Valhalla is where Vikings go when they die, as long as they die with their sword in their hand. It’s Viking heaven and its just possible, that is a clue in itself. If you swop sword for putter and think about who might qualify to be in Golfers heaven after this weekend we might be on to a winner.
My mate says he was reading in the loo at 2.30am this morning and read about a guy called Moore and then went at 6.30 to get his papers to have his newsagent tell him he was backing Rory Moore this weekend – maybe that’s another omen? Lets hope we are not reduced to those measures in order to find a winner.
Golf Majors are notoriously competitive, said the man whose specialist subject is “The bleeding obvious” Well so is this one at Valhalla this week. The course plays long and hard but it has plenty of room off the tee and it means that big hitters have more of an advantage than they did at Hoylake a couple of weeks ago.
From a betting perspective it all revolves around Rory McIlroy, who at 5/1 is the shortest price he has ever been for a major. Of course he should be that price because he is the best player in the world. Putting it in to context, Tiger was often 5/2 for majors at his prime and at the moment Rory is capable of the same power and grace that Tiger had in his pomp. However we are not going to go with Rory who got us another big priced winner at Hoylake. The reason for this is that winning 3 big events in a row is tough and you can’t help believing your own publicity. Staying in the moment for any sportsman is also tough and I think this is another learning event for Rory. This time next year if he holds this form we won’t hesitate as there is no doubt his mental strength is increasing. However if that driver starts to miss his answer is to just hit it harder and that doesn’t work. So no Rory for us.
Our hit list looks like this :
Rickie Fowler – playing great golf; as well as he has ever played. He has it all, a brilliant game, good looks, a great coach (Butch Harman)and an all-round brilliant golf game. He will win a major – soon
Keegan Bradley – maddeningly quirky with his rituals and habits and nervous afflictions but a dam good player who is back to best form and just seems to float up leader boards on the big occasions. He genuinely believes in himself.
Charl Schwartzel – Frustrating, as we tipped him a couple of times and he hasn’t performed. He has all the game you need to be a star but he has to be in rhythm and he has to believe. Signs are that after welcoming a new baby in to the house in March that things are returning to normal and I think we can expect a much stronger show from him this weekend.
Matt Kuchar – this might be one tournament too early. He looked awful at Hoylake but re-found some of his game last weekend and he is another that just won’t go away when you don’t want him to win. He holes everything and doesn’t miss a green. If he does that this weekend he could be our winner.
Justin Rose– Has found a consistent game and seems in a good place. He looks strong on the golf course now and has no technical flaws in his game. He will be a top 10 golfer for the next decade.
Gary Woodland – Anyone’s outsider at 100/1 but he has a heck of game when on song. He hits it miles and gets it up and down, something you will need this weekend. He could be our lively long priced winner.
Mark Leishman – The likeable Aussie has an ugly swing but he gets it around golf courses better than most at the moment and he gets every bit out of every round with real guts and determination.
Henrik Stenson – almost sneaking under the radar for this event is the best player on tour last year. He finished 3rd the other day and he may just be back. We may be guilty of following him over a cliff but he has more game than just about anyone bar McIlroy.
So what does our four against the field look like – it looks like this
- Rickie Fowler 22/1
- Keegan Bradley 28/1
- Charl Schwartzel 28/1
- Henrik Stenson 33/1 (he’s a Viking – see what I mean!)