Open Championship 2019 Special Bets: Steve's pick of the side markets

Golfer Christiaan Bezuidenhout
Christiaan Bezuidenhout on his way to winning at Valderamma

Steve's had a good look at all the side markets for the Open Championship and he's come up with six players to side with and one to take on. Read our man's last-minute round-up here...

"Recent Valderrama winner, Christiaan Bezuidenhout, is my most outrageous selection in the win market but I really fancy him to go well on his Open debut so I’m playing him in the place markets too."

With just a day to go before the year's final major, the Open Championship (previewed here), I've had a good look at the plethora of side markets on offer this week and there appears to be plenty of value on offer, both at huge prices and even odds-on...

Wire-to-wire winner

Francesco Molinari won last year's Open Championship from off the pace (as Carnoustie Open winners have tended to do) but many an Open champ has been up with the pace throughout and two of the last five winners have won wire-to-wire.

Jordan Spieth was tied after round one with the eventual second, Matt Kuchar, and Brooks Koepka, who finished sixth, in 2017 and this year's favourite, Rory McIlroy, was never headed at Hoylake in 2014.

Brooks Koepka won the US PGA Championship wire-to-wire two months ago and I fancy Rory's a very fair price to emulate him and to repeat his feat of five years ago at a juicy 60/1.

Revved-up Rafa can finish high

One player I wanted to get onside this week is Rafa Cabrera-Bello who hinted he was coming into form when he finished third in the BMW International Open in Germany last month. He followed that third with a fourth-placed finish at the Irish Open and he was ninth in the Scottish Open as recently as Sunday. Those two links warm-ups will have him spot on for a return to Portrush, where he finished second in the Irish Open in 2012.

Rafa is an exceptional links exponent in fine form and he's highly likely to play well again this week but he finds it incredibly hard to win. He has three titles to his name but that's not a great return for a 35-year-old Ryder Cupper and when we look deeper in to those three wins, his first title, the Austrian Open, was from miles off the pace (trailed by nine and shot 60 in round four) and his third title, the 2017 Scottish Open, was courtesy of a calamitous finish by English rookie, Callum Shinkwin.

Having started the final round playing superbly, Rafa led the Irish Open by three strokes two weeks ago but he lost his game completely after the turn and it was all rather predictable. I think he'll go well but I'd be amazed if can hold it together well enough in a major championship to win so the way to play him in the side markets. With Jon Rahm playing so well and with Sergio Garcia, and others, impossible to dismiss, I'm swerving the Top Spanish, and I wanted to play him in the First Round Leader market, which Dave Tindall previews here, but the Sportsbook have really ducked him at 45/1 so the place to play him is in the place markets. The 7.613/2 available on the exchange for a top-ten looks decent the 3.613/5 about a top-20 finish is more than fair too.

Two young guns to fire

Recent Valderrama winner, Christiaan Bezuidenhout, is my most outrageous selection in the win market but I really fancy him to go well on his Open debut so I'm playing him in the place markets too. South Africans have a tremendous Open record and young Bezuidenhout is going places. You don't win at Valderrama without having a magnificent short game and he could well be a major winner of the future. He's a player to support going forward and he's a great price in a few markets here too.

Both the Top Lefty and the Top Scottish don't look like especially strong markets. Phil Mickelson, the game's most famous lefty is out of form and Bubba Watson has been playing some deplorable stuff of late so they look worth taking on and Russell Knox, the favourite in the Top Scottish market, although a great links exponent and the winner of the Irish Open last year, he's not at his best, having failed to break 70 in his homeland last week.

The man to land the bets in both of those weak markets could be 22-year-old, Robert MacIntyre, who's really caught the eye of late. He may have been slightly overawed playing alongside Rory in Scotland last week, where he too missed the cut but back-to-back seconds at the British Masters and the Made In Denmark were cracking efforts and he could easily bounce back here and have a great week.

Bubba to burst and two nationality specials

Bubba Watson is not playing well and he doesn't have a great Open record either, with figures that read MC-MC-T30-T23-MC-MC-T39-T27-MC-MC. Another weekend off beckons and the 5/6 available is more than fair. And so too is the industry-best 4/6 about Thorbjørn Olesen to finish the week as the top Dane...

Dave Tindall's each-way pick has a fair Open record and he arrives in good heart whereas his sole rival, Lucas Bjerregaard, is woefully out of form, having missed his last five cuts.

And finally, Adam Hadwin, at an industry-best 4/5, looks a very strong favourite to get the better of Corey Conners and Austin Connelly in the Top Canadian market. He missed the cut at the Travelers Championship two starts ago but was sixth in the Canadian Open three starts ago and fourth in the 3M Open last time out. Conners hasn't bettered 30th in nine starts since he won the Texas Open and Connelly's form has fallen off a cliff.

Suggested Selections:
Rory McIlroy to Lead After Every Round @ 60/1
Rafa Cabrera-Bello to finish inside the top-10 @ 7.613/2 and the top-20 @ 3.613/5
Christiaan Bezuidenhout to finish top-20 @ 9/1, top-30 @ 11/2 & top-40 @ 7/2
Robert MacIntyre Top Lefty @ 3/1 & Top Scottish @ 9/4
Bubba Watson to miss the cut @ 5/6
Thorbjørn Olesen Top Dane @ 4/6
Adam Hadwin Top Canadian @ 4/5

I'll be back tomorrow evening with the In-Play Blog.

*You can follow me on Twitter @SteveThePunter

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