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British Open News and Notes

British Open News and Notes

Golfers Set For British Open

The 138th British Open is set to tee of this Thursday at the 7,204 yard, par 70, Turnberry's Ailsa Course in Scotland.

The course is hosting the tournament for just the fourth time overall and the first time since 1994. Each previous time, however, the world’s No. 1 golfer walked away with the Claret Jug. Some critics believe the course is the easiest in the major tournament’s rotation, but changes to the seldom-used links could make for an interesting challenge.

Here's a quick look at the top contenders:

Tiger Woods (+175)

The three-time British Open winner rebounded from a sub-par showing at the U.S. Open to claim his own tournament at Congressional Golf Course two weeks ago. Woods appears rested and is rounding back into shape as he continues to recover from his knee injury.

Padraig Harrington (+1200)

The two-time defending British Open champion has been plying his trade on the Irish PGA Tour this year, and appears poised to defend his crown after winning last weekend’s Irish PGA Championship for the third straight season. Before the win, however, Harrington had missed the cut in his past five events.

Sergio Garcia (+1200)

The best player on tour to never win a major, he finished runner-up to Harrington in 2007. The Spaniard, however, has fallen on hard times, plummeting to 106 on the money list through 10 events. Garcia has missed two cuts and has only one top 10 finish this season: last month at the U.S. Open.

Paul Casey (+2000)

The 11th-ranked player on the money list continues to have a solid season. He has three top-10 finishes including a win at the Shell Houston Open in April. But Casey isn’t playing his best entering the British Open. He has missed the cut in each of his past two events. Casey also has never finished higher than sixth at a major.

Jim Furyk (+2500)

The 14th-ranked player on the tour’s money list is doing everything but winning. Furyk has seven top-10 finishes in 14 events this year, but hasn’t hoisted a trophy since 2007. He does, however, have five career top-10 finishes at the British Open and is due to break through soon.

Other notables: Lee Westwood (+2500), Anthony Kim (+2500), Henrik Stenson (+2500), Camilo Villegas (+3000), Robert Karlsson (+3000), Vijay Singh (+3000), Geoff Ogilvy (+3000), Adam Scott (+3000), Justin Rose (+3000), Ian Poulter (+3500) and the Field (+600).

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British Open Forecast: Rain May Reign

Remember last month, when the interminable rain turned Bethpage Black into a water park and the U.S. Open into an endurance match?

Get ready for more of that when the British Open tees off later this week at Turnberry.

The Ailsa course at the resort located on the West Coast of Scotland is hosting the tournament for the first time since 1994 and fourth time overall. It is most famous for the "Duel in the Sun" in 1977, when Tom Watson defeated Jack Nicklaus by one stroke in one of the most compelling final rounds in golf history.

This week will be more like "Duel in the Rain." It won't be as bad as last month's U.S. Open, where the entire final round was bumped to a fifth day. But there is a good chance that many players will be unable to complete rounds and have to continue on the course the following day.

In addition to temperatures topping out in the mid-60s, afternoon showers are in the forecast for Thursday's opening round. The rain should continue through Thursday night and all day Friday, which could have some golfers still playing their opening rounds on the third day of the tournament.

More showers are forecast for Saturday, although they are expected to taper off and provide drier golf weather for the rest of the weekend. About the best news is that the winds are not expected to climb above 10 miles per hour.

Wet conditions will make the par-70, 7,211-yard course play much longer to shorter hitters such as Jim Furyk and Chris DeMarco, and approach shots that once found the green may find one of the course's many treacherous bunkers.

The fairways won't provide the bounce and roll that normally exist in dry conditions, likely removing the possibility of eagle on the par-5 holes at 7 and 17.

One positive is that the steeply sloped greens will not be as difficult or penal when wet. But as the conditions change over the weekend, so will how the golf course plays.

Watson and Nick Price (1994) share the tournament course record at 12-under 268. Expect a winning score closer to the even-par 280 Greg Norman won with in 1986.

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2009 British Open Betting Odds (Where The Action Is)

Bet The British Open

Who is betting what with the British Open?  The 2009 British Open Betting odds give us some clue as we can watch drastic line changes.  Remember, it is pertinent to lock in odds you like now otherwise they are subject to change.

Typically about half the betting action will be going Tiger Woods way.  It doesn't matter what line the oddsmakers attach to him.

SBG Global had him at 2/1 odds or +200, paying out $200 for every $100 bet.

