise to see their journeymen players trading much lower than usual. However the home advantage angle can be overstated as players become better accustomed to the course. Last year, only four of 11 top-ten finishers were South African.

It may be that from now on, the more important angles to follow are driving distance and form in South Africa. As Steve Rawlings explains in his comprehensive preview, past stats at Pretoria suggest accuracy off the tee is much less significant than power. That said, shorter hitters that thrive on and around the small greens can also contend.

Back Tapio Pulkkanen 2u @ [130.0]
Place order to lay 12u @ [12.0]
Place order to lay 15u @ [4.0]

If it's a bomber we're looking for, last year's Challenge Tour Order of Merit winner fits the bill. Tapio Pulkkanen hits it a country mile and has already contended in South Africa this year, when third in the Joburg Open. 23rd in Oman on his penultimate start was also respectable

One of last year's runners-up was a Finn, Mikko Korhonen (just outside our price range at [90.0]), so perhaps that will provide a little inspiration. At 27, Pulkkanen is likely to achieve more than his compatriot in the long-term. Scandinavian golf is so strong nowadays that anyone who wins regularly on the Nordic Tour is worth monitoring. Pulkkanen won six times in that company.

Back Jin-Ho Choi 1u each-way @ 150/1 (1/5 odds, six places)

Back Jin-Ho Choi for a Top 20 Finish 2u @ [6.8]

Given the lack of strength in depth, I'm amazed that Choi appears to have completely slipped under the market radar. It appears yet another case of nationality bias as mostly Western punters overlook or at least under-rate the plethora of emerging Asian talent. This one is also a must-bet for a Top 20 Finish.

Choi's career has been primarily based in Korea, where he's won four times and produced a stack of high finishes. I wonder how many Sunshine Tour journeymen - many of whom are a third or a quarter of these odds - could boast that? He's already proven his liking for South African conditions, finishing eighth in Joburg following on from a top-20 in Mauritius. Significantly, he putted well on both occasions, ranking sixth and 26th.

Bomber Uihlein can thrive in another WGC

During the decades of hosting the year's first World Golf Championship, Doral proved an absolute graveyard for outsider backers as the cream nearly always rose to the top. When moving to Mexico last year, it apparently kept the trends. A top-six including Dustin, Thomas, Rahm and Fleetwood speaks volumes.

Very few outsiders make much appeal - hence only one pick. I also much prefer betting each-way on this event as it could be very difficult to get outsiders matched at short odds, due to the inevitable class in contention. Sneaking into a top-six place, though, is perfectly possible.

Back Peter Uihlein 1u each-way @ 150/1 (1/5 odds, six places)

For me, there are three particular angles worth considering. First, bombers thrived in that first renewal. Second, this was one of the most important events for par-five scoring, according to Tour Tips analysis. Third and probably decisively is the ability to putt poa annua greens well.

Uihlein ticks all three boxes. Very much a bomber, he ranks 19th for par-five performance amongst these on the PGA Tour over the past year, and fourth in European Tour events. He has limited experience on poa annua but is an excellent putter and fared respectably in 26th at Riviera - noted by Dave Tindall as a key indicator - and 17th at the CareerBuilder Challenge. He was placed fifth in the most recent WGC event.

As always, a few closing words regarding alternatives. Steve Rawlings has gone for Patton Kizzire at [130.0] on the exchange and the 100/1 each-way option is appealing. At [160.0], Dubai winner Haotong Li may well be under-rated and only a lack of US experience put me off. Jhonattan Vegas [230.0] ticks the right boxes in terms of power, par-fives and poa annua, but has struggled over the last few weeks.


Follow Paul on Twitter @paulmotty

2018 Profit/Loss

-32 units

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