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Remind me next time

Well done Matt Fitzpatrick, the 2022 US Open champion. How good does that sound and how well did he play? Superb.

But I always knew he was capable of that. I’ve played with Matt and he's a cracking lad, a level-headed young man and fantastic ball-striker. He also keeps his emotions impressively in check - well, almost . . .

A few years back, we played together at my club in LA. Me and Matt. So Matt goes birdie, birdie, birdie, par, birdie, birdie. He’s five under after six holes and is smashing up the course like I’ve never seen before.

Then on the seventh hole, Joe Pesci joins us - and that’s it, Matt’s gone. I reckon he’s seen Goodfellas the night before, takes one look at Joe, who’s given him the bar-room stare, and that’s it. He’s gone bogey, bogey.

The money was mine. Get in!

But on Sunday, the money and the glory was definitely Matt’s - and I couldn’t have been happier.

That shot on the 18th was up there with Sandy Lyle’s Masters-winning strike, again from the bunker, at Augusta all those many years ago. It took bull-size b*llocks to pull that off and Matt absolutely nailed it.

Fair play to his caddie Billy Foster, too. You can’t underplay the part he played in victory - even up to that second shot on the 18th.

Bill just told him to step up, play the shot, and get out of there - and that’s exactly what he did. There’s no fuss to their relationship clearly and that’s worked brilliantly for Matt, who’s fed off the experience Billy brings to the table.

Foster’s worked with Seve, Thomas Bjorn and Westy but it’s this tie-up with the young Sheffield golfer which has seen both win their first Majors.

At 27, there’s no question Fitzpatrick’s best years are ahead of him on the course and he can win more Majors - although winning any one of the four is getting increasingly difficult. Just ask Rory. It’s been eight years now - and he’s the world number two!

But Rory will come good at the top of the pile in a Major soon. He’s always there or thereabouts which in itself is a credit to his game currently and you just feel he needs a two or three shot lead - and could then win by ten!

But back to Fitzy and hopefully some of you guys kept the faith. I fancied him to win The Open last year and you have to say he's a contender for St Andrews which is upcoming - it’s the 150th Open this year, which would be nice to win!

In the meantime, the PGA Tour moves on the Travelers Championship  - with or without those defecting to LIV Golf it looks a good field.

Harris English is the defending champion but for Vinnie’s Three Off The Tee I’m going with Sam Burns, Patrick Cantlay and Brian Harman - all of whom have showed up well in recent weeks. Let’s have it.

odds

I’ve been in touch with my boys at Rogues Gallery Racing and they’re looking forward to sending out Rogue Millennium at Newcastle on Friday.

The stable’s in great form - Rogue Spirit won well at Wolverhampton on Monday to give trainer Tom Clover his 101st win.

Hope you all enjoyed Royal Ascot, which looked one of the best for me this year. The weather was largely decent, the stands packed, and the racing top-notch with some great winners, some great stories - and some controversy, too.

In fact, I can’t believe my old mate Frankie was getting sh*t thrown his way. The guy’s a f*cking genius on a horse - and it was great to see him stick it to the knockers with Inspiral in the Coronation Stakes. And she’s some filly, mark my words.

I gave you a couple of winners, too, and this weekend I might just have given you the best of the lot.

You know I’m the dog’s b*llocks, so when I told you Kildare would win the Star Sports English Greyhound Derby you should have listened! From 192 dogs at the start, Peter Cronin’ dog is in the final on Saturday at Towcester - and has a chance.

Hopefully those each-way players have already copped for a top-six finish, but victory in the £175,000 final would be the icing on the cake.

Good luck to the connections of all the runners. I’ve been there before as an owner with Smoking Bullet at Wimbledon and it’s the best week of all - and what a buzz come the final. I’m looking forward to hearing the Derby roar on Saturday.

And I reckon you’ll hear the guys who own Mickys Barrett across the Northamptonshire countryside. They’ve been brilliant each round, singing in the stands, and that’s a great story, too, given the dog was named in memory of a friend of theirs.

That’s it from, folks. Have a great week - and come on Kildare!

Vinnie.

 

Vinnie Jones Predictions 

Travelers Championship

Sam Burns
Patrick Cantlay
Brian Harman