There's just one round to go at the Tenerife Open and the Valspar Championship and our man's taking on the leaders at both events...
“Paul Casey was a 140.0139/1 chance with a round to go before winning here three years ago and another big-priced winner form off the pace is perfectly plausible.”
10:45 - May 2, 2021
Tenerife Open Leaderboard with prices to back at 10:30.
Kalle Samooja -17 4.1
Nicolai von Dellingshausen -17 6.611/2
Dean Burmester -16 6.05/1
Adrian Meronk -15 11.521/2
Sebastian Garcia Rodriguez -15 17.5
Yikeun Chang -15 38.037/1
Garrick Higgo -14 12.011/1
John Catlin -14 16.5
Sean Crocker -14 20.019/1
Alfredo Garcia-Heredia -14 75.074/1
-13 and 90.089/1 bar
South Africa's Dean Burmester, who won the Tshwane Open in his homeland in 2017 is the only player inside the top-six with a European Tour win and he could put that experience to good use today. He trailed Alexander Bjork by a stroke with a round to go on that occasion and of the leaders, he's the most likely winner but I'm more than happy to stick with what I have.
Both Garrick Higgo and John Catlin have shortened up since I backed them at halfway but both still look fairly priced. With very recent winning experience, either man could come through to take the title and I'm in no rush to back anyone else.
Over at the Valspar Championship, the two halfway leaders have almost been caught by Max Homa and the trio are clear of the remainder. Here's the 54 hole leaderboard with prices to back at 10:35.
Keegan Bradley -14 3.3512/5
Sam Burns -14 3.814/5
Max Homa -13 3.814/5
Joaquin Niemann -10 21.020/1
Abraham Ancer -10 23.022/1
Cameron Tringale -10 34.033/1
Ted Potter Jr -10 90.089/1
Charley Hoffman -9 60.059/1
Bubba Watson -8 160.0159/1
Brandt Snedeker -8 300.0299/1
Troy Merritt -8 520.0519/1
-7 and 190.0189/1 bar
As highlighted in the preview, nine of the last 13 winners of the Valspar Championship have come from behind and 54 hole leaders have a poor record. The two in front look vulnerable and if forced to pick one of the front three in would be the recent Genesis Open winner, Max Homa, who next week defends his Wells Fargo Championship title, two years after his win.
This is the third 54-hole lead of the season for Sam Burns and he's still in search of his first PGA Tour title and Keegan Bradley is always unconvincing in-contention.
I was tempted to play Homa at 3.814/5 as I suspect he'll hold his nerve better than the other two but given two of the last four winners have been trailing by five strokes with a round to go, and that the course is going to play tough again, I've thrown a few pounds at five of the chasers at huge odds.
Paul Casey was a 140.0139/1 chance with a round to go before winning here three years ago and another big-priced winner form off the pace is perfectly plausible.
I know he has to back up yesterday's ridiculous 63, which was three strokes better than anyone else could muster, but I'm not really sure why Ted Potter Jr is so much bigger than the other three trailing by four in a tie for fourth so he's been added and I've backed the four players trailing by five and six strokes.
Troy Merritt was in front with a round to go for all three of his wins but Charley Hoffman has won from three and four strokes adrift, and both Bubba Watson and Brandt Snedeker have twice won from six shots back on a Sunday previously. Could either man do it again?
09:40 - May 1, 2021
First round leader, Keegan Bradley, was having a great second round as it was at the Valspar Championship, playing his first 17 holes in three-under-par before it finished with this bit of brilliance...
The walk-off eagle at nine put Bradley in front but minutes later Sam Burns birdied the par three 15th to get to eight-under-par for his round. He parred his way in after that and the pair are now tied at the top so here's the 36-hole leaderboard with prices to back at 09:30.
Of the last seven winners of the Valspar Championship, the 2017 champ, Adam Hadwin, who won with a score of 14-under-par, is the only victor to better ten-under-par for the week but here we at the halfway stage this time around and two men have already reached -12.
Copperhead in April/May appears slightly easier to play than it was in its previous early March slot so looking back at previous renewals for statistical trends isn't easy but I suspect the leaders are there to be shot at.
The last three winners (Paul Casey twice and Hadwin) were sitting first or second at halfway but as detailed in the preview, this isn't an easy place at which to lead and plenty of winners have been trailing at halfway.
When Hadwin converted from the front in 2017, he was the first 36 hole leader or co-leader to win since KJ Choi in 2006 and we've witnessed a number of winners and beaten playoff protagonists come from miles back.
Robert Garrigus trailed seven strokes in a tie for 37th at this stage before losing in a playoff in 2012 and the next two winners both came from off the pace. Kevin Streelman sat 31st and seven adrift in 2013 and John Senden was tied for 35th and eight of the lead after 36 holes a year later, before going on to win by a stroke.
The inaugural event winner, John Huston, was seven back at halfway in 2000 and the 2007 champ, Mark Calcavecchia, was tied for 38th and six off the lead. It's most certainly possible to win from off the pace and I was very tempted to take the two leaders on.
Bradley continually disappoints in-the-mix and Sam Burns lost a big lead at the Genesis Open back in February, when he eventually finished third having led by five at halfway. Burns may well have learnt lots from the experience but he's still in search of his first PGA Tour title and this is a tough place to lead.
Laying the two this morning effectively means backing the field against them at even money and it looks like a fair bet at first but trying to see alternatives to the two in front is tough. It's a very similar situation to the one we face at the Tenerife Open - the leader or leaders look vulnerable but their nearest pursuers don't inspire an awful lot of confidence and I'm happy to sit on my hands for now.
