WGC Cadillac betting preview

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Jim Furyk looks the value bet in this week’s WGC-Cadillac Championship at the Doral Resort in Florida.

Bob Dylan has strong links with Cadillac having fronted one of their ad campaigns and it’s his famous lyric ‘The times they are a-changing’ that springs to mind when looking at the odds for this week’s WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral in Florida.

Because compared to what we saw just 12 months ago they’re nothing short of remarkable.

Martin Kaymer at a single figure price to win a WGC event on American soil; Tiger Woods at a never seen since pre-1997 Masters 14/1; Alvaro Quiros at much shorter odds than the likes of multiple US Tour winners Jim Furyk, Ernie Els and Retief Goosen…

But the sense that the odds seem out of whack is something we can cash in on.

And it’s that man Furyk who gets my attention.

The bottom line is this: How can the man who won last year’s FedEx Cup, who had a three-win season in 2010 (one of those coming in Florida) and who is a former champion here be 45/1?

Okay, the win came back in 2000 but more recently Furyk has finished second (2008) and third (2009) at the Blue Monster course.

Admittedly he’s been slow to come to the boil in 2011 after landing the FedEx Cup jackpot in October but Furyk’s final 54 holes (70-71-67) at Riviera on his last strokeplay start were hardly too shabby.

He went out of the Accenture Match Play at the first hurdle but so what.

Furyk is a class act, a proven winner and there is simply no way that he should be 50/1 at this venue.

Have a good each-way punt.

Another major winner with a great record in these parts is Retief Goosen and he too looks bigger odds then he should be.

The Goose is a two-time Florida winner and his last nine appearances in the Sunshine State show a win, a second, a fourth and a fifth.

The runners-up finish came in this event in 2008 while he was also third here in 2004 in its pre WGC days (this event has had World Golf Championship status since 2007).

The double US Open champion’s current form is pretty decent too.

In his last three strokeplay events he’s finished third in Abu Dhabi, 19th in Qatar and 12th at Riviera.

Again, a R1 exit in the Accenture can be glossed over and although he doesn’t find winning as easy as he used to Goosen is still very capable of landing the place money and he might just be a little inspired by compatriot Rory Sabbatini’s victory at the Honda in the first leg of the Florida Swing.

Matt Kuchar seems incapable of having a poor event these days and deserves an each-way interest.

Back in another lifetime, Kuchar’s first ever win came in Florida and for many years that 2002 success at the Honda Classic looked as if it would be his one and only triumph.

But a victory at the back end of 2009 and another last year when he went on to win the Money List has helped the American climb into elite status.

One of his many high finishes last year came in this tournament when he finished tied third and anyone who believed his 2010 was Kuchar’s moment in the sunshine is mistaken as he’s carried his great play over into 2011.

Already he’s posted a third, a fifth, a sixth and a seventh and his State form shows similar high-level consistency with nothing worse than a tied 17th in his last five starts in Florida.

Kuchar is 25/1 and that is fair given the number of boxes he ticks.

Nick Watney comes close to getting my fourth and final pick but, given that he didn’t win in 2010 and the man I’m going for won twice and is double the price of his fellow American, logic says I go with Bill Haas.
Haas has been one of the in-form players in the first couple of months of the season.

He’s only finished outside the top 12 once in strokeplay events (39th in Phoenix) and that was when he went into the final round in third place after opening 65-65-68.

Third in Greens In Regulation, sixth in Birdie Average, third in the All-Around Ranking and second in Scoring Average, Haas clearly boasts a powerful set of stats and with plenty of birdies on offer this week he should be able to thrive again.

Even more good news comes in the form of his sixth place here on debut in 2010.

That was part of a fine run on last year’s Florida Swing (6th-16th-17th) so he’s comfortable on these courses.

Haas has a win and two second places in his last nine strokeplay starts on the PGA Tour so the 40/1 looks good business.

Tips:

1.5pts e.w. Jim Furyk at 45/1 (General 1/4 1,2,3,4,5). Last year’s FedEx Cup winner has a great record at Doral and the price looks crazy.
1pt e.w. Retief Goosen at 50/1 (General 1/4 1,2,3,4,5). Strong record in Florida, good course form and has made a decent start to the season.
1.5pts e.w. Matt Kuchar at 25/1 (General 1/4 1,2,3,4,5). Rarely has a poor event these days. Third here last year and scored first win in Florida.
1pt e.w. Bill Haas at 40/1 (Coral 1/4 1,2,3,4,5). One of the form horses in the early part of 2011 and finished top six here in 2010.

  • Preview posted at 0815 GMT on 07/03/2011.
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