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Englishmen Poulter and Fisher gain patriotic Open bets

| 14.07.2010

Ian Poulter has spiced up the Open at St Andrews with a little verbal sparring by suggesting American players are past it and declaring the time is now for England’s golfers to reign supreme.

Along with compatriot Ross Fisher, Poulter has been favoured to win the Open Championship by bettors with a patriotic bent, and a victory for either of them is now a loser for the bookies.

Poulter finished the Open second in 2008 and is 33/1 to go a place higher this time, while Fisher, who lives in the same gated community as Poulter in Orlando, is a 50/1 chance.

“For any major competition – World Cup, Wimbledon – there is a fair bit of patriotic money,” said a Ladbrokes spokesman. “A win for either Poulter or Fisher will lose us money.”

Poulter, the world number eight, said on Wednesday: “The American guys who have won all the tournaments over the past few years are getting older.”

“The talent [in America] to replace them is very young and needs a bit more experience, so we have a 15-year window.”

“I don’t want to put a number on it but the [English] guys that are in the top 40 in the world are all capable of winning [a few majors].”

Such bravado is justified in a player who won the Match Play Championship in Arizona in February by beating another Englishman, Paul Casey (50/1 to win the Open).

He has a tough opening three-ball, though, and at 7/4, is behind Ernie Els (11/8) and only just in front of defending champion Stewart Cink (13/5), to end with the lowest score in his group.

As reported yesterday, Justin Rose, at 20/1 to win the tournament, is still taking the most money, according to the Ladbrokes spokesman. “That’s our worst result,” he said.

Other English interest can be found with Luke Donald, tied fifth last year, at a 40/1 price to win the Open and Lee Westwood (20/1), although he is suffering with a leg injury.

One Englishman who seems to have flown under the radar so far is Chris Wood who, at 80/1, could be a great outside bet to win at the Old Course.

He tied fifth as an amatuer at Royal Birkdale in 2008 and then finished joint third last year at Turnberry. Should that upwards curve continue it will be one of Poulter’s less well-known compatriots who fulfills the jester’s prophecy.

Phil Mickelson was the focus of Poulter’s American jibe, having turned 40 this year. The world number two is 16/1 to win his second major of 2010 after Masters success in April. See the full Open Championship betting market.



John Klee