This guide was written on the 2nd July, so there may be changes in the players stats.
For those of you who don’t know I write a betting guide for Tour on TAP, below you will find a link to their new magazine and this feature. I have decided to reproduce it here for this weeks betting guide as I am off on the Atlantic Links tour next week and wont have time to write a proper betting guide. Look out in the coming weeks for the Atalantic Links Review:
One person I would add to the list below is Henrik Stenson 331/1 who is currently doing well in the Scottish Open.
Muirfield sits proudly in top spot of Golf Monthly’s Top 100 courses of Great Britain and Ireland, where one of the panelists said of the historic links: “Superbly crafted test of golf that asks you to hit every shot in the book”, “Muirfield may not have the picture postcard views of County Down or Turnberry but the course’s innate tranquility allows you to concentrate on the task in hand – a good job as it’s a searching examination of your golf game”.
This year’s Open Championship comes at a unique time in this year’s calendar, as we have watched Adam Scott become the first Australian to win the Masters and Justin Rose become the first English winner of the US Open Championship since Tony Jacklin in 1970. All this when we felt at the beginning of the year it would be a Tiger 8/1 Vs Rory 25/1 for the major championships, especially after the start to the year Tiger had, winning four from seven events up until the Memorial tournament.
As always with the Open Championship the weather will play a big part and who can forget Nick Faldo’s relentless eighteen pars in his final round in 1987 on a mist covered Muirfield, it set the standard of what was needed to win a major championship when the heavens opened and the wind was so strong they had to shut the tented village.
The player who holds the claret jug aloft and is declared “Champion Golfer of the Year” will have used every shot in his armory and some he probably made up on the spot. Links golf is a severe test of your game, but it also the most rewarding test and for those of you who have never played a true links course I suggest you make sure you do.
As always I am going to pick three from the US, Europe and The Rest of the World, which is made up of two who can win and one outside tip.
Can Justin Rose 16/1 hold both Open championships on each side of the Atlantic? Rose came to prominence at the Open Championship at Royal Birkdale in 1998 nearly holing his chip and run on the final hole on the last day. We all know about his struggles after that tournament when he turned pro, but I look back on that championship and feel that he is destined to win an Open. The golfing gods just wanted to show the precocious teenager you have to earn that historic trophy and pay your dues and Justin has certainly done that.
One player who has got the game to cope with whatever the weather throws at the home of The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers is Graeme McDowell 25/1 who was tipped by myself and every other pundit to do well at the US Open and left us with egg on our faces. But the Irishman’s game was honed on the links of Royal Portrush and polished at the University of Alabama, he has all the shots in his locker and when the flat stick works like a wand there are not too many that can stick with him.
My outside pick is going to be Mikko Ilonen 100/1 and regular readers of my betting guide will know we have done well this year with the Fin. Mikko has found a new serenity to his being and now keeps his renowned temper in check and the results have been dramatic with a win and two runners up finishes from his last six events and he has the game and now the temperament to do well here this week.
Brandt Snedeker 40/1 came so close at last year’s Open Championship leading the way after the first two days, only to see his chances fade with rounds of 73,74, but his early work was good enough to take third place. I am sure the experience is one that Brandt not only enjoyed, but he will have learned a lot from and I am sure he won’t make those mistakes again come the weekend this year.
Who would have thought Dustin Johnson’s 40/1 long ball game would suit links golf, the tall lad from South Carolina seems to enjoy playing in the Open Championship. Dustin has played in the Championship since 2009 when he missed the cut, but since then he has not been outside the Top 15 with his best finish being a runner up to Darren Clarke 200/1 at Royal St Georges in 2011.
Zach Johnson 80/1 looks a great outside bet this year, Zach has not had the greatest of years so far with only four Top 25 finishes from sixteen events. Zach didn’t seem to enjoy his early Open Championship excursions as he missed the cut in his first Championships, but he has gradually found away of playing links golf and the last two years has seen him finish sixteenth and ninth, lets hope he keeps that progression going.
Rest of the World:
Jason Day 25/1 always seems to build himself into the major championships each year and he was in the thick of it again at both this year’s Masters and US Open Championship with Top 5 finishes in both, one was his runners-up finish at the US Open to Justin Rose. Jason has had another two Top 10 finishes this year on the PGA Tour and don’t be surprised if this Australian is in the final pairings come Sunday afternoon.
Who could forget the agony that Adam Scott 16/1 went through at Royal Lytham St Annes in last year’s Open Championship, it was hard to watch and why the “Best Caddie in the World” didn’t hand him a hybrid on the 18th only he will know. But Adam showed what he was made of to come back and win at the Masters this year and we could be hearing another shout of “Come on Aussie” at Muirfield come Sunday afternoon.
I have been surprised by the lack of South African showing so far in this year’s major championships as I believed they have a great set of players coming through at the moment, one of them being Branden Grace 66/1. Branden won four times on the European Tour last year and this year hasn’t lived up to expectation. He did have a Top 20 finish at this year’s Masters, but a second round 83 put him out of the US Open Championship. But I do think of all the South African players coming through at the moment, Branden and George Coetzee 100/1 will be the two that follow Els 25/1, Oosthuizen 50/1 and Schwartzel 33/1 in winning major championships.
For updated betting odds during the tournament go to planetgolfreview.com