The last major of the golfing season is upon us, and the betting seems based around one man, Tiger Woods, who is aiming to end his five year wait for a fifteenth major.
The American has began to piece together form of late, all culminating with a magnificent victory in the WGC-Bridgestone, when he managed to shoot a 61, equaling his lowest ever round.
He looked comfortable in the Open Championship, until a late semi-collapse left him tied for sixth, and that will have given him the added boost he needed to ensure he sees out his rounds, which has shown at Bridgestone.
He is the greatest golfer in the world, and comes into the event in great form, however is 4/1 really value? Of course, if he bolts up by seven shots like he did last week, it will look tremendous, however this is set to be a lot tougher.
If he manages to escape the mental toughness that seems to be overriding his psyche in majors of late, he will take all the beating, but he can’t be advised at such a short price, and the firms offering money back if Woods wins, may be worth siding with this week.
Fortunately for us, due to the superiority of Tiger in terms of the betting, we can find massive value elsewhere, due to the shortest price outside of the master, being 16/1.
However, we look to side with Henrik Stenson, who looks like massive value at 25/1, given his current form.
He finished second at Firestone last Sunday, and continues to be backed every time he lines up for a major.
Ranking fifth on the PGA tour for driving accuracy, it is his putting which has often let the Swede down, and if he manages to piece together a bit of form on the greens at Oak Hill, it would be no surprise to see him end his long wait for a first major.
He has form in the USPGA, finishing top-six in successive years, back in 2008 and 2009, and given the drive and determination etched on Stenson’s stern face every time he lines up at the first tee, you can tell how much it would mean to him, to end the season with a major.
He looks set to be the main selection of the week, whilst we look elsewhere for potential springers at bigger prices.
Although he has been in abysmal form of late, Rory McIlroy has the ability to make a mockery of his 35/1 odds.
The reigning champion landed last years prize in tremendous style, and would be a lot shorter had it not been for his well-documented dip in form since signing a mega-money contract with Nike.
His distance control when using a wedge has been dramatically inconsistent, and he will need to show massive improvements in his short game, as-well as driving accuracy.
However his final round and the Open showed signs of improvements, and states he is entering the week with positives.
Although I wouldn’t advise having a massive amount of McIlroy, it is worth chancing your arm at a bigger price that he can find enough improvement with his new clubs, to mount a serious challenge.
Any signs of a big round early on, and his odds will crumble, as the layers know what he is capable of. This offers a great chance to lay your bet off and escape with a profit, before he has the chance to crumble.
Our final selection is one readers of the golfing selection of this blog, won’t be surprised to see, GMac.
He has been put up in every major covered, and we still need to keep our unwavering faith with the Irishman.
At the last two majors I have been incredibly happy to get 25/1 and 28/1, so imagine the delight of having a quick browse of Oddschecker and seeing the 66/1 widely on offer.
He has been fairly uninspiring of late, and enters the week needing to improve on previous efforts. However, he has won three times in 2013, and all have been on the back of poor performances.
With no pressure on him (like Rory), we could see a different man come Thursday morning, and he looks too big to ignore at 66/1.
1.5 points e.w: Henrik Stenson @ 25/1 (Various)
0.75 points e.w: Rory McIlroy @ 35/1 (Coral)
0.75 points e.w: Graeme McDowell @ 66/1 (Various)