I am very wary of the Woke and of the new threat or potential for a member of Boodles or Whites to come striding up and saying “Mate” in a really whiny voice because they think I have said something anti-women. This all stems from Sadiq Khan’s new advertising campaign for the Protection of Rural Gas-Guzzling Women, to whom he has shut London financially because he knows what’s good for them. Men are now supposed to say “Mayyyte” with a vastly elongated AAA whenever they perceive someone has said something that belittles women. “Oh Mayyte”, you’ll have to say, “that Myra Hindley wasn’t all bad and that Rosemary West was a good egg wasn’t she?”
So a brief note as I suddenly realised that I had not mentioned the Women’s World Cup. I watched England – they were truly dismal – but not in a bad misogynistic way – just in a dull football, can’t score, lost their mojo sort of way. Haiti on the other hand was a revelation. Another revelation was that it may well turn out that simply selling aggregate penalty minutes for footy as played by the fairer sex may pay dividends. Most of the time matches start with a market around 14-17. For example, USA vs Dutch the market is 12-15. No fireworks expected, some chap in the dealing room reckons they’re all nice girls, all professionals, no aggro. Thus if I bought penalty minutes tonight at 15 for one pound per minute, I would lose £15 if there were no penalties. However, a handball in the 77th minute and my upside is £65. Better yet is a smack in the teeth at 45 minutes and a harsh tackle in the 90th and suddenly you’re up 135 minutes less the first 15. However, I noticed too that depending on the odds compilers’ vast knowledge of the stats, and his view of the nations taking part, the odds change. Thus Portugal v Vietnam is clearly due an outbreak of handball and possibly even machetes, as the market is 19-22. Australia vs Nigeria by comparison is 14-17. I think tonight’s a swerve – but keep an eye on Haiti. Most of their squad plays at a pretty high level in the French Premier League.
My old golfing partner and former BBC World Services Correspondent, Sandy Lane writes from Barbados to advise me of his selections for the 3M, starting tomorrow. He writes,
“Kneesup. I feel you need help. On current form, you appear to have a bad case of The Yips. Tell the readers this…
Big 4: N. HOJGAARD – L. ABERG – C. DAVIS – G. HIGGO
Next Best: J. THOMAS – E. COLE – J.T. POSTON – E. COLE – M. HUBBARD
Possible In-play Saver: C. YOUNG
I wanted to swerve those returning from Hoylake but could not resist Hojgaard. He ticks an astonishing number of boxes in my analysis.
To me, DESERT CROWN looks like an each-way steal in the KG.
He gives no stakes – I’ll let you work that out. For my part, I can only tell you this.
3M OPEN PGA GOLF TOURNAMENT [8p 1/5 odds gen. 10p 1/5 Coral]
As we come into the last two weeks of the current season, most of the tournaments start to become important for the Fedex points. TPC Twin Cities plays host to the 3M Open for the fifth straight year and measures 7,431 yards, playing as a par 71. The course was lengthened in 2018 and perhaps the most dangerous is the closing stretch of the par-3 17th and par-5 18th holes, which feature the pros having to cross large water hazards. Water is in play on 15 of the 18 holes, so winning this tournament, despite an abundance of likely low scores, is far from an easy task. With no significant weather forecasted, a winning score between -15 and -21, where all four previous results have ended up, seems likely. Defending champion TONY FINAU looks to repeat at TPC Twin Cities after rallying last year from a five-stroke deficit with 11 holes to play. He was the favourite last year, but the previous three winners were all long shots, so betting this tournament seems more difficult than most. Only eight of the top 40 players in the world have made the trip and including JUSTIN THOMAS (No. 24), who currently sits outside the FedEx Cup top 70 with two tournaments remaining before the playoffs. Other notables include HIDEKI MATSUYAMA, SUNGJAE IM, CAMERON YOUNG, and SEPP STRAKA, who has finished 1st and T-2nd in his last two starts.
SEPP STRAKA 25/1 3½ pts e/w
Strakka has been on fire lately, gaining nearly 17 shots tee-to-green and 10 shots putting in his last two events. He’s made seven of his last eight cuts and is currently sitting 15th in the FedExCup Standings.
EMILIANO GRILLO 25/1 4 pts e/w
Winner of the Charles Schwab Challenge in May, Grillo was fantastic in Hoylake last week, finishing T6 and only losing shots around the green. Last week’s effort was his fourth top-10 finish in the last ten tournaments, so the form is excellent. In three appearances here, he has a T3 and finished T2 here last year.
J.T. POSTON 45/1 3 pts e/w
A T6-T6-T41 last three weeks surely suggests he could be in the running here? POSTON gained more than 19 shots on-and-around the greens at Deere Run and Renaissance Club. He finished T28 in 2021 and T11 here last year.
RYAN FOX 55/1 3 pts e/w
Twice I’ve backed him and much like Vodkatini, he owes me too much money to give up on him now! FOX shot a 78 in the first round at The Open Championship, but a 67 on Friday secured his sixth straight made cut. He’s gained a minimum of two shots tee to green in each of those tournaments. Fox has never won on Tour but finds a way to grind and post solid finishes most weeks.
I am tempted by Nicolai Horseguard – but not this time.