The Sports Bookie Blog

Golf Round-up – June 3rd through June 6th

May 31st, 2010

Golf betting onlineHere’s “This Week in Golf”, a summary of the top golfing action courtesy of offshore sportsbook, Bookmaker.com.

PGA TOUR – THE MEMORIAL TOURNAMENT, Muirfield Village Golf Club, Dublin, Ohio

The PGA Tour shifts from Hogan’s Alley, Colonial, to Jack’s Place, Muirfield Village, this week. Jack Nicklaus hosts The Memorial Tournament and he brings out the big names. Four of the top five players in the world are competing at Muirfield Village this week, as are eight of the top 10 on the PGA Tour money list. World No.1 Tiger Woods is scheduled to return to action this week after taking three weeks off with a neck injury, which caused him to withdraw during the final round of the Players Championship. Woods’ win at Muirfield last year was his fourth at this tournament. There will be seven other former winners in the field this week, including three- time champ Kenny Perry. All four reigning major champions are playing this week and are among 18 major winners in the field.Woods closed with rounds of 68-65 last year to beat 2002 champ Jim Furyk by a single stroke. Ernie Els, the 2004 winner, has played this tournament every year since 1994. When he won in 2004, he joined Nicklaus and Tom Watson as the only three players to win at Muirfield Village and win the British Open at Muirfield in Scotland. Els won six top-10 finishes and has missed the cut just once since 1994.

The Golf Channel will cover Thursday and Friday’s action before CBS takes over on the weekend. The PGA Tour heads to Memphis next week for the St. Jude Classic, where Brian Gay won last year by five strokes.

EUROPEAN TOUR CELTIC MANOR WALES OPEN, The Celtic Manor Resort, Newport, Wales

Jeppe Huldahl broke through for his first European Tour win at the Wales Open last year. Not only was it Huldahl’s first win, but it was the first time in over 40 tournaments that Huldahl even finished in the top 10. He went seven-under par on the weekend to earn a one-stroke win over Niclas Fasth. Last week’s winner Luke Donald headlines the field this week. Donald tops a solid field as many big names are playing here because Celtic Manor is also hosting the Ryder Cup in October. European team captain Colin Montgomerie is teeing it up this week along with 11 other players that have competed in at least one of the last four Ryder Cups for the European squad. Those 11 include – Donald, Thomas Bjorn, Darren Clarke, Niclas Fasth, Soren Hansen, David Howell, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Graeme McDowell, Paul McGinley, Phillip Price and Oliver Wilson.Along with Huldahl, there are five other past champions in the field — Scott Strange, Jimenez, Simon Khan, Paul Lawrie and McGinley.

The Golf Channel will have coverage of all four rounds. Michael Hoey picked up his first European Tour win last year at the Estoril Open de Portugal and is expected to defend his title in an event that is being played two months later than it was last year.

CHAMPIONS TOUR PRINCIPAL CHARITY CLASSIC, Glen Oaks Country Club, West Des Moines, Iowa

It took four extra holes last year, but Mark McNulty finally claimed his seventh victory on the Champions Tour. McNulty faced Fred Funk and Nick Price in the extra session. They all parred the first hole, before Price fell out with a par on the second extra hole. Funk and McNulty parred the third playoff hole, then McNulty birdied the fourth hole of the playoff to finally seal the win. For the third straight year and for the fifth time in the last six seasons, this event follows the season’s first major, the Senior PGA Championship. Tom Lehman earned his first Champions Tour major at the Senior PGA last weekend as Fred Couples and David Frost both made a mess of the first playoff hole. Lehman pulled out of this event after the win, but Couples and Frost are in the field this week to try and dethrone McNulty as the champion.

The Golf Channel has early evening coverage of all three rounds. After a two-week break, the Champions Tour heads to New York for the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open, where Lonnie Nielsen won last season with a tournament scoring record of 21-under 195.

NATIONWIDE TOUR MELWOOD PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY OPEN, The University of Maryland Golf Course, College Park, Maryland

Mathias Gronberg fired four rounds of 69 or better to finally earn his first win on the Nationwide Tour at The Country Club at Woodmore last year. Gronberg is in the field this week to defend his title and try to become the first player to win the same Nationwide Tour event in back-to-back years. After three years at The Country Club at Woodmore, the tournament shifts to the University of Maryland Golf Course this year. The University course will host the tournament for two years.Fred Funk, the Terrapins former head golf coach, is again serving as the honorary co-chair.

The Golf Channel will have over nine hours of coverage throughout the week. The Nationwide Tour is off next week, then returns the following week in Arkansas with the Fort Smith Classic, where Jason Enloe won last year.

CANADIAN TOUR TIMES COLONISST OPEN, Uplands Golf Club, Victoria, British Columbia

Byron Smith closed with rounds of 66-64 to earn a three-stroke win over Jim Rutledge and amateur Brady Johnson last year. For Smith, it was his third victory on the Canadian Tour. This is the tour’s first event since late April when it ended a three-event run in Colombia and Mexico.Rutledge, a local favorite, is coming off a tie for 45th at the Senior PGA Championship. The 50-year-old also shared third place at this event in 2008.After a three-week break, the Canadian Tour returns to action July 1st with the ATB Financial Classic, where Graham DeLaet won last year.

>>For more information on golf betting check out popular online sportsbook Bookmaker.com. Here’s a link to the latest review of Bookmaker.com Sportsbook at popular GoonersGuide.com.

Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics: Betting

February 11th, 2010

Here’s a posting on Winter Olympics betting submitted by the team at Bodog Sportsbook.

Winter OlympicsNeed a cure for that Super Bowl hangover? The 2010 Winter Olympics will help you get right back into the sports gambling swing. It might not look like winter in Vancouver, but, by hook or by crook, there will be snow in the right places once the Games begin. Athletes from over 80 nations are expected to gather at Friday’s opening ceremonies; billions will be watching on television, and more than a few dollars will exchange hands.

