Double Delight: Young improvers and a home favourite to go well

Will Graham Delaet break his PGA Tour duck in his home Open?
Will Graham Delaet break his PGA Tour duck in his home Open?

With the Open Championship behind us and two huge tournaments to come it's no surprise that this week's two main Tour events are weak affairs says Mike Norman, but our man still selects four men to play in his usual cross each-way doubles...

4 x 1pt E/W Doubles

Otaegui @ 67.066/1
Kaleka @ 67.066/1


Delaet @ 31.030/1
Clark @ 56.055/1

Russian Open (¼ odds, 5 places)

Back Adrian Otaegui @ 67.066/1
Back Alexandre Kaleka @ 67.066/1

Third time lucky perhaps? The Double Delight column has had two consecutive place doubles in recent weeks thanks to Stephen Gallacher's placed effort (50/1) in the Scottish Open and Zach Johnson's (12/1) runner-up finish in the John Dere Classic a fortnight ago.

We still await that elusive win double however, though given such a feat can be almost life-changing (just imagine two 50/1 winners in an each-way double) we're not too concerned just yet.

And I have to be honest, this week's two tournaments are so weak (not surprisingly given their scheduling) that I have very little confidence in landing the win double here - in fact, I'm going in with just two players on each Tour so the task is multiplied considerably.

It's impossible to be confident every week and this is the one time of the year - one week after the Open and just days before Firestone and the US PGA Championship - that it's perfectly acceptable to sit back and simply have a few fun, low stakes wagers.

Tseleevo Golf & Polo Club is the venue for the Russian Open and given the strength of the field I'd be more confident about finding the winner if a few Eastern European polo players were in the field. As standard of golf tournaments go on the European Tour, this one is a shocker!

So it's two youngsters - and hopefully improving onces as the title suggests - that I'm pinning my hopes on here.

I see Steve 'The Punter' Rawlings has put up Alexandre Kaleka (67.066/1) and it's very easy to see why.

The Frenchman - with the Russian name (now that's got to be worth something) - has some tremendous course form and as Steve says, that's perhaps far more important than current form this week. Which is just as well because Kaleka has no current form!

But the 27-year-old finished runner up at this venue 12 months ago a year after winning an event on the Challenge Tour on the same course. When you've been in such poor form you probably can't wait to get back to a venue that you know you've thrived at in the past and it's this theory that we're clinging to here.

As regular readers will know, Adrian Otaegui is a player that I have my eye on for the future and someone that I've backed regularly this season, so I have no hesitation selecting him at 67.066/1 in this extremely weak affair.

The Spaniard enjoyed a tremendous run of form on the Challenge Tour at this time of the year in 2013, recording five top-five finishes in the space of two months, and it's not too far off the mark to suggest that this week's event will have a bit of a 'Challenge Tour' feel about it.

The last time Otaegui was in such a weak field he finished sixth at the NH Collection Open in April and I fully expect this accurate ball-striker to go well in Russia.

Canadian Open (¼ odds, 5 places)

Back Graham Delaet @ 31.030/1
Back Tim Clark @ 56.055/1

The last time the Blue Course at Royal Montreal was used for a professional tournament of any significance was in 2007 when it hosted the Presidents Cup. Vijay Singh performed very well that week and was very close to being a selection here, but instead I've gone for just two, accurate, players.

Scott Verplank also enjoyed a tremendous week seven years ago (won every match), confirming his form at the venue from 2001 when he won the last time the Canadian Open was staged at Royal Montreal. The significant aspect of Verplank's performances is that he is exactly the type of player that will do well on the Blue Course.

The type of player we're talking about is one who will find fairways, and more importantly, Greens in Regulation, hence my first selection being Graham Delaet.

Undoubtedly there'll be pressure on the Canadian to win his home Open, but Delaet is a tremendous player on his day who has recorded no less than six top-10 finishes on the PGA Tour this season including two second place finishes.

Delaet's form has dipped slightly in recent weeks but he still ranks second on Tour for Greens in Regulation and ninth in a stat that I really like - Proximity to Hole. He'll most certainly have targeted this tournament all year, so if he can play his usual accurate game and not let the pressure of being one of the home favourites get to him then I can see him going really well.

When it comes to accuracy from the tee then South African Tim Clark (56.055/1) is always up with the very best - he ranks third on the PGA Tour's Driving Accuracy list - but not surprisingly he suffers in the distance department.

At just over 7.100 yards Royal Montreal isn't the longest course on Tour so the hope is that Clark won't be disadvantaged as much as he usually is in terms of distance. Encouragingly the man from Durban finished fifth when last seen, so if he can find plenty of fairways and greens then fingers crossed he can enjoy a good week.

4 x 1pt E/W Doubles

Adrian Otaegui, Alexandre Kaleka (Russian Open)


Graham Delaet, Tim Clark (Canadian Open)

*Each-way doubles are settled on a win-to-win place-to-place basis using Betfair's Sportsbook product and therefore any winnings are exempt from commission

You can follow me on Twitter - @MikkyMo73

Season P/L

E/W Doubles
Wagered: 333.4pts
Returned: 239.54pts
P/L: - 94.46pts

Win Singles (1pt win each selection)
Wagered: 118pts
Returned: 120pts
P/L: + 2pts

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