June 2011

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Betting Preview and Tips, Nordea Masters, Bro Hof Slott GC, Stockholm, Sweden

Dustin Johnson 8/1

oct12-dustin-johnson_372x365 Golf is huge in Sweden and the organizers always try to assemble some big names in the field. Last year they had KJ Choi and Louis Oosthuizen, this time around the headliners are Dustin Johnson and Bubba Watson. Johnson, if physical and mental exhaustion is not a factor, has the power and putting touch to contend on this long and very tough layout not unlike Muirfield Village where he finished fourth at the Memorial. It’s great to see the US golfers coming to Europe, (I remember the days when John Daly, Payne Stewart and co would play in the Irish Open) and it would be some consolation for DJ if another Johnson won the trophy this year.

Fredrik Andersson Hed 40/1

60402370 The 39 year old Swede turned pro way back in 1992. Known as Fredrik Andersson until 2004 when he got married and added his wife surname “Hed” to his own! Finally made the winning breakthrough at last year’s BMW Italian Open beating David Horsey by two. After a very poor run of pre Summer results Andersson Hed played superbly at Castle Stuart to finish second behind Luke Donald. Made the cut at the Open, even featuring on the day one leaderboard with a 68. Tied for 11th here last year. Each way possibilities

Robert Karlsson 11/1

robert-karlsson_1102552 The last two outings for the Swede have been Major Championships and neither went too well. After opening with a 79 at Congressional, Karlsson did well to make the cut with a second round 67. Missed the cut at The Open last week playing in the worst of the conditions. Based exclusively on the US Tour since February, Karlsson has shown some form stateside playing well at Colonial (fifth) and finishing second at the St Jude Classic the week before the US Open. Made the cut on the mark here last year and went on to finish a very impressive seventh.

Jamie Donaldson 22/1

Donaldson_2339327 Welshman Jamie has been out here for many years and though he had three wins on the Challenge Tour has yet to taste victory on the main Tour. He hasn’t missed a cut since October last year, I make 18 events, which is pretty impressive. Add to that a worst finish of 21stin his last seven starts, with four top tens and you begin to think Donaldson could soon be in the winner’s enclosure. Eighth here last season

Thorbjorn Olesen 30/1

thorbjorn This will be he young Dane’s 23rd start on the European Tour and he has already racked up three second places the latest of which was at the Open de France when a missed short putt on the last cost him at playoff place. Thorbjorn also come close in Italy three weeks before that but missed the cut in his first Open last week. I would not be at all surprised to see this young sensation prevail this week.

Rafa Echenique 125/1

rafa Our long odds shout this week is Argentina’s Rafa Echenique. Absolutely no form on paper but would have won here last year but for Richard S Johnsons miracle birdie putt on the final green to pip him by one. Rafa’s three best results on Tour have come in June or July and the long and tricky Bro Hoff Slott course seems to suit him. A euro each week max!

2011 Nordea Masters Betting Preview and Tips

tom lewis We predicted last week that by the Sunday of The Open everyone would know who Tom Lewis is, and we weren’t far wrong. Lewis introduced himself to the golfing world with a stunning 65 in the first round of the British Open, earning the 20-year-old English amateur a shock share of lead and smashing a whole host of Open records. Everybody wanted a piece of the kid christened “Tom” after his playing partner, Tom Watson. We even found out he has another brother “Jack”, no prizes for guessing who he is named after.

After all is said and done though, Lewis remains grounded after his Open exploits, and wont be turning pro just yet. His experience with third round playing partner Phil Mickelson served as a shock to Lewis system when it comes to the pro ranks.

"Playing with Phil made me feel terrible, really terrible around the greens. If you're going to play with the best players in the world, you have to chip and putt like they do," Lewis said.

Lewis beat Peter Uihlein to the silver medal for the leading amateur finisher at the British Open.

Afterwards he was offered a spot at this weeks Scandinavian Masters but turned it down to practice with his Walker Cup Britain and Ireland teammates in Aberdeen. It’s thought that Lewis will probably turn pro after the Walker Cup in Scotland in September. That will give him just seven tournaments (by invite) to try and earn his Tour card. "Rory McIlroy did it in 2007, so there is time of you're good enough," he said on the subject.

