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Golf previews

World Cup of Golf 2018 Betting Preview

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Tuesday 20th November 2018

World Cup of Golf 2018 Betting Preview

Event name: World Cup of Golf 2018

Location: Melbourne

Event date: 22/11/2018

The World Cup of Golf. An interesting concept, that sees a 72-hole stroke play event play out between 28 two-man teams. The first and third round will be in the four-ball format (best-ball), whilst the second and fourth round will be foursomes (alternate shot). The qualification for the event is based on the top-28 countries featured in the Official World Golf Ranking. The highest ranked player from each country then gets to select a partner from the top-500 in the World Rankings. If the country has less than five players inside top-500 of the World Rankings, the highest-rank player can pick any partner, irrespective of World Ranking. Quite often the highest ranked players decide to skip the event, so the opportunity falls to the next highest ranked player, who wishes to take on the role. As a result you often see the likes of the USA and England field weaker teams than available, as the top-ranked players opt for a week of a rest. The event has been held in Melbourne, Australia for the third year in a row.

The Favourites

As the team with the highest-ranked player in the field (Marc Leishman #21) and best combined team, it is clear why Australia are favourites on home soil this week. At 33rd in the World Rankings, Cameron Smith complements the talents of March Leishman well and they will look to improve on Australia’s impressive 5 wins in this event. Whilst the United States have by far and away the best record in this event, Australia boast the next best record and have a very good team. At 5/1 though, some may prefer to look elsewhere, despite Leishman’s win at the CIMB Classic two starts ago, and Smith’s two top-10’s in his last three starts. It is worth noting that Smith played in the Emirates Australian Open this past weekend, finishing T10, so will not need to acclimatise to the time zone.

England only have two wins to their name in this event, most recently in 2004 when Luke Donald and Paul Casey came out on top. A solid team of Tyrrell Hatton and Ian Poulter have assembled for England this week and the pair should both enjoy the four ball and foursomes formats. Hatton has now been a part of a winning Ryder Cup side, as well as dominating at the EurAsia cup in 2017, whilst Poulter’s match-play and Ryder Cup record speaks for itself. Both players have enjoyed successful years, with Poulter winning for the first time since 2012 and Hatton typically solid throughout the season, even if he was winless. At a best price of 13/2, the bookmakers are expecting a good performance from England.

Unsurprisingly the United States have dominated this event over the years, but they’ve not always had it their own way. In the event’s current format, which was used from 2000-2011 and again from 2016 onwards, USA have only won twice (2000, 2011). The event has now been won by a different country in each of the last 11 renewals, and with this not being the strongest team they could have put together, USA are perhaps easier opposed this time around. With that said Kyle Stanley and Matt Kuchar should be respected, as the latter won two weeks ago and also won this event in 2011 with Gary Woodland. Runner-up with Rickie Fowler two years after his win, Kuchar’s pedigree in this event is strong. Kuchar’s partner, Kyle Stanley has played some great golf in recent seasons, winning for the first time in five years at the 2017 Quicken Loans National and was actually the seeded player of the two, such is his form. USA are third favourites this week at 8/1.

A distant fourth in the betting are the defending champions, Denmark. Thorbjorn Olesen and Soren Kjeldsen team up once again, in the hope of retaining the title they secured in 2016. It has been a great year for Olesen, who won his fifth European Tour title at the Italian Open and made his Ryder Cup debut in September. Olesen went toe-to-toe with Jordan Spieth on Ryder Cup Sunday, recording a resounding victory after being left out since losing his opening match with Rory McIlroy. Kjeldsen however hasn’t been at his best for a couple of years now, but a purple patch of form which saw him finish T12, T12, T6 in three-straight events in September, suggests he is still capable of some good golf.

Dark Horses

One of three teams to finish 2nd behind Denmark in 2016, China will pin their hopes on the same two players once again. Haotong Li and Ashun Wu are both winners on the European Tour and have both tasted victory in 2018 as well. This will be Wu’s third appearance in this event and Li’s second and with the form the pair are in, they pose a serious threat to the favourites this week. Wu won the KLM Open back in September and whilst he has not played his best since, a T16 finish at the Nedbank Golf Challenge two starts ago was respectable. Li won the Dubai Desert Classic in January, getting the better of Rory McIlroy and has played some great golf since. His recent form especially has been electric. Since finishing 5th at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, Li has finished 9th at the British Masters, T11 at the WGC HSBC Champions, 2nd at the Turkish Airlines Open and T5 at the Nedbank Challenge. He couldn’t keep it going in Dubai last week, where he finished just T30 but he had every chance in Turkey to get his second win of the season, eventually losing out to Justin Rose in a play-off. Li is an excellent player and Wu actually has one more win than him on the European Tour (3) so together they make a great team. They are worth consideration at 18/1.

Mexico’s very own Abraham Ancer won the Australian Open this past weekend, by a five-stroke margin and he can take that success into this week. A win has been a long time coming for Ancer, who has been performing very well of late on the PGA Tour. 5th at the Canadian Open in July, 7th at the Dell Technologies Championship in September, 5th again at the CIMB Classic a month later and 4th at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open to kick off this month, Ancer is clearly a man in form. Acclimatised to the time zone already, Ancer will have a leg up on those that leave it late to travel and he’s clearly going to be brimming with confidence. His partner Roberto Diaz is not amongst the best players in the field but he has posted seven top-7 finishes on the Tour since 2014, so he can certainly contribute. Ancer will have to carry the pair at times, but if Diaz can just help a little, the Mexican’s could be in for a good week here. At 33/1, Ancer alone makes them an intriguing each-way option.


Recommended Bet: Denmark to finish top 10 at 10/11 with SkyBet - BET HERE

Recommended Bet: USA win at 7/1 with SkyBet - BET HERE

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