Diary of a Professional Gambler
The poll has revealed that roughly 75% would like to read about my betting exploits – so my apologies to the other 25% you will simply have to ignore the posts. For those that don’t know me – a quick introduction – I am 52 and three quarters, divorced father of two teenage kids who lives in a wonderful remote village in Devon with my 10 year old retired racing lurcher who goes by the unusual name of Mouse. That bit is clearly stolen from my online dating profile (joke!) I haven’t worked for anyone else for twenty years now, apart from freelance work, and I bet on golf and National Hunt racing but only staying handicap chases. I hope you enjoy reading my trials and tribulations and maybe you will find the odd pearl of wisdom or simply laugh at some of my more stupid bets!
Wednesday 1st I think I may have over indulged at last nights celebrations – thankfully I did my homework before going out. Woke up to mixed messages on the two I backed, Western Climate @ Exeter was now a lot shorter than the 11/1 e/w I took eventually going off 9/2 and staying on for 3rd. The other one was a complete mystery and shows just how volatile markets can be. A new French import for Elliott chucked into a handicap chase on its first run in Ireland Cheb de Kerviniou looked really interesting and I had backed it win only 100/30. It drifted all day on Betfair and before the first show was 16/1 and I kept backing it. It opened @ 11/1 and then was backed into 6/1! Having probably overstaked and going win only I decided to lay it in running to get my stake back and guarantee a win, this was easily achieved at 2/1 and it actually touched 1/3 before finishing 2nd. Overall a pleasing start to 2020.
Thursday 2nd First day of the golf from Hawaii, a long wait until the evening before starting and although I hadn’t staked much on Todd was keen to see him get off to a fast start. Quite simply - it didn’t happen but he recovered well enough from +2 through 8 to finish two under. I foolishly topped up in running @ 150/1 and 200/1 and even added Kang and Frittelli at three figure prices. It never ceases to amaze me that a simple click of a mouse thousands of miles away can render a golfer unable to find the bottom of a hole with a white ball. The tone was set for the rest of the week.
Friday 3rd A day of sitting on my hands and my cash – end result being lots of research for next weeks golf events, you have to be ready before the prices start coming out on a Monday. Mouse was pleased too as she got a nice long walk in the sun, a rare commodity in Devon of late
Saturday 4th Woke to see golfers had only moved downwards but surprised to see GMac 8/1 top European when only a shot behind Rahm and playing better in the blustery conditions which were predicted for the last two days. You can only make a judgement call at the time and I felt 5/1 was more the price. Watched racing and having backed Looks Like Murt at 8/1 was pleased to see him go off at 7/2 and travelling strongly when the jockey fell off. Then Horatio Hornblower in the veterans chase at Sandown (a mate owns an ear in it) 16/1 e/w – again travelling well, jockey fell off. I think someone was trying to tell me something. Research for Sundays Sussex National – Uallrightharry ticks a lot of boxes, surprisingly got what I wanted on at 10/1 ew
Sunday 5th Golf looked even worse than the day before – line through that for the week – no point in chasing. Talking of chasing – horse had drifted on Betfair so topped up 14/1 win and 13/1 e/w. It may sound like an odd price but with limited bookmaker options the Betfair e/w market can be rather good. You don’t get the benefit of BOG or extra places but the prices more than make up for it. Having had two unseats the day before I knew the horse had a propensity for losing its rider at the last fence so left a lay up at Evens just in case. Off to the pub to watch, lay matched, e/w bet secured as another place was booked. A poor start to the year on the golf almost made up for by some returns on the horses. One of them winning would have made a big difference on the week but not too much damage done and after all it’s a marathon not a sprint
Monday 6th A busy day for me – first job of the day is to go through the meetings for the week to check where and when any staying chases are taking place – looks like being very quiet until the end of the week. I only look at these races as I simply don’t have the time to get to know thousands of horses, by limiting yourself to certain races you get to know a realistic number. Onto the golf – three events, shortlists drawn up and then sit and wait for prices to gradually appear. South African Open looks a complete nightmare – 240 players over two courses and all of them rusty, will just have some minor interest in a few with good amateur form here – Porteous, Law and Higgo – keep the powder dry for in running probably the best idea. Hong Kong Open – there will be three short priced favourites so this will make it a good e/w betting heat – probably have to wait until tomorrow for a decent set of prices, Chawrasia and Shin look the best options Sony Open is the best betting heat of the week and one that has served me well – 20 years ago Azinger was my first ever 100/1 winner!! You can read about my picks below rather than repeat myself.
Tuesday 7th Mostly spent sat on my arse getting any other bets on for the golf – always like to look at the Betfair Sportsbook markets betting without the favourites (not that I get much on) but they supplement other outright bets
Wednesday 8th Both staying chases at Ludlow only have 7 runners and as I tend to back e/w at big prices they hold no interest for me. Looked at the two staying chases at Catterick tomorrow especially the North Yorkshire National but nothing jumps out at me bar Little Bruce but happy to pass at around 5/2 – just not my sort of bet. Late into the evening but before the start of the Hong Kong Open I get a message saying that one of the picks Chawrasia is a big price on Betfair (thanks Niall) – managed to drip feed a few bets to eventually get to £30 matched at 220/1 – not bad for what I think is a genuine 50/1 shot. Either someone knows he’s injured or a bot has gone a bit mad.
Thursday 9th Wake up to find Chawrasia hasn’t had a bad first round, level par and tied 30th and nobody has run away with it which always helps. Quite liked Dodt before the off but couldn’t get on at 40/1 which was my minimum price – bullet dodged as he shot +6. Attention turned to South Africa – if I am going to back anyone would rather back someone going low on the tougher Firethorn track who has past form here - Marcus Armitage catches my eye sat on -4 through ten holes – managed to get a small bet on at an average 200/1 e/w. Will probably be my only play here before tomorrow. Field finally available for Korn Ferry Tour – back to research mode. Little Bruce wins at Catterick – went off 15/8 matched at 150 for pennies in running, sometimes happy to see a short priced one go in unbacked. Called the race right that’s all I can say. Father/Daughter evening so didn’t see golf scores from Hawaii until 10pm – looks tough – happy to play Hahn and Swafford to small stakes e/w at 150/1 each
Friday 10th A bad nights sleep for the second night in the row – not leaderboard watching, kept awake by the f*****g mice tap dancing with hob nailed boots on in the loft above my bedroom, the joys of country living. Anyway as I was up long before the larks it was good to see Chawrasia climb to 2nd place and as I have a very nice position on Betfair and with the books will be looking to lay some back to basically give me a free ride. Also saw that Conners had a pleasing finish to his round to sit tied 6th. As I only had a very small bet in South Africa topped up on Porteous at 250/1 e/w as he was going quite well on the easier course First horse bet of the week came in the 1.15 Thurles – needn’t have bothered, really shouldn’t get involved in low grade Irish handicaps, probably better off playing the Irish lotto in a bookmakers.
Saturday 11th Bloody rhodent – another awful nights sleep, don’t think much will be done today as totally shattered. Three staying chases today and don’t fancy a single horse, very quiet week on that front. Chawrasia couldn’t follow up a low one (so often the case) laying him back for a free ride was a good move. Big price in play bet Armitage scythed through the field to give some hope in South Africa, hopefully he can back it up tomorrow. If you haven’t seen any interviews with the “bullet” check them out – what a great guy. Sony Open – well lets just say it doesn’t look promising
Sunday 12th Finally a good nights sleep, that was the end of the good news, Chawrasia had tumbled down the leaderboard failing to place. Looking at the final standings I can’t imagine the layers were best pleased with he top four in the betting filling the places and I can imagine Ormsby was well backed as a past winner in good form. I just couldn’t pull the trigger on Wade as he has such a poor winning strike rate. Sony Open leaderboard looks even worse for me now, was shocked to see Steele leading on -12, couldn’t have picked him in a month of Sundays. Will need a low one from Gmac to make the places, on the plus side it will probably mean an early night. A day of research – lots of events next week whilst cheering on Armitage, then Bahamas starts – a never ending rollercoaster until the end of January. Armitage bumped into a Grace on fire, but he played well considering the position he was in. We need more characters like him, his passion for the game and clearly money isn’t the main priority in his head I think. Saw him tweet this morning walking the streets of Joburg with his luggage trying to find a bus to the course – says it all really. That celebration on the 18th having booked his Open ticket was rather magical and what sport really is all about. Took about seven hours off and away from the computer – watch the beginning of Sony and see if it was worth staying up, hmm so far yes, Gmac on a roll, few quid e/w Griffin @ 200/250 – so much for an early night. As I type this the time is 12.10 so I guess this moves to Monday!
Monday 13th I watched Gmac finish and by then the eyes were closing, nothing I can do to make anyone make bogeys so went to bed! Nice to wake up to a full place payout – any week with 150/1 and 200/1 e/w bets landing is a good week for the bank balance. Betting at high odds means winners are infrequent and place payouts keep the bankroll ticking along nicely. It’s going to be a busy week with no less than seven events to look at plus the Korn Ferry tour in progress until Wednesday.
Tuesday 14th and Wednesday 15th Will combine these two days together as they have blended into each other a bit bettingwise. Carl Yuan can’t play in strong winds – missed the cut by a mile. Yesterday I tweeted about Pablo Larrazabal in Abu Dhabi, I availed myself of the bits allowed at 90/1 and 100/1 with 8 and 6 places and topped up at 80/1 e/w. It just seems such a daft price for a player who won his last start only a month ago and has been 1st, 2nd and 6th here. Admittedly he struggled to get over the line but a win is a win, and he seems to play his best here on his seasonal debut having had a good end to the previous year. As I type this he is back out to 130 on Betfair – probably due to his afternoon tee time, will save any other bets for in running. American Express pro-am thingy in California, I am surprised there has been no mention of Vaughn Taylor ( he with the missing “a”). Finished last season on a high with 2nd and 10th, and was a real eyecatcher on his debut this season. He opened with a 75 yet climbed all the way to 12th having made the cut on the number. He was 7th here last year and of course has already won the other pro-am in California at Pebble Beach – taken 70 for the win on Betfair and 50/55 e/w. A mention has to go to Brendan Todd, I don’t much like his bookmaker price but 80 on Betfair is too big for a player that won Q School around these courses back in 2011 so he should have some fond memories. In Singapore nobody stands out as a bet but Gunn Charoenkul seems a decent e/w bet for accumulators having gone 4/2/5/3 in his last four starts and was 7th here last year, I have combined him at 16/1 in a little e/w Trixie with Oosthuizen 16/1 and Jerry Kelly on the Champions tour at 8/1. Just gives me something to cheer if there aren’t outsiders in contention! Talking of the Champions Tour another late night/early morning beckons as it’s their turn to tee it off in Hawaii. A bit of a weird event with last years winners, plus the winners of Majors in the last two years and a sprinkling of invitees. Normally the invitees are there to make up the numbers but this year it’s the turn of Ernie Els to make his Champions Tour debut. Now normally it’s all pretty much guesswork as to what price a player should be on his debut on this tour, my personal guess was around the 10/1 mark so I had to wade in at 20/1 e/w. Those with top form at the course include Toms, Kelly whilst Cook and Irwin have both won it twice and all four of those have also won the Sony Open. Well Ernie has won that twice and you can chuck in a 2nd,3rd and 5th for good measure, whilst you can add in a liberal sprinkling of 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 3rd at Kapalua. Quite simply he loves golf in Hawaii so it comes as no surprise he makes his debut here and it is also worth noting he didn’t play in his home Open last week to be ready for this.
Thursday 14th Apart from Larrazabal this weeks betting in Abu Dhabi was always going to be about in running for me even though I had no intention of getting up at 3 am to start. Pablo had a mare to be honest 17 pars and one double bogey means I will be amazed if he even makes the cut. I had a couple of small in running bets on Hao Tong Li 66/1 who whilst having a poor record here (missed cuts both starts) he has won the Dubai Desert Classic. I added an even smaller bet on former winner Robert Rock at 250/1 ew I really fancied Dawson City in the Somerset National at Wincanton and had secured some nice prices on Betfair through the night, the course would have been a bog which he would have relished, however the course was more like a swamp and the meeting was abandoned. I did have a small bet on a horse a friend has an interest in at Market Rasen in the listed mares bumper but she ran into something a bit special in Panic Attack – one to keep an eye on at Cheltenham if sent over as she will get age and sex allowance. Onto the Pro-Am event in California – actually on at a nice time to follow for me, I refuse to sit here 24 hours a day following so pick times to dip in and out. Last year I had a decent bet on Andrew Landry before the start but didn’t deliver – I have him marked down as a player that when he is on he definitely is and when he isn’t he’s extremely poor. He opened with three straight birdies and I managed a decent bet @ 100/1 ew, he finished six under so happy with that. Taylor and Todd both shot -3 but are certainly not out of it, I added a bit on Todd for a place at 22/1 as I had him win only. So off to bed – saw Els was two under through four – hope he can keep it going.
Friday 17th The answer to the Els question was – no he can’t!! Woke up fairly early and jumped on Luiten – small ew 50/1 and some on Betfair for the win at 45/1 – he has such a great record around here. Big hitting Adri Arnaus playing solidly this week without a bogey so far, am sure he will breakthrough this year, 150/1 e/w a fair price to get on board. A pretty quiet rest of the day with no more bets, was good to see Landry make a nice move and he really does have a great chance now. I cannot tweet every in play bet I have – though I did that one, but I will aim to write about all my bets – the good, the bad and the downright ugly. Talking of the latter it would appear Els was going to fall into that category but he bounced back tonight – it could have been so much better as he was six under through seven, but at least he now has a chance to place.