After trawling a mountain of spakes from The Open, here are the distilled down best ones!

"Hang on I'm trying to recollect your little line. 'He's in his inexorable slide toward irrelevance.' Is that what you said? I've got the paper at home. I can show it to you if you don't believe me." – Darren Clarke to Lawrence Donegan after his win.

"It's not an easy surname. It's probably more annoying when theDarren-Clarke-celebrates--007y say, 'I've been practicing it for a month,' and they still get it completely wrong." —Louis Oosthuizen, 2010 Open champion

"Um, three… four… five." —Rory McIlroy, on how many hangovers he's had since he won the U.S. Open

"It never rains in England. Only in Scotland." —Lee Westwood

"He charged me a lot of money, so I can't tell you that." —Darren Clarke, on the advice he's gotten from sports psychologist Bob Rotella

"His looks like a map of Hawaii, though." —Lucas Glover, on Kyle Stanley's beard

"Tom Lewis, how about that? He could be my grandson." —Tom Watson, five-time Open champ, on English amateur Tom Lewis, his playing partner on Thursday and Friday

"The rain was coming down really hard. Yeah, there was a moment where me and Bubba looked at each other and started laughing." — Jason Day

"If I had the option, I'd rather be warm." —Stephen Gallacher

"Obviously, if somebody had given me 69 before I was going out to play, I would have bitten their hand off for it." —Clarke, who shot 69 on Saturday

"I said to the crowd at the 15th, there were 40 or 50 walking around, 'You're just mental. Just mental.' I don't understand that at all. I'm getting paid, I've got to be there." —Paul Lawrie

"One of my good friends said before I left, 'I know you're not going to want to play in it, but I hope it's pissing rain and blowing on you over there.' So he got his wish today. He's back in Indiana right now laughing at me. It's just part of the deal, I guess." —Bo Van Pelt

“This is for the kids”- Darren Clarke

mark_james_1948010c Department of Agriculture officials were today reassuring members of the public that a new case of Foot In Mouth disease, discovered in Kent at the weekend, is under control.  The new strain of Foot In Mouth has been tracked down and isolated in BBC commentator Mark James.

This strain is said to be entirely different to the harmless “Murray Walker” version of Foot In Mouth that surfaced in the eighties. Mark James has now been isolated from members of the general public to protect  them from the disease, which is spread verbally.

Local man Patrick McCrudden overcame Harry Diamond on the first playoff hole of an epic 2011 North Of Ireland  Amateur Championship final. In tough conditions, both men produced class golf, with McCrudden coming back from two down after 12 to tie the match with three holes to play.  After watching a  15 foot putt from his opponent drop at the last, Harry from Belvoir Park canned from 9 foot to bring the match up the 19th.  McCrudden was crowned champ on the first playoff hole.  Well done to both men.

ryo isikawaMark James on Ryo Ishikawa's frayed style hat:-

"I think he needs to divert some money from that Japanese THING to buy a new hat".

That "THING" James was referring to is the Japanese earthquake where nearly 21,000 died. Ryo Ishikawa is to donate all his earnings in 2011 to the victims.

Some money should be diverted from James pay, the insensitive so and so.

News from the European Tour site on Waterford Crystal Becoming an Official Sponsor of the 2011 Irish Open.
Waterford Crystal, one of the leading global brands in premium crystal, is announced as an Official Sponsor of the 2011 Irish Open, to be played at Killarney Golf and Fishing Club, Co. Kerry, from July 28-31.
An iconic Irish brand, with strong connections to the game of golf over many decades, producing numerous trophies for top class tournaments around the world, Waterford Crystal are set to put their unique stamp on Ireland’s national Open.
As well as joining the family of event sponsors, a new bespoke Irish Open trophy has been commissioned and will be presented to the player who succeeds 2010 winner England’s Ross Fisher as the champion on Sunday July 31.

bjorn Thomas Bjorn is five under at Royal St George's and was belting on about being on a joyride after. Tommy, who’s eyebrows had been on display in the Darwin Museum Of Evolution, banished bad memories of 2003 with a six-birdie card.

