Welcome to Virtual Insanity, where we spend virtual money to try and win virtual money on golf betting. It's that simple!
We are back after a break and I am excited about May, June and July, with the US PGA Championship, the US Open and the Open Championship to look forward to. A Saudi event has not crossed my mind!
The virtual pot is at €1110 from €1000, a profit of 11% for 2022 entering this week's tournament of focus, the Wells Fargo Championship on the PGA Tour in Maryland.
For one year only, this event moves from Quail Hollow, site of the Presidents Cup this year, to the TPC Potomac course at Avenel Farm.
This is a par 70 track with tight fairways and water hazards which used to stage the Kemper Open and then showcased the Quicken Loans National tournament in 2017 and 2018. The evidence of those latter two events won by Kyle Stanley and Francesco Molinari is that it's a course which suits accurate, tee to green players. Last year's Wells Fargo winner Rory McIlroy headlines the field, fresh off his strong showing at the Masters.
The tournament starts at 11.50am Thursday, Irish time.
Be sure to shop around, with bookmakers such as Paddy Power, Betfair, Ladbrokes, Coral and William Hill offering 1/5 the odds for your pick to get into the top eight places.
I highlight the best terms and bookmakers offering them beside each recommendation below.
Our headline selection is Matt Fitzpatrick for €3.50 each way at 22/1. (1/5 the odds the first 8 places, William Hill).
England's Matt Fitzpatrick flopped on his last start at the Heritage by missing the cut, but I am prepared to give him another chance. The former US Amateur champion, who has twice won the DP World Tour Championship, is a decent player of tough courses - his win at the Andalucia Masters at Valderrama last year springs to mind. Fitzpatrick produced a solid display at the Masters, where he ended in tie for 14th. If one forgets about the Heritage, Fitzpatrick has been in solid form - with 7 top 20 finishes in his last 9 starts. Always a fantastic putter, Fitzpatrick has improved his approach play this season and lies third in the strokes gained total statistic on the PGA Tour right now. He's not the longest off the tee, but the TPC of Potomac is a tidy course, measuring 7,160 yards. If at first you don't succeed, they say. Perhaps this is the week Fitzpatrick earns his first PGA Tour victory. He is the headline selection.
Our second selection is Denny McCarthy for €3 each way at 80/1. (1/5 the odds the first 8 places, Paddy Power, Betfair, William Hill, Ladbrokes, Coral).
American Denny McCarthy is the local hero this week, from the state of Maryland and with plenty of rounds under his belt at the TPC Potomac. He stands 49th in the FedEx Cup standings and is 49th in the strokes gained statistics, having been 108th in that category last season. The former Walker Cup player is still trying to break through for his first PGA Tour victory, but if you putt well as he does, it's surely only a matter of time. McCarthy topped the putting statistics on Tour in 2019 and 2020. He has 7 top 25's in 18 starts in this campaign and will be supported by the home contingent. I think he's a decent each way bet at the price.
Our third selection is Doc Redman for €3 each way at 125/1. (1/5 the odds the first 8 places, William Hill, Ladbrokes, Coral).
At the recent team event in New Orleans, American Doc Redman and playing partner Sam Ryder 'had a blast' in their own words en route to a third place finish. This significantly helped Redman's chances of winning a PGA Tour card for next season, but an easier way to do it would be to win this week and secure a two year exemption. Former US Amateur champion Redman has a habit of turning up out of the blue - with ties for second, third and fourth last season. Interestingly, he shot a final round 64 in the 2018 Quicken Loans National at the TPC Potomac on the way to a tie for 32nd in what was only his fifth PGA Tour start. Good off the tee and with the ability to make putts, the 24 year old has the natural talent to win.
Our fourth selection is Keith Mitchell for €2 each way at 50/1. (1/5 the odds the first 8 places, Paddy Power, Betfair, William Hill, Ladbrokes, Coral).
Last year Keith Mitchell finished in a tie for third at the Wells Fargo Championship behind Rory McIlroy, who was impressed by the American's game. The 30 year old has the tee to green finesse for Avenel Farm, as he lies 20th in the strokes gained statistics standings and is second in strokes gained off the tee this season. He enters this week fresh having not played a strokeplay event since The Players Championship. He has finished in the top 10 four times in 15 starts this season and I feel a second PGA Tour title is within his compass. In fact, he may be the forgotten horse in the field.
Our final selection is Doug Ghim for €1.50 each way at 55/1. (1/5 the odds the first 8 places, William Hill).
American Doug Ghim was a Walker Cup team-mate of Scottie Scheffler and Will Zalatoris and arguably a better amateur, but he hasn't translated that early promise onto the PGA Tour as of yet. Ghim did finish in a tie for sixth at the prestigious Players Championship, where he got the worst of the weather. The 26 year old is inside the top 50 statistically tee to green, but needs to make more putts on the bentgrass greens this week. He certainly has the talent, it's all about execution and belief now. I am keeping the faith in Ghim.
So that's €26 wagered virtually on this week's golf. Make sure you bet less at home! A euro each way will do!
Please gamble responsibly, never bet more than you can afford, and good luck!