Saturday 18th Back to the theme of downright ugly – that just about sums up my bets in Abu Dhabi. There would appear to be some sort of big yellow thing in the sky so this afternoon will mean getting some much needed country air. It will be a long evening with a late start in Hawaii – remember it’s the final round tonight. I have one bet for this weeks Korn Ferry event in Hawaii but I haven’t got everything I want on yet so will tweet it in the morning
A day of rest for a lot of people – and often for me! But not today. I decided to stay up and follow Els IF he got into contention – which he duly did. By 3 am he had posted a clubhouse target of -14, three others were tied and one of them surely would pick up a birdie. Amazingly none did, plus Langer had a meltdown. A three way playoff ensued but sadly Els could not prevail and never traded at a low price, in all fairness Jimenez should have won in regular time with a couple of putts ending up in jaws but not dropping. I still think the call was right to have a big bet, I had made him half the price he was – just a shame about the opening level par round. I doubt very much he will be that big a price again. Place money bagged to basically give me a free week. After just four hours sleep I woke up to follow Abu Dhabi, it was already a forlorn hope anyway. Sunday lunch and a bottle of vino followed by a much needed “siesta” and it was on to the PGA tour. I felt that Landry was trading too low early on and traded some back to ensure a nice winning week, at first it transpired that I had played too early and within a few holes maybe not. He was caught in the lead but he didn’t seem totally flustered and played the last two holes with supreme confidence. I often sit here and kick myself when I lay back some potential winnings, today was a prime example, I gave back 25% of my win pot on Landry. There is that moment of regret that I should have been braver but over the years I have learnt that over time a steady income stream is much better than long lows with the odd massive high. This weeks event had some scar tissue from 2013 when Stallings had been backed and really should have won but made a mess of the last few holes to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. It all evens out in the end. Life is a rollercoaster, I hate rollercoasters – do I want to get off – hell no!!
Monday 20 Bit of a quieter this week which is probably a good thing – nothing worse than having a really good week and thinking you are Billy Big Bollocks and losing a load of it. Two very difficult events to have a go at too with favourites at the top looking dangerous. Second round of the Korn Ferry event saw Wilcox move through the field and into 3rd, I guess I also got lucky as someone left some prices up on Betfair in running so I now have a free bet on a few to win after a bit of trading. “Mistakes” don’t happen very often but they are nice when they do but still two days to go and wind looks set to blow on the final day. Have decided to keep much of my powder dry for Torrey Pines – with the two courses in play it often makes sense, you can shoot yourself out of it with a high score around the South course and similarly with an average round at the North course. So – just a few small plays on Ryan Palmer – played well at the Sony and oddly enough didn’t play last week where he has a great record. He gave this event a miss for many years but has been 2nd and 13th the last two years but remember it’s been ten years since his last solo win. Small e/w 70/1 and without the faves 45/1 e/w Will take a chance on two players who have four Junior World Championship titles between them here at Torrey. The much touted youngster Niemann (70/1 win only) who won in 2015 and 2016 – the latter by eight shots. You have to go back to 2006 and 2008 to see Greyson Murrays wins here – small e/w 250/1 and win only 330.
Tuesday 21st A day spent getting what I want on Betfair for the Dubai Desert Classic – only bets with bookmakers are McDowell w/o the favourites 80/1 e/w - a very small bet – would have been much bigger if allowed lol. I also did Norris 125/1 6 places with Hills when they pushed him out to 125/1. My Betfair book before the off looks like this Hao Tong Li £30 44.0 £1290 Jazzy Jane £25 50.00 £1225 Shaun Norris £75 167.35 £12476 McDowell £30 119.76 £3563 + £20 top 5 21.0 £400 I really fancy Li this week but don’t think there is any mileage in his price, he won two years ago and really was t3rd last year if you take out the daft two stroke penalty at the last. He showed last week he was in reasonable form being bang in contention until a quadruple bogey stopped him in his tracks and to be honest he hadn’t made a cut at Abu Dhabi before. Jazzy Jane has been in phenomenal form - whether he can take it up a level is open to debate but is worth a small saver. McDowell is a bit shorter than the 150/1 he was when placing for me at the Sony and I can’t entertain a bet at the bookmaker price but the Betfair price is very generous. Norris was in scintillating form in Japan at the end of 2019, interestingly he beat Jazzy Jane in their last five meetings. The difference in price this week is rather odd as Norris was 6th last week in Abu Dhabi, he co-led after the first round then shot a bizarre 77 before a bogey free 11 under at the weekend. I really don’t understand his price at all – hence the large Betfair bet, though I will be looking to trade as he doesn’t win that often. The rest of the day was spent following the fortunes of Wilcox who was +3 through four but finished one under – not a bad recovery and he is a better chaser than leader
Wednesday 22nd A quiet morning – completing research into the PGA tour – I may not have had many bets but I like to have a set of notes of players I may back in running should they start well. Nothing more to add to the diary for today – I intend to sit back and follow the Korn Ferry Tour in the Bahamas, a place from Wilcox would be nice but it looks like the wind is going to blow today so scores should be all over the shop. An early night is then on the cards as Dubai starts early in the morning Oh – forgot to add – for those who didn’t notice a little announcement yesterday – I will soon be writing some articles for Sportinglife – basically after the cut and pre final round plus the odd one for big events on the smaller tours. Really looking forward to it and it’s nice to have been given the opportunity by Ben Coley.
Thursday An earlyish start to the day and awoke to find Norris going well – I followed for a few hours and as I had a big position on him I layed my Betfair stake back @ 25/1. Unfortunately I fell asleep waking up to find he had traded a lot lower and that he tripled the last, at least I now had a free roll on my Betfair bets. I got some stick on Twitter for “after timing” – well as most of this diary is after timing and I cannot always tweet everything I do then I don’t really care. A small bet on Guerrier e/w was struck as he was charging up the leaderboard only to see him charge swiftly back down again. First horse bet for a while in the Thyestes Chase – I liked the look of Lord Schnitzel in his first run in a handicap, he was well backed but didn’t seem to stay. I also noticed Elliott had pulled out two of his which allowed second reserve Out Sam into the field – another of his. I always take note of things like that, he was a huge price on Betfair and was duly backed just before the off – again to no avail. To be honest I wanted to see how he ran as I still fancy him for the Cross Country Chase at Cheltenham, due to the poor visibility I am none the wiser. Just before the off in the Farmers Insurance I added Palmer on Betfair as he drifted to 85 – he won’t win but could trade lower, and also added in form Hoge at 300/40/17 for the win/5/10 markets. In running play on J.B Holmes 80/1 e/w who was going well on the tough south course and has good form here Just before bed decided to lay some more Norris, with that triple bogey finish and last weeks horror second round fresh in the mind it seemed a prudent thing to do
Friday My body clock is all over the shop, up early again and backed Gagli at huge price but he did the same as Guerrier yesterday. Dubai playing really tough and I thought of other tough courses – Bezuidenhout had won at Valderrama so he went into the book at 125/1 e/w and a small bet on Betfair. Over in California Ryan Palmer was charging on the easy course – his price varied from 20 – 125!! I managed some e/w at 90. The charge continued and I layed a load back at 7/1 – the fact he hasn’t won for ten years and his form at the tough course is average meant I was happy to do so
Saturday Following golf from Dubai most of the morning – added bets on Lewis 60/1, Forrest 90/1 and finally MacIntyre 125/1 – it’s always wise to back them e/w before the round finishes as once done place terms are cut. Just the one extra bet at Torrey Pines – Hossler was another one of those Junior champions here and 80/1 win only was worth a small investment. Sort of a night off – won’t be watching golf as I am quizmaster at our local pub, well it makes a change from following people hitting a small white thing with a stick
Sunday Long term plans to help the folks with some jobs meant I was unable to follow the last few hours of play, I made my Betfair book nice and green with a lay of Bez at 2/1 and set off hoping it continued to play tough. I saw the result after the conclusion of play – second playoff loss in a week – somewhat frustrating is an understatement. Maybe I should have left some short price lays up – hindsight is a wonderful thing, but I can’t sit here all day – sometimes other things in life take over. You just have to remember the lays of people like Palmer and Norris, which long term more than make up for the odd wrong move. Onto California – Holmes and Palmer fell away but Hoge continued his solid play and booked a full top five and ten place. Overall it’s been another solid profitable week. I am not a massive punter, I don’t do ROI or any other fancy stat analysis - I am old school (which may astonish some) I just look at the bottom line – profit and loss. I know I don’t really talk about money and stakes (apart from Betfair) but I will give a monthly summary of my profit and loss. As a 52 year old singleton who doesn’t live a lavish lifestyle I have the time to sit here and work 60 hours a week – the reward for this month was £3500 profit. Some would say it’s not a great hourly rate but as someone who hasn’t worked for anyone for 20 years I am pretty much unemployable so I’ll happily take it. Sadly it’s tax month and most of it will be going straight back, that’s earnings from other things by the way, thankfully betting winnings are exempt although some weeks I wish losses could be put against tax!
Monday 27 With the Korn Ferry tour back to normal start and finish times the weekly routine returns to normal, four events for me to look at as I will probably pass on the Sunshine/Challenge tour co-sanctioned event – I mean 200+ low grade players, with two courses and bookmakers I probably can’t even bet with – what could possibly go wrong?! There has been much talk about Australians inspiring each other to victory of late, some have said it’s to do with a nation ravaged by bush fires pulling together. I don’t buy into that line but I do think there is something in it – more likely players being inspired by each other – sort of “well if he can do it so can I”. The problem with this little nugget is that everyone thinks the same and is on the lookout for this weeks “candidate” and the obvious one is Min Woo Lee in Saudi Arabia. With that in mind a close eye is needed on the early prices and I get what I wanted at 80/1 e/w and some on Betfair at 75/1. Sometimes you need to know who is going to be tipped up and when and over the years I have developed that knack though I don’t need to use it very often as most of my bets are somewhat leftfield. Talking of which – my Aussie to look out for plays on the Champions Tour this week which travels to Morocco. With very few having any form in the country, and definitely the course, it’s time to hit the history books. Leaney caught my eye as way back in 1998 on his sole trip to the country he won the European Tour Moroccan Open by a staggering 8 shots. Somehow I think I have managed to convey this fact to Leaney just in case he had forgotten (you know who you are!!) That’s the simple bit done – now to get on – in the end managed what I wanted spread over prices of 125/150/175. No doubt he will bomb but he played well to finish tied 4th at Q School last month after a very fast start and in his prime was a decent player. A cursory glance through the Phoenix Open shows last weeks success Tom Hoge priced up at 100/1 which seems generous for a man in form – 12/6/5 and who sat 12th going into the final round here last year. When you consider he had just missed the first three cuts of the year in the same events he has played well in 2020 then he has to be a back this week.
Tuesday 28 A day spent backing Hoge at what I think are daft prices – I went in too early at 110 on Betfair so topped up at 140/150, now have £75 on @ 125 average and £60 on a top 5 @ 25. The only other player I have backed on the PGA tour is Ryan Moore win only 100 on Betfair, played well in the Desert Classic and has a solid bank of form here. Sticking to my guns that less is often more and have only added two more for Saudi – Hao Tong Li has been disappointing in his last 4 rounds but is worth a small save at 75. My rank outsider is young Matthew Jordan – have managed to get £35 330 and backed him in lots of other markets – top 10 20/1, top GB/Ire 50/1 ew etc. It’s his first start of the year so I am wary of a bit of rust – it was the case last year where he started slowly but 2nd and 3rd rounds of 65 and 67 saw him finish a creditable 34th in the end. One thing that caught my eye was a few months before that he shot middle rounds of 67 and 66 to finish 32nd at the Alfred Dunhill links. A couple of months ago he used that experience to finish 5th on his second attempt, hopefully history repeats itself. He’s a fine coastal links player with wins in the St Andrews Links event and the Lytham Trophy by 9 strokes, and gained his first pro win on the Challenge Tour last year. Tomorrow will be spent looking at the Korn Ferry event in Panama and any tips will be up on Twitter.
Wednesday 29 A very quiet day which to be honest was quite welcome – a few busy days coming up. I kept going through the Korn Ferry Panama event but didn’t find anything I liked and even spent an hour on Limpopo but my original thoughts were confirmed. Only bet of the day was adding Hoge in the FRL market – 137 PGA starts - 6 times co-led though never on his own, 80/1 e/w and 110 win only. My one concern is that first out he well face chilly conditions
Thursday 30 Well Min Woo Lee and Matthew Jordan were both going very well but as soon as the wind picked up they dropped down the leaderboard. I managed to get on McDowell @ 33/1 e/w (not tweeted as price was gone in nano seconds) also added Hend at an average of 90/1 e/w, and Laporta 125/150 e/w as both were on my radar before the start and were going well in the trickier afternoon conditions Over in Phoenix Hoge was off to a flyer – e/w FRL money landed – though it wasn’t much of a bet and layed some outright on Betfair @ 22 to give a nice free roll – not a bad start to the week.