Bjorn only got into the field after Vijay Singh withdrew due to practice commitments.

"I've not had good form of late so it's a bit of a surprise to me how well I played. I just tried to enjoy being here, and I'm very, very delighted," said a very straight faced Bjorn. 

Just days after a grunting debacle at Wimbledon a new controversy is bubbling up at Sandwich.  Sky Sports Golf have this evening reported that “wind” could be a major factor again at this years British Open. 


Peter Dawson, chief executive of the Royal and Ancient, has revealed that “wind” really bacame an issue when he was nearly swept off his feet by a Charl Schwartzel rasper on the par three 11th which sent spectators scurrying and clutching their noses 243 yards away on the green.  “Wind is an issue every year, especially on links courses, where the stink is whipped by the seaside air” said Dawson who continued “Player diets are so full of vitamins, they are like methane factories out on the course.”

Notorious farters such as Angel Cabrera, Robert Garrigus (who shat himself at last years St Jude Classic) and pretty much all of the South African contingent, were this evening summoned to a meeting by R&A chief Peter Dawson. 

Up to 30 players in the field are expected to arrive at the course with various degrees of wind that is expected to escape at some stage during the round.  Today in practice, South African Charl Schwartzel upset playing partner Rory McIlroy by cutting the cheese on a foot bridge.  “I had no escape said McIlroy after; he got me on a footbridge, it was like a methane inhaler”.  “If this wind keeps up, the South Africans could blow away the field, quite literally” added Rors.

The R&A have introduced player “air biscuit” guidelines. Fart velocities must be under 30 metres per second and must be below 3 decibels. In an effort to counteract the effect of wind this years Open, each group is to accompanied by a gas guru from the British radiological protection institute.

So, good work Sky Sports, wind is indeed expected to be a Major factor again this year. I’m sure Brucie, if he were there cut it with the best of them.

Ian Poulter stunned spectators and media at Sandwich today by actually being noticed.  With all the hype around Rors, Donald, Westwood and GMac, everyone forgot that Poults even existed.

“I have to admit I had erased all memory of Ian Poulter” said Mack The Hack O’Grady, the leader of the media corps. “He’s a bit like Michael Knight, the man who does not exist, he was pretty flashy too” added The Hack.

Poulter held a press conference earlier today attended briefly by a blind orphan named Joe, who wandered into the media tent whilst searching for his Granny, a cripple from Nashville, whose wheel had come off of her wheelchair.

Poults told the assembled empty space that he believes he is in the perfect frame of mind to launch a serious challenge on the Open championship.  “Just as well, because you haven’t  been playing so good”, shouted orphan Joe as he trundled off the edge of the cliff.

With the practice rounds almost complete and the spies on the course relaying the information back to the bookies, here’s what we can glean.

Luke Donald 13.5/1

luke donald self destruct joke[4] Of the big three of Rors (10/1), Westwood (14/1) and Donald all the form from the course suggests the world number one.  No Scottish Open winner ever went on to win The Open but the word from Sandwich is that Donald continued to play smooth golf, even if buffeted a bit by the gusting winds in practice.  My source that watched Rors play last weekend told me he’s driving it great and hitting the greens but the putter wasn’t working as good as at Congressional.  But hey, a long lay off, plenty of partying, and the weight of the world on his shoulders this week cannot be easy.

Graeme McDowell 34/1

gmac funny ecco story[4] Also up for the task and very bullish about his chances is GMac, who has proved to be darling of the punters in early betting who have jumped to get a piece of him at 34/1 on Betfair.  He’s also in to 28/1 on paddypower and 30/1 on bet365.  McDowell is benefitting greatly from the Rory-shield in the press, and he might be thanking his friend come Sunday for allowing him go back under the radar.

Born and reared on the links and hungry to be a “Mejor Chompion” all over again.



