Happy New Year all! What will 2024 bring to the golfing world? A united golfing landscape or the continued fractured sport. I'm sure hoping for the former.....
Maui in January, jeez who'd want to give that up. Beats the weather in the UK right now for sure. I've managed one round on a totally waterlogged golf course since November. Hawaii sounds like heaven right now!
Anyway, back to the golf!
2023 winner Jon Rahm won't be playing this year, sorry if that's news to you all. But World number 1, Scottie Scheffler is doing his best impression of him with his new fuller facial hair.... Scottie changed putters late last year and has been working with renowned putting coach Phil Kenyon, so even a little improvement will see him race further away in the OWGR standings and increase his major count over the next 2 years (barring some select Scandinavian's leading the chase!)
Rahmbo shot 27-under last year, which paled in comparison to 2022 winner Cam Smith who shot a ridiculous 34-under total. Both players followed up wins here with a major win in the same year. An omen for the 2024 winner perhaps!
The Plantation course is a beastly yardage that certainly doesn't play like the nearly 7600 total yardage would suggest. Huge elevation changes and huge greens means a 500+ Par 4 can be tamed with a drive to an often vast fairway and a short iron. A Par 73 also creates the obvious chances for a birdie fest.
My gosh there's some views though!
The one protection this Bermuda grassed course has is wind..... and there's hardly a breath in the forecast this week, so I'm expecting a similar total to the last few years!
For me this course suits a bomber who has a hot putting week. People will say it's a ball strikers paradise, but look at Collin Morikawa last year. He led by 7, and as soon as a little pressure mounted and he missed a few greens, the short game demons came to the fore (Although I must say, his action looked a lot more efficient for the last few months of '23).
It also suits a guy that's happy and used to playing on the grainy bermuda greens.
For that reason I'm not backing Max Homa this week. I really fancied him given his strong end to last year winning Africa's Major (!) and his outrageous performance in the Ryder Cup. He was the real shining light of the US team and was unlucky to be on the losing side.
Brian Harman, 2023 Champion Golfer of the Year and fellow rare US Ryder Cup success has seen a lot of interest this week, but I've not backed him given his lack of prowess off the tee. Although he did make the effort to knock some dust off his sticks to play after the Ryder Cup in the PGA Tour Fall Series.
I'm going for a real outside pick here guys.... Jon's lookalike and World Number 1, Senor Scheffler! Yes I know what a brave call! You came for Golf tips, I give you golf tips....
Scottie changed to a new putter last year and if that thing lights up in the slightest, look out world. His long game is a total joke. An bonafide flusher! And long too! In 2023 he lead SG Total, SG Off-the-Tee, SG Approach but...... 162nd in putting. The previously mentioned putter change is what I'm going for. He's 5/1 on Bet 365
Next up is everyone's favourite tool (salesman), Big P Cantlay. 3rd in SG Total last year. The guy has it all, bar personality and speed. He's currently joint 4th favourtie with his sparring partner Xander, at 12/1 on Bet 365.
I know I mentioned his collapse last year, but I fancy Collin for a top 5 here. Currently 23/10 on Bet 365. He is of Hawaiian descent, so this place may hold more meaning to him. His iron play is up there with a select few and I fancy him to contend (if not win) this week. So much so I'd back him to beat Aberg in a 72 hole match up. Although this has me worried, as Ludvig will be contending in multiple events this year. Collin is 8/13 to beat Ludvig over 72 holes
I also have Cantlay to beat Spieth over 72 holes at 4/6, Henley to beat Clark at 8/13 and Fitzpatrick to beat Kim at 5/6.
There we are. Not the most exciting of picks to start 2024, but a solid selection nonetheless.
If you like an each way bet, I'd be putting some safe money on Fitzpatrick at 28/1 on Bet 365. Or Cam Young at a generous 45's. Vincent Norrman is 100/1.....
I've got a wide selection there! Anyway, I hope you enjoy the return of competitive golf. I can't wait.
As always feel free to leave a comment below before, during or after.
Golf betting tips are hard, so always remember these wise words, "if you throw a dog a bone, I don't wanna know how it tastes!
*Always gamble responsbily