Friday I added Jazzy Jane in running in Saudi – maybe last weeks Dubai form was a bit of a blip – turned out it wasn’t! I really liked Springfield Fox in the Novice Handicap Chase at Chepstow – had got a mark over hurdles but had been unbeaten in three points in Ireland and I made it closer to favourite. I took 13/2 but it even drifted to 9/1 on Betfair so had a bit more but I did lay some back in running – I needn’t have bothered as it won very easily. The form could be anything but thought he was worth a few quid antepost for the National Hunt Chase 4 miler at Cheltenham 100/1 e/w Stephen Leaney WAS going well in Morocco – got up into a tie for 3rd only 2 shots back with 6 to play – got his work cut out now to even place Hoge got off to a poor start in Phoenix and never really recovered – maybe fatigue is kicking it
Saturday Saw that Pampling was 22/1 with Bet365 for Morocco I hate it when can’t have a bet but got a bit on Betfair – turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Leaney ended up coming shy of a place and Quigley won on his second Champions Tour start at 500/1! I had backed him in his first start in Canada last year and he was woeful and to be honest didn’t even see that he was entered though even then I probably would have passed. Over in Saudi there was plenty of sand for Gmac and about time I put down the spade and stopped digging though he miraculously ended up in the lead at the end of the day – hopefully he hasn’t used up all of his luck. I fancied two horses in the big staying handicap chases of the day Classic Ben and Little Bruce but none of them ran very well so gave back some of the Springfield Fox winnings Onto Phoenix and I really thought Swafford was being underestimated so I kept chipping away e/w at 50’s It seems to have been a very long day and as much as Thursday and Friday were good today has been very poor
Sunday As it was a father/daughter day I couldn’t follow the golf from Saudi and after what had happened in Dubai last week I felt compelled to leave a lay up at 1.2. I still haven’t watched the replay but he ended up a comfortable winner and guarantees me a fourth winning week in a row. It wasn’t a large bet and to be honest I was rather lucky that I was sat here at the computer when I saw the price. There were tough starts for Hoge/Swafford in Phoenix which sealed my fate there but just had a feeling someone was going to post an impassable score - if anyone it was going to be Bubba so had a little bit of the 80/1 ew – that returned a few quid to the coffers. I immediately re-invested it in him for the Masters at 40/1 e/w – he is back in form and will probably go off much shorter. Swafford showed the pressure this game can put you under – playing on a medical extension he needed top four to secure his card – it clearly showed. However with that clutch putt on the 72nd hole he got in the top ten and won’t have to use up one of his two remaining exemptions at Pebble this week providing he turns up. As for the showdown between Finau and Simpson – I’m not saying Finau bottled it but Simpson won it. Time for some sleep – looking forward to Pebble Beach next week, whilst I don’t particularly enjoy watching it I have backed a few winners there over the years and Saturday sees my first column for Sportinglife.
Monday I am not sure why I am writing this particular post but it’s my diary and having read the sad news about James Banks today maybe it’s time to say something. If you have never suffered from the all consuming illness that depression is you cannot understand the depths of despair you can sink to. To be at a point where you no longer want to exist on this planet because you can see no future is the darkest place imaginable. I cannot explain how it feels only that it is a fine line between staying and leaving and something will trip the balance one way or the other. It is now four years since I chose to stay, it’s been a long battle but I am now back living my life as I want. So many don’t survive that fight and I won’t go into my own personal details but it happens so often with men who will not share or talk about their problems. It’s very easy to say please talk, but please talk to someone who actually knows where your state of mind is, not any old friend who will probably have no idea where you are, but someone who has been there and come out the other side. I am sorry if anybody is upset by this, but this a “diary” of sorts and it would be wrong to occasionally leave out some “real life”. For me it’s been a long journey and I do not have a job to best cope with the highs and lows of life but it is the only job I know, others are not so lucky to carry on living their dream.
Tuesday 4 Wednesday 5 After that brief interlude normal service will resume, I must say the response to what was a departure from the norm was quite incredible, of people sharing similar stories and that speaking out can only help others – thankyou all! Back to betting – will combine what I have bet this week over the last 3 days in one post as I have been busy over the past few days. Vic Open – On first glance on Monday I thought what an awful event and I would be better off having a good nights sleep – however on closer analysis I found three that were probably worthy of a small investment. Three rounds are played on the Beach course which is a typical short seaside links so that’s the avenue I pursued. I backed Matthew Jordan last week at much bigger prices on the basis of his solid amateur links form with wins in the St Andrews Links event and the Lytham Trophy by 9 strokes, and of course 5th in the Alfred Dunhill – a multi course event with a much stronger field. It’s always tough going from 200/1 ew to 50/1 but when you take into account the strength of the field this week compared to last there is a touch of value in the price. Garrick Porteous hasn’t really kicked on from his top amateur form – British Amateur Champion and Scottish Strokeplay to boot. He has played in events on links courses and not really produced much but his 11th at Leopard Creek makes him just about a play at 175/200 ew Talking of amateurs who have never really kicked on – Nick Flanagan – 2003 US Amateur champion, and what dates him was “battlefield” promotion to the PGA Tour from the Nationwide Tour in 2007, from there it all went a bit wrong. He was 13th here in 2018 and when it was co-sanctioned last year was derailed in the wind in round three eventually finishing 10th. He was 3rd in the much stronger Australian PGA Champs before Christmas following on from 6th the year before. If none of them perform I will simply sleep well over the weekend! AT&T Pebble Beach – as I have said before an event that has served me well over the years, despite the fact that I don’t particularly enjoy watching the “celebreties” most of whom I would have to Google to see who they are. The one player I wanted onside and was pleasantly surprised at the price was Mark Hubbard. It’s all come out now from others about how he proposed to his girlfriend on the 18th back in 2015. He hasn’t achieved much here but he is a vastly improved player this year including a 2nd at Houston – a course which oddly correlates well to this. He was bang there last week until a final round 72 dropped him to 9th when he never recovered from an early double bogey. I was surprised to get 175/1 with differing place options and a decent bet on Betfair at 240. I haven’t had chance to see the tee times yet but he should play best at Spyglass where he has played 40-50 rounds when at college in San Jose. The only other player I have backed pre-tournament is past winner Vaughn Taylor who is in solid form – 90/1 ew and 100/1 on Betfair. If I was to nominate a best player to back it would have to be Mito Pereira @ 100/125 on the Korn Ferry Tour as it travels south to Colombia. The Chilean will be pretty much at home at altitude in Bogota as he proved two years ago when eagling the 72nd hole to climb to 8th. Another two years of pro golf under his belt this former World Amateur number 5 will go places and started off this year with a fine 3rd in Panama
Thursday Woke at 4 am to follow the Vic Open – the prices seemed wrong on Flanagan topped up 100/125 Mito had a nice first round in Colombia – at least that event is on at a decent viewing hour this week. Over at Pebble Beach – Hadley has a good record here so when he started fast I dove in at 150/1, suffice to say he finished slow Into the evening and Flanagan continued to be wrong price and Jordan was playing well on host course. Things in Australia were looking promising
Friday It was good that my players in Australia were finished by just after midnight, I actually managed a good nights sleep which was welcome as the weekend coming up was going to be rather hectic. I quite fancied a horse in the marathon slog at Bangor as the extended 3 ½ miles was going to take some getting, sadly it plodded home in 4th Due to seeing a potential bias in the course rotation and possible that the wind could play a part on the Saturday I wanted a couple of players on board who were due to play Spyglass on the Saturday so added Schwartzel and Reavie who had both started well enough at Monterey on day one Over in Colombia Mito had another solid round
Saturday I woke early to follow the end of Vic Open – wind really howling but Jordan played well moving into a chance of a place. Flanagan was doing OK til double bogeying last. Min Woo Lee who I backed last week – couldn’t back him this week around 18/1 after last weeks missed cut, although 3 clear still has it all to do to win his first pro title. I am always happy to let a maiden go unbacked at a short price. My first article for Sportinglife – if you missed it you can read it here. https://www.sportinglife.com/golf/news/familiar-faces-in-the-mix-at-pebble/177101 By the end of the days play in California things were looking pretty dire as the wind never really got up and Spyglass played even tougher than before. Playing on the back of weather forecasts is always tricky, but sometimes it can work in your favour. At close of play in Colombia Mito was into 5th but four shots out of the lead – he will need a low one tomorrow
Sunday No joy in Australia with Flanagan and Jordan fading quite badly, and Min Woo Lee winning quite comfortably in the end. Second article for Sportinglife was up and live https://www.sportinglife.com/golf/news/pebble-beach-no-hassle-for-hov/177132 The only real chance of ending the week in profit now lay with Mito in Colombia and the nice thing is they’ll be done by about 8pm – I am beginning to feel the effects of burning the candle at both ends. Fast forward a few hours and the young Chilean eagles the last for a two shot victory, fantastic result for what I said was the best bet of the week. It looks like you have to be either in your early 20’s and a former top amateur or in your 40’s to win at the moment! Thanks for all the messages and emails it would appear that quite a few people won quite a bit of money. It’s a shame the Sportinglife columns didn’t get off to a great start (Schwartzel provided a small return) but I guess you can’t have everything.
Monday 10 Weeks seems to come around quite quickly and it’s back to the normal routine, I have said before it’s a marathon not a sprint but it’s odd how you can suddenly “hit form” although I have faced this year with a new mindset. Last year I think I had two winners and loads of places, this year already two 100/1 + winners and two playoff losses, it’s a funny old game. I had already done my research for the Genesis and when I saw an opening line of 30 on Betfair for Bubba Watson I had to snap it up. It was obvious he was going to be well supported, he’s in great form and has won three of the last six renewals here at Riviera. Quite why he plays well in “even” years is a mystery – it could be that it’s Ryder Cup years, it could be that he doesn’t defend well. The one thing we do know is that he is a horses for courses player with two Green Jackets and three wins at River Highlands. My comment on Twitter about Korean/Americans being inspired by Parasite winning at the Oscars was very much tongue in cheek but I do fancy one – Kevin Na. From being a “can’t win can place” type of player he has turned into a winner with three victories in the last two years and who says he can’t get another on a course where he has been 2nd, 3rd and 4th down the years. His 14th place last week would have been a whole lot better were it not for a run of six holes on Spyglass on Thursday when he dropped seven shots. He seems overlooked to me and 80/1 e/w with seven places and 100 on Betfair is more than fair. The only other player I liked the look of was Mexican Carlos Ortiz who was 9th last year, 26th in 2016 when bang out of form and in 2015 was 3rd heading into the final round before fading in what was his rookie season – I’m happy to forgive that. He has had a slow start to 2020 but was on fire in the Autumn saying he was inspired by the wins of good friends and practicing partners Munoz and Niemann. His form around here will probably come as no shock when you read what he had to say in 2015 Interviewer What was your home course, what was Guadalajara Country Club like, just the way it was, and did it prepare you well for‑‑ CARLOS ORTIZ: Yeah, it's actually a pretty similar golf course, tree lines, and there's a lot of holes that look kind of the same, same grass, same green, so it's similar. It's easy for me to shape some shots off the tees, and that's important out here. I will be the first to admit winning his first title here will be tough but I have played him 175/200 e/w for 6/8 places, 40 top 5 and 18 top 10 plus 150/1 e/w without the top 5 The rest of the day was spent going through the Korn Ferry and Champions Tour events from Florida and the Dimension Data Pro-Am, any thoughts will be up Wednesday. I decided to swerve the Australian events – be nice to have some extra sleep!
Tuesday 11 Unusual for me to get all that I wanted on the PGA tour on a Monday but clears up the rest of the week to look at three other events. First one up is the Champions Tour Chubb Classic and good to see a full set of early prices. I guess it easy to price up with little variation from week to week and a limited field where you can probably discount at least a third of the field. We have a few debutants this week – Jaidee and Karlsson appear near the top of the market at roughly the same price Els was the other week on his debut. They are top quality players but are they in Els’ league – I don’t think so, either Els was way too big or they are far too short, I guess it is somewhere in between. Instead my eye is drawn to Tim Herron who tees it up on the “Roundbelly Tour” for the first time, though in fairness he has fitted that description for years. With two of his four PGA wins coming in the State of Florida I will give him a chance this week – I got 90/1 e/w but 80/1 is fair enough. Still kicking myself for not being on Quigley in Morocco but sometimes these things can be missed, the question is can he follow up? Well maybe he can and I don’t want to be kicking myself again, 80/1 has gone but wouldn’t put anyone off @ 66/1. Decided to take the rest of the day off, sometimes it’s worth waiting for full prices on the lesser tours and you also have more chance of actually getting on.
Wednesday 12 Early morning start to go through the Dimension Data Pro-Am which is co-sanctioned with the Challenge Tour and marks the final leg of that tours South African swing. It has a decent prize fund and is played over three courses and with some of the bigger named South Africans returning to play it provides quite a conundrum. Schaper was all the rage for the last two events but missed the cut in both and his price has drifted accordingly. I couldn’t find any history of Schaper playing those courses before but he has plenty of history playing this weeks three courses. He played in three renewals of the Dimension Data Junior event progressing from 14th to 7th to 1st in 2017. I have a slight concern that this weeks host course was used for the final round in 2017 and he went out in five over par but battled back well in tow under on the back nine to take the title. A reproduction of his 6th in the South African Open would see him go close on courses he knows 80/1 e/w is worth taking. The Korn Ferry Tour hits the mainland for the first time with the second renewal of the Lecom SunCoast Classic from Florida and two players catch my eye. J.T Griffin was 5th last year having got in as a Monday Qualifier and often returning to the scene of positive memories can spark a good performance. He has finished 10th and 36th in his two starts this year so his game is in pretty good nick, got an average of 70/1 e/w. I was on the lookout for a Florida player with some good Florida form and Curtis Thompson ticks those boxes. Brother of Lexi and Nicholas he more or less gave up the game but decided to give it one last push. In his home State he was co-medalist at Q School in December and has already bagged a 3rd and 10th this year to keep his dreams of gaining a PGA tour card very much alive. The missed cut last week has seen his price drift out to a very reasonable 50/1 e/w. Well – lunchtime Wednesday and I’m all done for the week, nice afternoon off before leaderboard watching starts tomorrow. Next you will hear from me will either be tweeting in running bets or Saturday and Sunday morning doing the Sportinglife column.
