I must admit, of all the sporting activities that I like a flutter on, Golf is arguably my least favourite sport when it comes to making a bet.
The reason why I am not overly keen on wagering large amounts of money when it comes to golf is simply the margin for error. At any given professional tournament across the world there are hundreds of top class golfers in the field. This is even more the case when a major tournament comes around and only the world’s elite are fortunate to be handed an entry ticket.
This means that at any tournament you can have between 120+ golfers attempting to win the trophy.
Now at the start of the week, on a Thursday morning before the tournament begins, each of these golfers has a chance of success. Admittedly, it may not be a huge chance of success, but professional golfers are all of sufficient quality and ability to be able to consider that they are more than able and worthy of winning the tournament.
That is a very large field to narrow down.
Of course by Friday night, the field is cut and we have some semblance of a leader board and arguably only golfers within eight or ten strokes of the leader are likely to have a chance of victory on the Sunday at this point. Even so, often in events this can consist of a great many golfers, in some it can consist of almost all the field. This is still often in excess of 60 golfers.
Those odds don’t stack up to well with me.
Of course you can go on reputation. Tiger Woods was the sure fire bet for many until his well documented problems late last year. But bookmakers soon cottoned onto the “If it is golf, bet on the Tiger” method of betting and soon the American ace became almost impossible to back in any event he competed in. For sure, the likes of Mickelson, Westwood, Poulter and company all win events, but they don’t win enough to make backing them on a regular basis worthwhile or profitable.
So to me, backing an outright winner for any golf tournament is akin to a lottery.
However, with many betting companies now offering each way odds on golf tournaments down to at least a sixth or seventh placed finish and some offering odds on a top ten finish, this has allowed me far greater opportunity to peruse the odds available and consider putting my money where my mouth is.
I know you will be reading this on the Friday, possibly after the second round has begun, but I am writing this before the tournament starts, so if any of my tips below have had a nightmare start, then do feel free to discount them! However writing as of now, before the tournament begins, here are my three tips each offering good value odds for golfers who may finish in the top 10 at the Open Championship this week.
- Graham McDowell (11/4 Bet365)
The Northern Irishman surprised the world by lifting the US Open a month or so back, but that came on the back of some inspired golf at Celtic Manor two weeks previously when he lifted the Wales Open with final rounds of 64 and 63. He’s never finished inside the top 10 at an Open Championship and while winning may be beyond him, his game will be well suited to the peculiarities of the Old Course.
- Martin Kaymer (10/3 Bet365)
The Old Course at St Andrews will punish those who drive errantly. The rough will be allowed to grow so hitters who are accurate, long and excellent putters will arguably be in with the best chance. This seems to sum up Kaymer perfectly. The German has had an excellent year on the tour and looks a certainty to be a Ryder Cup selection later in the year. He is due a big performance at a major and St Andrews this week could be the perfect opportunity.
- Paul Goydos (28/1 Bet 365)
He’s faced a long journey from America to be in St Andrews for the week, but Goydos (pictured) is on a hot streak. He finished second in the John Deere classic last weekend and will be buoyed by a round of 59 during that competition. Graham McDowell followed up his low rounds of 64 and 63 with victory at Pebble Beach in the US Open two weeks later, can Goydos climb into the top ten at St Andrews? At 28/1 against it, I’m willing to bet that he can overcome the tiredness and can.