Lee Westwood is getting some decent action, now with +2900 odds.  He had been getting close to +4000.

Westwood is an English professional golfer. He is one of the few golfers who has won tournaments on every continent, including victories on the European Tour and the PGA Tour. He was named player of the year for the 1998 and 2000 seasons, winning the later year's Order of Merit. He has represented Europe for the last six consecutive Ryder Cups. He spent over 150 weeks in the top 10 of the Official World Golf Rankings between 1998 and 2001 and returned to the top 10 at the end of the 2008 season.

On Playing at Turnberry, Westwood said:  "I liked what I saw on Tuesday when I played it," he said. "Like every major, every facet of your game is going to have to be on song, but it is going to be a good course for a long straight driver."

Ian Poulter is also getting some good action, now with odds that would pay $2900 for every $100 bet, whereas before he was listed at around +3500.

Ian Poulter is an English golfer who is a member of the world's top two professional golf tours, the U.S. based PGA Tour and the European Tour. He is the touring professional for Woburn Golf and Country Club which is situiated in Buckinghamshire.

His highest placement in a Major Championship was 2nd at the 2008 Open Championship, hence, the reason why he has such short odds.

"I haven't played a lot of the Open courses until the week that I've actually been there and I seem to do OK," Poulter said.  "I did pretty well at Birkdale last year [he finished runner-up to Padraig Harrington].

"As long as you do your homework, so you know the layout and how the course is going to be set up, and you've played at least one practice round, it's just about executing the shots that you have pre-planned."

Then there are Trevor Immelman and Hunter Mahan, both initially listed around +5000 odds, now sitting at +2850 each.

Also jumping up the ranks among odds listings are Ross Fisher and Rory McIlroy, both now listed with +2850 odds as well after opening around +5500. 

Bet The British Open

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British Open Preview, Picks
By Matt Fargo

The third Major of the golf season takes place this week with the Open Championship at Turnberry in Ayrshire, Scotland. This will be the fourth time the Open has been played here and the first since 1994 when Nick Price finished birdie-eagle-par and held off Jesper Parnevik to win by a stroke. The other times were in 1986 (Greg Norman) and 1977 (Tom Watson). The reason for the time off from the rotation was due to traffic issues to the course but all has been fixed.

Turnberry has been lengthened substantially, typical of most courses this decade at the majors. The weather plays a role here more than any other Major and that will be the case again. The early forecast shows that the sky will be overcast with a bit of wind and rain thrown in. The wind could be the big factor as it not only hurts those players with high ball flights but it also dries the course out. That means dry fairways and ball heading into the rough which will be jail this week.

Every Major tournament starts and ends with Tiger Woods (+165) and why shouldn’t it? He has 14 Major championships and without one this year, he will come in extra motivated if that is even possible. He missed the Open Championships last season and this will be his first ever walk around the Turnberry track. That may not seem like a way to win here but Woods has won five Majors at courses that he was playing competitively for the first time. He can’t be counted out.
Two-time defending champion Padraig Harrington (+2200) will be a favorite for a lot but I think he needs to be backed with caution. Harrington has missed the cut in eight of his last 14 starts, including five in a row. For a three-time Major champion over the last two years, it seems odd that Harrington would change his swing but that is exactly what he has done. He could be the first player to win the Open Championship three straight times since 1956 when Peter Thompson from Australia grabbed his third straight.

The sexy pick this week could be Martin Kaymer (+2500) who has moved up to 11th in the OWGR, following two straight victories at the Open de France and the Scottish Open. He did miss the cut at the Masters and U.S. Open this year but he has two other top five finishes and both of those came on Euro soil so he is playing well on a similar track. He has played in only one other Open Championship and that came last season where he finished +23 which was a fourth to last place finish.

When will Sergio Garcia (+2000) finally break through for a Major championship? Many thought last season was the year following a win at The Players and with Woods missing the final two Majors of the season but it was not to be. He finished T51 in 2008 which was a big disappointment considering his playoff loss in 2007 and his T5 in 2006. Still, he has played very well over the last 10 seasons at the Open and we could see him near the top on Sunday.

One solid links player who might be flying under the radar is Ian Poulter (+2500). He finished second in last year's British Open and he has been playing very well this season. It includes a T20 in the Masters and a T18 in the U.S. Open so his recent Majors track record has been solid. He has finished in the top 25 in the European Order of Merit every year since 2001 so he has proven to have success on these type courses and he could be the one that breaks through with that first Major.

