Tiger Woods hosts his annual tournament this week as a selection of big names head to California for the World Challenge presented by Northwestern Mutual.
Across the Atlantic, three of the world’s top five are in the field for the lucrative Nedbank Golf Challenge in Sun City, South Africa.
Both these exhibition tournaments contain very limited fields, so it is worth considering a range of different betting markets this week.
Tiger Woods birdied the final two holes at the World Challenge last year to triumph over Zach Johnson and win his first tournament since 2009.
Both players are in the field again this year, and with Woods priced at 5/2 with Ladbrokes, there is some good value on offer.
The Sherwood Country Club isn’t the longest, but with 1,800 mature oak trees and a plethora of water features and rose bushes, the emphasis is very much on accuracy.
In an 18-man field, anyone has a chance, and Steve Stricker and Rickie Fowler look very appealing at 33/1, but I like the look of Johnson at 14/1 and Hunter Mahan at 16/1, all with Ladbrokes.
Johnson’s game is perfectly suited to Sherwood, where he finished second last year and ninth in 2010.
Mahan was second in Total Driving on the PGA Tour in 2012 and 12th in Greens in Regulation. What’s more, he hasn’t finished outside the top seven since the tournament’s inauguration in 2008.
In the group betting category, Jim Furyk looks good at 4/1 with Ladbrokes against Jason Dufner, Dustin Johnson, Ian Poulter and Bo Van Pelt, and Stricker – a man with a good record in the tournament – also looked well priced at 4/1 against Jason Day, Hunter Mahan, Webb Simpson and Keegan Bradley.
I’d also be tempted by a match betting accumulator this week. Ten pounds on Dufner to beat D. Johnson, Furyk to beat Poulter, Z. Johnson to beat Van Pelt and Matt Kuchar to beat Nick Watney would earn £132.83 with Ladbrokes.
In South Africa, the field is comprised of only 12 players. As such, I’d always have an each way bet on the longest-priced player. In this case, Garth Mulroy, who came close to victory in Italy this season and plays some good golf on home soil – is well worth backing at 40/1 with Ladbrokes.
In the first round leader market, Lee Westwood is a decent price at 5/1 with Ladbrokes. He led after round one last year and sat third after 18 holes in 2010, winning the tournament on both occasions.
Peter Hanson may be making his debut in the tournament, but the Swede is capable of going extremely low when he finds his range. He was ninth on the European Tour in Stroke Average this season and looked well priced in the first round leader market at 12/1 with Labrokes.
Another market that looks interesting is Top European. The Gary Player Country Club measures more than 7,500 yards from the back tees, and history tells us it suits the longer hitter.
As such, Nicolas Colsaerts is worth a bet at 7/1 with Ladbrokes. I’d also be tempted by Mulroy – who was 22nd in Driving Distance on the European Tour this season – at 10/1 in the Top South African Market.