Sunday at Bay Hill was tough. The wind blew and the water came into play even more. On the week we lost 1.17 points. Our three selections who were well placed after three rounds failed to deliver on Sunday. But we did have two part places with Jordan Speith and Jason Kokrak.
Jordan Speith had a very cold putter in the final round, albeit that he lipped out on four separate occasions! Speith unravelled in the final four holes, dropping three strokes, to tie for fourth place.. Yes he is back but not really in shape to win a tournament yet. He did have to play on his own for most of the final round when Justin Rose withdrew due to an injury.
Jason Kokrak was inconsistent with his scoring at Bay Hill. he carded 68,73,69,74 to tie for eighth place. He came in to Bay Hill in good form and played OK but did not take his chances when they came. But I am content with this selection in hindsight at 35/1.
Sung Jae Im had a good course record and hovered around the leaders for three rounds. But he had lots of bogeys on Sunday as well as an eagle and carded a 76 and tied for 21st place. Perhaps 22/1 pre tournament was a bit skinny for someone as inconsistent as Im?
Our first round leader selection of Sam Burns was poor. He carded a 77 and also missed the cut.
The tournament was won by Bryson DeChambeau by one stroke from Lee Westwood. I did say in my selections post that I did not think that the course would suit Beefy Bryson. But he did cope with it, especially on Sunday. His long driving was spectacular at times across the water. The 12/1 odds pre tournament proved good value and I was wrong. I guess you can compare Bay Hill to a links course, especially when the wind blew. So I can now see how the course would suit Lee Westwood. Westy challenged Bryson all the way in the final round and he narrowly missed being the oldest non American to win on the tour.
In third place was Corey Conners, who finished three strokes off of the winner. His opening round 66 put him in good shape. The 74 on Sunday put him out of it, but like Speith, faded over the closing holes. Tied in fourth place with Speith were Andrew Putnam and Richy Werenski, five strokes off the winner. Both are solid golfers on tour and will win once every couple of years. Shout out to Christian Bezuidenhout, the South African, who finished seventh. A back to back winner on the European Tour in 2020, ‘Bez’ is now showing what he can do in the U.S.
Other golfers to note – The good form of Will Zalatoris, Chris Kirk and Max Homa continued, all making the top ten places. In a tie for tenth place were, among others, Matt Fitzpatrick, Paul Casey, Rory McIlroy and Tommy Fleetwood. None of whom were good enough to look like a winner. Rory carded a 76 on Sunday, including him driving the ball into the water twice on the same hole.
Hideki Matsuyama opened up with a 75 on Thursday but improved to finish tied eighteenth. But still nowhere near in good enough form to win again. Lanto Griffin had a bad weekend after putting himself into contention at the halfway stage. Tyrrell Hatton went 77,67.66.77, so very inconsistent but signs of having his top game at times.
Not so good – Viktor Hovland had a bad weekend with a 77 and 78. Perhaps recent exertions got to him? Jazz Janewattananond, easy for you to say, had a hole in one and showed what he can do at times. However his scoring was erratic, 75,65,69,84. Rickie Fowler made the cut but finished last of those who did.
Those to miss the cut include – Patrick Reed, who does do so but can also win in any week; course specialist Marc Leishmann and Franceso Molinari. Justin Rose and Si Woo Kim withdrew in play due to injury.
This was the third week running where we had three selections going into the final round in contention of at least a place but not to perform at their best then. Regression does come but golf betting is a long term pursuit of profit. We did miss Bryson, likely at the halfway stage rather than pre tournament.
Both tours have action this week and I will be posting up selections Tuesday PM.
Good luck Martin