Open: golf betting guide

The 2013/2014 PGA Tour season gets underway this week with the Open at CordeValle Golf Club in Northern California.

The – which previously formed part of the PGA Tour’s Fall Series – is the first of 45 tournaments this season, with every event awarding FedEx Cup points for the first time.

Given its positioning in the golfing calendar and its reputation as a second-string tournament, the field for the is relatively weak.

Still, the likes of Gary Woodland, Billy Horschel, Marc Lieshman, defending champion Jonas Blixt and Japanse sensation Hideki Matsuyama are all taking part this week.

It should also provide a good opportunity for those earning PGA Tour cards through last month’s Tour finals to make a strong start to the season.

Woodland is the 16/1 favourite with Ladbrokes, but, given those odds, I’d be tempted to look elsewhere.

Billy Horschel, at 20/1 with Ladbrokes, should feature this week. He is one of the highest-ranked players in the field and he’ll be confident after a hugely successful PGA Tour campaign. He also boasts good course form, finishing 11th in 2011. Last year, he ranked 6th on the PGA Tour in Birdie Average, 8th in Birdie Average and 8th in the All-around ranking.

Patrick Reed, at 33/1 with Ladbrokes, will be looking to carry momentum into the new season after notching a maiden PGA Tour victory in August. He’ll be carefree after securing a two-year American exemption and his solid all-round play should be well suited to CordeValle, as he demonstrated with an 11th-place finish in 2012.

I think Seung-yul Noh, at 50/1 with Ladbrokes, will make quite an impression this season. The talented young Korean struggled in 2012, but bounced back with a brilliant performance in the Tour Finals to re-gain his PGA Tour card. He possesses a sumptuous golf swing, he won the Children’s Hospital Championship on his last outing and he’ll be determined to realise his full potential on the PGA Tour this time around.

Ryo Ishikawa, at 80/1 with Ladbrokes, is another player I’m expecting to play well this week. The Japanese youngster was underwhelming last year, but three top-eight finishes in Tour finals suggest he’s ready to hit the ground running this season.

Sean O’Hair, at 100/1 with Ladbrokes, is well priced this week. The American has struggled in recent times, but he’s a quality ball-striker and a four-time PGA Tour champion who’s enjoyed extended spells inside the world’s top 50. He’ll be looking to get his career back on track, and three top 20s in the Tour finals should give him plenty of confidence ahead of the new campaign. Open advised bets:

3pts each way on Billy Horschel at 20/1 with Ladbrokes
2pts wach way on Patrick Reed at 33/1 with Ladbrokes
2pts each way on Seung-yul Noh at 50/1 with Ladbrokes
2pts each way on Ryo Ishikawa at 80/1 with Ladbrokes
2pts each way on Sean O’Hair at 100/1 with Ladbrokes