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 delivered a headline tip winner at 22/1! Yes, it was very fortuitous that Patrick Cantlay would win the Memorial Tournament after Jon Rahm had to withdraw because of Covid-19, but sometimes you need a bit of luck. We got that last week.
So the virtual pot is at €905 from €1000 entering this week's tournament of focus, the Palmetto Championship on the PGA Tour in South Carolina.
This tournament is a one off event played at the Tom Fazio designed Congaree golf course, a par 71 which has a unique design. The fairways are wide, but the course is defended by a significant amount of waste areas. These sand complexes require negotiation, so the track has a linksy feel to it and will require decent scrambling and a sure touch on Bermuda greens. There's no course form, so it's hard to weigh up who is suited to the test.
The tournament 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 Rafael Cabrera Bello for €3 each way at 70/1. (1/5 the odds the first 8 places).
Spain's Rafael Cabrera Bello is finding his way on the PGA Tour, and I have been watching his progress with interest. He played well at the Memorial Tournament, a tie for 37th not reflective of a performance that was derailed by three double bogeys and a triple bogey. Cabrera Bello is a three time winner on the European Tour and he was ranked as high as 16th in the world in 2017. He's won in the desert and he's posted a top five at the Open Championship, so the course might just suit him. He rates as one of the classier types in a weakened field and he's the headline selection.
Our second selection is Lucas Glover for €2 each way at 40/1. (1/5 the odds the first 8 places).
Former US Open champion Lucas Glover has got a feel for Congaree, playing 54 holes there recently, so he has an early advantage over his peers. American Glover is from South Carolina and he's been playing well this season, notching top ten finishes at the Texas Open and Charles Schwab Challenge. He's also won on a Fazio designed golf course at Quail Hollow. It's just a matter of him putting four rounds together, but he should feel at home to contend.
Our third selection is Doc Redman for €2 each way at 66/1. (1/5 the odds the first 8 places).
Regular readers of Virtual Insanity would know that former US Amateur champion Doc Redman is popular in this tips feature. I left him out of calculations for the Byron Nelson and he was in a tie for ninth at the end. American Redman has three top 10's on tour this season now amid some otherwise indifferent form. He held the 54 hole lead in Bermuda, so these Bermuda greens in South Carolina should suit. He's an excellent ball striker and I think an easier field and set up might play to his strengths. Natural talent is everything in golf and this 23-year-old from the neighbouring state of North Carolina has it in abundance.
Our fourth selection is Camilo Villegas for €1 each way at 100/1. (1/5 the odds the first 8 places).
Colombian Camilo Villegas is doing his best on the PGA Tour and there's been flickers of his past form this season. He finished in a tie for 8th at the Honda Classic and then posted three top 25's in a row in April and May. He's back in a Southern US layout with Bermuda greens and the Congaree course may fit his creative spark. 100/1 could represent value for a small each way bet.
Our fifth selection is Kramer Hickok for €1 each way at 125/1. (1/5 the odds the first 8 places).
Still under 30, American Kramer Hickok was last seen at the Charles Schwab Challenge, where he finished inside the top 15. Second on the satellite Korn Ferry Tour standings for 2018, he's made steady progress on the PGA Tour circuit and has produced some decent displays in Bermuda and the Dominican Republic. Once again, the course may just fit the eye of this Texan who is one of the potential improvers in the field.
Our final selection is Patrick Rodgers for €1 each way at 125/1. (1/5 the odds the first 8 places).
American Patrick Rodgers hasn't been able to put it together on the PGA Tour to match the supreme talent he displayed as a college golfer and the world's top amateur. That ability just doesn't go away - case in point was a flop at the Memorial Tournament followed by his winning of a US Open qualifier in Florida this week. Rodgers has form at Quail Hollow and at Sea Island in Georgia, which is not too dissimilar an examination to this week. I get the sense he might just win out of the blue soon, and this week is as good as any.
So that's €20 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!