Welcome to Virtual Insanity, where we spend virtual money to try and win virtual money on golf betting. It's that simple!
After a quiet start to the year, the virtual pot is at €930 from €1000 entering this week's PGA Tour tournament of focus, the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro Am in California.
The tournament is played at three courses; Spyglass Hill, Monterey Country Club and Pebble Beach itself. The players play each course in rotation and then the iconic Pebble Beach is the venue for the final round.
This week's event starts at 4.30pm Irish time on Thursday. Ireland's Seamus Power is in the field and should go well after nearly winning this event last year.
There are a few things to note here; the first three rounds are with amateurs - celebrities and business executives - so your professional will need to embrace that. This tournament is also more about par 4 performance and strong putting on the poa annua greens rather than bombing it off the tee. The weather forecast is relatively benign.
Be sure to shop around, with bookmakers such as Paddy Power, Betfair, Betway, William Hill and SKY Bet offering 1/5 the odds for your pick to get into the top 8 places.
Our first selection is Keith Mitchell for €4.50 each way at 28/1. (1/5 the odds the first 8 places, Paddy Power, Betfair, Betway, SKY Bet, William Hill).
American Keith Mitchell is almost double the price of Maverick McNealy, whom I considered putting up as the headline pick this week - but he was just too short at 16/1. If he wins, he wins. Mitchell had his best season on the PGA Tour last year and was 20th in the strokes gained statistics. He's strong off the tee and is seventh in that metric this year. He skipped Torrey Pines, so he comes into this tournament fresh and played well on the weekend at the American Express Championship. Mitchell should have been placed here last year; he ended in a tie for 12th and I feel he possesses the ability to add to his Honda Classic win of 2019. He's the headline pick this week.
Our second selection is Greyson Sigg for €3.50 each way at 80/1. (1/5 the odds the first 8 places, Paddy Power, Betfair, Betway, SKY Bet, William Hill).
Greyson Sigg also faltered in the final round last year - a 75 at Pebble Beach derailed the potential for a high finish. With more experience under his belt, I feel he can contend this week. He's a shot shaper, a good iron player who likes coastal courses - he finished in the top 15 in Bermuda and on Sea Island before Christmas. That leaves Sigg 59th in the FedEx Cup rankings and not under too much pressure early in the season. He won twice on the Korn Ferry Tour in 2021 and with more comfort of the PGA Tour, he can become a fixture on the circuit.
Our third selection is Taylor Moore for €2.50 each way at 60/1. (1/5 the odds the first 8 places, SKY Bet).
Last week Taylor Moore ended in a tie for 11th place a the Farmers Insurance Open, where they also had poa annua putting surfaces. His maiden appearance at Pebble Beach was 12 months ago when he tied for 16th, so he brings course and recent form to the table. Like Sigg, he's getting more comfortable out there, having won on the Korn Ferry Tour and parlayed 13 top ten finishes from 39 starts, a tremendously consistent run. He strikes me as an under the radar outsider this week.
Our fourth selection is Nate Lashley for €2 each way at 80/1. (1/5 the odds the first 8 places, SKY Bet).
Two years ago Nate Lashley should have won this event - he carded a triple bogey on the 16th hole and his challenge crumbled. However, we know he likes Pebble Beach and he was tied for seventh on his penultimate start in Hawaii. Lashley likes courses by the sea; he has a decent resumé in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic and has a win on tour at the Rocket Mortgage Classic. A second victory is not impossible.
Our final selection is Doug Ghim for €2 each way at 175/1. (1/5 the odds the first 8 places, SKY Bet).
There is no form reason to select former world amateur number one Doug Ghim - this is a pick based on gut and the belief he is better than recent results have shown. He shot a 68 at Torrey Pines last week and a 66 in his final round at the American Express tournament, but he hasn't been able to put a string of good rounds together. Ghim came out of nowhere to contend at the Players Championship last year and I feel these fiddly tracks suit him - he was tied 21st in this event two years ago. He could surprise.
So that's €30 wagered virtually on this week's golf.
Please gamble responsibly, never bet more than you can afford, and good luck!
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