2009 SHELL HOUSTON OPEN PICKS

It’s like Vegas heard me say I am going to keep it small, and offered a bunch of ridiculous match-ups this week. By ridiculous I mean players I think are undervalued directly matched up with players who I hate. Good times.

I don’t really know what to think about the course here. If I hear they are “setting it up like Augusta” one more time I am going to impose grievous bodily harm on someone. I get it, your course is roughly the same length as Augusta and you are cutting the rough short. It’s not Augusta National.

Strangely this tournament has attracted a really strong field. Aside from the WGC’s, this is by far the strongest field assembled on American soil this season. As to why, I think it has more to do with the Euro’s getting a week in America under their belts and a chance to pick up some FedEx cup points, more than any “Augsta-like” setup.

The Overrated’s this week include my list of overrated hall of famers(Dustin Johnson, Charley Hoffman, Charles Howell, Davis Love, David Toms) and two big names: Phil Mickleson and Geoff Ogilvy. Once again Phil is being built up to be a Tiger rival, and he has played better in the early going, but he is still not close to Tiger on a consistent basis. Coming off a win last time out his odds are pretty hilarious. Ogilvy too, who it pains me to say it, because I like his game, is priced a bit steep here. Two wins at strong field events will do that to you.

I breifly looked at Sergio again this week and I will be pissed when he wins, but I am just not biting on him. He is certainly less popular than the folks in his price range, but that doesn’t necesarily mean he is a great play. Alvaro Quiros is no longer a good play. This is a great course for his game, but every idiot out there realizes it.

Once again I focused on Euro’s pretty heavily this week. I think this course with low rough will play a little more favorably to the Europeans than last week. My current view on the Euro Tour is not that the talent level is greatly different but generally shorter courses with slower greens and lower rough reward a different then skill set than the American monster courses. This week, like Doral, should play slightly more to the Euro’s hands, as opposed to long rough at Bay Hill. That’s Just a guess on something I am having a hard time quantifying.

Henrik Stenson could be a great option as the last two memories of him most people have are hitting a shot in his briefs and shooting an 84 at Doral. The only other player I considered besides the pick was Mahan. Stenson, Garcia, Mahan make up potential in-running picks if I want to go that route.

The pick this week was Robert Karlsson. He missed the cut at this event last year. He did play well at Redstone’s “sister” course Augusta National last season.

Bottom line is Karlsson is a top-ten player in the world and I can’t think of a reason that he is put so far down the list in terms of players to win. You can say what you want about the Euro Tour, but Charley Hoffman ahead of Robert Karlsson in terms of anything other than really gay shoes is an absolute joke. I dare you to find any metric where Charley Hoffman is a better player than Bobby K.

Bobby K to win +5000(.20)
Bobby K top-5 +1000(.90)

Matchups:
Ha! There are about 7 more here than I thought I would play:

Kevin Na +105 over Charley Hoffman(1)
:
That flipper came out of nowhere. Every other week this season Hoffman has been paired against a guy that was mildly unattractive to take(for me that means good recent play or a strong history at the course.) I can’t find it here. As far as I could tell, the only thing separating these is Hoffman notoriety and that is not a good enough reason for me.

Vijay Singh +130 over Charley Hoffman(1):
It’s clear that Vijay is hurt. I know that. But Vegas keeps putting out these ridiculous lines and as far as I can tell people are still hitting Vijay’s opponent. They must know what they are doing.

Anthony Kim +115 over Camilo Villegas(1)
:
Can you say battle of the overrated young stars. Both of these guys should regress from last season’s play, but I don’t see what separates them this much other than this year’s PGA Tour performance. For the record I hit up Kim +105 against Camilo in the Johnnie Walker Classic and that was a winner. Don’t let the talk fool you about Camilo and Kim’s recent play. There just isn’t that much between them. At -110 This is not a play, at +115 it is.

Sergio +130 over Phil(2)
:
How’s this for a meaningless stat: I looked up all the common Tournament rounds that Phil and Sergio have played dating back to Jan 1, 2008. Phil is 1 shot better over that time.

Harrington +110 over Ogilvy(1):
It is pretty funny that guys like Zach Johnson and Trevor Immelman get so much credit for winning a major and Padraig gets less for winning 3 of the last 6. Regardless of how his swing looks, Padraig is still a much better player than those two. I’ll take my chances against the invincible Ogilvy here.

Matthew Goggin -130 over Charles Howell III(1):
I have literally waited all season for matchups like Goggin v. Howell. I wish they would throw stuff like this out there more often.

Martin Kaymer -110 over Lucas Glover(1)
:
I can’t make up my mind on Glover. He sits right around a lot of clearly underrated players in my numbers, but he has also gotten a lot of T.V. time this season from what I have watched. Most people haven’t heard of Kaymer so he is worth a shot.

Jeev Milkha Singh -130 over Dustin Johnson(1):
It’s almost like this was directed right at me.

Only one week until the Masters, and if none of my guys wins this week I hope Davis Love III gets the job done for gambling purposes next week. Good luck.

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “2009 SHELL HOUSTON OPEN PICKS

  1. If your numbers are telling you that Goggin vs. Howell is such good value, why wouldn’t you play it for more than (1)?

  2. It’s a combination of a few things:
    1)Saving money for the Masters after a disastrous NCAA Tournament.
    2)I try not to base everything off the numbers. They are a good relative judge of a players strength in relation to the field, but they don’t account for things like recent play and course history that probably have some weight, although not as much as the public generally accounts for.

    They have shown over the 3oo or so matchups I have down for this season a slight edge on Vegas, but that is a small sample size, and if this was really a great tool to beat Vegas someone far smarter than me would have already come up with it.

  3. Just realized, I got Goggin at +100 against Howell.

  4. I think Quiros’ goal this week was to make you feel dumb for locking onto him for the Masters’ early.

  5. Yeah, I agree. Although, he was down to 100-1.

    I’m going to make this a post next week, but I was part dumb and part got screwed on those early Masters odds. Based on my view of Quiros and Kaymer I really didn’t want to wait on them, but I clearly underestimated the casual viewing public’s opinion of them. These guys could win three straight weeks and they still would be unknown. I was under the impression that one good finish would cause the odds to adjust a lot more than they did.

    I got screwed in that not only Tiger, but Phil are having ridiculous seasons. I could make a case for Tiger +175 as being somewhat fair. Phil at +650 is preposterous.

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