The Open: Louis, king of the swingers…

Thursday sees the start of the 147th Open Championship, with Carnoustie hosting this year’s tournament.

Carnoustie last held this event in 2007 and is widely regarded as the toughest course on the Open rotation. There has been little rain and the prolonged sunshine means the course has been baked hard, with the fairways probably running faster than the greens.

Now we’re usually fans of the top of the betting, particularly in the toughest golfing tests. But with relatively benign wind conditions expected and length off the tee being no real advantage we’re going to look further down the sheet, especially with bookies offering favourable each way terms.

Our first selection is Louis Oosthuizen. The South African comes alive at the majors – he won the 2010 Open at St. Andrews and has finished second in all the others, including last year’s US PGA. He’s ranked 32nd in the world, but can be found priced at 80/1.

Next up is a favourite of ours as soon as links golf comes into favour, Matthew Southgate. The Essex-born player has his best results on this type of golf, including placing tied sixth at this event last year and tied 12th the year before. He warmed up by finishing just outside the top 20 in the Scottish Open last week and played well in the Irish Open before that. And he comes with a triple figure price.

Another player who catches the eye at a big price is Alexander Bjork. The Swedish player seems to reservse his best for tough courses, having played well at the French Open and winning the China Open this year. Like many Scandinavian players, he competes well in windy conditions and comes off a top 20 position in the Scottish Open.

And finally, something of a punt. Pat Perez was born and lives in Arizona, one of the southern US states were wind can be a factor while playing golf. It’s true his record at the Open isn’t great, but he can shape the ball both ways and could be a factor if his putter works. At hefty odds we’ll take a chance.

Recommendations:

Oosthuizen 1 pt each way at 80/1, 1/5 the odds for the first eight places, bet365

Southgate 0.5 pts each way at 125/1, 1/5 the odds for the first ten places, SkyBet

Bjork 0.5 pts each way at 150/1, 1/5 the odds for the first ten places, SkyBet

Perez 0.5 pts each way at 250/1, 1/5 the odds for the first ten places, SkyBet 

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