The Open – Fingers Burnt, Lessons Learnt


Okay, to say I was pretty disappointed with Lee Westwood’s gutless final round at last month’s Open Championship is an understatement.

Having tipped him at the start I went into day 4 with a real chance of a big score (having snapped up odds of 36/1 pre-tournament). But, unsurprisingly, I was subjected to the customary meltdown we’ve seen from Lee so often after getting himself into such a promising position to nail that elusive first major.


Having only backed him to win on Betfair, in hindsight, I should have layed a portion of him going into the final round. His odds even dropped as low as 1.9 after 3 or 4 holes on Day 4 and that was the point I should of taken my medicine and secured a tidy profit. Instead I let the thought of that big win get the better of me and as Westwood capitulated I watched my profits dwindle away as the boy Mickelson picked apart the final 9 holes at Muirfield! Chance gone. Painful.


So. What did I learn from my latest “Oh so close” effort?…

Well, the main lesson was if I’m backing players just to win (to take advantage of Betfair’s outrageously larger exchange odds available) I’ve got to be able to know when to quit. Golf is about as competitive today as it ever has been. The days of just one player being called Tiger, wearing red every Sunday and ruling the roost for years to come are over. The elite standard is just too damn good for that to happen. The last few majors haven’t yielded a champion from the final group and that has to be down to the fact that these players, no matter how good they are, feel the pressure of other elite players bearing down on them in a final round. It’s natural, who wouldn’t. So unless you’ve backed someone and they’re going into the final round with a 5 shot lead (and even that may not be enough) then nothing can be taken for granted. Ultimately, know when to secure a profit.

The second lesson is maybe I should be happy just looking to bag a top 5 spot. The odds to be had in golf betting are better than any other sport by far. So why not take advantage of securing a nice outside place? If they go on to win then awesome! Happy days! But it’s about turning a profit at the end of the day. Not just the big macho win.

When push comes to shove, it’s about trying to beat the bookies. Don’t be afraid to cash out. If someone gave you a small profit pre tournament you’d probably take it. Try not to forget that in search for a hero win! And when I sit down to take a look at the final major of the year at Oak Hill Country Club this is what I’ll be thinking about.