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The Sporting Weekend

The appalling weather is not confined to here as the USPGA in Pebble Beach is, as I write, unfinished though Phil Mickelson holds a three point lead with only a few holes remaining.

It’s such a beautiful part of the world with breakers and cliffs alongside the 3 courses but the waves were foaming, the sea brown and a grey squall sky cover.

The excellent Hennie Zuul – one of my favourite commentators – managed to keep herself and us cheerful on the rain soaked course with her gleaming smile under her bobble hat whilst wrapped up in 5 layers.

I did well in the football.

One of my strategies is to look for teams with good home records where the opposition is favourite. Thus I bet against Napoli at Fiorentina which ended 0-0 and Lyon who were very skinny odds at Nice.

Lyon feature the ex Fulham and Celtic forward Moussa Dembele and the ex Manchester United striker Memphis Dupay.

Nice, managed by Patrick Vieira, play attractive football and have a young side nurtured in their academy with the evergreen Dante, once of Bayern, magisterial in defence.

Balitelli has gone to Marseilles and so they lack a goal scoring centre forward. One interesting aspect of the game was the use of VAR. The referee missed a clear penalty in favour of Nice. The panel urged the referee to go to the replay on screen and when he did he awarded a penalty 3 minutes later which Remy Walter converted for Nice.

What would have happened if Lyon scored in those 3 minutes? I thought – or rather Ivan Conway advised – that Brighton were in poor form and playing an improving Burnley so I bet against Brighton too.

The Seagulls were well beaten 1-3 and are too close for comfort to the relegation zone, though Huddersfield and Fulham look already doomed.

My poor judgment in the Five Nations continued as I thought the England victory would be narrower.

Eddie Jones must have read my column as we played some exciting stuff behind the power pack and Jonny May has a killer instinct.

Tom Curry, just 21, caught the eye too. We look like the best equipped northern hemisphere side to give the All Blacks a game in the World Cup.

About John Pargiter

John Pargiter’s biggest claim to fame is his first-ever work experience job, as ‘legs’ (or runner) for Henry Longhurst. For many years he worked in insurance at Lloyds. After retiring he has returned to his favourite sport of golf and is a keen recreational sailor and grandparent. More Posts