Not long to go now to the major betting event of the autumn, the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor, Newport. The big argy-bargy before the captain's picks for the European team hinged on those players who preferred to play the FedEx Cup series in America, rather than to qualify directly through the Johnnie Walker tournament in Scotland.
Key figures put the dollar before the dram, obliging Colin Montgomerie to pick the winner of the Scottish event, Edoardo Molinari. Two of the FedEx faithful were selected, Luke Donald and Padraig Harrington, while Paul Casey and Justin Rose were not.
The merits of this decision will be tested in a fortnight, but in the meantime both Casey and Rose are among the elite 30 players (along with Donald) who have qualified for next week's FedEx finale, the Tour Championship in Atlanta, with prize-money of several million dollars.
Monty, whose facial expression is often that of a country vet with his arm up a cow's arse, can feel what's coming next – a win for either Casey or Rose, both of whom would relish proving him wrong. So £10 each-way on Casey (16-1 Totesport), who nearly won the BMW last week, and on Rose (40-1 Betfred); plus a saver on Dustin Johnson (11-1, Stan James), who finally won a tournament despite my money being on him.
Our bet on Nottinghamshire to win the County Championship First Division sneaked home – before Scotland Yard reacts, I also tipped Lancashire in another losing year and Surrey, one of the verrucas at the foot of the Second Division.
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