In 2022 this service has had more win contenders selected approaching the final round of tournaments than in the previous three successful years. But yet again we suffer a Sunday fade of those contenders. We cannot wait until 2022 is over.
Here are our selections fared last week:
In Mallorca – Ryan Fox carded a 74 on Sunday and yet still only failed to win by 2 strokes. A 71 on what is not that difficult a course would have won it for us! Tom Lewis was pretty average all week and could only achieve a tied 37th place. He has one more week in Portugal to do enough to retain his playing rights. Rikard Karlberg was a 250/1 shot and missed the cut. Nikolai Hojgaard also had a sticky Sunday and too carded a 74. He did achieve a part top twenty finish when looking certain to get a full place.
Over in South Carolina, Tom Kim was our best effort, finishing in a tie for 11th place. A good start on Thursday with a 66 but he was ordinary after that. Justin Thomas struggled all week and finished in a multi way tie for 40th place. Also in that tie was Harris English. Davis Riley let us down again by only being able to get to tied 52nd, despite carding a 68 on Sunday. Viktor Hovland looked certain for a top twenty finish but carded a 74 in the final round to miss it by one stroke.
What an absolute stinker!
On to my thoughts on the two tournaments last week.
The young German Yannik Paul stumbled over the line for his maiden win, a 72 being good enough for a one stroke victory. In a tie for second place was another young German, Nicolai Von Dellinghausen, and Englishman Paul Waring. In fourth place along with Fox was Dale Whitnell. This was a low-grade event, in football terms, lower Championship/upper League One. I am really surprised that Fox did not win this one, considering the level of form that he has shown this year. No more to add on this one.
CJ Cup – Rory McIlroy retained his title, winning by one stroke from Kurt Kitayama. An error on our part not to select him win only at 17/2. We have backed Kitiyama before and he has let us down. The winning margin looks close but Rory had a bit in hand on Sunday. KH Lee finished third. A high-class golfer who can win any tournament on his day. Tied in fourth place were Jon Rahm and a back to form Tommy Fleetwood. Rahm put himself right in this on Friday with a 62. But an ordinary weekend meant he finished three strokes behind Rory. Tommy opened with a 73 on Thursday, but then carded 66, 66 and 65. You cannot win with a bad start!
Sam Burns found some good form to finish tied 7th. Matt Fitzpatrick tied 13th, OK but never in the race.
We will be back on Tuesday with initial selections for this week’s tournaments.
All the best Martin