One of the features of the European Golf so far this year has been the inability of players to defend their lead in the final day. Much to the chagrin of Steve Palmer (and therefore me at 10% of his stake) it happened yesterday as his pick the Thai Thongchai Jaidee looked certain to take the title in his homeland only to double bogey and bogey in the back final nine and it was the unknown Aussie Andrew Dodt who won. Another Aussie golfer Scott Hoey who was leading also failed to stay ahead. It’s probably nerves but Jaidee at 46 is an experienced campaigner with 6 titles but was driving and putting waywardly.
The PGA event at Pebble Beach was a pro-am. Golf is one of the few games when pro and and amateur can compete together because of the handicap system, but it does not make for the greatest viewing as some of the business people have dreadful swings. The tourney was won by 5 shots by Brandt Snedeker who is coming back to form. It was also notable for the return to form of Dustin Johnson. I sometimes wonder if sports editor constrain the golf correspondents to write about Tiger and Rory as Johnson’s personalproblems that caused him to withdraw are less well covered. A big hitter with an all round game I bracketed him with Matt Kuchar as a golfer who would add a couple of majors to the 24 million bucks he made on the tour like a Bubba Watson. It was not to be last year but Steve Palmer noted a comeback at Torrey Pines last week. I followed my mentor with a £10 each way bet. When he was well down the leaderboard I thought “Ah well”. Then he made his move on the final day. Snedeker was too far ahead to be caught but Johnson did make the top five with a 66. He is back alright. Might be worth an ante post tickle on the Masters, Steve.
Next week the European tour switches to India, as it won’t reach Europe for sometime. Hence its name. The US PGA is more American centric and works its way from western to eastern seaboard and moves to the Riviera course in California.