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 a brilliant week for the slot, as 33/1 pick Lucas Herbert won the Irish Open, while Rocket Mortgage classic picks Joaquin Niemann and Seamus Power finished in ties for second and eighth place respectively.
So after a profitable week, the virtual pot is at €1107 from €1000 for 2021 entering this week's tournament of focus, the John Deere Classic on the PGA Tour in Illinois.
This tournament is played at the TPC of Deere Run, a par 71 golf course that rewards accurate approach play and good putting. Making birdies is important at this track; an average of 20 under par tends to be the winning score. The last John Deere Classic was played in 2019; it wasn't held last year due to the pandemic.
The event starts at 12.50 Thursday, Irish time.
Be sure to shop around, with bookmakers such as Paddy Power and Betfair offering 1/5 the odds for your pick to get into the top eight places. Other bookmakers such as Boylesports, Betfred, Betway and SKY Bet are going to seven places.
Our headline selection is Sungjae Im for €4 each way at 16/1. (1/5 the odds the first 8 places, Paddy Power, Betfair).
On his only start in this event in 2019, South Korea's Sungae Im finished in a respectable tie for 26th. I believe he is the most talented player in this field. How many other players in this lineup would finish in a tie for second at the Masters as a rookie? Still only 23-years-old, Im competes relentlessly and his iron play is excellent. It was noticeable that he came back into form last week with a tie for 8th at the Rocket Mortgage Classic. He has every chance of winning his second PGA Tour title this Sunday.
Our second selection is Seamus Power for €3 each way at 33/1. (1/5 the odds the first 7 places, Betfred, SKY Bet).
I feel that Seamus Power is going to earn a maiden PGA Tour golf title before long. The Waterford native has been a real grinder in recent years and recently, he's been riding a wave of momentum with four finishes inside the top 20 on his last four starts. He only made one bogey in 72 holes at the Rocket Mortgage Classic en route to a tie for 8th. He also has form at Deere Run, with two performances inside the top 25 from three appearances. He strikes me as a decent each-way bet this week.
Our third selection is Doc Redman for €2 each way at 40/1. (1/5 the odds the first 8 places, Paddy Power, Betfair).
It's hard to work out 23-year-old American Doc Redman, who strikes me as a player that can win many tournaments on the circuit. He has two top tens in his last six starts, so there's no issue with his form, but he can throw in a missed cut here and there, as was the case last Friday in Detroit. On his only John Deere appearance in 2019, he was 8 under par at halfway, before two double bogeys in the third round arrested his momentum. He would come home in a tie for 37th that week. Former US Amateur champion Redman was part of a 2017 US Walker Cup team which has gone on to great things. I feel he must be part of calculations this week.
Our fourth selection is Doug Ghim for €2 each way at 50/1. (1/5 the odds the first 8 places, SKY Bet).
Doug Ghim, once the best college golf player in America, has shown consistent form to effectively wrap up his PGA Tour card for next season. He is from Illinois and received a sponsor's exemption to the 2018 John Deere Classic, which he withdrew from because of illness. An excellent player with his approach shots, his putting has held him back this season. I have been watching him very closely and he's been playing far better than a record of one top ten all season would show. Age is on his side and a break-out win is possible in this weakened field. Natural talent goes a long way in golf.
Our fifth selection is Patrick Rodgers for €2 each way at 70/1. (1/5 the odds the first 7 places, Boylesports, Betfred).
Patrick Rodgers may never put a PGA Tour run together to match a college golf career that rivalled that of Tiger Woods, but if he can find some confidence, he is good enough to win a regular tour event. In 2017, he had a major chance to win this tournament, carrying a two-stroke lead into the final round, but was caught by a hard-charging Bryson DeChambeau down the stretch. He played three good rounds at the US Open at Torrey Pines and Deere Run suits his big-hitting and good putting game. If he can believe, the ability is there to win this.
Our final selection is Roger Sloan for €2 each way at 100/1. (1/5 the odds the first 7 places, Boylesports, Betway, SKY Bet).
Canadian Roger Sloan is one of those horses for horses in this event. In two appearances, he has shown a liking for the TPC of Deere Run, finishing in a tie for 18th in 2015 and then in a tie for 10th in 2019. Last week he played three good rounds in Detroit, ending in a tie for 21st. One could argue that he's a journeyman, but he strikes me as one of the better outsiders 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!