Charl Schwartzel 46/1

Charl Schwartzel Funny Pic[5] Is there a correlation between hard pan, baked to a crisp South African courses and Sandwich that gives the US Masters champion a squeak this week.  There’s certainly a lot of buzz on the wires for Charl following the practice rounds.  If the event was decided over the Tuesday and Wednesday many think he would have been the winner.  But its not. 40/1 on paddypower and 45/1 on bet365.

ciaran molloy Well done to Ciaran ‘Shank Phobic’ Molloy who lead the qualifiers at the North Of Ireland Amateur Championshipson the Dunluce and Valley Links.  The cut came at 144. The full scores and draw are shown below.
Molloy, who got kicked out of Australia for being, and I quote the police report, “too laid back”, is playing a bit of golf while he hatches a plan to get back Down Under.

First & Second Round Scores

open flag Word on the Sandwich board is that an over par score could well win The Open.  Well at least that is what the American contingent are predicting.

After second round practice in wind gusts of 20 mph, the group of Hunter Mahan, Sean O’Hair, Steve Marino and Spencer Levin reported to swing coach  Sean Foley that they were probably a combined 30 over par.

Steve Marino predicted plus nine would win, if the wind kept up, though the forecast is for calmer conditions at the weekend.

Sorry if you backed any of them!


mcilroy westwood banner


Rory McIlroy (Odds 7/1)

Age: 22

Country: Northern Ireland

Height: 5 ft 9 in

Weight: 11.5 st

Lee Westwood (Odds 11/1)

Age: 38

Country: England

Height: 6 ft 0 in

Weight:14.0 st

Wins In Last 3 Seasons

  • Three Wins
  • 1 Feb 2009 Dubai Desert Classic (European Tour)
  • 2 May 2010 Quail Hollow Championship (PGA Tour)
  • 19 June 2011 U.S. Open
  • Four Wins
  • 18 Oct 2009 Portugal Masters
  • 22 Nov 2009 Dubai World Championship
  • 13 Jun 2010 St. Jude Classic
  • 1 May 2011 Ballantines Championship

Major Experience

Rory has played in 11 Major Championships since 2007 with five top-10’s. After tying third three times during 2009 and 2010, Rory finally made his breakthrough at the US Open in Congressional in winning by a record margin.

Lee has played in 53 Major Championships since 1995, with 11 top-10’s. Though still without a win, Lee finished second in two of the three majors he played last season and was tied third at Congressional in June.

Open Experience

This will be McIlroy’s fourth Open Championship. He first appeared in 2007 at Carnoustie as an amateur winning the silver medal. Made more headlines at St Andrews last year following a first round 63 with an 80. Bounced back to tie third.

This will be Westwood’s 17th Open Championship and has four top 10 finishes. Finished tied third in 2009 at Turnberry, missing a chance to join the Cink/Watson playoff. Went one better at St. Andrews last year finishing second behind runaway winner Louis Oosthuizen.


Rory’s hasn’t played competitively since winning the US Open on the 19th of June. He came into that event off a fifth at The Memorial on the PGA Tour. His last European appearance was at the PGA Championship at Wentworth where he finished 24th.

Lee warmed up last week at Castle Stuart with a 14th place finish. Winner of the Ballantine’s in May, then lost a playoff to Donald at the PGA. Finished 11th when defending at the St Jude and recovered from an opening 75 to tie third at the US Open.

Top Shotlink


Scoring Average Before Cut 69.25 1st

Approaches from > 200 yards 42' 1" 1st

Approaches from 75-100 yards 10' 8" 1st

Approaches from 225-250 yards 39' 4" 1st

Putting from - > 25' 10.91% 1st

Average Distance after Going for it Shot 18.1 1st

Scoring Average 69.45 2nd

Par 3 Birdie or Better Leaders 17.71% 2nd

GIR Percentage - 200+ yards 61.29% 1st

Approaches from 125-150 yards 17' 11" 1st

Putting from - 20-25' 34.78% 1st

Fairway Proximity 28' 9" 1st

In The Bag

Driver: Titleist 910D2 8.5º with Fujikura Rombax 7V05

Fairways: Titleist 906F2 13º, 18º with Fujikura Pro 95

Irons: Titleist MB 3-9 with True Temper Project X 6.5

Wedges: Vokey Design 48º, 54º, 60º with True Temper Project X 6.5

Putter: Scotty Cameron GSS prototype

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x

DRIVER: Ping G10 (9.0°) with a Aldila PGA Tour Only Prototype XNV6 shaft

FAIRWAY WOOD: Ping i15 (14°) with a UST Mamaya V2 76X shaft, Rapture V2 (19°) with Aldila NV75 X shaft

