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Virtual Insanity! John Duggan'...
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Virtual Insanity! John Duggan's Golf Tips for the Safeway Open

Welcome to Virtual Insanity, where we spend virtual money to try and win virtual money on golf betting. It's that simple!

The pot is at €875 entering this week's tournament of focus, the Safeway Open on the US PGA Tour in California.

The Safeway Open marks the official start of the 2020/21 PGA Tour season.

Played at the par 72 Silverado course, this will be the first of 50 tournaments this season.

This week's event starts at 3pm Irish time on Thursday and the field includes Open champion Shane Lowry and Seamus Power.

The Silverado course is a classic tree lined target golf venue, with accuracy off the tee important. Four par fives provide opportunity for decent ball strikers to make birdies, while good putting on the tricky poa annua greens is a must.

Be sure to shop around, with bookmakers such as Paddy Power, Betfair, William Hill and Boylesports offering 1/5 the odds for your pick to get into the top 8.

Our first selection is Charl Schwartzel for €4 each way at 66/1. (1/5 the odds the first 8 places). 

Sometimes in these events that don't include the world's best, one needs to look for the class act in the field down in grade. It's nine years since South African Charl Schwartzel won the Masters, and maybe he never fulfilled that early potential in terms of multiple wins, but he can still play. Schwartzel was on the sidelines with a wrist injury last year, but has recovered and finished in the top 5 at the Pebble Beach Pro AM earlier this year. That was a test under similar California conditions to this week. His form has been spotty, but he did finish in a tie for third at the 3M Open back in July. He has been granted a card for this season under a major medical exemption, and on his only appearance at Silverado five years ago, he finished inside the top 10. I think he's a value each way bet.

Our second selection is Harold Varner III for €2 each way at 28/1. (1/5 the odds the first 8 places). 

Harold Varner is one of these golfers that has been showing up in tournaments for quite a while, but never really getting the job done at the weekend. The 30 year old American displayed much better resolution on his penultimate appearance at the Wyndham Championship, opening with a 62 and finishing with a 65 for a tie for seventh. I do think Varner III is trending in the direction of a maiden win on the tour. He has very decent form in the Safeway Open, with three top 20's in the last four years. Varner III also was right there back in 2015, blowing out with a 79 on the final day when right in contention to win. The course obviously suits his eye and he's playing well, so he can contend.

Our third selection is Doc Redman for €2 each way at 35/1. (1/5 the odds the first 8 places). 

Redman is the former US Amateur champion and represented his country at the 2017 Walker Cup. On his team back then was current PGA Champion Collin Morikawa. Only 22, Redman is brilliant off the tee and possesses a calm temperament. He looks to have a big future ahead of him and nearly won the Wyndham Championship last month. He missed the cut at the Safeway Open last year as a result of some average putting. It's the weakest club in his bag, but he also missed the cut at the Wyndham last year before placing such form well behind him. If he can get it going on the 'dance floor' with the flat stick, then he has the talent to win the first of what probably will be multiple PGA Tour victories.

Our final selection this week is Bud Cauley for €2 each way at 50/1. (1/5 the odds the first 8 places). 

American Bud Cauley has been on the circuit quite a while, but has yet to visit the winner's enclosure. Formerly the top Junior golfer in the USA, he's playing solid golf. He produced a decent display at the US PGA Championship before showing up with a tied 15th at the Wyndham. At the Safeway Open in 2017, Cauley played with eventual winner Brendan Steele on the final day, so he's had a sniff of victory in this tournament before.

So that's €20 wagered on this week's golf.

Please gamble responsibly, never bet more than you can afford and good luck!

Download the brand new OTB Sports App in the Play Store & App Store right now! We've got you covered!

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