Tuesday, 17 July 2012

The Open 2012

The Open is upon this week from Royal Lytham and St Annes, scene of David Duval & Tom Lehman’s sole Major victories in 2001 & 1996. American winners! Will there be one this week? Tiger? He always prepares well for the Majors, obviously, but although he has had some success lately his recent wins have come on courses that he likes and has vast experience on. The course week will be tough; the well documented rough will ruin anyone’s scorecard if it catches a ball in the wrong place. Accuracy is key this week. Tiger with iron off the tee can negotiate a score and I won’t be surprised to see him doing this with many three quarter shots in his bag. At 9/1 I have been tempted but when compiling the shortlist some others have better value at better odds even if they make a placing. Paddypower offers 7 places this week so this influences the selections.

I cannot drop Padraig Harrington this week can I ? I have sided with the twice former Champion for a few weeks now and he is playing very well. The putting let him down at Portrush on the Sunday but as per his performances at Augusta and Olympic he loves the tough tests and will be looking forward to it. I have already backed him at 28/1 but he is still available at 20/1 now.

My second selection this week is Dustin Johnson @ 50/1. The American has already won this year following a return from injury and has clearly demonstrated a liking for links golf. He should have won US Open at Pebble Beach in 2010, could have won at Whistling Straits. He has won tournaments at Pebble beach though and has good links form all round. 50/1 is too big and he could complete the USA hat-trick this week. He plays alongside GMAC who pipped him Pebble Beach, has a 09:30 start on Thursday, so a good start is possible and a good start is needed this week. Another American who could win is Rickie Fowler, excellent Open form but I think he still needs to serve his Major apprenticeship before he wins one. But Johnson has arrived very early for this one and is well rested up. I expect him to contend.

Third pick is Jason Dufner at 50/1 (Ladbrokes). Fantastic tee to green player and can putt when it matters. Has shown great consistency and can now contend on Sunday afternoons. He lost the PGA to Keegan Bradley when he should have won but has the bottle to win one now. If I was to pick another American I might have some interest in Stewart Cink, Open champion and excellent British Open form. Early start and could be great bet for first round leader.

I have to put in Ross Fisher. Great return to form the past few weeks and he has a penchant for links golf. Accuracy is strength and if he can limit the mistakes he will give us a great run at 80/1 over the 4days. It’s very open this year and I think he can prevail in one of the Majors and he is my Englishman to do well here this week over Westwood, Donald, Poulter & Rose. I would love to see Westwood win, so I’m leaving him out this week (maybe I need to give him some luck and not put my cash down on him).The other Englishmen mentioned should go well too.

My final pick is GMac. Decent form this year and came so close to a second US Open at Olympic last month. He will be confident of putting in a good effort here and the links format will be down his alley. 33/1 is still good value with proven credentials and I’m confident he is up for this. He is slightly preferred over Martin Kaymer who is still not back to his best despite some good rounds last week at castle Stuart. Former winner at the Dunhill, he can compete on links in the rain 7 wind but at 40/1 I’ll pass for the Northern Irishman instead.

So there is my list- queue 5 shot victory for Lee Westwood over Tiger Woods and Martin Kaymer!

TIP 1: 1 pt e/w P.Harrington @ 20/1 Ladbrokes

TIP 2: 1 pt e/w D.Johnson @ 50/1 Paddypower

TIP 3: 1 pt e/w J.Dufner @ 50/1 Ladbrokes

TIP 4: 1 pt e/w R.Fisher @ 80/1 Paddypower

TIP 5: 1 pt e/w G.McDowell @ 33/1 Paddypower

TIP 6: 0.5 pts e/w FIRST ROUND LEADER S.Cink @ 100/1 Paddypower

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Scottish Open 2012

We are back on the links this week for the Scottish Open at Castle Stuart GC, Inverness. The inaugural hosting last year was reduced to 54 holes where Luke Donald emerged victorious. A great lineup this week, the week before The Open, will ensure the winner will need to be at top of his game if he is to win. I should sidestep Padraig Harrington being the week before the Open, but as always Pardraig will be out to win and but for his putter 2 weeks ago, he could have won his home open at Portrush. He can backed at 14/1 with Betpack where 6 places are on offer. No doubting his liking for links, he has been playing so well this season that the win is surely to come soon. Win this week and confidence will be sky high next week.
My second selection was a toss up between Nicholas Colsaerts & George Coetzee. The former did well here last year, did well in Ireland two weeks ago, but 20/1 is a bit skinny for the Belgian Bomber so I'll plumb for the South African at 40/1 also with Betpack. Martin Kaymer on paper looks value at 33/1 but poor showings both in Germany & France doesn't instill confidence in backing him....so he's bound to win now !
My third selection is proving more difficult each week, and perhaps I may have to review my staking plan going forward as a result. I'd better declare all of my shortlist contenders now rather than after the off ......Chris Wood,Louis Oosthuizen,Simon Dyson, Shane Lowry,Stephen Gallagher,Peter Whiteford and Alejandro Canizares were in the mix before I decided upon the Irishman and the Spaniard. Lowry went well here last year throwing in a 65, was brought up on links golf (won Irish Open at Baltray) and will feel no pressure this week. Canizares has spent a bit of time in the US and played very well at Portrush despite a 75 on Sunday dropping him down the field. I'll split my stakes to cover both with Lowry at 90/1 and Canizares at 200/1, both with Betpack.

TIP 1: 2 pts win P.Harrington @ 14/1 Betpack

TIP 2: 1 pt e/w G.Coetzee @ 40/1 Betpack

TIP 3: 1 pt e/w S.Lowry @ 90/1 Betpack

TIP 4: 1 pt e/w A.Canizares @ 200/1 Betpack

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

French Open 2012

Europeantour action switches to paris this week for the French Open to be staged at Le Golf National,venue for the 2018 Ryder Cup. It boasts one of the hardest finishes in golf from 15-18 and often its the player that performs best over these 4 holes over the 4 days that goes onto win. The course should suit the likes of Lee Westwood, Martin Kaymer, Justin Rose and its no surprise that they head the betting market. Kaymer disappointed in Cologne 2 weeks ago, perhaps the pressure of hometown boy caught up with him, but after 4 holes in the 2nd round he had closed within 4 shots of the lead before he threw it away. he won here in 2009, was 6th in 2010 and 4th last year so with that record I cannot but back him this week. he will be smarting after the missed cut back home and will be out to put it right this week. His game clearly suits the course and if the weather forecasted does get showery etc , he can handle it and come out on top.
 Thorbjorn Olesen showed a return of form last week at Portrush and comes here this week confident following a runners up place last year. He is streaky and is destined to win more tournaments and can challenge here again this wekk. 40/1 is great price and he makes the staking plan.
 My third pick is a bit of an outsider this week. Richard Green also missed the cut last week in Ireland but he clearly loves this course. He finished tied 11th last year having shot a 76 on saturday,tied 6th in 2009, 4th in 2008, tied 7th in 2006 and tied 2nd in 2004. With proven form on this course the 80/1 on offer cannot be ignored and for traders out there I think this is well worth a punt this week.

TIP 1: 2 pts WIN Martin Kaymer @ 14/1 Betpack

TIP 2: 1 pt e/w Thorbjorn Olesen @ 40/1 Betpack

TIP 3: 1 pt e/w Richard Green @ 80/1 Betpack