IRONS: Ping i10 (3-PW) with Ping JZ stiff shafts

WEDGES: Ping Tour-W (54°, 58°) with Ping JZ stiff shafts

PUTTER: Ping Anser 0

BALL: Titleist Pro V1x

Doc’s Verdict

Though Rory has a weight lifted off his shoulders after winning the US Open, his media commitments and lack of a warm up event, will make winning an extraordinary achievement. Then again, Rory McIlroy is an extraordinary person.

Every aspect of Westwood’s game is firing on all cylinders, but like a veteran boxer, there’s a lot of scar tissue to break through. Probably would be the most deserving of a Major given his achievements after all these years.


Yes Doc’s British Open Drinking Game iphone app is in the process of being created but my Indian designer in Bangalore who’s doing it for 30 quid says it might not make for Sandwich.  It’s basically a Guess The US Tour Golfer App, who at no other time in his mortal life has played golf in anything other a T-shirt, then appears on a wet and windy Thursday morning at the Open pretty much unrecognizable in rain gear, under armour and a woolly hat. Get it wrong and you to gulp two fingers.  If he’s wearing a hat with a bobble, you have to down the lot.  I’m told it will go well!  Remember: drink aware (of your PGA Tour stars!)

Last year Karl Morris helped Louis Oosthuizen win The British Open
We will all be glued to the happenings at Sandwich this weekend. The players, to a man, will look very impressive with their fashion, their equipment and their swings. But trust me when I say this ‘The object of the game of golf and every player at St. Georges is to SCORE as low as possible’. Nothing else.
clip_image004Your own individual purpose for playing golf may differ from that, but it is unquestionable that the object of the game is to hit the ball as few a times as possible.
Often I will ask a player that I am working with what game of golf they are actually playing. You might have heard the term ‘exhibition golf’ in relation to the pro’s but as I see it many golfers actually play this game without actually being aware of it.  Here’s why.

Your Views On Who Will Win The Jug

Robbie O Keeffe, Cork: Going to go with three solid links players, in GMac and Retief Goosen, both playing solid all year, and Harrington at last starting to show some form would nt be surprised to see him in contention.

Gareth McCausland, Pro Ballyliffin: Harrington to miss cut... GMac top 10 finish Westwood to win!

harrington-john-smiths-claret-jug Sarah Vaughan, Limerick: Sergio starting to show some form...the open is his best chance to win a major. He is a Great driver and able to hit any shot in any wind. Putting has been improving in recent months too.

Karl Cummins, Waterford: Going to go against the grain here wit high winds on a tough links course my bet you will find the quality ball striking and selection of shots he can hit Darren Clarke will be there come Sunday afternoon

David Reilly, Dublin: Goosen is gonna do well. he was tied 10th there in 03 and has been playin well this summer. His form this week from scotland will give him even more confidence leading upto the open. Garcia also has to be a good shout as he was tied 10th wit goosen last time out in st. goerges and the open is his favourite event all year, so he will be gunning for this one after his us open result.

Declan Furlong, Florida: Going for Harrington as I think at last he is showing a bit of form and I'm also going for Manessaro who won the amateur there a few years back.

Ali Williams, Pro Bristol Jason day - great driver of the ball, very competitive, extremely talented and watch out if that putter gets hot!

Rob Kelly, Rosses Point: Sergio is the man, but for Harrington a few years ago, the smelly Spaniard would have two or three majors at this stage. I also think Stenson, hits it over his shoe most of the year but seems to patch himself up for the Open.

Greg Francis, Broadcaster: The real winner are the fans. .Jaysus I dunno who will win this one. It’s like the National out there. Guess who ever doesn't die of boredom around Sandwich will win.

Ciaran Shank-phobic Molloy, Ardee: I’m going with Harrison Frazar because as far as I know, no boxer has ever won The Open!

