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

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