Who will win the US Masters 2013?

The US Masters 2012 was won by Bubba Watson after an exciting play-off with South African Louis Oosthuizen following both golfers having an exceptional round on the final day and finsihing on -10.  The 33-year-old left-hander won at the second extra hole to claim his first major title. Peter Hanson, Matt Kuchar and Phil Mickelson finished in a three-way tie for third finishing on -8.  England’s Ian Poulter (69) finished seventh on -5, while Australian Adam Scott, last year’s runner-up, carded a 66 that included a hole in one on the 16th to finish -4.

England’s Justin Rose and Ireland’s Padraig Harrington finished in eighth with Adam Scott.

Pre-tournament favourites Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy ended a disappointing tournament tied on five over last year.  But that has no bearing on this year’s golf betting ahead of the US Masters 2013 where Tiger Woods is closing in on Rory McIlroy at the top of the official golf world ranking list; and after winning this year’s WGC Championship title for the seventh time, is now only one average point behind Rory McIlroy.  A victory at the US Masters would see Tiger Woods regaining the #1 world ranking he held for so long before injury and personal problems caused a meltdown in 2009.

The US Masters 2013
starts the week commencing Monday 8th April with the actual golf tournament beginning on Thursday 11th – Sunday 14th April at the famous Augusta Golf Course.

Is anyone prepared to bet against Tiger Woods (1997, 2001, 2002, 2005) winning his fifth US Masters Tournament next month?

I am expecting Tiger Woods to win but hope to enjoy a battle between Woods and Rory McIlroy all the way to the final pin. If both players have a good tournament and play to their potential, the US Masters could offer one of the most exciting final rounds in recent history.  But don’t forget three-time winner Phil Mickelson (2004, 2006, 2010) has his own private love affair with the tournament and US golf fans.

At the time of writing this article, bwin golf betting has Tiger Woods favourite at 5/1 from Rory McIlroy at 9/1 and Phil Mickelson at 11/1.  The big three are followed by Brandt SnedekerCharl Schwartzel & the highest place Englishmen Luke Donald at 21/1.

Europe Win the Ryder Cup 2012

Starting the third & final day 10-6 down, the odds were stacked against Europe to even make a reasonable score, let alone retain the Ryder Cup by winning a majority of the 12 singles matches.  But with Luke Donald, Rory McIlroy, Ian Poulter, Justin Rose & Paul Lawrie winning the first five matches, the final day was an amazing show of awesome, nail-biting golf.

Ian Poulter didn’t lead in his match against Webb Simpson until the 17th hole and Justin Rose needed 18 holes to beat Phil Mickelson finishing with two sublime birdies.

While Rory McIlroy beat the young charismatic Keegan Bradley after only arriving at the Medinah Country Club ten minutes before his tee time in a police car with the excuse he had confused Eastern with Central Time!

Luke Donald & Bubba Watson was the first match of the day & the first to finish with Donald winning 2&1. But apart from Paul Lawrie thrashing US rookie Brandt Snedeker 5&3 every match was a tight one, with many switching from red to blue and back again.

It went right down to the wire, the last two matches between Steve Stricker & Martin Kaymer and Tiger Woods vs Francesco Molinari.  With three holes to play both matches were all square with Europe needing just one point to retain the Ryder Cup. And it went down to the 18th when Steve Stricker made his putt and left Martin Kaymer a shot to win or lose the Ryder Cup for Europe. With just one match remaining, Kaymer won the Ryder Cup for Europe in the most amazing comeback of all-time.

In a post-match interview José María Olazábal attempted to dedicate the win to his great friend Seve Ballesteros before breaking down with emotion.

Sunday’s Singles:
Bubba Watson lost to Luke Donald 2&1
Webb Simpson lost to Ian Poulter 2 up
Keegan Bradley lost to Rory McIlroy 2&1
Phil Mickelson lost to Justin Rose 1 up
Brandt Snedeker lost to Paul Lawrie 5&3
Dustin Johnson beat Nicolas Colsaerts 3&2
Zach Johnson beat Graeme McDowell 2&1
Jim Furyk lost to Sergio Garcia 1 up
Jason Dufner beat Peter Hanson 2 up
Matt Kuchar lost to Lee Westwood 3&2
Steve Stricker lost to Martin Kaymer 1 up
Tiger Woods v Francesco Molinari A/S

European Team up against it on Singles Day of the Ryder Cup

After two days of US dominance, the European team go into the third and final day hoping for little less than a miracle, if they are to retain the Ryder Cup.  But they were given a boost with Ian Poulter winning a point in the final foursome match yesterday with five birdies on the final five holes.

The score is 10 – 6 which means the US team only have to win four points from today’s singles matches; and there are some fantastic matches to look forward to.