Tadhg Harrington, Podge’s brother: Wide open, Small Mac a horrible price if the wind blows, at least 10 to 15 guys could win including Paul Lawrie at a million to one!

Danny Brassil, Old Head: Well Doc I fancy Luke Donald to do the business at St Georges. His short game looks red hot and looking at his form so far this year I would be very surprised if he wasn’t in the mix come Sunday.

Robbie Cannon, TPI Instructor: Ernie will win another major before he is finished and has a great chance this week if the belly putter behaves. Somebody has to win a major with a long putter someday! Chubbys stranglehold on the majors to continue!

Sam Leech ,Dunlo Year of the young guns: Rory will win, Matteo Manassero will contend and Tom Lewis has won there and will win the silver medal and finish top ten.

David Rankin, Tour Caddie: There ‘aint any rough at Sandwich. Young Mannaserro will win.

Tom Kennedy, mygolfsociety.ie:Must agree with my learned colleague Mr Danny Brassil, LUUUUUKE to be in contention once again and I fancy him to win this time around! Would not be surprised to see Westwood or Rory in the shake up but the month off could still have something to do how the 2011 US Open champ will get on. Usually a few Yanks in the mix as well but tough to see past a European based winner again.

Carl Strom, Pennsylvania: Harrington followed by Donald. Both excellent players in their own right. Best dressed? Ian Poulter if he can borrow an outfit from Jedward.

bjorn_1502147c_thumb[2] Tommy Bjorn is headed to Sandwich. It’s official.  When Vijay Singh withdrew from the event citing back problems or not enough practice or whatever excuse he has these days, in stepped the Dane.  There’s no doubt that Bjorn will be hounded all week about blowing that two-shot lead playing the par-3 16th back in 2003.  His double bogey allowed Ben Curtis to inch closer and win the Jug.

''When I get there, I won't be thinking, 'This is a horror hole.' It's a good hole,'' Bjorn said. ''I just tried to erase it from my memory, but it might just creep into my mind on Sunday if I am playing well.'' ''You've really got a problem if you live eight years in the past, It was difficult for me when I played at Troon in 2004. I really didn't want be there. But these are the events you want to play in and I'm delighted. At the same time, though, there's some big names who have pulled out and you don't want to see that.''

Scott Verplank is now the first alternate followed by Ricky Barnes.

Rory McIlroy is paired with Ernie Els and Rickie Fowler for the first two rounds of the British Open. Defending champion Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa will play the first two rounds with American star Phil Mickelson and defending PGA champion Martin Kaymer. England's Luke Donald, is paired Thursday and Friday with Ryo Ishikawa and Sergio Garcia.


engraver2 Yes he may have slept on the beach, and yes he can do a million stomach crunches in a minute but Gary Player will forever be known in engraving circles as the man who ruined the Claret Jug.

In the latest edition of Engravers Digest it describes how, until the late 1960s, the Open winners would take the jug away and have it engraved themselves, but one year garry harvey Roberto De Vicenzo (Open Champion of 1967) brought it back without his name engraved. Then, when Gary Player’s name was engraved in huge letters that took up about two columns the R&A decided to do it themselves. The job is now done by Garry Harvey who took over from his father in 2006 when he retired after 32 years. Garry says his toughest moment as having to fit the name “Padraig Harrington” onto the trophy.

Pic: Garry Harvey, expect to see the back of his head next Sunday

Peter Alliss - wide Bad news for golf fans as it looks like 80 year old Peter Alliss may well miss the 170th British Open.  Mainly because it’s in 30 years time at that would make Peter 110 years old, and while we’re not saying its not possible, modern medical trends suggest it is highly unlikely.

The good news  is that Alliss is as we speak being hoisted by a crane into the BBC studio at Sandwich.  You can have your Murrays and your Critchleys but I just love the way Alliss fills the tension filled seconds as the leader approaches the green by saying “I received a lovely letter from an old friend Milly Wiggleybottom to tell me about wonderful Crail Golf Club celebrating its 225th anniversary.”  What a legend!

funny_tiger_woods_scandal_picture_RE_Tiger_Woods_caught_again-s551x416-95492 Tiger Woods  has booked the world’s media  to make a “special announcement” later today. I wonder what the hell he could want now?  It couldn’t be news of a pull out, because he’s already done that.  It couldn’t be news about women, he’s already done those. It couldn’t  be news of a sponsor, because he has lost all of those.

