The Australian Open | Thursday 27 November – Sunday 30 November | The Australian Club
The Australian Open tees off this Thursday at the historical Australian Club in Sydney and this event promises to be an interesting affair. This is the oldest course in the country and has hosted a number of first-class tournaments, the most recent being the Australian Open of 2007. Well known as a real test of golfing ability, this par 72, 7230 yard course features tight fairways and thick rough that will punish any wayward tee shots. Strategically placed bunkers are also dotted around the course and will make life difficult for anyone who falls into the trap. Another issue for the field to deal with is the abundance of water that comes into play on almost every hole. If the wind comes up, which is also predicted, birdies will certainly be difficult to come by. Whilst the world’s focus is going to be the matchup between Rory McIlroy and Adam Scott, if you leave those two out of the betting it looks like there’s a lot of value to be had in the rest of the field. As Adam Scott proved last week, 5/2 is a crazy price for anyone in a golf tournament and for that reason I’m going to be leaving Rory out altogether and try finding some bigger prices.
Rory McIlroy 5/2
Adam Scott 4/1
Jordan Spieth 11/1
Geoff Ogilvy 25/1
John Senden 25/1
Matthew Griffin (90/1 a win, 19/1 a place)
I’m surprised that Griffin is available at such long odds this week because he’s been on fire in Australia lately. He made us a solid return last week at 14/1 a place when he finished fifth at the Australian Masters and prior to that he’d finished in the Top 5 in his last three events on home soil. There are very few players in this field that can boast that kind of form in Australia and for me backing Griffin is a no-brainer. Each way seems the best option.
Nick O’Hern (110/1 a win, 24/1 a place)
Nick O’Hern is another Australian I tipped last week and although that didn’t pay off I’m not giving up on the Triple Crown specialist just yet. Despite getting off to a poor start last week he posted scores of 69 and 67 in his second and third rounds before falling apart at the end and shooting a 74. It’s that kind of inconsistency that makes me a bit worried about his ability to string four solid rounds together but if he does manage to pull it off he’ll be in the mix on Sunday and 110/1 is too big to ignore.
Adam Bland (60/1 a win, 13/1 a place)
Adam Bland plays a lot of his golf in Japan and he’s had an incredibly consistent 2014 season both there and at home. He rarely finds himself outside of the Top 25 at the moment and that’s mainly due to the fact that he’s a great all-round golfer. He strikes the ball well and is handy around the greens and there doesn’t seem to be any glaring weakness in his stats. He’s pulled off three Top 10 finishes in his last four starts; hopefully he arrives in Sydney ready to go close again.
James Nitties will arrive here confident that he can do well in a tournament that he has fared well in in the past. Despite the fact that he’s had an average season on the Web.com Tour he’s been great in Australia and can hopefully replicate that form this week. His last two finishes have been a third in the NSW Open and a T2 last week in the Australian Masters. Here’s hoping he can go one better this week.