SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 17TH
Racing Club Lens won comfortably enough last night, they raced into a lead inside 25 minutes, which effectively killed the game off and "the best team in Ligue 2", look firmly back on track.
In the BMW Championship, Jim Furyk remains in contention and with a projected "bubble" place of 31st in the FedEx standings, there will surely be no let up in focus from him over the weekend and I expect him to move closer to the leaders today. Luke Donald moved 29 places up the leaderboard with one of the better scores of the day, after one of the worst on Thursday, he trails Webb Simpson by a big looking eight strokes, but will be focused on reducing that as much as possible by tomorrow evening and giving himself a good chance of clinching the Money List next week.
With regard to today, I am interested in ( Joaquin Phoenix doppelganger) Zach Johnson who shot a low round of the day 66 here on saturday last year. Johnson is a projected 34th so needs to move up at least four places over the weekend ( to play next week) and he is a proven Round 3 player, one of the best on tour, ranked 9th this season and first in 2009. He had one terrible hole yesterday, an eight ( !) at the par 5 15th, a hole he birdied on Thursday, that four shot swing was the difference between a share of 15th where he is now, or sole possession of 5th. I was impressed that he fought back and found a birdie before the end of his round which would have seen him leave the course in better spirits and he is mentally very tough. What I am really happy with is that he is putting well, ranked 3rd over the first two days, the rest of his game ( distance aside) is almost always in good shape and he could go very well over the weekend. There is some small money available 3.75/ 3.80 on the exchanges for him to finish top ten, far too little liquidity for me to put him up as a bet, but I like the quote if you find something similar.
Johnson is partnered with Chez Reavie and Jason Dufner ( we are still playing three balls) today. Reavie is secure for next week, being already ranked 9th, but will want to finish as high as possible, but he is not the best Round 3 player out there ( Ranked 130th this year) averaging exactly two strokes per round, which is huge, more than ZJ, he is an inferior player IMO and will surely not be as hungry as "our man". Dufner is ranked 110th this year and a very poor 157th in 2010 for Round 3 scoring and whilst he will be as motivated as Johnson today, coming into the round in a projected 29th place, there is also huge pressure on him, which he doesn't handle too well at the business end of events and he probably feels like a cowboy with the whole Apache nation chasing him across the wide open spaces of the Cog Hill GC. Three balls are not my favourite betting medium, but I like Johnson at a general 2.375 to win this one.
Football all the way now....
I will start with the Brentford- Preston North End game. The Bees conceded a late, late equaliser on Tuesday, but as already discussed, they played very well, much better than in the 5-0 defeat of Leyton Orient and one long term supporter I spoke to afterwards, described it as the best football he has seen them play in a decade.Here are some of the quotes taken from a supporters website ....
"Last night’s game was a real joy and if this is the fare we are to be offered this season then it will be a real joy to come to GP. In Donaldson we have the player we have all been crying out for, strong, physical, fast and skilful. Last night’s performance would have to go a long way to be bettered it was the epitome of what a centre forward is all about. Most definitely my Man of the match. The rest of the team all played well and it would be difficult to criticise anyone. Adams had an excellent debut and I can imagine with him as one attacking defender and Logan the other a number of teams will get the fright of their lives. "
"How the score at half time remained goalless mystified everyone, the conversations around the ground all were of the same opinion, this is what football should be about and as similar to last season as a Lada to a Rolls Royce. "
"If we play like that every game, we will be in the top 6, without a doubt, we were a joy to watch. Just need to find that goal to kill off the game, but that will come. "
Most of the time these supporters are ultra critical, so you will have some idea of how well Brentford played. However, a word of warning, I am trying to give you an idea of their potential, they are not the finished product yet, but are getting there and are they are only going to get stronger. They had eight players missing on Tuesday, maybe four would definitely have started and the club desperately needed another striker. This was addressed with the loan signing of David Clarkson from Bristol City and I am assuming he will start alongside Donaldinho ( Clayton Donaldson ) today. When everyone is fit, the squad is going to look awesome by League 1 standards and Uwe Rosler will have his work cut out trying to keep everyone happy.
Preston are unbeaten since the first day of the season and have won their last five starts , they are amongst the title favourites, so this will be a huge test for both clubs . They rotated their squad in midweek, yet won 2-0 at highflying Charlton Athletic, they kept key player Neil Mellor on the bench for that one, so he is bound to be fresh and raring to go today. Bees will be keeping close tabs on him, in matches where he has started Mellor has had an incredible 32% of all Preston's attempts on goal this season and if the home side can keep him quiet, they will stifle a lot of the attacking threat. No "official bet" from me, but Brentford with the draw no bet ( level ball) option at circa 1.83 is the only way I could lean. One day soon all these chances are going to drop for the Bees and the quality of opposition will matter little. Visiting fans will probably not be too happy to see Andy D'Urso in charge, they have lost the last four matches ihe has been in the middle, without scoring a single goal..... same again please !
Now, finally, for some ( red type) bets ....... In the Championship I have to take........... XXXXXX