BEN CLEMINSON PREVIEWS THE OPEN AT ST ANDREWS
WAS IT the most expensive game of five-a-side football ever? Rory McIlroy had waited almost five years for the Open to return to St Andrews, only to rupture an ankle ligament during a kickabout with friends.
McIlroy’s loss could well be Jordan Spieth’s gain, with the 21-year-old Texan clear favourite to land an astonishing third straight major of 2015.
He also knows that if he wins he’ll overtake McIlroy as world No1 and be one step away from an incredible calendar grand slam.
Betway, who are paying six places, have Spieth at 6/1 and he’s certain to have plenty of supporters.
He won his fourth tournament of the year on Sunday when taking the John Deere Classic in his first appearance since landing the US Open.
I will be surprised if he isn’t in the running on Sunday afternoon, but he’s very short and I’m going to focus on some bigger-priced contenders.
My main selection is Louis Oosthuizen, who won the Open at St Andrews back in 2010 by seven strokes.
That was a tremendous performance and he was an excellent tied second in last month’s US Open at Chambers Bay. He’s the perfect player for this test.
He hits the ball far, has great control with his irons and is a solid putter. This is also a man for the big stage – he’s twice finished runner-up at the Masters – and the 22/1 with Betway looks a fair each-way price.
Another player who has done well at the ‘home of golf’ is Martin Kaymer. He won the Dunhill Links Championship here in 2010 and was seventh at the Open a few months before that.
The German has said that his focus this year has been the Open and that St Andrews is his favourite course in the world.
He’s a classy player and is worth backing at 40/1.
Finally, I’m also going to throw a few quid at Patrick Reed at a general 55/1.
He was one of the few bright lights for Team USA at last year’s Ryder Cup at Gleneagles, top-scoring for his team with 3.5 points, and is a big talent.
Louis Oosthuizen e/w at 22/1 with Betway
Martin Kaymer e/w at 40/1 general
Patrick Reed e/w at 55/1 general