Surely, it is only a matter of time before a bookmaker introduces a ‘God Squad’ market for the Open, a special category comprising those golfers, mainly American, who have found the Lord, and whose chief purpose is to win the Claret Jug for His glory.
Many golfers are religious, of course, but most keep their beliefs to themselves. But we know there is a growing band of born-again Christians on the other side of the Pond - because that’s the first thing they tell us when they win anything.
And the US God Squad does seem to be winning quite a lot these days. Tom Lehman, Paul Azinger, and Corey Pavin were from the last generation of American golfers who won Majors.
The new kids in church are doing all right, too, with Zach Johnson (Masters), Stewart Cink (Open), Bubba Watson (Masters), and Webb Simpson (US Open) all dedicating their triumphs to Jesus. And Ricky Fowler will do the same if he ever wins a big one.
Now, of course, this does not always go down too well with the Europeans – remember Sam Torrance blasting Lehman (who wears a bracelet saying ‘What Would Jesus Do’) at the 1999 Ryder Cup at Brookline?
The American side trampled all over Jose Maria Olazabal’s line in celebration, after Justin Leonard had sunk a long and hugely significant putt on the 17th – “And he calls himself a Man of God!”
Their post-triumph praises to God do not go down that well today, either, being construed by some as both preachy and arrogant. Somebody even wondered whether Simpson, who confessed to praying more than he had ever done on the last three holes, was actually cheating.
But if the likes of Johnson, Cink, and Watson (and whoever else feel that their victories were the result of prayers to the Lord on the back nine) I wonder whose side He will be on, if they all come down the home stretch together, locked in battle?
The Betfair golf odds currently favour Tiger Woods to claim the Open Championship. The Almighty has yet to reveal His allegiances, however.
Place a bet on golf, or find out the latest information on Woods, McIlroy, and Westwood at http://betting.betfair.com/golf/golf-events/the-open/.