I wonder how Casey will react to the weekend’s events. On the one hand, third in a Major is always an achievement, and it was his best form in months. However, he must also be disappointed by the failure to even land a blow on Oosthuizen in the final group. If he reacts positively, and is genuinely back to his best, Casey will take plenty of beating.
With consistent, top-class form on both sides of the Atlantic, the case for Donald is obvious. Nevertheless, this rare winner will never make appeal at less than 20/1. Furthermore, be wary of reading too much into Luke’s 11th place in The Open. A 3,2 finish and a favourable draw rather flatters what would have otherwise been another ordinary Major.
Goosen should have won this title last year, blowing numerous chances en route to a play-off defeat against Nathan Green. After finishing sixth at The Open, he must rate one of the strongest candidates again.
If it wasn’t for a long-term aversion to having any betting involvement on my jinx player, Clark could well have been a pick. He’s accurate, scrambles well and is one of the best par-3 performers. A missed cut in The Open is easily ignored, as windswept links golf just isn’t his forte.
A breakthrough title looks likely for Barnes, if he continues in the same vein that has produced five top tens from his last 11 starts. He was in contention with a round to go at St Andrews, and just like there, his scramblings skills should come in handy at St George’s.
Villegas has three top 25s from four cracks at this event. He is hard to make a case for, however, after a disappointing fortnight in Scotland.
Regular readers will know what a fan I am of Mahan, but he is hard to back right now, with no top tens since The Masters.
Given that he would have been among the favourites for the Seniors British Open, there could be something of a tip in Freddie’s decision to play here instead. Odds of 66/1 is a big price about a class act still close to his best, who finished sixth in this year’s Masters.
As an in-form, top-class scrambler, Verplank ticks many boxes, but he had a tough time at St Andrews and is best watched this week.
Weir may be the home favourite, but he will really need to maximise any extra course knowledge if he’s going to turn around a terrible run.
Another home favourite, making his first start since missing the US Open cut. If we could be confident that he was sharp and in-form, this track would be very suitable for Ames.
Snedeker is usually there or thereabouts when there is an emphasis on good scrambling, and has form in this event, having made the top seven on both attempts.
After a promising fortnight in Scotland, Immelman is on my watchlist for the weeks ahead. Let’s hope the former Masters champ is over his injury nightmare.
Despite missing the cut when recently carrying our cash, Pettersson nearly made the staking plan again. He’s been consistent all year, has good recent greens in regulation stats, and ranks third for sand saves over the last six months.
Collins has looked one of the more capable Nationwide Tour recruits, and is in decent nick with top-25s on two of his last four starts. Amongst this field, he ranks second for both par-3 performance and scrambling. Tempting, at 125/1.
2010 STATS: -43pts
LONG-TERM ALREADY ADVISED
5pts MARTIN KAYMER TO WIN THE RACE TO DUBAI @ 9/1