We have betting on the Outlaw Tour in Arizona this week. Dave Tindall gives you the lowdown on the tour and has two each-way picks...
"Yates could just represent the value this week at 16/1. He’s a hometown boy, having a residence at Scottsdale, and fired 64-68-68 to finish third in the Orange Tree Classic two weeks ago."
Sport is still taking part in small pockets around the world and that includes golf in the United States.
Despite 49 of the 50 states being closed for action, tournament golf is still being played in Arizona.
It means golf fans and punters are starting to suddenly take an interest in a level of golf the vast majority would never have heard of.
Hence Sportsbook prices on this week's Legacy Shootout on the Outlaw Tour. So...
What is the Outlaw Tour?
The Outlaw Tour is Arizona's Developmental Professional Golf Tour, part of what we'd think of as a mini tour or satellite circuit. Why is it still going ahead when everywhere is in lockdown? That's because the governor of Arizona has decreed golf to be one of the state's "essential services and activities". It's raison d'etre is to showcase rising talent but in recent weeks we've seen some familiar names head out to the desert and take part. And, not just that, they've also walked away with the modest first prizes. Most tournaments are played over 54 holes and there are no world ranking points available.
Recent Outlaw Tour winners
Verrado Founders Championship - Calum Hill
The Scottish European Tour player fired rounds of 68-65-68 to shoot 201 and edge out Chris Korte by a shot. Hill was in America already due to his girlfriend living on the west coast. Hill also told the Scotsman what changes were in place to enable golf to be considered playable. "It was interesting. We're in America, where golf courses are not designed to be walked, so everyone has their own individual cart that has been sanitised before you start using it. Pins stay in with pvc pipe at the bottom so the ball doesn't reach the bottom of the cup. There are no rakes in bunkers, so, if you had a shitty lie in someone's old footprint, you were allowed preferred lies by lifting, smoothing with your foot and placing back where it was. There was no water out on the course either in case you spread the virus by touching the button. All in all, strange."
Arrowhead Classic - Alex Cejka
Cejka, a PGA Tour winner at the 2015 Puerto Rico Open, landed the $5,000 first prize with a two-shot victory over KK Limbhasut, shooting rounds of 63-69-64.
How to predict a winner on the Outlaw Tour
Let's look at those two above tournaments and use some of the basic tools - current form and world ranking - to try and get a handle on the top five finishers...
Verrardo Founders - March 27-29
1. Calum Hill (World No. 136. Had played on the Outlaw Tour two weeks earlier, finishing T16).
2. Chris Korte (World No. 2,089. Last four starts showed three MCs on the Latinoamerica Tour and T29 on the Outlaw Tour).
3. KK Limbhasut (World No. 1,472. Before heading to Arizona, the Thai had produced a fairly impressive T12 on the Korn Ferry Tour's El Bosque Mexico Championship).
4. Mark Anguiano (World No. 1,560. Previously 750th in the world (2018), the American had posted a victory on his previous start in another mini-tour event (the Golden State's Fallbrook Open) three weeks earlier).
5. Derek Bayley (World No. 2,089. He was in solid form on the Outlaw Tour with four top tens and a further two top 20s on his previous seven starts).
5. Carson Roberts (World No. 2,089. Quick note: 2,089 seems to be the bottom of the world rankings! Roberts made it four Americans in the top six. He was another in impressive form at Outlaw Tour level with two second places and a top five in his previous four starts. He's since gone on to win the Orange Tree Classic).
1. Alex Cejka (World No. 594. He'd finished T6 on the Outlaw Tour the previous week (Orange Tree Classic) and had made his last two cuts on the PGA Tour with T32 at Pebble Beach and T60 at the Puerto Rico Open).
2. KK Limbhasut (World No. 1,472. A second top-three in three Outlaw starts for the Thai, who was T16 at the Orange Tree Classic and third at the Verrardo).
3. Nicolo Galletti (World No. 1,181. Had some improving form on the Outlaw Tour and came into this event on the back of a second place (66-67-66) in the Orange Tree Classic).
4. Yannik Paul (World No. 1,955). The German, who played his golf at the University of Colorado, had made the top 10 in his previous two Outlaw Tour starts).
5. Derek Bayley (World No. 2,089). The American followed his top five in the Verrado with another here to make it four top tens in his last five Outlaw Tour starts).
5. Nick Mason (World No. 2,089). Not the one out of Pink Floyd. Definitely in the form horse category after a run of 3-7-3 in his previous three Outlaw events).
Conclusion and strategy
There's certainly enough in the above results to show that this isn't just flailing in the dark. Most of the top-five finishers either had some extra class or were in impressive form. World ranking looks less important than current form it would have to be said and, overall, the smart plays are near the front of the market.
Legacy Golf Resort, this week's venue, is a par 71 measuring just 6,801 yards. Despite the overall par, it has the usual quota of four Par 5s but just three Par 3s. Therefore, it's worth checking out Par 5 performance. The Outlaw Tour website, incidentally, offers a variety of stats including Par 3, 4 and 5 scoring, Birdie Average and Scoring Average.
There's no unexpected well-known European Tour or PGA Tour players taking part so, looking at the lessons from previous events, I'll also take a close look at current form. It's listed as a 36-hole event so the birdie and eagle count has to start racking up from the get-go. The current field size is 57.
First Bet: Colton Yates each-way @ 16/1
Yates could just represent the value this week at 16/1. He's a hometown boy, having a residence at Scottsdale, and fired 64-68-68 to finish third in the Orange Tree Classic two weeks ago. It could have been much better but he had a nightmare on the 8th hole, making double there in round two and treble in round three. For the rest of the 54 holes he had just three other bogeys. Yates played the 12 par 5s in 13-under that week and nailed 20 birdies in all. Add in two eagles (both on par 5s) and that equates to 40.7% par breakers over his three rounds. With just 36 holes this week, the fact he shot 64 out of the gate also goes in his favour.
Second Bet: Derek Bayley each-way @ 12/1
With just 36 holes, we want quick starters rather than fast finishers and Bayley opened with a 61 in an Outlaw Tour event at the start of March. His last three openers: 64-67-66. He bagged 15 birdies in the Arrowhead Classic (five came on the par 5s of which there were just two) where he finished fifth and he was also fifth at the Verrado Founders Championship so he's landed the each-way cash in his last two starts. He's shot over 70 just three times in his last five starts and all were in round three. Well, there isn't one this week so hopefully this 36-hole sprint will suit him.
1/5 Odds, 6 places