I always find golf analyst Steve Palmer’s column in the Racing Post interesting. The guy is unapologetically a serial gambler and evokes the visceral excitement of it. Last week having correctly predicted George Coetzee would win the South African Open, he was only one shot away from a £40,000 double as Dustin Johnson narrowly failed in the PGA at Pebble Beach.
This week he advised for the Africa Open Emiliano Grillo, the 21 year old Argentinian who finished runner up to Steven Gallacher in Dubai. Grillo went into the final round 2 shots in the lead after 3 rounds in the 60s. My £5 on him for a top 5 place looked secure, though I’m sure Steve Palmer laid more. Bless me – he took a nine on the first hole in the final round and, with a couple more bogeys, his title chances were shot. He must have some resilience as he birdied the last 5, recovering his putting stroke. He earned €38,000. The European Tour, a bit of a misnomer as most of the tournaments are outside that continent, pays about 10% of the PGA: Bubba Watson earned € 1.5m winning the PGA at the Riviera, to Tom Aiken’s € 158,000 for wining the Africa Open. Pros on the European circuit have annually £100,000 in travel, hotel and caddy expenses, so Grillo with two top 5 places should have covered these. Perhaps that will take the pressure off him, perhaps he needs it to achieve. I reckon the latter and he will soon be on the PGA like Cabrero. He lives in Florida like many a golfer.
You read it here first. Grillo will join compatriots Roberto de Vicenzo and Angel Cabrero as a major winner.