Article written

  • on 16.07.2012
  • at 03:38 PM
  • by KT

The Open Championship 2012 Preview

American David Duval was victorious the last time The Open Championship was hosted at Royal Lytham & St Annes, and one thing we can say with some confidence is that we won’t have the same winner this time around. The American can be backed at around 750/1 if you really do fancy a nostalgic punt, though we would suggest saving your £1 and investing in a lottery ticket instead.

The most prestigious of all the Majors gets underway on Thursday and the bookies anticipate that over £200m will be wagered on the event worldwide, with over half of those stakes being struck with UK bookmakers.

With a hat-trick of PGA tour wins to his name this year, and showing glimpses of his old form, Tiger Woods comes into this Major as favourite once again. Whilst he has been replicating some of his old ‘magic’ he still lacks the consistency that used to hold him in such good stead and so the 9/1 (Paddy Power) to claim his fourth Open Championship looks a little on the short side.

Meanwhile a number of British players are once again in the running to lift the famous claret jug and become the first home-soil champion since Nick Faldo, 20 years ago.

Heading the English charge is World Number 1 Luke Donald (20/1Victor Chandler), who has the consistency of a major champion but sometimes lacks that bit of flair in and around the greens. That said, his iron play is second to none and given the anticipated testing conditions, it might be a case of who shoots the least bogeys rather than most birdies and so Donald has to be in with a shout.

Lee Westwood has somewhat of an injury scare in the recent French Open, but has since declared himself fit in time for The Open. He is still looking for that first Major title (16/1Paddy Power) and missed the cut at last year’s event at Royal St George’s. That said he did finish fourth in 2004, third in 2009 and even 2nd in 2010, albeit an eventual 7 shots behind South African Louis Oosthuizen on that occasion. Incidentally, the South African can be backed at 50/1 to claim his 2nd Open Championship.

Darren Clarke is the defending Champion and is 150/1 to retain his title at Royal Lytham. He finished tied 3rd last time this course hosted The Open and has missed just 4 times in his 20 year Open Championship career.

Another Northern Irishman looking for his 2nd Major victory is Rory McIlroy. He is 20/1 to win here this week but has been struggling with his swing in recent weeks and we’d be tempted to give him a miss this time around given the testing conditions.

One player with a superb Open Championship record is Ernie Els (45/1Victor Chandler). The ‘Big Easy’ always seems to find some form under the UK links conditions and has an incredible 12 Top 10 finishes in The Open, winning it in 2002 at Muirfield. Whilst he is generally regarded as being past his best, he is ice cool under pressure and won’t fall apart like some of the younger players should things not go his way from the off. He can be backed at 4/1 to finish in the top 10 again, and 9/1 to make the top 5.

Irishman Padraig Harrington (20/1Victor Chandler) has played well in this season’s Majors so far, finishing 8th in the US Masters and 4th in the US Open where he was in contention until he reached the 18th green. He is yet to taste victory since his winning the USPGA title in 2008 however, but won The Open in 2007 and ’08 so knows exactly what it takes to win an Open Championship.

Of the American players, Rickie Fowler is set to be as popular as ever, but with just one PGA Tour victory to his name, the 40/1 doesn’t represent too much value. He did tie for 5th in last year’s Open Championship so can’t be ruled out of a Top 10 finish, but we’re not sure he has either the game, nor the mental state, to win a Major just yet.

We do however like the look of Dustin Johnson. He has come close to winning a Major before; blowing a final round lead in the US Open a couple of years ago and was in contention for the USPGA until he picked up a penalty shot on the last. He tied 2nd at Royal St George’s last year and at 55/1 (Sporting Bet) represents some real E/W value.

And another player not to be overlooked is Jason Dufner who is on an incredible run. In his last 15 tournaments, Dufner has made 14 cuts to go along with two wins, six Top 10 finishes and 10 Top 25’s. Most recently he has won twice, finished second at the Crowne Plaza International and finished fourth at the US Open, all in his last 5 tournaments. Granted, he has yet to perform at The Open, but at 50/1 (Victor Chandler) we’re prepared to take a chance on a consistent golfer who is on fire right now!

 

The Open Championship 2012 Tips

The first group tees off at 06:30 BST on Thursday 19th July and coverage of all four days of The Open are live on the BBC.

The Open Championship 2012 Offers

If Westwood, Garcia, Poulter or Donald win the Open, Victor Chandler will refund losing bets.

Boylesports will refund all losing bets if an Irish player wins the Open.

Both Paddy Power and Stan James are paying 1/4 odds, 7 places on each-way bets.

If any English player wins The Open Unibet will refund all losing Outright bets (up to £30).

Skybet are offering a £10 FREE BET on the Open Championship for all new customers.

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