Get the best bets from Steve Rawlings, Dave Tindall and the rest of our golf betting experts for this week's World Wide Technology Championship and Portugal Masters...
Steve Rawlings: "Winning back-to-back events is fairly uncommon but given how well the two courses correlate and that Herbert has a history of remaining hot, I'm amazed he was allowed to drift all the way out to 180.0179/1."
There's a decent field assembling in Mexico where our man fancies the favourite to contend on a track that looks sure to suit.
Steve says: "World number seven, Justin Thomas, heads the market and he looks a great price at 19.018/1 given how prolific he is, how much the course should suit him, and that he's more than ten points bigger than he went off at last year.
"He was 24th here on debut way back in 2014 and he finished 12th last year after an awful start and with an ice-cold putter on Sunday. He sat tied 70th after an opening 72 before firing 67 on Friday and 62 on Saturday to get back into contention, only to get frustrated when he couldn't get a putt to drop on pay day.
"Thomas' first two PGA Tour wins came back-to-back at the CIMB Classic in Malaysia in 2015 and 2016, when the course was still a Paspalum track, and in January 2016 he won consecutive events in Hawaii - the Sentry Tournament of Champions and the aforementioned Sony Open (which he won by seven strokes!). Since then, he's won another ten PGA Tour titles including a USPGA Championship and a couple of WGCs and the 13th of his 14 wins to date was the FedEx St Jude in August last year so he has an abundance of form at courses that correlate with this one."
Steve's bet: Back Justin Thomas @ 19.018/1
Dave Tindall bids to sustain his successful streak with three each-way tips for the action at El Camaleon Golf Course...
Dave says: "Having landed some 12/1 about Hideki Matsuyama winning the Zozo Championship in Japan, I'm perhaps duty bound to tip Abraham Ancer to repeat the local-hero-sends-the-crowds-wild act and triumph in Mexico.
"Last year I wrote that I've always had a feeling that Ancer would one day win his home event but didn't pull the trigger.
"Ancer was 16/1 in 2020 in a field that featured Justin Thomas and Brooks Koepka. Those two are in opposition once more as are plenty of other good names (11 players who contested the Ryder Cup).
"But despite the deeper field, I'm still happy to play him due to the extra swagger he must surely have this time."
Dave's bet: Abraham Ancer each-way @ 17.016/1
The low-scoring Greg Norman-designed El Camaleon makes its 15th appearance on the PGA Tour and Andy Swales has the latest form stats for the players taking part.
Andy says: "Among the leading pros taking part are Tony Finau and Billy Horschel who both have reasonable histories at the Mayakoba resort.
"Although this will only be Finau's second start since early September, he should have no problems clicking quickly into top gear. He generally performs well between tee and green, and if he can find his touch with the putter can certainly contend at the weekend.
"Horschel, meanwhile, makes his first PGA Tour start of the new 2021-22 season, having won big at Wentworth during September.
"Finally, one pro who combines decent current form with a reasonable course history is Aaron Wise. The upwardly-mobile 25-year-old is another strong performer between tee-and-green, and he closed last year's event with a best-of-day 63."
Outsiders have a very solid record in both this week's events - the Portugal Masters and the World Wide Technology Championship - so Steve has suggestions for both at juicy odds.
Steve says: "The Bermuda Championship correlates very strongly with the World Wide Technology Championship. Brendon Todd won this event in 2019, two weeks after winning in Bermuda (had the week off in-between), and it wouldn't be a huge shock if Sunday's winner, Lucas Herbert, emulated him.
"The 25-year-old Aussie has now won three of his last 32 starts so he's fairly prolific and it was impossible not to be impressed by the way he closed out in Bermuda.
"Herbert finished only 27th in his next start after he'd won the Dubai Desert Classic last year but he has a habit of stringing two, three or four high finishes together and he finished fourth at the Scottish Open in July, a week after winning the Irish Open.
"Winning back-to-back events is fairly uncommon but given how well the two courses correlate and that Herbert has a history of remaining hot, I'm amazed he was allowed to drift all the way out to 180.0179/1. That's more than a 100 points bigger than he went off at last week!"
The European Tour returns after a week off and our man has four picks for the Portugal Masters so read Steve Rawlings' comprehensive preview.
Steve says: "If you're betting in-running, the final four holes offer up two good birdie chances and two tough holes. The drivable par four 15th and the par five 17th are chances to pick up a stroke or two but the par three 16th isn't straight forward and the finishing hole is really tough - especially off the tee - and a par there is always a good score.
"Lucas Herbert found water on 18 three years ago, having been matched at a low of 1.374/11, when for the third year in-a-row, only the par four seventh hole had played harder than the 18th. The seventh was again the hardest hole on the course last year and the 118th was the second toughest...
"Renato Paratore is also putting brilliantly, ranking sixth, second and second in each of his last three starts for Strokes Gained Putting. A 75 in round four at Vilamoura saw the 24-year-old Italian slip from fourth to 25th in his penultimate start but that was sandwiched by a ninth in the Open de Espana and an 11th at the Mallorca Golf Open.
"His course form reads an ordinary 57-73-27-21 but he was inside the top-ten with a round to go on his last two visits and he has a bit of correlating course form too given he was fourth at Doha back in 2018. With seven places up for grabs, 66/1 with the Sportsbook looks more than fair given he's already won twice on the European Tour."
Matt Cooper has three selections with the Betfair Sportsbook paying seven places for the European Tour action in Vilamoura.
Matt says: "Joakim Lagergren currently sits at 48th in the Race to Dubai so a strong week should cement his place there and he should have every confidence that he has it in him.
"In recent weeks he has put in his best performance (if not best finishing position) at Wentworth (he'd never previously been within 10 blows of the 54-hole lead; this year he was four back ahead of landing T27th), he flirted with the first page of the leaderboard in the Open de Espana, and his Valderrama effort was much Wentworth (his second best result in six visits, but the most time spent in the top 40).
"Amid all of that he finished tied second at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, a tournament that is more or less his personal pension plan because in his previous five visits he'd made four cuts finishing tied third, T12th and tied fourth twice."
Matt's bet: Joakim Lagergren 1pt each-way @ 51.050/1
Who's got the game to make a fast start on Thursday? Dave Tindall has three each-way picks to be First Round Leader at Dom Pedro Victoria Golf Course.
Dave says: "He's fired plenty of low rounds including an opening 66 in 2016 and I'm hoping he can hit his stride early once more.
"The Swede has been doing that in recent events with a R1 67 at the Alfred Dunhill Links and then a day one 65 at the following week's Open de Espana which put him seventh on the Thursday leaderboard.
"Last November he was second after the first round of the Cyprus Showdown so there's enough in his profile to warrant a punt.
"The very early starters could just get lighter winds so being drawn in the second group out from No.1 at 07:20 may be to his advantage too."
The Victoria Course at Vilamoura welcomes the European Tour for this week's event close to Portugal's southern coast. Andy Swales has the vital stats and info.
Andy says: "A distinctly average field tees-up on Thursday with world No 58 Min Woo-Lee the highest-ranked golfer taking part. That said, there are a number of in-form golfers competing this week including former top-25 pro Matt Wallace.
"The Englishman recently enjoyed strong back-to-back performances on the PGA Tour, and tied-fourth on his most recent outing at the Zozo Championship. Two weeks earlier he'd tied-14th in Las Vegas.
"Another English golfer, Laurie Canter, continues his search for a maiden European Tour title, having finished second three times during the past 14 months.
"Three of his last four starts have yielded top-five finishes and, on his most recent trip to the Portugal Masters, was runner-up to defending champion George Coetzee."
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