As a world-class, former money list winner on home soil, it is no surprise to see Karlsson as favourite, especially after making The Open top 15. Odds of 12/1 strikes me as poor value, as his form has been patchy. Karlsson’s driving accuracy stats point to trouble around this layout, too.
At least so far as the Scandinavian contingent is concerned, 2008 champion Hanson rates the man to beat in my view. His 2010 form has been admirably consistent, including a win in the Mallorca Open, and suggests he has the all-round skills for this layout.
Like Fowler, Johnson’s best PGA Tour form reads very well at this level. Consecutive wins at Pebble Beach, top ten in the US Open having led by three on Sunday, followed by 14th in The Open, is as good as anyone else in this field can boast.
Magnificent as he was at St Andrews, it is surely asking too much for Oosthuizen to follow up, when one would like to think he’s been celebrating, rather than practising. In the longer-term though, I reckon that shock Major breakthrough will be the making of a player who has always carried considerable potential.
There are few better in the ‘total driving’ department, so it would be no surprise to see Willett finally nail that maiden professional win. He was 11th on a different course last year, and remains very much on my shortlist.
Kjeldsen certainly has enough pedigree to be competitive at this level, especially on fast greens. He would have been a pick were it not for some frustratingly mid-division efforts of late.
Jacquelin’s recent form credentials look rock-solid. His last ten events have yielded seven top 20s, thrice inside the top three. He is also fresh having missed The Open.
A superb seventh place at The Open, which reads even better given a disadvantageous draw, was Rock’s fourth top seven in his last six events. Respect is due, but that form is reflected in shortened odds about this non-winner.
This layout’s exposure to the wind can only aid the cause of McGrane, who has seven top 20s from his last 11 starts. He didn’t really impress in contention when carrying our cash in Estoril last month, though.
Another interesting PGA Tour raider. Sabbatini must come into the argument after finishing eighth at Loch Lomond.
Consecutive top-12 finishes prior to The Open confirmed that Storm is finding his range after a poor spell. He is very accurate, and should appreciate the stern test of this layout.
Noren remains one of the home nation’s best players, but must be opposed until showing signs of emerging from this season’s slump.
This promising Dutch player is my first reserve, should any of the selections withdraw. A good ball-striker, Luiten has made his last 11 cuts, including five top 20s, and looks overdue a place payout.
On this season’s efforts, Green has only the runners-up spot in Estoril to recommend him. Nevertheless, his generally accurate long-game looks just the ticket here.
An old friend, or sometimes foe, of this column rates one of the best outsiders. Lawrie’s accurate driving, and ability to play in the wind, should offer an advantage around this layout.