• Betting Bunker

DJ and Fowler can dominate at Pebble

Alex Livie February 8, 2012
Can Dustin Johnson repeat his win of 2010 at Pebble Beach? © Getty Images

Click here to bet on the Pebble Beach pro-am at bet365

Tiger Woods kicks off his 2012 PGA Tour season at the Pebble Beach pro-am and the return of an in-form Tiger offers up betting opportunities aplenty, with the bookmakers running scared of the former world No. 1.

It's understandable that the bookies are keen to swerve Woods, given his recent upturn in fortunes and fine record at Pebble Beach. On his first outing of the season at the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship, Woods looked close to his best for three rounds. He failed to get the job done on Sunday, being overshadowed by Robert Rock, but it was a clear sign that he is bedding in to the major changes he has made to his swing. His record at Pebble is good: he won this event in 2000 - the same year he won the US Open at the same venue - and he ticks enough boxes to make him of interest.

Betting Bullets

  • Dustin Johnson E/W - 18/1 at bet365
    Rickie Fowler - 25/1 at bet365

It is clear that Woods is going to win a Tour event in the near future, he is hitting the ball further and seems to have the all-important distance control that the pros crave, but there is no value to be had at 5/1.

But with him teeing it up, there is value to be had further down the field. We're not going to look too far down the field for our idea of the winner - Dustin Johnson is second favourite with bet365 at 18/1. With Woods dominating the market, there is value even in those near the top of the market and Johnson is too tempting to resist.

He won the event in 2009 and 2010 so is clearly comfortable in the multi-course format and the razzmatazz that comes with the high-profile celebrities that make up the pro-am field.

Johnson is one of the game's bombers but his all-round ability is understated. He has made a slow start to the season, which is understandable given he underwent knee surgery in the off-season, but the return to territory he loves can spark a revival.

Another player worth a second check in the market is Rickie Fowler. The bright young thing of US golf has looked in good shape on his three outings this term, finishing in the top-30 in all events, and he would have been closer but for being bogged down by a couple of horror holes.

With his game in fine shape, the return to coastal tracks could be the spark that carries Fowler - who plays so well in the wind - into a challenging position.

Please note that odds are correct at time of publication and are subject to change.

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Alex Livie Close
Alex Livie was editor of ESPN.co.uk