Welcome to Virtual Insanity, where we spend virtual money to try and win virtual money on golf betting. It's that simple!
The virtual pot is at €1020 from €1000, a profit of 2% for 2022 entering this week's tournament of focus, the Memorial Tournament on the PGA Tour in Ohio.
This tournament is hosted by Jack Nicklaus at the iconic Muirfield Village, a difficult par 72 golf course which requires precision tee to green play and a deft touch around the greens. It is where Europe won a first Ryder Cup on US soil in 1987. Patrick Cantlay is the defending champion, while Jon Rahm is a past winner. Rory McIlroy, Shane Lowry and Seamus Power are the Irish players in the field.
The event starts at Noon Thursday, Irish time.
Be sure to shop around, with bookmakers such as Paddy Power, SKY Bet, Betfred, Betfair, Ladbrokes, Coral, Betway and William Hill offering 1/5 the odds for your pick to get into the top eight places.
I highlight the best terms and bookmakers offering them beside each recommendation below.
Our headline selection is Xander Schauffele for €5 each way at 20/1. (1/5 the odds the first 8 places, William Hill).
Olympic champion Xander Schauffele is playing well, driving the ball solidly off the tee. He won the team event with Patrick Cantlay in New Orleans in April before closing with a 61 at the Byron Nelson tournament. This was followed by a tie for 13th at the US PGA Championship, where he said he did the difficult things well. Schauffele has constructed a decent record at Muirfield Village - tied for 14th, 13th and 11th on his last three starts at the Memorial. He tends to play well at courses which suit his eye - East Lake is an example - and Schauffele's game doesn't have many weaknesses. He's the headline selection this week to earn a sixth PGA Tour title.
Our second selection is Patrick Rodgers for €2.50 each way at 125/1. (1/5 the odds the first 8 places, SKY Bet, Coral, Ladbrokes, Betfred, Betway, William Hill).
I noticed that Patrick Rodgers fired a final round 66 at Colonial Country Club last Sunday. The former world amateur number one looks safe to guarantee his card for next season, which should allow him to play with freedom. He's a big hitter and a decent putter. His strokes gained statistics are far better this season - he ranks 58th on Tour right now - last season he was 109th. From nearby Indiana, Rodgers has made five cuts in a row and was 10th in Mexico. He has shown a liking for the Memorial Tournament - carding a 66 on his debut in 2015, finishing in a tie for 8th in 2018 and in a tie for 18th in 2020. William McGirt and David Lingmerth have won this event in the last decade and neither were household names. I still believe Patrick Rodgers has the talent to make a breakthrough and win a first PGA Tour title. Jack Nicklaus has been giving him advice about his game in Florida and it would be nice to see Rodgers in the winner's enclosure at Jack's tournament.
Our final selection is Danny Willett for €2.50 each way at 200/1. (1/5 the odds the first 8 places, SKY Bet, William Hill, Coral, Labrokes, Betfred).
Former Masters champion Danny Willett is coming to the end of his exemption for winning at Augusta in 2016, but he remains a player who I do believe can win anywhere and in any company. He won the Alfred Dunhill Links at St Andrews back in October and has endured previous slumps in his career before bouncing back and winning the BMW PGA Championship and DP World Tour Championship, the top events outside of the Open on this side of the Atlantic. Willett tied for 12th at the Masters in April and tied for 16th in the recent British Masters. He's made all three cuts at the Memorial Tournament and was tied for 4th through 54 holes in 2020. For me, 200/1 looks a decent price on a player who knows how to close out victories.
So that's €20 wagered virtually on this week's golf. Make sure you bet less at home! A euro each way will do!
Please gamble responsibly, never bet more than you can afford, and good luck!