Paul Krishnamurty weighs up this week's WGC Cadillac Championship at Doral, offering a range of speciality betting plans across different markets...
"I'm surprised that the market hasn't reacted more to Victor Dubuisson's heroics at the World Match Play. Perhaps some regard it as a fluke, but we long-term Victor-watchers know he is the real deal"
In years gone by, the Doral speciality markets have presented superb betting opportunities, because the attributes of this longstanding PGA Tour venue were well known, thanks to a vast bank of course form to support. There is a temptation, therefore, to treat this year's renewal warily after comprehensive course changes but the jury remains out. For while the most experienced Doral competitors may have lost a little edge regarding particular nuances of the course, the test remains pretty much the same.
Steve Rawlings sums up the net effect of those course changes perfectly. The fairways are still wide and the course has been lengthened, so there's no reason to assume driving distance will offer any less of an advantage than usual. Moreover, the pivotal part of this course's challenge surrounds the fast Bermuda greens, with high-class scrambling and putting essential to compete. Bermuda greens have always been an acquired taste, with many never getting the hang of them. In what is already a much-shortened field of 69, restricting calculations to Florida and Bermuda specialists dramatically shortens the list of potential winners, in short making this a great tournament in which to bet.
Back to Lays
Back Bubba Watson 6u @ 28.027/1
Back Rickie Fowler 2u @ 80.079/1
Place order to lay each player 25u @ 5.04/1
I'm also in total agreement with Steve about Bubba Watson's extremely generous odds of 28.027/1. Everything about this set-up should suit and two years ago he had the tournament at his mercy. Bubba is in even better form this time around, winning at Riviera having screwed up a golden opportunity previously at Scottsdale. From a trading perspective, Bubba is the perfect type. Somebody who the public love and who is therefore offered much market respect if in contention.
Likewise, Rickie Fowler may be languishing further down the market but he has a big reputation. As laid out in our each-way column, Fowler looks capable of significant improvement if recent swing changes continue to pay dividends. He has great form in Florida, putts superbly and will love the forecast winds.
My trading plan is to stake eight units combined, then place an in-play order on each player to lay 25 units at 5.04/1. Just getting one of them matched at the target would more than triple the initial outlay, with further substantial profits available if they go on to win, or they both get matched.
Back Graeme McDowell to beat Lee Westwood 10u @ 1.84/5
Both of these European Ryder Cup heroes finished 46th at the Honda Classic, but I have considerably different expectations regarding this week's test. Westwood finished miserably from a great position at PGA National, merely adding to the negativity surrounding his game and confidence right now. By his own high standards, Westwood's Doral record is pretty poor, with 18th his best result in six tries. Putting, his longstanding weakness, is always pivotal here on these fast Bermuda greens.
In contrast, that great putter Gmac has finished top-13 in three of last four renewals, twice inside the top-six. His Honda effort was equally disappointing, though he could be excused a slight reaction to the previous week's gruelling heroics at the World Match Play.
Back Jordan Spieth 4u @ 3.45
Back Victor Dubuisson 2u @ 6.611/2
Back George Coetzee 1u @ 12.011/1
As explained above, the shortlist of plausible contenders is pretty thin this week, so it may not take anything special to get close to the top-ten. Course debutants that should, in theory, like the set-up make particular appeal, as their disadvantage has been negated.
For example, there's no good reason to think Jordan Speith will perform any less remarkably than usual here and, having spent most of the last year in or around the top-ten in much bigger fields on courses where he was at a disadvantage, he looks rock-solid at 3.45.
Next, I'm surprised that the market hasn't reacted more to Victor Dubuisson's heroics at the World Match Play. Perhaps some regard it as a fluke, but we long-term Victor-watchers know he is the real deal and couldn't have been more impressed with the start to his PGA Tour career. He hits it a mile, is a superb ball-striker and was magical around the Dove Mountain greens. What's not to like?
Finally, George Coetzee was another who had his moments in the World Match Play, who appears to have the perfect skills-set for Doral. Like Dubuisson, this big-hitter could make mincemeat of the par-fives and could still be below the market radar at this elite level.