The Open begins in little more than three weeks (July 16-19) at St Andrews and as the dust settles on the betting following the US Open Joe Dyer sifts through the players attracting the backers and layers...
"Woods is a two-time champion at St Andrews and a three-time winner of The Open, but he must show something soon or he will enter the 2015 tournament as no more than a long shot worthy of little more than a tiny stakes sentimental punt."
The South African won The Open the last time we were at St Andrews and his stunning play over the last three days of the US Open has seen the cash come for a repeat. Oostuizen was the best scorer in the field on the second and third days at Chambers Bay with a pair of 66s to confirm good health having suffered with a neck injury. And when it looked as though he'd thrown his chance away with 11 birdie-less holes in the fourth round he dug out six from his last seven to end up one shot off Jordan Spieth at the top of the leaderboard. Oosthuizen won the 2010 Open by seven shots. He's now just 30.029/1 to end up top of the pile at St Andrews having traded at a high of 80.079/1.
Super Shane is in the middle of a fantastic season and his ninth place at Chambers Bay means he has now finished in the top 10 of two of his last four majors. That run started with another ninth at last year's Open Championship so it's no surprise to see a good display at the US Open has caused a crash in his St Andrews price. Backed at a high of 100.099/1, links-master Lowry is in to 55.054/1 which is the same price as Bubba Watson and the next man on our list...
The South African put up a sterling display at Chambers Bay and but for a hideous drive at the 17th would surely have finished level or even one better than Spieth. Grace has won plenty on the European Tour, including twice this season, and is a known lover of links golf. His tied fourth, however, was comfortably his best display at a major and marked confirmation of his huge talent on a world stage. Grace has a best finish of tied 36th at The Open. He's now 55.054/1 to win it this year and has traded at a high of 150.0149/1
The 14-time major winner went off at 100.099/1 to win the US Open but is not quite that price to land the Claret Jug at St Andrews, currently trading at 80.079/1. He has been backed as low as 11.010/1, however, and a look at his graph on the Betfair market shows a huge jump up as he doubled in price probably at around the time he was hitting a 10-over par first day 80 or missing the cut by 13 shots on Friday. Woods is a two-time champion at St Andrews and a three-time winner of The Open, but he must show something soon or he will enter the 2015 tournament as no more than a long shot worthy of little more than a tiny stakes sentimental punt.
Phil was probably the US Open gamble in the few days preceding the tournament, and when he was swiftly three under par through his first nine holes on Thursday his backers were brimming with confidence. It didn't get any better though, Mickelson finishing the day -1 and then going backwards throughout to end +13 for the week. Phil is still afforded some respect in the market and can be backed at 38.037/1, but he has been as low as 22.021/1 to win his second Open and sixth major.
What a 12 months for Kaymer. This time last year he was at the top of the golfing tree having won his second major title with that wire-to-wire dominating display at Pinehurst. Since then, however, we have seen very little from the German - no, the Grand Slam of Golf doesn't count - missing cuts at his last three majors. He is beginning to drift in betting on The Open, currently trading at 55.054/1 from a low of 25.024/1. Kaymer loves St Andrews, having won an Alfred Dunhill on the famous links and finishing tied seventh last time we were on the Old Course, so the layers could be taking a risk, though not if we judge the German on recent displays.