The 2012 British open is being played at the Royal Lytham and St Annes Golf Course.
This links course was last used at the British Open back in 2001 where driving accuracy and the ability to scramble par or better whilst missing the green in regulation proved to be key components to success.
I see it being no different here so I’m going to focus on these two key areas when forming my bets.
Interestingly, whilst Lee Westwood is 10 from 12 head to head with Luke Donald in the last dozen majors that they both have been competing, Donald is by far the more accurate player with his drives and also ranks at the top in scrambles.
Even given their head to head record I don’t see any value in backing Westwood, who is on the second line of betting at around 13/1 and therefore will be placing an outright bet each way on Donald, who I see as excellent value at just over 20/1.
I’ll be placing this bet at Paddy Power as the have a special on at the moment and are paying ¼ odds on the top 7 places, whilst most bookmakers are only paying place down to 6th.
I’m also going to back Donald H2H against Westwood. Donald is in the top 5 in accuracy off the tee this year at around 68% whilst Westwood isn’t in the top 20 on this stat and Donald is a healthy 64% in scrambles this year, which is the best of all the ranked players in this tournament.
This combination of accuracy and ability to recover should see Donald have a better than expected Open result in 2012.
Tiger Woods is favourite for this event and I just can’t see any value what so ever in backing Tiger, and will be laying him in both some of the 2-ball match ups and the outright markets.
Tiger only managed to finish 25th back in 2001 and that was when he was at the height of his powers.
As with most golf tournaments there is some real value in backing a few of the outsiders prior to tee off with the view to laying them off as they shorten in the first few days.
Kevin Na at 200/1 is massive overs and looks to be one of the outsider bets of the year so far. He hits it straight and can scramble with the best of them , so I’ve backed him and if all goes to plan , exit from that bet as the tournament progresses.
Another that looks at massive overs is Ben Curtis, who at around 90/1 (best at Boylesport currently) should be at half this price. This tight course should be perfect for Curtis who ranks 5th in driving accuracy and similarly in hitting greens in regulation and Curtis is probably having one of his best seasons to date.
Here’s a summary of my best bets :
Luke Donald outright 20/1 @ PaddyPower
Kevin Na outright at 200/1 @ Bet365
Ben Curtis 90/1 @ PaddyPower
laying off the two outsiders as they shorten in price in the first few days.