Welcome to Virtual Insanity, where we spend virtual money to try and win virtual money on golf betting. It's that simple!
The difference between profit and loss in this game can be marginal.
I didn't enter profit in 2021 until Halloween and the final profit margin for the year was 46%.
If headline tip Rory McIlroy had won the Open last week, profit for this year would be 27% - but he didn't and there are no hard luck stories.
Our second pick Patrick Cantlay finished in a tie for 8th, so we salvaged some of the stake back, but the virtual pot is at €800 from €1000 for 2022 entering this week's tournament of focus, the 3M Open on the PGA Tour in Minneapolis.
This tournament is played at the TPC Twin Cities, a par 71 golf course that can be attacked with strong driving and a deft short game. Your selections will probably need to be in the double digit bracket under par to have a chance of winning.
The event starts at 12.50pm Thursday, Irish time. The weather forecast is pleasant.
Be sure to shop around, with bookmakers such as Paddy Power, William Hill, Ladbrokes, Coral, Betfred, SKY Bet and Betfair offering 1/5 the odds for your pick to get into the top eight places.
Our headline selection is Davis Riley for €7.50 each way at 25/1. (1/5 the odds the first 8 places, William Hill, SKY Bet).
It's important to track the up and coming golfers that are going to make a splash on the PGA Tour.
Who is the next Cam Smith - a major champion - or even a guy who starts winning tournaments regularly like Sam Burns. There's a good chance Davis Riley is a future champion - he's been in the top ten 25% percent of the time on the PGA Tour this season, finished runner up at the Valspar Championship and performed really well at the PGA Championship, where he tied 13th. He won twice on the Korn Ferry Tour as part of his graduation to this circuit and I like that he's had a few weeks off. His statistics aren't incredible, but a position of 23rd in the FedEx Cup standings is evidence the 25 year old can score. We are taking a chance in that he's playing the 3M Open for the first time, but players with a similar profile in Matthew Wolff and Cameron Champ have won here, so Davis Riley is the headline selection.
Our second selection is Adam Svensson for €4 each way at 40/1. (1/5 the odds the first 8 places, SKY Bet).
Canadian Adam Svensson does have experience of the 3M Open - in 2019 he was tied for 15th on his only appearance and that came off the back of six missed cuts in a row. After a confidence boosting trip to the Korn Ferry Tour - where - like Riley - he won twice - Svensson is playing far better now on his return to the PGA Tour. He contended to win on his last start at the Barbasol Championship where he finished sixth. This followed a hat trick of top 25 finishes, so he's in decent nick. Svensson was one of the best ball strikers on the Korn Ferry Tour last season - finishing 7th in the all round ranking. He just needs the putts to drop and if they do, he has every chance of breaking his PGA Tour duck.
Our third selection is Cameron Tringale for €2 each way at 28/1. (1/5 the odds the first 8 places, SKY Bet, William Hill).
There are signs Cameron Tringale may finally be able to break one of the toughest streaks in sports - 332 PGA Tour starts without winning. He is the American Richard Bland, lying 25th in the FedEx Cup standings this season with five top ten finishes. Recently he's been playing well, tying for 14th at the US Open and opening with a 61 at the Scottish Open where he ended in a tie for sixth. At the 3M Open, he was tied for third in 2020 and also in contention last year before faltering in the final round. Tringale has been around forever, but is just 34 years of age. In this vastly weaker field, maybe it's finally his time.
Our final selection is Bo Hoag for €1.50 each way at 200/1. (1/5 the odds the first 8 places, SKY Bet).
This concluding selection is a flier on a player who has been in a funk, but who does have form at the TPC Twin Cities. Bo Hoag has made two appearances in this tournament, and they have been strong relative to the rest of his PGA Tour career starts. Last year he was tied for 16th - the previous year he tied for 12th. He won on the Korn Ferry Tour in 2019 and at the John Deere Classic earlier this month, a final round 73 deprived him of a potential top five finish. Good memories of Minneapolis could inspire Hoag to find something this week and make a run.
So that's €30 wagered virtually on this week's 3M Open. Make sure you bet less at home!
Please gamble responsibly, never bet more than you can afford, and good luck!