Stan Hey: 6-5 Against

Keep faith with Kuchar to give compensation
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The Independent Online

It's not often that a betting market freezes but it happened last weekend as Rory McIlroy enacted his serene destruction of a quality field at the US Open.

Sent off at 22-1, McIlroy was down to 9-4 after his first round, then 2-7 by Saturday morning. My local betting shop reported no "betting in running" on his distant pursuers.

Those who hadn't backed McIlroy were left hoping for place-money – Matt Kuchar did OK but, as for Sergio Garcia, I'm still traumatised. Having tipped him at 70-1 in April, I watched through fingers as he missed birdie chances at the 15th, 16th and 17th, before leaving his par putt at the last on the lip. He went from tied-third to tied-seventh and out of the money.

Neither McIlroy (resting) nor Tiger Woods (still injured) will complete in next week's AT&T National at the Aronimink Club in Pennsylvania, denying us the chance to see king and pretender in action. Kuchar, again, and Zach Johnson will be our bets there, £5 each-way both.

Newcastle provides the excitement today in the form of the two-mile scrum called the Northumberland Plate. I'm hoping that a middling draw won't hinder High Office (£10 each-way at 14-1, Skybet), especially as he acts on easy ground.

Sri Lanka, (£10 at 6-5, 32 Red) can pip England in the T20 at Bristol – Lasith Malinga may recall Craig Kieswetter's sporting response to a big leg-before appeal in last year's T20 World Cup: "**** off, you fat ****ing p**f!"

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