Welcome to Virtual Insanity, where we spend virtual money to try and win virtual money on golf betting. It's that simple!
So the virtual pot is at €976 from €1000 entering this week's tournament of focus, the American Express on the US PGA Tour in California.
Played on two resort courses - the Nicklaus course and the Stadium course at PGA West, the event starts on Thursday.
This is not the Open Championship!
This is American target golf in its purest form; low scoring and an emphasis on making birdies and having a hot putter in the bag for 72 holes.
Be sure to shop around, with bookmakers such as Paddy Power, Betfair, William Hill, SKY Bet and Boylesports offering 1/5 the odds for your pick to get into the top eight.
Our headline selection is Doc Redman for €4 each way at 80/1. (1/5 the odds the first 8 places).
2017 US Amateur champion Redman is only 23 and has a big future in golf, now he's become comfortable on the PGA Tour. He's an excellent ball striker and his form has shown steady improvement over the last while; with three top four finishes to his name in his last eight starts. Respectably inside the top 30 in this tournament last year, American Redman has the natural talent to vault into the world's top 50 and stay there. A win is due and I have a good feeling that he could really make some noise this week.
Our second selection is Scottie Scheffler for €2 each way at 16/1. (1/5 the odds the first 8 places).
24 year old American Scottie Scheffler lit up the satellite Korn Ferry Tour in 2019, and he's brought that form to the big show that is the PGA Tour. A tied fourth finish at the PGA Championship was followed by a solo fifth at the Tour Championship. Scheffler then finished inside the top 20 on his Masters debut, before returning in Hawaii with a solid tie for 13th at the Sentry Tournament of Champions. He bombs it, he's accurate and he makes a ton of birdies. Oh, he also finished third in the American Express last year. 16/1 seems a skinny price, but it won't be if he wins, which is well within his compass by Sunday.
Our third selection is Sam Burns for €2 each way at 50/1. (1/5 the odds the first 8 places).
American Sam Burns is a monster hitter who will relish the par five holes at these resort courses. His liking for the American Express tournament was demonstrated in a tie for sixth last year, following a tie for 18th place in 2019. Burns enters the week off a tie for seventh on his latest start at the Houston Open. That good finish was part of the current 2020/21 season, so without the pressure of having to hit the ground running from zero, the talented 24 year old can make his presence felt on the leaderboard this weekend.
Our final selection is Sepp Straka for €2 each way at 70/1. (1/5 the odds the first 8 places).
You may have guessed that I am on the side of players I think will make the breakthrough and win their first tour title this week. You would be right. The American Express has been won by Andrew Landry, Adam Long and Hudson Swafford in the last four years, and without any offence to them, it's evidence that this field is wide open. Austrian Sepp Straka has course form and recent form. He noticeably closed with a 65 at the Sony Open in Hawaii last week, the result of good ball striking. Last year, in this event, he ended in a tie for fourth place. The 27 year old has been on an upward trajectory since securing his privileges to play on the PGA Tour and he may feel even more at home with a victory under his belt.
So that's €20 wagered virtually on this week's golf. Make sure you bet less at home! A euro each way will do!
Please gamble responsibly, never bet more than you can afford, and good luck!