Welcome to the first offering of our new feature column, “A Bit On The Side”.
Each of our three writers will be picking one bet from any side market for the week, whether it be a First Round Leader, a Top-20 or so on and so forth. If there is value to be had and a bet liked outside of the outright selections, it will be featured in this column.
These can range from short-odd selections, even match-bets to outside First Round Leader shouts, so if it is variety you are after when looking for an angle, this could well be the column for you.
Without further ado, here are the three side market bets, we at the Golf Family like this week.
Jason Daniels – George Coetzee to be the Top South African at the Qatar Masters (3/1)
A bet on the more modest side to get things started, as George Coetzee to finish first amongst his compatriots looks good value this week.
Coetzee has some good course form to draw on here in Qatar, with form figures of MC-7-12-5-2-35 and that puts him at a distinct advantage amongst his peers.
To finish inside the top-7 on three of your five starts at any event is special, and he will look for more of the same this week.
Coetzee’s nearest challengers for Top South African this week come in the shape of Haydn Portous and Erik Van Rooyen who are both 11/2 to challenge the favourite.
Porteous is yet to enjoy success here in Qatar with form figures of MC-57 on his two starts here so far, whilst Van Rooyen will be playing for the first time.
Both golfers are great talents in their own right, with Porteous a two-time winner on Tour and Van Rooyen expected to breakthrough in the near future, but both will perhaps prefer a different test to this one. Porteous and Van Rooyen have so far shown a preference for wide tracks that allow them to bomb the ball of tee, something that isn’t on the agenda here.
Although this course is generous enough off the tee, there is a lot more required at this golf course, which may not suit these two, whereas Coetzee has proven he likes this test.
As such, George looks a touch bigger than he should be in this market at 3/1 and is definitely a worthy favourite here.
Check out Jason’s Honda Classic/Qatar Masters Double Preview here
Steven Gray – Thomas Bjorn to finish inside the Top-20 at the Qatar Masters (13/2)
As Steven mentions in his Qatar Masters Preview, he likes Thomas Bjorn to put together a good week in Qatar and a top-20 is the way to go. Whilst Bjorn has been showing some decent form of late, you cannot ignore his advancing years and Ryder Cup commitments, so contending for the win may be a step too far.
Bjorn who will Captain Team Europe at the Ryder Cup this September, continued his own decent form last week at the Oman Open, thanks to a sharp short game, and that gives him a platform to build on this week.
The Dane ranked 9th in Putting and 18th in Scrambling last week, which saw him sit in 16th place after 54-holes and 33rd by the end of the week.
This effort, which could have been a whole lot better but for his worst round of the week coming on Sunday, suggests Bjorn is still capable of mixing it at this level, especially given his affinity with the course here.
Bjorn won here back in 2011 and also has two top-9 finishes in 2006 and 2010 to his name, so it is fair to say he likes Doha GC.
The wily veteran has threatened to finish inside the top-20 in three of his last four starts, finishing 39th or better on each occasion and this may be the week he makes the number.
Check out Steven’s Qatar Masters Preview here
Tom Jacobs – Tom Hoge to lead after the First Round (125/1)
Tom Hoge has been playing fine golf so far this season and is in the first group out Thursday morning, which is advantage given the lack of wind until 11 A.M.
Add to the obvious weather advantages, the fact that Hoge ranks 12th on Tour in “Early Round 1 Scoring Average” averaging 68.00 and he looks a fine bet to make the most of his situation this Thursday.
Given Hoge averages 69.64 in th first round, which sees him sit 51st in Round 1 Scoring Average, it is clear he plays almost two strokes better when out early and he will look to continue that this week in Florida.
Whilst he didn’t set the world alight on his debut here two years ago, he did finish T37 which was solid enough, shooting a very respectable 68 in Round Three.
Taking his form this season into account, it is fair to say Hoge returns a better player this time around and that will also help. He has finished inside the top-25 on 50% of his starts this season, with a 3rd at the Sony Open, a 7th at the Shriners and a 12th place finish at Torrey Pines, the highlights so far.
Despite finishing just T53 last week, Hoge impressed on Thursday, shooting an opening-67 which was just one shot shy of Patrick Cantlay and Tony Finau who shared the lead heading into round two. He was also just two shots back after the first round at the Sony Open in Hawaii, which also correlates nicely with this event, giving further reason for hope this week.
At 125/1, Hoge looks good value to lead this event after the first day, given his early tee time, and quick nature out of the blocks this season.
Check out Tom’s preview of the Honda Classic here