The Punter's De-brief: Eckroat gets off the mark in Florida

Golfer Austin Eckroat
Austin Eckroat on his way to victory on Monday

Austin Eckroat has won the Cognizant Classic and Jordan Gumberg the SDC Championship. Our man's back to look back on their victories here...

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  • Tied for the lead with pre-event 220.0219/1 chance, Austin Eckroat, and 1000.0999/1 chance, David Skins, and three clear of the remainder, pre-tournament 50.049/1 shot, Shane Lowry, was the warm favourite with a round to go a at the Cognizant Classic.

    The Irishman hit a low of 2.1211/10, having been trading at around 2.915/8 between rounds but he and his fourth round playing partner, Skinns, never got going and when play was suspended for the day on Sunday, Lowry trailed the pacesetting Eckroat by three.

    Lowry was still trading at 9/25.50 when play resumed on Monday, but a night's sleep didn't work the oracle and he never really got going.

    Shane Lowry at the Cognizant.jpg

    Min Woo Lee, who had trailed Eckroat by five overnight, was matched at a low of 2.77/4 as he made a charge, but he could only par his last six holes and Eckroat never really looked like losing.

    Those that took the 1.784/5 overnight, had very little to worry about.

    Playing in just his 50th start on the PGA Tour, the 25-year-old composed himself brilliantly after a bogey at the 14th, negotiating the Bear Trap in one-under-par before parring the last to win by three.

    It's been a tough season for punters on the PGA Tour so far. Eckroat is the fourth player to break his duck on the PGA Tour this season and after nine events in 2024, last week's first-time winner, Jake Knapp, is the only winner not to be matched at a triple-figure price!

    Shock Winner in South Africa

    Over on the DP World Tour, Matt Cooper's each-way fancy, Daniel Brown, was matched at 1.910/11 when he opened round three with a birdie, having led by three at halfway, but that was good as it got for the Englishman. Disappointing rounds of 72 and 75 saw him finish tied for fourth.

    Scotsman, Connor Syme, who had begun the final round tied for the lead with Brown, and trading at 2/13.00, was matched at a low of 2.3211/8 early on in round four but it was the pre-event 190.0189/1 chance, Robin 'Tiger' Williams, who took control.

    Having begun the day tied for third and trading at 16.015/1, the 22-year-old birdied four of the first six holes in round four and he was still two clear when he walked to the 17th tee.

    Matched at a low of just 1.121/8, Williams looked far and away the most likely winner but a double-bogey at the par three penultimate hole saw him tied for the lead with the 28-year-old American, Jordan Gumberg.

    After an inauspicious start to 2024, Gumberg had began the week trading at 1000.0999/1 and he was still a 50.049/1 chance with a round to go, despite sitting tied for sixth and only three off the lead, but he belied his odds in style, making a brilliant up-and-down for par on the 72nd hole before holing this birdie putt at the second extra hole to deny the unfortunate Williams.

    Following victories for Rikutya Hoshino in Qatar and Darius Van Driel in Kenya, Gumberg is the third first time winner in-a-row on the DP World Tour.

    Masters Money for Nieman

    Away from the two main Tours, Joaquin Niemann has won again on the LIV Golf Tour, and he's been nicely backed in the US Masters market on the back of his four-stroke success over Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel.

    Having been matched at a high of 160.0159/1 to win the year's first major, the 25-year-old Chilean is now a 32.031/1 chance on the exchange.

    Read all this week's golf previews here

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