So what the hell could be so important to cause him to deflect media attention on British Open week?  A break for the rest of 2011? Retirement?


European Tour bosses are set to make a decision this morning on how to settle the monsoon affected Scottish Open at Castle Stuart Swimming Complex and Golf Club.  Should the venue be unplayable an alternative, and rather unusual method of concluding the event has been decided upon involving the lesser known pursuits of cheese rolling and bog snorkelling.

The Castle Stuart course  which doubles as an Olympic swimming pool when it rains is the site of the Scottish annual bog snorkelling and cheese rolling championships.

“Since all the facilities are in place, and the players are keen to get away today to start Open preparations, we feel the players will beimages happy to decide the tournament by tumbling down a cheese rolling hill followed by a  bog snorkelling race down the 18th fairway” George O’Grady said in his sleep. “If the rain persists, that’s how we will roll”, he added.

Pic: Paul Lawrie on the practice ground this morning

Bookies have rushed to install Paul Lawrie as co-favourite due to bog snorkelling like commentary on the Ryder Cup.  Joining him is Richard Finch, the only player in the field to have actually bog snorkelled at a Tour event in winning the Irish Open.

Luke Donald however has drifted to 1000/1 in the betting as bookies think “he wouldn’t like to get dirty”.

Sad to read this report from Jock McVicar about Sandy Lyle being snubbed from the Hall Of Fame and getting shag all invites.

SANDY LYLE, ignored for the Ryder Cup captaincy, is being ignored again - and this time it affects his playing career. For 15 years he has been on the shortlist to be inducted into the US Golf Hall of Fame, a prestigious assembly whose members include most of the great and the good in the game. However, for Lyle, at Castle Stuart this week for the Barclays Scottish Open, the door remains firmSandyLyleOpenChampionshiply shut. If players like Isao Aoki, Neil Coles, Larry Nelson and Christy O'Connor can be members - not to mention two golfing American presidents - why not Lyle? He has all the qualifications - two Majors, a winner six times on the US PGA Tour including the Players Championship, an 18-times winner in Europe and a frequent competitor in the Ryder Cup and World Cup. Lyle said: "If I could get into the Hall of Fame all my problems would be over. I'm pretty sure I'd have a free run in the States if I was in it. "I don't have any status in America at the moment. I'm waiting for the phone calls for invitations and it isn't ringing very much. I've played the odd tournament here and there. But it's a lot of sitting around. "There is a committee in the States that votes on the nominations, so whatever you can do to keep the name floating around, that would be great. "I am a little surprised I haven't got in. I won six times in America, and God knows how many times in Europe. You would think that would stand pretty strong. "I've been on the shortlist, I gather, for the last 15 years. Hopefully, one day it will happen, as long as it's not too late." Lyle, 53, has got into only four events on the senior Champions Tour in America this year. The Scot was eighth in the Legends in April, a month after winning the Handa Senior World Cup in China. The next three weeks, with the Scottish Open, The Open and the Senior Open at Walton Heath, are at the core of Lyle's year. He added: "Hopefully, I can do well here and get a bit of confidence."

From his site:

