Stan Hey: 6-5 Against
Saturday 13 June 2009
They will be watering the rough to make it thicken, loading extra sand into the bunkers and shaving the greens to mirror-like smoothness – the United States Golf Association provides a test so severe that the US Open has almost become an episode of Lost.
The tournament returns to Bethpage, New York, seven years after Tiger Woods finished as the only player under par. Geoff Ogilvy and Angel Cabrera won, at Winged Foot and Oakmont, both at five-over-par. Last year, one-under in a play-off was enough for Woods "with one leg tied behind his back" as one journalist described his limp to victory.
Woods' recovery has been patchy. Coral offer him at 15-8, so best wait until Saturday to check progress. Accurate-driving, careful putting and calmness will be crucial so try: Ogilvy (20-1 Stan James), Jim Furyk (22-1 Coral) and Henrik Stenson (40-1 generally). £5 each-way all three.
Football fans with an emptiness in their lives will relish the Under-21s European Championships starting Monday. England have a chance but may be undone by more technically gifted teams – Spain and Serbia are 10-1 with Skybet to meet in the final.
Daytime punters will be in clover next week as Royal Ascot arrives. Provisional choices are: Mastercraftsman (St James's Palace, 5-4 Coral); Never on Sunday (Prince of Wales, 5-1); Bannaby (Gold Cup, 12-1 Hill); Again (Coronation Stakes).
*A technical glitch last week suggested optimism for England in the Twenty20. This has now been corrected. Gan Amhras hated Epsom but should not be written off for the Derby.
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