Golf features at the Olympic Games this week but our man's steering clear of Japan and instead heading to Northern Ireland where he's picked out two big-priced contenders for the European Tour event...
"Macpherson has finished inside the top-five in five of his seven starts Down Under in 2021 and that includes a victory at the Moonah Links PGA Championship in February and a win at the New South Wales Open in March."
I've tried hard to find a triple-figure priced candidate or two in this week's golf event in the Olympic Games, which I've previewed here, but to no avail. I'm convinced we'll see a fancied runner take gold, as we did five years ago in Rio, when Justin Rose won ahead of Henrik Stenson and Matt Kuchar. All three were up at the top of the betting.
I suspect we'll get a similar result this time around, so I've swerved the tournament in Japan and instead picked out a couple of players featuring in this week's European Tour event - the ISPS Handa World Invitational - which I've previewed here, and I'll start with a very well-travelled Aussie...
Macpherson can take the next step
Having turned pro in 2012, following a decent amateur career which saw him win the Amateur Championship in 2011, Australia's Bryden Macpherson has travelled the globe plying his trade.
Having failed to make his mark in a few PGA Tour events immediately after turning pro, Macpherson spent years switching between the Korn Ferry Tour in the States, the China Tour and the PGA Tour China and he found success in the East, winning twice on the PGA Tour China and once on the China Tour.
Macpherson was a steady performer in China but he's not been back since the pandemic struck although that hasn't stopped him from having a successful 2021.
A withdrawal and missed cut on the Latinamerica Tour were his only appearances last year but concentrating on playing in his homeland has seen him find some form this year. The 30-year-old has finished inside the top-five in five of his seven starts Down Under and that includes a victory at the Moonah Links PGA Championship in February and a win at the New South Wales Open in March.
Macpherson hadn't played anywhere since that victory in March until he popped up in Wales last week to finish tied for 47th in the Cazoo Open, having sat tied for fifth after the opening round. That pipe-opener after the lengthy break may well have done him the world of good and his CV stacks up quite nicely in this grade.
America's John Catlin established himself as a European Tour player when winning the Irish Open here at Galgorm Castle last year and Macpherson's profile is not dissimilar. Catlin had been plying his trade (successfully) on the Asian Tour before winning at Valderrama two starts before his victory here and Macpherson is a fair price to emulate him.
Rising star Schmid one to keep an eye on
This may well be a bit too soon to be backing rising German star, Matthias Schmid, but he's definitely one to keep an eye on and given he's no bigger than 90/1 on the High Street this week and that he's drifted to a very juicy 160.0159/1 on the Exchange, I'm happy to chance him.
Schwab won the European Amateur back-to-back in 2019 and 2020 and on the way to winning the silver medal at the Open two weeks ago for finishing the low amateur, he shot 65 in round two around Royal St George's to equal the record for the lowest round by an amateur in Open Championship history.
Having turned pro straight after the Open, he was offered a place in the Cazoo Open last week where he finished tied for 47th but his 14th placed finish at the BMW International Open last month shows what he's going to be capable of and this venue looks ideal.
As highlighted in the preview, straight hitting off the tee is going to be very important this week and Schmid ranked ninth for Driving Accuracy in the Open and fifth last week in Wales. He might just be ready to make a big impact in what's a fairly weak event.
Back 1 ½ u Matthias Schmid @ 160.0159/1
Place order to lay 10u @ 10.09/1 & 10u @ 2.01/1
*You can follow me on Twitter @SteveThePunter
STEVE'S 2021 FIND ME A 100 WINNER P/L
Staked: 167 units
Returned: 67.25 units
P/L: -99.75 units