Rarely has there been a more open, Open than at Hoylake this year.
Its possible if the wind doesn’t blow that the best in the world could rip the course apart as it lacks length and has amongst the truest greens on the circuit, without ridiculous humps and borrows.
It has its defences though. Get in the bunkers on a fairway and its a dropped shot. After a lush and warm spring the rough is penal and lost balls will be plenty but its big defence is the wind. If it blows then the quick fairways can be impossible to find for anyone but the rifle straightest. Something a certain Tiger Woods worked out with his 2 iron when he won in 2006.
Can he do it again – the answer is no. At 25-1 he is the biggest price in an Open ever and we are not tempted. He simply doesn’t have the game anymore and if we were spread betting we would be selling his finishing position. For now lets have 2 units with Betfair that he misses the cut @ 11/4.
So forgetting Woods, what are we looking for.
1. Driver Accuracy – getting the ball in play is key, yardage control is key and a good course brain crucial
2. Length – whatever you say this makes the game easier. If you can hit 2 clubs less than your opponent most times the game becomes that much easier.
3. Flight control – we need someone who doesnt hit the ball high or with lost of spin on it. For that reason I am keen to lay Bubba Watson. He simply cant succeed on this course and I recommend laying him with Betfair not top be in the top 10
4. Putting, as ever this will hold the key – lost of putts are makeable on these greens and if someone gets hot go with them.
Based on my premise above, some reason form lines and a little gut instinct my selections dont include any Americans. I tried to make a case for Jordan Spieth but he lacks experience of these conditions. Mickelson and Woods have had their day and we need to move on, Bubba I have already mentioned and the rest arent playing well.
Our four against the field are
2. 1 unit e/w Adam Scott @ 16/1 – the classy Australian knows how to play in all conditions and has won on links courses in Australia. He knows how to flight the ball and he thinks it around very well. I would be stronger on him if he could putt. That’s how good his game tee to green is – he can just about putt and still wins. He has also been practising at Hoylake all week last week as well.
3. 1 unit e/w Henrik Stenson 18/1 . My sole European pick and again someone with a huge amount of game. I think he is back to his best and his best is better than most.
4. 1 unit e/w Luke Donald @ 40/1. This is tailor made for him. Dead straight, intelligent and an above average putter on a course that doesnt need length.
It promises to be a great four days on the Long and Winding Road that leads to Open greatness in the city that brough us the Beatles and if you believe the locals – they invented football as well.
Good luck and enjoy.