RANKING THE OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP FIELD: THE NO CHANCERS

But first, some common misconceptions about playing links golf.

-It does not favor the Europeans. Most of the European, PGA and Asian Tours are played on resort courses, parkland layouts or TPC stadium style courses. The European tour has a few tradition links layouts on their schedule, but only 1 or 2, so nothing to give them a huge advantage. The only advantage for Euro’s is that they tend to play on flatter slower greens than in the US, which is what the field will see at Turnberry.

-Turnberry is not a good course. Let’s hope the rough is up, the fairways are tight and the wind blows, or else this will not be a major championship test. Like Pebble Beach, it has a few scenic holes, but is also very capable of yielding a -15 winning score.

-Links golf is bizarro golf. On most US courses, good shotmakers, guys that can hit the ball high particularly, and great short games are rewarded. On links golf it tends to reward the ultimate shot makers like Sergio or Tiger, and also guys that aren’t as talented high ball hitters like Ben Curtis or Padraig Harrington. With flat slow greens there is almost no advantage to someone who hangs around with a great short game. That’s why Sergio contends at the British and Phil Mickelson always struggles.

With that, let’s get started:
Vegas Odds are guesses on some of these, because they obviously haven’t opened yet. Reasonable chance to win is my estimate.

NO CHANCE
These guys are not in my rankings or have less than 20 rounds and are pretty obscure.
Elliot Saltman
Vegas Odds: 5000-1
Reasonable Chance to win: 0%
My Field Ranking: N/A
You may(or may not) also know him as the inferior Saltman sibling. Any chance one book will offer Elliot -135/105 v. Lloyd?

Stephen Gross
Vegas Odds: 5000-1?
Reasonable Chance to win: 0%
My Field Ranking: N/A
Gross is the ninth ranked amateur in the world, according to the R&A’s rankings. Gross has played in one European Tour event and missed the cut by 7 shots.

Matteo Manassero
Vegas Odds: 5000-1?
Reasonable Chance to win: 0%
My Field Ranking: N/A
I’m just going under the theory that if these guys were good enough to be making money somewhere playing golf they would be. Mannasero was the youngest ever British Amateur champion last year and is in the top-5 of the R&A’s world amateur rankings.

Lloyd Saltman
Vegas Odds: 5000-1?
Reasonable Chance to win: 0%
My Field Ranking: N/A
Saltman has played in 9 European Challenge Tour(basically golf’s version of single A) events with a best finish of 12th. Played in the 2005 British Open as an amateur.

David Higgins
Vegas Odds: 5000-1?
Reasonable Chance to win: 0%
My Field Ranking: N/A
According to his European Tour biography, Higgins was a 27-handicap golfer at the age of 12 and became scratch at the age of 17. His results from the European and Challenge tours make it seem like he is closer to 27 right now.

Daniel Gaunt
Vegas Odds: 5000-1
Reasonable Chance to win: 0%
My Field Ranking: N/A

‘Nuff said.

Thomas Haylock

Vegas Odds: 5000-1
Reasonable Chance to win: 0%
My Field Ranking: N/A
The Former English Under-18 stroke play champion(Carris Trophy winner!) finished t-33 on his lone appearance on the Challenge Tour. Qualified through Local Final Qualifying.

Gaganjeet Bhullar
Vegas Odds: 5000-1
Reasonable Chance to win: 0%
My Field Ranking: N/A
Sorry but this isn’t the Indian Player’s Championship here.

Peter Ellebye

Vegas Odds: 5000-1
Reasonable Chance to win: 0%
My Field Ranking: N/A
Who knew the Official World Golf Rankings went as high as 1373?

Steve Surry

Vegas Odds: 5000-1
Reasonable Chance to win: 0%
My Field Ranking: N/A
From the website of the British Open:

One of the leading contenders on the PGA Europro Tour, where he led the order of merit in early 2009.

The PGA Europro Tour.

Yuta Ikeda
Tomohiro Kondo
Kenichi Kuboya
Koumei Oda

Vegas Odds: 5000-1
Reasonable Chance to win: 0%
My Field Ranking: N/A
I dare you to pick these guys out of a lineup.

Tim Stewart
Vegas Odds: 5000-1
Reasonable Chance to win: 0%
My Field Ranking: N/A
Stewart was the runner up to Drew Weaver at the British Amateur last year and a former Australian Amateur Champion. Qualified through the Asian International Qualifier.

Jeremy Kavanaugh

Vegas Odds: 5000-1
Reasonable Chance to win: 0%
My Field Ranking: N/A
Maybe two rounds a few months before a tournament are not the best way to fill out a field for a major championship.

Josh Geary
Vegas Odds: 5000-1
Reasonable Chance to win: 0%
My Field Ranking: N/A
Look out for the defending Saskatchewan Open. I don’t know what it means, but his Open player profile says that wasn’t as satisfying as a fifth place finish at the 2004 Eisenhower Trophy.

Michael Wright
Vegas Odds: 5000-1
Reasonable Chance to win: 0%
My Field Ranking: N/A
This will be Michael Wright’s second British Open.

David Higgins
Vegas Odds: 5000-1
Reasonable Chance to win: 0%
My Field Ranking: N/A
Once finished second on the Challenge Tour Order of Merit.

Jaco Ahlers

Vegas Odds: 5000-1
Reasonable Chance to win: 0%
My Field Ranking: N/A
Ahlers came through international qualifying, but as far as I can tell has not finished better than 67th in a few European-Sunshine co-sanctioned events.

Tim Wood

Vegas Odds: 5000-1
Reasonable Chance to win: 0%
My Field Ranking: N/A
Do you think he shot his load by playing on the Canadian Tour, winning the New South Wales PGA Championship and finishing 11th in the Australian Open? ALL IN THE SAME SEASON.

Daniel Wardrop
Vegas Odds: 5000-1
Reasonable Chance to win: 0%
My Field Ranking: N/A
This is not really related to Daniel Wardrop, sorry Daniel, but these no shot guys are terrible all terrible bets. I’m sure they will have juicy prices, but there is really almost no chance these unknown players will come through in four rounds against the worlds best. A fair price might be around a few million to one.

The rest of the field is getting ranked and the next edition will be up later today.

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One response to “RANKING THE OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP FIELD: THE NO CHANCERS

  1. Pingback: RANKING THE OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP FIELD: 1-10 « REXFORD BUZZSAW

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