One of the more popular markets for people to have a go on in The Open is the first round leader market. You often get some weird and wacky leaders in the first round of this tournament and it is an opportunity to back some big prices who might make a fast start but fade the longer the event goes on.
When we bet on this market the first thing we need to do is check the weather to see if there is a specific time where the weather is going to be nicer. Over the course of four days I’m a believer in that the weather will largely even itself out across the field but on one day that is unlikely to be the case.
So looking at the forecast for Thursday it would appear the early starters are going to have the better of the conditions. It is set to be fairly benign early on with the wind getting up much more in the afternoon. If you combine that with the knowledge that the greens are likely to run smoother earlier before everyone traipse across them then picking someone out early looks the way to go.
Now that we’ve taken out half of the draw we have to look at the sort of player to back. There has been a bit of duke on the Old Course in the lead up to the start so the course could play soft early on so we definitely want a long hitter. If they have a short game then so much the better so I’m going with a few plays.
Having backed Victor Dubuisson for the tournament given that he has an early tee time it would make perfect sense for us to have a little bit on him to take advantage of his tee time and fire in an early pacesetter for the rest to aim at. Dubuisson has the course record here so we know he can go low on the course and at 50/1 he’s a solid option to deliver the goods.
Over the course of the weekend I don’t fancy too many Americans to do too much with the forecast the way it is but while the scene is cosy and benign there’s no reason why they can’t get round nicely and so two big hitters who are out early have every chance of posting something.
JB Holmes goes out at 8.44 and he has been involved at the business end of some big tournaments this year. He has opened up past Open’s with a 68 and a 69 so he is capable of posting solid rounds in the right conditions but with the form he has been in and the improvements he has made to his short game coupled with his length off the tee he’s a candidate to post something challenging.
The final pick is a man who has actually played good golf around this course in Brooks Koepka. Koepka is a little bit enigmatic but he belts it miles and gets it in the hole as well as many of his standing. He’s in the top 10 bombers on the PGA Tour so most of the trouble will be out of play for him. He opened last year’s Open with a 68 and in the Dunhill Links he’s been around here four times shooting 64, 68, 66 and 73 so there’s a low score in him and given the conditions it could well be here.
Back V.Dubuisson First Round Leader (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 51.00 with Betfred (1/4 1-6)
Back B.Koepka First Round Leader (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 56.00 with Stan James (1/4 1-7)
Back J-B.Holmes First Round Leader (e/w) for a 0.5/10 stake at 81.00 with Bet365 (1/4 1-6)