2008 Buick Open Golf Betting Odds & Preview
Buick Open Tournament Preview Courtesy of Fairway Jay, A Professional Sports Handicapper featured on Touthouse.com
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Located in Southeastern Michigan 80 miles North of Detroit, Warwick Hills is an old traditional golf course with stately hardwoods and a beautifully manicured landscape. While the fairways are tree-lined and can present problems to wayward drives, the landing areas are fairly generous and the greens are oversized with subtle slopes. Many birdies await, as the winning score the past four years is minus (-15), -24, -24 and 23-UNDER par. Since 1990, the average score of the winner at the Buick Open is 19-under par. Since the 2000 event, 94% of the players that completed 72 holes have finished ‘under’ par. Length has its advantages at Warwick Hills, but shotmakers and players that can make ‘birdies in bunches’ and continue to be aggressive will contend. Brian Bateman, ranked 408th in the world, pulled a surprise victory last year when he birdied the final hole Sunday to finish 15-under par. However, Bateman has been way ‘off course’ this year while missing the cut in nine of 16 starts.
Warwick Hills is a 7,127-yard par 72 layout that features many straightaway holes with reachable par 5’s and some short par 4’s. The 2007 tournament yielded 1,786 birdies, which was the second highest tournament total on Tour. In fact, no lead is safe on this golf course, as over the past five years, Warwick Hills has ranked in the top-4 in birdies allowed for the week among all PGA Tour courses. The par-5 13th hole yielded 18 eagles during the 2007 tournament to rank as the easiest stroke average hole while the par-4 15th is annually the most difficult hole on the course.
Jim Furyk’s dominating performances at Warwick Hills would seem to justify accuracy over power. His last six appearances read 2, T6, T6, Win, T10, T2. He’s finished at least 16-under par in five of those tournaments, and has a streak of 37-consecutive rounds under par at Warwick Hills. However, power usually takes precedence for most players in this event who want to go really low. Following a week of rain in the area and a forecast of scattered showers (30-50%), the course should play ‘soft’ again and scoring should be plentiful.
Buick became the first corporate sponsor of the PGA Tour in 1958, and to this day remains the largest and longest standing corporate sponsor as they celebrate a 50-year partnership with the PGA Tour. However, without lead spokesman Tiger Woods and other top-ranked pros in the field, another first-time winner will have a greater ‘shot’ at breaking through. Just one top-10 player and only two of the top-25 in the world rankings tee-it-up this week at the Buick Open, but 11 total past champions will take their ‘shot’ for another title including Jim Furyk, Justin Leonard, Woody Austin, Kenny Perry, Scott Verplank, Rocco Mediate and Billy Mayfair. See the player performance table below to ‘chart’ some of your strategy this week, and get on my ‘bag’ as we continue to ‘shoot’ for more profits in head-to-head match-up wagering.
Here is the latest update on defending champion Brian Bateman. During his visit to the interview room at the Buick Open media center, Bateman disclosed that he has been playing all season with a torn labrum in his left shoulder, an injury that is eventually going to require surgery — probably sooner rather than later for the 35-year-old Louisiana native. “It hurts on every shot,” Bateman said Tuesday afternoon. “It’s caused me to shorten my swing, which has taken me out of my natural swing. My mechanics have changed. Because of that, my ball-striking has not been very good. I thought in the last few weeks that it was time to just have the surgery and then call it a year. But I really wanted to play here and really wanted to try and defend. You don’t have many opportunities to defend out here and I thought I owed it to the Buick and to the people here at Warwick. As far as surgery, it might be in the next few weeks. I may try to play through a couple of the majors and maybe the FedEx Cup and take the fall off.”
Fairway’s Followers won’t be taking any weeks off. We’ll ‘fire’ away again this week with a 20* Big Drive play (4-1 this year) and ‘shoot’ for more profits and ‘green’.