Welcome to Virtual Insanity for OTB, where we spend virtual money to try and win virtual money on golf betting. It's that simple!
Last week was somewhat frustrating, as headline tip Abraham Ancer finished fourth at the Travelers Championship.
So the virtual pot is at €970 from €1000 entering the first tournament of focus this week, the Irish Open on the European Tour at Mount Juliet in Kilkenny.
This is not an Irish Open like usual years, such as when the Clare town of Lahinch was taken over for a week long celebration in 2019.
Just 2,500 fans will attend this week's tournament at the Jack Nicklaus designed Mount Juliet in County Kilkenny.
Mount Juliet was home to the Irish Open from 1993 to 1995 and hosted World Golf Championship events in 2002 and 2004.
It's a parkland course, a par 72, with a premium on accuracy when it comes to approach shots.
There are 16 Irish players in the field of 156.
The Irish Open starts at 7.30am Thursday, Irish time.
Be sure to shop around, with bookmakers such as Paddy Power, SKY Bet and Betfair offering 1/5 the odds for your pick to get into the top eight places.
Our headline selection is Rory McIlroy for a €12 win at 5/1. (William Hill, Bet 365, Betfred, Bet Victor).
This is a weak field with just four of the world's top 50 lining up. They are Rory McIlroy, Shane Lowry, Tommy Fleetwood and Christiaan Bezuidenhout. McIlroy is clearly the best player in the line up and Mount Juliet, a par 72 with four par fives, seems right in his ballpark. He's happy with his game after putting in the hard yards with swing coach Pete Cowen. Their work yielded a win at the Wells Fargo Championship back in May, but more importantly, McIlroy played well at the US Open and had a chance to win. When I am looking at the yardage of the golf course, I see plenty of opportunities for McIlroy if he can get the drives smoking off the tee. He won this event at another parkland course, the K Club, back in 2016 and I foresee a repeat victory on Sunday.
Our second selection is Lucas Herbert for €4 each way at 33/1. (1/5 the odds the first 8 places, SKY Bet).
Australian Lucas Herbert made people sit up and notice with his win at the Dubai Desert Classic in 2020. He's another big hitter and the 25-year-old looks to have a decent future in the game. Herbert is in good nick, entering this event off the back of two top twenty finishes on the PGA Tour at the Memorial Tournament and Travelers Championship. Now down in grade, he can produce another decent Irish Open showing after finishing in a tie for seventh at the rescheduled event at Galgorm Castle last year. I think he has a good each way chance.
Our third selection is Thomas Pieters for €3 each way at 45/1. (1/5 the odds the first 8 places, SKY Bet).
Big hitting Belgian Thomas Pieters is a former Ryder Cup player and a four time winner on the European Tour, his last victory coming at the Czech Masters in 2019. He posted four top 25 finishes on the PGA Tour earlier this year and has shown pieces of form on the European golf circuit this year which could indicate a good run in Kilkenny - a tie for 10th in Saudi Arabia was followed by a 13th place in Qatar. Pieters has yet to deliver on the promise of his earlier career. A win this week would be a step in the right direction. He certainly has the natural ability.
Our final selection is Jazz Janewattananond for €2 each way at 90/1. (1/5 the odds the first 8 places, Paddy Power, SKY Bet, Betfair).
One player who nearly won the rescheduled Irish Open at Galgorm Castle last year was Thailand's Jazz Janewattananond. He ended in a tie for third and his maiden European Tour win nearly came this March, when he lost in a play off to Daniel van Tonder at the Kenya Open. Jazz likes parkland courses, highlighted by his performance at the 2019 US PGA Championship at Bethpage Black, when he was tied for second going into the final round. He's not afraid to win, having claimed the Singapore Open in 2019. Still young at 25, I believe he is capable of winning on the European Tour and could be a nice outsider to have in your staking plan this week.
So that's €30 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!