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Open golfers in clubhouse blown away by perfect playing conditions

| 15.07.2010

Golfers teeing off in the morning of the Open Championship most definitely got lucky today, with fine weather proving the consistent factor in a catalogue of sub-par rounds.

After downpours on Wednesday night, the competitors were anticpating the worst for Thursday’s opening day of the Open at St Andrews, but zero wind and minimum rain made it perfect golfing conditions.

“The talking point has to be the weather,” Brad Barry, Ladbrokes’ head golf trader, said. “If you’d have said last night that we would get this calm weather I would never have believed it.”

“It was wet overnight so the greens are holding, too.”

Around two thirds of the field are at par or better, suggesting that a lower score than usual will be needed to win the Claret Jug.

“Those who didn’t take advantage today will be ruing their missed chance,” Barry said. “Those going out late in the afternoon will be cursing their bad luck.”

Players like Phil Mickelson, Sergio Garica and Martin Kaymer all began their rounds after the wind started to pick up around 2.00pm and could find the going a whole lot tougher than the likes of Rory McIlroy and John Daly, the early leaders.

Mickelson is currently at par through the fifth hole (25/1 to win the Open), Garcia is one under through six (80/1) and Kaymer (40/1) is one under having played the fourth.

“The remaining players will have to go out in a good mental state,” Barry said. “But typically, we do get someone finishing at around 8.30pm and putting in a good score.”

KJ Choi, currently at one over through three, has shown up well in majors before (having finished in the top 15 in all of them) and led the 2008 Open after day two. He’s a 100/1 shot to win.

With the weather looking to follow a similar pattern tomorrow – clear in the morning with winds in the afternoon – don’t yet write off players who have only average first rounds: the tee-off times reverse on day two.

2007 Masters champion Zach Johnson is two under after four holes and is 66/1 to win. See the full Open Championship betting market.



Richard Anderson