It’s usually hard maintaining the same level of interest in the week following a Major, especially one as enthralling, if ultimately frustrating, as we saw over the weekend. However, post-Open week may be an exception to the rule because we have three excellent betting heats, including the return of this event to one of my favourite courses in the world for betting purposes.
 
Barseback GC has hosted the Scandinavian Masters six times in the past 12 years, usually producing a very predictable, high-class leaderboard. On this fairly long par-72 with penal rough and large greens, those with the best long games tend to dominate. In particular, the 2004 renewal illustrated the advantage held by those heading the greens in regulation stats, possibly more than any European course in recent memory. The last time the event was held here in 2006 did see a shock winner in the form of Mark Warren, but the course was playing differently that year after a very dry summer left the rough less penal than usual. In any case, Warren only just edged out the tournament favourite, Robert Karlsson.
 
On the downside, this event has lost some of its pulling power since then Euro No.1 Colin Montgomerie won twice at Barsaback. This year’s renewal can boast only five of the world’s top-100, with 7th placed HENRIK STENSON the only member of the top-30 and therefore clear favourite. That advantage may be further accentuated by the fact that Barseback is Stenson’s home course, though in fairness his tournament record here is ordinary. He did, however, finish 3rd in 2004 and played pretty well to lose by just four shots at the Open. In truth, he’s not usually the type of player I’d like to take single figures about, but such is the nature of this course and Stenson’s clear supremacy, he must rate a win only saver at 15/2.
 
Purely on recent form, a case could be made for Soren Hansen to start favourite, and at 12/1 he is as short as I can ever remember. 8th at Turnberry was his fourth top-10 in five, which also included the US Open. Tee to green, Hansen is outstanding right now, and though his course record is ordinary, at least the Dane finished 9th back in 2001 when a much lesser player. However, as I’ve repeatedly argued, Hansen’s win ratio is appalling. There is simply no way I’m prepared to take 12/1 about a man who has only won twice in the last decade.
 
Soren Kjeldsen looked a similarly weak finisher for some time, but has improved on that record with a couple of titles in the last nine months. In his case though, the concern is a failure to make the top-10 on any of his five previous visits to Barseback. While improvement is an obvious possibility, again the price is short enough. Of the other pair of players in the world’s top-100, classy Johan Edfors has a miserable Barseback record and tends to struggle on courses with penal rough to thwart his ultra-attacking game.