35/1 Lee to breeze back into contention
Some popular Europeans kept their nerve amid the storms yesterday to stay on track to feature on the leader board in The Open at Royal Birkdale come Sunday evening.
Yesterday’s wind and rain damaged a lot of players’ chances with Phil Mickelson shooting a nine-over par 79, and Ernie Els and Vijay Singh finishing with 80s!
Yesterday’s atrocious early conditions mean that European players such as champion Padraig Harrington, Justin Rose, Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood and, yes, even Colin Montgomerie, could still be contenders.
Prices fluctuated throughout yesterday’s play, as improved weather in the afternoon and evening allowed several players to push into contention at the top of the leader board.
But the forecast for today and tomorrow is still not clever, and who is to say which players will get the benefit – or pay the price – of playing during the poorer conditions? What Harrington and Co managed in the worst possible weather was to keep their dreams alive, and the dreams of the thousands of punters who have backed them to succeed. We should applaud them for that.
If, like me, you think they are all still in with a shout, it might be worth getting a bet on this morning too, as they are all much better priced.
Westwood, who probably could have done better to be honest, was as low as 14/1 on Wednesday. Last night his price varied – 25/1 with better, 33/1 with Ladbrokes and 35/1 with Betdaq.
Monty coped better than most people, but would still be an optimistic punt, even at Ladbrokes’ 50/1.
“It’s not great, not wonderful, but it’s OK,” said the veteran after posting a threeover 73. In normal circumstances Harrington might have been disgusted to bogey the final two holes for a 74.
But given both the weather and the fact that he was doubtful before the start with a wrist injury, he was content enough that his hopes of retaining the Claret Jug are not over yet. He is between 20/1 and 40/1 overnight.
“I am sure I would have taken (that score) on the first tee,” said the Dubliner.
We backed Westwood before the start and, biting our nails, stick with that. But beware of the Goose! Retief Goosen, was awesome yesterday and at one-over is a huge danger.