Thursday First bet down the pan with Schaper only shooting one under on the easy course – will have to find something else to do early mornings the rest of the week. First in running play in Genesis was Noren – 100/80/50 – fancied him before the off but wanted to see how he started. He started brilliantly but as soon as my wagers were placed he found reverse gear – quickly. Apart from that I kept the powder dry as Ortiz had a nice opening round but Bubba holed nothing and Na was awful
Friday Added a bit more on Taylor 150/1 e/w and also put Hahn in the mix I usually look at the racecards for the weekend on a Friday afternoon but there are inspections everywhere so no real point in wasting time I added Si Woo Kim to the mix in the Genesis at various prices – coach change may be finally reaping benefits On the Champions Tour Quigley had an awful finish when bang there on day one whilst on the Korn Ferry Tour quite the opposite happened as Griffin had a good one moving into contention
Saturday Up early to do Sportinglife article – four outsiders tipped up, mainly ones I had already backed in running plus Reavie In South Africa Schaper played well on the course I expected him to struggle on -8, 64, if he shoots the same again tomorrow he may place Followed the Genesis which made for depressing viewing as all mine went backwards on moving day
Sunday Again early to rise for the Sportinglife article, no new outright bets but a rare 3 ball in the shape of Hahn as I wanted to oppose Reavie and Casey whose final rounds have been poor of late Schaper did what I thought he would do on the host course, have to remember he is still only 18 years old and is just as likely to shoot a bad score as a good one I fancied a horse in a low grade handicap chase in Ireland, one day I will learn to leave such races alone So an evening following golf on three tours with chances everywhere to save the week, this game is a fickle one and at one point it looked really hopeful that the week could be good but within an hour it all turned on its head. In the Genesis Hahn got to within one of the lead but then limped home and having been about three clear in the three ball bet eventually lost by one. Even Taylor briefly threatened but a three putt from seven feet was his undoing. On the Champions Tour Quigley was still in the places but double bogeyed the last, I forgot to mention that I had a small bet on Leaney after round one 40/1 with four places, he bogeyed the last to slip to 5th. To finish it all off on the Korn Ferry tour Griffin had to birdie the last to get in the places, he parred it and finished one shot shy in 7th. It really is a game of fine margins with a shot either way making all the difference and this week was my turn to get my fingers burnt. It has been a good year so far with so much going my way but it still stings when not one bet provides a return over the week. Time for some much needed sleep and we go again tomorrow.
Monday Unusually I hadn’t done any prep for this week but with only two events to interest me then I knew it wouldn’t take long to go through everything. A WGC event with a limited field isn’t something that normally gets my juices flowing but this one is a little different. It seems that over the three years admittedly a couple of Americans have been at the top but European Tour players seem to fill the places and at juicy odds. Chapultec is an old fashioned course played at altitude so different to run of the mill PGA courses and Christian Bezhuidenhout really caught my eye. He was unlucky when losing in a playoff in Dubai last month but won at the weekend at home in South Africa. His win on the very traditional Valderrama course stuck in my memory so he had to go in the book at 125/1 e/w and 160 on Betfair. Cameron Smith has been pretty poor since his win in Hawaii but Australians have continued to dominate around the globe and I couldn’t resist the 200 win only price on Betfair – after all he was 6th here last year. I didn’t put up a best bet of the week last week as nobody really qualified but I will do this week and it comes in the shape of another South American Sebastian Munoz. You may think I am barking mad but bear with me as there is method in my madness. I remember backing him at 200/1 when he won on his home course on the Korn Ferry tour in Bogota – a traditional course at an altitude of 9,000 feet. His best results on the PGA tour prior to his win came when 3rd and 7th at the Greenbrier Old White course, another old traditional track although admittedly not so high at 2,000 feet. If you add in a 2nd and 3rd at El Bosque in Mexico on the Korn Ferry tour at 6,000 feet, and a 6th in Utah you probably begin to see where I am coming from. A pair of opening 69’s on his first visit to Riviera show his game is in pretty good nick, and yes I know this is a step up in class but maybe he will take to the rarified air of Chapultec. I have backed him on Betfair average 220 win, then e/w at varying prices and place options from 150/1 to 190/1, plus without the favourites 110/1 and even a little FRL @ 100/1
Tuesday Well apart from updating the diary it was a fairly quiet day, having backed Spider Web for the two postponed renewals of the Irish National trial so went in again, the writing was on the wall early on and after being badly hampered by a faller was pulled up quickly. Beginning to think I should just stick to the main and regional “Nationals” and novice handicap chases, talking of which it’s Devon national day on Friday, if it was a nice day I would probably go as it won’t be I probably won’t! Had a good look through the Sunshine Tour Championship and the Australian events but nothing jumps out at me so just the Puerto Rico Open to add to the WGC event. I tweeted my main bet as the price of 66/1 about Tyler McCumber was gradually going, I will admit to backing him yesterday at 80/1 but had to top up again at the lower price. In the early days of this event backing players with strong Florida ties was key and I think that approach still holds water. I remember backing McNeill on that basis and bizarrely enough he had even bought a house in Fort Myers from previous winner Lamely, sadly I have been unable to find out which golfer owns that house now! Anyway back to McCumber – born in Florida, went to college and still lives in the state – so that’s that box ticked. Current form is not of the highest order (though that hasn’t been important for past winners) but he has made his last three cuts in California which probably isn’t his best part of the world. He will have taken encouragement from playing with Tiger at Torrey Pines on the Saturday and beating him by one. He hasn’t played here before but neither had three of the last five winners so that’s hardly a negative point. He knows how to win which is a key point – three on the Canadian tour and three on the Latino tour and that’s where the deciding factor comes in. He won at Estrella del Mar on the Mexican coast on a very similar course – and who was the last player to win there? Last years winner Martin Trainer.
Wednesday A lack of bets on the week isn’t a bad thing especially after last weeks disaster but going through the Puerto Rico Open for the umpteenth time I have had one further bet in the shape of Vincent Whaley. He doesn’t tick the Florida box, in fact he ticks very few boxes at all bar it’s his debut. He qualified for the PGA tour on the number through regular season starts on the Korn Ferry tour with a 2nd in the Bahamas on just his second start being the highlight. He has made as many cuts as he has missed so far and just think he may offer a touch of value @ 150/1 though not much. Well that’s all the bets done for the week, anything in running will be tweeted and I am doing the updates for Sportinglife on Saturday and Sunday for Puerto Rico. 24 hours off now – think I may look at holidays for May/June to Greece as this British weather is getting bloody depressing.
Thursday 20th One of those days where it all started well, McCumber was -3 through three holes but finished on -2, whilst Munoz twice got to -2 but he was wayward with his drives most of the day and you cannot get away with that around Chapultec. No further plays were struck as there was no proper in running betting from Puerto Rico. Left a few “asks” up on Betfair overnight for the Devon National tomorrow
Friday 21st Well one horse was matched overnight 14/1 for One Of Us – happy with that price The one horse I was more interested in @ Exeter was Springfield Fox – again it simply jumped for fun at the front and nothing got close – topped up for the National Hunt Chase at Cheltenham @ 100/1 e/w Munoz picked up 5 shots in the last 5 holes to give some hope of a place in Mexico
Saturday 22nd Up early for Sportinglife Puerto Rico write-up – added Rhein Gibson – possibility of being inspired by all the Australian victories of late Nothing interesting on the horse front a shame the Eider chase not running always like the race McCumber fired a second bogey free round to move into place chance, Gibson was uninspired!
Sunday 23rd Second Sportinglife article of the week – no new bets, if there is nothing that stands out then keep your hands in your pocket, bookmakers “have” to price up, you don’t have to bet. I added a small e/w bet on Hatton in Mexico, purely on the basis that he had good course form and was improving coming back from surgery and one book was still going three places. He briefly threatened and even reached third at one point but ultimately failed In Puerto Rico McCumber went backwards and oddly enough it was Whaley who came closest finishing 9th @ 150/1 and a shot or two shy. So another blank week with nothing back, final monthly total ended +£3250 for Feb ( do monthly totals that fall on last Sunday in the month). All mainly due to the win of Mito in Colombia – combined with January that’s £6750 for 2020, gladly take that and run for the hills.
Monday 24th A full day of research with events all over the world this week – going to be very busy compared to last week My only early bet was KY Lee in the Honda, he finished 7th last year – his best result of the season which came on the back of 25/30 in Phoenix and Puerto Rico. He has just gone 13/14 in those two events scrambling brilliantly and that is what will be needed this week at PGA National 110/1 ew
Tuesday 25th With all prices up – a busy day getting bets on – always better once markets have settled and if you don’t jump on early prices you can generally get more on I had a top up on KY Lee 80/1 without the favourites In Oman I couldn’t find much I really liked so mostly will be backing in running, plus I will be doing updates for Sportinglife on Friday and Saturday. I did feel Darren Fichardt was worth a small bet – playing really well in South Africa this past month finishing 1/WD/6/6. Whilst he has no good course form if you go back far enough he is a winner in the desert in Qatar and 80/1 e/w and 100 on Betfair seemed fair. The one I did like at the price was Marcus Armitage – it’s odd how a player who grabbed so much attention a month ago can fall quickly out of the limelight. Following that heroic 3rd at Randpark (where he had been 5th before) he missed the cut at Abu Dhabi thanks to a poor first round but bounced back in round two. He was a solid 10th here at Al Mouj on the Challenge Tour in his only appearance so maybe lightening can strike twice. He can now play in a more relaxed mood and I really think he has what it takes to win a “small” event like this. I backed him 260 win on Betfair, 200/1 e/w plus all the side markets – top 5/10 and top Nationalities. Onto the Champions Tour which this week is played on the Omni Tucson course and many players have experience of that course when used on the PGA Tour. The one that stuck out to me was Kirk Triplett who back in the day went 13/77/3/7/13/1 winning on his 6th attempt. On the Champions tour he has gone 14/34/7/13/2 so maybe he can repeat the trick and win on the 6th attempt? He won twice last year and I really don’t understand the 66/70 price tag. I backed Herron a couple of weeks ago on his Champions Tour debut but he disappointed, I have had a small bet @ 100/1 e/w hoping that he can improve on a course he played well on before. I will have to leave my other bets til tomorrow once I can finally get on what I want – patience is key!
Wednesday 26th Finally got all that I wanted on another decent bet on the Champions Tour – this time Chris Dimarco who had his best finish yet when t5th last time. Rather than write loads about him it’s all contained in this article https://www.pgatour.com/champions/tour-insider/2020/02/19/chris-dimarco-my-confidence-coming-back.html I put him up last year and to be honest he was woeful but that article shows he is in a better mindset to play well on a course where he has been 2nd before and you can also add in a 1st and 2nd at Phoenix in his PGA playing days. Onto the Korn Ferry Tour and I can see no harm in re-investing some Mito Pereira winnings even though the price is a lot lower 40/1 e/w. He did play here back in 2017 missing the cut after a good opening round but was in awful form at the time. This former top world amateur is finally showing what he is capable of and an event played at high altitude just like Bogota should be right up his street. One other small bet on Austin Smotherman who has some great Latino tour form in this neck of the woods and finds a lot of fairways and greens 125/150 e/w With that all written up I will take a look at the New Zealand Open and will tweet any bets.
Thursday 27th A day spent mainly following leaderboards and adding to pre tournament bets In Oman Louis De Jager 80 e/w because of his good Mauritius form Zanotti 50 e/w due to his excellent course form In the Honda I nibbled at Swafford whose price drifted on the off NeSmith was got quickly onside just after his hole in one at 80/1 – he had good junior form around here. Before tee off in Mexico – small bet Mito to hopefully trade @ 38 and also managed £5 Barjon 370 which seemed too high compared to book prices
Friday 28th A quiet day with not a lot happening – I added Jamieson 150/1 by the end of the day he hadn’t even made the cut dropping shots like confetti after a quick start. I had to do the half way cut Sportinglife piece (much easier at 4pm rather than 8 am!) Luiten, Wang and Zanotti were tipped having small bets on the first two as I was already on Zanotti. Over in Mexico Mito had an excellent second round to lie 2nd heading into weekend – things were looking fairly positive
Saturday 29th I backed McEvoy before he teed off – 70 on Betfair seemed huge compared to his book price – clearly the person knew he was in for a poor day Another piece for Sportinglife but Oman still looks wide open so didn’t add any more plays. Honda was playing tough and Swafford had one bad hole and shot down the leaderboard but as it was tough I started to add players who were in or near the clubhouse Hughes 200 , Palmer 125, An 100, Shelton 100 – it did feel like I was throwing a lot of shit hoping some would stick – time will tell. Mito takes a 2 shot lead into final round – laid some back at 6/4 to guarantee a winning event and I now had the backup of Barjon lying 3rd. Over on the Champions Tour Dimarco had a good second day even giving him an outside chance of a place
Sunday 1st I sat here kicking myself over Sordet in Oman as I kept on thinking about backing himsince Monday– thankfully he faded and in the end I had an absolute shocker in both Oman and the Champions Tour. In the Honda Classic –I got lucky with Hughes 200/1 ew finishing 2nd – I know some got on @ 350/1 at the time of tweeting, and he traded down to about 3/1 – so nearly a decent win. That clawed some back so was down to Korn Ferry tour whether or not I would have a winning week. It was a nightmare to follow with no real coverage and a very slow leaderboard. I was trying to lay some Barjon back @ 3/1 and some got taken but decided to take the rest down as I simply though someone would “nick” the money having a faster feed. In the end he had 40 feet for eagle at the last, needing a birdie to win, he three putted for par and lost in the playoff. Mito had a 15 footer for birdie to get in that playoff and also missed. I have said it before – it really is fine lines, three players all traded low and any of them could have won but none of them did. In the end a very small profit on the week, but at least not a big loss – those are the weeks that hurt more than the hard luck stories.
