We had some close shaves this week regarding place finishes, but ultimately made a loss of 4.75 points so our cumulative 2020 profit total is revised down to 93.225 points. We blew out completely in the British Masters where we lost all 4 points staked. In The 3M Open we lost 0.75 points overall. Lucas Glover missed the cut; Matt Woolf narrowly missed a place finish but did manage to finish top 20. Charl Schwartzel who was our in-play bet placed in joint third but he did with 8 others. We go into more detail below on each tournament below, so read on..
The British Masters – was won by Renato Paratore (pictured above), one of our players to watch in 2020. The Challenge Tour order of merit winner last season got it done here comfortably, winning by 3 strokes. He was on my shortlist but I messed up and did not pick him. It is hard in the first week back on tour to know who is in form but as a player to watch I should have had more faith in him. He did not drop a stroke until hole 62 and won comfortably. We will be siding with Renato in 202o when the price is right.
Runner up was the 2o-year-old Rasmus Hoejgaard, who is one of the potential superstar twins. He does look a star of the future and played well all week, slightly fading in the final round with a 70. The very solid Justin Harding of South Africa finished third and the little devil that is Andy Sullivan came back to some form to finish joint fourth.
Oliver Fisher, who can go very low or very high finished 6 strokes off the lead. He’s not one to trust over 4 rounds. Sam Horsfield was back in joint 10th. He did have a couple of eagles to get into contention but then had a number of bogeys to drop down the field. Pablo Larrazabal should be doing much better in not-so-strong tournaments such as this. He was down in 21st, well out of things. We got it right with Lee Westwood, the pre-tournament favourite. He finished last of those who completed four rounds. What poor value he was at 10/1. Stingy bookmakers.
Of our bets in this one all-in-all it was a very poor effort. Thomas Detry, one of the highest-ranked in the field, was very poor again and missed the cut. Connor Syme was very poor and also missed the cut. We will wish him the best for the remainder of 2020 and hope he can start to produce results. Paul Dunne plodded for four rounds and finished down in 50th place. Like I said, very poor.
Hopefully, players will start to find their form as we get going again on the European Tour. It was interesting that Andrew ‘Beef’ Johnston pulled out on Wednesday in practice, stating that he could not cope without spectators and the restrictions in place. How are the extraordinary conditions being faced affecting players?
The 3M Open – was won by the journeyman Michael Thompson, who stayed solid in the final round to win by two strokes. This was Michael’s first win on tour since taking The Honda Classic in 2013. Adam Long finished second on his own, with rounds of 63 and 64 on the weekend. Adam made the cut on the mark and so showed that players can still get back into it if they play well over the weekend. Nine players tied for joint third, including our in-play bet Charl Schwartzel. Charl had two putts lip out coming down the straight which deprived him of outright second place.
Also joint-third was veteran European Tour winner Alex Noren. Two 66’s over the weekend propelled Alex up the leaderboard. Tony Finau was also one of those tied third. He again failed to get it done in the final round and cannot be backed until he shows that he get over the line. Sebb Straka, the Austrian, again finished top 20.
Of our bets, Matthew Woolf did finish top twenty. He had an average third round in defence of his title which pushed him back. He did get on a run in the final round making up five strokes and went into second place. However, in the closing stretch, he dropped strokes and faded into a tie for 12th. Lucas Glover missed the cut and was very poor here. Dustin Johnson continues to struggle. he pulled out after a first round 80. This was a fairly weak field and things will get much tougher now with big tournaments coming up each week.
I will be back Tuesday PM with this week’s selections on both tours.