I’ve written before about a golf betting technique Jezz Ellwood and I thought of employing a few years ago that, by our estimations, looked to be foolproof.
The plan was to bet, each week and each way, on the defending champion in both the PGA and European Tour events through an entire season. A look back at previous years’ results suggested we’d be liable to make a profit.
The system worked reasonably well through the first part of 2006 – Stuart Appleby defended the Mercedes Benz Championship and there were a couple of other “in the places” finishes to keep my Blue Square account in the black.
But then we came to the last week in March – the events being held were the Algarve Open and the BellSouth Classic. I was skiing in France and having such a good time I completely forgot to put my bets on. Imagine my dismay when I returned from the slopes to find both Paul Broadhurst (at 80-1) and Phil Mickelson had defended their titles.
In protest against my carelessness/misfortune I abandoned the betting strategy and tried to forget the whole sorry episode. But, when Geoff Ogilvy successfully defended the first tournament of this year on the PGA Tour – the SBS Championship – I was reminded of the fateful scheme.
I decided enough time had passed since the system burnt me that I might have another pop at it. The following week looked promising – Zach Johnson in the Sony Open and Anders Hansen in the Joburg Open. Hansen missed the cut and Johnson failed to place. I stuck with it the next week where Paul Casey didn’t feature in Abu Dhabi and Pat Perez wasn’t quite good enough at the Bob Hope.
I was a little disappointed and doubtful about persevering. Then, as I was writing this week’s previews for the website, I realised my predictions in those articles so far through 2010 had been pretty good. I’d suggested Ogilvy in the SBS Championship (winner), Allenby in the Sony Open (runner-up), Schwartzel in the Joburg Open (winner,) and both Kaymer and McIlroy for Abu Dhabi (winner and third). If I’d bet on all my predictions through January I’d be well up at this point.
So, I changed tactic and this week bet on my website predictions for Qatar – Oosthuizen, Quiros and Poulter. Unfortunately, after one round, Oosthuizen and Quiros are just about hanging in there while Poulter has pretty much played himself out of it.
My conclusion is, and I’m sure GM’s betting expert Paul Krishnamurty would concur, that betting with hindsight is not a sensible plan.
With hindsight I might not have made the one and a half hour journey to Inverallochy for this Wednesday’s Alliance. It was one of those days where you don’t even think about attempting to use your bag stand. By the time we left the course my swing had been blasted to smithereens. On the 137 yard par-3 18th I hit a full 5-iron that ballooned into the wind and travelled less than 75 yards. I had to laugh. Here’s hoping for slightly more benign weather at Buckpool next week. Put it this way – I wouldn’t bet on it.