Of the 15 sports involved, most of the action will be on men’s hockey. This is the first time the Games will feature a standard NHL rink (200-by-85 feet) instead of the international 200-by-98 surface, which should play right into the hands of the host Canadians. They’re the favorites at 11-10, followed by Russia at 21-10 and Sweden a distant third at 11-2. Team USA, who should also benefit from the smaller dimensions at GM Place (de-branded as “Canada Hockey Place” for the Olympics), is next at 7-1.

Canada may be the consensus birthplace of hockey, but they went 50 years without winning the gold medal thanks to the rise of the Soviet team and the exclusion of NHL players. Neither of those obstacles exists anymore; however, that’s no guarantee the Canadian version of the Dream Team will come out ahead. They didn’t even reach the podium in 1998 or 2006. Canada’s one shining moment was in 2002 at Salt Lake City, when Mario Lemieux, Eric Lindros, Joe Sakic, and Steve Yzerman were on board.

Canada’s team for 2010 doesn’t have quite the same jaw-dropping collection of talent. Martin Brodeur (.917 save percentage this year) is back in goal, and he’ll see some familiar faces behind the blueline in Scott Niedermayer (32 points in 59 games, but a minus-17) and Chris Pronger (40 points in 57 games, plus-20). Up front, it’s none other than Sidney Crosby (39 goals, 35 assists in 58 games) picking up the torch for the retired Lemieux. But does the roster as a whole possess enough skill as well as that elusive team chemistry to merit such short Olympic odds?

The Russians might have the solution. In addition to familiar NHL names like superstars Alexander Ovechkin (42 goals in 51 games), Evgeni Malkin (61 points in 52 games) and Ilya Kovalchuk (31 goals in 52 games), Team Russia has included several players from its very own Kontinental Hockey League (KHL). Four of those players are from the same Salavat Yulaev Ufa team; another three are from Ak Bars Kazan. Put those skaters in front of Evgeni Nabokov (.927 SV%), and you have a serious gold medal contender with nearly twice the potential payout as Canada.

You’ll hear a lot of talk about the expectation level Canada has for its hockey team at these Games. This is the third time the Great White North has hosted the Olympics (following the 1976 Summer Games in Montreal and the 1988 Winter Games in Calgary), and Canada has yet to strike gold of any kind on home soil. That’s very likely to change this year, according to these Olympic betting odds:

How many gold medals will Canada win?

0-5                37-20
6-9                  5-6
10 or more     19-10

Canada’s gold-medal viability got a major boost in 1992 when short track speed skating was made a full Olympic sport. South Korea has won 17 gold since then, followed by Canada with five and the United States with four. This can be a tricky sport to handicap because of the high frequency of disqualifications for making improper contact with other skaters – it’s like NASCAR out there. But with eight different events involved (four for the men, four for the women), Canada should wrangle some gold from the short track. Charles Hamelin has some value at 8-1 to take the men’s 1500m; Hamelin is also +110 in a head-to-head matchup with Team USA star Apolo Anton Ohno (-150).

The chances of Canada grabbing at least six gold look even better when you look at the rest of the Olympic futures market. Germany is a heavy 1-1 favorite to take home the most gold medals from Vancouver, followed by Canada at 5-2 and Team USA at 7-2. There are 86 events in total. Canada won six gold in Nagano and seven each in Salt Lake City and Turin. They could win even more this year as the host country – for a change.

Click to visit Bodog SportsbookCheck out the latest Winter Olympics betting markets and prices at Bodog Sportsbook. (US bettors welcome too).

Free to Enter Competition for Rugby Six Nations Fans

February 5th, 2010

Popular Irish Bookmaker Paddy Power has once again launched a competition that is aimed at the true sports fan.

Here’s how the bookie’s marketing crew describe their latest promotion:

Click to visit PaddyPower.com for more info“Think you can handle 22 sweaty jockstraps? You won’t be joining the prawn sandwich brigade in the corporate boxes. No. You’ll be getting down and dirty with the team and their legendary bagman ‘Rala’ in the bowels of Croke Park on Sat 13th March for Ireland v Wales. From the dressing room to the pitch, you won’t be watching the game – you’ll be part of it! ”

We’re not so fussed for jockstraps, here at BookieLabRat.com, but do like the sound of a side line seat during the game, so close that your eyes water from the liniment. Plus the other prizes listed below sound good too:
The Prize:

– Helping the Bagman for the Day
– Overnight Stay in a Dublin Hotel
– €100 Paddy Power bet on the game
– €100 Beer Money (you’ll need a pint after all that hard work!)
– Signed Irish Jersey by the Team & Rala

Check out the Be The BagMan Competition onsite at Paddy Power – just answer a simple Six Nations related question to go in the lucky draw… and here are a few Ts & Cs… Prize applies to the Ireland v Wales 6 Nations Game, Saturday 13th 2010 only. The Prizewinner can be male or female but over 18. One Entry per person. Competition ends midnight Monday 8th March.

Fancy a Free Trip To Las Vegas?

February 3rd, 2010

New UK/European bettors at stylish online sportsbetting site Bodog have the chance to win a VIP trip for two to Las Vegas.

Click to visit Bodog Sportsbook for a lookseeYou could win a free trip to Las Vegas when you bet GBP10 or more in the Bodog Sportsbook between now and 28 February 2010.

The VIP Package includes
– A luxury trip for 2 to Las Veags
– Return airfares from London
– 3 night stay at the Bellagio Hotel and Casino
– £500 in spending money

It’s really easy to enter, simply sign up as a new member at Bodog and then bet £10 on any sporting event(s) between now and February 28th – at odds of even money or greater – and you will be entered into the lucky draw.

The crew at Bodog Sportsbook will notify the winners by March 7th, 2010.

(FYI: Bodog is the offical betting & gaming partner of Fulham FC and offers betting markets on all major European football leagues – plus a whole lot more… here’s a link to the best review of Bodog Sportsbook that we could find)

NHL:Can Sidney Crosby and the Penguins defend the Stanley Cup?

