So the final round of the Open Championship has arrived and England’s Lee Westwood is leading by 2 shots from Hunter Mahan and Tiger Woods. My top 5 tips (https://bm23sportsreviews.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/5-tips-for-the-open-championship/) and my update (https://bm23sportsreviews.wordpress.com/2013/07/20/5-tips-for-the-open-championship-update/) have left me with 4 players in contention (Tiger Woods, Henrik Stenson, Francesco Molinari and Brandt Snedeker).
As is the way of golf the complexion of the tournament, and those who are in contention changes from round to round. You can find some of the best value by betting on the 4th round of a tournament, because realistically there are fewer people who could potentially win the tournament.
The men that I am touting to bet on are based upon their chances of winning, their play this week and their odds (from Bet365). So it is not going to be a list of favourites, rather a list of value bets. At this stage of the tournament you are still able to receive 3 places if you bet each way and that is recommended.
I commented in my update that the way Muirfield is playing this week plays perfectly into the hands of someone out with the leading groups posting a score and backing into the championship. With this in mind I believe that anyone who is at +3 or better is potentially in with a chance if they shoot a good score, don’t forget that +3 is currently T-11th and 6 shots off the lead (4 off of 2nd). Muirfield is playing harder as the day goes along and that plays further into the shoot a score early and back into it theory. Look at Hunter Mahan’s 3rd round, where he shot a 68 under no real pressure and has put him thoroughly into contention (T-2nd). -1/-2 could be a winning score and that is what the players over par should be looking to finish on to have a chance of winning.
Phil Mickelson 20/1
Mickelson currently sits at +2 (T-9th) and if there is one man to go out tomorrow and shoot a low score with some aggressive play it is Phil Mickelson. Mickelson is a man on form; he won the Scottish Open the week prior to this week and finished 2nd in the US Open earlier this year.
Mickelson does however have a tendency to be too aggressive when playing from behind, and could blow it by taking himself totally out of play.
Before the tournament started I didn’t think Mickelson had much of a chance but it is definitely not beyond Mickelson shooting a 68 (-3) or better and putting himself very much in contention. At 20/1 Mickelson is good value at this stage of the tournament.
Francesco Molinari 66/1
I wrote about Molinari yesterday as someone worth betting on for the weekend, and although he shot a 72, he hasn’t taken himself out of contention. Molinari currently sits at +2 and in T-9th (Molinari & Mickelson the group to watch as potential threats from behind tomorrow) and has the game that is required to play well at this course.
Molinari’s rounds have been a 69, 74 and 72 and he may not have the game to post the amount of birdies he requires to put in a potential threat to win.
I liked Molinari before the tournament and he has put himself in an outside contention to win. If you consider that Mickelson is also at +2 yet his odds are 20/1, whereas Molinari’s are 66/1 which is tremendous value for position.
Brandt Snedeker 66/1
My personal pick pre-tournament had a stinker of a second round (79) but shot 69 in both the 1st and 3rd rounds. Snedeker is sitting at +3 (T-11th) maybe a little too far back as I believe that at +3 he will need to score at worst a 67 (-4) to have a serious of chance of winning (he could easily place). Snedeker has the game to shoot a low score though and is generally an excellent putter which is so important round Muirfield.
Snedeker is quite far back and the 79 he shot in the 2nd round is still fresh in the mind, it is unclear whether he will have a good round (like in the 1st or 3rd rounds) or a bad one (like in the 2nd). There is no room for error, even an ok round is not good enough to get the job done for Snedeker, if he is to compete he must score well.
Sitting at 66/1 (really showing the Molinari value) Sned’s is a good choice for someone who could make an impact on the last day with an early charge. He certainly has the game to do so and is far enough back to take the issue of him bottling it out of the picture, but he must have a good day.
There it is three players to take a look at if you are thinking of picking a winner for the Open and are looking for some value. Of the three I think Mickelson has the best chance but Molinari is definitely the better value.
For the tournament as a whole I do believe that Tiger Woods is still the most likely to win. He is sitting pretty at -1 only 2 shots off of Westwood, although he has never come from behind to win a major. I’d really like to see Westwood win because he does deserve it but I get the feeling that he will bottle it, as for Hunter Mahan just look at any of his big moments in his career (Ryder Cup 2010, US Open 2013) he is a perennial bottler, he will not win the Open. I am sure that someone from the pack will shoot a good score, there are a lot of good players in the pack and they are all capable of doing so. Overall I like Woods to win and you can get 5/2 for him to do so, which to be honest are not bad odds for Woods at this stage of the tournament.
So let me know what you think and how you think the tournament is going? All comments are appreciated and enjoy the last day of The Open.