Monday 2nd Hadn’t looked at any golf and was initially shocked to find Qatar had changed courses, with that needed a new approach so I looked at current form, form on other Olazabal courses and previous form in country. I came up with Canizares who has just gone 15th, 6th, has a 2nd and 3rd at Seville and 2nd at Pula (other Olazabal designs) and has also been 5th and 8th at Doha before. 100/1 e/w was the price though I did take slightly lower on Betfair for the win as well. An event where betting those who take to the course in running probably a better strategy this week.
Tuesday 3rd Time to get stuck into the Arnold Palmer Invitational @ Bay Hill – where I was surprised to see the Charl Schwartzel price. He was 5th at Pebble Beach last month in his first visit and was going well last week, tying the lead at one point before fading on the back nine. He lives in Florida now and can boast a win and a 15% top five strike rate though he has never performed that great here. Anyway he is now injury free and if he putts like he did last week he should go well, he led the putting stats and was actually first with +9 strokes gained on the greens (bugger I’ve used one of them new fangled putting stats!) 100/1 e/w 7 places 90/1 for 8, plus 80/1 w/o the four faves and 130 on Betfair – as you can see I am quite keen. Leishman was added win only at 50’s on the Exchange, excellent course form including a win and a victory already this year. I even added a small bet on Adam Long 300 win and 40 top 5, he can appear from nowhere and was 10th last year. On the Champions –Tour it’s the Hoag Classic and to be honest nothing really leaps out at me. I have bet Ken Tanigawa at 100/1 e/w – he has been starting well of late before fading and he does play best at home on the West Coast and does have two wins in just 51 starts. I also added a very small play on John Daly at 200/225 – not entirely sure why!
Wednesday 4th Finally onto the Malaysia Open on the Asia tour, Kota Permai hasn’t been used since 2012 and looking at past stagings short hitting accurate players came to the fore. I guess this makes sense as it’s a shortish tight, tree lined track and it could play even more so as one player said the trees have grown a lot since the last time he played. Those that thrived here had good form at similar tracks such as Delhi, Macau and Linkou to name a few and I have come up with three players. Ajeteesh Sandhu – 66/70 e/w, he has been 2nd,3rd,3rd around Delhi and won at Linkou in 2017 Siddikur Rahman 175/1 e/w – 3rd and 5th here back in the day and placed form at all the tracks I looked at. The big price is simply down to a couple missed cuts but it was his debut at Millbrook and he never plays Sentosa well. Local lad Nicholas Fung 500/1 e/w a small play, he has won a couple of events in his homeland before on the ADT so the odds seemed a little dismissive of his chances.
Thursday/Friday/Saturday It would appear that I have somehow deleted all my notes and don’t have time to re-write them so a 3 day summary off my Twitter feed! Added Matthew Jordan – Qatar as drifted to 120 Betfair Schwartzel can’t play Bay Hill Added Poke 100/1 e/w API – small bet McDowell 65 win only Sportinglife piece – added the aforementioned Poke, Senior and Fichardt as small e/w plays Leinster National – Red Jack – good price if it can jump (it couldn’t) API – added Frittelli – playing well in tough conditions, lay of Leishman 3/1 – long way to go Tanigawa on the Champions Tour somehow up to 4th Sunday 8th I have a feeling it’s going to be a very long day with chances in all events bar Malaysia which was reduced to 54 holes and with Rahman bombing out in round one he left himself too much to do. In Qatar I had Pope and Senior running for me but any chance of a return soon went AWOL with Pope having a nightmare start and Senior crashing out before the turn. I had to feel sorry for Drysdale not getting the win, he did nothing wrong in the playoff and Campillo just kept holing long putts. The API was set up for an intriguing finish and I had Leishman in the mix most of the day. With the week looking like a poor one I gave some back at 7/4 to minimise the damage but still leaving him as a nice winner. He couldn’t quite reel in Hatton – nice to see “foreigners” dominating on the PGA tour Mr Azinger! Last chance saloon was Tanigawa – instead of his usual one good round he had two this week but the third round was abysmal, but he is one to keep an eye on. So I ended the week on a small loss (always better than a big one) – glad there is only one event next week as I always love Cheltenham even if my bank balance doesn’t.
Monday 9th Early to rise and try and get all my bets done for the Players Championship before lunchtime and thankfully bookmakers playing ball with prices up early. I kicked off with three bets on my three main fancies on Betfair – Dahmen 200, Garcia 140 and Berger 110 – surprised at all three prices. Dahmen made his debut here last year and finished 12th – he clearly took to the course as that came on the back of four consecutive missed cuts, this year he arrives on the back of a pair of 5th placed finishes. Having read past interviews it is clear he admits to being a streaky player and I really like him to continue his current streak. I have backed him in all manner of markets apart from the 200 win, 125/1 e/w with 6 and 10 places, w/o the favourites, top US, top 5 etc etc Garcia always plays well around Sawgrass – he has made the last 16 cuts, has a win, two x 2nd, a 3rd and a 4th to his name. He is a consistent player of late, picking and choosing where he plays and may well be better off having not played the last two events in tricky conditions. The 140 was big but happy to back him @ 80/1 e/w with 6 and 7 places on offer. Daniel Berger arrives here in very consistent form improving in every start since his winter break – 38/29/9/5/4. He doesn’t have an exceptional record around Sawgrass but was 9th here in 2016 when in decent form. Like Garcia I backed him 80/1 e/w with the 6/7 places.
Tuesday 10th Was good to get all the golf bets done and dusted and left the way clear for Cheltenham. I am a National Hunt lover and besides a few decent antepost bets I treat it like a day at the races backing in every race but only to small stakes and generally having a bit of fun – so here is my lot for day one – before I adjourn to the pub! 1.30 Captain Guinness 16/1 e/w 5/7 places 2.10 Put the Kettle On 16/1 e/w 2.50 Quarenta 33/1 e/w 3.30 Cornerstone Lad 33/1 e/w – don’t get that price at all 4.10 No bet, no point! 4.50 Espoir du Guye 9/1 e/w 5.30 Springfield Fox – backed antepost 100/1 e/w – you may hear a loud Twitter Boom if he goes in!
Apologies for no betting diary there really has been little point but thought I would do a little run down of the last ten days – all that happened with what turned out to be a profitable Cheltnham which was a godsend with little prospect of money being earnt in the coming months. Day one got off to a shaky start with Captain Guinness travelling well when brought down in the opener but Put the Kettle On put all worries to bed in the next. I had backed it at 16/1 and was astounded that it drifted to 33/1 on Betfair before the off so had a nice top up – basically it meant no matter what happened the week would end in profit. The potential big payout of the day was the antepost bet on Springfield Fox in the NH Chase having got on at 100/1, I don’t think it really liked being challenged for the lead as it hadn’t seen another horse in its last two runs and its jumping fell apart – not helped by having a fairly poor amateur on board. The top amateur riders like Codd really are worth a huge amount in the races. Day two saw places from Easywork 20/1 and Third Time Lucki 20/1 in the Bumper – getting those extra places really is a bonus as the latter only just got 4th when the standard place terms were three. The day all revolved around Out Sam in the Cross Country, was just hoping for a place really and was avidly watching the screen to see which horse would appear in third! I had been backing it for a while so that meant another nice profitable day. Day three – I really should have just stuck to my antepost bets on Sire du Berlais and Ronald Pump, a winner and a place but all other bets failed to trouble the judge. Day four got off to a cracking if somewhat fortunate start with Burning Victory taking advantage of the unlucky fall of Goshen (there’s always one each year!) and after that not a lot happened. Column of Fire looked like winning the last when coming down but I guess that’s what you call Karma after the first race. The first round of the Players Championship was more or less completed but I awoke on Friday to the news that the rest would be cancelled. That just about sums up the golf for the foreseeable future, I would be surprised if we saw any in the next three to four months. I am amazed there has been some mini tour action and even more amazed that books have been pricing up but I won’t bet in one round shoot outs or on tours where little is known. I imagine they won’t carry on for much longer but will keep one eye open just in case something crops up. The Midlands National took place at the weekend but most of my bets on Sheneededtherun were scuppered as she only managed 4th – see those extra places are invaluable. With no UK racing either I turned my attention to what may remain from Ireland and that went well when putting up a 50/1 winner on Tuesday. They have decided to carry on in Ireland behind closed doors and there is some decent racing at the weekend from Thurles and Downpatrick. After the success over the last few weeks on the racing I have vowed to spend more time on it in the future, if I can make it continue to turn a profit then I would be daft not to. I will post any tips on Twitter over the next couple days and hopefully bring some much needed cheer and money! Stay safe and keep your distance.
It all feels a bit surreal that a month ago today I was deep in study for the Cheltenham Festival which turned out to be (bar a few more meetings) one big last hurrah in my betting world. Betting on horse racing during March was a big saver for me as any golf bets provided a small loss but the overall profit for the month was £2450, a good Cheltenham and a 50/1 winner in Ireland. That takes my overall profit for the year to £9200 and I have a feeling it will stay around that figure for some time to come. The Virtual Grand National was a welcome respite for a few hours on Saturday, for over 25 years now myself and a group of friends have got together that weekend, this year we did it via Zoom – not quite the same but good fun nonetheless. I actually won a few quid but donated it all back to local charities who are struggling to raise money at this time, in the spirit of things it seemed the right thing to do. I am rather stunned they are still playing golf in Arizona on the Outlaw and Cactus Tours, perhaps even more amazed that bookmakers are offering prices. The standard is pretty poor in general and the “cream” rises to the top so for me it’s hardly worth bothering with. I didn’t think at any point I could cover a few weeks in a couple of short parargraphs but that’s how it will be probably for a few months, look after yourselves and stay indoors and safe.