September 30th, 2009

The NHL returns this Thursday and here’s a quick summary of betting action from the crew at BetOnline.com. Compare BetOnline to other popular offshore sportsbooks for US and Canadian bettors

NHL is back!Can Sidney Crosby and the Penguins defend the Stanley Cup?

ANAHEIM DUCKS – Stanley Cup Odds: +2000

Weren’t the Ducks supposed to be rebuilding? Thanks to some astute moves by management, they’re ready to contend again. Anaheim boasts one of the league’s premier first lines in Getzlaf-Perry-Ryan and should improve as Saku Koivu and Joffrey Lupul give the Ducks secondary scoring. The Ducks could surprise.

ATLANTA THRASHERS – Stanley Cup Odds: +10000

Expect more of the same in one of the NHL’s worst hockey cities. Rookie Evander Kane has a bright future but may not make the team this season. The Thrashers must improve to keep Ilya Kovalchuk interested in re-signing but Toronto imports Nik Antropov and Pavel Kubina may not be enough to do that.

BOSTON BRUINS – Stanley Cup Odds: +900

2008-09 was a banner year for Boston, it they dominated the Eastern Conference in the regular season, but that was just the beginning. This team is young, massive up front, defensively sound and cohesive. The East – and maybe even the Stanley Cup – is Boston’s to lose this season.

BUFFALO SABRES – Stanley Cup Odds: +5000

It’s strange to see a team that clearly needs some tinkering do nothing to improve in the offseason. The Sabres are fast up front and strong in goal but will get bullied by tougher teams and have zero talent on defense. Don’t expect a playoff berth.

CALGARY FLAMES – Stanley Cup Odds: +2000

Calgary plugged a hole in the offseason, bolstering its defense by acquiring Jay Bouwmeester and defensive-minded coach Brent Sutter. However, the Flames didn’t replace Mike Cammalleri or Todd Bertuzzi on offense. They’ll have to hope Mikael Backlund is NHL-ready if they want to contend.

CAROLINA HURRICANES – Stanley Cup Odds: +2500

After scuffling for a few seasons, the ’Canes have regained the form that made them Cup champs in 2006. They rely on stellar goaltending from Cam Ward and great depth and size at forward. If they can acquire help on “D,” they could make noise in the East again.

CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS – Stanley Cup Odds: +800

The envy of practically every fan and GM out there, the Blackhawks have it all. They have a dynamic group of forwards led by Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews and a dynamite blueline anchored by Brent Seabrook and Duncan Keith. They only thing between Chicago and a Final berth is Cristobal Huet. Can he become a No.1 goalie again? 

COLORADO AVALANCHE – Stanley Cup Odds: +6000

The Joe Sakic era ended and took Colorado’s competitiveness with it. The Avs are several years away from contending again and will spend this season developing Matt Duchene while preparing for another top-five draft selection.

COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS – Stanley Cup Odds: +5000

Everything finally clicked for the Blue Jackets last season, as they earned their first-ever playoff berth. However, we should still temper our expectations this season. They depend heavily on Rick Nash for offense and Steve Mason for defense. It’s too early to tell if the supporting cast can step it up now.

DALLAS STARS – Stanley Cup Odds: +3000

The consensus in hockey betting circles is that the Stars are a total mystery this season. They went from darkhorse Cup contender to non-playoff team in one season. After management pinched pennies this summer, it’s hard to imagine a big improvement in the Lone Star State.

DETROIT RED WINGS – Stanley Cup Odds: +450

The Wings seem like they’ll contend for all eternity, largely because they’re so good at rebuilding from within. They lost Marian Hossa but Darren Helm, Niklas Kronwall and Jonathan Ericsson are just the latest group of home-grown talents who will become stalwarts. Detroit has tougher competition this year but will be in the hunt.

EDMONTON OILERS – Stanley Cup Odds: +3000

Can the Oilers finally live up to their potential? They have youth and speed to spare and a legit No. 1 goalie in Nikolai Khabibulin. Now it’s up to Pat Quinn to prove he can translate his success coaching Canada’s world juniors into success with a young NHL team. The Oil should compete for the last playoff seed in the West.

FLORIDA PANTHERS – Stanley Cup Odds: +5000

The Panthers came within a hair of playoff hockey last season and won’t be satisfied if they don’t reach the big dance this year. They have some good young forwards but Jay Bouwmeester’s departure will sting; a regression could happen.

LOS ANGELES KINGS – Stanley Cup Odds: +6000

Sleeper alert! Like the Blackhawks a couple of years ago, the Kings have lurked in the Western Conference basement for years, stockpiling high draft picks and young talent. One of these years, the young core will break through and become a playoff team. This could be that year.

MINNESOTA WILD – Stanley Cup Odds: +3000

Minny’s defensive style may have departed with Jacques Lemaire. New management wants to convert the Wild to an up-tempo, offensive team, but that may not be a good thing for Minnesota just yet. The defense-first system maximized role players’ potential and generated wins without top-flight talent. A run-and-gun attack only works on a team with lots of scorers and the Wild don’t have many yet. A playoff berth is wishful thinking.

MONTREAL CANADIENS – Stanley Cup Odds: +3000

Has a team ever made itself over so significantly in one offseason? Montreal built a new, veteran blueline through free agency and imported several small, creative forwards in Cammalleri, Scott Gomez and Brian Gionta. The end result will be much of the same; Montreal will score plenty and get pushed around by their tougher divisional rivals.

NASHVILLE PREDATORS – Stanley Cup Odds: +6000

The Preds have the defensive tools to be a shutdown team but they’re offensively challenged up front. Unless Steve Sullivan stays healthy and jumpstarts Nashville’s attack, Music City will be on the outside of the playoff picture again.

NEW JERSEY DEVILS – Stanley Cup Odds: +2000

After an exciting season in which the Devils finally loosened up and scored some goals, the vintage Devils may return this season. Jacques Lemaire, the man who built New Jersey’s system, returns. Is New Jersey’s speedy unit suited to his strategy, though? This is a playoff team, but we could see growing pains.

