Welcome to Virtual Insanity for OTB, where we spend virtual money to try and win virtual money on golf betting. It's that simple!
Alas, after plenty of near misses and hard luck stories, Virtual Insanity is 'missing a few cuts' at the moment.
Frustratingly, from our selections at the Charles Schwab tournament last week, Emiliano Grillo was tied for 8th and Collin Morikawa was tied 14th.
Nobody feels worse about the quiet spell than me. The intention is to finish the calendar year in profit. So it's a case of putting in the hard yards and hoping things turn a little. All it takes is a few good weeks.
The virtual pot is at €843 from €1000 entering this week's tournament of focus, the Memorial Tournament on the PGA Tour in Ohio.
This tournament is hosted by Jack Nicklaus at the iconic Muirfield Village, a difficult par 72 golf course which requires precision iron play and a deft touch around the greens.
Some of the putting surfaces have been altered ahead of the 2021 tournament, which starts at Noon Thursday, Irish time.
Be sure to shop around with bookmakers such as Paddy Power, SKY Bet, Betfred and William Hill offering 1/5 the odds for your pick to get into the top eight places.
Our headline selection is Patrick Cantlay for €3 each way at 22/1. (1/5 the odds the first 8 places).
At the start of the year, American Patrick Cantlay was playing sensational golf, but then bombed out at the Masters, missing the cut. That would start a run of three weekends off in four. However, the 29-year-old returned to his ball striking best at the US PGA Championship. He was fantastic from tee to green at Kiawah Island, but couldn't buy a putt, and a triple bogey at the 17th in the final round saw him slide out of the top ten. Cantlay won the Memorial Tournament in 2019, closing with a flawless 64. He's finished in the top seven three times in tournaments played at Muirfield Village and he's a solid headline tip this week to make the frame once more.
Our second selection is Rickie Fowler for €2 each way at 60/1. (1/5 the odds the first 8 places).
It was great to see American Rickie Fowler turn back time at the US PGA, where he shot four under par at the weekend to finish in a tie for 8th, the first time he had cracked the top 10 in over a year. The 32-year-old feels his game is coming back and it should propel him forward up the world rankings. He's better than his current mark of 101st and Fowler should have won more than five times on the PGA Tour by now. At his best, his all round game is excellent and he is a natural shot maker. He likes the Memorial - finishing second there on his debut in 2010, before posting a tie for second in 2017. Maybe it's time for the man who wears Sunday orange to squash the field.
Our third selection is Christiaan Bezuidenhout for €2 each way at 80/1. (1/5 the odds the first 8 places).
South African Christiaan Bezuidenhout proved himself on the European Tour, winning the Andalucia Masters in Spain. He then closed off 2020 with back to back victories in his native South Africa. Still only 27, he hasn't missed a cut so far on the PGA Tour this season and showed up well for a long way at the US PGA. A decent player of tough golf courses, Bezuidenhout is an excellent scrambler and opened up his Memorial account with a tie for 22nd last year. I can definitely see him improving on that this time around.
Our fourth selection is Charl Schwartzel for €2 each way at 100/1. (1/5 the odds the first 8 places).
In April, Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel narrowly missed out on a team victory in New Orleans. Oosthuizen would go on to finish in a tie for second at the US PGA. Schwartzel missed the cut. Before that, he had been playing well, with three top 21s, including a tie for third at the Byron Nelson. It's a bit of an enigma why Schwartzel, who so brilliantly won the Masters a decade ago, hasn't reached those heights since. One thing that's in his favour now is that he's injury free. With three career finishes inside the top 11 at the Memorial, I think he could be dangerous this week and 100/1 may represent value.
Our fifth selection is Doug Ghim for €1.50 each way at 125/1. (1/5 the odds the first 8 places).
It's a bit of a flier from the rough this week to pick debutant Doug Ghim, but of all the up and comers, he's one to be on the right side of. The former top college golfer in America contended at Bay Hill and Sawgrass earlier this year, and finished in a tie for 14th at Colonial last week. He'd previously missed the cut there, so he's trending the right way. Inside the top 20 on the PGA Tour in terms of strokes gained tee to green, Ghim has the ball striking chops to tackle Muirfield Village and it all depends whether his putter cooperates. This is a talented golf player. Stranger things have happened.
Our final selection is Richy Werenski for €1 each way at 200/1. (1/5 the odds the first 8 places).
I have noticed American Richy Werenski hanging around leaderboards this year. The 29-year-old had a decent US PGA and on his first look at Muirfield Village in the Workday Charity Open last year, he came home in a tie for 35th, an effort which included a 67. This year, Werenski has posted a tie for fourth at Bay Hill and finished third in the team event in New Orleans. He isn't afraid to win, having claimed the Barracuda Championship last year. Knowing he has his playing privileges could give him the freedom to out perform his odds of 200/1 this week.
So that's €23 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!