You might think that the golf world rankings would equate fairly closely with the betting lists for the Open Championship at Lytham, the number one would be favourite, number two second favourite and so on.
But of course it doesn’t quite work like that. Like tennis, where rankings points can be earned on different surfaces to the grass faced at Wimbledon, golf rankings points can be earned on all types of courses and will often bear little relation to a player’s ability to take on a links challenge. There are other reasons for the differences, but that is the main one.
Phil Mickelson, a regular fixture in Golf Open Championship Betting markets, is a good case in point, close to the very top of the rankings year upon year and yet with such a dismal record in our Open.
But comparing current rankings with Open odds should still be instructive and give punters an idea where some value might lie, even though they need to factor in the ‘horses for courses’ equation.
The first discrepancy to notice is Luke Donald, ranked first in the world, but only fourth choice in the market. This would appear to represent good value, but of course Donald’s Open record is nothing to write home about and it may well stay that way until he learns take the pressure of himself. Conversely, the clear favourite, Tiger Woods, is ranked fourth in the world, but the reasons for this discrepancy are entirely obvious.
But then Padraig Harrington, fifth best in the betting, is ranked as low as 60. Okay, he is playing good golf again this year, but has it been good enough to warrant such an exalted place in the market?
Better value may lie with the likes of top-ten ranked Jason Dufner and Matt Kuchar. But the biggest discrepancy is Bubba Watson, ranked six in the world, but barely in the top 20 in the betting markets. Now we know that Bubba can’t win an Open, don’t we? Just like we knew he couldn’t win a Masters, right?
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