Niall Lyons picks has a couple of strong fancies from Thursday's three-ball matches.
Many firms do battle this week to win your pounds which results in hundreds of markets bring priced and available for us to bet on. Besides the outright bets, many are looking for smaller priced options which may yield a better strike rate. I have picked out a couple of bets worth having over the course of the tournament.
Top former winner is an interesting market and I believe Zach Johnson is worth a nibble each-way at 6/1. This track may just suit Zach as he has the ability to steer the ball quite easily with his neat, compact swing. He comes as defending champion which is never easy but he's old and wily enough not to let them effect him so much. Previous to last years win he has posted two top tens in the Open in his last three outings. As he ages he has clearly developed a liking for links golf and his experience should give him a fair chance of competing in this market. McIlroy of course holds favouritism here but as we saw on Tuesday during his practice round he is far from guaranteed a good performance. He posted a '9' on the Postage stamp hole on Tuesday and just one error like that over the space of 72 holes will render the 6/5 price very short. Mickelson and Oosthuizen are lively contenders but outside of that we head towards the older folk, most of who will miss the cut. With three places available this is a solid each-way bet.
Danny Lee performed well in Scotland last week to finish 3rd but equally a good performance was posted by his 3 ball partner on Thursday Richie Ramsay. Although the pricing structure results in Ramsay being outsider of the three (third player Harris English), I simply can not have him as the outsider. Both English and Lee are quite inexperienced in this sort of battle while Ramsay has shown a host of form on tight courses, and links down the years. He has won around the very tricky Crans Sir Sierre while also collecting two top 5 finishes at the Alfred Dunhill Links as well as a 5th spot at Paul Lawrie's Matchplay last year. All in all his links form is very decent and even though the weather is forecast to be calm I'd still expect him to give a bold fist of this three way 18 hole match. Simply overpriced.
Even though Fabian Gomez and Jim Herman are priced bigger than Anthony Wall, the Englishman is priced as the outsider of the three by most firms and I can't understand why. Gomez and Herman arrive at Troon for their first outing at the Open and are far from guaranteed doing enough to make the cut. Wall meanwhile has five Open appearances to his name resulting in 46-11-CUT-51-43-12. Two top 15 finishes is fair enough for somebody considered a proper journeyman of the tour. While most consider him the outsider of three, I consider him as fav. If you can get the 9/4 snap it up, but I'm happy to bet anything at 7/4 or above.