US OPEN 2020

Winged Foot GC,

Mamaroneck, NY.

The New York Athletic Club in New York features a sculpture named Winged Foot housed at its suburban location. The clubs name and logo devolve from this sculpture. The course is the recreation centre for some Club members, but is not officially attached. This mirrors the early Scottish situation where city clubs developed and ran golf courses as recreational places for club membership. The course record was set out by fabled designer A.W.Tillinghast in 1921 and has held 5 memorable US Opens amongst many other fabulous USGA events. Tillinghast learned his craft at the feet of possibly the most influential and famous designer Old Tom Morris at ST Andrews and the raised greens and difficult bunkers reflect that place of learning.

The winners of Opens here demonstrates the quality of the Tillinghast basic design, famed Gil Hanse Cmpleted some restoration and remodelling in 2015, but the design remains true to the Tillinghast ideals of brain over brawn. Tillinghasts lasting architectural contribution he described “  I believe the approach to the green should be designed and maintained with as much care and intelligence as the green itself” Consequently fairway contours run into the green surfaces. Geoff Ogilvy describes playing Winged Foot reminded him of playing Royal Melbourne at which Alistair MacKenzie followed the same philosophy. Consequently positioning for the green approach is fundamental to scoring well.

Bobby Jones holed a 12’ putt on the last to get in a playoff which he won and changed the history of golf with his grand slam, Billy Casper won her as did Hale Irwin who like few hit the last green in two, Fuzzy beat Norman in a playoff and Geoff Ogilvy  outlasted Phil Mickelsen, Colin Montgomery’s and Padraig Harrington in 2006, all very worthy winners.

So in finding the potential winner I have sought to determine the best players in circumstances requiring brain over brawn, the first to come to mind is

Xander Schauffele- $17 on Betfair, with three top six positions in only three starts at the US Open.

The others tight in the market I thought had chances, prices all on Betfair

Hideki Matsuyama-$36 First Japanese to win a major?

Always been a top player and back in form

Jason Day-$40 Very Good record on tight US Open courses

Justin Rose-$70 Won a US Open and always in the fight

Louis Oosthuizen-$95 Very good record on tough courses and a previous major winner.

Shane Lowry-$110 Also an Open winner and good last year.

Henrik Stenson-$250, very good Open record and previous major winner

Chez Revie-$270, third last year.

MacKenzie Hughes-$320, Young Canadian with very consistent recent form

Matt Wallace-$400, an English pro who looks like a major winner to me

Matthias Schwab-$610, European Tour player with strong form

Chesson Hadley-$1000 9th last year and promising performance last week

Conor Syme-$1000 Young Euro Tour up and comer

Sami Valmaki-$890 same

Stephen Jaeger-$1000

Tyler Duncan-$1000 recent tour winner

Ryan Fox-$1000 got the pedigree and fears nothing

Andrew Putnam-$1000 strong recent showings

Sung Kang-$1000 could pop up

LPGA Cambria Portland Classic

Also played on a golf course designed in the “Golden Era”, the Columbia Edgewater Country Club in Portland Oregon was designed in 1926 by north western US architect Verdun Macan. The 6380 yard course par71 has a fine history of great male champions including Jack Nicklaus and Billy Casper, But has hosted the LPGA for the last few years. The course was also a qualifying course for the 2010 US Open at Pebble Beach.

There are significant problems for value punters in betting on the LPGA. The markets tend to be thin and bookies set markets with very high percentages. Betfair which in normal markets prices exceed corporate bookmakers by up o 100% do not have the same market volume on ladies events except in the case of the majors where markets can be more regular.

I’m committed to value betting and thus find less opportunity in the LPGA.

I’ll detail the Betfair bet and lay prices and suggest that the players have chances exceeding the bet price, but I would want to get closer to the Lay price to bet where I note two prices.

Arica Jutanigarn-$34-$55

Lydia Ko-$18.5

Stacy Lewis-$28-$60

Sung Hyun Park-$56 The most talented

Cheyenne Woods-$400-$600 Tigers niece but plays well here.

Mirim Lee-$140 Huge odds for last weeks major winner! Who beat a better field

Chella Choi-$140-$280 impressive record here

Linnea Strom-$310 starting to compete

Gerina Piller-$310-$450 plays well at Portland

Wichanee Meechai-$930 comer

Emma Talley-$370 Shown strong ability to make jump from impressive college form

Cydney Clanton-$410

Na Yeon Choi-$400 former number 1

Bronte Law-$410 feisty Solheim Cup star who pops up occasionally

Ashleigh Buhai-$300-$490 very good player

Open de Portugal

The European Tour conjoins with the secondary Challenge tour at the Portuguese Open at the Morgado Golf Resort on the Algarve Coast. A true links for nine holes around the beach sites, the more inland nine also features no trees or housing. The scenic course measures 6400 metres (7040 yards) par 73 normally with a slope score of 73.5 difficulty suggesting the field would eat it up. However there are only a few European Tour players playing mostly challenge tour members. On form last weeks winner George Coetzee should be odds on, but part of his strength was his ability in the long Bermuda rough at the Portuguese Masters. However he remains the best player by far here and he won the week before in South Africa. It’s hard to put the Challenge Tour up and comers against the Euro tour regulars but here goes.

George Coetzee -$6

Oscar Lengden- $100

Tyler Kolvista-$150

Paul Dunne-$150 Due a form turn around and I like this stepping down in class.

Anton Karlsson-$180 the most experienced Challenge tour leader

Benjamin Poke-$250 Won the tour qualifying and starting to show up

Hurly Long-$400-$1000

Gary Stal-$480 previous Euro winner