rory mcilroy funny[5] "Some people may have wondered why I chose to go from one major straight to another without anything in between and the answer is simple. "Because of what happened at Congressional and the way it became such a big deal (he was the youngest winner since Bobby Jones in 1923 and did it with a record score and by an eight-shot margin) I wanted to get everything out of the way and sorted so that when I did start playing again I could just concentrate on golf. "If I had gone to France (he pulled out of last week's French Open) I just would not have been able to practise or prepare properly. "Every time I play I want to go out there with a chance to win and that wouldn't have happened. "There were so many commitments and so much media to do that I would have not been able to give my best, so I decided to wait until I was absolutely ready. "I didn't touch a club for 10 days after the US Open and then after just hitting balls on the range at home it did feel good when I finally got out on the course again. "That was at Wentworth on Monday when I did a company day for Jumeirah and then I went down to Royal St George's on Tuesday and Wednesday so that I could get a good look before too many people were there. "The practice was great because we had one calm day and one when the wind got up so I got a great feel of what we can expect. "It wasn't my first visit because I remember playing the 2005 home internationals there and also the British Amateur the following year.And, more important, I like the course. "Some people think it's a bit quirky in places, but I believe it's a good test of golf. "I don't think the rough will be as heavy as they'd like it, but it will still be tough. "For me it's quite different to a lot of the other links courses because the greens at Sandwich are quite undulating with some pretty severe slopes in places. "In some cases you can't just run the ball up, you have to fly the ball all the way to the green and that's ok by me. "It's not that it suits any particular player because the standard is such that anybody teeing up these days has a chance. "Tiger Woods won't have a chance this year because unfortunately he has not recovered from his injuries. "It's always a disappointment when Tiger isn't in the field because people want to see him play and he brings so much to the game. "On the other hand, when he isn't there it increases my and everybody else's chances, but I'd certainly prefer him to be there."

The 140th Open Championship, Royal St George’s GC

Note: These are my early considerations as of 2pm 9th July and are subject to changes/additions pending the outcome of the Barclays Scottish Open and John Deere Classic. Odds from paddypower


Lee Westwood 9/1

lee westwood upgrade_thumb[4] Every time I consider typing links wizards like Rory McIlroy (6/1) or GMac (22/1) I find myself deleting the text and typing in Lee Westwood. This will be Westwood’s 17th Open Championship and he has four top 10 finishes. Finished tied third in 2009 at Turnberry, missing a chance to join the Cink/Watson playoff. Went one better at St. Andrews last year finishing second behind runaway winner Louis Oosthuizen. After coming 11th in Augusta and tied third at Congressional and with Rory deflecting much of the media glare, this could be Lee’s time. The best distance putter and approach player from 125 yard in the world, two stats that might just finally unlock a Claret Jug.

Sergio Garcia 22/1

sergio Another solid season has turned into a good season for Sergio with the return of his putting stroke. After tying seventh at Congressional, Garcia went straight to Munich where he only lost out in a playoff with Pablo Larrazabal. That gained him his Open spot, and secured his 49th consecutive Major appearance, the longest of any current player. The Spaniard has the game for The Open with six top 10’s in the noughties and suffered the cruellest break I have ever seen on a golf course in 2007 when his ball hit the pin and bounced away in the playoff with Harrington. Not many deserve it more.

Matteo Manaserro 40/1

masl01_matteo Many insiders had Matteo backed to win The Malaysia Open back in April because the Kuala Lumpur course was one of the very few short courses on the roster that suited his game. At 273 yards average Matteo is down at 198th in the distance rankings in stark contrast to his driving accuracy (8th) Greens in reg (12th) and Putting (14th) stats. Sandwich however is right up his street and if he reproduce his form in winning the British Amateur at Formby and low amateur in 2009, I predict another very big week for the Italian on the links.

Fredrik Jacobson 66/1

fredrik Back in 2003 when Freddie was at the heights of his powers he won in Hong Kong and Portugal before tying fifth at the US Open and sixth at The Open in Sandwich. Eight years on, and Freddie has won again, at The Travelers, had a great US Open even if it ended badly and is on his way back to The Open. You have to like his chances of a fist pumping top 10 if not better. The only worry is will Freddie be as dangerous now that his goatee is gone!

Tom Lewis 300/1

tom lewis 2 Tom Lewis is a 20 year old amateur from Nick Faldo’s club Welwyn Garden City and is set to be a prolific winner on Tour in years to come. Lewis qualified for the event at Rye, winning by three on the links there. He seems at home on links layouts having claimed the St Andrews Links Trophy a couple of months back and won the 2009 Boys Championship staged at Sandwich. Win lose or draw everybody is going to know who Tom Lewis is by next Sunday evening. Watch out for super odds to Finish In The Top 10.


The 2011 British Open Championship Betting Preview and Tips, golf, The 2011 Open Championship Betting Tips

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