The young gun this year is Rory McIlroy (+1800) who comes in a surprising second in the odds to Woods. It is surprising not because of his ability but because of his lack of experience. He played in the 2007 Open Championship as an amateur and had a solid T42 and this year, he brought home a T10 at the U.S. Open and a T20 at the Masters so maybe the experience may not matter. This may be the best suited Major for the Irishman, although his high ball flight could hurt so and he may be a year or two away to make a serious run.

Recommended plays for the Open Championship:

Last week, we were able to bring home a winner with Steve Stricker (+1000) and will look to cash again with moderate favorites as well as our safety valve.

Sergio Garcia (+2000) 2 Units
Ian Poulter (+2500) 2 Units
Tiger Woods (+165) 2 Units

AT&T National

Hunter Mahan (+1500) 2 Units L
Tiger Woods (+175) 2 Units W
K.J. Choi (+5000) ½ Unit L

John Deere Classic

Steve Stricker (+1000) 2 Units W
Zach Johnson (+1500) 2 Units L
Kevin Sutherland (+4000) 1 Unit L

YTD +8 Units

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Harrington goes for 3-peat
By Brobury Sports

Ireland’s Padraig Harrington goes for his third British Open title in a row, but the odds are heavily favored towards Tiger Woods.

Bet on the 138th British Open as it returns to Turnberry, Scotland for the first time since 1994. will be updating its odds-to-win the tournament at the end of each round, and you can also wager on 1st round and tournament matchups right now.

Harrington +2500 may be the two-time defending champ but he is tied for 5th on the odds list this week. He decided to tinker with his swing this year to the surprise of many, and it’s led to some short term pain including five missed cuts in a row before winning the lower-level Irish PGA Championship.
Woods +180 missed the British Open last year due to his knee injury, but he won it in 2006, 2005 and 2000. The big talk this week about Tiger is not about how he won the recent Memorial and AT&T National Tournaments, but the fact he’s never played on this course before.

A recent ESPN column showed there have been 23 times Woods played a major on an unfamiliar course. He won four of those which would be incredible for anyone else, but below his overall ratio. That suggests he could be overvalued at these odds.

Europeans, on the other hand, have much more familiarity with this course and links golf in general, and it shows with the odds.

Spain’s Sergio Garcia is +2000 as he looks for that elusive first major win. The British Open is clearly his favorite major with six Top 10’s in the last eight years but can he finally get over the hump?

England’s Ian Poulter (+2000) finished second in this event last year and he has the game and the swagger to take the next step.

South African Retief Goosen (+2000) has had some trouble on Sunday’s this year but he’s good enough to be in contention to win.

Another Englishman, Lee Westwood (+2500) hasn’t fared well the last few years at the British but he is playing well lately.

20 year-old Rory McIlroy (+2500) from Northern Ireland is a fantastic up-and-comer, but he seems overvalued at these odds given his lack of experience in majors.

USA’s Hunter Mahan (+2500) is the only American besides Woods at less than 30:1 odds. However, it’s certainly no guarantee that his PGA Tour success will translate on the other side of the pond.

Other British Open Odds

Anthony Kim (+3000) – USA
Geoff Ogilvy (+3000) - Australia
Henrik Stenson (+3000) - Sweden
Jim Furyk (+3000) – USA
Martin Kaymer (+3000) - Germany
Paul Casey (+3000) - England
Steve Stricker (+3000) – American
Adam Scott (+4000) – Australia
Ernie Els (+4000) – South African
Ross Fisher (+4000) – England
Angel Cabrera (+4500) - Argentina
Camilo Villegas (+5000) - Columbia
Kenny Perry (+5000) – USA
Zach Johnson (+5000) – USA

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British Open Betting Outlook

Tiger Woods, meet Lang Whang.

Woods has seen his share of difficult golf courses over the years, but he’s never played at Turnberry, the host of this week’s British Open Championship in South Ayrshire, Scotland. This will be one of the toughest tests of Woods’ illustrious career. Case in point, the massive 559-yard par-5 17th, which has grown by 60 yards since the Open last visited Turnberry’s Ailsa Course in 1994. Each hole on the course has a name – “Lang Whang” means “The Long Way” in the auld Scots vernacular. Don’t forget to pack a toothbrush before you tee off.