Cactus Tour We have three short priced favourites and it is easy to see why and I can easily whittle the field down to the top 8 in the betting in which 2 interest me at an e/w price. Karah Sanford 12/1 won this in 2018 with a score of 15 under when only 8 of the 29 broke par. She was only 16 at the time and as far as I can make out hasn’t played this tour since – playing mainly on the Symetra Tour and the WAPT – last year she was 2nd on that Money List having only played 4 events going 2/2/6/1. She is still only 18 but she may offer a touch of value, weirdly enough her LPGA debut was @ Las Colinas in Texas (the better known course) – maybe she likes the course name! Emily Penttilae is a slightly more “seasoned” professional and having been 3rd last time out she returns to an event where she was 3rd last year, it’s easy to make a case for her @ 25/1 e/w
Outlaw Tour On known form Dylan Wu should really walk away with this – 2nd, 4th and 7th so far on the Korn Ferry Tour this year is miles above the rest of these but with a 36 hole schedule it’s never that easy – players have to put their foot to the metal and not ease off. There is apparently no known course form and this is a bit like the Mark Leishman question “do you know what you don’t know?” – my take is more “do I know that they don’t know?” – odds compliers that is! What I am referring to is that in November the course was used on the Outlaw Tour for a 36 hole 2 man event, that was a Turkey shoot this is more of a crapshoot, but each players scores counted so it is possible to work out individual scores. The man with the lowest 36 hole score over those days was Ryan Williams (65-63) – he is out of form in his few starts on this tour recently but a few years back won the Canadian Tour Championship on the back of three missed cuts 70/1 e/w Kyle Slattery interests me at 40/1 e/w – he was t2nd (65-65) and over the last few weeks shot 66-67 in the last 2 rounds at Orange Tree then opened 62-67 last week. In each of those two weeks one awful round let him down – maybe just 36 holes will suit him better? Yannick Paul was t4th in November (66-65) and is at least consistent, 11 of 12 cuts made on the Mackenzie Tour last year and 8/9/4 in his last 3 on this tour – 14/1 e/w 6 places available with Betfair/Paddy is more than fair
Tuesday sees the start of the 5th annual Scottsdale AZ Open and the first full field event for what feels like an age. The event has attracted a slightly better field than recent weeks fare on the Outlaw and Golden State tours. If past winning scores are anything to go by around the ten under mark will get the job done which suggests to me that the course will be tougher than what we have seen in recent weeks and therefore the cream will invariably rise to the top. I have therefore concentrated on the higher class players and those with recent winning form, if you haven’t managed to get the job done in weaker fields then you are unlikely to this week. The first player I put up on Twitter was Nate Lashley who simply seemed too big around the 25/1 mark and has been well backed so far. Trying to fathom out the price the only conclusion I could come to was a lack of recent action and he played poorly in the three starts he made after finishing 3rd in the Phoenix Open in February. He secured his first PGA tour win last year which added to a Korn Ferry win in 2017 and three on the Latino Tour in 2016. That final tour is probably about the level of this weeks contest, oh and you can throw in a 2nd in this event in 2016. Kevin Lucas is a bit hit and miss but over the last year but does have 3rd, 6th and 8th place finishes on the Korn Ferry tour. He hasn’t played this event before but warmed up nicely a few weeks ago improving his score every round 69/65/63 to finish 5th. The opening price of 66/70 just seemed too big and has proved to be so. Matt Picanso is the form man on the Golden State Tour winning his last three straight with a combined total of 54 under par for 9 rounds – that’s an average of six under per round! The interesting thing is that those wins have been spread out over four months so he is hardly “golfed out”. The price tag of 14/1 just seems on the big side for a man in such form and I am surprised to see the Unibet 20/1 price holding firm. I have backed three other players that I haven’t put up on Twitter and they all fall into the category of having potential and more ability than most on show. Taylor Montgomery is an exceptionally good putter who has won a few events at this sort of level and has been 7th and 3rd here in the last two years. Last seen out in February he was 3rd on the Korn Ferry tour, a repeat of that sort of form this week should see him go close on a course he has performed well on before and 33/1 is a very fair price. Brett Grant was having a decent enough start to his Korn Ferry career with four out of five cuts made. No course form but like Lucas he improved with every round 66/65/63 to claim 3rd spot a few weeks back, a repeat would see him hit the frame @ 35/1. Patrick Flavin has a low grade Korn Ferry card and hasn’t made a start yet but has kept himself busy in Arizona where he resides. He Monday qualified for his first PGA tour start in the Phoenix Open and played in an Outlaw golf event where he shot rounds of 62 and 60 after an opening 70 to claim 4th spot. Last year he played on the Latino tour gaining a win 2nd and 3rd. At odds of 60/66 he could prove to be a touch of each way value. If anyone wants to publish this article then feel free to get in touch
Thought it was about time I put pen to paper (so to speak) as the PGA and Korn Ferry Tours return to action next week. I think it maybe best to tread with extreme caution to begin with @ Colonial as we really do not know what state these players’ games will be in. I have put up Scheffler at 45/1 e/w – at least we know he shook off some rust at the Maridoe events finishing 1st and 2nd, and I will probably add one big outsider once all the side markets are out next week. The Korn Ferry Tour could potentially be more interesting as a lot of the players have been taking part in mini tour events, though piecing together bits of form will be a minefield. I have enjoyed betting on the small tours – to begin with it was profitable just by keeping an eye on late entries and withdrawals but as books got used to the names on the tours it became increasingly difficult to pinpoint any value, still it kept the gey cells ticking over. I wrote at the beginning of April that profit for first three months was £9200 and I expected it to remain so but mainly thanks to French National Hunt racing in May my running total for 2020 has now risen to £13,600. I have never looked at the French counterpart of our UK/Irish scene but it would appear that I quite like it! For some reason I find it easier to read the form, the information out there and race replays is extremely good and I have sensibly just looked at races where the form is there for all to see. Anyway – back to the grindstone – got seven races to weigh up tomorrow and a cracking ten race card at Compiegne on Sunday, as always – tips on Twitter.
Monday 8th In an attempt to get back to some sort of normality I have decided to restart the betting diary as I actually have something to talk about with racing and “proper” golf events beginning in earnest. First job of the day was to analyse the French National Hunt tips I have been putting up on Twitter – in the first four weeks since they came back the results are as follows 9 winners - 4/1,8/1,11/2,10/1,10/1,9/1,9/2,5/1,14/1 7 places - 5/1,33/1,7/1,12/1,12/1,12/1,12/1 14 losers To be honest as I have never looked at this before I am pretty pleased with the results. Maybe it will be a whole new avenue for me as I have always looked upon racing as more of a hobby than a proper source of bets. Combined with what I said a couple of months back after some success in Ireland it really is something I am going to put a lot more effort into. I mentioned last week I had bet on Scheffler for the Colonial (I’m old school!) and the only other player I have backed is Mackenzie Hughes. Last seen finishing 2nd at PGA National he has taken the philosophical stance on the enforced break – he could have been upset at losing momentum instead he looked back and thought at least with that high finish I have job security, it’s mental thought processes like that which are key to performance. He has been progressive here in each of three starts c/42/8 and it’s interesting that his one PGA tour win came at Sea Island – Kisner and Kirk both won there before taking this title. I have backed him 250/1 ew 5 places, 200/1 7 & 8 places, 40/1 top ROW and a bit on Betfair. The rest of the day was taken up researching Korn Ferry tour and racing @ Nantes for Tuesday. Must admit with the golf I am going to play it fairly low key to start with and maybe do some in running playing.
Tuesday 9th Up early to try and catch the early prices on the horse I fancied at Nantes, on the smaller meetings it can be a mad scramble to get the price you want and there is little point attacking the few overnight prices there are (unless it’s a really big race). I managed to secure 8/1 which I was happy with but the horse tired to finish 4th in the end going off a much shorter price and incredibly trading around 1.1 on the Exchange – I’m not sure what race they were watching!. I went back through the 3.10 as the favourite seemed very short but wish I hadn’t bothered as the rag I picked out pulled up, again. The Korn Ferry tour event at Sawgrass is a wide open affair and the books go 25/1 the field and I have picked out one player before the off – local guy Jared Wolfe. He has the advantage of sleeping in his own bed this week rather than the “quarantine” hotel which should be in his favour. He warmed up by playing in a 36 hole event around the Stadium course here at Sawgrass shooting 69/66 and finishing 5th and beating the likes of Billy Horschell. He won earlier in the year on this tour adding to his three Latino tour wins the last of which came after a four month break from “competition” golf. Quite happy to take 66/70/80 ew with 6 & 7 places. I always read other peoples’ write ups on golf events – more to check that someone hasn’t put a player up I fancy and the price will disappear but tonight the article Matt Cooper wrote about Colonial caught my eye especially what he had to say about Bezuidenhout – the link is on my Twitter feed and I added him 100/1 e/w 7 places and 180 on Betfair – my Betfair book looks like this now – these are normally used to trade (hopefully!) Scheffler +1925 Bez +4475 Hughes +2925 Field -70 Only two other bets I have struck are First Round Leader – English 80/1 and Poston 110/1 6 places each. The former has been 2nd twice in six appearances here after the opening salvo whilst Poston in 87 PGA starts has led once, co-led twice (including here) and picked up place money a further seven times – so maybe a touch of value in the price.
Wednesday 10th This morning has obviously been taken up by writing this little piece and apart from that it’s going to be a quiet day apart from going through the two races at Craon tomorrow night as it looks like prices will be available though probably not very early. There are also some races on Friday and a cracking card @ Compiegne on Saturday so will enjoy the peace and quiet today brings, who knows I may even do some housework!
When I set out in January to do a betting diary I stated that it would be written if I had the time and the inclination, well after a pretty disastrous last seven days I have neither! I set out last week to take it easy on the golf but that still went wrong and the horses weren’t much cop either ending in the first four figure weekly loss of the year. Monday didn’t get off to a good start in France either so have spent much of my time going back over things and weeding out the crap. Even after 20 years of doing this I still do things wrong – the key is not repeating those mistakes. So onto this week – I will put below my thoughts on this weeks golf events. RBC Heritage I had to be quick to get on JT Poston – a combination of 6th here last year on his debut and an eye catching 10th last week meant his price was never going to last as everyone jumped on the bandwagon so was happy to get on @ 100/1 e/w 7 places. I put him up last week for FRL and have done him again in that market this week @ 80/1 ew. My selection that I don’t believe anyone else has put up is Viktor Hovland 66/1 ew with 7&8 places plus 100 on Betfair. He really is a hugely talented youngster and Harbour Town maybe a course he can play well for the following reasons. His PGA tour stats don’t really seem to reveal the truth but he hits a lot of greens in regulation, something required on the small greens at Harbour Town. To me that’s the key with this play – small greens – where has he excelled – Pebble Beach, he won the US Amateur there and was 12th at the US Open. The link is there with Snedeker having won both the AT&T and here, McDowell did the US Open @ Pebble Beach and Harbour Town double, and Davis Love is a five time winner here and two time winner @ Pebble. His win earlier in the year came on the coastal course in Puerto Rico and whilst this is a vastly superior field he knows he can win. Cue egg on face in a few days time. As well as Poston FRL I have had small e/w bet on Vaughn Taylor in the same market, whilst he hasn’t played well here for a number of years he has led and co-led before so was worthy of a few pounds @ 150/1 (oh and where did he last win – Pebble Beach!) Betfair book as follows – couldn’t resist a few quid on Hughes @ 700 Poston +2400 Hovland +5000 Hughes +10500 Field -90 Korn Ferry – The King and Bear A new course to all so time to tread carefully – the one I really wanted to be on but can’t get the 50/1 now 40/1 is Kristoffer Ventura. Dropped back to this tour last week he finished 4th – so that makes 13 starts at this level with two wins and three other places – pretty impressive! I will make do with the £50 @ 45/1 I got on Betfair and see about playing him in running if he takes to the course. The other player I really like and was chuffed to get 100/1 is Chandler Blanchet who Monday qualified by getting the last spot by holing a 7 footer for par in the playoff. The last time he Monday qualified was also in Florida in February and he went on to finish 4th in the main event. This Florida born and raised pro has some game and in his young career last year won on the Swingthought tour, won the Waterloo Open in Florida shooting 29 under and winning by 8 over 54 holes and won on the Latino tour. He was a decent amateur and in 2017 he won 6/7 events (2nd in the other) and in 2018 won 4/5 – that’s an incredibly consistent level of form. I expect him to go well in his home state this week. Right – I’m off to study the Compiegne card for tomorrow – some lessons learnt in the last week and will stick to chasers, oh and I am doing the 54 hole update on Sportinglife this week.
The less said about last week the better, lets just say Poston – backed e/w 7 places – 8th, backed e/w without the faves 5 places – 6th, Wolfe backed e/w 5 places – 6th, and Michael Thompson was bang there until the end trading just about into single figures. At least I had a nice big winner in France on the horses on Sunday to cheer me up. I will do two posts today – so as it’s not a mammoth read will kick off with the Utah Championship where before the off I have had just one decent bet on Patrick Fishburn 110/125 6 places. Here’s what I wrote two years ago when I put him up @ 500/1 for this event “Utah native Fishburn only turned pro two months ago – he Monday qualified on the Canadian Tour and did well enough to secure another four starts I listened to a long radio interview with him where the solid amateur (reached a high of 44th in the world) said the Canadian courses didn’t really suit his game but that Oakridge did as he would be able to use his driver more He has plenty of experience of the course which is close to his home and was playing it just a few weeks ago in preparation having been given a sponsors invite He has certainly played well at home in the amateur ranks – in 2016 he won the Utah State Amateur and last year won the Utah State Open by an incredible 17 shots If he can transfer that form onto the Web.com tour this week he could give us a really good run for our money at really big odds” For a 500/1 shot he didn’t play badly finishing 24th and last year played on the Canadian Tour grabbing the 5th Korn Ferry card by finishing 5th on the money list. That came courtesy of a 2nd, 3rd and 6th and finally the win the Tour Championship. He has played in five events on tour this season with a best place of 4th in Bogota which maybe shouldn’t come as a shock given he grew up at altitude here in Utah. I am not put off by the two missed cuts in Florida given that he confesses he cannot putt on Bermuda greens. He came home early due to the missed cut and on Saturday went out and shot a course record 59 (with a bogey) on his home course 15 minutes drive away from Oakridge. Apparently the two courses are very similar and he will have to go low this week – lets hope the momentum continues. I meant to put this up first today but forgot – if you are following the French horses I put up on Twitter – these are the results so far with just the chasers 38 selections 12 winners 4,8,9/2,11/2,10.17/2,9,6,10,11/4,6,11 8 places 5,33,12,6,4,10,12,12 18 losers Pretty happy with that and will continue to graft away Onto the Travelers Championship – the one bet I had on Monday was Joaquin Niemenn and glad I took the early price of 60/1 e/w and 60’s on Betfair. I probably don’t really need to expand on why – in form with a good finish on his debut last year and was such an obvious pick and his price has duly collapsed. I will stick with my “cliff” golfer Michael Thompson – I read an interesting quote from him from last Thursday “My ball striking has been coming along for really the last kind of six months. I've been working with Justin Parsons down in Sea Island. He's kind of getting me rediscovering kind of my old feels from college and my first few years out on TOUR. So I feel really comfortable standing over the ball, and I know what I'm doing with my swing. That paired with now kind of finding my putting stroke is making a world of difference. It's making golf fun again. You know, I love what Jordan Spieth said last week, that he plays best when he's playing more like a kid than he is trying to be perfect. That's kind of what I'm trying to do.” It certainly has been playing dividends – in his last five rounds (90 holes) he has made 25 birdies and just 4 bogeys so can he turn it around on a course where has missed the cut on the last six occasions? Well I refer you back to the quote above, in 2008 when playing as an invited top amateur he was 5th after round one and made the cut. On his next visit as a pro three years later he shot a final round 62 to take 4th place. He clearly has fond memories from early on in his career. I have backed him in a whole host of markets – 250/1 e/w top 5 and 7, top American 150/1 e/w, top 10 22/1 and First Round Leader 150/1 e/w + you can see Betfair position below. This morning I added a small win/place bet on Betfair on Joseph Bramlett who has just gone 2nd and 3rd since the restart on the Korn Ferry tour, I don’t like the bookmaker price much but 650/40 was a bit generous. So my “trading” position on Betfair before the start is Niemenn +2175 Thompson +20,250 Bramlett +10,000 Field -110
Well last week certainly turned out better than the previous two week with a profit secured thanks to trading Todd and backing Na in running and a decent winning bet on a French chaser. It really isn’t an exact science trading on Betfair but this time I got it right – backing Todd at 45/1 and laying off at 2/1 proved to be incredibly shrewd (or just plain lucky!) Last Sunday of the month is where I tot up for the month and with two winning weeks and two losing weeks, including a very bad one, it was always going to be an uphill struggle and in the end I made the princely sum of £250 on the month. Not a great total for all the hours of graft but it is minimising the losses in such months that leads to long term overall profit, so that leaves me at £13,850 for the year. Onto this week – I did my research on Saturday for the Rocket Mortgage Classic – with only one years form to go on I wanted to see if there was a link with who played well last year and where they had played before. I discovered there may be a tie in with the Old White course in Virginia – when you look at who finished top ten here last year there could be something in it Nate Lashley – two other PGA top 5’s – one being O/W Niemenn – a Win and 5th O/W Potter – a Win and 6th O/W Snedeker – 3rd O/W Stuard – 6th O/W Tringale – twice 4th O/W The only link I could say that exists between the two courses is that they are both old fashioned courses. So with that in mind I have just backed three golfers who have all won at Old White. Kevin Na didn’t play last year but has turned into a regular winner and thankfully grabbed solo 5th last week with a 23 foot birdie putt at the last. Scott Stallings opened with a 66 last year when bang out of form and faded – he too holed a long putt at the last on Sunday to secure his highest finish of the year 6th. Ted Potter finished 5th here last year, he is very hit and miss (mainly miss) but does have a 6th and 7th this year. I have backed all three e/w 45/1, 100/1 and 400/1 with varying places but also on Betfair where I hope I can trade Na - +3100 Stallings - +3100 Potter - +96,800 (nabbed the 1000 on Sunday night) Field -200 I will add any others in running and will also be doing the final round preview on Sportinglife on Sunday morning. On the Korn Ferry tour we also have an event in Colorado with only one years form to go by and I have just backed one player before the off – Justin Heuber – 175/200 e/w with 6 places. They are playing at 5,000 feet this week and was looking for players who have performed well at altitude. Heuber had two wins on the Latino tour in 2015/16 – at 5,000 and 10,000 feet so seems to be able to adapt his game. He missed most of last year and started this year poorly but there were hints last week he had found his game. He finished 13th – a vastly improved performance even though he dropped a few shots close home when the wind got up in Utah. That’s it before the start, will tweet in running plays, now I am off to study ten races @ Southwell and Tipperary tomorrow, we also have Auteuil on Saturday. It’s also time I tidied the house before my teenage daughter arrives for a visit for the first time in 14 weeks!
