Men with clubs, at the Cave?

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One place from three selections last week won’t be making anyone rich I am sorry to say but it does at least show we are there or thereabouts most weeks, and although I am fully aware I have my work cut out to match the exploits of Ron on the horses or the other guys on the football, I will keep on trying!

This week, despite one day less to recover thank to a rain/storm postponed final day, we move on to the BMW Championship next, to be played at the Cave Valleys Golf Club in Maryland, not a venue I had heard of and one that required a little extra research. Apparently they did host a Seniors Tour event in 2017, but this will be their first PGA tour and hats-off to the PGA for spreading it around and giving new courses the chance to shine brightly.

From a punting perspective it isn’t good news with zero form to go on at the track and a need to work out which courses are similar and use those instead – not ideal, but it is what it is I suppose. Designed in 1991 and renovated in 2020, we are looking at a par 72 measuring in at 7,542 yards and with five holes having water to negotiate just to liven things up a little.  It also needs noting that while others will scream “new course” loudly from the rooftops, Tom Fazio also designed Conway Farms which has been the host of the BMW in 2013, 2015, and 2017. The fairways are pretty narrow with some punishing rough if you stray too far, but the greens are a decent size, though getting on to the green and holing a putt are not the same thing by any means.

Course management will, in my view, be key here with temptations for the more aggressive (and that can, of course, go horribly wrong), including three short par 4’s (by their standards, not mine), measuring in at 365 yards (the first, what a teaser), 356 yards (the fifth), and 365 yards again (the 11th) – some will let rip and either score well or come unstuck, while the sensible ones will play to their strengths). If I was betting on scores I would be looking at around the 20 under mark, weather permitting – and I am really looking forward to some exciting golf with approach play looking key here.  

Selections with reasoning:

***NOTE*** Different bookmakers are offering different each way terms so do shop around – and make sure you only partake non-runner no bet – covid has seen last minute withdrawals all season and we don’t want to be throwing money away. DO shop around for best odds and best place terms and any special offers with the bookmakers to steal the most value, and DO check the exchanges for bigger prices – I can’t put them on here as they differ by the minute. ***Added Note*** – the misers at Bet365 are only paying out on the first five so I am avoiding them like the plague!

1pt each way Justin Thomas 20/1 best price, top 7 places William Hill (21/1 on Betfair at the time of writing)

Tied fourth in the Northern Trust and not really at the levels we expect from him for much of the weekend, but he did make a late rush (too late as it stands) with four birdies in the last seven holes – I could only dream of doing that. Amusingly the part we all expect him to thrive on (around the greens) were his weak spot with the rest of his game exceeding the norm – if he can match them all together this weekend he will take all the beating. Quite frankly, the money for the Fed Ex winner is life changing, even for these well paid artists, and Justin will want to push on to get above his current fifth spot on the list by the end of this tournament

1pt Each Way Jon Rahm 13/2 best price, Top 7 places William Hill (7.2/1 on Betfair at the time of writing)

Sad but true, how can I desert the World Number One after he came so close to landing our bets last week? I have spent a long time looking thought the stats for his golfing faults but I might as well go through Einstein’s Theory Of Relativity looking for mistakes. His game is as flawless as any player I have ever seen and although not known for the flair of a Tiger Woods for example, he goes about his business and invariably plays well – it’s just a matter of whether someone else will pull something special out of the bag. I am not as convinced as some that this course will play to his strengths but if anyone can adapt, he can, and although his price is silly skinny, I can’t back him last week then watch him win here without a few quid on him at least. 

1pt each way Bryson De Chambeau 20/1 best price top 7 places Sky Bet, William Hill (20/1 on Betfair at the time of writing)

I won’t pretend I am a huge fan of Bryson de Chambeau because I’m not – his marketing machine have done a fabulous job of keeping his name in the limelight, resulting in those all important sponsorship deals, but I prefer my golfers to do their talking on the course thank you very much. What I do feel is that this course could (not will) open up to those who can drive it the furthest IF they can keep it straight, and that is my issue with this selection. The temptation will be there to attack the shorter par 4’s here as well as all the par 5’s, and if Bryson can keep on the fairways, he may well prove to be the one they all have to beat. His putting may not be the best, but these greens aren’t the toughest by any stretch, and we have a selection here who could either fall apart and miss the cut – or dominate from the start and come home clear.

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