NEW YORK ISLANDERS – Stanley Cup Odds: +10000

One man can only do so much. John Tavares should become a top-notch scorer and will give Isles fans something to cheer for, but this is still a bad, bad hockey team years away from relevancy.

NEW YORK RANGERS – Stanley Cup Odds: +2500

The high-profile Broadway Blueshirts will be competitive. However, unless Marian Gaborik stays healthy and really jumpstarts the offense, the Rangers could be a bust this season. Competitors like Ottawa and Toronto improved dramatically in the offseason and want to steal a low seeding from New York.

OTTAWA SENATORS – Stanley Cup Odds: +4800

Even if they could’ve gotten more for Dany Heatley, Ottawa got better in the summer – maybe a lot better. Milan Michalek and Jonathan Cheechoo give Ottawa a second good scoring line for the first time in years and Pascal Leclaire could be the goalie the city’s been waiting for…if he stays healthy.

PHILADELPHIA FLYERS – Stanley Cup Odds: +1500

It’s a fun time for Flyer fans, as Philly has oodles of scoring talent and Chris Pronger seriously bolsters the blueline. The big question mark is Ray Emery. If he shows up, the Flyers are Cup contenders. If not, they’ll stay in the second tier.

PHOENIX COYOTES – Stanley Cup Odds: +10000

Maybe all the talk of moving to Hamilton is a distraction from how bad they were last season. The Coyotes disappointed in 2008-09 but the news isn’t all bad; they have plenty of good young players and could take a big leap forward any time.

PITTSBURGH PENGUINS – Stanley Cup Odds: +500

The Pens proved last year that two or three superstars with little else can win you a Stanley Cup. Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Marc-Andre Fleury ran the show while deadline acquisitions like Chris Kunitz and Bill Guerin filled the gaps. There’s no reason to think the Pens can’t make another deep run, though the young defenseman must step up after unsung heroes Rob Scuderi and Hal Gill left town.

ST. LOUIS BLUES – Stanley Cup Odds: +4000

Is the development phase officially over in St. Louis? Young as can be and full of rising offensive talent, the Blues are positioned to contend for the next decade. They may have been slightly ahead of schedule in making the playoffs last year, so a tiny step backward could happen, but the Blues’ future is bright.

SAN JOSE SHARKS – Stanley Cup Odds: +700

After years of “is this the year?” talk, it’s time to wonder if this is the year San Jose’s cup dream ends. The Sharks thinned out their roster to get Dany Heatley and have one year of Patrick Marleau left; if the Sharks don’t win this season, it may be time to rebuild.

TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING – Stanley Cup Odds: +6000

Always a tough team to handicap, the Lightning have the talent to improve dramatically. Steven Stamkos broke out late last year and could be a dynamic offensive presence alongside Vinny Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis. Who knows how ultra defensive prospect Victor Hedman will transition to the NHL? Tampa probably won’t make the playoffs but could inch closer.

TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS – Stanley Cup Odds: +10000

One of the busiest teams this offseason, Brian Burke’s Leafs are bigger, tougher, stronger and more talented, especially after acquiring Phil Kessel. The blueline rocks but the Leafs are still shallow offensively and a lot has to go right for them to make the playoffs.

VANCOUVER CANUCKS – Stanley Cup Odds: +2000

Vancouver seemed overrated entering last season; now, it may be underrated. Ryan Kesler and Alex Burrows have transformed Vancouver into a two-line team. With tough “D” and elite goaltending from Roberto Luongo, the Canucks are good enough to earn home ice in the first round of the playoffs.

WASHINGTON CAPITALS – Stanley Cup Odds: +1000

The Caps are maddening. They’re loaded with scorers, as exciting as any team in the league, but did nothing to improve their thin defense. We should expect Washington to match last year’s solid effort, not improve on it.

NHL is back!

 

Free in-depth NHL previews are available on site at BetOnline.com

The Golfing Week: September 23rd to September 27th

September 22nd, 2009

PGA TOUR – THE TOUR CHAMPIONSHIP, East Lake Golf Club, Atlanta, Georgia

Following a week off, the top 30 players in the FedEx Cup standings return for the final event of the playoffs, the Tour Championship. In a new twist this year, every player in the 30-man field has a mathematical chance to win the FedEx Cup and its $10 million top prize.The top five players in the standings — Tiger Woods, Steve Stricker, Jim Furyk, Zach Johnson and Heath Slocum — control their own destiny. Each of them can win the FedEx Cup with a victory at East Lake. The players outside the top five will need help, some more than others.

For instance: No. 6 Padraig Harrington can capture the Cup if he wins and Woods finishes third or worse. Sean O’Hair, No. 7 in the standings, would need to win and have Woods and Stricker both finish outside the top three. Even John Senden, who sneaked into the 30th spot when Brandt Snedeker four-putted the 72nd hole two weeks ago, has a chance to claim the $10 million windfall.

Of course, that scenario would require a Senden victory and several other improbable events, including Woods finishing in last place. But because the rules were changed to re-set each player’s point total following the BMW Championship, the PGA Tour will avoid what happened last year, when Vijay Singh wrapped up the FedEx Cup after just three playoff events. All Singh needed to do was play four rounds at East Lake — he tied for 22nd place, 16 shots behind winner Camilo Villegas — to become the second player to capture the Cup after Woods in 2007. It didn’t matter that Villegas won the last two playoff events — Singh had won the first two and collected enough points to seal it up. Villegas, after beating Sergio Garcia in a playoff last year, will not defend his title. He didn’t earn enough points to make it past the BMW Championship.

Golf Channel has coverage of the first two rounds and NBC will broadcast the weekend action.Next week is the first event of the Fall Series, the Turning Stone Resort Championship, where Dustin Johnson claimed his first tour win last year.

