Welcome to Virtual Insanity for OTB, where we spend virtual money to try and win virtual money on golf betting. It's that simple!
The virtual pot is at €950 from €1000 for 2021 entering this week's tournament of focus, the BMW PGA Championship on the European Tour at Wentworth, in Surrey, England.
This is a big week for European golf.
Not only is this, the PGA Championship, the circuit's flagship event, but European Ryder Cup skipper Padraig Harrington will announce his wildcards for the matches against the USA on Sunday night.
There's a lot on the line, starting with the prestige of winning a golf tournament of this calibre, which carries a first prize of almost €1 million euro.
Wentworth is a tree-lined par 72 which requires accurate driving, precise approaches and a decent touch around and on the greens. So it tests all facets of a player's game.
Having watched the PGA down through the years, I have always seen Wentworth to be a 'horses for courses' venue, where players that take a liking to it tend to return and play well again. Luke Donald, Francesco Molinari and Angel Cabrera come to mind.
The tournament starts at 6.40am on Thursday.
Be sure to shop around, with bookmakers such as Paddy Power, Betfair, SKY Bet, Betfred, Betway and William Hill paying 1/5 the odds the first eight places each way.
I am changing my tactics by investing a lot of my 'virtual' money this week. Please ensure you bet less with real money if you decide to get involved.
Our headline selection is Shane Lowry for €20 each way at 16/1. (1/5 the odds the first 8 places, Paddy Power, William Hill, Betfair).
Ireland's Shane Lowry loves Wentworth. If a place gives you good vibes, you tend to enjoy it and go there with a smile on your face. Lowry's liking for the golf course has delivered consistent results in the PGA Championship. Consider that in the last ten years, he has finished second, tied for fourth, and tied for sixth twice. He's had eight top 15's at Wentworth in that spell. All that's missing is the win. Lowry is just inside the World points for the Ryder Cup, but I would be amazed if he wasn't a captain's pick. In other words, I don't feel he is playing under pressure this week. Lowry's form has been decent - top 25's in each of his last six appearances and good finishes at the US PGA and Open Championship. Happy with life after the birth of his second child, 2019 Open champion Lowry is a strong headline tip this week.
Our second selection is Robert MacIntyre for €10 each way at 45/1. (1/5 the odds the first 8 places, Paddy Power, Betfair, SKY Bet).
Scotland's Robert MacIntyre is a player I have had in the notebook for a while - he's made significant strides in big tournaments this year - posting a tie for 12th at the Masters and a tie for 8th at the Open Championship. He's a decent putter and hits his fair share of greens. He's only made two trips to Wentworth - on his first excursion he ended in a respectable tie for 28th. A far better player now, I like MacIntyre's confidence. In an interview with the Scotsman last week he spoke about turning up to win to place himself squarely in Padraig Harrington's mind for the Ryder Cup. This 25-year-old is going places in golf.
Our third selection is Christiaan Bezuidenhout for €5 each way at 30/1. (1/5 the odds the first 8 places, Paddy Power, William Hill, Betfair).
South African Christiaan Bezuidenhout has just wrapped up his PGA Tour card for next season, following a third-place finish in the Korn Ferry Tour Championship. On his Wentworth debut in 2019, he was third, so that's a positive sign. Bezuidenhout isn't afraid to win - he already has three European Tour titles in the locker at the age of 27, including the Andalucia Masters at the difficult Valderrama track. I have been following him closely on the PGA Tour all year and he's hasn't missed a cut. Locking up his card should give him a lot of freedom and he may parlay that into a decent showing this week.
Our final selection is Victor Perez for €5 each way at 50/1. (1/5 the odds the first 8 places, Paddy Power, William Hill, Betfair, Betfred).
Last year I watched Tyrrell Hatton impressively claim the BMW PGA Championship. His closest rival was Victor Perez of France, who was dialled in with his irons to post 15 under par on his debut. Perez went off the boil after taking fourth at the World Matchplay earlier this year, but he's slipped into the top 20 on two of his last three European Tour appearances. He strikes me as one of the better each-way plays.
So that's €80 wagered virtually on this week's golf. Make sure you bet less at home!
Please gamble responsibly, never bet more than you can afford, and good luck!