GOOD STUFF, DAVE

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Golf365’s tipster Dave Tindall hit the nail on the head when he suggested a young gun would win the AT&T in Georgia on Sunday.

Golf365’s tipster Dave Tindall hit the nail on the head when he suggested a young gun would win the AT&T in Georgia on Sunday.
Better still, one of his four picks, US-based, Japanese-born Ryuji Imada, actually went through to win his first title in a play-off against that grissly old seasoned Tour winner, Kenny Perry.
Our astute betting man liked Imada’s chances, not only because he has proved himself to be an outstanding putter in the two and odd years he has been playing on the circuit, but also because he knew that Imada, who went to college in Georgia, loved the Tournament Players’ Course at Sugarloaf where the event was to take place.
Said Tindall in his Wednesday blog last week: “Imada will welcome a return to one of his favourite tracks after finding Sawgrass too tight.”
“He played his college golf in Georgia and this course was the place where he made his very first cut on the US Tour.
“Not surprisingly, therefore, Imada has said, ‘I love the golf course. It’s got wide landing areas off the tee, and really nice, fast greens. The people are always nice here all the time, so that makes me feel good. I just love this place’.”
Imada has shown a better than average aptitude for PGA Tour golf this season, having twice been a runner-up on the US Tour this year at the Buick Invitational and the PODS Championship and a pair of 70s on the weekend helped him to a 17th place tie at Wachovia earlier this month.
The fact that he has been ranked in the top four for putting in each of the last two years and the fact that you would have been able to get him at 40/1 were other factors that persuaded Tindall to make him one of his four picks.
Hope you took his advise.
Getting away from the betting business and looking at the brigade of young guns making their mark on the PGA Tour this year, the list is remarkable, especially in the last three months when eight in 12 of the Tour winners have been 20 somethings.
Outside of South Africa’s Trevor Immelman who won the season’s first major, The Masters, others in this age category would include:
– Sean O’Hair, the 26-year-old American who started the run with his victory at the Pods Championship.. – Argentina’s Andres Romero who won the Zurich Classic of New Orleans…
– Johnson Wagner, the winner of the Shell Houston Open..
– Adam Scott, who triumphed in the Eds Byron Nelson Classic..
– Anthony Kim, the Korean-born American who was the winner of the Washovia Championship..
– Sergio Garcia, the Spanish Ryder Cup star who won The Players, ranked just behind the Majors
– And now Imada with his victory at Sugarloaf.
Perry was the man he finally met in the play-off, but along the way two of his closest challengers, the 2nd and third round leaders, Jonathan Byrd and Charles Howell III, could also be ranked as young guns although Byrd has edged into his 30s.
Before the operation to his left knee which followed hard on his defeat by Immelman at the Masters in mid April, Tiger Woods had won three times this year.
You have to wonder if we would have prevented the current domination of the PGA Tour by the ‘Young Turks’ had he not been forced to undergo surgery.
The World No 1 is expected back soon, possibly at next week’s Memorial Tournament at Jack Nicklaus’s Muirfield Village.
How the the aggressive band of youngsters currently gobbling up the US Tour shape up to him should help to make the rest of the season a pretty interesting one.
But to get back to Imada, who was 14 when his parents brought him to the US to be tutored in the art of professional.
The personable young man is no one-day wonder and indeed strongly believes his win this year was payback for last year when his approach shot drifted into the 18th’s unforgiving waters at Sugarloaf and cost him the title.
And maybe he’s right.
The huge irony of his win this year is that luckless Perry, his opponent in the playoff, did exactly the same thing and also found water at the 18th when they went head-to-head on the first extra hole of their sudden death battle and had to concede victory to Imada.
Cheers
Neville Leck

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