For those who have read my articles in the past of Daily Sport, I am perhaps better known for my coverage of pool and snooker as well as the International horse racing but with so little going on that I can get to with those sports, it is time for me to branch out to a sport I love (but am very bad at), with golf. I have worked for a certain well known bookmaker in the past covering major golf events with so much success that they got rid of me – it really is a tough life trying to find the winners with the threat of redundancy one success away (apparently). Here I have no such restraints, so we will start with a preview of the Tour Championship from East Lake Golf Club but please read on after that for an exciting new golf membership idea I tried out the other week and that may be of some interest.
Golf may be a little outside of my comfort zone but it has proved profitable in the past and I can only hope that will continue here – though some smart Alec has decided to make this a handicap of sorts (horse racing terminology I suppose), by using FedEx Cup points to determine the seeding and with it, shots start over your rivals. Luckily (perhaps), our overly generous (?) bookmakers here in the UK are offering two markets – ones with the strokes handicaps (which I will ignore), and ones without, so at least we can pick and choose our bets wisely.
Firstly, we need to look at the course set up before deciding our options – East Lake is not overly long (7346 yards to be precise), so accuracy is far more important than length off the tee. The Bermuda greens will certainly suit some more than others while the handicap system means we need to search out the right mentality for our contenders – those seeded 26-30 have to give a 10 shot start to Dustin Johnson so we don’t need to be suggesting any “quitters”!
Naturally, with a 30 runner field it would be madness to put all our eggs in the one basket, so we will see if we can find three bets worthy of the name – with brief explanations of exactly why they appear on the final list.
Webb Simpson each way (top five finish) without starting strokes at 14/1 most bookmakers
Despite his excessive price, this is part of the plan for the 35 year old who gave the BMW a miss last week in order to rest up for this event. That may or may not have cost him a shot or two (who knows where he would have finished), but those seeded ahead of him did have to complete a pretty arduous event that may well have taken a heavy toll. Seven career starts here at East Lake have seen not one but three top five finishes which bodes well for his chances here and if he plays his natural game he won’t be far away at the finish.
Daniel Berger to be leading after the first round without starting strokes 18/1 most bookmakers
OK so many of you will be asking “who”, but he has been burning up the fairways since the post-Covid restart with four tournaments seeing opening rounds of 65,66, and 67 (twice) and that stands out to me. His attitude form so far down the seedings is hard to second guess but if he lets his golf do the talking he has every chance, and looks a value call to small stakes in the circumstances.
Brendon Todd 3/1 for a top ten finish without starting strokes with SkyBet.
A name to watch both here and for future tournaments and seemingly getting better all the time even at the age of 35. He has had a season to remember with wins in the Mayakoba Classic and the Bermuda Championship and was a solid enough eighth last week in the BMW, a mere five strokes off winner Jon Rahm. Greens and track look ideal with his driving accuracy a potent weapon and in a 30 strong field I would be surprised if he fails to make the top ten here.