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 good week for this feature, with US Open winner Jon Rahm our second selection at 9/1, while Rafael Cabrera Bello was placed in the first round leader market at odds of 30/1.
So the virtual pot is at €975 from €1000 entering this week's tournament of focus, the Travelers Championship on the PGA Tour in Connecticut.
This tournament is played at River Highlands, a short par 70 golf course that yields low scores, so a hot putter will be required this week. Jim Furyk shot a 58 in this event back in 2016.
The Travelers Championship starts at 11.45am 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 Abraham Ancer for €3 each way at 28/1. (1/5 the odds the first 8 places, William Hill).
Mexico's Abraham Ancer is ranked 23rd in the world but has yet to win on the PGA Tour. He is one of the shortest hitters on the circuit, so last week's missed cut at Torrey Pines was perhaps reflective of a course that didn't suit his eye. Before that, he had posted three top-ten finishes in a row in May, including a second at the Wells Fargo Championship behind Rory McIlroy. River Highlands feels like a track that Ancer could break his duck at - he was tied for 11th there last year and tied for 8th the year before. He is knocking on the door with five top tens this season and a couple of second places in 2020. Statistically, he is 11th in greens hit this year and this short track may yield an overdue breakthrough.
Our second selection is Patrick Cantlay for €2 each way at 16/1. (1/5 the odds the first 8 places, William Hill).
American Patrick Cantlay tops the FedExCup standings on the PGA Tour, and his win at the Memorial Tournament was followed by a tie for 15th at the US Open. He closed with a bogey-free 69 on Sunday at Torrey Pines, so we know his golf game is in rude health. Cantlay shot 60 at the Travelers Championship as a 19-year-old amateur and has been in the top 15 at River Highlands for the past three years. It makes sense for him to be in the staking plan.
Our third selection is Rickie Fowler for €2 each way at 50/1. (1/5 the odds the first 8 places, Paddy Power, William Hill, SKY Bet, Betfred, Betfair).
American Rickie Fowler has begun to turn a corner after plummeting down the world rankings. He didn't qualify for the US Open, but before that, he had ended in a tie for 11th at the Memorial Tournament and a tie for 8th at the US PGA. He has spoken about the enjoyment of playing golf again after working for a long time on the technical aspects of his game. He's a talented player and on two trips to River Highlands, he's finished in a tie for 13th on both occasions. He may be able to take another leap forward this week, possibly to the winner's enclosure.
Our fourth selection is Doc Redman for €2 each way at 66/1. (1/5 the odds the first 8 places, William Hill, SKY Bet, Betfred).
American Doc Redman is a regular on this feature. Why? I believe the former US Amateur champion is a talented player and one who can make his mark on the PGA Tour in the coming years. The 23-year-old was tied for second on his last start at the Palmetto Championship, one of four top tens this season. An excellent ball striker, Redman can be indifferent on the greens, but it's encouraging to see that on his first appearance in the Travelers Championship last year, he was tied for 11th by the Sunday night, buoyed by a closing 63. I have noticed that he actually plays the easier golf courses rather well, and it wouldn't surprise me if he won this week.
Our fifth selection is Will Gordon for €2 each way at 150/1. (1/5 the odds the first 8 places, William Hill, SKY Bet, Betfred).
Bubba Watson has won the Travelers Championship more than once, so it's a course that can suit big hitters. American Will Gordon is one of the bombers on tour and gained tour membership partly as a result of making 27 birdies on the way to a tie for third in this tournament last year. A tie for 14th at the recent Palmetto Championship was noticeable and he could channel some decent memories into another good finish this week.
Our final selection is Patrick Rodgers for €1.50 each way at 150/1. (1/5 the odds the first 8 places, William Hill, SKY Bet).
I put up Patrick Rodgers in the first round leader market at Torrey Pines last week and he actually played well, shooting three good rounds out of four, the final round an under par 70. Rodgers has yet to translate his talent into results that his college career promised, but he should find it a lot easier this week and he does have a tie for third on his CV at the Travelers Championship from back in 2016.
So that's €25 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!