Conditions this morning have been ideal and that’s been reflected in the scoring. Adam Scott had a chance to post the first 62 in Major history but faltered on the final hole with a bogey five to return a 64. He’s in pole position as I write this.
Even the most experienced pundits have had a hard job picking a winner this week and I’ve adopted my usual scattergun approach to pre-tournament bets.
There was a great deal of hilarity at last night’s Golf Monthly and Visit Ireland party about one of those bets. I hadn’t thought it was such a dubious one but, according to the industry experts who congregated to laugh at my idiocy, it was. The bet was 44 pence each way on Paul Broadhurst at 750-1. What? I thought it was value.
He’s currently level par and I reckon I could be having the last laugh when I pocket £335 quid, or whatever it is, on Sunday night.
You might wonder how I decided upon the figure of 44 pence. Well, I had 88 pence left in my online betting account and I decided I wanted to cover my back a little.
This explanation elicited even more laughter at the party. I didn’t see what I’d done so wrong. Broady was leading qualifier at St Anne’s Old Links and finished low amateur at this venue back in 1988.
Now, Broadhurst isn’t the only runner I’ve backed this week. In fact, there are only about eight players in the field I haven’t put money on. My principal choices though are – Paul Lawrie, Graeme McDowell, Francesco Molinari and Louis Oosthuizen.
So, I’m feeling pretty chipper at this early stage with Lawrie in with a superb 65 and McDowell going along quite nicely too.
I’m fully aware that, at this point, it doesn’t really mean too much. You can’t win it on Thursday but you can certainly lose it, so to see these guys up the top of the leaderboard is great.
Paul Lawrie is in the form of his life and has always been a great links player. I think it would be absolutely fantastic if the Aberdonian could keep it going and secure a second Open title.
Lawrie began his professional career as assistant pro at my home club (Banchory) and when he won in 1999 I was working in the same shop. I watched the dramas at Carnoustie unfold on the little portable telly we had in the back of the shop. The assistant pro, Stewart, and I had pints of lager sent over from the clubhouse and I remember the sense of incredible excitement when the realisation came that he was actually going to win it. We watched the final putt, locked up the shop and went and got absolutely sozzled in the clubhouse then the local pub. It was brilliant.
Broadhurst has just gone one-over through four holes. Oh dear, there’s still time though.