Stan Hey: 6-5 Against
Saturday 12 July 2008
Tiger Woods is the winner of three Opens this century and is the immovable object that professional golfers must get around. But he will not be at Birkdale next week. I suspect there will be a giddy feeling among players as they arrive on the Southport coast, with their caddies whispering "you can win this". But even in the absence of Woods, they have to beat the course.
Phil Mickelson is the expected favourite, despite a poor record in Opens – third at Troon in 2004 is his best finish. But Spanish fever is raging, with Sergio Garcia backed to emulate his national football team and Rafael Nadal. There is more than coincidence behind the money.
Garcia has had a decent season, winning the Players Championship in America and finishing second in the French Open. He had a putt to win the Open at Carnoustie last year but missed and lost the play-off. His runner-up slot made for his sixth top 10 finish in seven Opens. If he was a horse with that kind of form, you would lump on. So I will – £20 win at 10-1 (Coral, Ladbrokes).
My three £5 each-way bets are Andres Romero – eighth and third in his two Opens (33-1 generally); Justin Leonard, who won me a "monkey" at Troon in 1997 (66-1 Totesport); and a "what if?" bet on Justin Rose (25-1 generally), whose famous pitch into the 18th hole at Birkdale was all of 10 years ago. Yikes!
Last week's wagers
We found the two big Sunday winners, Rafael Nadal (£22.50 won) and Lewis Hamilton (£25). But we lost £25 on Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Maria Sharapova. Multidimensional (£10 lost) found Sandown baked in the sun, not soaked as predicted. Should I be a weatherman?
Latest in Sport
MK Dons 4 Manchester United 0: Emmanuel Frimpong and Edin Dzeko lead the jokes as the internet reacts to humiliating defeat
Arsenal vs Besiktas: Seven reasons why Arsenal could suffer a Champions League upset
Arsenal transfer news: Could Arsene Wenger move for Danny Welbeck, Loic Remy or Edinson Cavani after Olivier Giroud's injury?
MK Dons vs Manchester United League Cup match report: Louis van Gaal is humiliated after Jonny Evans' error sparks drubbing
Fernando Torres: Chelsea striker insisting on permanent AC Milan deal - reports
- 1 Notting Hill Carnival: Woman shares selfie after being ‘punched in face for telling man to stop groping her’
- 2 Miley Cyrus' homeless MTV VMAs date, Jesse Helt, is wanted by the police
- 3 Pamela Anderson rejects ice bucket challenge because of ALS experiments on animals: 'Mice had holes drilled into their skulls'
- 4 Homer Simpson has taken the ALS ice bucket challenge because of course he has
- 5 Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
Exclusive: We share blame for creating 'jihad generation', says Muslim strategist
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
Jeremy Clarkson is a cultural tumour and needs to be removed, says comedian Frankie Boyle
Air strikes? Talk of God? Barack Obama is following the jihadists’ script after James Foley beheading