Johnnie Walker Championship | Thursday 22 August - Sunday 25 August | Gleneagles
The European Tour will be heading off to Scotland this week for the Johnnie Walker Championship which it to be hosted at Gleneagles Hotel Golf Course, the tournament’s home since 1999. Next year, the course will be one familiar to all as it will be hosting the 2014 Ryder Cup, a fact not lost on many golf fans who are looking forward to catching a glimpse of how the course plays. Designed by Jack Nicklaus, the course measures in at 7,060 yards at the moment but has been known to play as long as 7,300 yards in the past. As we usually see in Scotland, a premium is going to be placed on accuracy from tee to green, so straight hitters are going to have an advantage over those more wayward. Unfortunately, this coincides with the start of the FedEx Cup and the consequence of that is a less than stellar field but there should be some value to be had. Who will have what it takes to edge out the rest of this mediocre field? Let’s have a look.
To Win Outright
F. Molinari 12/1
Bernd Wiesberger 20/1
Thomas Bjorn 22/1
Stephen Gallacher 25/1
Simon Dyson 28/1
Paul Lawrie (28/1 a win, 62/10 a place)
Paul Lawrie will come into this hoping to be the first player to manage back-to-back wins in the tournament and I can’t see too much stopping him from a real chance of succeeding in that quest. He loves to play in Scotland and has won here three times, although he has been around for a while and the gap between those victories is significant. Despite this, we know that on his day he can do it and against this field and with his current form, I’m confident he will go far. He’ll relish the opportunity to show what he’s made of in front of a home crowd. Each way is the bet for me.
Marc Warren (28/1 a win, 62/10 a place)
Sticking with the Scottish players, my next tip is Marc Warren who, like Lawrie, is a previous winner of this tournament. Having won here in 2007, he has yet to manage a repeat of that feat, but in the US PGA he managed a 12th and will be looking to use that form to take advantage of this mediocre field. With a few fine finishes under his belt this year he deserves a win. 28/1 is a steal, get on.
Thomas Bjorn (22/1 a win, 48/10 a place)
A lot of punters out there are surprised that the Great Dane has yet to manage a win this season, so more than a few of them are keen on Thomas Bjorn this week and for good reason. Despite poor Major form in the last few weeks he was playing great golf at one stage this year, when he managed five top 10 finishes in seven starts. If his season is going to turn around it will be here, in a tournament he has traditionally done well in. A win in the 2011 instalment of the tournament is backed up by two more top 10 finishes. Each way looks the way to go on Bjorn.
TOP BET: Bernd Wiesberger (20/1 a win, 44/10 a place)
When you look up the betting for a tournament it’s not often you see the likes of Bernd Wiesberger near the top, so that fact alone proves that this field really is lacking the depth we’ve gotten used to seeing over the last few weeks. Never mind that though, Wiesberger should be a real challenger here with his ability to hit it long and straight off the tee. He will be giving himself a lot of birdie opportunities. Two years ago he was in a playoff in this one so he has unfinished business out at Gleneagles. Expect a fine showing from the Austrian.