We are half way through the Open Championship at Muirfield and My Top 5 Tips (https://bm23sportsreviews.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/5-tips-for-the-open-championship/) aren’t looking too bad. Tiger Woods (8/1 pre-tournament) is sitting at -2 just 1 place off the lead (currently held by Miguel Angel Jimenez), Martin Laird (100/1 pre-tournament) is at -1 in T-6th, Brandt Snedeker ( 35/1 pre-tournament) had a stinker of a second round and is well off the pace at +5 in T-39th, Jason Dufner (66/1 pre-tournament) also had a stinker of a second round and is at +7 in T-58 and the less that is said about Luke Donald’s abysmal performance over the previous days the better (missed the cut). 4 out of 5 making the cut isn’t bad and neither is 2 out of 5 seriously contending going into the weekend but I feel it is worth looking at potential other winners of the Open based on how they’ve played this weekend and their odds at the bookies (Bet365 live odds).
Before I begin I would like to say that I believe that those who are going out late in the day are at a massive disadvantage to those who are playing earlier. The scoring in the afternoon has been on average around 2 shots more than in the morning and this could very well allow someone who has just snuck inside the cut to post a -3/-4 could very well put themselves in contention on the final day. So don’t look past guys like Branden Grace +3 (Scottish Open runner-up and 100/1), Brandt Snedeker +5 (200/1) and Matt Kuchar +5 (150/1). I’m not saying I think any of them have a chance but the way the course is playing a guy who shoots a good clubhouse score on the final day could quite easily back into it when the leaders are playing the tricky back 9.
Henrik Stenson 9/1
Stenson this weekend has been mr. consistency, he has garnered barely any television time and somehow finds himself in the final group for tomorrow’s 3rd round.
Stenson currently sits at -2 after consecutive 70’s (course par 71) and is the only man to have been able to post consecutive below par rounds this week. Stenson also had a very stong showing at this year’s Scottish Open (links competition held the week before the Open) finishing 3rd.
The major concern about Stenson is that he has never won a major and there is a major question about his bottle. These questions were increased further based on the fact that he shot a 73 in the final round of the Scottish Open after he had been in the lead after three rounds.
Honestly I didn’t think that Stenson had a chance this week (especially after the Scottish Open) but he has proven me wrong. His odds are 9/1 and he is currently Tied for 2nd it is fantastic odds for his position in the field and his play over the weekend.
Martin Laird 22/1
One of my 5 picks before the start of the tournament has seen his odds plummet from 100/1 to 22/1.
As I said in my original post Laird had a good Scottish Open last week and has followed it up this week with a great showing at the Open currently sitting at -1 and T-5th. Martin Laird also has the credit of having the most birdies so far at this year’s Open (had a handful of bogey’s as well seeing as he is only -1).
Like most people in the field Laird has never won a major (or even been in a position to win a major) and there will of course be questions of his bottle but the questions over Laird’s previous play at the Open can be discarded because he has played very solidly this week.
To receive 22/1 for a man who has played very consistently over the week so far and has sunk many important long birdie and par puts is again a good offer.
Francesco Molinari 60/1
A man who I was considering placing in my Top 5 picks at the start of the tournament as opposed to Luke Donald (to be fair I also considered Matteo Manassero) has the perfect game for this golf course.
Molinari is all about hitting fairways and hitting greens and as has been evident from the prior two days of golf, which is what Muirfield is all about. At +1 Molinari is sitting nicely in T-11th, out of the limelight and a good number of groups behind the Tiger chaos. Molinari hit a 69 on the first day and a 74 on the second (with only a bogey and a double-bogey on the card [no birdies]) showing incredibly consistent golf.
Again Molinari has never won a major and that is a concern, but probably the bigger concern is the fact that in his second round he scored no birdies at all (looks a lot like my cards in many ways [as in no birdies]). It is a major concern because at Muirfield it is easy to run up a score at any hole (Colsaerta 5 putt, even I don’t 5 putt [on good days]) and although Molinari had 16 pars in his second round he still shot a +3 74.
However at a very tasty 60/1 it is well worth a punt on Francesco Molinari, especially a bet each way when you are still receiving ¼ odds for 4 places (maybe even 5 in some places). Don’t forget Molinari is only 4 shots off the lead and is only 10 places from first, still very much in this tournament.
There you go three more guys to take a punt on for the weekend at the Open. The three men I did actually bet (Laird, Snedeker and Dufner) are all still active so I am probably not going to bet anyone else until maybe the final day when the picture is clearer, although if I were to bet I would go for Molinari each way.
As a side note out with gambling I really think it looks like Tiger Woods is going to win this weekend. It feels like he hasn’t played well at all this week (so far) yet he is tied for second, that is what Tiger of old would have done and this looks like his return to form in the majors. However at 5/2 you really are receiving no value at all and who knows maybe this isn’t Tiger of old and instead is the new inconsistent Tiger.
So what do you think? Are you enjoying the Open so far? Is there anyone who you think is worth a punt on that I haven’t mentioned? Let me know and leave a comment.