EUROPEAN TOUR THE VIVENDI TROPHY, Saint-Nom-la-Breteche Golf Club, Paris, France

Formerly called the Seve Trophy, this biennial event pits two teams of professionals against each other — one from Great Britain & Ireland and one from Continental Europe.

The Ryder Cup-style match, which is still honoring Spanish great Seve Ballesteros, will take place over four days and features matches played in four ball, greensomes, foursomes and singles formats. European Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie hand-picked the captains for both teams, selecting Denmark’s Thomas Bjorn to lead the Continental Europe team and Ireland’s Paul McGinley to skipper the Great Britain & Ireland side.

Bjorn’s 10-man team includes Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, Anders Hansen, Soren Hansen, Peter Hanson, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Robert Karlsson, Soren Kjeldsen, Francesco Molinari, Alvaro Quiros and Henrik Stenson.

McGinley’s side features Nick Dougherty, Simon Dyson, Ross Fisher, Graeme McDowell, Rory McIlroy, Robert Rock, Anthony Wall, Steve Webster, Oliver Wilson and Chris Wood.

Nick Faldo led the Great Britain & Ireland team to a five-point win in 2007, its fourth consecutive victory over the Continental Europeans, who haven’t captured the trophy since its inaugural year in 2000. A total of 28 points are awarded over the four days, with 14 1/2 needed to win the trophy.

Golf Channel will have coverage of all four days. Next week is the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, where Robert Karlsson won last year.

LPGA TOUR CVS/PHARMACY LPGA CHALLENGE, Blackhawk Country Club, Danville, California

Last year, In-Kyung Kim opened with three consecutive rounds in the 60s on the way to a three-shot win. Kim, despite closing with a one-over 73 on Sunday, captured her first LPGA Tour victory at 10-under 278 (she has since won again). The talented young South Korean will defend her title this week against a field that includes fellow former champions Suzann Pettersen (2007), Karrie Webb (2006), Christina Kim (2004), Helen Alfredsson (2003), Se Ri Pak (2001) and Juli Inkster (1999, 2000).

Golf Channel will have coverage of all four rounds this week.Next week is the Navistar LPGA Classic, where world No. 1 Lorena Ochoa won last year.

CHAMPIONS TOUR SAS CHAMPIONSHIP, Prestonwood Country Club, Cary, North Carolina

Eduardo Romero fired a six-under 66 in the final round last year to beat Tom Kite by three shots. Romero, who broke 69 in each of his three rounds, closed out his third victory of the season at 15-under 201. He will be in the field this week at Prestonwood to defend his title.Golf Channel will have coverage of all three rounds. Next week is the fifth and final major of the season, the Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship, where D.A. Weibring won his first major last year at the age of 55.

NATIONWIDE TOUR WNB GOLF CLASSIC, Midland Country Club, Midland/Odessa, Texas

Australia’s Marc Leishman peaked in windy conditions last year to win the WNB Golf Classic by 11 shots, tying the Nationwide Tour record for largest margin of victory. Leishman carded four rounds of 68 or better to claim his first career tour win at 21-under 267. He is currently thriving on the PGA Tour — where he is among the 30 players who made the field for the Tour Championship this week — and will not be in Texas to defend his title. Next week’s event is the Soboba Classic, a new tournament on the Nationwide Tour schedule.

CANADIAN TOUR IBEROSTAR RIVIERA MAYA OPEN, Iberostar Playa Paraiso Golf Club, Riviera Maya, Mexico

The Canadian Tour returns to Mexico for the Iberostar Riviera Maya Open, which was one of the events postponed earlier this season amid the Swine Flu outbreak. The tournament is now situated as the second-to-last event on the 2009 schedule — the Riviera Nayarit Classic, a new tournament, will also be held in Mexico next week. Last year in Riviera Maya, Daniel Im won his first Canadian Tour start with a three-under 69 in the final round, beating Brent Schwarzrock and Oscar Serna by a stroke. He will not defend his title.

UNITED STATES GOLF ASSOCIATION USGA MEN’S STATE TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP, The Country Club of St. Albans (Lewis and Clark Course), St. Louis, Missouri

This championship, held every two years, pits three-man teams against each other. Each state association is given the option to choose their teams by any method, with one restriction: college players are ineligible because of NCAA bylaws. There will be 51 teams in the field this year — one from each state plus the District of Columbia. In 2007, Texas became the first three-time winner and first back-to-back champion in history.The championship runs Wednesday through Friday.

This posting was contributed by the team at Bookmaker.com. Check them out if you’re US or Canada-based and require a safe, confidential sports betting site. For non-US bettors we recommend the golfing markets at Ladbrokes.com.  

Golfing Week: September 17th through September 20th

September 16th, 2009

Betting on the PGA and LPGA golfing action This article is courtesy of Bookmaker.com, check them out if you’re looking for a good safe offshore sportsbook. Here’s the latest review of Bookmaker.com from the team at GoonersGuide.com.

LPGA TOUR – SAMSUNG WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP, Torrey Pines Golf Course (South Course), San Diego, California

The LPGA heads to Torrey Pines this week for the 20-player, invitation-only Samsung World Championship.Paula Creamer will defend the title she won at Half Moon Bay last year. She closed with a three-under 69 to fend off Song-Hee Kim by a single stroke. Two shots back were Juli Inkster, Angela Stanford, Lorena Ochoa and Suzann Pettersen. Including Kim, all five of those players played their way into this year’s field as well. Inkster is the lone sponsor exemption into the field. Creamer’s win last year ended a run of six straight non-American winners. The last two world No. 1’s — Lorena Ochoa and Annika Sorenstam — had won the last four crowns and five of the previous six. Sophie Gustafson won in 2003, with Sorenstam winning the year prior and the two years following her fellow Swede’s title.Creamer, Gustafson, Ochoa, and three-time champion Inkster are all in the field, as are 2002 runner-up Cristie Kerr and two-time runner-up Karrie Webb. The field has combined to win 16 of the 20 official LPGA events so far in 2009. Pat Hurst, Ji Young Oh, Eunjung Yi and M.J. Hur are the only winners not to earn a spot in this week’s field. Torrey Pines will be the 15th different venue to host this prestigious event.

