Great start to the 2012 golf season as Snedeker remarkably took down the Farmers Insurance last week after a collapse by Kyle Stanley. Two winners from three events averaging odds of 30/1 to begin the season and for this week's Qatar Masters, Ladbrokes are offering 6 places so anyone following the staking plan (strongly advised) should be betting with them. If you don't already have an account, you can open an account here and avail of a £50 free bet you can use on the Qatar Masters - much appreciated if you go through my links.
The Qatar Masters will once again be played at Doha GC, a course that a certain Alvaro Quiros has made his own in recent times but with rough possibly up and after his performance last week, I'll be looking elsewhere. Key this week and my area of focus is on the top drivers of the ball. Fairways are twisty with doglegs and the Doha course is exposed to the elements and features strong par 3's and water hazards. Keep an eye on my Twitter feed: @Nicspicks for WM Phoenix open fancies.
2012 Qatar Masters Picks
Pick 1: 1.25pts e/w Sergio Garcia @ 14/1 with Ladbrokes - £50 free bet Sergio warmed up with a tie for 12th last week and his appetite has clearly returned for the game after eighteen months or so where he looked disinterested. Three top 10's in last four years at the Qatar Masters and one of the best drivers of the ball and ball strikers in the game, he's my man to beat this week.
Pick 2: 0.5pts e/w Thomas Bjorn @ 25/1 with Ladbrokes - £50 free bet Defending champ also warmed up nicely last week with a T3 finish. Three time winner on tour last year and mentally very strong, Bjorn likely to be a feature on the leaderboard at the Qatar Masters this week. Top 10 also in 2010 so obviously the Doha course sets up for his game.
Pick 3: 0.5pts e/w Francesco Molinari @ 25/1 with Ladbrokes - £50 free bet Molinari gets the nod for his ability from tee to green. T8 last week after poor opening round and I'm expecting a big 2012 from the Italian after swing changes last year. Will keep himself out of trouble and avoiding drop shots this week may be more important than making birdies.
Pick 4: 0.5pts e/w Peter Hanson @ 25/1 with Ladbrokes - £50 free bet Disastrous final round last week only enhances Peter's price this week and I'll gladly take it. Has some course form at the Qatar Masters and like Molinari and Garcia is one of the games top players from tee to green, and driving is a premium in Qatar.
Qatar Masters Sleeper Pick
Pick 5: 0.25pts e/w Paul Lawrie @ 50/1 with Ladbrokes - £50 free bet Off the back of a T8 in Abu Dhabi and with a top 20 to his name at last year's Qatar Masters, Lawrie looks overpriced relative to the field. Like Bjorn, Lawrie is very mentally strong and likely to hang around if in contention. Competent in the driving stats as well as GIR% in 2011.
Remember to stick to the staking plan and take advantage of the 6 places with Ladbrokes for the Qatar Masters golf this week.