Golf Form Guide: Curtis and Fraser can bounce back from Wentworth woes

Marcus Fraser was in good form prior to a poor performance at Wentworth

Mike Norman's Form Guide continues to produce winners and our man believes that Ben Curtis and Marcus Fraser shouldn't be overlooked this week on the back of their poor performances at Wentworth.

"Similar to Ben Curtis I’m not going to ignore Marcus Fraser on the back of one poor performance. The Australian has been in good form recently and looks a huge price this week."


I'll never get tired of writing the words 'another good week' and that's exactly what the Form Guide enjoyed at last week's PGA Championship and Crowne Plaza Invitational.

Although I didn't select him myself, Luke Donald was the top rated player on the European Tour and duly won his event in impressive fashion, whilst on the PGA Tour, top-rated Zach Johnson - a 19.018/1 pre-tournament selection - beat off Jason Dufner, who incidentally was second from top rated.

Johnson's victory was our third successful selection in the last month and our sixth pre-tournament winner this season, proving that current form and course form are vital factors in golf betting.

Tiger Woods returns to action this week along with Donald, Rory McIlroy and Phil Mickelson as Muirfield Village once again hosts the Memorial Tournament, whilst the beautiful Celtic Manor resort is the host venue for the Wales Open where Alexander Noren will be hoping to defend his crown.


PGA Tour - Memorial Tournament

(Tournaments used: Crowne Plaza Invitational, Byron Nelson Championship, The Players Championship, Wells Fargo Championship, Zurich Classic, Texas Open)


Luke Donald (3)... 31 (T10 2011)
Rickie Fowler (4)... 30.5 (T5 2010)
Ben Curtis (3)... 24
Justin Rose (2)... 18.5
(Won 2010)
Ernie Els (2)... 16 (T10 2009)
Rory McIlroy (1)... 14.5 (T5 2011, T10 2010)
Jim Furyk (1)... 14 (T10 2010, T5 2009)


*number in brackets after a player's name is the number of top-10 finishes achieved in last six weeks/tournaments on tour
**information after a player's points relates to wins (W), top-five (T5) and top-10 (T10) finishes in corresponding tournament in previous three years


Similar to last week, Luke Donald tops the ratings this week but I'm again going to overlook him. He has an outstanding chance of course and I wouldn't put anyone off backing him, but it's very difficult to record back-to-back wins at this level and odds of 11.010/1 don't appeal much.

Rickie Fowler is arguably in even better form than Donald yet at 22.021/1 to win this week he is twice the price of the Englishman. A bit like Jason Dufner, there's a feeling that Fowler won't look back now that he has his maiden PGA Tour title tucked under his belt and it won't be long before he's winning again.

Fowler has four top-10 finishes, including a win and a second, to his name from his last four events and he has played well at this venue before, finishing second here in 2010. It's impossible to envisage him not contending this week.

A few weeks ago I wrote about never discounting a player on the back of one disappointing result, so I'm going to listen to my own advice and back Ben Curtis again. He was out of sorts at Wentworth last week but prior to that he was one of the hottest players in the world; in fact he hasn't failed to finish out of the top 14 on the PGA Tour since February and has recorded a win, a second and a fifth in that time. At 70.069/1 to back he looks too big a price to miss.

Jim Furyk's fourth place finish last week is perhaps a sign that he is nearing his best form, which is encouraging now that he returns to a venue he has played very well at in the past. Furyk often contends at Muirfield Village and is worth a wager to do so again this week.

Recommended Bets: Rickie Fowler @ 22.021/1, Ben Curtis @ 70.069/1, Jim Furyk @ 32.031/1


European Tour - Wales Open

(Tournaments used: PGA Championship, World Matchplay Championship, Madeira Islands Open, The Players Championship, Open de Espana, Ballantines Championship, China Open)


Paul Lawrie (2)... 19
Francesco Molinari (3)... 18
Alexander Noren (2)... 14
(Won 2011)
Pablo Larrazabal (1)... 12 (T5 2011)
Marcus Fraser (2)... 11.5
Magnus Carlsson... 11
(T10 2011)


I'm slightly disappointed with the field assembled at Celtic Manor and most definitely want to oppose the favourtie Franceso Molinari (13.012/1). The Italian is in decent form yes, but he has flopped badly at his last two visits here and he's not for me. Paul Lawrie looks to have an excellent chance too, but again he's too short for me at 15.014/1.

Defending champion Alex Noren is in high spirits having topped the US Open qualifying on Monday and there have been some definite signs in the last month that his best form is not too far away. If that's the case then 26.025/1 about a successful defence looks a big price.

Similar to Ben Curtis I'm not going to ignore Marcus Fraser on the back of one poor performance. The Australian has been in good form recently and looks a huge price this week (he was much less to win the PGA Championship last week), whilst Pablo Larrazabal is in decent form and recorded a top five finish here last year.

Recommended Bets: Alex Noren @ 26.025/1, Pablo Larrazabal @ 40.039/1, Marcus Fraser @ 90.089/1


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