Tiger Woods and Graeme McDowell are the golfers to follow in the Northwestern Mutual World Challenge, the annual event featuring a select group of the world’s best that Woods hosts at the Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks.
Woods and 17 other top-class golfers will compete in the 15th edition of the Northwestern Mutual World Challenge, with Woods bidding to win the tournament for the sixth times. Woods was the Northwestern Mutual World Challenge winner in 2001, 2004, 2006, 2007 and 2011, plus he was the runner-up in 2000, 2002, 2003 and 2010. An incredible nine top-two finishes in 12 Northwestern Mutual World Challenge appearances says everything about Woods and the event.
It is becoming increasingly well known among golf punters that there is a trick to backing Woods these days. All five of Woods’s wins this year have occurred on courses on which he had winning form. What does that mean in numerical terms? Well, Woods has won almost half of the 2013 events in which he has competed as a former champion. Bet365 are offering odds of 3.50 that Woods wins the Northwestern Mutual World Challenge. Those odds are highly attractive in the circumstances and one could even bet each way.
Adam Scott and Henrik Stenson are the talk of the golf world but Woods is the world number one by quite some distance. It is remarkable how little is spoken about the dominance of Woods. Sure, Woods is not the golfer that he was before his on- and off-course troubles but he tops the world rankings by a considerable margin. Woods is first on 11.89 points, with Scott second on 10.13 points, Stenson third on 8.85 points and only the top eight golfers boasting points tallies at least 50 per cent of Woods’s score.
McDowell is not ranked in the world’s top eight golfers – the Briton is 12th on 5.20 points – but he absolutely loves the Sherwood Country Club. McDowell made his Northwestern Mutual World Challenge debut in 2010 and he finished second, one stroke behind Jim Furyk. McDowell only took part because he replaced Woods in the elite field. McDowell has returned to the Sherwood Country Club to compete in the 2010 and 2012 editions of the Northwestern Mutual World Challenge, winning both titles to reduce his average round score to 68.25.
The only negative regarding McDowell is that his last two tournament starts have resulted in 15th and 17th places. But how can one argue with Northwestern Mutual World Challenge form of two firsts and one second out of three? McDowell is available at odds of 13.00 with BetVictor. With Woods having to be part of any sensible Northwestern Mutual World Challenge punter’s portfolio, it is a choice between saving on McDowell or dutching the Briton with the American.
Backing Woods at odds of 3.50 and saving one’s Woods stake on McDowell at odds of 13.00 means investing 9.23 units out of every 10 units on Woods and the remaining 0.77 units on McDowell. Saving on McDowell at odds of 13.00 reduces one’s odds about Woods winning to 3.23. That is one way to play.
Alternatively, one could dutch Woods at odds of 3.50 and McDowell at odds of 13.00, which means that one would get odds of 2.75 that either the American or the Britons wins the Northwestern Mutual World Challenge. It really does depend on how highly one rates McDowell. Surely the most sensible plan of attack is to dutch the two golfers. One really cannot overlook McDowell’s tournament history.
Incredibly, some bookmakers have included McDowell in their Northwestern Mutual World Challenge match bets. McDowell is trading at odds of 1.87 with Unibet to beat Ian Poulter, with the latter’s Sherwood Country Club course form reading fifth, sixth and 17th. McDowell is available at odds of 1.91 with Spreadex to defeat Steve Stricker, with the latter’s Sherwood Country Club course form reading second, fifth, eighth, 10th, 12th and 16th. And McDowell is up for grabs at underdog odds of 2.30 with Spreadex to get the better of Rory McIlroy, who finished fourth on his one and only previous appearance at the Sherwood Country Club.