Happy New Year! Welcome to my new feature, Virtual Insanity, where we spend virtual money to make virtual money on golf betting!
The aim is to start the year with a virtual €1000 and pick three players each week, tracking our progress until December. It's great fun to follow a player over four days, especially if he gets into contention.
We'll start this week with the US PGA Tour's Sony Open, which starts at 5pm in Hawaii on Thursday.
Paddy Power, Betfair and Boylesports are offering 1/5 the odds each way for the first 8 places. We are basing our odds this week on what's in their markets.
Our first selection is Sungjae Im for €5 each way at 22/1.
Sungjae Im is a coming force in golf. The South Korean starred at the Presidents Cup and a maiden win on the US PGA Tour is surely around the corner. Sungjae is only 21, but a hot talent. He led the money list on the satellite tour, now known as the Korn Ferry Tour, winning twice. He posted seven top 10 US PGA Tour finishes last season and has already landed in the top three on two occasions this season. Last year, he ended in a tie for 16th at the Sony Open. Sungjae Im is accelerating up the world rankings and can contend this week.
Our second selection is Brian Stuard for €5 each way at 60/1.
If you believe in horses for courses, which I do, Stuard is worth a look this week. In his last six appearances in the Sony Open, he has finished in the top 10 four times. That's not bad if one is looking at each way terms for eight places. Stuard is a strong iron player, a prerequisite around this tight par 70 layout. He's also made a decent start to the new campaign, with two top 10 finishes. He may thrive in the windy conditions which are forecast this week.
Our final selection is Rory Sabbatini for €5 each way at 70/1.
This is a bit of a left field pick, but Sabbatini could surprise. Enjoying something of a renaissance at the age of 43, Sabbatini is a six-time US PGA Tour winner who lost his way for a few years. Having remarried and taken up Slovakian citizenship, Sabbatini recorded six top 10 finishes in 2019. Digging a little deeper, he's been second at the Sony Open in Hawaii twice. He could give you a run for your money at a price.
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Welcome to Virtual Insanity, a new weekly feature from Off The Ball - where we spend virtual money to make virtual money on golf betting! We're starting 2020 with a virtual €1000, and each week we'll be picking three players to follow on the PGA Tour. We're starting this week with the US PGA Tour's Sony Open, which begins at 5pm in Hawaii on Thursday, January 9th. Virtual Insanity - every Thursday, from 9am on OTB AM - the sports breakfast show from Off The Ball. You can read more about John's tips over at https://www.offtheball.com/golf/virtual-insanity-john-duggans-golf-tips-sony-open-hawaii-947529 - Good luck!
So that's this week's virtual €30 wagered!
Please gamble responsibly. Bet for small stakes and never bet more than you can afford!