One of the reasons why I restrict myself to a tenner is the sheer incompetence of my laying. I use the Betfair site as you can bet against as well as for. But inevitably and far too regularly make some error. Jeremy Chapman had recommended the South African Haydn Porteus for the Czech Masters. I had come across this young South African who won last year on the rainbow (SouthAfrican) legs of the European Tour. Then he lost form and confidence but finished 6th in the last European Tour event, Made In Denmark. There is also a journeyman pro on the circuit of whom I have never heard – Garrick Porteous – and guess who I backed and guess who won it? On Saturday evening seeing my error with 2 Porteouses well up the leaderboard I took remedial action and backed Haydn Porteous to win which he did.
The final day of a European event is often more exciting than the USPGA for a variety of reasons. With the prize money being added appreciably less (£50,000 for finishing second) you may was well go for it. Also nerves get to the leaders with errors in driving, putting and most of all pitching. Haydn, Porteous and Lee Slattery were mano a mano but the South African’s nerves held the better as he birdied the short 16th. Both golfers pitched badly on the 18th but surprisingly Slattery went first off the green meaning Porteous had 3 putts to win which he did.
Over in Boston, the Dell Technologies started in Friday means it will finish this evening our time. Justin Thomas and Marc Leishman are leading but my picks Dustin Johnson, Joe Rahm and Patrick Reed are well up the leaderboard.
I also backed 2010 Open winner Louis Oosthuizen but I fear for the era of him, Charl Schwartzel and possibly the gritty Branden Grace as there are new South African kids on the block in Dylan Fritelli, Martin Zambard, Branden Stone and Haydn Porteous. South Africans tend to have graceful swings and are steely competitors.
Wayne Rooney could not have chosen a worst night for a bender with England performing so flaccildy without him and the scribes having to fill 8 pages of soccer after the end of the transfer window and no Premier games. Silly boy – you simply cannot go and cavort so publicly. Nottingham Outlaws did well for me. I enjoyed the final day though interestingly none of the 3 games produced the exciting finish of the test nor Glamorgan v Sussex covered in this esteemed organ. I expected Alex Hales to have more of a say but England white ball selectors would have been impressed by the bowling of young Harry Gurney.
My only reverse was to lay Spain who comfortably disposed of Italy. Both teams looked leagues ahead of England.