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24th April 2024 6:12 pm

“A difference of opinion is what makes horse racing and missionaries."

WELL DONE SANDY

These Donors Are AMAZING Thank You

William S – MEJi – Peter N – Nigel B – Ken C – Mark S – James D – William M – Fiona M – Julian A – Jonathan H – Mrs V.M – Pete BN – Gavin C – Thom S – Sarah C – Mark S – Sam H – James R

Having just missed out on Week 1 of the new PGA season, I backed Sandy’s Sony Hawaiian selections last week on Betfair Exchange. A thrilling “nip and tuck game” led to a three-way playoff, but my nerve failed me and I sacrificed my potential 200 pt profit and “Greened Up” by selling Byeong Hun An – admittedly safe in the knowledge that I had also dutched the selections for a Top 5 finish to a 78-point profit. Inevitably, my timing was slightly off, and if I had only waited another five minutes… but the world is full of if only’s, and yets, and blah, blah fishcakes.

As my old scouser Nanny used to say with a fag in her mouth as she loaded the car with her shoplifting efforts, “No one ever went skint taking a profit”. This week, Sandy Lane previews The American Express, this week’s PGA tournament

Such excitement last week! Byeong-Han An, one of our Big Five, found himself in a 3-man shootout in the Sony Open and standing over a 4-feet putt at the first play-off hole. It seems that he was then unsettled by the 39-foot putt that Grayson Murray had just made and fluffed his own shot. Nonetheless, an each-way return at 40-1 and a little hedging after 72 holes proved not too shabby, and two other selections finished in the top 13. So, a week after Chis Kirk, a recovered alcoholic, had won The Sentry at 125-1, Murray, back on the course having also battled successfully against the bottle plus other major health issues, triumphed at 400-1.
With Hawaii now behind us, this week’s action shifts to California, where The American Express will take place at three different Pete Dye-designed desert courses in La Quinta. Older readers will remember when we used to call this the Bob Hope Classic, made especially famous by the final round of 59 scored by David Duval (whatever happened to him?) 25 years ago. The rather distracting Pro-Am format suits some players (and pundits!) more than others, and low-scoring rounds will be plentiful. Total putting is the key stat, followed by Birdies Per Round and Strokes Gained Approach. Eight of the last ten winners hailed from the US. With all this in mind, Sandy Lane presents his Big Five for The American Express. Each player’s Official World Golf Ranking is given in brackets: Odds are Best as time of writing. Most Firms are offering 8 places.

Joohyung “Tom” Kim 25/1 (14): This rising star goes well on courses where there are lots of birdies to be made. Sixth in this last year, who will forget his subsequent 2nd in The Open and 8th in the US Open?
Jason Day 35/1 (18): Loves Pete Dye-courses and playing in the desert. Has been having a form resurgence in recent times and his stats for this tournament are excellent.
J. T. Poston 30/1 (36): In sparkling form (5th and 6th in the two Hawaii events), he is another big fan of Pete Dye and is the only player in the field to boast perfect stats.
Eric Cole 35/1 (38): The 2023 Rookie of the Year has started this year with a bang. This excellent putter should fare well in an event that looks sure to develop into a ‘birdie fest’.
Taylor Montgomery 55/1 (82): In the ascendency, he is a fluent putter and has very strong overall Strokes Gained Stats too.
Recommended stakes are 1 point each-way with a 1 point each-way saver on Sungjae Im [22/1], horribly under-priced given his strike rate but with a game perfectly suited to the cours

PLEASE NOTE: Keep an eye out after 54 holes on Patrick Cantlay [9/1]. This is his kind of tournament but he does not win as often as he should.

Bets should be placed by 4.30pm on Thursday.
Good Luck – Sandy Lane

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