Article written

  • on 07.07.2011
  • at 09:30 AM
  • by KT

British Open 2011 Preview

The American golf fans often big up the Masters and the US Open, but no-one can deny that the Open Championship is most prestigious of all the Golf Majors.

Royal St George’s plays host to the 2011 British Open golf tournament, a course on which low scorecards are few and far between; if anything the Kent golf course is famous for being one of the trickiest and toughest around.

The last time the British Open was held here in 2003, Thomas Bjorn appeared to be on his way to victory, only to find a large green-side bunker on 16. It took the Dane three shots to escape the sand pit, allowing  American Ben Curtis (playing in his first Major) to sneak up on the blind side and steal the Claret Jug from his grasp.

Royal St George’s, as with any Open Championship course, is a true risk/reward one. The 9th, 10th and 12th are short holes, enticing players to attack. Yet with their numerous traps, the British Open may be won by a golfer who plays these holes more conservatively than their competitors.

Royal St George's

Royal St George's - the home of the 2011 Open Championship. The undulating terrain will cause problems for even the straightest of drivers.

One thing that can’t be predicted in this country is the weather. Should players have to contend with strong winds, then what looks like a great tee shot may end up in the wet and wispy rough. So it may be a case of looking towards those players known for their shot good shot recovery when looking for your British Open bets.

The Open Championship 2011 – Betting Preview

The Europeans are dominating the world of golf right now and it may well be wise to stick with them here, as their experiences of playing in these difficult types of conditions will hold them in good stead.

Tiger Woods yesterday announced that he will not be playing in this year’s Open Championship tournament due to a leg injury. Even still he was a 16/1 shot to win the tournament. Gone are the days of him being a short 9/4 favourite to lift the Claret Jug… for now at least.

So before Ivor Robson calls the first players to the tee at Royal St Georges next Thursday, lets take a moment to pick out some of the likely contenders and highlight our golf tips for the Open Golf Championship 2011.

The Contenders:

Rory McIlroy is golf’s newest boy-wonder after destroying the field on his way to winning his first Major at the US Open. The 22-year-old fired a 16-under-par 268 at Congressional, but The British Open will be a different proposition.

Despite McIlroy’s impeccable driving, it will take much more than that to win the British Open at Royal St George’s. It will take a cool, experienced head from a player willing to play conservative golf at the right times. Although he possesses immense raw talent, this part of his game is something that a young McIlroy is yet to learn.

Coupled with the pressure of the British crowds, this may come a little too soon for the Northern Irishman and the 6/1 with Paddy Power seems particularly short.

Martin Kaymer (20/1 with bet365) may be one for the shortlist. The 26 year old golfer is playing the best golf of his career and fully deserves his number 3 position in the golf world rankings. He is a fantastic putter and his recovery game is very strong; qualities which will be tested throughout the Open at Royal St George’s.

Luke Donald lacks the power of some of his European counterparts such as Westwood and McIlroy, but his iron play is second-to-none and one of the main reasons he is world number 1. If he is to win next week (16/1 with Ladbrokes) he will have to be clever and often sacrifice distance off the tee in order to leave good positions into the greens; something which should come easy to a player of Donald’s quality and experience.

Lee Westwood is a player who is craving his first Major. That said he has always played well and been in contention to do so, finishing in the top 3 during five of the last seven majors he has played. He will surely break his duck eventually and the 10/1 that Paddy Power are offering for him to become the first British golfer to win the Open Championship since Nick Faldo in 1992 seems attractive. He failed to make the cut in 2003 and will be keen to put that to bed by getting his hands on the Claret Jug this time around.

Sergio Garcia has returned to form over recent months and if this was a tee-to-green competition he would probably be vying for favouritism. The truth is however that his putting is simply not comparable to the other top players and until he improves this part of his game, a links course such as Royal St George’s will be a bridge too far, hence his price of 25/1 with Ladbrokes. He did take a 3-shot lead into the final day at Carnoustie in 2007, but after shooting a bogey on the last he lost out to Padraig Harrington in the play-off.

The American challenge will be led by Phil Mickleson who has always struggled with the demands of the British Open Links courses and this year is likely to be no different. He has made the top 10 only once during his career, yet his price (3/1 with Paddy Power) will no doubt tempt in some once-per-year golf bettors.

Of the other Americans, Steve Stricker and Nick Watney make most appeal. Watney shot 62 & 66 in the final 2 rounds of the AT&T and will be brimming with confidence coming into the British Open on the back of a win. He finished 7th in last year’s Open Championship and will be one to watch.

Stricker is the World number 5 after a very consistent season so far. He lacks the raw talent of a McIlroy or a Woods, but he rarely makes a mistake; a quality that will come in handy at Royal St George’s. He has 2 top 10 Open Championship finishes to his name (Carnoustie, 2007 & Birkdale, 2008) and if his putting is up to scratch will have every chance at 40/1 with Paddy Power.

Australian Jason Day finished 2nd in the US Open and is another player in great form. He is a Stricker/Donald type player who manages to keep a cool head even when things aren’t going his way. At 33/1 with Ladbrokes he will be many people’s fancy to lift his first claret jug.

Selections:

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