I shouted at my computer last night for the first time in a long time last night – here’s why. The week got off to a bad start backing a horse in Ireland at Kilbeggan – Grey Girly – the horse was pulling hard and after about half a mile when all the others went round the bend mine carried on, apparently the saddle had slipped – one for the notebook. On Thursday one thing went right as I managed to clear my Betfair stake for the week with a lay of Potter @ 80 for £300 – helps when you have £100 @ 1000, sadly he couldn’t keep his front nine form going and that was the last action of the week on my Betfair book. One of my picks for the week Stallings got off to a great start and was tied for the first round lead – did I back him in that market – no. On Friday I had forgotten all about Heuber on the Korn Ferry tour – he shot up the leaderboard from 57th to t5th – maybe things were about to change, and in play bet Wolfe was up there too. Saturday afternoon came and in France my 40/1 e/w shot just got up for 3rd- maybe my luck was indeed changing. A little while later the second horse of the day was going well til it veered left and jumped the hurdle instead of the fence – it soon became apparent the bridle had snapped – to have the tack go wrong twice in one week was a bit hard to swallow. Still – the evening brought the final round of the golf in Colorado - Heuber powered down the leaderboard as quickly as he had risen up it the day before with a disastrous triple bogey at the second hole. Wolfe had three holes left and was one behind but managed to bogey the easy 140 yard par 3 and the next and that was that. Then yesterday came - Merritt doubled the first from just 70 yards out in the fairway and in the end finished one shot outside the tie for 4th. I had backed Ventura in various markets – he finished just outside the European places but my main bet was for top 20 – yup he finished 21st. So – shouting done we move onto a new week, golf looks tricky with the European Tour returning in Austria, the PGA playing the first of two weeks @ Muirfield Village with a very different set up for week one and the Korn Ferry tour moving onto Texas and a new course. There’s plenty of jumps racing in the UK and Ireland this week and I will be cheering on Bandsman in the 3.30 @ Uttoxeter this afternoon – and hoping nothing goes wrong with his tack.
I must admit on Monday I thought my luck was never going to change with Bandsman getting collared on the line having traded @ 1.02, I did lay my stake back at odds on – I always try to do that when I have had a decent bet on. Then today finally a winner @ 50/1 although most of my bets were without the favourites – I’ll take it. That’s the second 50/1 winner I have put up this year – just need the golfers to follow suit now! As I alluded to before the start I have limited plays in this weeks three events so expect me to tweet a few bets over the next few days. The European Tour kicks off in Austria and the only player I have backed is Darius Van Driel, he has won in each of the last two Summers on the Challenge Tour in Austria and Switzerland. It’s his first sighting of the Diamond course but Frittelli managed to win the Rolex Trophy and then this event the following year so we have a bit of history. I have backed him 100/1 e/w and a bit on Betfair @ 120. The Korn Ferry tour moves to Texas and a new venue (though it has been used on the Champions Tour) – I would be wary of backing favourite Ventura as he only shot level par in the PGA Monday qualifier and could be a bit jaded by the time he got to Texas. Thanks to Ryan @ MondayQ I am reliably informed Nelson Ledesma didn’t travel to Ohio from Detroit having missed the cut to play the qualifier but headed straight to Texas. I have talked about bio-rhythms before and it’s interesting that Nelson Ledesma has hoisted a trophy on this tour on the last two second Sundays in July at different events. Can he make it three? Well I will splash a bit of cash @ 125/1 to see if he can. The PGA tour moves onto Muirfield Village and I am wary of course form as it will play a little different to The Memorial with lower rough, different tees and slower greens. I was happy to get Mackenzie Hughes on board @ 200/1 e/w, before the shutdown he was 2nd at the Honda Classic (another Nicklaus design) and was 3rd at the Travelers in his last event. He went to college in Ohio and I just think the books aren’t giving him enough credit. Ryan Armour returns home to Ohio in great form that has seen him go 6th and 4th in his last two events – I couldn’t resist taking 180 win and 25/1 top 5 on Betfair. My Betfair book is a little light compared to last week but that’s due to the uncertainty about the course Ryan Armour +8900 Mackenzie Hughes +2500 Cameron Champ +2025 Michael Thompson +5350 Field -100 Talking of Thompson – I have backed him small e/w FRL 110/1 – been getting off to fast starts and has done the same here in the past. Be lucky and see you in the Twittersphere
Last week wasn’t a bad week with limited golf bets and Darius van Driel managed a tie for 4th @ 100/1 and I traded some of my Betfair position @ 5/1. With Romanor winning @ 50/1 and a few other places on the horses I put a substantial bet into last weeks loss. This week has kicked off well on the horses in France with a 33/1 place and a nice 12/1 winner at Auteuil and I still have another two to run at Dieppe this afternoon. Onto this weeks golf and again I am playing it fairly low key before the start, my only bet on the PGA tour is Kevin Streelman who I have taken 75/1 ew 7 places and also 95 for £50 on Betfair. He is in good form having finished 2nd in the Travelers and then 7th last week here at Muirfield Village. Last week he was 2nd for DA and 3rd for GIR and I think the tougher set up this week could play even more to his strengths. He was 4th here last year and been 7th and 8th before so rates a decent each way bet with extra places on offer. The European/Challenge Tour remains in Austria this week moving onto the incredibly scenic Adamstal course. My only selection here is Bernd Ritthammer who was 8th on his only start on the course in 2018. He finished 18th last week (a big improvement on past course form) having opened with a 74 when he may have been a bit rusty he shot a seven under bogey free 65 on day two. Another 74 followed on Saturday in the rain before closing with a decent 69 on Sunday. If he can build on that start then this three time Challenge tour winner could add another title in what is basically a Challenge tour event. That event kicks off tomorrow as does the Korn Ferry tour which moves to the adjacent Oaks course in San Antonio, a venue which has been well used on the PGA tour. I am going to put up Texan Martin Piller to gain a 7th Korn Ferry title in his home state at a time of year he plays his best golf. Apart from his first title the other five have all come in different events played from mid July to mid August. He is in decent form having made all his cuts since the restart with a best of 5th in Utah. He has four PGA tour top six finishes to his name and two of them have come in Texas including this course when 4th on the PGA tour in 2016. I have backed him @ 60/1 e/w with six places though he is 66/1 with Skybet who go one less. People maybe wondering where I have been getting some of the prices I quote, well for the first time in a long time I opened a new betting account – this time with Stars. So far I have been pleased with the service they offer, their golf each way places are really good and they have accommodated me with all the stakes I have asked for. So here’s a plug! – everything I do on Twitter and on the blog I do for free, I have minimal advertising revenue and really most of the writing I do is to showcase my “talent” to get writing gigs. I am happy to promote Starsports and have entered an affiliate deal with them so to help me keep my work free to air, if you don’t already have an account with them then follow this link to give them a
Apologies for the lack of blog etc last week was feeling rather under the weather and spent all my efforts on researching and betting, which in the end proved rather fruitful. The week before had been rather poor with some expensive racing losses and nothing on the golf until Fitzpatrick and Wallace secured some place money from in running plays late on in the Memorial. Even with those it looked like I was staring at a the first losing month of the year, but last week changed all that. I had a couple of nice wins with Doubly Clever being the best at Newton Abbot and then on Sunday with Chocolat Noir but the pre-tournament golf picks were dire and it was left to the in running play on Michael Thompson to save the day. He duly obliged and the profit for the year climbed by £2095 to £15,935 well on target still for the £25k goal I set myself. This week sees a full schedule on the golf and the way my picks have been going before the start I will again play it low key before the off, all my in play picks are posted on Twitter – the good the bad and the downright ugly. In the WGC Fedex St Jude Daniel Berger appealed @ 35/1 on Betfair, twice a winner at Southwind when a normal PGA tour event he has been in scintillating form this year. It came to an end at Memorial with a missed cut but he has never played well at Muirfield Village so I am not deterred. The European Tour moves its “bubble” to the Forest of Arden which hasn’t been used for quite a few years now. Jason Scrivener appealed at the price, he has been going off at similar prices in higher quality fields and tree lined venues seem to bring out the best in him 66/1 e/w and 85 Betfair. Graeme Storm missed nearly two years with a wrist injury and to be honest may have been happy with the extra break as he wasn’t playing well on his return before it. However last week he finished t10th at Close House and around the 200/250 e/w mark represents a bit of value to keep that run going. The Champions Tour returns this week with lots of players who have turned 50 in the past four months taking their turn and it’s difficult to know how they will play, some take to it right away, others don’t. I am going to stick with a player who has already won on tour this year and that significantly came after a long break – Brett Quigley. The Warwick Hills course was used for many years on the PGA tour so even the newer roundbellys will have course experience. Whilst Quigley never had a really high finish he was 1st, tied 1st and 2nd at the cut mark and said back in the day that the course really suited his game. I have backed him 45/1 e/w and also at the same price on Betfair to hopefully trade. I haven’t had chance to look at the Korn Ferry tour this week but have been through the PGA Barracuda field. The format remains the same with the Stableford scoring system but the course has changed to a different Nicklaus design just over the border in California but at an even higher altitude. You need to be looking for a player who can make plenty of birdies and the odd eagle with this scoring system and one player catches my eye before the off – veteran Josh Teater. He ranks top 10 in the field for both holes played per eagle and number of birdies per round. He plays well in this format with finishes of 7th, 10th and 13th in the event in the past. There have been two “opposite” events this season on tour – Puerto Rico and Bermuda – he has finished 2nd and 11th perhaps showing he thrives when the bigger guns are away. One final little factor is that his one Korn Ferry tour win came at altitude in Utah. At 125/1 (150 Betfair) he ticks an awful lot of boxes and could give us a decent run for our money. Any further tips will be sent via Twitter – good luck this week
Last week was the polar opposite of the week before with both golf bets and horse bets losing though not massively thankfully and it would have been a very different story had Quigley held onto the lead on the back nine on Sunday. This week has got off to a decent enough start with a nice 10/1 winner at Southwell and Doubly Clever has just bolted up again at Newton Abbot, I will continue to be selective over horse bets, seems to be working. The European Tour moves on to Hanbury Manor this week and apart from one bet I am keeping my powder very dry but may well join in the fray in running. My one bet is Max Kieffer 100/1 e/w and 120 on Betfair who was a solid 6th last week and tends to hold his form well. The link that brought him to my attention could well be a rather spurious one – when the English Open was played here back in the day the three winners Clarke, Westwood and Johansson all have top form around K Club with five wins between them and it’s a similar track. The K Club was last used back in 2016 and Kieffer was 5th which was impressive as he opened with a 77 and was way back but played better than anyone else over the next three days. As I said – it really is speculative but there really is very little to go on and current form is accounted for in all other prices. In case you hadn’t noticed it’s the US PGA Championship this week! And I seem to have taken a slightly contrary view to a lot of punters, looking at the course and the way it has been set up with the rough in my opinion wayward driving and missing the greens could be costly this week – we will soon find out. Here are the players I have backed (some of them at the weekend) plus my Betfair book before the off – few players chucked in there whose prices looked big – ie Garcia, Hatton and Gmac. Place terms have varied enormously – basically what I could get at the time. Webb Simpson 25/28, not a lot to say about him really – already a Major winner albeit eight years ago now at the adjacent Olympic course designed by the same designers as Harding Park. Already a two time winner this year – only doubt probably some dodgy putting when in contention. Chez Reavie 150/1 – not everyones cup of tea as a short hitter but maybe a dark horse this week. Third in last years US Open and then won for the first time in years the following week, also had a top five finish at the Tour Championship. Returned to form last week when 6th in the Fedex St Jude. Daniel Berger 45/1 – for a player who has been top nine including a win in his last seven starts bar a missed cut at Memorial (never plays well there) the price is simply too big Michael Thompson – my cliff man who finally came good the other week and it all started just down the road when I backed him FRL for the US Open and lots of other markets and won a packet. If he can keep his head on I don’t see why he can’t go well again this week. Have backed him on Betfair (see below) for the win but also top five/ten and can’t leave out the FRL market at 125/1 e/w again. Betfair win market to trade Berger +1300 Hatton +2070 Garcia +3470 Reavie +6770 Thompson +12,220 McDowell +11,400 Field -180
