A quick if slightly sore look back!

Last week promised much by Friday night, but ultimately delivered little. Having mentioned in the blog that I  liked the chances of Jean Hugo, I was put off by the price and passed. Wrong decision! Hugo went on to land the 7/1.

Early disappointment came in the shape of Ha Na Jang, who for the first time I can remember this year, missed the cut. But by Friday night, Kjeldsen was in the lead in Holland and Lahiri sitting in second place in the web.com event. Kjeldsen's -12 at halfway ended Sunday at -13, and out of the places, while Kaymer's putter remained on the cold list throughout the week.

But the real frustration came with Lahiri. One shot off the lead on the final hole on Saturday night, a double bogey six left him three back. He only hit nine greens in regulation in windy conditions on Saturday. On Sunday the hangover was easy to see as he bogeyed two of the first three holes, while the rest of the top 10 moved the 'right' way. Lahiri did recover on the back nine but even a birdie on 18 was only enough to lift him to tied 6th, ironically with Jamie Lovemark who was mentioned positively in dispatches last week at 75/1.

Thankfully I mentioned that I have a saver bet, to cover the week's plays, and Lahiri at 5/2 top 10 brought that home, so financially at least, if far from in satisfaction terms, a score draw..

With Thomas Pieters winning in Holland, and Norlander producing an insane ten birdies final round to snatch the win in the web.com, I think the bookies will have had a very good week. Only young Lydia Ko, ranked two in the world, gave punters relief, romping away with the Ladies event. I didn't spot anyone tipping Pieters or Norlander.


My main focus this week is on three events, the BMW, which is the third leg of the US Finals, the Italian Open, and the second leg of the web.com qualifying events. The Solheim Cup, the Ladies version of the Ryder Cup, may throw up individual match bets, and if so will tweet, but not really my cup of tea in betting terms.

Starting in Italy, I drew up a fairly long 'shortlist' mainly based on current form, however I don't have a strong view in this event.The course is just under 7,200 yards long, this week with four par fives and four par threes. Some rain particularly early in the week is expected, and if the course plays soft, could feel longer than that.

Eddie Pepperell's fine top five in Holland included 8 under for the par fives, and I expect a big week from him. Tied 2nd in Ireland, and 4th at the Scottish Open, he has the class to contend. Less obvious would be Eduardo De La Riva, but he is hot now, backing up 8th in the Czech Masters with 2nd in Holland. 

Englishman David Howell, runner up here last year, 10th in Scotland, 16th in the European Masters and 12th at the weekend, is in good form now. The accusation with Howell is that he doesn't win often enough (a win at the Alfred Dunhill Links in 2013 his only success since 2006). However he will be a serious consideration in the top 10/20 markets.

Kjeldsen stays on the list, which is made up finally by Robert Dinwiddie. Hardly a household name, but his last 5 finishes are 10th at the European Masters, 11th in Denmark, 4th in the Czech Masters and 23rd and 28th in the last two weeks. Another to look for in the top 20 market at what could be a tempting price.

In Kaymer's case, I'm in the glass half empty camp this week. Too far back for me last week to think he'd be winning just a week later, suspect he will peak closer to the race to Dubai events. And fine player though Danny Willett is, he's had a month's break since the PGA which makes 14/1 too unattractive. We just don't know as punters, he could easily have been practicing madly, or been on holiday with the family and return ring-rusty.

I'm certainly not backing six players. In the belief that this course could play to his strengths, EDDIE PEPPERELL (30/1 e/w) gets the main vote. A lot of golfers are what I call 'Cluster' players, ie they make two or three birdies in a row, but also three or four bogeys in quick succession. 
Pepperell honoured the virtuous side of that last week, but only made four bogeys all week, spread out through the first three rounds. That gives me plenty of encouragement that his game is in top class shape.

Second pick is David Howell e/w at 40/1. His consistency makes him tempting, and I will also back him if around 2/1 for a top 20.
The others mentioned positively all hold some appeal and i couldn't put anyone off them in the top 10 or top 20 markets. If I had to play one of them, and I probably will, it might be De La Riva, given his current hot form with the putter.

In the US, the BMW will dominate most people's betting slips. The 'hunt for value' is sure to be fierce as 70 of the best players in the World do battle. Jim Furyk shot a 59 here two years ago, so expect a birdiefest and a Sunday shootout. Fact is, nobody would be that surprised if in any order McIlroy, Spieth, Day, Stenson and one other filled the top five places. So for me this is not a good betting event.

I'll just offer up one player, PATRICK REED e/w 45/1 as a small speculative punt. He loves these low scoring events, isn't afraid to win, and returned to form at the Deutsche Bank with an excellent tied 4th. If the putter gets hot, then he could get right into the mix.

The SBC Championship is the second leg of the web.com finals, and a fascinating event for me. Only four bookies up on Tuesday evening, which I think screams lack of liquidity and interest, yet there are a host of progressive players who will make their marks one day. Easy to forget this is where most top American, and many other, players 'cut their teeth'. No time since Jordan Spieth and Russell Knox 'graduated' to the main tour!

Lahiri is of course my conundrum. He's the standout talent, and for all he missed out last week, he did land the top 10 fairly comfortably, and should at the very least be top 10 again at this level.
We are going to hear a lot more about Patton Kizzire in future years, and two wins in the last few weeks confirm his talent. Emiliano Grillo and Jamie Lovemark played well last week and both should be on the premises again.

I mentioned the 'hot' Dicky Pride last week. It seems that the bookies have forgotten already that he has a win and a 3rd in his last four events, and are giving more emphasis to two missed cuts here.
But 100/1... (33/1 last week) is irresistible and a small e/w play is on order.And I have to have a similarly small e/w on Lahiri, even though the 16/1 is at the very lowest end of an acceptable price.
I don't do loyalty in betting, bit I do do class. (Part of me hopes he finishes a little lower this week, to make the price for the final leg of the play-offs next week!).

But it is the aforementioned KIZZIRE (28/1 Skybet) who is receiving my biggest interest this week and is the e/w NAP of the week. 2 wins, a 2nd and a 3rd in his last 12 events. There are 3 missed cuts in there so that does bring in a slight health warning, but the price is good enough for the web.com star player of this year.

I will have a little minor e/w trixie on Kizzire, Pepperell and Reed (as well as larger e/w singles).

I mentioned last week I always have one cover bet to return the full week's staking plan, if all else fails, (which of course came up trumps last week) and the percentage call is David Howell at 15/8 for a top 20 in Italy. That bet would have landed in five of his last eight starts, and he was second here last year.

Best wishes if any of these bets take your fancy. Meantime as always, thanks for reading.