The action in North America and Europe couldn’t have been more different last week.
In the States, the Players Championship – known as the “5th Major” – saw the winner Martin Kaymer pocket a cool $1.8m for his pillar-to-post victory.
Whereas in Europe, Daniel Brooks barely covered his expenses in winning a weather-shortened Madeira Island Open.
Here’s the low-down on another golf tipping week…
Kaymer sinks ‘miracle putt’ to set up wire-to-wire Sawgrass win
He led the tournament after R1, courtesy of an opening day, best-round-of-the-week 63…
And come Sunday, Germany’s Martin Kaymer appeared to be cruising to victory as he stayed at the top of the leaderboard.
His main challenger through the weekend, the young American Jordan Spieth, started to drop shots (eventually shooting a disappointing 74) and the chasing pack were too far behind to threaten the Ryder Cup star.
However, some inspired play by Jim Furyk (who shot 65 in R4 the week before to finish 2nd in the Wells Fargo ) saw the US player shoot 66 to take the clubhouse lead on 12-under-par, forcing Kaymer to close out the win on the last few holes.
And then he came the 17th hole, the treacherous over-water par 3.
Kaymer’s tee-shot finished off the green… and his subsequent pitch left a hugely difficult, fast-breaking 28-foot putt to save par and retain his slender one shot lead going to the last.
But Kaymer wasn’t to be denied.
He sunk a ‘miracle’ putt, made par at 18 and walked off the winner of the Players Championship 2014.
In the process, the German became only the 4th man in history to win a major, a WGC-sanctioned tournament and the Players Championship *
Not a standout pick for most golf tipsters…
Previous starts at TPC Sawgrass had seen Kaymer post T55-T34-T19-T15-T43 and so far in 2014 the German golfer had posted just one top 20 finish (T18th, Wells Fargo Championship).
He hadn’t won since the HSBC-Champions in 2011… and his only previous win in the States was the 2010 USPGA.
Players Championship – Results
There were plenty of eye-catching efforts this week… many by European players as Sergio Garcia, Justin Rose, Francesco Molinari, Lee Westwood and Kaymer all shot below par in every round.
In fact, there were only three US players in the top 10.
But it was a quality field in Florida… and a quality leaderboard come Sunday night.
* The other three players being Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Adam Scott.
Madeira event ‘lost in the fog’
It seemed ironic…
Whilst the USA was serving up tremendous, late evening high drama, full of European talent…
Those left behind on the European Tour were taking part in a farcical 36-hole event in Madeira for the equivalent of loose change.
A winner’s cheque for €75,000 – although not a prize to be sniffed at – would have been trumped by anybody coming in the Top 20 at Sawgrass!
As it was, the victory went to Daniel Brooks.
The 27-year-old from London posted a 9-under total to tie Scott Henry, three shots clear of the field, and then bagged his maiden European Tour title at the first extra play-off hole.
Brooks becomes the 21st different winner in 2014… from 21 Euro Tour events.
But the event was reduced to little more than a lottery by the weather in Madeira.
Fog meant that barely one round of golf was possible at the mountain-top Clube de Golf do Santo da Serra on the first three days… and the weather picked up just long enough to allow for a 36-hole result.
An unsatisfactory end to the European Tour’s 1500th tournament, and in stark contrast to the star-studded action taking place on the other side of the Atlantic.
Madeira Island Open – Results
|3.||Jordi Garcia Pinto||-6||33/1|
Another mixed bag in terms of prices…
And it’s probably no surprise to see so many unfancied players near the top of the leaderboard… given that the tournament was played under such testing conditions.
But the ‘bigger names’ and market leaders… Santos (12/1), Fisher (16/1) and Lucas Bjerregaard (25/1) failed to make any impact on the final result.
This week’s events see the European Tour hit the mainland with the Open De Espana at the PGA Catalunya… Sergio Garcia starting as the short-price (5/1) favourite.
And in the States, the players return to the Texas for the Byron Nelson Championship where Jordan Spieth (ultra-reliable but proving difficult to win with) is the general 11/1 market leader.
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