Golf Channel will have two hours of coverage the first two days and NBC will air two hours of action on Saturday and Sunday. Next week is the CVS/pharmacy LPGA Challenge, where In-Kyung Kim is the defending champion.

EUROPEAN TOUR AUSTRIAN GOLF OPEN, Fontana Golf Club, Vienna, Austria

Last year, the tournament was shortened to 54 holes after Thursday’s play was completely washed out. In the third and final round, Jeev Milkha Singh made some history. He became the second person in European Tour history to par all 18 holes in the final round and win the title. The other was Nick Faldo, who did so en route to winning the 1987 British Open Championship. Singh fended off Simon Wakefield, who finished one back despite closing with a three-under 68. The win was Singh’s third on the European Tour. Hometown favorite Markus Brier, who lives within an hour of Fontana Golf Club and is attached to the course, has won this title as part of the European Tour and the Challenge Tour.

Golf Channel will have three hours of coverage all four days this week. Next week is the inaugural Vivendi Trophy, in which continental Europe will battle a team from Great Britain & Ireland.

CHAMPIONS TOUR GREATER HICKORY CLASSIC AT ROCK BARN, Rock Barn Golf & Spa, Conover, North Carolina

Last year, R.W. Eaks successfully defended his title thanks in part to an opening-round, 11-under 61. From there, Eaks cruised to a 16-under 200 total to beat Tom Jenkins and Tom Kite by four strokes. Eaks missed his own tournament scoring record by a single shot. His 61 was the low round of the year on the Champions Tour. The event is in its seventh year and Eaks is the only multiple champion.

Golf Channel will broadcast action from 3:30-6:00 p.m. (et) all three days. Next week is the SAS Championship, where Eduardo Romero is the defending champion.

NATIONWIDE TOUR ALBERTSONS BOISE OPEN, Hillcrest Country Club, Boise, Idaho

For the second straight week, there is a defending champion on the Nationwide Tour. Chris Tidland carded four rounds in the 60s last year en route to a four- stroke victory over Scott Piercy. Tidland returns to defend his crown this week and will try to become the Nationwide Tour’s first repeat winner. The Boise Open is one of four original events on the Nationwide Tour and Hillcrest Country Club has hosted the event every year.

Golf Channel has coverage of all four rounds. The tour heads to Texas next week for the WNB Golf Classic, where Marc Leishman won last year.

PGA: This Week in Golf, September 10th – 13th

September 8th, 2009

PGA TOUR – BMW CHAMPIONSHIP, Cog Hill Golf & Country Club, Lemont, Illinois

The eligible field of players has been trimmed to just 70 for the third event of the FedEx Cup playoffs, the BMW Championship.It will be narrowed even further following this week’s event, with only the top 30 in the standings moving on to the Tour Championship, which begins Sept. 24 after a rare one-week break in the schedule.Last year, Camilo Villegas captured his long-anticipated first career PGA Tour victory with a two-under 68 in the final round, holding off a hard-charging Dudley Hart to win the BMW Championship by two shots.Villegas moved to No. 2 in the playoff standings following the win, but was statistically unable to overtake Vijay Singh for the FedEx Cup and its $10 million top prize.Singh, who won the first two playoff events last year, simply had to finish four rounds at the Tour Championship to claim the lucrative title. As there is no cut in the playoff finale, Singh easily kept his position at the top — even as Villegas claimed his second-straight victory.There is no cut at the BMW Championship either, so all 70 players in the field this week will have four rounds to make something happen. Forty of them will not move on.Steve Stricker overtook Tiger Woods for the No. 1 spot in the playoff standings after winning the Deutsche Bank Championship on Monday. Woods fell to No. 2 in the standings and was followed by Barclays winner Heath Slocum, Zach Johnson and Scott Verplank.Following the Tour Championship in two weeks, the No. 1 player in the standings will earn the $10 million bonus. Second place receives $3 million, third gets $2 million, fourth earns $1.5 million and fifth place receives $1 million.Villegas got up and down for par to defeat Sergio Garcia on the first hole of a sudden-death playoff to win last year’s Tour Championship, taking second in the playoffs to Singh.To follow this week’s action at Cog Hill, tune in to Golf Channel on Thursday and Friday, and NBC on the weekend.

EUROPEAN TOUR MERCEDES-BENZ CHAMPIONSHIP, Golf Club Gut Larchenhof, Cologne, Germany

Robert Karlsson had nine top-10 finishes worldwide and was among the hottest players in golf heading into last year’s Mercedes-Benz Championship.Only one thing was missing from a season that saw Karlsson place in the top-10 in three consecutive majors — a victory.The lanky Swede broke free of his close-but-no-cigar streak with a two-shot win at Gut Larchenhof, posting a one-under 71 in the final round to finish at 13-under 275. It was his first win in two years and the eighth of his career on the European Tour. He claimed No. 9 in his next start, winning the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in a three-way playoff.Karlsson’s win made for a nice story, but this tournament is all about the Germans.Four-time Mercedes-Benz champion and Hall of Famer Bernhard Langer will lead a home contingent in Cologne that also includes red-hot Martin Kaymer and Alex Cejka. Langer, who spends most of his season playing on the Champions Tour, won the tournament in 1989, 1991, 1997 and 2001.Golf Channel will have coverage of all four rounds this week beginning at 9:30 a.m. (et) on Thursday and Friday and at 8 a.m. both weekend days.Next week is the Austrian Golf Open, where Jeev Milkha Singh won last year.

