Open Championship Tips: Victory Margin Market

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Four men fought out a playoff the last time the Open Championship came to Muirfield and The Punter thinks we're in for another tight affair this time around...

“I wouldn’t put anyone off playing the One Stroke margin, given that was the margin twelve months ago and given it’s been far and away the most popular margin here of late but I fancy we’re due another playoff.”

The last three Open Championships to have been held at the home of golf, St Andrews, have produced winning margins of seven, five and eight shots respectfully but when the tournament visits any of the other venues we nearly always get a tight finish.

The last time the Open Championship came to this year's venue, Muirfield, Ernie Els got the better of Thomas Levet, Stuart Appleby and Steve Elkington in a four-man playoff but that was the first time the event had gone to extra holes at Muirfield in over one hundred years.

Harry Varden beat J.H Taylor in a 36-hole playoff in 1896 and that was very much a rarity. In the early days of the world's greatest championship, wide-margin wins were the norm and especially so here - the other seven winners at Muirfield prior to Gary Player's two-stroke success in 1959 won by at least three shots.

With the game becoming ever more competitive, tight finishes have been the norm and other than Tom Watson's waltz to victory by four in 1980, all four Muirfield winners after Player and prior to Els won by just a solitary stroke.

I wouldn't put anyone off playing the One Stroke margin, given that was the margin twelve months ago and given it's been far and away the most popular margin here of late but I fancy we're due another playoff.

There have been seven in the last 18 years but we haven't had one since Stewart Cink beat Watson in 2009. It was obviously tight last time we were here, with four players tied after 72 holes and another playoff this time around looks likely.

Selection: Back Playoff at anything over 4.03/1

*You can follow me on Twitter @SteveThePunter

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