100-1 Singh books Open berth with Scottish win
FIVE days before the world’s best players converge on Royal Lytham for The Open, punters were reminded just how treacherous betting on links golf can be with an extraordinary end to the Scottish Open yesterday.
Indian Jeev Milkha Singh triumphed in a play-off against Italy’s Francesco Molinari but that only told half the story after Singh was matched at a high of 850 on Betfair to triumph at Castle Stuart.
He was in the clubhouse with a 17-under-par total of 271 while Scotland’s Marc Warren was 20-under standing on the 15th tee.
Warren found the thick rough and had a double-bogey six before bogeying the 16th and 17th after being matched for glory at 1.2 on the exchange. Molinari, meanwhile, would have won had he parred the final five holes but he could only bogey the 15th himself. He was laid at 1.52.
Singh was 100-1 to win at the start the tournament and has earned his place in the third Major of the year which starts on the Lancashire course on Thursday.
And the battle for the punters’ pound is well under way with favourite Tiger Woods being pushed out to 8-1 by Betfred and Ladbrokes to claim his 15th Major.
Luke Donald had a disappointing 73 in his final round at Castle Stuart to finish six shots behind Singh, but he has been trimmed for Open glory with all the 18-1 about the world No. 1 having disappeared.
He joins Lee Westwood and Rory McIlroy at 16-1, while Phil Mickelson was the other big gun to impress this weekend.
He finished with a 74, but second and third rounds of 65 and 64 means that he has been cut to win his first Claret Jug to a general 33-1 when there was plenty of 40-1 about before the weekend.
The last ten Majors have been won by players who had not claimed one of the top prizes before and Hills go 1-2 that this week’s prize follows suit. With Westwood, Donald, Sergio Garcia and Justin Rose all prominent in the betting, that price could prove popular while it’s 6-4 that a previous Major winner is successful.
Key to any player’s chance will be the weather and it is little surprise that the miserable summer could continue this week. Forecasters predict a dry start but rain is expected on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Read Tuesday's Racing Post for Steve Palmer's 19th Hole column and don't miss The Open pullout in Wednesday's paper