Niall Lyons has three bets from this week's European Tour event in Scotland.
The regular tour season is now on the wind down ahead of the Finals Series which takes place over the next month or so on the European Tour. This week we have the annual pilgrimage to some of the best golf courses on the Isles. Once again St Andrews, Kingsbarns and Carnoustie make up the three venues on which pros and celebrities alike will take to over the first three days before gathering for the final 18 on St Andrews on Sunday.
This tournament has thrown up a multitude of winners down the years but most of them have an affinity with links golf. Harrington (twice) and Paul Lawrie have both won Open Championships, both at Carnoustie. Other winners such as Olesen, Grace, Hoey, and Kaymer all have a solid record on links courses. We'll be looking to those types of players when choosing a bet this week.
Oosthuizen heads the top of the market here and rates no value having missed six cuts here out of ten appearances. He has the game for calm links golf, but I can't be investing with that record here. Grace is alongside his countryman at 16/1 and rates a better bet seeing he has gotten over the line in this event before. His other performances have not been too impressive though and I'm happy to let him slide this week. With such a laborious four days ahead if you're going to win this I'll be looking further down the market at a few juicier prices.
We'll start this week with SHANE LOWRY, who having taken a month off arrives in Scotland quite fresh. This may be crucial to go four days down the stretch at these long courses. Lowry had a torrid summer showing no form whatsoever although his last tally of 5 under at in Denmark was a welcome top25 finish. He has made the last six cuts on the trot at this event including 3rd, 6th and 19th placed finishes in his last three outings here. He has links pedigree having won the Irish Open in Baltray and it was only a matter of months ago that he was odds on in round four to notch his first major in the US Open. He was getting some practice this week at Waterville, one of Ireland's most revered Links courses. He will be striving for some success soon after a disappointing summer after the US Open. At 33/1 it's not massive value, but worth a shot.
I'll take a chance on SOREN KJELDSEN having posted a top ten in his home event in Denmark just over a month ago. His form this summer has been steady although unspectacular. He did post a top ten in this years Open Championship though, with a fine round of 68 on the toughest day of the week on Friday. Who can forget his win at the mighty tough Royal County Down as well when the weather played a big factor there. Either way he is developing a liking for links golf late on in his career and despite the price of 50/1 being a bit underwhelming, I believe he is worth a few quid. It's not easy to get a victory around these parts so I was looking a bit bigger, but nonetheless we'll invest small.
PAUL DUNNE has had a pretty successful career for someone just 23 years of age but he will be looking to get into the winners enclosure over the next year to really cement his position on the European Tour. This is one of the events he can target. As an amateur he lead the Open Championship at St Andrews heading into the final day only for the pressure to understandably take its toll over the final 18. He came through strokeplay qualifying to get his place in that Open, and also got through all three stages of the qualifying school to get his place on tour. Clearly he has a bit of grit in his young bones and his affiliation with links golf may just continue this week. He finished 19th here on debut at the event last year. He has shown glimpses of form this Summer with top 20 finishes at the BMW International, Czech Masters, Made in Denmark and the KLM. It is a tall order to win this event with the calibre of field but he certainly has game and 150/1 looks tasty enough to me. I'm not looking any further for more bets in one of the toughest betting contests of the year for me personally.