Wednesday, 15 July 2015

The Open ...er British open ...or the best Major - 2015


It's The Open this week, or as some people call it , The British Open. Somewhere along the line though it has become more known as The Open but whatever its title, it sure is one of the top golfing tournaments, steeped in history and tradition. One of those traditions is to call the winner this week, "Champion Golfer of 2015", a flattering title indeed. Should Jordan Spieth succeed, we'll have no doubts as to who the real champion golfer is but should he come up short I'm sure we'll still be referring to the young Texan as the champion golfer at present. We are at St. Andrews for the first time since 2010, where Louis Oosthuizen took advantage of the draw the first two days and skipped away from Rory McIlroy and co to win by seven ! Following his great effort at Chambers Bay last month, "Shrek" is being tipped by many to go well again here this week and "defend". We won't of course have the defending Open Champion, Rory McIlroy, due to his ankle injury, which is a great pity. Spieth will attempt to become the first to win the Open having won on US soil the week previously and is a worthy favourite to do so. At double the price though, I'm inclined to stick with my US Open tip, Dustin Johnson @ 14.00. He makes his first appearance since three putting the 72nd hole in Seattle but he has shown in the past that he can win very quickly after Major setbacks. He's a different person these days, he's spent a lot of family time recently and St. Andrews gives him a great opportunity to break his Major duck. The home of golf has always suited the bigger hitters and DJ has the power to reach par 4s this week even taking the wind into account; he also has a superb short-game and his putting stats will surprise many. Of course, can he putt when the pressure is on ? He loves links, has won at Pebble Beach and has gone close at Chambers Bay and Whistling Straits. Speaking of the Straits, next months PGA Championship returns there and we could be more excited for that than this should DJ prevail this week ! We had the "Big 3" of years before when Jack, Arnie & Gary Player took golf onto the world stage and we could quite possibly be entering a another "Big3" era with Rory, Jordan & DJ. Imagine if DJ won this and the PGA next month !

Can DJ win though ? Yes I think he is the man to beat this week. His driving will make scoring a lot easier where fairways are wide and greens are big, DJ has the short game to take advantage and he seldoms three putts (er....his last bit action was exactly that which cost him the US Open I hear you say). He was down the field in 2010 here following his efforts at Pebble Beach the month before when GMac prevailed but we have a more polished player these days and he's older and wiser. He's proven before he can bounce back from disappointment quickly and he looks better prepared for St Andrew's than Jordan Spieth. He's a win bet @ 14.00

St Andrews, links courses, and Majors are just the sort of challenges that Martin Kaymer thrives on. He may not be having the best of seasons so far but there have been significant signs of late that a return to the winners enclosure is not far away. He played well in his second round at Royal County Down in May despite having no chance of making the cut and showed up on the leaderboard at Le Golf National a couple of weeks ago. Kaymer can produce the goods any given week and on links he is a player to contend with. 44.00 cannot be ignored. (40/1 for 7 places )

My old favourite Ross Fisher has played well in The Open before, has solid links form and showed last week at Gullane that his game is in fine nick for this one. Progressive form over recent weeks augurs well and he is also lucky to have an early tee time Thursday which according to ever changing weather forecasts suggests he may have the luck of the draw. Let's hope it pans out that way for him should he get a good start. One thing to note over previous St Andrews Open's, is that just 1 player, Jack Nicklaus, has managed to overcome a deficit of more than 2 shots after round one and win- all other winners were within those two shots. Ross is my outside bet this week @ 230.00 for the win and 7.00 for a TOP20.

I've also added Marc Warren & Joost Luiten into my staking plan. Both have shown many times that they excel on links courses and both are in form with Warren almost snatching the Scottish Open with a final round 66 last Sunday and Luiten also placing. Neither will be affected by the wind and bad weather and represent decent value @ 170.00 and 150.00 respectively. The TOP20 offers of 6.00 & 6.50 are also decent value.



Staking Plan

3.5 pts WIN D.Johnson @ 14.00
1 pt e/w M.Kaymer @ 40/1 (7 places)
.25 pts e/w R.Fisher @ 150/1 (8 places)
.25 pts e/w M.Warren @ 150/1 (6 places)
.25 pts e/w J.Luiten @ 125/1 (8 Places)

2 pts TOP20 M.Warren @ 6.00
2 pts TOP20 J.Luiten @ 6.50
4 pts TOP20 R.Fisher @ 7.00