Well, where do we start to describe 2021, our most profitable year (so far). Actually, we start it with a tinge of frustration as we opened the year not managing any returns in either the Tournament of Champions or Sony Open, but we soon hit our stride with an in-play selection of Patrick Cantlay at the American Express who went on to shoot a final round 61, which was annoyingly only good enough for 2nd place as Si-Woo Kim finished strong to claim victory. But that didn’t matter as one week later good old Patrick Reed landed our first winner of the year as he romped home to a 5 shot victory at the Farmers Insurance Open at 25/1. That meant January ended in profit.
Next up we had the second biggest month in PGA Profit history (just behind February 2020 - for some reason I seem to like February) with all 4 events in February 2021 providing profit. First up we had the Phoenix Waste Management Open where 100/1 shot Carlos Ortiz finished in solo 2nd, we then landed our second winner of the season with Daniel Berger bringing home the bacon at 18/1 in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. As if that wasn’t enough things got even better at the Genesis Invitational landing our third winner in 66/1 Max Homa who somehow defeated Tony Finau in a play-off despite playing his second shot from directly behind a tree! Cameron Smith (100/1) and Jon Rahm (12/1) providing each-way returns for 152 points of profit from one event. We then ended February with Brooks Koepka (28/1) and Billy Horschel (125/1) grabbing full each-way pay-outs at the WGC Workday Championship. Yes, huge profit so far, but for those keeping count that’s already three runners up finishes, a theme that would continue later in the year.
Having had such a great start to the year I did warn everyone that a potential ‘drawdown’ period may be in store, which duly arrived through-out March and April where we handed back around 80 points, but we were still nearly 150 in profit for the year so no need to panic. March and April were littered with each-way returns, 10 players in fact.
In May we pretty much broke even with yet even more each-way returns – Patrick Reed (30/1), Abraham Ancer (60/1), Charley Hoffman (55/1), and Troy Merritt (150/1).
We then move onto a huge purple patch, or should I say green, as we go 5 straight months making profit, but as you will remember it could have been so much more! Beginning with June where Max Homa kicked us off with a 125/1 each-way returns at the Memorial Tournament. A couple of weeks later it looked as if we be hitting our fourth winner of the year as Louis Oosthuizen led the U.S. Open at 55/1, but as we all know Jon Rahm finished birdie-birdie to put the pressure on the South African who hooked his tee shot out of bounds on 17 costing him, and us, victory. To end June we had both Abraham Ancer (33/1) and Brian Harman (30/1) bring in solid returns at the Travellers Championship.
What can we say about July…………. Yes, it was profitable, but man, what could have been! It started with 150/1 shot, that’s right, 150/1, Troy Merritt losing in a play-off to Cam Davis at the Rocket Mortgage classic with his usually solid putter costing us what would have been our single biggest win, ever! This was shortly followed by that man Louis Oosthuizen getting himself in great position at the Open Championship only to falter in the final round ending up in 3rd place at 30/1. As if the Troy Merritt second place wasn’t bad enough (which it was) we wound up with two more runners-up finishes with both Louis Oosthuizen (33/1) and Jhonattan Vegas (66/1) unable to get past Cameron Champ in the 3M Open. Frustrating as it may have been we still ended July with 25 points of profit.
The golfing gods then finally had enough of toying with our emotions and fingernails as August began with our fourth winner when Abraham Ancer (whom I mentioned in our ‘ones to watch’ article) defeated Sam Burns and Hideki Matsuyama at the WGC FedEx St Jude Invitational at 50/1. Daniel Berger also took home each-way money at 25/1. The following week we went extremely close to hitting back-to-back winners as 45/1 shot Adam Schenk sat atop the Barracuda Championship leaderboard on the final day, but just couldn’t do enough to grab a maiden tour win, but both him and Brandon Hagy (66/1) added some nice profit. The rest of August passed us by with some 8th place finishes, but just not good enough by Corey Conners and Sam Burns. Xander Schauffele finished 5th at the Tour Championship to end the 2020/21 season on a positive note.
The positive vibes certainly carried on into the new wraparound (2021-22) season as we kicked it off with our fifth winner as Max Homa, AGAIN, won at the Fortinet Championship, at 66/1, AGAIN! Whilst the Sanderson Farms Championship provided very little excitement it wasn’t long before we hit our sixth winner of the season and the second in three weeks as Sung-Jae Im tore the field apart at the Shriners Hospital for Children Open at a very nice 33/1. At this point we were 440 points up for 2021 and I once again had to mention that dreaded ‘drawdown’ word! No sooner did I mention it than we landed an unbelievable seventh winner with hometown hero Hideki Matsuyama winning the Zozo Championship at 16/1. This was followed by Patrick Reed (22/1) almost winning in Bermuda, but had to settle for another 2nd place, meaning the new season had already provided over 200 points of profit in just 8 events.
As the season began to wind down, we did have time to have one more runner-up as Carlos Ortiz (80/1) couldn’t quite get past Viktor Hovland in Mayakoba. November and December were very quiet, but we did at least manage to tick over with Cameron Smith finishing 5th at the RSM Classic and Patrick Reed 3rd at the Hero World Challenge. A dull ending to a far from dull year!
So, let us summarise 2021 – 275 selections, average odds of 80/1, 7 winners, 39 each-way winners, 444 points of profit, return on investment of 51% (even better results through the betting exchange with 446 points of profit). Not too shabby! Hard not to feel a little aggrieved given the NINE 2nd place finishes, but much like actual golf you always feel like you’ve left some shots (or in this case winners) out there.
Someone did ask me in October if I felt this year’s results are sustainable given those from 2018 to 2020? Whilst you can’t guarantee anything in betting and certainly golf betting, what I would say is for those who were following back then will remember we used to back every golfer in both top 10 and top 20 markets that would always reduce the return on investment numbers. We then took the decision in 2021 to only back every selection each-way to free up some bankroll in each event, which as you can see has been very fruitful indeed. If you were to look at my each-way only results for 2018-20 (listed on the website) the R.O.I numbers have actually been 53% over the 4 years, meaning that yes, I do feel this years results are absolutely sustainable.
Will there be drawdowns and losing runs? Of course, but that is now 4 straight profitable years (in fact very profitable), and I will not be resting on my laurels heading into 2022 looking to make it 5 straight and I hope you will all be there to join me as we cheer in those winning putts on a Sunday night. As let’s be honest, there’s no better feeling!
Just a quick side note – As I say every year, I know everyone’s results will differ slightly depending on the odds or places you had access to, this is simply my results. But if you haven’t been able to make a profit this year then something went terribly wrong!
I guess that just leaves me to say that I hope everyone has a terrific Christmas and New Year.
The next time you hear from me will be in a week or so as I send out my ones to watch in 2022, followed by my selections for the Sentry Tournament of Champions on Monday 3rd January.