Instead of laying the two in front, I've had a small bet on the 2016 winner, Charl Schwartzel, who sits alongside yesterday's in-play pick, Zach Johnson, in a tie for sixth and seven off the lead.
As detailed in the preview, this event has only been in existence since the start of the century and we've already seen three multiple winners. Given he's a best price of 33/1 on the High Street, Schwartzel is a fair price at 38.037/1 to become the fourth two-time champ and the first three - Casey, Choi and Retief Goosen - were all overseas players too.
22:20 - April 30, 2021
We've reached the halfway stage of the Tenerife Open and Germany's Nicolai von Dellingshausen leads by three. Here's the 36-hole leaderboard with prices to back at 22:10.
Nicolai von Dellingshausen -16 4.3100/30
Pep Angles -13 8.88/1
Kalle Samooja -12 13.012/1
Scott Jamieson -12 17.016/1
Scott Hend -12 20.019/1
Eduard Rousaud -12 40.039/1
Dean Burmester -11 15.014/1
Thorbjorn Olesen -11 15.014/1
Sean Crocker -11 18.017/1
Yikeun Chang -11 80.079/1
-10 and 22.021/1 bar
Given this is another low-scoring birdie-fest, I've been concentrating hard on the leaders but I've been going round and round in circles.
When the scoring is good it's very hard to make up ground on the leaders as someone up there will keep going low but this a leaderboard devoid of recent winning experience and I really don't like the leaders chances.
With a three-stroke lead, von Dellingshausen is a fair price at first glance given three-stroke 36-hole leaders on the European Tour since 1996 have a 42% strike-rate but I'm far from convinced.
The 28-year-old German has won from the front on the Pro Golf Tour but he's struggled on the Challenge and European Tours when in contention.
He sat second at the halfway stage of the Slovakia Challenge in 2019 but finished 10th and he led the Rolex Trophy after 36 holes later that year but shot 74 in round three to fall to 10th before rallying to finish seventh. And he's twice been in contention on the European Tour previously without impressing.
He was tied for lead with a round to go at the Austrian Open last year but finished 15th! And he fell from eighth and four strokes back through 54 holes in that event last time out but finished 24th after a 74 in round four.
If von Dellingshausen struggles tomorrow, it's going to blow the event wide open and it's a tough one to call. There are plenty of players in-the-mix that are three, four and five strokes adrift but there are big question marks against them all.
Pep Angles, who sits alone on second, is the only one amongst the top-ten that I was tempted by but after much deliberation, I've decided to play the last two winners on the European Tour - John Catlin, who trails by five, and last week's winner, Garrick Higgo, who's six adrift.
With rounds of 69 and 70 in the trickier afternoon conditions today, both need to bounce back tomorrow but they clearly know how to get the job done and that can't be said about many of the players above them.
10:40 - April 30, 2021
The second round of the Tenerife Open is well underway and having theorised in the preview that the players that figured last week in Gran Canaria were highly likely to contend again this week, it's frustrating to see the halfway leader of the Gran Canaria Open, Thorbjorn Olesen, who eventually finished tied for fifth, leading after the first round.
Last week's winner, Garrick Higgo, is also on the premises but the three players I backed before the off, that finished second, third and tied fifth, have all gone AWOL. Sod's law strikes again.
I'll be back with a detailed look of that event at halfway either this evening or first thing tomorrow and but for a small sanity saving wager on Patton Kizzire, and a tiny bet on Zach Johnson, I'm going to leave the Valspar Championship alone for now too.
Keegan Bradley leads on -7 and he's two clear of a group of five that includes the aforementioned Kizzire, who I did consider carefully before the off.
As highlighted in the preview, winners of the Sony Open fare really well at Copperhead but the 2018 Sony champ, Kizzire, was so awful last time out, when I put him up in the Find Me a 100 Winner column at the RBC Heritage, that I left him out this week, despite him being available to back at between 250.0249/1 and 300.0299/1.
I've scrambled onboard Kizzire for a few pounds this morning, mainly for sanity reasons, as this isn't a tournament that's easy to predict at this stage.
If Bradley were to kick on and get the job done he'd be just the second first round leader to win or to reach a playoff since the inaugural edition of the event in 2000. Since the tournaments inception, 25 players have either won or contested a playoff and the 2002 winner, KJ Choi, is the only one of the 25 that led after round one.
The 2019 winner, Paul Casey, sat tied for 29th and four off the lead and that was quite close to the front compared to some. A number of players have been beaten in extra time having trailed by six, seven, and eight strokes after the opening round, the 2018 winner, Adam Hadwin, trailed by six after the opening day, Kevin Streelman won the 2013 edition having sat tied 70th and eight off the lead and the 2007 champ, Mark Calcavecchia sat tied for 112th and ten back after round one!
In addition to a small bet on Kizzire, I've also had a tiny wager on Zach Johnson, who I've always felt was made for this event. The two tournaments that correlate nicely are the Sony and the John Deere Classic and Zach's won them both. He looks a fair price this morning at 95.094/1 given he sits tied for 14th on -3.
Tenerife Open Pre-Event Selections:
Max Kieffer @ 36.035/1
Connor Syme @ 60.059/1
Jeff Winther @ 70.069/1
John Catlin @ 26.025/1
Garrick Higgo @ 28.027/1
Valspar Championship Pre-Event Selections:
Kevin Na @ 75.074/1
Find Me a 100 Winner Selections:
Back 1 ½ Alejandro Del Rey @ 180.0179/1
Place order to lay 10u @ 10.09/1 & 10u @ 2.35/4
Back 3 pts Alejandro Del Rey @ 6/1 Top-20 Finish (Sportsbook)
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