Welcome to Virtual Insanity for OTB, where we spend virtual money to try and win virtual money on golf betting. It's that simple!
It's going to be a successful 2022 for Virtual Insanity, as we continued our hot streak last week!
Headline pick Shane Lowry won the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth, advised in advance at 16/1 and another of our each way selections, Patrick Reed, was placed at 40/1.
So the virtual pot for 2022 is at €1329 from €1000.
After various other recommendations won at 80/1, 66/1, 25/1 (twice) and 16/1, profit stands at 32.9%. It will be guaranteed profit for the year, to add to last year's final profit tally of 46.5% for 2021.
This week's tournament of focus is the Fortinet Championship in California, the first event of the new PGA Tour season.
The par 72 Silverado course is a classic tree-lined, parkland target golf venue, with accuracy off the tee important.
Four par fives provide an opportunity for decent ball strikers to make birdies, while good putting on the tricky poa-annua greens is a must. It's a relatively short course, so it's a case of taking advantage of the par five holes - a score in the high teens is required to contend.
The tournament starts at 3pm Irish time on Thursday.
Be sure to shop around, with bookmakers such as Paddy Power, SKY Bet, Boyle Sports, William Hill, Betfred, Ladbrokes, Coral, Betway and Betfair offering 1/5 the odds for your pick to get into the top eight places.
Our headline selection is Sahith Theegala for €5 each way at 28/1. (1/5 the odds the first 8 places, William Hill, SKY Bet).
Natural talent is such a significant determining factor in winning on the PGA Tour, and 24 year old American Sahith Theegala has the artistry to become a household name in golf. He studied in California and won all of the big college awards as an amateur. He had chances to win in Phoenix and Connecticut last season and made the top 30 in the Fed Ex Cup standings, clinching his place in all of the major championships next year. Theegala's stats don't look amazing, but he has the ability to score and is a creative shot maker. On his first appearance at Silverado, he carded one round of 64 en route to a tie for 14th. He's one of the class acts in this field and he's the headline tip this week to earn the first of what I predict will be many PGA Tour titles.
Our second selection is Patrick Rodgers for €3.50 each way at 80/1. (1/5 the odds the first 8 places, SKY Bet).
Another American who is familiar with the Califonia region is Patrick Rodgers, a former Stanford University star who has yet to win on the PGA Tour. Rodgers is coming off a season in which he had his tour card wrapped up early doors, helped by a tie for sixth in this event last year, his second career top ten at Silverado. Rodgers hits the ball far and he's a good putter on the poa annua greens which he will encounter this week. He's a naturally talented player who has just taken time to get comfortable on the circuit. It's possibly best to side with him now, coming in fresh. I feel he will win this season.
Our third selection is Chez Reavie for €1.50 each way at 80/1. (1/5 the odds the first 8 places, Betway).
Shane Lowry's win at Wentworth wasn't a shock, as he had a decent record at the course. The same can be said for Chez Reavie, who has been inside the top 35 on his last seven starts at Silverado. The 40 year old was tied for third in this event two years ago and won the Barracuda Championship in California back in July. So the pressure is off and this accurate player - 5th in driving accuracy and 22nd in stokes gained approach last season - is well capable of being there or thereabouts on Sunday.
Our fourth selection is Carl Yuan for €1.50 each way at 100/1. (1/5 the odds the first 8 places, Paddy Power, SKY Bet, Betfair, Betway).
There are plenty of rookies lining up from the Korn Ferry Tour - some will swim, some will sink. So it's a shot in the dark to pick Carl Yuan, but he did top the regular season rankings on the Korn Ferry before the play offs, with nine top tens in 22 starts - a run which included a win in Louisiana. The 25 year old from China was also second three times. He bombs it off the tee and hits tons of greens. It's a complete flier to pick a rookie, but talent can't be ignored.
Our fifth selection is Mark Hubbard for €1.50 each way at 100/1. (1/5 the odds the first 8 places, William Hill).
American Mark Hubbard wrapped up his PGA Tour card with a third place finish at the Barbasol Championship and a fourth place spot at the Barracuda Championship in successive weeks in July. He was tied 16th at the Fortinet Championship last year and tied 13th in 2019. He putts well on poa annua greens and will be hungry for his first title.
Our final selection is Doc Redman for €1.50 each way at 100/1. (1/5 the odds the first 8 places, Paddy Power, Ladbrokes, Boyle Sports, Betfair, William Hill, Betfred, Betway, SKY Bet).
One of the consequences of the defections of players to LIV Golf is that players outside of the top 125 last season have been fortunate enough to retain their playing privileges for this season. One of them is former U.S. Amateur champion Doc Redman, who lost his way last season after a promising campaign in 2020/21. He closed with a 62 for a tie for third in this event two years ago. Perhaps he can reset and make the most of his second chance.
So that's €29 wagered virtually on this week's golf. Make sure you bet less at home!
Please gamble responsibly, never bet more than you can afford, and good luck!