Craig Edwards @EdwardsTips_ takes an early ante-post look at the Open Championship for BetWithUs
St. Andrews, Scotland
Par 72, 7305 yards
It’s that time of year when golf tipsters start scouring the ante-post markets of next year’s major championships for value. Several rightly pointed out that Sam Burns will likely go off shorter in price if his good form continues in early 2022 while his Genesis Invitational effort and Valspar win show a player suited by tough challenges. It’s not that easy to see many others who you could say ‘hand on heart’, you expect them to go off at a significantly shorter price.
BetWithUs Golf Pick: Open Championship
Danny Willett – each-way @ 125/1 (126.00) easily available, 140/1 (141.00)
One player that did catch my eye as being overpriced was Danny Willett in the Open Championship at St. Andrews. The Sheffield man is a rather peculiar type in the fact that he snaps average runs of form with wins in many of the sport’s premier events. The first occurrence, he managed such a feat was his major championship win at the 2016 Masters when the unheralded Englishman outstayed the strange mix of brilliant and erratic play from the much-fancied Jordan Spieth for a shock win.
After a strong 2016 and announcing himself at the highest level, Willett’s form took a nosedive in 2017 with only one top 10 finish. Since 2018, Willett has righted his ship a little and consolidated his position as one of the sport’s best closers with three wins in exactly 100 tournaments. Those three wins have been in the European Tour’s flagship event, the PGA Championship of 2019 at Wentworth, the end of season DP World Tour Championship of 2018 in Dubai and last year’s Dunhill Links Championship. As you can see that’s both of the European Tour’s top events and the Dunhill Links, which I would rank just below with its stellar field but importantly has two of the four rounds at St. Andrews.
What’s counterintuitive about Danny Willett is that those hundred events since 2018, have seen only eleven top 10 finishes illustrating how erratic his form has been bringing a level of understanding as to why he’s languishing at world number 126. Luckily, we have compensation for his ‘win or bust’ profile in his easily available price of 125/1 (126.00) while one firm goes as high as 140/1 (141.00).
By the time the Open Championship comes round in July, if Willett is in reasonable form it’s not hard to theorize or imagine he will go off around 80/1 (81.00) with better each-way terms of the bookmakers. That’s because punters will look back to his 6th place finish at St. Andrews in 2015 which doesn’t surprise given the knowledge that he’s won since at the course only a few months ago.
That proven ability to close will serve Willett and us well if he gets in contention as except for Collin Morikawa and Patrick Cantlay golf lacks proven closers currently.
With his ‘win or bust,’ I am happy to take my chances at 125/1+ (126.00) upwards now and also feel compensated in the price for the variable of weather in July. A reproduction of the mixed 2015 forecast would be ideal for Willett allowing him to use his strong links golf skills. His putting would possibly be a worry in benign conditions that nullify the primary defence of the course but again we are compensated by the price.
I’ve made a compelling case for CLV (Closing line value) by taking the 140/1 (141.00) or 125/1 (126.00) on Danny Willett for the 2022 Open Championship now.