We’re of the humble opinion that there is no place in sport for salacious red top gossip, tabloid tittle tattle and often untrue speculation.
But when that affects the bets we may or may not be considering placing, then clearly we need to delve a bit deeper into the background.
By that token, the recent allegations surrounding the extra-curricular activities of Dustin Johnson, the world number one golfer until Sunday, have to be examined in greater detail.
The Sun, that noted bastion of calm, balanced journalism, is reporting that DJ has been enjoying a little too much time on the 19th hole with Yassie Safai, a so-called Californian ‘socialite’ with whom the former US Open winner is said to have struck up a ‘relationship’ of some kind.
Johnson’s Eye Off the Ball?
For those not in the know, Johnson is engaged to Paulina Gretzky, the mother of his two children, and whom he had been planning to get married to next year.
That report from The Sun seems to confirm some truth in the matter, with Gretzky deleting every single photo of DJ from her Instagram page; as ever, there’s no smoke without fire.
Uh oh https://t.co/E5F2xUg9dr
— New York Post Sports (@nypostsports) 9 September 2018
Okay, enough of the gossip column, you might be thinking, and fair enough. But clearly these stories have some consequence when thinking about our bets over the next couple of weeks, which will see some high profile golf being played.
It has been notable from Johnson’s performances of late that something is amiss; he failed to contend at the PGA Championship, and hasn’t really been in the mix for any of the FedEx Cup events so far either.
So what does that mean for his hopes of winning the FedEx Cup at the Tour Championship next week, and his participation in the Ryder Cup shortly thereafter?
DJ Dalliance Music to the Ears of the FedEx Field
The PGA Tour season heads to Atlanta, Georgia for its annual curtain call: the Tour Championship at the East Lake Golf Club.
Just 30 players will compete for the prize based upon their ranking in the FedEx Cup standings, and while all can still be crowned FedEx Cup champion mathematically speaking depending on who else finishes where, there are only five in the field who can take matters into their own hands and win the lot by coming out on top at East Lake.
The table below shows the top five players in the current FedEx points standings.
Bryson DeChambeau, Justin Rose, Tony Finau, Justin Thomas and, yes, that man Dustin Johnson are the quintet that can be crowned FedEx Cup champion simply by finishing first in the Tour Championship, and from a betting perspective we can already reduce that betting heat to three given DJ’s off-course troubles and the fact that Finau has won only won in more than two years on Tour.
DeChambeau leads the way in the standings but he is yet to make his debut at East Lake, and so Rose – who has five consecutive top-10s at the venue – could take advantage.
He could finish as low as ninth in the Tour Championship and still win the FedEx Cup, depending on other players’ results, and at a price of 5/2 to do exactly that there will be plenty of interest in the likely absence from contention of one Dustin Johnson.
Can Europe Seize the Day in Ryder Cup Shootout?
If golf was played on paper, Team America would win the Ryder Cup at a canter.
Nine major winners, countless PGA Tour titles, unrivalled experience in this unique event….all of the cards are stacked in their favour.
Apart, that is, from the venue – Le Golf National will suit the European boys more, the track record of ‘host’ nations in this competition, oh and the problems surrounding the USA’s key player: Mr Dustin Johnson esq.
At 6/4, Europe are becoming a more attractive proposition by the day.