a losing week for us after a winning run. Golf is a peaks and troughs sport, hence why we have an annual profit target. We lost 12 points this week. Our 2021 cumulative profit is now 86.75 points. We had near misses with both of our in play selections. But both dropped strokes on closing holes. I will cover all of our selections in the analysis of both tournaments below.
I will be back with an initial selection post Tuesday PM and a ‘Top’ markets post on Wednesday.
Dubai Duty Free Irish Open
Was won by the wire to wire winner, Aussie Lucas Herbert. Lucas opened on Thursday with a 64 and kept his long drives off the tee fairly straight this week. That allowed him to stay in contention and ease away over the final few holes to win by three strokes.
Rikard Karlberg finished second on his own. He has been off for a while because of illness and injury. This was a great result for him and it qualified him to play in The Open later this month. Hopefully this will see Rikard contend more in the future. In third place was the young American Johannes Veerman. He opened up with a 65 on Thursday, which shows the value of a low opening round as a factor to contend. His closing 71 was not good enough to win and he needs to be in contention more consistently.
There was a multi way tie for fourth place, five strokes off the lead. Our in play selection of Francesco Laporta dropped into this tie after a double bogey finish. Our 33/1 shot hit his second shot on the eighteenth wildly out of play, which cost him a place. Laporta birdied six straight holes in the final round. He then had seven straight pars and a disaster on the final hole. But that is typical of Laporta, he is very streaky. Also in that tie was the in form Richard Bland, another low scorer in the first round Grant Forrest and the consistent pair of Richie Ramsay and Dale Whitnell.
Sneaking into a top ten finish were American Sean Crocker, Andrew ‘Beef’ Johnston and Jason Scrivener. But none of them were ever in contention.
Top twenty finishes from – Adrien Otaegui, a bad second round scuppered him; Thomas Pieters, solid but no more; One of our initial selections Andy Sullivan, who was up there at halfway but was inconsistent over the weekend dropping too many strokes; Tommy Fleetwood, back in Europe and not having a great time in the states and Min Woo Lee, the young Aussie who tends to ruin his card with one bad round.
Other golfers to note – Christiaan Bezuidenhout, another golfer back from the USPGA tour, had a bad round on Saturday which did him in. He should have done better than a tie for 23rd here; Shane Lowry was also bad on Saturday. He finished well on Sunday with a 66, but will need to be in better form for The Open; John Catlin continues to struggle. All he could manage was a tie for 41st place. He needs a tougher set up to show his best when the game is in good shape.
Martin Kaymer opened with a 67 on Thursday after his good run a week earlier. But it got worse from there as the week went on; Adri Arnaus had a decent first two days but a shocker of a weekend; The short odds favourite Rory McIlroy had a bad week. His 67 on Friday was the only highlight in a bad week. Rory needs to be much better for The Open.
Those missing the cut included – Thomas Detry after an opening round of 67; Jorge Campillo, regressing to bad after contending last week; another of our initial selections Niall Kearney . He is one to watch despite not showing this week; the inconsistent Thorbjorn Olesen; Laurie Canter, who cannot get things going in 2021; Eddie ‘The Pint’ Pepperell; the struggling yet again Joost Luiten; big hitting Wilco Nienaber, back from the USPGA tour and Sam Horsfield, who withdrew after an opening round of 75.
So, a good week for Herbert, who managed to keep his shots off the tee straight, which is not always the case for him. It is a great effort when a golfer wins wire to wire on the European Tour.
Rocket Mortgage Classic
Another play off in Detroit, this time only five holes. And another Aussie winner! Cam Davis got the better of Troy Merritt at the fifth extra hole. Joachin Niemann was also in the play off but he dropped out at the first hole of the play off. All three golfers in the play off had been in good form and they all showed up again this week. But it was Davis, the 26-year-old Australian, that came away triumphant and earned his first career PGA TOUR title. Davis showed his mettle after a bogey at the 16th, sinking a huge hole-out from the greenside bunker on the 17th for eagle and making a 6-footer for birdie on the next hole to get into a playoff. It was the second week in a row that 72 holes of golf just wasn’t enough. Merritt missed a 6-foot par putt on the fifth playoff hole to hand Davis the victory. Davis became the seventh first-time winner this season and fourth Australian to win on TOUR this year.
Then we had a tie in fourth place. Alex Noren finished with a 64 to set the clubhouse lead. But he was one stroke short at the end. Hank Lebioda continued his hot streak with four good rounds. Top ten finishes for Bubba Watson, another to finish with a 64; Brandon Hagy, after a low first round; Sungjae Im, but never really in contention; Mark Anderson, who had a very good weekend; the college protege Seamus Power and Kevin Kisner, who still appears to have some putting woes.
Our in play selection Jason Kokrak was one stroke off the lead with nine holes to go. But it got a bit shaky then and a tied 12th finish was where it ended, four strokes off the winner. Jason Day was mostly good in Detroit. His back seemed OK but the 73 on Saturday killed him off. Day tied in 14th place. Mackenzie Hughes was in that tie. He continues in decent form. Maverick McNealy was an initial selection or ours. The 72 on Saturday was not good. Mav should have done better than a tied 21st place.
Patrick Reed finished with a 67 but finished down in a tie for 32nd. Rickie Fowler was also in that tie. Matthew Woolf opened up with a 67 on Thursday but was very average through the rest of the week. Tied 58th! Phil Mickelson made the cut but was ordinary all week . It will be interesting to see how he gets on at Royal St Georges? Will Zalatoris’s bad run continues. His weekend scoring of 74 and 76 was well off the mark.
And we have to discuss Bryson DeChambeau! He split with his caddie on the eve of the tournament. The guy who travels as his club manufacturers man had to carry Bryson’s bag for the week. Bryson had to do all of the course management work on is own. He then missed the cut. How unprofessional is all of this? I would definitely swerve Bryson until he gets his caddie issues sorted.
Other golfers missing the cut included – Gary Woodland, still not on his game; Webb Simpson, off his game for a while now; Satoshi Kodaira, after a good opening round of 67; Doc Redman, after a decent run of form; big hitting Cameron Champ; Mr Inconsistency Rafa Cabrera Bello. Hideki Matsuyama was forced to withdraw after an opening round of 70 due to testing covid positive.
So, an Aussie double this week. The Australians, as well as the South Africans, are gaining strength in depth with their golfers in 2021.
Good luck Martin