Tiger has spent the last week getting familiar with Turnberry during his practice rounds. His lack of experience there hasn’t made a dent on the betting market; fair enough, since he also won the 2006 Open during his maiden voyage at Royal Liverpool. Woods was the 2-1 favorite at press time, miles ahead of Sergio Garcia at 20-1 and two-time defending Open champion Padraig Harrington at 22-1. World No.2 golfer Phil Mickelson is skipping this event to be with his ailing wife and mother.

Here’s the skinny on the top three favorites:

Tiger Woods

British Open victories: 2000, 2005, 2006

2009 victories: 3 (Arnold Palmer Invitational, Memorial, AT&T National)

2009 PGA Tour Money Ranking: No. 1 ($4.560 million)

2009 average score: 69.3

Sergio Garcia

British Open victories: none

2009 victories: 1 (HSBC Champions)

2009 European Tour Money Ranking: No. 8 (€1.018 million)

2009 average score: 69.9

Padraig Harrington

British Open victories: 2007, 2008

2009 victories: none

2009 European Tour Money Ranking: No. 81 (€0.249 million)

2009 average score: 70.9

Woods is getting unusually short odds even for him, this being one of the four majors on the golf calendar. The absence of Mickelson has something to do with it, although Lefty has never won the British Open and is usually lost at sea on links-style courses. Woods is also on one of his characteristic high-performance streaks, with two victories in his last three Tour events, three in his last seven, and 11 out of his last 20 dating back to the 2007 British Open (where he placed 12th).

Harrington fits the exact profile of the kind of value bet you look for at the British Open – or at least he did when he bested Woods by five strokes in 2007 (defeating Garcia in a playoff) and defended his championship over a Tiger-free field in 2008. That seems like ancient history after a disastrous start to the 2009 season. The pride of Dublin missed the cut in five consecutive tournaments, including last month’s U.S. Open at Bethpage, before finally coming up big at his preferred British Open tune-up, the Irish PGA Championship. That event is not sanctioned by the PGA or European Tours.

As for Garcia, he’s carried the mantle of Best Golfer Never to Win a Major ever since Mickelson shed that dubious distinction at the 2004 Masters. In addition to placing second to Harrington at the 2007 British Open, Garcia has placed in the Top 5 at nine other majors stretching back to the 1999 PGA Championship. He’s won seven times on the PGA Tour and another eight times on the European Tour, where his experience with links courses makes him more of a threat at the British Open than any other major. And yet Garcia’s never won the big one.

Woods is so heavily favored here that he’s available at –500 on the props market in a head-to-head matchup against Garcia (+350). If that’s too chalky for you, there’s also the 3-ball matchup with Woods (1-2), Lee Westwood (9-4) and 17-year-old Japanese phenom Ryo Ishikawa (13-2). This threesome officially tees off at 4:09 a.m. Eastern Time on Thursday; the 3-ball prop simply asks which of the three will finish with the lowest score in the first round.

Ishikawa has won four events in Japan and is ranked No. 78 in the world. If you prefer to take the relative unknown Ishikawa out of the equation, you can also bet on a “Mythical 2-ball” matchup between Woods (5-11) and the No. 17-ranked Westwood (11-5), although that prop also includes the possibility of a tie (15-2).

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British Open - Day 2
By Brobury Sports

Tiger Woods is tied for 68th at the British Open but his odds haven’t dropped as much as you would think at.

Woods shot a +1 in the opening day on Thursday from Turnberry, Scotland, which is seven shots back of leader Miguel Jimenez (-6). That dropped Woods’ odds from an opening +180 to a more reasonable +550.

That still seems like a steep price given the comeback Woods will need as he goes for his 4th British Open title.

59 year-old Tom Watson shot a five-under 65 which tied him for second with fellow American Ben Curtis and Japan’s Kenichi Kuboya.

Watson won this tournament at Turnberry way back in the Jimmy Carter administration of 1977. He is part of ‘The Field’ category at +250 odds.

Here are the updated odds-to-win favorites with the first day scores listed in parenthesis.

Woods +550 (+1)
Steve Stricker +1200 (-4)
Lee Westwood +1500 (-2)
Ben Curtis +1500 (-5)
Jim Furyk +1500 (-3)
Camilo Villegas +2000 (-4)
Miguel Jimenez +2000 (-6)
Retief Goosen +2000 (-3)
Paul Casey +2000 (-2)
Mike Weir +2500 (-3)
Padraig Harrington +2500 (-1)
Rory McIlroy +3000 (-1)
Sean OHair +3000 (-2)
Stewart Cink +3000 (-4)
Vijay Singh +3000 (-3)

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