Golf The third major of the year is upon us this week as the best of the PGA Tour meet the best of the European Tour to determine this years British open champion. This years tournament will be played on the medal course at Carnoustie in Scotland. Carnoustie has a long been regarded as one of the hardest courses on the open rotation. The course measures 7,361 yards from the back tees and if the wind blows some holes may prove to be close to impossible.
The back nine is particularly tricky. The 16th hole is a par 3 that measures 240 yards.If the wind blows however, the par 3 will play more like a par 4 and will require two shots to get home instead of one. In the 1968 open Jack Nicklaus called the whole a tricky little par 4. On the back nine there are five par 4s that measure 459 yards or longer.
If the wind blows with any amount of force many of these wholes will become inaccessible in two shots. In the previous British opens that have been played at Carnoustie a variable whos who of golf have emerged as winners. The best in the game have always won at Carnoustie.Hogan captured the third leg of his Triple Crown here in 1953.
Gary Player beat Jack Nicklaus in a legendary dual in 1968 and Tom Watson captured the first of his five open wins here in 1975. What does this tell us about this years open? Look hard at the favorite. With a number of golfers playing so well going into the open making a decision on who to pick can be very tricky. Carnoustie is a long golf course so length will be very important, especially if the wind picks up.
Also the ability to keep the ball low under the wind is an attribute you will find in every player who has ever won the open, its absolutely necessary. Defining these characteristics in individual golf games may be hard to do. But if Carnoustie continues the tradition of providing world class winners it might help us determine who to pick. The obvious choice of favorite falls on a man who has won three of his last four starts, Tiger Woods.
Woods game is hitting on all cylinders at the most crucial time of the year.Had his putter not slipped on the back nine at Pinehurst Woods would have gone four for four. His recent good play has driven down the odds however, and you will be lucky to get him at 8/1. Most properties have him at around 6/1. Another man who has been playing flawless golf of late is Vijay Singh.
He has the all around game to win an open.His consistent play has him perched and ready to claim another major. Look for Singh at 10/1. Another player who appears to have his game in order going in to this week is Colin Montgomerie. Montgomerie hails from Scotland and grew up playing the open courses. With his win at last weeks Loch Loman tournament it appears the Montgomerie has his game ready.
Montgomerie should be posted somewhere near 20/1. The fourth man who stands a good chance this week is Englishman Lee Westwood. Westwood appears to be over the shoulder injury that has kept him back most of the year.He played well at last weeks Loch Loman tournament and seems poised to win his first major. Hes long, proven a number of times that he can get the job done under harsh circumstances, and he can play well under pressure. At 20/1 it could be like stealing. The fifth and final player that could be a serious threat is Irishman Darren Clarke. Like all the other picks hes long, and can keep it under the wind.
Clarke finished tied for seventh in the U.S. Open and has played well in the weeks leading up to the British. Like Westwood hes ready to take his game to the next level and the British Open could be his best chance to do so. Look for Clarke around 30/1. With so many players who have a great shot to win the British Open, youre best bet to make some money could be the match up bets. Each book will have different match-up bets so we decided to go with the match-up bets offered at Imperial Palace.In match number one we have Tiger Woods vs.
David Duval. Woods is listed at 125, but his recent play combined with the fact that Duval has not played well in past opens is more than enough encouragement to take Woods. The second match is Darren Clarke vs. Jim Furyk.Clarke has been playing much bettor than Furyk in the past weeks and has more experience in playing in extreme conditions. Clarke is listed at 120 but should have no problem overcoming Furyk.
In match number three last years almost hero Brian Watts takes on Stuart Appleby. Appleby has been playing good golf lately and should have no problem in dealing with Watts. Look for Appleby at EVEN.The fourth match-up pits Davis Love III against Vijay Singh.
With Singhs steady play of late it would be very difficult to bet against him. The man has not finished out of the top ten in his last eight starts. The odds may not be great but it should be a sure thing.
Look for Singh at 125.The fifth and final match-up has Stewart Cink vs. last years champion Mark OMeara. OMeara has more game than Cink and he should show some of that game in the defense of his title. You may have to give up some odds but it should be no problem. Sports and Games.