LPGA TOUR NW ARKANSAS CHAMPIONSHIP, Pinnacle Country Club, Rogers, Arkansas

Seon-Hwa Lee closed with a four-under 68 in the final round last year, making birdie on the final hole to win by one shot over hard-charging Jane Park and Meena Lee.Seon-Hwa Lee finished at 15-under 201 to capture her fourth LPGA Tour win and second of the season.Park, playing in one of the first groups out Sunday, fired a 10-under 62 in the final round to vault up the leaderboard and tie Meena Lee for second place.This is only the third year of the tournament. It made its debut in 2007 under unique and unfortunate circumstances as the first full-length LPGA Tour event shortened to 18 holes.Persistent weather problems left the tour with no choice but to cancel two of the rounds. Stacy Lewis, then an amateur, was not credited with an official win after finishing atop the leaderboard with a seven-under 65.Golf Channel has coverage of all three rounds this week beginning at 12:30 p.m. (et) on Friday and at 1 p.m. on both weekend days.Next week is the Samsung World Championship, where Paula Creamer won last year.

NATIONWIDE TOUR UTAH CHAMPIONSHIP, Willow Creek Country Club, Sandy, Utah

Brendon Todd shot a four-under 67 in the final round last year to capture his first Nationwide Tour win.Then a 23-year-old rookie, Todd finished at 22-under 262 for a six-stroke victory over six players.Todd made it to the PGA Tour but has struggled, missing 13 cuts in 18 starts — including seven in a row. He has also played twice on the Nationwide Tour, with his best finish a tie for 50th place at the Athens Regional Foundation Classic in April.He will be in the field this week looking to become the first player in tour history to successfully defend a title.Golf Channel has coverage of all four rounds beginning at 6:30 p.m. (et) the first three days and at 7 p.m. on Sunday.Next week is the Boise Open, where Chris Tidland won last year.

UNITED STATES GOLF ASSOCIATION WALKER CUP MATCH, Merion Golf Club (East Course), Ardmore, Pennsylvania

The Walker Cup Match, to be played on Saturday and Sunday this week at historic Merion Golf Club, pits two teams of amateur players against each other — one from the United States and one from Great Britain & Ireland.The match is contested every two years, alternately in the U.S. and Great Britain/Ireland, between teams with no more than 10 players.The U.S. retained the Cup with a one-point victory in Northern Ireland in 2007.

USGA SENIOR AMATEUR CHAMPIONSHIP – The Beverly Country Club, Chicago, Illinois

George “Buddy” Marucci, Jr. defeated George Zahringer, 2-up, to win last year’s USGA Senior Amateur Championship. Marucci, the U.S. Walker Cup captain, collected his first USGA championship after coming close 13 years earlier at the 1995 U.S. Amateur Championship, where he lost to a young Tiger Woods.The championship, played for the first time in 1955, is open to amateurs 55 and older.

USGA SENIOR WOMEN’S AMATEUR – The Homestead (Cascades Course), Hot Springs, Virginia

Diane Lang rolled to a 6 & 5 victory over Toni Wiesner last year to claim her third USGA Senior Women’s Amateur championship in four years.The Jamaican-born Lang won the first hole at Tulsa Country Club and never trailed in the final match. She also captured the championship in 2005 and ’06.Started in 1962, the Senior Women’s Amateur is open to female amateurs 50 and older.

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This Week in Golf – September 3rd through September 7th

September 1st, 2009

PGA TOUR – DEUTSCHE BANK CHAMPIONSHIP, TPC Boston, Norton, Massachusetts

Vijay SinghThe second FedEx Cup playoff event, the Deutsche Bank Championship, kicks off on Friday with Vijay Singh defending his title at the TPC Boston. Singh trailed third-round leader Mike Weir by three strokes last year, but fired an eight-under 63 to win his second straight playoff event. He had won The Barclays the week before and those two wins were good enough for the Fijian to take home the FedEx Cup’s $10 million annuity. Heath Slocum fended off four of the biggest names in golf last week to win The Barclays. Slocum ran home a 21-footer for par on the final hole to beat Tiger Woods, Steve Stricker, Ernie Els and Padraig Harrington by a single stroke. Singh enters the Deutsche Bank ranked 78th on the points list and will need to move into the top 70 to advance to next week’s BMW Championship.

The BMW Championship will have a 70-player field with no cut, and several big names may not make it there. Along with Singh, Sergio Garcia, Bubba Watson, Justin Rose and Nick O’Hern are among those on the outside looking in.With the elevated points awarded for the playoffs, K.J. Choi missed the cut last week and tumbled from 92nd to 101st on the points list to miss this week’s event. Lee Janzen, Boo Weekley, Bob Estes and U.S. Presidents Cup captain Fred Couples are on the bubble to make next week’s field. This week’s event features a 100-player field and runs Friday to Monday to give it a Labor Day finish. The Golf Channel and NBC will split coverage from 3-6 p.m. (et) the first three days, before NBC broadcasts action from 2-6 p.m. for the final round. Next week is the BMW Championship at Cog Hill. Camilo Villegas won that title last year.

EUROPEAN TOUR OMEGA EUROPEAN MASTERS, Crans-sur-Sierre, Crans Switzerland

The European Tour moves to Switzerland this week for the European Masters.This event carries a little more significance than normal as it kicks off the scoring for the 2010 European Ryder Cup team. Some of the big names will be in the United States however for the second of four FedEx Cup playoff events.

In a blow to the tournament, European Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie withdrew citing fatigue. Monty has played four of the last six events on the European Tour schedule and has struggled with three missed cuts and a tie for 31st last week at the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles. Miguel Angel Jimenez, Graeme McDowell, Lee Westwood and Oliver Wilson are among those looking to make the European Ryder Cup team and all four will be at Crans-sur-Sierre this week.

Joining those four in the field will be former major champions Michael Campbell and Trevor Immelman, as well as Jean-Francois Lucquin and Rory McIlroy. Lucquin birdied the second playoff hole last year to beat McIlory for this title. The Golf Channel has three hours of coverage all four days. Next week is the Mercedes-Benz Championship, where Robert Karlsson won last year.

