It's been another intriguing week in the world of golf with Korea's Jeunghun Wang swooping late to win again on the European Tour and Jason Day romping to victory at the Players Championship. Read Steve's look back at all the action here...
“An early start on Thursday morning again proved beneficial with the morning starters averaging almost two strokes less than the afternoon starters and once again, up with the pace from the get go was the place to be. Day became the 14th first round leader to win in 43 renewals and the eighth to win wire-to-wire.”
After a run of hard-to-find winners on the European and PGA Tours, both this week's winners weren't impossible to spot. Dan Geraghty's each-way selection, Jeunghun Wang, won the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open and world number one, Jason Day, comfortably captured the Players Championship by four strokes.
Having won the Trophée Hassan II the week before, 20-year-old Wang was generally a 20.019/1 shot before the off in Mauritius and Day went off at 14.013/1. It was Day's seventh success in 17 starts and he's solidified his place at the top of the official world rankings.
I drew a blank with my pre-event picks but for the third week in-a-row I secured healthy profits by either backing both winners in-running or in the case of Nacho Elvira in Morocco last week, trading to a profit. As detailed in the In-Play Blog, I backed Day after round one and Wang at halfway.
It was a quiet day trading-wise yesterday and the only bet struck after my last update on the In-Play Blog was a 'just in case' lay of Day at 1.11/10.
What Have We Learned For Next Year?
The Players Championship may have gone to a short-priced protagonist this time around but there were plenty of veteran outsiders in-the-mix again. Retief Goosen, Jerry Kelly, Alex Cejka and Ken Duke all figured over the weekend and if it wasn't for Day's brilliance, one of them may well have fallen over the line.
Duke was especially interesting for a couple of reasons. His seven-under-par 65 on Saturday, when the field averaged 10 strokes more in hideous conditions, was simply sensational and he was the only man to look like catching Day on Sunday.
He hit a low of 8.615/2 when he got to within two but it wasn't a surprise to see the nerves kick in and he eventually finished tied for third. He was almost impossible to fancy before the off and he went off at 1000.0 but there was one big clue. His one and only PGA Tour victory came at the Travelers Championship, played at TPC River Highlands, which, like TPC Sawgrass, is a Pete Dye design.
Day also franked the course designer link as he was the hallway leader at the RBC Heritage last month and his USPGA Championship win last year was at the Dye-designed, Whistling Straits.
An early start on Thursday morning again proved beneficial with the morning starters averaging almost two strokes less than the afternoon starters and once again, up with the pace from the get go was the place to be. Day became the 14th first round leader to win in 43 renewals and the eighth to win wire-to-wire.
Will Nicolas Colsaerts Win Again?
Former Ryder Cupper and two-time European Tour winner, Nicolas Colsaerts, was the big disappointment of the weekend. Some of the golf he played on Friday, when shooting a seven-under-par course record 65, was sensational but once in-contention he performed really poorly.
This couldn't be described as a strong tournament and he was playing on a course he knows intimately, so to say he was disappointing would be a huge understatement. He's never coped well with pressure and has only ever won one European Tour stroke play event and the chances of him doubling that tally are slim. He's a popular character and he's always well-backed but he remains one to go against whenever he finds himself in-contention.
Keep Taking On The Odds-On Shots (especially in Europe)
Although he did very little wrong, Nacho Elvira, was matched at 1.011/100 before losing to Wang at the Trophée Hassan II last week and three players hit odds-on in Mauritius.
Andrew Dodt folded like a cheap suit on the back-nine on Saturday in round three, but not before he'd been matched at 1.784/5, and the runner-up, Siddikur Rahman, traded at just 1.061/18 when he stood on the 16th tee with a three stroke lead yesterday.
Rahman was clearly feeling the heat, visibly breathing heavily, but he appeared to be holding everything together, holing lengthy putts to keep up the momentum. It all went pear-shaped on 16 though when, with the title within touching distance, he drove out of bounds.
He double-bogeyed 16, three-putted the par three 17th for bogey, and then couldn't get up-and-down from just off the green on 18 for birdie. Once Wang had rolled in his birdie at the last for the title, Rahman had gone from three clear to one behind and beaten in the space of three holes and even us Wang backers felt for him.
It was tough to watch but it was nothing new. Winning a title on any tour in the world is tough but a life-changing victory on the European Tour is huge and the pressure can cause carnage. We've seen countless odds-on shots wobble and lose before and we'll see many more in the future so keep taking them on.
And finally, make sure you keep following our profitable each-way column, where the winner and the third were tipped up in Mauritius and check out Paul Krishnamurty's excellent Find Me a 100 Winner column. It's ended the year in profit for each of the last nine years and his two selections last week both met their first lay back targets.
It's a brilliant read every week and it's a perfect example of how you can maximize the exchange. Whether Paul picks the winner or not isn't the be all and end all, it's all about getting the most from the market.
There's a rapid rise in class on the European Tour this week as we head for the K Club for the Irish Open and I'll be back later today with my preview and I'll be back tomorrow, or possibly very late today, with my preview of the AT&T Byron Nelson Championship on the PGA Tour.
My Irish Open 2016 Betting Preview is now online.
*You can follow me on Twitter @SteveThePunter