Betting on the British Open


Las Vegas handicapper Wes Reynolds (@WesReynolds1 on Twitter) is betting a mythical $200 bankroll on British Open futures (odds from LVH sports book):

When playing golf futures, most casual bettors will pick one or two guys to win and see what happens on Sunday. As a weekly golf bettor, I tend to spread my wagers across several players. If at least a couple of them are on the first page of the leaderboard come Sunday, this provides opportunities to hedge out in the live betting market.

$60 on Henrik Stenson at 15-1: The world’s No. 2-ranked player. After his historic double of winning the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup and the European Tour’s Race to Dubai, the Swede started slow this season coming off a wrist injury. He has returned to form lately. He ranked first and fourth in greens in regulation in his past two starts and was a top-four finisher in three of the past four majors.

$30 on Sergio Garcia at 20-1: It’s tough to back a player in a major who said in April 2012, “I’m not capable of winning a major.” Truthfully, the Spaniard is capable of winning a major but has not been able to capture that elusive first one. He’s had numerous near misses in every major, but his best overall track record is at the British Open, where he has seven top-10 finishes in 17 starts.

$20 on Matt Kuchar, Dustin Johnson and Rickie Fowler at 30-1: Kuchar holds the dubious crown of “best American player to never win a major.” This is a play out of habit, as I backed Kuchar in both majors this season. Johnson is one of the few players in this field who can take advantage of his length to avoid the numerous fairway bunkers at Hoylake. His tie for fourth at the U.S. Open looks to be a buy sign. No player is in better short-term form in the majors without winning than Fowler.

$10 on Jimmy Walker at 80-1: Decent value here on the FedEx Cup points leader. Walker ranks second on the PGA Tour in birdie average (4.29 per round).

$10 on Jamie Donaldson at 80-1: Before missing last week’s cut at the Scottish Open, the Welshman had two consecutive top-five finishes, at the BMW International Open in Cologne, Germany, and the Alstom Open in Paris.

$10 on Matteo Manassero at 100-1: The young Italian burst onto the scene as low amateur at the 2010 Masters. Ranked 69th in the world, he’s fallen off the radar lately, but a fourth-place finish in Scotland last week (68-65 on the weekend) may have him peaking.

$10 on Bill Haas at 125-1: With more than 80 bunkers on this course, backing someone who is solid tee-to-green is never a bad idea. Haas fits the bill (no pun intended) by ranking in the top 15 on the PGA Tour in greens in regulation and sand save percentage.

$5 on Graham DeLaet and Thorbjorn Olesen at 150-1: DeLaet has 13 top-10 finishes in the past two years. Olesen is not exactly in good form, but he has a good history in his young career on links-style courses.

Also worth backing: He was not available in the pool at the LVH, but Brendon Todd is a consensus price of 100-1 offshore.


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