LPGA TOUR CN CANADIAN WOMEN’S OPEN, Priddis Greens Golf & Country Club, Calgary, Alberta

The LPGA heads North of the Border this week for the Canadian Women’s Open, where Katherine Hull earned her first LPGA Tour title last season. Hull closed with a three-under 69 to fend off Se Ri Pak by a single stroke, while third-round leader Yani Tseng faltered to a five-over 77 to end alone in third at minus-nine. The event rotates around Canada and last year was contested at Ottawa Hunt & Golf Club in Ontario. It shifts to Priddis Greens Golf & Country Club in Calgary this year.

Twenty of the 24 players that competed in the Solheim Cup two weeks ago have committed to appear at Priddis Greens. This will mark the first time Priddis Greens will host the tournament as an LPGA Tour event. The Canadian Women’s Open joined the LPGA Tour schedule in 2001, but has been played since 1966. The Golf Channel will have 2 1/2 hours of tape-delayed coverage of the final two rounds. Seon-Hwa Lee is scheduled to defend her title next week at the P&G Beauty NW Arkansas Championship.

CHAMPIONS TOUR WALMART FIRST TEE OPEN at Pebble Beach, Pebble Beach Golf Links & Del Monte Golf Course, Monterey Peninsula, California

Jeff Sluman returns to Pebble Beach this week to defend his title at the Walmart First Tee Open. Sluman, who nearly won at Pebble twice in 1992, finally broke through on the scenic course. He fired three rounds in the 60s to cruise to a five-shot win over Craig Stadler and Fuzzy Zoeller.

This unique event features Champions Tour players paired with youngsters from the First Tee program in a pro-am format. The leading amateur teams and individuals will play opposite the Champions Tour players in the final round at Pebble Beach. The first two days of play will shift between Pebble Beach and Del Monte Golf Course.The Golf Channel will have live coverage of all three rounds. After a one-week break, the Champions Tour returns to the East Coast with the Greater Hickory Classic at Rock Barn, where R.W. Eaks won last year.

NATIONWIDE TOUR MEXICO OPEN, El Bosque Golf Club, Leon, Mexico

El Bosque Golf Club MexicoAfter being rescheduled due to the Swine Flu outbreak earlier this year, the Mexico Open will be the Nationwide Tour’s final stop outside the contiguous United States. In early February last year, Jarrod Lyle carded four rounds in the 60s, including an eight-under 63 in the final round, to win by five strokes over Matthew Every. The win was Lyle’s first on the Nationwide Tour and he won again later in the season en route to earning his PGA Tour card for the 2009 campaign. Just two players ranked in the top 10 on the money list are scheduled to be at El Bosque Golf Club this week — No. 9 Derek Lamely and No. 10 Garth Mulroy. That gives those outside the top 25 a better chance at getting into the top 25 to earn their PGA Tour cards for next season. There is no television coverage this week. The Nationwide Tour heads to Sandy, Utah next week for the Utah Championship, where Brendon Todd won last year.

CANADIAN TOUR CANADIANTOUR CHAMPIONSHIP, St.Catharines Golf & Country Club, St. Catharines, Ontario

The top 132 players on the Canadian Tour Order of Merit tee it up this week at St. Catharines Golf & Country Club. Tom Stankowski is the defending champion and headlines the field with Graham DeLaet, who is a two-time winner this year and leads the Order of Merit. St.Catharines normally plays to a par-72, but will switch to a par-70 layout for this championship. National Pines Golf Club has hosted the tournament the last two years. There are three events left for the Canadian Tour this year. Fall Q-School is next week, and there will be two events in Mexico, one at the end of September and the other the first week of October. Those tournaments were postponed by the Swine Flu outbreak earlier this year.

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Golf News: Hedblom captures 3rd European Tour win

August 30th, 2009

European Tour Golf newsPeter Hedblom fired a five-under 67 to win the Johnnie Walker Championship on Sunday, holding off fellow Swede Martin Erlandsson by a shot to capture his third European Tour title.

Hedblom, who lost a playoff at last week’s KLM Open, finished four trips around the Gleneagles course at 13-under 275 for his first victory since the 2007 Malaysian Open. The hard-charging Erlandsson, chasing his first tour win, made nine birdies in one 11-hole stretch Sunday and set the course record with a 10-under 62. But he fell one stroke short of his countryman at 12-under 276.Gregory Havret, last year’s champion from France, closed with a 67 to share third place with 1999 British Open winner Paul Lawrie (69) at 10-under 278. Gary Orr (64) took fifth place at nine-under 279.

Hedblom carried the lead into the final round for the second week in a row after posting the lowest 54-hole score on the European Tour this season at the KLM Open last week. He managed only a one-under 69 last Sunday, however, and lost to Simon Dyson in a three-way playoff. Hedblom said the difference this week was his confidence, which was high at the beginning of the round. He went birdie-bogey-birdie over the first three holes.

“I thought that was the key,” he said. Still, with Erlandsson scorching the course in front of him — he made nine birdies between Nos. 2 and 11 — Hedblom found himself playing catch-up. He birdied four consecutive holes beginning at No.7, capping the rally by holing a putt from off the green at the 10th, and pulled one shot in front of Erlandsson. Hedblom later bogeyed the 15th hole to fall into a tie with Erlandsson, who was already in the clubhouse at 12-under.

Knowing he needed a birdie, Hedblom took aim at the pin on 16 and spun his approach back to four feet.It was the shot that won him the tournament, setting up the go-ahead birdie. All that remained were two pars — including a knee-knocking four-foot putt at the 18th that was left when Hedblom ran his birdie try too far past the hole. He pumped his right fist after rolling it in to secure the win.

“It was so tough. I thought last week was tough, this one was even harder, especially since I had the lead,” said Hedblom. “I had to dig down so deep,” he added, “but I’m so happy now.”

Erlandsson made 10 birdies in a flawless round, breaking by one shot the previous 18-hole course record of 63 set by Pierre Fulke in 2000 and matched by Adam Scott in 2002. “What a round,” said Hedblom, who added with a chuckle: “He should have won.”

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