After last week’s Open Championship at Muirfield, where Phil Mickleson produced a masterclass finish in his final round of 66 to reward those who backed him after his Scottish Open triumph, this week’s action is low key by comparison.
The Seniors Open visits Birkdale for the first time and Fred Couples – winner at Turnberry 12 months ago – is a warm favourite at 6/1 to prevail again, although I like the chances of 2010 victor Bernard Langer, who has also placed three times and should give punters a great run for their money at 12/1.
Mark O’Meara, Open Champion at Birkdale in 1998, performed with great credit at Muirfield last weekend and he’s also a must for the short list at 22/1. O’Meara also won a European Tour event on the Lancashire Links when holing two seven irons during the final round and watched Ian Baker-Finch produce a devastating performance to land the 1991 Open when he played in the final group, so he is very much a course specialist.
Those looking for outsiders might like to consider Peter Fowler at 100/1 and Ian Woosnam at a tasty 125/1 while Peter Senior also looks looks a decent bet at 28/1.
The Canadian Open looks like an opportunity for Brandt Snedeker (14/1) to shine. Fifth the last time the event was played at Glen Abbey in 2009, he showed up particularly well in the Open and indeed, if it wasn’t for a terrible back-nine 43 on the Friday, he would have been very much in the mix on the Sunday.
Ryan Palmer likes the course and looks a big price at 66/1 while nobody has a better record in this event than 2004 winner VJ Singh who admittedly is past his best but cannot be ignored at 150/1. YE Yang is also available at the same price, which again seems very generous.
Finally, Simon Dyson at 12/1 heads the market ahead of the Russian Open, which has no live TV and India’s Shiv Kapur following a decent Open, looks too big at 50/1 in a low key event which will do well to continue to be a regular on the European Tour.