So we start 2021 with another near miss! But that is golf.
Justin Thomas, our main bet, missed the play off by one stroke after some errant putting in the mid rounds. We did highlight this in the selections post, that his performance with the short stick may act against us and so it proved. We did place with Xander Schauffele. His third round 70 knocked him out of winning the tournament. The top european market was all to play for going into the final round. However Viktor Hovland had a nightmare with a 76! Jon Rahm did play better as the tournament went on and finished with a 67 to win that market. Rahm did seem to be OK with his new Callaway clubs. Sungjae Im, our in play bet, started the fourth round with a birdie. But he then dropped two shots to knock him back.He did recover late in the round to finish in a tie for fifth, but in play was only paying three places. So, on the week we lost 6.5 points.
The play off was won by Harris English (pictured above), seeing off Joachin Niemann. English was the joint leader going into the final round and played steadily and managed to catch Niemann late, who carded a 64 on the day. Niemann finished an hour before English and so the time lag may have not been in his favour? I did say in the in play post that the winner would come from the top sixth after round three and so it proved.
As we said previously Justin Thomas finished a single stroke back, carding a 66. Putting, putting, putting! Tied in fourth was the other third round leader Ryan Palmer, who carded a 71 on the final day. He did not play well and will be disappointed with this.
Other golfers to note from this week:
Bryson De Chambeau – he finished with a 66 on a course that did not suit his game with the undulations that meant his drives were rolling off into the rough. A solid effort.
Jon Rahm – as mentioned previously he seemed to be getting the hang of his new Callaway clubs. His putting was a bit off at times though.
Collin Morikawa – he was right up there going into the final round but did not play well on Sunday and carded a 73 to drop to a tie for seventh.
Daniel Berger – he looked good until the final round when he carded a 72. He does seem to be a golfer who puts in one ‘poor’ round in a tournament to knock him out of it.
Dustin Johnson – DJ was going really well in the final round and then two thirds of the way round on Sunday had a double bogey and then a bogey to knock himself out of it. Plus he had an opening round 71 and did look rusty until he got in the groove. He is not far short of his best though.
Abraham Ancer – He played well over the weekend to move up the board to finish in a tie for 17th. Abraham did not look too far off his best on Sunday.
Patrick Reed – was going well but had a very average weekend on the course.
Tony Finau – originates from Hawaii and knows the courses well. But was very average again down in a tie for 31st.
Hideki Matsuyama – Poor all week but finished with a 68 and tied for last place with Mackenzie Hughes.
I was very impressed with Joachin Niemann and the beautiful final round he put together. It was a shame that he lost his momentum in the play off. I was impressed with the way Harris English battled back after a tardy first nine holes on Sunday. Jon Rahm and Abraham Ancer looked to be coming into form. DJ is not far off his best. JT needs a better putting coach!
We stay in Hawaii this coming week, in Honolulu for the Sony Open.
Selections will be posted onsite Tuesday PM. Look out for the email.
Stay safe Martin