A quick recap on last week – US PGA was diabolical but the golf week was saved with a win only bet on Lee Hodges on the Korn Ferry tour. I also made a profit on the horses with a couple of nice winners so all in all a decent week. So far this week I have had a win and a place from two horse bets so being selective seems to be working and I anticipate it will still be quite quiet on that front for a few weeks. I have had bets on five golf tournaments this week – so here’s a recap of who and why I have bet them. Celtic Classic Three relatively small each way bets and in other markets plus I have backed each on Betfair. Steven Brown 100/1 – seems to be underestimated this week after his 5th place finish last week. He broke his duck on tour last year in Portugal and that came the week after finishing 11th at Le Golf National in a high quality event. There are numerous correlations between that course and this weeks so he ticks that box as well. Romain Wattel 150/1 e/w and 14/1 top 10. Not really been seen this year and started his post lockdown campaign last week opening with a 65 before fading to finish 44th. His best two finishes over the last couple of years are 5th and 6th at Green Eagle so he could well be a horses for courses player. If that is proved correct then he could go well this week on a course where he has been 15/8/9 in four previous visits. Joel Sjoholm 200/1 e/w and 20/1 top ten. Like Wattel he has good form here with a brace of 8th place finishes from three visits. He clearly likes the area as he has also been 2nd and 3rd on the Challenge Tour on the Vale Hotel course just down the road Betfair book Brown +2390 Wattel +3380 Sjoholm +4800 Field -60 Wyndham Championship Just the one pre tournament play on Aaron Wise 125/1 who didn’t play at Harding Park last week though that could prove to be a blessing. This weeks challenge will be much easier with low scoring needed and Wise was last seen knocking it round in 62 at the Barracuda. Last years debut of 48th doesn’t look brilliant but his second round 64 was joint second lowest of the day whilst his third round 65 was joint third lowest. If he can produce that again and add another low round he should be in the mix. He has also been 2nd before in North Carolina in the Wells Fargo event. Boise Open Ollie Schniederjans offered a lot when he turned pro and to be honest he hasn’t really delivered bar one victory on this tour back in 2016. He had a poor start to the year as well but seems to be much improved since the break with a 5th, 7th and 8th. That is a similar level of form to Hodges before he broke through for his win last week. Like last week I can’t bet the 40/1 e/w so have had to settle for a win only bet at an average of 35/1 Ladies Scottish Open I do occasionally dabble with the ladies (!) though I rarely find much value I just thought there was a bit in the price of Mi Hyan Lee this week. Fitness has to be taken on trust as she was last seen six months ago finishing 6th in the Australian Open and I can’t find anything about her playing anywhere since. She was 4th here last year and actually won this event on a different course in 2017. At 100/1 (6 places) she seems a very big price if she is fit and ready to go. Senior Players Championship A bit of a tricky one with most of these players having played the Firestone course at some point in their career and Goosen took the spoils last year. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a shorter priced winner again this year but at least we don’t have Furyk to spoil the party this week. Paul Broadhurst didn’t fire in round one last week in his first event back shooting a 75 blaming a very poor putter. However over the next two rounds it warmed up with a 67 and 68. He didn’t play that great here last year but his overall Senior Major profile is solid with two wins and numerous placed efforts to make the 80/90 e/w seem appealing. Dicky Pride makes his Champions Tour debut this week even though he turned 50 last year he has failed to get into events or has been injured. It’s only five years since he won on the Korn Ferry tour and warmed up by making the cut at the Barracuda with a pair of opening 69’s. Quite often we see the lesser lights shining brightly on the Champions Tour and he could be the surprise package this week at a three figure price.
Last week was looking like an unmitigated disaster and Sunday night I was staring at a four figure loss on the week. The horses had done OK returning a small profit although it was time to knock the Irish stuff on the head, over the Irish sea it seems that if you don’t know what’s really going on then you don’t really know anything. Some alarming drifts on horses that then ran no sort of race was all the proof I needed to stop losing money over there. Maybe I just got lucky on Sunday night having read the Jim Herman tweet that he had won just after the last two times he had played golf with Donald Trump stuck in my mind when he moved into contention and with a small win bet and some trading on Betfair I managed to reduce the loss back down to a reasonable £150. It’s often weeks like that which make the difference to the year as a whole and certainly helps the mindset. Onto this week and a pretty full schedule, I didn’t get heavily involved in the two UK events this week and with the wind set to blow hard I am glad I didn’t Wales Open The one player that caught my eye with the early prices was Sami Valimaki and I was lucky to get on board at 100/110 win only on the exchanges and a bit of 100/1 e/w with the rest at 80/1 e/w. He had missed his first three cuts since the restart but sauntered through the field at the weekend at Celtic Manor with a 65/66 so finish t6th. His win in Oman came on the back of a 7th place and with three wins on the Pro Golf tour last year this kid is going places Womens Open Set to be hit by really strong winds this could be a total lottery and the only play I have had is Georgia Hall at 50/1 e/w. Having won at Royal Lytham in 2018 Woburn probably wasn’t the ideal venue to defend her title but another links test is deal. Back in 2017 she was 9th and 3rd at Kingsbarns and Dundonald Links at the Open and Scottish Open and the wind blew in both those weeks Northern Trust Open The first of the Fedex Cup playoff events where a rich golfer will become considerably richer, I have gone in three handed Paul Casey 45/1 e/w (7 & 8 places) and 60 win Betfair. Not a player I back very often but he simply seemed a big price having finished 2nd at the US PGA and been 2nd and 4th at Boston before. Billy Horschel 60/1 e/w (6 places) and 80 win Betfair. As Paul McGinley loves to say he has momentum after his 2nd last week. He did very little wrong on Sunday and was beaten by Herman rather than losing it. He has hit form before in the playoffs and his 2nd here in 2014 was the catalyst to winning the next two playoff events and a rather large cheque. Richy Werenski 600 win Betfair and 40/1 top 5 inc ties. Not a huge bet, but he just seems a big price for a player who prior to a missed cut at the US PGA was 3rd and 1st. It’s a home game in Massachusetts this week though the lack of a crowd could actually be a positive. Champions Tour Charles Schwab Series A new event fitted into the calendar although the venue has been used for the pairs event the last few years but from what I can gather only a few rounds are played on this course for that then a par 3 course. Anyway – I am sticking with Paul Broadhurst who didn’t play too badly last week @ 66/1 e/w. He won the pairs event with Kirk Triplett in 2018 so will have positive vibes about the venue. ** please note this starts today. Nationwide Childrens Hospital Championship I have had some success in this over the years, it’s a tough long track that suits the big hitters so always look for young player who hit it a mile and who putt well and make a lot of birdies. DD = driving distance PA = putting average BA = birdie average Davis Riley aged 23 20th DD 6th PA 2nd BA – looking for his third win of the year for automatic promotion, notable he won on two of the tougher tracks this year. Main bet 25/1 e/w and 29/1 win only on exchanges Ollie Schniedejans aged 27 19th DD 1st PA 1st BA – was disappointing last week missing the cut but the drift out in price was eyecatching 80/90 e/w on a course which will suit seems big Chase Johnson aged 24 9th DD 5th PA 5th BA – I have a feeling the stats are misleading as he hasn’t played many rounds, in fact he has missed his last five cuts with only a 2nd in Colorado last month being noteworthy. However he plays in his home state and @ 500/1 e/w it doesn’t take a lot to find out if the stats are skewed!
Apologies but have run out of time this week so here’s a brief summary of this weeks bets UK Championship Jorge Campillo - 80/100 e/w – never played Celtic Manor well but something clicked in the final three rounds last week, holds his form well and won twice in the past 18 months David Dixon – FRL 125/1 + £30 Betfair 350, not sure where last week came from but he’s a good player off tough tracks and has led here at the Belfry before after round one albeit years ago Garrick Higgo – 125/1 e/w late entrant last seen finishing 6th in Austria, prior to lockdown had won the Sunshine Tour Championship, a three figure price just “feels” wrong BMW Championship Bryson Dechambeau 16/1 win only – just because of his US Amateur win here in 2016 Robby Shelton - 250/1 e/w + 100/1 e/w FRL + Betfair (see below) flew through the field on Sunday late – 6 under last 6 holes to get in. Played well in the US Amateur here and one on his first ever College start (replaced Justin Thomas) in the 2013 Fighting Illni here at Olympia Fields Cameron Champ – on Betfair – also a past winner of that college event Betfair position Dechambeau +900 Champ + 5300 Shelton +15,300 Field -135 LPGA NW Arkansas Stacey Lewis 45/1 e/w – her win two weeks ago was his first since 2017 and first since winning here in 2014. Standing dish around her “home” track and with confidence high should go well Korn Ferry Tour Championship Jose de Jesus Rodriguez 60/1 e/w + 60 win to trade. Winner here in 2018 when a normal tour event he has been knocking on the door of late. Second in Missouri, 7th after three rounds in Portland and six after three in Idaho, been let down by poor final rounds but winner in waiting and why not here where has won before.
Drum roll please my profit for the month of August was ………….. £55! Probably an hourly rate of less than 20p but keeps me around the £16k mark for the year and not a losing month. It’s all very fine lines at times – one shot better from the odd player would have been a nice profit – especially from Campillo on Sunday. Basically the horses have dried up atm – not losing anything but not winning anything either and yesterday was very frustrating having spent four hours on two cards coming up with one bet which was withdrawn half an hour before the race. But I will continue to be very particular on the horse racing with a limited number of bets, I know what I’m looking for.
The European Tour moves on to Spain and the scenic Valderrama and I have surprised myself by going in mob handed with five picks, unusual but I liked the prices of all of them. Jorge Campillo – I got a smallish bet e/w on @ 50/1 and to be honest I wouldn’t take the price he has been backed into now. He’s certainly in form but I wouldn’t say he has the best course form in the world. Wade Ormsby 66/1 & 50/1 e/w – probably the player I like the best who is well suited to this tree lined test. There are lots of links to the Fanling course in Hong Kong and Ormsby has won the last twice there. His best finish here was 5th a few years ago and he emerged from lockdown last week with a solid enough finish. During that period he has turned 40 and welcomed a daughter into the world both of which could inspire him to further success. Sami Valimaki 66/1 & 55/1 e/w – another player in top form and he did little wrong in Wales in the final 3 ball beating his two playing partners but being pipped by Langasque. These young players seem to be dominating proceedings at the moment and I can see another bold showing. Steven Brown – 150/1 e/w – solid tee to green player which is what is needed this week. Picked up his maiden win on the Iberian peninsula last year and was 5th the other week, seems a very big price to me. Darius van Driel 150/1 e/w – shot the second lowest round of Sunday with a 66 to move to 11th at the Belfry. As I said when we were on in Austria for 4th this is his time of the year as his two Challenge Tour wins in the last two years have been in late July/late August I have backed the last two on Betfair as well @ 160 and 220 respectively but not the top three picks as I don’t like backing on Betfair at less than the price I got on bookmaker bets. The Korn Ferry Tour turns up at a birdie fest @ Panther Creek and I have only backed Chase Seiffert 40/1 e/w and 50’s win to maybe trade. He drops down to a tour he had much success on last year with lots of places including here when improving every round to finish 5th. If he can reproduce the form of his 4th at the Workday on the bigger tour he should be in contention.
The Tour Championship starts Friday with a Monday finish and I must admit I’m not a fan of the staggered start either so have kept my powder pretty dry. Billy Horschel has superb course form and whilst I can’t see him making up the stagger having only just squeaked into the event the 35/1 e/w 5 places without the handicap was more than fair. Steve Rawlings mentioned a possible link with another Donald Ross track The Old White and I can see Sebastian Munoz playing the course well if you look at that angle. This weeks will surely suit him better than last weeks grind though he acquitted himself well to finish 8th. I have had a small win @ 350 with the handicap and e/w 150/1 in that market with five places as he starts on -3. Have also backed him 125/1 e/w without the handicap but all the bets on him have been relatively small.