European Captain Jose-Maria Olazabal’s hands have been tied and he has put all this weekend’s best performing players out first today.  Luke Donald, Ian Poulter, Justin Rose & Rory McIlroy will attempt to build some momentum by getting the blur points on the board.

There is a very slim chance of the European team retaining the Ryder Cup that was made all the better by Ian Poulter’s amazing win yesterday at a time when Tiger Woods was beginning to show some form for the first time this weekend.

Today the European team will be fighting for their lives against a strong US team and a course with next to no rough and fast greens that best suit their game.  They will also be wearing the colours of the Spanish legendary golfer Seve Ballesteros and have vowed to ‘play for Seve’.  When asked to comment on this gesture European Captain Jose-Maria Olazabal, a close friend of Seve’s, was unable to answer. Instead he gave a tight smile and turned away as his eyes filled with tears.

I’m hoping the European team can get off to a flying start to keep this year’s Ryder Cup alive as I look forward to the final day of one of the most exciting competitions in sport.

Ryder Cup 2012 Singles Matches

Bubba Watson vs. Luke Donald
Webb Simpson vs. Ian Poulter
Keegan Bradley vs. Rory McIlroy
Phil Mickelson vs. Justin Rose
Brandt Snedeker vs. Paul Lawrie
Dustin Johnson  vs. Nicolas Colsaerts
Zach Johnson vs. Graeme McDowell
Jim Furyk vs. Sergio Garcia
Jason Dufner vs. Peter Hanson
Matt Kuchar vs. Lee Westwood
Steve Stricker vs. Martin Kaymer
Tiger Woods vs. Francesco Molinari

Rory McIlroy wins the Hong Kong Open

Rory McIlroy wins the Hong Kong Open to keep alive his contest with Luke Donald at the top of the European Tour‘s Race to Dubai.

Rory McIlroy made an impressive comeback in the fourth and final round to win the Hong Kong Open today and with it keeps the pressure on Englishman Luke Donald for the coveted European Tour’s Race to Dubai championship.

Rory McIlroy won with a final round of 65 by two strokes with a 5 under score.  The 22 year old from Northern Ireland was delighted to seal the victory and told reporters:

“It is very special to win this. No matter how prestigious tournaments are, this is one of my favourites and I’m really happy to win it,” he said. “To be able to win a golf tournament when you are not at your best is something. Tiger Woods did this all the time. This is a great win, to come from behind and to be able to draw level and then close it out.”

There has been much pressure on the young Irishman’s shoulders since he turned professional in 2007 and eventually won his first major – the US Open – earlier this year.

McIlroy beat off challenges from France’s Gregory Havret who finished second, two strokes behind, and Sweden’s Peter Hanson on 9 under. Ian Poulter was looking to retain the title he won in 2010 and shot a good final round to finish joint fourth on 8 under with Scotland’s Richie Ramsay and Thailand’s Pariya Junhasavasdikul.

After failing to win the Hong Kong Open, Ian Poulter told reporters:

“It’s disappointing obviously. I came to defend and I’ve come up shy. I thought I had a chance when I got to 9 under, but I just flushed it on the 15th. It was a costly bogey at the wrong time,”

Last week Lee Westwood announced that he would be joining the US PGA Tour next year which I assume is to give him a better chance to win either the US Open or The Masters.  By doing so Westwood may forfeit the chance to win the Race to Dubai, based on the highest prize money on the European Tour in a given season, but the US is where the big money is.

If like Lee Westwood you are looking to win your share of prize money then why not check out the golf betting competition at BettingExperts.

They are offering a massive a £5,000 in a free to enter competition.  The competition covers all golf tips for major, minor tournaments including PGA and European Tour during the competition date. The top ten golf tipsters with the highest profit (measured in units) on golf shares the prize pool, which will be paid in free bets & prize giveaways. Tipster with the most overall gets the first prize.

Ian Poulter wins World Matchplay Championship

Ian Poulter beat fellow Englishman, Luke Donald 2&1 to win the Volvo World Matchplay Championship at Finca Cortesin in Spain yesterday.

Poulter came from behind in several matches and put his victory down to finding form with his putting.  His victory tasted sweeter as it came on his son Luke’s seventh birthday.

After lifting the trophy, Poulter told reporters:

“I thought it would be pretty special to win this today. I finally started holing some putts. I’ve been frustrated for a few months and you have to hole putts to win.”

Luke Donald, who beat German Martin Kaymer in the semi-final, could have replaced Lee Westwood as World Ranked #1 if he had beaten Poulter.

A disappointed Luke Donald told reporters afterwards.

“I ran out of steam a bit and didn’t take the opportunities I had.”

Ian Poulter pocketed a cheque for €800,000; while Luke Donald received €420,000.  Not bad for a few days golf in the sun!

Ian Poulter, Luke Donald, Martin Kaymer, Lee Westwood and other members of the successful 2010 European Ryder Cup team go head-to-head later this week at Wentworth in the BMW Championship.