Pods Championship Betting March 5th, 2008
By: Our Staff
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Golf Betting – Els looks for second Florida win
Ernie Els paid off for those doing any golf betting last weekend – he got the victory at The Honda Classic in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Now Els will be looking for some more success down in Florida when he tees off this week in the PODS Championship.
Els shot a 3-under 67 in both the first and fourth rounds of The Honda Classic, and that was enough to keep him one stroke ahead of Luke Donald and two strokes up on Nathan Green. Donald sparkled with a 64 in the tournament’s opening round, but he shot a 74 in the second round and a 71 in the final round to finish just behind the leader.
Robert Allenby, Matt Jones, and Mark Calcavecchia all finished the tournament at 3-under, three strokes behind Els, while Mathew Goggin, John Mallinger, Alex Cejka, Michael Letzig, and Brian Davis ended up at 2-under for the event. Justin Rose shot a strong 67 in the final round, but that was just enough to put him at even par for the week.
Els didn’t play the PODS Championship last year. The 2007 event at Innisbrook Resort in Palm Harbor, Florida was won by Mark Calcavecchia, who finished one stroke ahead of both John Senden and Heath Slocum at 10-under. Lucas Glover and Brian Gay were two strokes back of Calcavecchia, while K.J. Choi finished up three behind at 7-under.
That was a disappointing result for Choi, who shot a final-round 72 to fall out of contention. Choi has won this event twice in the past – in 2006 when it was called the Chrysler Championship, and in 2002 when it was the Tampa Bay Classic. Choi skipped The Honda Classic last week, and he’s not part of the PODS Championship field either.
That just leaves Calcavecchia, Carl Pettersson, Retief Goosen, and John Huston as past winners of this event who will be on the course in Palm Harbor this week. Pettersson won in 2005, Goosen in 2003, and Huston back in 2000. Vijay Singh, who won in 2004 and finished tied for 19th spot in the 2007 event, won’t be playing this week.
Also not playing the PGA’s stop this week are either Tiger Woods or Phil Mickelson. So with those guys all out of the picture, who have the oddsmakers pegged as the favorite?
That would be Els, at +650 odds. Rose is next on the list at +1800, with Steve Stricker at +2000, and Stewart Cink at +2200. Allenby is pegged at +2500 odds to get the win this week, with Stuart Appleby just behind him at +2800. Stephen Ames rounds out the top tier of contenders at +3300 odds. Calcavecchia is pegged at +4000 odds for this week, with Pettersson at +6000, and Goosen a bigger longshot at +6500.
Meanwhile, the European Tour will be continuing its Asian swing with the Maybank Malaysian Open at the Kota Permai Golf Club this week. Peter Hedblom won this event last season, while Charlie Wi picked up the win 2006; Wi, though, will be part of the field for the PGA’s PODS Championship this week and won’t be able to pick up another Malaysian win.
Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee won this tournament in both 2004 and 2005, and he’s entered this week along with Jeev Milka Singh, Darren Clarke, and David Howell. And who do the Top Sportsbooks.com Golf oddsmakers have as the favorites to get the victory in Malaysia?
Jyoti Randhawa is listed as the +1400 favorite, with Nick Dougherty at +1800 and Jaidee just back of the leaders at +2200. Mark Brown is also pegged at +2200 odds to get the Malaysian Open victory, with Johan Edfors, Charl Schwartzel, and Simon Dyson at +2500 odds. Jeev Milka Singh is pegged at +2800 odds, with Clarke listed at +3000.
The PGA Tour will remain in Florida next week for the Arnold Palmer Invitational at the Bay Hill Club & Lodge in Orlando, while the European Tour will stage the Ballantines Championship at Pinx Golf Club in South Korea. The two tours will then converge once again from March 20 to 23 for the WGC-CA Championship at Miami’s Doral Golf Resort.
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