WINNERS in the US Masters and US Open, Louis Ross (@LouisRoss67) is determined to find The Open winner at St Andrews this week.
The Open Championship | 16th-19th July 2015
St Andrews. The most famous golf course in the world. Always an amazing venue for an Open Championship. The most prized of the four Majors and a true test of golf.
To be honest though, in the right conditions this place can be taken apart. These days a Par 72 of 7305 yards is fairly short. The course record of 62 (-10) is shared by Paul Casey, George Coetzee, Victor Dubuisson, Tommy Fleetwood and Louis Oosthuiezen. Not the kind of scores you expect to see at a major championship. However, get the conditions wrong and this place can bite back. Rory, god bless him, opened with a 63 in 2010. By the following day with strong gusts all over the course, Rory was signing for an 80.
I had selections fixed in my mind for some time and spent time on Saturday taking odds of 30,33 and 35/1 on Rickie Fowler (now as low as 14s). The weather forecast could throw all calculations out if it is as forecast. Everyone seems to believe that an early tee off on Thursday and a late one Friday are key.
Fowler goes off late Thursday along with Martin Kaymer my other main fancy. I have Kaymer in a few Major doubles with the phenom Jordan Spieth. I was not happy when the draw came out on Monday morning. I have been on the wrong side of a draw before and it can kill your chances.
So where do you go with your own selections? Trust your gut or the weather forecast? Honestly speaking I don’t believe anyone really knows. I am going to play safe and add a few early starters to my main selections but those that were on my shortlist anyway.
That shortlist was a fairly short one to begin with. I have fancied Rickie Fowler and Martin Kaymer for some time. Fowler since he became only the third guy in history to finish in the Top 5 of all four Majors in the same season and especially since he won The Players Championship in May. His win in the Scottish Open last weekend just reinforced my view. Phil Mickleson did this double a couple of years ago. His odds prevent an EW bet but 18/1 would still make for a very nice winner.
As for the other contenders…Jordan Spieth. I love the guy. I think he’s possibly the most dominant sportsman in the world right now. He destroyed the field at Augusta, followed it up at Chambers Bay and now has four wins in 2015. At the age of 21. Who’s the only other guy to win four times this early in the year? Tiger Woods. Guess what. He won The Open that year.
I’ll be delighted if Spieth follows up but even if minded to take odds of 13/2, the fact is he’s just not driving the ball that well. He was awful in Round 3 at the John Deere. On his way to a 61 but drive it 40 yards left here and you won’t bounce back off a tree onto the fairway.
DJ. The guy who has thrown away four Majors. 12/1? Good luck with that if he’s your pick this week. Adam Scott. He’s one you can see in the mix. He threw away an Open but bounced back to win the Masters the following year. Having Steve Williams back on his bag is a huge plus but I just don’t like backing players who appear as rarely as he does these days. Justin Rose will probably give you a run for your money. I’m a bit ‘meh’ about Rose. I think he stole a US Open off of Mickleson. Not a guy on my list here.
There are a few outsiders I like and proven links form and especially here are key for me with these selections. There are a lot of names here but in a Major Championship, I quite like a £1 on five or six huge prices. The EW potential is sometimes a better payout than the winner. I would imagine a fair few of us took the 100/1 about Branden Grace in the last Major
I have had a couple of bets on Joost Luiten at 150/1. Proven quality in this type of golf. Contended well at the Scottish Open last week and at Chambers Bay. Marc Warren gave us a nice payout last week at 66/1. If the wind had stayed up for another hour, I’m convinced the Scot would have won. He’s another that I think can run into a place at least. Charles Schwartzel, winner of the 2011 Masters has four Top 20 finishes in his last five Opens. 80/1 is a standout.
Geoff Ogilvy makes plenty of sense at 175/1 and my big outsider last week, John Senden is another that catches the eye at 200/1 this week. 22nd last week. I think he was a solid selection at 100/1 and deserves another go. The early starters if they do have this advantage, may represent great value especially in the 1st Round Leader market. Thomas Bjorn and Ross Fisher can go very low here.
The final selections below are carrying my money this week. If the weather calms down, I have huge confidence in the first two. You will all make your own minds up on that. I hope we are back here in a few weeks looking for a Grand Slam of Major winners.
The Open Championship – Rickie Fowler to win (18/1 Bet365)
The Open Championship – Martin Kaymer each way (40/1 Coral)
The Open Championship – Charles Schwartzel each way (90/1 Bet365)
The Open Championship – Joost Luiten each way (150/1 888 Sport)
The Open Championship – Marc Warren each way (150/1 Coral)
Betfair are giving all customers eight each way places this week in The Open Championship.
Give yourself every chance by backing your pick with Betfair this week.