After U.S. Open heartbreak, Johnson a solid bet at British Open

Professional handicapper Wes Reynolds (@WesReynolds1 on Twitter) is using a mythical bankroll of $200 to bet the British Open futures board at the Westgate:

When it comes to betting golf futures, most casual bettors will pick one or maybe 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. This is what I have done with the mythical bankroll.

$50 on Dustin Johnson (12-1): I rarely back one of the shorter favorites, but D.J. appeals to me here. We all saw his untimely three-putt on 18 in the U.S. Open at Chambers Bay last month. He has not played in any events since that cruel Sunday, but I feel that gave him time to lick his wounds and come back focused. The Royal & Ancient, the tournament‘s sanctioning body, likes to stir the pot and paired him with the man who benefited most from his misfortune, U.S. Open champion Jordan Spieth. I think this pairing is actually good for Johnson in that it gives him a little edge and puts more pressure on the tournament favorite. Aside from the pressure of completing the third leg of golf‘s Grand Slam, Spieth now has to play 36 holes with the longest driver on the tour hitting it past him 50 yards every par 4 or 5 off the tee.

$30 on Henrik Stenson (20-1): Transitioning from the best American player (according to the Official World Golf Rankings) who never has won a major (Johnson) to the best non-American player to have not won a major. The Swede is arguably the best player in the world tee to green, where he leads the PGA and European Tours in Greens in Regulation, but the flat stick has always seemed to hold him back. He is coming off his best finish (second) of the season three weeks ago at the BMW International Open in Germany. Stenson has three top-three finishes at the British, including the last time it was at St. Andrews in 2010. Despite not having won during this calendar year, he has made great strides in putting. Last season, Stenson rated 135th in strokes gained putting and 73rd in total putting on the PGA Tour. This year he is ranked 14th and 24th in those categories. This is the major he is most likely to win.

$20 on Martin Kaymer (30-1): The German had his best-ever performance in the British (seventh) at St. Andrews in 2010. He was also victorious on this golf course that same year by winning the Dunhill Links Championship. He comes in off a fourth-place finish on a tough golf course at the Alstom Open de France two weeks ago.

$15 on Paul Casey, Matt Kuchar, Branden Grace, Shane Lowry (40-1 each): Five years ago at St. Andrews, Casey was in the final group on Sunday with eventual winner Louis Oosthuizen. A triple bogey on the 12th ended his chances to become Open champion. Since then, Casey has battled injuries, lost his game, divorced, remarried and had a child. This season has been his best in several years, and he is now ranked top 25 in the world for the first time in four years thanks to six top 10 finishes, including two seconds and a third. He‘s knocking on the door of a win, and what better place for a player from Cheltenham, England, to get it than at the home of golf.

"Kooch" has had four top-five finishes in a disappointing season by his standards, but he seems to be peaking at the right time with a tie for second last week at the Scottish Open.

Grace has lost a fair amount of value from his near-miss at the U.S. Open at 125-1, but his game fits this course well. Like Kaymer, Grace is also a former winner on this course at the 2012 Dunhill Links Championship. He also has two wins in 2015 (Qatar Masters on the European Tour and Dimension Data Pro-Am on the Sunshine Tour in his native South Africa). Seven of the past 10 Open champions have a win earlier in the season before the Open.

The Irishman Lowry arguably might have the best combination of course form and recent form in this event. He was sixth and third in his past two years at the Dunhill Links Championship and has two good finishes at recent high-profile events (ninth at the U.S. Open, sixth at the BMW PGA Championship).

$10 on Victor Dubuisson (60-1): The Frenchman has had an erratic season off his unbeaten performance at the 2014 Ryder Cup at Gleneagles, but he is trending upward off arguably his best three tournaments of the season since January. He finished 10th last week at the Scottish Open, 12th at the Alstom Open de France and 20th at the BMW International Open. He is also one of five men to hold the course record of 62 at St. Andrews.

$8 on Tommy Fleetwood, Luke Donald, Charl Schwartzel (80-1 each): In terms of best course form at St. Andrews, the Englishman Fleetwood arguably has the best numbers with three top-five finishes, including one second, in his past four appearances here for the Dunhill Links Championship. The price looks short for a 24-year-old with only one European Tour win, but sharper golf bettors recognize the talent and the potential. This is also a showcase event for a young Englishman to make a statement as a future European Ryder Cup player.

Donald is no longer a young Englishman, but he has been trending upward after completely changing his swing last year and losing his form. The former No. 1 had to go through sectional qualifying to make the U.S. Open field this year. He has two seventh-place finishes in past two starts (Travelers Championship and Scottish Open).

Schwartzel, a former Masters champion, has fallen under the radar lately, but a seventh-place finish at the U.S. Open along with four top 16 finishes in the past five British Opens and two top 10s at the Dunhill Links provide nice value on an experienced player.

$3 on David Howell (150-1), Ross Fisher (200-1): Howell comes in with two top 10 finishes in his past three starts and is also a former winner at St. Andrews (2013 Dunhill Links Championship). Fisher comes in with a seventh and an 11th in his past two starts. He‘s a sneaky pick that you could easily find on the first page of the leaderboard come Sunday.

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