Monday, February 27, 2012


Marseille's loss was tough to take, they were denied a very obvious penalty in the first minute, when Brandao was brought down clear on goal, I just do not understand why match officials think that any striker is going to "go down" under those circumstances, unless clipped. The incident came just 23 seconds after kickoff, yet somehow the referee was 40 metres behind play, you can see him just crossing the halfway line in the background ( not that I am bitter or anything !).OM later hit the woodwork twice, had 22 attempts on goal, 13 corners and 65% of possession !

If, that left me feeling a little grumpy, what happened later in the day , saw the laptop land halfway up the back garden and me on the window ledge debating about whether to follow !

On the USPGA tour , I had put up a bet on Robert Allenby at 16.0 + in the morning ( see below), he had a two stroke lead with one hole to play and was trading at sub 1.05 on the exchanges. He had played a bogey free round until then and could afford a one over par five at the 18th to win, he had played the hole 4-4-4 over the first three days, yet took a SIX ! This put him into a playoff with rookie John Huh, again Allenby traded very low in running, I saw 1.23, but the Australian found a way to lose at the eighth extra hole ! So many things happened from say the 16th regular hole onwards, it was incredible and maybe one day soon I will laugh about it, just not today ( !), under identical circumstances, Allenby would probably have to play 250-300 rounds without coming out on top !

I am assuming that Lady Luck has something very nice in prospect for me shortly !

Good Luck.

written Sunday @ 11.20 UK time



BAIRD and four others

This is a poor leaderboard, full of players who have never won, or others for whom their sole claim to fame is so long ago, even they have forgotten it.

Summerhays is favourite across the board by virtue of his lead, but has played 34 tour events and only twice made the top 25, never the top ten and only played over the weekend ten times, hard to know how he will be feeling today, I doubt he slept too well last night. He does speak spanish, which probably helps him a little playing in Mexico, but I couldn't consider him at the odds offered. His post match interview hardly filled me with confidence either, you learn to read between the lines with these comments made post round and he sounded worried about his putting and the conditions. This is a tough course when the wind blows btw and there are some gusty conditions forecast for the area today.

Chris Stroud has yet to win either, or post a top 3 finish, his best ever placing was fourth here last season, so he clearly likes it here, but he is steady and a bit of a plodder, a journeyman pro who will make a good living on tour, but little more. He is also 30 on Friday and this is a difficult age for a golfer, we have discussed this many times before, so most of you know my thoughts, he could win from this position, but any big improvement is likely once this key birthday has passed and not before.

This pair have a four stroke lead over the field and that might be enough for one of them to hold on, however, I would prefer to chance a few euros on someone else and the class act in the field is Robert Allenby. He is a four time winner on the US tour where he has banked $21m and is a big winner and earner around the rest of the world. He has never quite lived up to his huge early promise, but knows how to get the job done and key stat might be that three of those wins came in playoffs, this event went to extra holes last year and if the front pair start to come back to the field, that knowledge in his memory bank will help the Australian. Having grown up in Melbourne, he is a fine player in windy conditions and unlike most of the others on the leaderboard, he will be hoping the wind gets up this afternoon. I assume he is only playing here at the request of his idol and great friend Greg Norman who designed the course, Norman played this week but missed the cut ( he is 57 yo) , however, pretty sure that he will be following his pal today and with Norman having shown great faith in Allenby at the Presidents Cup, it would be the perfect way to repay him by putting in a huge charge today and of course, no one knows the layout here better than Norman. Allenby's all round stats have looked good all week, maybe his driving could improve a little, but conditions might throw everyone off in that respect today, at least a little and he is also a good early season player. We can try a little at big odds .... 0.5 unit Allenby outright 16.0 + on the exchanges.

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